Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Big Move

Last fall, we began investigating the possibility of moving from the mobile home to a house. It took about 6 months of looking into things, but we got the go ahead in March of this year. We began looking at houses, and also began to prepare the mobile home for sale.

Papi put in new floors in the kitchen, both bathrooms, and the laundry room. He also replaced the kitchen faucet, and the insulation under the girls' room (thanks to a smelly raccoon family who had moved in!) Before we even put up the for sale sign, we had some interest, just through word of mouth in the neighborhood. Then, we put the sign up, and had received a few different offers, though not all at the same time. Just as one offer would fall through, another would come up. A contract was signed the end of May, the night before I left for the annual Lilla Rose convention.

When we began looking at houses in March, the very first house we walked into was a definite possibility. This was in March, though, and our mobile home hadn't sold yet, so we were not in a position to make an offer on it. We just kept looking at houses, two or three every few weeks, and waiting for our house to sell. We did visit that first house again, after we had seen about 10-15 others, to see if it was still our favorite. In mid-May, the house was taken off the market. I was a little disappointed, but knew God would have the right house for us when the timing was right. Our realtor looked into things and said the house was still for sale, just temporarily off the market. So, once our house sold, we made an off on that first house. It was accepted that same night(!) though it took over 2 weeks to get the purchase agreement signed and official.

The boys at our celebration dinner. (The pics uploaded out of order...)

The shrubs removed from the front and back on after the first day of yard work.

This had been completely filled with shrubs and weed-trees.

Amazingly, this is after the first round of cleaning. There had been several metal dog crates, a pool, and other assorted garbage. Originally, we didn't know the concrete slab was there.

After the first round of tree removal in back.

JMC helping under JL's watchful eye (and I was right there taking the picture.)

Family room before we painted

We knew going in that that house was being sold "as is" and that there would be some work required before moving in, as well as for a few years to come. We were able to inspect the house (well, Juan & his friend J inspected the house, even the attic(!), I walked around and reminded myself of the layout and room sizes, since it had been 2 months since we'd last been inside.) That inspection relieved some concerns, especially in regards to having to gut the bathroom; it needed a very thorough cleaning, and some new fixtures, but we'd most likely be able to put off a complete bathroom remodel. This was great news.

Beginning to move kitchen things over, before replacing appliances

JA helped paint the family room

Watching the city workers pick up the shrubs from the curb

One of our first meals at the new house, before we had moved any furniture over.

After painting.

After removing the overgrowth from the front

All of the furniture was moved in just 2 trips with a pickup, a minivan, a 15 passenger van, and a trailer. Note the playhouse on the roof of the van. :)

More helpers. I think I counted 13 or more that day, plus the people watching our kids and helping pack.

In July, we were notified that we could move in 2 weeks before the closing, which gave us 1 week to work on the house before we had to be out of the mobile home. This also saved us the hassle of moving to a rental home for one week and putting everything in storage. That week working on the house was amazing! So many people came over and helped with a million different tasks; cleaning the bathroom, painting the paneling, removing wallpaper, pulling out shrubs, removing a raised flower garden that was improperly placed, cutting down tree/weeds, and much more. Other friends watched our kids during the day so I could get work done at the house. 

The downside to all of this is that had been the week set aside for packing, so when moving day came, the mobile home wasn't ready. No worries though. While some people were moving the furniture, others stayed back to pack the kids' rooms, the kitchen, and even the master bedroom. What a blessing that was! I was at the new house directing traffic, and Papi was at the mobile home directing things there. The deadline to be out of the mobile home was 4pm Monday, and we did it, just barely. 

Grandpa and Papi moving out the old washer and dryer

JL helped "decorate" her new room. :)

Papi and his friend J bringing my new washer and dryer

The first big rainstorm brought some unwelcome surprises in the form of water through the entryway light. Papi fixed the problem the next day by putting up flashing where the 2 levels of the roof meet and no flashing had been put up.

Papi working on the roof

Moving round 2 of overgrowth removal to the curb

Checking out a toad that was found hiding under the branches

It's so exciting watching them haul the branches away.

The girls at our dinner celebration after the closing.

Mami & Papi after the closing.

JMC, Papi, & Grandpa removing the old rusty dishwasher

New dishwasher and oven delivery

The boys filled a little pool the neighbors gave us. 

Pictures of the front & back of the house before we did any work to it.Look at all that overgrowth!

There is still so much to do at the new house. 7-10 years' worth of yard work that we still haven't caught up on and quite a bit of interior work to be done, in addition to finishing the wonderful task of unpacking. The important things are done though. Carpets have been cleaned, and we can change the flooring in a few years; walls have been wiped down (previous residents were heavy smokers) and the rooms are slowly getting painted; all the appliances have been replaced (a true necessity in this scenario); and most of my books have been unpacked. :)

We have big plans for this home, and would love to stay here for quite some time. We'll do a little each year, and as needs arise. As far as our plans to stay here, those are just our plans; we'll have to see what God has in store for our family. Whatever His plans are, they will be good.