Who am I? I am a wife, a mother and a woman on a search for her true self. This blog is a recording of my search, my experiences, and my own little quirks that I've decided to share with the world.

I am also unemployed, changing professions through education, and involved in a move from one part of the country to another. This blog will also record all the trials and tribulations in my search for a realtor to sell, the communications with the realtor that I've chosen in the new area, and any and all experiences within. I look forward to the feedback.

Basically - a woman's diary - edited for the public and to share my thoughts, feelings and impressions of the world around me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Process of Moving

So, I mentioned in my profile that I'd talk about my Realtors who helped me sell my home and who helped me buy/purchase my home here in Charlottesville. I failed to do that, so I will do it now.

First, my Realtors in Germantown, MD - they were AWESOME! So, no one really gets how stressful it is to sell a home. Not to mention, that despite the fact we're ready to sell it, the minute we put that house on the market, we realize how much we love the house and how much we'll miss it when we're gone. Jackie Lawrence and Dorette Hess from Century 21 really helped me through everything. They were true professionals and Dorette did a fantastic job keeping me grounded through the entire process.

They were open and honest when they walked through my home prior to us deciding to use them. Keep in mind, we also chose to put our home on the market during the winter holidays - yes, crazy we were! Our house went on the market in Germantown, Maryland on 1 December 2011 and had a full fledged contract on it by January 5th. We went to settlement on February 25th. It sold for less than 9% below asking and we were able to get slightly above market value for our home.

Here's the slide show I made for my facebook page. I thought our home was gorgeous. I particularly like the shot of my pup sitting in "her" chair...she refused to leave the room.

So Jackie was the business side and Dorette was most definitely the hand-holding side. They are a terrific partnership and gave great advice, acknowledged our emotional ties to the home and celebrated with us when it sold so quickly. They were professional, friendly, fabulous and I'd recommend them to everyone in the metro Washington, DC area.

Here in Charlottesville, VA I began looking for homes back in 2009. I contacted a realtor who seemed to be on the up and up and she was very willing to put in a lot of time with us in regard to the lengthy time prior to our move as well as recommending neighborhoods. Although, we found she had some quirks (who doesn't) and some prejudices, we thought we were in good hands. This was until we put an offer on a home with a difficult realtor. The seller's representative was primarily a commercial realtor. First, let me say that in general a commercial realtor is a true sales man. They are aggressive in regard to getting the best value for their money. The Buyer put their house on the market for a STEAL! We wrote a contract and initially said that it was contingent on the sale of our home. They rejected this clause and said they'd only deal with us if we voided this contingency from the contract. Against our instincts but on the best advice of our then realtor, we amended the contract. Then the contract on our house fell through and we realized we would not have any money for a down payment without raiding our 401K investments. This is against anything and everything that we, as a couple, and a financially savvy couple at that (after all, I do have my BS in Business Management and FINANCE!!) believe in. So we looked at how to walk away from the contract. The Realtor that we were working with at this time said there was no way for us to do that. WHAT??? Nuh Uh. So, after consulting with our attorneys, and she referring us to another attorney, the deal collapsed. Two days later, we asked to no longer work with her and we cancelled our professional working relationship. She added additional stress to the buying process by not knowing what our full rights as property purchasers were. She was fine for going through homes, but when it came to closing the deal she proved to be unstable and unfit for this particular business.

I contacted our insurance company, USAA and they have a Home Buyer's referral program where they refer you to a realtor in the area. This is how we found Dorette and Jackie in Germantown. So, they referred us to Barbara Drinkwater (aka "Willow") from Better Homes and Gardens III here in Charlottesville. She was the BEST REALTOR EVER! Completely zen and calm and she knows EVERYONE. She really helped us out and was just a refreshing breath of fresh air. We thought about putting another offer on the house we originally had put an offer on, because 3 days later, we had another offer for full asking price with ZERO contingencies. They even waived the home inspection!! But the sellers were looking for a cash only deal. In other words, no financial demands. They also raised the price of the house. The house is now being rented. But in the process, we talked to our realtor about the schools.

Schools are important in any homebuying instance where there are school age children involved...Even if you have an infant, this is an important aspect to home buying, because that infant will be attending school in just a few years. Granted, all the schools here in Albemarle County are TERRIFIC, but the city schools still have some work to be done. But, the neighborhood where we really wanted to live was zoned for a school that my former realtor (even though her kids were zoned for the same school) didn't have a lot of nice things to say. This school, Burley Middle School, is awesome. My son was moved from regular classes to honors classes so that he would be challenged. (This never would have happened in Montgomery County) - he is in advanced math and is on par to be taking AP math classes by the time he is in High School. He is doing very well, is challenged and in general, really loves school. AND we got into the neighborhood we wanted to be in and got a steal on the house. Barbara was a fantastic realtor, and I can say that we are friends.

The process of moving, wasn't too bad. The hubby and child were living in an apartment here in Charlottesville with all of the animals. That helped a lot in regard to when the movers came and picked up everything - which worked out to not be too much stuff. We had a budget for 15,000 pounds and we didn't even hit 9,000 lbs. We will when we move out of this house! But I digress. The moving process was handled through my husband's employer and we didn't have to do a thing. Well, I cleaned like a mad demon after they were gone so that it would be bright and shiny for the new owner. When we bought this house, I should have paid to have it professionally cleaned. There is still some negativity left over from the previous owners. I am working to get this out of the house through smudging and imbuing our home with our essence, as a family. It is hard work, but as an energist, I know how to do it right.

We did have some problems in our new home (plumbing) and with the aid of our new neighbors, we were able to get this taken care of right away. So helpful.

Our new community is awesome, and I couldn't be happier with where we are. I know that my son is still somewhat resentful, but it's growing on him too and he's making friends, as am I. With Charlottesville as our new home, we are growing, becoming involved in the community and living life fully.

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