After more than two years of anticipation and preparation, this weekend we moved out of our Riverton house and back into my childhood home in Sandy. It’s really strange not to have our own place after just under 10 years in our first home.
Throughout the week, we took a few loads to my mom’s house where we’ll be staying. Then on Friday morning, Robin and I signed the closing documents at the title company and then hauled two cars full of kids and stuff to my mom’s house. On Friday night, 15 men from our ward came to our house with six trucks and two trailers. In 90 minutes we had 90% of our belongings stacked in a storage unit in South Jordan. Robin and I cleaned the house until 11:00 p.m. and then I returned Saturday morning to gather our remaining belongings. (It’s incredible how much STUFF accumulates over 10 years. I completely underestimated the work it required.)
We’ll be living in Sandy until June, which is when our new home in Traverse Mountain should be ready. It’s taken a long time to get to this point. It was exactly two years ago this week that we put our home on the market. However, this time we had a very different selling experience. Last time we had 50 showing over five months and no offers. This time we had 25 showings in two weeks and got two offers. Last time we priced it relativley high (by today’s standards) and didn’t do enough to improve the home so it would stand out and move quickly. This time we priced it aggressively and made significant improvements, such as replacing the roof, installing brand new carpet throughout and many other cosmetic improvements. We invested about $6,000 into improving the house, and I think it made a big difference.
Other factors that helped this time around included lower interest rates, federal tax incentives for first time home buyers and an improving economic situation. We also had a very well-connected real estate agent who did a great job.
I’m glad that things worked out the way they did. It has been hard to have to wait this long to get our home sold, but I think it will work out better for us to move in 2010 rather than 2008. Yes, we sold our house for 15-20% less than we probably would have at the peak, but we are also buying our new house for 20-25% less than we would have at the peak. Interest rates are down, and with a 4.875% rate locked in, we’re able to buy quite a bit more house for the same monthly payment than if we had gotten it at 6%. We also get a $6,500 federal tax credit by buying a new home and closing before June 30. That’ll be nice!
Two years ago, I was just starting a new job with the bank and was getting myself established. Now I am more experienced and better positioned to make my commissions. My recent sales performance earned me a good bonus that will go entirely towards our down payment. Add to that the equity from the sale of our house, and we hope to make a 20% down payment so we can keep our monthly payment manageable and avoid the dreaded mortgage insurance. Living with my mom for a couple of months will help us save enough to reach that goal.
Finally, ever since we visited the Traverse Mountain area in Lehi a few years ago, we always wanted to live there. We never thought it would be possible to build a home with floorplan we loved in that neighborhood. And two years ago, it wasn’t possible; but now it is. Sure, it will be a stretch for us, and it’s a bit of a leap of faith, but we feel it’s the right thing for our family.
So we’re in transition. I was released from my calling as second counselor in the bishopric after nearly four years and Robin concluded her service with the Activity Days girls and the ward activities committee. We left a great neighborhood with many dear friends. Our kids will finish out the school year at their elementary school in Riverton and we’ll anxiously await the completion of our house. (Framing started this week!) Life is exciting right now! Here are a few photos we took of our home this weekend.