Monday, May 26, 2014

Scenes From A Week: May 26

This was one of the best weeks I've had in a long time.  Memorial Day weekend is one of my all time favorite weekends, and this one lived up to the hype.  My parents came on Friday to help Scott and me with some last-minute condo details, and we spent more than a little bit of time talking about plans for our new home.

On Saturday morning, Scott and my dad started cranking on the condo refinements, while my mom and I headed out (to get out of their way... and get a few steps in while we were at it).  We set out for downtown (to achieve the reverse of one of the items on my Thirty by 30 list!) and did a few errands.

On Saturday afternoon, we departed for Blue Mound State Park in Wisconsin for a camping excursion (another item on my Thirty by 30 list).  More on that later, but for now - a fabulous weekend.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

1) Take an athletic class

I attended another aerial yoga class recently, and this time took a few more photos:

The class is way harder than it looks, but it's also really fun.  As an adult, how often do you get to mess around and climb things?  Very rarely in my experience.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

outward bound

Scott and I have lived in our condo for three years, almost exactly.  We closed on it one month before our wedding day, and almost immediately went to work making it "ours" with more than a little sweat equity from my favorite contractor (my dad). We updated nearly everything - from floor to ceiling and everything in between (with a heavy nod toward the kitchen, and a major hat tip to that incredible contractor I mentioned).  We gave it a much-needed facelift.

Two weeks ago, we finally made the decision and listed it for sale.  It was a very unsentimental decision, made because we wanted to move onward and upward - something bigger.  We started our search pretty open - we looked at both houses and condos.  We looked in the city, and we looked in the suburbs.  We saw places we liked, and places we hated.  We started looking last August, sometimes more seriously than others, and sometimes just for fun.  We went to private showings and open houses.  I estimate we looked at 75-100 different condos and houses in the area (and three in Iowa, actually).  We took my parents to see a variety (about 20) knowing that my dad would be our contractor, instrumental in making the house "ours".

We saw many beautiful homes - homes we'd be proud to live in and make our own.  During the course of our nine month search, we really narrowed it down: we wanted one particular suburb, in a one mile radius from either of the two train stations.  We wanted a house (not a condo) - but importantly, we wanted a house that needed a little updating so that we could make it our own.  We wanted an outdoor space (a yard), and we wanted at least a one-car garage.  We wanted at least three bedrooms, and ideally two bathrooms (or at least one bathroom that could be easily duplicated).  On our wishlist was a second bathroom, existing washer/dryer hookups, central air, and easy/quick walking distance to the commuter train that I'd be taking (a half mile or less).  The search was getting more focused, and more real.  We made plans with our realtor - figuring out the ideal time to put our condo on the market, how to price it, etc.  We picked a date, and then pushed it back and back again.

  Last weekend, we had six Saturday appointments set up - home tours at six wonderful houses that met our criteria on paper.  Included in that list was a showing of one home that we thought was a real contender (in fact, we'd already seen it twice).  Two days before the showing... three of the six homes went off the market (including the one we'd seen twice before).  We were bummed, of course, but chalked it up as a testament to the quality of the community.  We were down to three viewings, and my parents were coming all the way in from Iowa, so Scott combed the new listings and added three brand new lists to our itinerary.   Saturday came, and the four of us drove out there and toured the homes.  All great places, but one with real potential.  We liked it immediately.

We went to a local bar (a post-tour tradition with my parents!) and talked about it.  That night we got together with my in-town brother and sister-in-law and talked about it some more.  The next morning, we called to see if we could get in to it again before my parents left down, and found out that they'd received three offers since it went on the market three days earlier.  We scurried out and viewed it again and decided - we wanted it.

Scott and I went home, and our agent went to work - looking at comparables and crunching the numbers.  We made an offer late Sunday.  To our great pleasure, the seller countered on Monday morning.  At lunchtime I got the call - it was ours!  Scott and I were just... thrilled.  I called my parents to share the news, and almost immediately started mentally making plans.  I went back to work, so excited about what was happening.  And also hoping our condo would sell.

Three hours later, I got another call from our real estate agent.  We had an offer on our condo after just eight days on the market.

There are a lot of hoops to jump through before either sale is final.  Attorney review, mortgage brokers, interest rates, radon testing, inspections... and on and on.  My head is practically spinning from all of the details being exchanged, but mostly - I'm excited and hopeful for the journey ahead... and just as surprised as anyone else about what's about to happen:

We're moving to the suburbs!

The new home has all of the musts, and many of the "would be nices".  It needs a lot of updating and modernizing, but the projects will fun (hopefully my dad agrees :)  We're very excited for our suburban adventure, and all the fun that lies ahead in our new home.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Scenes From A Week: May 12

Since the last time I posted, so very much has happened and I'm eager to get back in to a solid blogging routine.  (This week?  Soon?)  We listed our condo two weeks ago, and sold it a week ago.  We found our next home - and made an offer on it.   Pretty huge week for the Specials.

In between this was, of course, the hum of regular life:

Monday night work dinner 
aerial yoga after work 
i love spring clothes (leopard shoes are hard to see.. but there)
homemade latte at matt/kelly's house
lunchtime walk - gorgeous chicago spring flowers
mother's day pedicure with my mama
flowers from my husband