Monday, October 31, 2016

When life starts happening

I am someone who likes to look forward to things. I struggle to stay in the present, though I am getting better at it. I still sometimes feel like I am waiting for life to happen though, while I'm waiting or looking forward to the big things. For the last couple of years, it felt like my life was waiting for After Australia.

When will we sell our house? After Australia.
When will we move to a different area? After Australia.
When will we go on our dream Italy trip? After Australia.
When will we get a dog? After Australia.
When will we have kids? After Australia.
When will we see more of the US because we’ll have more time and money for smaller trips? After Australia.
When will we start focusing on paying things off vs travel? After Australia.

I know we can travel with kids, I know we can buy a house with a baby in tow, I know we can move with a kid or two and it’s not like you’re not allowed to do all of those things with kids. I just don’t want to. I want to go on my trip and live my life before I have children and live our lives together. There is nothing wrong with that. It just means I push things back, until we are ‘able’ to. After Australia. I know it’s my choice to go to Australia and push things back, but still. You’re allowed to wrestle with your choices sometimes and worry if you're making the right ones.

So I was chatting with my bestie. I told her that I wish I could do it all. I wish we could move to a better area now, I wish we could save up money for Australia and pay the cars off now. I wish we could sell our house before buying a new house, because doing it at the same time sounds terrifying. I told my friend how easy it would be to save money and sell and buy if we could live in my mother in law’s basement for a couple of months in between. She asked why we didn’t do that. I said KC doesn’t want to. We talked some more. I went home and KC and I had this conversation:

Me: I think we should move in your mom’s basement while we sell the house and look for another.
KC: I don’t want to.
Me: These are the reasons I think it is a good idea: xyz.
KC: Okay.

We are both easily persuaded when presented with a logical argument. We happened to be visiting with his mom that day, and brought it up with her. I’ve talked about it with her before, so I knew she would be okay with it (because she loves us!) but KC was under the impression that she wouldn’t be. But of course she was. She got all excited. She asked when, and we told her After Australia.

Why not now? She asked.

We can’t sell now, we said. We just can’t. The house isn’t ready. We have things we need to fix. It’s scary. We aren't ready. Are we ready? Can we sell now?

We called our realtor on the way home. She’s a good family friend and was in the area, so she dropped by to have a look. The market is amazing right now, she said. I think you’ll sell quickly, and I think you’ll sell for higher than you paid.

We haven’t done much to the house – painted 2 rooms and replaced the floors in the living room. It definitely looks much better than it did, and we love it. Truly, our house is perfect except for the location and the no-garage-thing.

So that day, list of things to do in hand, we started doing shit. We replaced a faucet, painted the kitchen and the cabinets, painted 2 spare rooms, replaced the mantel, cleaned the carpets, bought a new fridge and microwave, bought new decor and chucked a bunch of crap out.


The next week when I was running with my friend, I told her everything we did and she was stunned – we just talked about this last week! After that, it was a whirlwind. Within 2 weeks we had everything done. 3 weeks later the house was listed and we were living in my mother in law’s basement. We left the house staged, we just knew it would be easier to not live there – or have the cats there – while we were selling.

I wanted to share a few before and afters. This is the living room when we bought the house and had moved everything in:


This is what it looked like after we painted and re-did the floors - we also ripped the mantel off the wall for no reason and one of us almost decapitated the other person - and bought new bookcases:


This is what it looked like after we added a new mantel and decluttered for staging:


The living room was always my favourite part of the house - we did the most work in there and spent the most time in there together. I wish we'd done the mantel earlier because I LOVE it.

Here's what the kitchen looked like when we first moved in:


Here's what it looked like when we bought a new microwave and fridge, painted the walls grey and put a fresh coat of white on the cabinets - they'd been painted before but not very well and they weren't cute in person:


Here is what our spare room looked like when we moved in, pretty green walls, right?


This is what it looked like after we painted and accumulated furniture over the years (though we removed some for staging):


This is what the 'office' looked like (though to be honest it looked like a junkyard for a really long time, and we called it an office but never used it for any office-ing) before we painted and staged it:


I couldn't help but share this because LOOK AT BABY MILLIE.


Such a little baby.

And here's the after:


It has a closet on the other side but it's a really hard room to photograph.

We painted our bedroom the night we moved in - it was supposed to be grey but it is definitely blue and I kinda definitely have hated it for 3 years but no biggie. We had this black full size bed in it and we bought the king last year and it has sat on the floor for the entire time. 


We just bought a new bed, but it won't be delivered for ages, so we just stuck a super classy air mattress on a frame in there for staging.


Lets see, just the bathrooms now. Our master bath is super small, we didn't do anything but paint it the same time as the bedroom, and add towel racks. Oh and new toilet paper/hand towel holders. We also painted the cabinets white at our realtor's suggestion. Before on the left, after on the right.


We didn't do anything to the hall bath except new shower curtain, and new toilet paper/hand towel holders. Before on the left, after on the right.


And here is our backyard, which we have done absolutely nothing to except curse those trees every time we have to rake leaves or mow the lawn (it's really annoying to mow around them.... I swear).


A few more memories I want to remember from this time:


^ the cats being super excited that they were allowed in the spare rooms again (little did they know they were about to get locked up as we were painting the kitchen), KC being a doofus with the mantel, the cats (mainly Penny) loving all the new space to play and lounge in, the kitchen and living room being a mess for like 2 weeks.

A day after the listing went live, we had 5 showings, with 2 more the following day. We received a full price offer less than 24 hours after the listing went live. The next day, we received another full price offer. The day after that - another offer.


To say we were shocked would be an understatement. Honestly, all we wanted was to break even and walk away without owing anything. We didn’t want to make money - well, who doesn’t want to make money, it just wasn’t our goal. We knew the market was good and we believed our realtor when she showed us the comps but I think we were both expecting a lower offer or more contingencies with the offer. We expected it to sit for a week or two. We were worried we would have to move back in, move all our stuff back in and put the cats through that again.


^ selfie after we signed all the paperwork and cleaned the house top to bottom, selfie with our house numbers and selfie after we accepted the offer.... and yes, I have a blizzard and a mcdonalds diet coke in my arms. I have been eating mega poorly.

Now I know not to count my chickens before they hatch and everything. The deal could fall through. It absolutely could. We have inspections and appraisals to get through, and anything can happen in the 30 odd days it takes to close on a house. If this sale goes through, we’ll have a little extra money in our pocket – it could pay for our trip in full. We have money saved up, and in a couple months we could have paid a car off.

I really am trying not to get too excited or count the extra money until it’s in my hands and we are signing the deed away. I know several people who have had deals fall through. But I still might be a little excited. It’s very exciting that I no longer have to say After Australia for some things. We can pay a car off at the same time as we book and save for our trip. We can start looking for a house next spring, in the area we want to be in. We can do other things as soon as we get back from our trip, because we won’t have to worry about selling the house or paying things off.

I know life is always happening, and I am truly appreciative of every day, little things and big things, but it's really fun when you get to speed things up and tick things of your 'life to do list'. Life is happening you guys, and it’s really exciting. 

84 comments:

  1. We are on the same page with our blogs today. And let me say congratulations! That is awesome! Jason is a broker and we discuss the Louisville market often - it is on fire. Can't wait to see where you guys end up! And your house is beautiful!

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  2. this is so exciting! congrats you guys! i love how much you did so fast. sound like me when i put my mind to something i just cant stop. happy day!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  3. Dang girl! This is so exciting for you guys! I can't believe how quickly you guys received three offers, that's amazing! Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  4. Wow, how awesome that you have put in all that hard work to make this all happen so fast! Congrats to you and good luck on the rest of the journey!

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  5. Whoa!! I knew you were doing all kinds of stuff to spruce up your place but I had no idea you were suddenly selling and moving to improve your financial situation!! You have been a busy bee! CONGRATS on the sale and the exciting changes happening in your life!

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  6. WOW! I had no idea!! Congrats!! This is all so excited!! It's really happening!!

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  7. YESSSSS! congrats again. I was so happy to hear that things went well with the showing/offers. Just sit tight and breathe :) i love the staging part of the house. actually, i did nothing but supervise and boss people around. By people, I mean my husband but he did a great job LOL

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  8. Holy cow, girl! Y'all moved really fast to get your house on the market and it sound SO fast! I'm sure y'all are still really excited about completing that whole process. I hope that everything goes smoothly with the closing. Can't wait to hear about your house hunting adventures when you start searching for a new place of your own :)

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  9. This is so exciting! Congratulations!

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  10. This is SO exciting! WAY TO GO! Sometimes big decisions needs to be made quickly(says the girl who on a whim moved across the country, without any research other than what she knew from general knowledge!)

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  11. Oh my gosh, congratulations on multiple offers & selling so quickly! I can't believe you guys did everything on your own-- all of the improvements look awesome & I can see why it sold so quickly! I'm the worst person ever at waiting to do stuff, so this is really inspiring to see how you guys had a plan and didn't waste time once you made up your mind!

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  12. This is so exciting!! Congrats. You all did a great job on the house. That is great that you received three offers!! I'm so thrilled for you both. I know how badly you want to visit home and now you can. Yay!! Way to go Girl!!

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  13. Congrats again, girlfriend! I am SO impressed with all the home improvements you guys did to get your house ready to be sold. It's amazing what a few new decor touches, paint and some staging can do. You really did have the cutest house, but I'm sure your next one will be even better and where you want to be. Have you ever seen Almost Famous? All I can think of while reading this post is Kate Hudson after the first Stillwater concert when she tells William, "It's all happening!"

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  14. oh YAY! Huge congrats, this is mega. I'm so excited for you and plans and whatnot. Things are also Happening over here and it's so strange to think that it's now, not After Randomly Assigned Life Event. Oh and thanks for doing a good old HGTV style post to satisfy my cravings! You did a great job with the house and you totally deserve those extra $$. Here's to what's next!

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  15. That is so exciting, congrats! Sending you all the best wishes for the next 30 days, I'm rooting for you!

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  16. Congrats again!! I am so excited for you guys. Getting full priced offers right away is just the best feeling. You really got things fixed up and staged so fast and it just shows that your hard work paid off.

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  17. Wow. This is amazing! You guys did SO MUCH, holy cow. It looks amazing and sounds like everything was so worth it! Way to go!

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  18. Oh my gosh! Congratulations!! That part of the country is an AMAZING sellers market right now. My brother is in Columbus, OH and he said the market is insane. That's so awesome for you guys! We're on the fence about moving. We just did a ton of work to the outside of the house and we're not super happy with our neighbors and it's been a discussion lately...
    Too cool that now you guys can look for a house without the baggage of having to sell one! And I LOVE the mantel!

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  19. Oh my goodness! I am so excited for you two!! That is all so amazing. I really hope that the deal goes through. I'll be thinking about you two & praying for you. Y'all did such an amazing job.

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  20. HOLY COW!!! That's crazy!! & exciting!
    The house did look amazing & ready to sell - the changes you did were fantastic. I can see why you got the offers.
    Its a good thing your MILK is awesome & willing to take you in...
    Cant wait to see what you end up with!!!
    A good lesson to stop putting off things you want in life!

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  21. Wow, congrats on the three offers.......Fingers crossed the sale goes smoothly!

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  22. Congratulations! That is so exciting!!! And your house is beautiful. Looking at the after photos, I want to live there. I can see why people jumped on it. I actually really love this story because it's a perfect example of how much you can change your life by adjusting your mindset. And I'm so happy for you!!!

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  23. Holy cow, those little improvements made such a huge impact!! Your house was definitely not in bad shape before, but you spruced it up and made it look really appealing! Fingers crossed everything goes through as planned!

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  24. Wow, Kristen!! Congratulations to you and KC (and the kitties too)!! That is great news and my fingers are crossed that sale goes through smoothly!! I tend to do the same thing, after "something" than this. Good for you for thinking bigger.

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  25. Having to wait on things and feeling like your life is on hold does suck. So exciting that you guys went ahead with this! I think living with your MIL to save money is soooo smart!

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  26. Congrats on getting your house on the market so quickly and then getting so many offers within the first week! It's no joke that it's stressful trying to sell your house, and I lived with my parents for a while when we were showing our house because it was just easier to not deal with Dart when we potentially had people coming over. I sometimes find myself focusing on what might happen in the future and forget to live for the present too. But sometimes you just need to look at things a little differently!

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  27. Wow, such amazing news! Your house looked great too, it's crazy how much a little paint and some new accessories can make. Congrats and I hope everything works out!

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  28. I love your improvements! isn't it crazy how some minor things can really go along way!? so happy for you guys! :)

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  29. Wow wow wow! This is so huge and awesome! All of it! So glad some things seem to be lining up for you guys! Fingers are crossed for a smooth transition across the board!

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  30. Heyyyyy look at y'all go! You def made that house much prettier and it totally paid off. And I love how agreeable KC is :)

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  31. I LOVE what y'all did with the house! And the fact that y'all did it all yourselves is amazing. GO YOU! But I had no idea you were doing all that with plans to sell. I thought it was just to give the place a face lift! I'm so happy that you've been able to kick some items off your list that you've been wanting to for a while now. And how great it that that you've had 3 offers! I'll def be keeping my fingers crossed for you in the coming month. When life happens the right way, it is literally the best feeling in the world in my humble opinion and I'm glad it's going that way for y'all right now! :)

    PS. How goes it on Empire of Storms? Or have you put it off for a while?!

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  32. Oh my gosh - you guys are amazing!! Just proves when you put your mind to something you can get it done and do it well! Congrats and crossing my fingers that everything works out! xo, biana -BlovedBoston

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  33. Isn't it exciting that all this is happening & now everyone knows about it? I know things won't be official for a while, but sending you good vibes 'cause what a relief it would be to do Australia AND pay cars off all at the same time. Definitely the point of all of this, but getting there sooner would be so rewarding!

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  34. Oh my goodness -- that's so awesome! From someone who would LOVE to declutter and move, you guys rocked it! Thinking nothing but good thoughts that everything goes smoothly for closing!

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  35. SO excited for you! I know how you feel about putting life off until "after" something. Mine is after residency. I am SO glad y'all went ahead and sold your house! Yay for selling it for more than you thought and having money for the car! :)

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  36. Whoa that's so amazing!
    I'm so similar, I'll waffle on a decision but when it's made it's MADE and stay out of my way!
    I'd love to sell my place as the rental market is really cheap, but sadly I likely wouldn't break even which is frustrating

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  37. Congratulations you guys!!! This is awesome and I'm so happy for you! Also, please send me some of your home motivation - thank you lol.

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  38. The house looks great! You both did such a wonderful job! We moved in to our house a year ago have feel like we have been working on it none stop. It's a lot of work but in the end to pays off and it's so fun to work together as a team!

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  39. That's so great! When we sold our house and moved two years ago, it was a similar story - I read an article about the market in our area on a Sunday and the next Sunday, we were meeting with a realtor. It's almost nice when it happens so fast that you can't second guess yourself or get cold feet. Congrats on making things happen and moving forward!

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  40. Wow, you guys have been busy!! Thats so awesome that everything just worked out - totally meant to be! The house looks(ed) fantastic! Love the new mantel too. And your backyard was beautiful! What a huge weight off your shoulders this must be for the both of you! (rather than selling and buying at the same time). Now you can enjoy your trip to Australia worry free!

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  41. Niiiiice! Good for you guys!! :)
    Can I just say I love that your have two chairs in the window so the kitties can lay in a sunbeam. Loooove that. And your backyard is to die for. The new owners are going to be so happy!!

    Congrats lady :)

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  42. So exciting! I hope everything works out for you and the deal goes through! :)

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  43. Wow, that's a big change and very exciting!! Very cool that you got offers so quickly! Hope everything goes through the way it ought to!

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  44. This is awesome and so exciting! Congrats on getting so many offers so quickly! The changes you made look awesome. My dad always says "If you wait until you think you're ready to do something, you'll never do anything." Which is true for a lot of things! Best of luck to you!

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  45. Ahhhh how stinking exciting!! Congrats!!! The house looked amazing with all the fix ups you did so it doesnt surprise me with all the offers you got! Good luck with everything in your future!!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  46. So, so excited for you guys! I think 2017 is going to be a very exciting year for you!

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  47. SO glad it all worked out! And yes, it's so easy to put things on the back burner or say "after _____". I feel like life is one big series of afters.

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  48. Congratulations! On getting an offer of the house and on moving forward now instead of waiting until after Australia!

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  49. GIRL! This is incredible! Isn't it funny how you think things will work out one way, then something unexpected happens, and life just keeps on going?! I love it!! Congrats! I hope NOTHING falls through and you guys DO make some money!

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  50. Everything looks amazing! It's exciting! Keep up with all the motivation and you will have sold that home in no time!

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  51. You guys are FREAKING incredible!! Congratulations!!! I am so happy for y'all and for all the exciting, amazing times in your near future :) xoxo

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  52. Wow you've been so busy! Good luck with it all and I know it'll work out ;)

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  53. This is so awesome! How amazing that you got so much done in such little time -- I don't know how you kept that motivation, but the house looked great!! The staging was perfect, and those white cabinets were so awesome! Can't wait to hear more about your adventures!

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  54. Wow! That's all I can say really! You guys . . . such exciting news! I am so glad it sold so quickly and for a great price. I am so impressed with all the work you did yourselves and how fast you did it! Put your mind to something and boom, made it happen! Get it girl!

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  55. Im so happy for you lovely! So proud and excited that you guys took the leap and got a bonus too!!! :)

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  56. CONFIRMED. EXACT RUG, different colors. #rugtwins
    I do the same thing, waiting until the right time for things.. but that doesn't always make it the right time, which is difficult for me to get into my thick skull. I'm so excited that you guys have started a new journey because waiting is the absolute WORST!

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  57. Oh! Congratulations! What great news. I have the same issue. I'm always putting things off. I need to take some inspiration from you :)

    Sarah
    Midwest Darling

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  58. Awesome! I completely understand the feeling of trying to appreciate life every day, but also wishing that you could speed some things up. We are sort of in the same place now, with our apartment. I think the house looks much better since you re-did it!

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  59. So exciting, it is great to read posts like this! Your blog is really lovely, I am so glad I have found it, keep up the wonderful work pretty lady! x

    adelelydia.blogspot.com

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  60. Just your first two lines had me all OMG SAME. But we've already talked about that at length, so...moving on. I know what you mean about waiting for life to happen, or waiting until "after." It's such an easy trap to fall into. After I pay off debt. After I have X in savings. After I get a new job. After, after, after. But what does that say about how we value our lives and ourselves in the meantime? Nothing good. I'm trying to consciously correct this, and that's where things like having a 101 in 1001 list helps me make sure I'm not putting everything fun off until "after."

    Anyway. As your post went on to prove, sometimes just DOING IT NOW is the best way to get ahead and just, well, start doing things. So glad you went for it and took all those leaps and plunges and started working toward something you guys want so much. This is such an awesome story of what happens when you do. I'm so, so happy for you guys! Even if (knock on wood) something should happen, at least you know you made a ton of progress and are so much closer to where you want to be than you were JUST a few weeks ago. So crazy.

    I think I'm going to bookmark this post. Thanks for the boost and the awesome feel-good read tonight.

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  61. Wow! This is super exciting! Congratulations.

    We've only been in our house for 2.5 years but are thinking of moving in about 3 years. The town we are in has bad schools and crime so we want to move to a town about 20 minutes away before my son starts school. The idea of trying to sell and buy at the same time is so stressful. You definitely did it the right way!

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  62. How exciting! Congrats!! :) It's amazing how a new paint color or changing up appliances can add so much to a room. I love what you guys did in the living room! And yes, the housing market is crazy right now so you picked a good time to sell. I always wonder if there truly is a "right" time to do things. Sometimes you just have to jump in & hope all will work out... which it usually does! Good luck with everything!

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  63. Yay for taking charge of your life! Crossing my fingers for a quick and easy close so you can move on to doing all the other things you've got. I know what you mean about putting things off because I'm the same way. Maybe it's my turn to just do what I've been planning on doing RIGHT NOW instead of "after".

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  64. Wow, that's so cool, go you! The house looked great in the after pics.

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  65. So excited for you guys!! And how awesome you ended up getting more than asking! Fingers crossed for you that everything goes through without a hitch :)

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  66. Selling a house is so much work but I'm happy to hear that it's been going good and you've had a few offers! I really hope it all works out and you don't have to keep putting off stuff that you want to do right now :)

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  67. AHH! I am so excited for you guys! This is AWESOME! Like all of it, it's amazing that you decided to just go for it and now you've done so much in such a short amount of time! KC and I have talked about moving into his parent's house, at their out-of-the-blue suggestion. That would allow us to DOUBLE our savings for however long we lived there... but we are having a hard time biting the bullet. I value our independence SO much. So so much. Also, I have no idea how our cats would react. .. but if we could save more quickly, we could possibly buy our first house... Ugh. It's difficult. I think I don't really know what I want... so I'm like, "why should we hurry/do this now?" This is pretty inspiring though...! :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  68. Could not love this post more! I was so reluctant to start a family because like you guys, we have a huge heart for traveling and seeing at least 1 new U.S. city and 1 new country each year. Well now that baby girl is here, we're excited to get her a passport. She'll tag along for some trips, but not all since we still want to have "us time" too. Your kitchen looks amazing, isn't it fun to see how little things make such a big difference? <3
    Green Fashionista

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  69. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! All the awesome! So quick and crazy and awesome! Kristen, I am so excited for you guys! How incredible that your house sold (for a profit!) so quickly! I'm sure everything will go super smoothly and closing will go perfectly. How awesome that this will put you guys in such a great spot financially as far as your trip and paying things off. That's just awesome, girl! So happy for you guys!

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  70. First of all, I am totally with you on living your life for yourself and traveling and just enjoying married life before bringing little people into the mix. Moving on...

    Congratulations!! And wow, it's amazing how a fresh paint job can really change the whole look and feel of a room! I can't believe that you guys got asking price offers- that's amazing! Looks like good things are starting to happen NOW- fingers crossed for you!

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  71. That was an amazing post, because life and timing is a struggle and a challenge and you never know what can happen! I am so happy for you guys and selling your house so quickly, I hope everything goes smoothly!!

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  72. KRISTEN! I'm squealing with excitement for you! This is just incredible!!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder you told me that life was a little "messy".
    p.s. Penny looks like she completely poses for all her pictures. She should be a cat model :)

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  73. I love this. AMAZING job BTW. So very inspiring. We bought our home in June, and holy moly some of the decisions the previous owners made... it's insane how much work it'll be to un-do their terrible taste. I totally feel you on that. But what fun, huh?


    - Dara || www.peoniesandhoneybees.com

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  74. Ahh! So amazing! We learned a long time ago that we can plan things as much as we want but sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and do something that doesn't fit in with what we pictured! We lived in a rental when we bought our property in 2010 & the plan was to stay there til we built. In 2012 my parents were looking for a house to flip and found a 2 bedroom brick bungalow foreclosed on asking $35,000. It had to be owner occupied so my parents couldn't flip it. We were given about a day to make a decision, took every penny we had saved for our house, borrowed some from my parents, & paid $42k in cash & got the house. We got it for a steal and sold it for 2x that in 2014! We put about 3k of work into it & that was it. Long story short, it ended up benefiting us a ton in the long run and helped us start building our current house sooner because of our profit! I'm so pumped for you!! This will be an awesome opportunity!

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  75. WOW! Congrats girl! That is amazing to review so many offers in just a few days and FULL PRICE! We went through hell with the buyers and market here in FL. I love the subtle changes you made to your home and I hope it makes your Australia trip even more fulfilling knowing you can come back to recreate your life! Cheers girlie!

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  76. wow, how exciting! Big things are ahead for you guys. And the kid thing...I will say, that you will never regret having them. In fact for most people, they wonder why they waited so long once they have some babies in their lives. So the timing will never be right; just go for it! ;-)

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  77. I know absolutely nothing about buying or selling a home as we are renters. But that is truly awesome for you all and I'm so excited that you got the asking price for your house! Though I will point out that it is a very lovely home and I totally would've been happy to live there if I were near there! So exciting for you all!

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  78. Talk about getting $#!z DONE! Way to go, guys! That is crazy! Exciting times ahead!

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  79. Holy moly! You guys busted butt! I definitely love the mantel you put up! Such a cute house! I'm so glad everything is working out for you guys! You know about my terrible house selling experience... Moving out and moving back in isn't something I would wish upon anyone!!

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  80. This is all so great! We are considering putting our house on the market and I hope we have as much luck as you guys did! And I think it's awesome that your MIL is letting you live with her! That's a great way to save some major money! And yay for being able to do things now!!!

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Thank you so much for your comment! I reply to my comments via email, but I can't do that if you are a no-reply blogger :-) If you are here to be a troll, please kindly bugger off. Thanks!