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Hey honey, let’s sell our house. Worst mistake ever!
It’s really no secret if you know me at all that I regret building our current house. Sure from the outside we live in a beautiful home in a quiet and seemingly nice neighborhood. There’s just so much more that you don’t see that has me still unsettled 6.5 years later. Remodeling our house was not planned, it just sort of happened.
In 2011, almost 8 months after our twins were born, we were driving home from vacation and I causally mentioned to my husband, “We should put our house on the market and start looking for something bigger.” The thing was, I absolutely ADORED our home at the time and I hated to have to move, AGAIN. It was the perfect location, small enough for me to clean on my own yet too small to live comfortably with my oldest son and now infant twins. It was only a three bedroom, with not a lot of storage, we were busting at the seams overnight. My husband does what he always does, talks to his parents and before I knew it, we were listing the house. We didn’t know where we wanted to go, we never fully discussed it. I knew staying in the general area was the plan but being in the South Suburbs of Chicago, you have to really be careful about schools and really shitty neighborhoods.
We had an awful realtor, a daughter and father-in-law duo that was recommended to us by a friend (our future contractor) of my in-laws. The father-in-law took care of the selling and the daughter-in-law helped find the new house. We immediately start looking only to find out the lady had extremely limited availability to take us out. I mean, it was like trying to nail Jello-O to the wall, it was impossible! Two weeks pass and we see a very small number of homes, even less potential and then we get an offer on our house. Panic starts. Instead of thinking logically like two level headed adults, we accept the offer, get low-balled on our appraisal, never once thinking we had the opportunity to back out. We had a shitty tag-team realtor who didn’t care about us is what it boiled down to. They gave us no advice, gave us even less of their time to look at new homes all while the clock is ticking and the countdown is on to move.
Fast Forward to my Father-in-law talking to my husband and giving him a “deal he can’t refuse”. I recall being approached by them and being taken aback. “You want to buy us a lot?”, “It’s around the block from you?”, “You want us to build a house with your contractor friend who built your house?”. I don’t understand. Mind you, I’m being over-run with emotions! I was stressed about not finding a house. Getting the royal screwing by the appraiser, tending to my infants who were sucking the life and brain cells right from my head, my oldest was moving in with my mom in Florida to take a semester off of school. I was NOT in my right frame of mind. It was too much. But they made this sound like the deal of a lifetime! New house, I mean BRAND NEW, we get to build it and pick everything. The only thing was, I wasn’t a fan of new construction. I want a home not bricks and walls. I want cozy and inviting, not cold and unwelcoming. My husband and I were on opposite ends of the earth (little hint, we most always are). But I begrudgingly agreed. They made it sound shiny and fun and I’m always a sucker for fun.
Time to move it on out, folks!
We get rushed out of our home, new buyers wanted a quick close. I wanted to move into an apartment while the new construction was happening. Nope. My in-laws insisted we stay with them. All 5 of us including 2 dogs and 2 cats, PLUS their two dogs. Fuck.My.Life.Hard. So that’s what we did. It was absolutely the longest 6 months of my life. Remember I said the lot they bought us was around the block from them? That was probably the best part because we could stroll around the hood and check the build process. That’s when things get hairy. The builder, my father-in-laws “friend” didn’t like that my husband and his dad were coming by everyday to check progress. He thought they were being bullies. Questioning him on things and pointing out mistakes. Dude. It was so bad. So bad that we had to get a lawyer involved in the 3rd month of the build. He was literally screwing us out of stuff. Then doing things like sending us text messages telling us he needed large sums of money ($30K one time) before he would move to the next step. He was off his damn rocker. I could go into very vivid details of all the things he did over those 6 months but that would just blow your mind. By the end of the build, he would no longer speak to us. Everything was communicated via email and/or went through our lawyer. He bent us over good on this house. The inside out, from the HVAC, to the insulation, to the color of our mortar!
Several months in the house and I hate it. Like want to move the hell out and light a match, hate it. Issue after issue arises over the course of a couple years and we have to go to my in-laws to help us pay for everything. I mean, after-all, we were in this mess because, ahem, them. I make friends with some of the normal neighbors, and by normal I mean the ones who actually talk to us and not turn their nose up at us (I do live around some stuck up, cliquey ones). I spend all my time stuck in this house 24/7 with the twins, alone, because my husband was always at work. I complained, A LOT! I complained about everything I hated. The house, the neighborhood, the shitty neighbors, the town, the taxes, the sky-high electric and gas bills, everything because I was so unhappy. I listened to more “But your house is so beautiful” lines than I care to even think about. Anyone can put lipstick on a pig. I just wanted to go back to the way it was. I missed our old, small but perfect home. It was a HOME. It cost less and it felt good being there. This house was over-priced, cost a fortune to maintain and reeked of shitty contractor all over the place.
I’m 100% over it. All of it.
I decide that I want to move. I didn’t care that we had just did it, I hate this house that much. In the fall of 2016 my husband surprisingly agreed. After a rough winter we end up taking it off the market in March of 2017 because he panicked (and my in-laws were pissed) when we got an offer. Needless to say that took a huge hit to our marriage. We survived not killing each other for 6 months in an over-crowded house but breaking my heart over this move was the line. He crossed it.
I finally got him to agree to “update” the house and make some major changes. I needed a change of scenery inside. I was still a WAHM of these little punk twins and the walls of this house were closing in on me. I needed to get rid of some of what that dirt bag contractor put his mark on like a dog who marks their territory. I personally wanted to gut the whole place. Instead, I worked on mainly the first floor and the bedrooms. I wanted to open up my kitchen to have better flow, I wanted it lighter, and brighter. We get a lot of direct light in here (we face West) and even still it was dark, gloomy and uninviting. The original flooring was a very outdated, thin plank red oak. I kinda hate everything about light oak finishes. So we tore up all the carpet in my office and family room, laid plywood and went with a Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring throughout the house. It has better flow, and with pets, children and a messy husband, it’s a breeze to clean up! Plus, I hate carpet!
Remodeling our house
I took some of the original photos from when we first moved in and did side-by-sides of what it is now. We are still not done! We have to get the new back-splash up in the kitchen and finish painting. I always wanted a island in the kitchen. It took a couple months but we finally found one that worked perfectly in the space. We were originally going to build it until I found THIS at Art Van Furniture! We are also currently in the process of tearing down our deck and building a set of stairs off the back door. The deck was awful and looked like crap. It took up too much space and we never used it. With it gone, the space around the pool is much more open. I think by the time we finish with the changes around here it will be time to move.
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