Well, it’s Friday, May 15th, and the house has officially sold!
True to the Realtor’s word, we closed at noon today. And with hardly a hitch! Well, one slight hitch: When the Buyer had asked about buying my curtains, I’d asked the Realtor to offer her the lawnmower as well. He never got back with me on the mower, but apparently she did want it. She arrived at the closing with a pre-written check for both the curtains and the mower. But, thinking she wasn’t buying it, we’d already moved the mower. So now we’ll need to borrow a trailer AGAIN to move the mower back to the house (it’s a riding mower).
I walked away from closing with a $300 check for the curtains and mower, and a $2,262 check for the house. When I run the numbers, the house was a total loss for me. But at this point, I’m happy to be walking away, and with a little something to show for it. I’m saying goodbye to the past, and looking forward to a better future with Bryan.
Despite losing money on this house, I’m not totally against buying a home with Bryan in the future. However, there are a few things I’d do different the next time around:
1) Buy a home I could see living in long-term. I always knew my one bedroom house was going to be a temporary thing. IF I buy again, I’d like to know it will be someplace I can hopefully stay for a couple of decades. You never know what might happen, but it’s always a good idea when buying a house to make it a long-term thing.
2) If buying a fixer-upper, be realistic about how much it will cost to fix, and whether the return will make it a good investment. Sure, you never know what future housing values will look like. But I pretty much always knew I wouldn’t be able to get back what I put into my house.
3) Have a decent down payment at the time of purchase. I bought my house with $0. With a mortgage, you pay the majority of the interest during the first half of the loan, which means it takes FOREVER to build up much equity in the house. Especially on a lower-value home. A small dip in the market can quickly push you upside down on the house. Next time I buy, I’d like to have a down payment saved up in advance. Possibly at least enough to avoid PMI. Having some equity in the house right off the bat means you have the option of selling much sooner, if need be. I probably would have sold my house 4 years ago, but I didn’t have the equity to do so. Again, you never know when your plans are going to change! Better to leave room for options!
It was many years in the making, but I finally accomplished my goal of selling the house! Now that my student loan is paid off, and my mortgage is gone, I only have the car loan left to worry about. And the extra cash flow is going to be a huge help in knocking that out! I’m super excited about moving forward with Bryan and my plans for the future. And not having the house anymore is a huge amount of stress off of me!
– Cindy W.