Back in Philly
You know it’s bad when your ten year old daughter points out at dinner that your blog hasn’t been updated since before Thanksgiving. Who decided she could have an iPod Touch for Christmas?
The big news is that we’ve sold our house in North Carolina, moved up to Philly, found a house and hope to close by the end of April.
When last I wrote, our old house had been on the market for a few months – with lots of interest but no offers. We came off the market in October, switched realtors and had a good debate about whether to relist over the holidays or wait until the Spring. In an ideal world, we didn’t want to have the move the kids in the middle of the school year. Assuming it could take another few months to find our buyer, we opted to relist and were back on the market the day after Thanksgiving. Eight days later, we were under contract and had a closing date of January 17th. So much for minimizing disruption.
The next six weeks were a blur. There were a couple of weekend trips north to look for a house, a mad dash to empty the storage unit and a little thing called Christmas, which we celebrated in Philly (so we could house hunt). The real packing didn’t begin until January 2nd. The movers came on the 15th, we closed on the 17th and left Durham on the 19th. We spent our last week in Durham living in a two room hotel suite, prepping the house for close and trying to say goodbye to as many people as possible. (We didn’t get to an awful lot of people – and for that I apologize.) While the move was clearly emotional for my wife, I think it was worse for my oldest daughter. At least my wife was looking forward to coming home. For my daughter, this was just a goodbye.
I will say that email and FaceTime have made the transition a lot easier for my kids. When I moved as a kid, the best you could hope for was a couple of letters before everyone drifted off into their lives.
Since we hadn’t found a new home and my parents didn’t want us to rush into such an important decision (aka: buy one of the houses we were looking at 45 minutes away), they offered to let us stay with them. As generous an offer as this was, it wasn’t easy to say yes. My ego didn’t like the idea of being nearly 40 and moving my wife and three children in with my parents. More importantly, we’re loud and disorganized and were going to disrupt my parents’ empty nest lives in a major way. On the whole, it’s gone relatively well. There have certainly been a few moments… but we’ve worked hard to contain the chaos and my Dad has been forgiving. (I think he really enjoys having the grandkids around.)
Our children have also weathered the transition well. As our realtor told us, going to a new school in the middle of the year made them rock stars for a while. However, the novelty has worn off and now they are going through the normal challenges of building new relationships. It’s hard but they were adamant that they didn’t want to switch schools again. We were fortunate enough to find exactly the house we wanted in an area that would keep them in the same school.
Now it’s all paperwork and phone calls to get ready for closing. It’s amazing how phone oriented the mortgage business is. It’s actually slowed down the process for me as I spend most of my day already on conference calls or on a plane. They really need an electronic interaction system with a secure way to upload the needed documents. But that’s another topic for another day.