Looking for Patience

I was sitting today, typing away for another post, and found myself writing a familiar line once again: It’s probably going to be a couple of months before we can even list the house. And suddenly, I had that feeling. You know? The feeling you get when a friend complains about her boyfriend/job/roommate for the one millionth time? That overwhelming feeling that makes you want to stand up and scream:

Oh my God! Just sell the damn house already!

Yep, I’m officially irritated with my own problems. Which is kind of funny, when you think about it: I’m over hearing (reading) myself talk (write) about the same thing over and over again. Lots of people decide to sell their house. They spend a month or so getting it ready, list it, and move on. I’ve been talking about selling my house FOREVER. So, I had to ask myself the big question: What is the deal? Is there a valid reason I haven’t sold my house yet? Or am I just procrastinating?

I found myself getting completely frustrated. I decided it was time to take a step back, analyze the situation, and decide whether there was a good explanation, or if I was just making excuses for not getting things done. Here’s what I came up with:

1) The Money. The biggest reason I haven’t listed the house yet comes down to money. Which is weird, because the biggest reason for selling the house is also money. There were a few things, like remodeling the bathroom, that I knew I’d need to do before I could list the house. So, I needed time to save up the money. Most of my extra money in 2013 went to the sewer project and porch (also both necessary to sell the house), and to various medical bills. I set a goal of saving $3,000 for the bathroom remodel. I tried not to spend any money on other things around the house (windows, the laundry room, etc.) until I had all the money set aside for the bathroom remodel. But, technically, I had that money in February. Why didn’t I start talking with contractors sooner?

2) The Polar Vortex. Part excuse, part valid reason: This winter in the Midwest was brutal! Brutal, I tell you! I’m not a cold weather person to begin with. I won’t go as far as to say that I suffer from any mental health issues due to the colder weather and shorter days. But I do find myself spending more time hunkered down at home, relaxing, and generally being lazy during the winter months. To top off the unusually extreme cold, we also got a ridiculous amount of snow. Several times I went to the house intending to work, only to turn around because I couldn’t get down the street. There were days I couldn’t even leave the apartment, the snow was so bad. The roads were closed numerous times. I had planned a few days off work to go over and work on the house, only to be snowed in at the apartment. And, of course, when people spend more time indoors during the cold weather, they share more germs. And more germs equals more illnesses. I had planned another long weekend at the house, only to end up spending the time off in bed, sick.

3) The Relationship. The snail’s pace on getting the house ready to sell was also partially due to my relationship. I’m pretty much living at the boyfriend’s apartment anyway, and have been for some time. We discussed me selling the house, and even discussed me moving in to the apartment. But he never actually asked me to move in. And when I’d ask if he was okay with me moving in, he’d make a joking remark about how I was already living there. Semantics, I know, but I wanted to know that I was doing what WE wanted, not just pushing him in to what I wanted.

I’d probably be selling the house regardless at this point. The market is improving, and the house hasn’t been much of an asset for me. Actually, it’s held me back from taking numerous opportunities in the past. If I weren’t moving in with the boyfriend, I’d probably get my own apartment. But I’m not exactly in any rush to exchange a mortgage for a rent payment.

Last month, I finally worked up the nerve to address my concerns. I’m not sure why it took me so long. We discussed what me moving in would mean for us. We discussed our goals, and what we both wanted for the future. And we decided together that me moving in to the apartment was the next step that we both wanted to take. If we can’t get a good price for the house, we discussed finding a renter, and what that would mean.

Since that conversation, we’ve both made a lot of progress towards getting my house ready to sell. There’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Granted, it won’t be tomorrow; there’s still some work left to do. So, you’ll have to bear with me writing more about my house, and I’ll have to have some patience with the process. But things are moving in the right direction.

Reasons? Or excuses? Turns out, a little of both. And I’m okay with that. After all, change is scary. And I’m only human.

– Cindy W.

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