Sunday, July 20, 2014

Farewell Old Friend

The sale of our old house finally closed Friday evening. As glad as we are to be in our new house and be done with the old (including the paying of two mortgages for the past three months) we're also a bit sad to see it go. It was our first house and home for 7 years, 6 months, and 27 days. We have a lot of memories in that house and walking through it for the final time last weekend we paused in each room to reminisce a bit. I also remarked to her about how small it seemed compared to our new house and how I wasn't sure how we had lived there for so long.

When we bought it we had just had our first son earlier in the year and were looking for a place to call our own. Jenny also wanted a decent kitchen and I wanted a garage/workshop. After looking at a number of houses we came across this one on Stevie Road. Three bedroom, one bath brick rancher on a large corner lot with a shed and garage/workshop and a fenced in yard. It was exactly what we were looking for.

We watched our older son grow up in that house. His first Halloween, first Christmas, first birthday, all celebrated there. I proposed to my wife on our second Christmas there. (Seeing as we already had a child and a house I'm not sure what she could have said aside from yes on that one.) Our first spring in the house we planted this little twig of a tree in the front yard the survival of which I was highly skeptical. The following Christmas I put lights on it and deemed it the Charlie Brown tree. As of last Sunday it's got to be at least 30 feet tall with a trunk diameter many times the size of the sapling planted. (I even enlarged the border around it last year due to the roots spreading.) Somewhere up top there's still a string of lights that I put up one year and was never able to get back down.

If there was a low point it was probably following Hurricane Irene in August 2011 when we lost power for eight days. We ended up going to my in-laws house most nights for hot food, showers, do laundry, and just to stay sane. It was miserably hot and humid for most of that week and was an experience I have no desire to go through ever again. It didn't take much to lose power in that house. Twice we had squirrels fry themselves on the transformer out back knocking it out for a few hours each time. ("They like to run around up there," said my neighbor once as we watched the Dominion Power lineman fix it. "This one won't be anymore," replied the lineman as he flung the crispy critter into the neighbor's yard.)

There are definitely things I won't miss. Yard work was a beast. I ended up buying a riding mower for the lawn but between two sidewalks, the fence, and other various edges it took me almost as long to run the weedwacker (something I hate with a passion) as it did to mow the lawn. On our new house with a smaller yard it takes me about a third of the time to do everything. I also won't miss the maintenance that comes along with having an older house. (It was built in 1955.) It seems like there was always something that needed fixing or adjusting. I managed to accumulate a nice collection of power tools over the years at least. We also spent a substantial amount of money over the years replacing the HVAC, most of the roof, gutters, and updating the septic system among other things. We also did extensive landscaping and left it in far better shape than it was when we bought it.

Through it all though it was a good, solid house that served our needs well for the years we were there. We will definitely miss it.

I also want to take a moment to thank our real estate agent Linda Earnhardt of Long and Foster in Richmond. We used her for the purchase and sale of this house and building/buying our new house. I couldn't ask for a better, more responsive agent who did a lot more work behind the scenes than I think Jenny and I realized. Any time I had a question or issue with anything she was quick to return my calls or texts. We also appreciate her constant presence from the beginning in dealing with Ryan and felt confident in knowing we had someone looking out for our best interests. While I have no desire to go through this process again anytime soon Linda helped it go as smooth as possible for us and for that we are very thankful.

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