A Home Buyer and Seller’s Journey- Part 9: Reflections on the Process

I am a freelance copywriter who happens to work with many real estate agents. This is my experience selling and purchasing my third home.

They say it takes six months to truly feel unpacked and settled. That seemed a bit much, but three months in, I’m believing it. How have things been going since we finally moved into our new home?

The “settling in” part has been tough. We all cycled through the confirmed flu a week after moving in. A few weekends in a row were lost to furniture shopping, which is painful because we are picky and indecisive. I didn’t want to settle this time. We finally made some decisions, but some of the pieces took few weeks to arrive.

All that slowed down unpacking. Just when things were looking up, the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down. We’re grateful to have the additional space, but the shelter-in-place order hasn’t given us extra time to feel “settled in” because we’re so busy working and parenting.

Photo by EVG photos on Pexels.com

The good part of home buying

From a real estate client perspective, both real estate agents followed up with us. One asked for an online review, one didn’t. I recently received a handwritten note in the mail from our buyer’s agent. I’ve also been added to his email newsletter list, for nurturing.

We love our neighborhood. The people here have been the kindest of any place we have moved. There are kids everywhere, many close to Caelan’s age, so he will have playmates as he grows up.

The ugly side of home buying

On a downer, the home inspection missed the huge carpenter ant infestation. I’d say at least 1,000, easy, chewing up the walls. It was a project and expense we didn’t really need right now. To date, we have torn out an entire basement wall and ripped up all the carpet. The tacking and the trim in the back of the closet disintegrated upon touch.

There went our home value: finished basement to unfinished basement.

I don’t blame the inspector. It’s all a visual game and I know that. The owners could easily have vacuumed up the couple of ants and he’d be none the wiser. He probably never stuck his flashlight into the back corner of the closet where the trim was rotted and eaten away.

What bums me is that this is the second time our pest inspection has failed us. After seeing firsthand what the termite inspector did for our buyer in Kentucky, I’m not surprised. 

The basement is going to be a months-long ordeal. We want to do it carefully and right: ridding the infestation, thoroughly sealing the floor and walls, picking the right insulation and flooring. Right now we’re fixing the drainage around the front door to help mitigate any moisture that may have attracted the ants. We’re still seeing live ones crawling about, but not like we were.

Notes for next home transaction

Otherwise, we are settling in as best we can. The coronavirus has given us a reason to be around and work on the house.

Next time, I plan on personally talking to our inspectors about our history and bringing a flashlight to our home tours. The more you know.

Would we use the same seller and buyer’s agents again? Yes. I expect the real estate tools available to us will be more sophisticated when we are ready to sell.

I would also council more patience. If we had waited, maybe we would’ve found a layout more suited to our home tastes. I wish our buyer’s agent had really made us stop and think if this was the right house for us.

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