We’ve sold our house! Finally! It was on the market more than a year.
Kirsten and I had been married for sixteen months when we purchased our first house. The rent for our one-bedroom apartment was going up a hundred dollars a month and we were tired of coin operated laundry and hunting for parking spaces. We found our house in the classified section of the Wichita Eagle. It was the first one we looked at. The monthly mortgage payment was less than our rent at the apartment, it had washer/dryer hookups, and a driveway. We were elated! At the time it was the best decision we could have ever made. We loved being home owners.
It wasn’t perfect, though. The house and yard needed a lot of work. We removed trees and huge piles of shrubbery from the back yard. Eventually we would build a children’s playset and back deck. Inside we installed new carpet and hardwood floors, completely remodeled the bathroom, updated the kitchen, replaced most of the light fixtures and all the electrical outlets, and refinished the opening between the family room and living room. It was a lot of work but done with pride; it was our home.
Unlike most people, we never thought of our house as small. After one, two, and then three kids were added to the family the house was cozy but we liked it that way. We were close. Our house was only small because everyone else’s house got larger. Our house was only relatively small.
We only planned to stay in the house–and in Wichita–for the remainder of my four year enlistment in the Air Force. Then we had kids, I started school at Wichita State, and Kirsten developed a brain tumor. In late 2006, when I was done with school and Kirsten had recovered from her surgery, we put the house on the market. The three years we expected to live in the house had turned in to ten. We tried to sell by owner but got almost no activity. Then we hired a realtor who barely showed the house for months. So, when we hired the second realtor we stuck with her until it sold. The right buyer, we figured, would eventually come around.
The sale was not smooth. The buyer pulled out twice when we wouldn’t budge during the negotiations. Eventually, they realized the games they were playing weren’t going to work. It’s nice to be done and out! The house sat empty, and we continued to make monthly mortgage payments, for five months! Now the only tie we have to Wichita is our old friends. That is perhaps the best part of the sale. We’re 100% Mainers now!
We’re glad to be renting now. We don’t have to worry about repairs and when we’re ready to leave all we have to do is move. Buying was definitely the right thing for us back in 1996. For now, I’m glad not to have the headaches of home ownership. Perhaps someday we’ll buy again, but I doubt it.