Finally…CLOSING DAY! It felt like this day would never come. Yet, at the same time, it came much quicker than I thought it would.
Prior to closing I had to make sure the mold was no longer present in the old home and that the remediation was a success. And it was! But waiting for the mold report to come in was stressful because we weren’t sure if it would be in before closing. Thankfully it came in the night before. Phew!
About two weeks prior to closing on both the old and new house, my broker texted me and asked if I wanted to try and arrange both closings for the same day. I told her I would prefer to do that, and that my thinking was two birds, one stone. However, something I didn’t consider in this whole thing was the closings would be at separate title companies here in Albuquerque. Oops.
Closing The Old House
We arranged for the closing of my old house to be at 7:30 in the morning, and then the closing for my new house to be at 9:30 on the same day. Yes, I’m aware of how early the first one was. But I have to be at the office around 7:00am every day, so this wasn’t anything I’m not already used to.
Why did we have to close on the old house before the new house? The buyer on my old house had already done her portion of the closing the day before with the funds, so I needed her funds from the purchase my old house to go towards the purchase of the new house. In a nutshell, I needed the funds from one for the other.
Something that surprised me with the closing on my old house was how quickly it went! No kidding! The entire thing was done in about 30 minutes. I kept asking the title officer if she was sure that we were done and if we were missing any paperwork that I needed to sign. Yup…I literally asked the professional if they were positive that we didn’t miss anything. Bless her heart though, she just laughed and said that we were done and the process to sell a house was much easier than buying one. My broker was in both closings with me, and she confirmed that the title officers have it down to a science on how fast the closings can go.
A Little Downtime
After that, we had some downtime. My amazing broker took me to breakfast at a local diner just down the street from the first title office, and it was delicious! We chatted and enjoyed getting to know each other more, and then headed to the next closing.
That one went was as I remembered them…longer. The stack of papers to sign was much larger, and the title officer rambled off what every paper meant before I signed my name to each one. I sat on my side of the table and put my signature to every paper that was slid in front of me. Then, before I knew it, I was done and out of there. I was shocked at the fact that I was done with the closing in about an hour.
That was it. Just like that, I had signed away one chapter of my life and signed myself and my son into a whole new one at our new house. Everything about us would stay the same, except the address would change. The house that I bought 5 ½ years ago, maintained, brought my son home to, and said goodbye to my dog was now a part of my past.
Leaving Can Be Bittersweet
As I anticipated, everything about this experience was bittersweet for me. All the memories flooded back, and I got misty eyed at times thinking about the house I had bought and turned into a home.
But I had to put all that away and begin the next phase of this process. Moving was the next item on my agenda.
Two days after closing was moving day. I rented a 26-foot U-Haul truck and 10 friends and family helped me move from my first home to my new home. They took apart furniture and moved it, and also helped pack boxes and move those into the truck. Each car that belonged to someone had also been loaded with smaller items that didn’t go on the truck. Then the caravan headed to the new home.
The Bigger The Truck, The Faster The Move!
I’ll spare you the boring details of moving into the new home. But what I will proudly boast is that we rented this mammoth of a truck at 10:30am and returned it by dinner time that same evening. Talk about some hustle from the muscle!
I woke up that morning in my bed in one house and went to bed that night in my bed in another house. It was surreal but gratifying at the same time. I was filled with the realization that after all my hard work as a single parent, I had not only maintained a house and a job during the pandemic, but I’d also continued to raise my son, make my regular car payments, sold my house and bought another.
As I’m writing this, I’m still settling into my new house. I still have boxes to open, items to put away and pictures to hang on the wall. There are still rooms to be set up and empty boxes to be put in the recycling bin, weeds to be pulled in the front and back yards.
Learning Something New Is Part Of The Home Buying Experience
Before I end this blog series, I want to share something with you that my dad shared with me. He and my mom have bought a few houses during their marriage, and he told me that you learn something different from every house you buy or sell. You learn a different lesson with each one. I haven’t asked him what he’s learned from the houses he and my mom have bought and sold together, but I know I should.
I’ve learned many things during this entire process. The main thing I learned is that it’s incredibly stressful to buy and sell at the same time, maintain a career and raise a family. But trying to compartmentalize everything helped me the most. I would deal with the house situation one minute, and then jump into something with work another. I would be tackling something for the office, and then go into “Mommy mode.” That was the only way I could think to handle everything.
Moving is a crazy experience. It’s stressful and exhausting. But I will say that it’s totally worth it. Being a homeowner is expensive, but it’s rewarding to have a place to call home that you’ve saved for and worked for. Yes, paying the bills and for repairs is pricey. But there are so many things with a home that you can do on your own terms. That kind of independence is incredibly self-satisfying and wonderful.
Don’t Be Afraid!
I hope this mini saga of sorts helped to give you some guidance on what you could possibly expect from the home buying/selling experience. Remember, like my dad said, every experience is different, and you learn something from each one. What’s my advice to you on this? Don’t be afraid to jump in headfirst and embark on this journey. You won’t regret it.