Butler County Times Gazette
  • Erin Fox: To sell or not to sell

  • We weren’t really looking for a house, but every once in a while we’ll get a hankering for life on some acreage and so we’ll break out realtor.com (me) and zillow.com (him) to see what’s available.
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  • Back in January my husband emailed me the listing of a house in the country he’d stumbled on. We weren’t really looking for a house, but every once in a while we’ll get a hankering for life on some acreage and so we’ll break out realtor.com (me) and zillow.com (him) to see what’s available. Well, a property that was relatively close to Augusta on a not-too-big, not-too-small amount of acreage came on the market at a reasonable price.
    So we stalked that house. We slowly drove by, turned around in order to drive by again, turned into the driveway and took in every detail we could without walking around the still-occupied property and kicking the tires.
    We talked about it at night, we weighed the pros and cons, we finally decided that house was not for us.
    But then the house-buying bug was in us, and it nestled deep into our brains before hatching babies that whispered, “Oooh, you should check the app again! Maybe another one has come on the market!” And I listened to every one of those house-buying bug babies and practically wore out the realtor app on my phone, checking and rechecking the available houses in Augusta.
    Because I can’t keep anything to myself, all my friends knew that Hubby and I were sort of looking, maybe going to buy something. And every time my friends would ask me where we were at in the home-selling/home-buying process, I’d throw up my hands and give them a different answer: We’re selling! No, we’re staying. No, we’re selling! And my sweet friends never stopped asking but feigned interest in every one of my explanations on Hubby’s and my thought process for that week. Those are good friends, you guys, to endure that tedium.
    Selling our house, or possibly doing so, slowly took over my days. What started as, “Eh, I’ll clean out the kitchen cabinets *in case* we sell,” turned into the fastidious repainting of the trim in the back hallway. (It didn’t really need it.)
    We continued to spruce up the house, all the while thinking “Maybe we’ll sell!” but never really confident in that. So we got the exterior painted, we rented a storage shed to hide all the things (three different versions of Monopoly!) that we own from potential buyers, we added mulch to the flower beds.
    Then we stalked two houses in town. Maybe the country life and its prices are not for our lives right now, but maybe a different house in town is. So we stalked these two empty houses. Went through open houses, kicked the decks to check for rot, stuck our noses up to the windows to peek inside, finally made it legitimate and got a fabulous realtor to walk us through each of them.
    Page 2 of 2 - After all of it, you know what we found? We love our house. We already knew we loved our house, but after the window-peering and stalking and crunching numbers, we realized that our house is a stinkin’ good one for the money.
    And so we’re not moving. Hooray and let’s put the matter to rest.
    Until those house-buying bug babies hatch again and whisper in my ear some more. But they’d better not hatch for a good four years.
    Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three.  She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.  

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