Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Some things I really love about our new home

I wanted to write some things down that make me so happy about our new home. 1) Our bedroom: it is our personal retreat, I love it. I love that we have a room big enough for a king size bed, I love how relaxing our tub is and I love that we have our own bathroom off of our bedroom. 2) I love the kitchen. Everything gets to have its own little home. I even finally opened a few wedding gifts we have not been able to use yet due to lack of space.  I love the island that the kids can sit at while I make meals. I love the double oven and how quickly it heats up. I love that I have a place to put the kids' stuff low enough for them to reach them. I love that Lucy can get her own glass of water. I love that my dishwasher doesn't have to be hooked up to the sink to work. 3) I love that I have a laundry room that is behind a door and not off of my kitchen. 4) I love the storage spaces and cupboards everywhere. 5) I love that we have a guest room. 6) I love that we have a deck, a jungle gym (that my kids LOVE), a trampoline they can walk right on to and a hammock (I took the best nap in it the other day). 7) I love that my kids' bedrooms are on the same floor as ours (so many homes we looked at did not have this feature). 8) I love that everyday feels like Christmas as I go out in the yard to see a new plant blooming. 9) I love that I have grow boxes for my garden. 10) I love my linen closet. 11) I love that I have a sewing room. 12) I love that I have a place to put my Halloween costumes. 13) I love that I can hang up all of our older family pictures. 14) I love our cozy family room. 15) I love that we have a sitting room that can easily be kept clean. 16) I love that there is a vent right by my feet as I wash the dishes that blows warm air on them. 17) I love that we live closer to Costco than Sam's. 18) I love that there is no outlet on our neighborhood street. 19) I love that we have a place to set-up David's train. 20) I love that I can sleep in while Marc plays with the kids downstairs and I don't hear a thing.

And I love that Vivian uses this ledge as a railing to get up these stairs. I told Marc after we moved in, "If I'm dreaming, please don't wake me up for a few more days."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Lucy sang for the mayor

Lucy's preschool learned the song, "My Flag" and then they sang it for the start of a city council meeting. It was darling.

The kids loved waving their flags and David loved seeing Lucy up there singing.

Lucy was supposed to say, "All rise for the pledge of allegiance". For whatever reason (she got shy? didn't know what/when she was supposed to do?) she didn't say anything, but instead just starred at everyone and smiled while one of her classmates kept saying over and over, "Is Lucy going to say it?" Her teacher said it for her and all proceeded without too much delay. God bless America.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I closed on my house and then flew to Texas . . .

I have one work trip I take a year, and it just so happened to fall right in the middle of when we were moving. Oh well, it was a lot of fun and helped me de-stress. It was in San Antonio, TX so my sister was able to come see me while I wasn't in classes. It was wonderful to be with her without anyone else. It had been a LONG time. We checked The Alamo the first night we got in.

The next day we took a boat tour on the river through the city. Here I am with a few of my students.

San Antonio is a very charming city.

Our really sweet bus ride that was FREE and happened to arrive the second we got to the bus stop. I kind of felt like we were heading to Hogwarts.

Checking out The Alamo in the daylight.

We had some DELICIOUS BBQ at Rudy's.

Right before I flew out, my sister took me to see the temple and I won a little game we called, "Is it a Mormon Chapel?" It was a lot of fun (and I learned a lot at the conference). Then I got home and got to work again packing boxes.

Monday, April 8, 2013

How we sold our home for sale by owner

I am certainly not offering any legal or professional advice here. I'm simply sharing what we did to sell our home for sale by owner in about one month's time:

Step 1: Know your limits: Determine how much you still owe on your home (contact who you have your loan through), how much you need to sell it for to get what you need out of it and how much you will need to pay for your share of the closing costs (a title company can get you this number for free). Also consider, how long are you willing to do for sale by owner before looking to use an agent. Know your absolute bottom number you'd be willing to sell your home for and be ready to hear/walk away from some very low-ball offers. You will also want to determine if you'll be willing to pay a finding agent any fee (we went with 1% but didn't end up having to use it because our buyer found us on their own.)

Step 2: Know what you're worth: We had real estate agents begging for the opportunity to do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on our home for FREE. They do this for free because if you get in the position that you decide you need an agent, they're hoping you'll go with them. This is nice because they check out your area and let you know how much they feel your home would sell for. This helps to give you a good idea of what to put your home on the market for. We had three agents do a CMA for us. (For the record, we ended up selling our home for about $6,000 more than they told us to market it for). 

Step 3: Market yourself: Get the word out as best as you can. We did the following: 1) sign in the yard 2) Craigslist (which is how our buyer found us) 3) KSL CLassifieds 4) Facebook and 5) Zillow. All of these methods were free. Be sure to take really nice/high quality pictures of your VERY clean and VERY staged home. Keep your home clean and staged while you show it (yep-that's rough with kids, but it only lasted 10 days for us).

Step 4: Have your documents ready: We had a real estate friend send us "Agreement to Purchase Real Estate Forms" so when someone was ready to make an offer, we just emailed them the forms, they filled them out and returned them to us with their Earnest Money. These forms can also be found online or purchased at an office supply store like Staples for about $9

Step 5: An acceptable offer: Once you've accepted an offer, you sign the contract and give a copy to the buyer and cash the Earnest Money check to make it official. Your buyer then takes their copy of the contract to their lender and the lender handles it from there until it's time to do the closing with a Title Company which will handle the final details. 

Step 6: Celebrate!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter 2013

We may be moving in a week and our house is half packed, but The Easter Bunny still managed to find us and bring us plenty of lovely things.

The girls in their darling Maxi Easter Dresses with the fabric picked out by their older sister, Hailey and my Mom sewed them.

Our cutest little chick.

This picture makes me smile so much.

One last family photo on our front porch.

Such cute kids and one very blessed Mom! (PS: Marc got released from The Bishopric this same day. When he came to sit by us after being released, Lucy said, "Why does Dad get to sit by us?" The last time that happened she was 9 months old!)

Dying Easter Eggs

This is always so tricky to do with little kids . . .

But they sure do love it!

PS when I was a kid, these were the eggs The Easter Bunny hid (none of those plastic things with candy). Then we'd give them to my Mom and she would make deviled eggs and potato salad out of them for Easter dinner.