We Bought and Sold a House (and Everything Worked Out Just Fine)

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Hi, friends!

I just wanted to share the details of our recent home purchase and sale. It’s actually a fun story, so I thought you guys might enjoy it. Here goes!

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Back in March, Mal and I started talking about moving to a bigger house. Once Quinn (and all of his stuff) came along, our already tiny house felt even smaller. Plus, the loan interest rates were really low and we knew we wanted to move eventually, but the whole buying and selling process seemed so overwhelming. Honestly, I really didn’t want to do it, but then we received a realtor recommendation from a friend, and I changed my tune about the whole thing.

Our realtor, Melissa Garlisi, was incredible. Absolutely incredible. She made the entire process (both buying and selling) so easy. She was professional, knowledgeable, and straight-forward. She never left us in the dark about anything, and she was always more than willing to answer our questions. What we liked best about Melissa though was her attention to detail– of course, with regard to the nitty-gritty of buying and selling a home (we never had to worry about anything slipping through the cracks), but especially when it came to potential houses and things we may not have considered. A perfect example was when we *thought* we had found our dream house. We were thisclose to making an offer, but then Melissa pointed out the noise from the cars driving by on a nearby busy road. We were so excited about the house, we didn’t even realize it until she said something. The noise wasn’t super obvious, but it wasn’t something we wanted to listen to for the next 30+ years of our lives. Imagine enjoying a nice glass of wine while relaxing outside and listening to the whiz of cars passing by? No thanks.

Honestly, I could go on and on and on about how great Melissa was as a realtor. If you’re looking for a realtor in the area, I highly recommend her. Mal and I only have wonderful things to say about her.

The reason why I wanted to give you a little background on Melissa is because we were only causally thinking about moving. We visited a few open houses and talked about where we might want to live (i.e. not far from friends and our current life), but we weren’t 100% sure we wanted to move just yet.

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But then… we were putting our house on the market. Melissa made the process SO EASY and stress-free (I felt like Mal and I barely did anything), so that was that. It was time to sell our house.

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The housing market on the South Shore is insane. There’s very little inventory, so houses sell quickly and they’re often going for well above asking price. Of course, this is great when you’re selling a house…

Listen to how things went for us: We put our house on the market on a Tuesday evening. The next day, we had 21 showings. On Thursday morning, we accepted a offer. Boom. House sold. It happened so fast.

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Buying a new house was a lot more difficult and, whoa, stressful. Obviously, the market was competitive, but we really didn’t want to move twice. We considered living with my in-laws while we looked for a house, but the thought of putting everything into storage and living in limbo did not sound fun at all. Melissa assured us it was possible to sell and close on the same day, so that was the plan.

After we sold our house, we were on a mission to find a new home, but, at the same time, we didn’t want to rush into anything. We wanted to find our “forever home,” so we created a “must-have” check list to make sure we got exactly what we wanted:

  • 4+ bedrooms
  • 2+ bathrooms
  • garage
  • fireplace
  • “near stuff” <— I wanted to be 5 minutes or less from a grocery store/shopping
  • not on a main road/in a neighborhood
  • porch/deck
  • yard
  • move-in ready
  • no pool

After that, it was go time and we actively started to look at houses. And, boy, did we look at houses. (If I had to guess, we probably saw close to 20 by the time we made an offer on our current home.) We knew the market was competitive, so whenever we saw a house that piqued our interest, we were all over it. Melissa was on top of our requests, so we typically saw a house within 48 hours or less. (The picture below was taken after a long day of house-hunting.)

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In the middle of house hunting, I flew to Colorado for BLEND. A few new houses came on the market while I was away, and they looked really promising. I knew they wouldn’t last long, so Mal offered to look at them without me. He ended up falling in love with our new house and immediately called me. He told me it was exactly what we were looking for and more (i.e. master bedroom walk-in closet = my dream). He even said he could imagine Christmas mornings in the den.

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I could tell Mal wanted this house really bad, so when he suggested that we make an offer, I agreed. I hadn’t seen the house in person (just photos from the listing online, which Mal assured me didn’t do it justice), but I trusted him and knew he wouldn’t make a bad decision, especially an important one like buying our forever home. With the market being crazy-competitive, we knew we needed to act quickly and aggressively, so we made an offer that same afternoon and the sellers immediately accepted. Whoa. We bought a house. That I hadn’t seen. 

I took a red-eye home from BLEND that next morning. As soon as Mal picked me up from the airport, we drove to see our new house… well, the outside of it. The sellers still lived there, so we couldn’t just walk in without a showing. On Sunday though we scheduled a showing, and I was finally able to tour the inside. It was love at first sight. Nice work, Mal!

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We ended up coordinating a closing date that worked with both the buyers and sellers, but it wasn’t for 60+ days, so we just hung out and waited patiently to move into our new house. The time seemed to take forever to pass, but moving day finally arrived!

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If you missed my previous post about our move, you can see scenes from it here.

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We are truly over the moon about our new house. The previous owners took such great care of it over the years. They were its only owners (they lived here for 32 years), so they made a number of wonderful updates that we so, so, so appreciate, especially them painting every room before they decided to put it on the market. Remember how Mal and I painted every single room in our old house? I’m so glad we don’t have to do that again! We have a few small projects that we’ll likely tackle over the next year or two (i.e. updating the downstairs bathroom and repaving the driveway), but nothing that needs immediate attention. Honestly, the house is immaculate. You can tell how much the previous owners loved this house. I have a good feeling we will too!

Our house is still in shambles after the move, but I’ll be sure to share some photos once we get a little more settled and buy like a million things for it. The decorating is the best part, right??

Related: Remember when a psychic said we’d move to a new house in less than a year? I still remember her saying that to me, and I *knew* she was a 100% wrong with her prediction. In my head, there was no way in hell I was moving. I wanted a low-key summer. Ha!

Questions of the Day

Would you let your significant other purchase a home without you seeing it in person first?

What’s on your must-have list for your dream house? 

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55 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your new home !! Wishing you all the very best settling in and making it your own.

  2. Wow! What a story! I don’t know if I could trust someone else to buy a house for me. That’s a big leap of faith. I’m so glad it worked out for you. New house is exciting! Is that the reason you left Blend early?

  3. Congratulations to you and your family on your new home! It sounds like such an exciting time and a whole new source for lots of fun memories and excitement to come!

  4. Seriously crazy how quickly you sold your house and found your dream home! I would trust my husband to put an offer in a house, but I’d be chopping at the bit to see it! I want to know how you kept this under wraps and packing boxes out of your pictures. That’s impressive!

  5. Aww, I love this post! I am so glad you guys found your forever house and it all went fairly seamlessly!
    I would totally trust John to pick out our house. I feel like he would be very careful on such a big decision.

  6. Aw, great post! Congrats on your new place!
    Buying a house is so incredibly stressful, but such a wonderful experience. When we were buying, I wanted an open floor plan with a huge kitchen, lots of storage and a garden tub. We came across both in the very first house we saw, made an offer and it was accepted the next day!

    I would be okay with my husband buying a house I had not seen. It’s really nice that we live in the day and age we do, giving us the ability to research online too.

  7. Congratulations! We just sold our house (we are building) and I couldn’t believe how fast and seamless the process went! Moving is never much fun but unpacking and decorating is! 🙂

  8. Congrats Tina! My husband and I are looking to buy our first home soon, so it’s great to hear other people’s stories. It’s funny that you mention a psychic: my husband and I initially had our eyes on a for sale by owner, and his aunt’s “psychic friend” told us we were definitely going to get that house. Then the owner jacked up the asking price…by 40K…so we had to walk away. I guess the psychic didn’t see THAT one coming! :/

  9. Thanks for this post! I’m hoping to buy my first house next fall, so this is really helpful. I can’t believe your house sold so quickly! That’s amazing. I’m not really picky at all about where I live, so I would definitely let Dan buy it without me being there. He has a huge list of requirements, so I told him to go on showings without me until he has it narrowed down haha! My only requirement is that it’s not on a main road, and it has a yard. Everything else I can deal with!

  10. Congrats on the new hours! That is crazy – buying and selling in one day.

    I sure hope the realtor gave you a discount on commissions after that review!

  11. Congratulations! We were just pretty newly dating when my husband bought our house, so I wasn’t fully in on the deciding process, but it was technically “his”. But I looked at the three he had narrowed it down to and helped push him in the right direction 🙂

  12. I think I would trust Will enough to make a decision since he knows me better than anyone probably… but at the same time, I’m such a control freak I would be on edge until I saw the house myself. Dream house = big porches/outdoor entertaining area, open floor plan, awesome kitchen.

  13. Congratulations! We are casually house hunting too. On my list of must-haves is a fireplace, a nice kitchen (I’m a food blogger), and it has to be somewhere I can go running right out the front door. Our current house is at the top of a steep 1/2 mile hill with no sidewalk. It’s killer!

  14. CONGRATS!!! Seems like it was just meant to be, which was the same for us when we bought our house last summer. We had been looking to buy in the same ‘hood we were renting but everything either sold immediately, was dump needing 9 million updates or was waaaaay out of our price range. Then we just happened to mention our halfhearted house hunting to a family friend who knew someone who inherited a house, but hadn’t placed it on the market yet. Turns out it was just perfect for us and we got it for an amazing price! COngrats again to you guys, can’t wait to see more about your new digs.

  15. That is such an awesome house story, Tina! On June 22nd the E3 tornados that ripped through Illinois destroyed my entire neighborhood (and half of the town we live in) 🙁 I’ve been living with my mom ever since about 20 minutes away and my husband is still in our town because of his job. We see each other once or twice a week when he isn’t working just like we are dating again…ha! I hope sooner than later we will be back together and rebuilding our home…maybe I’ll be lucky enough like you an Mal to have a fun and memorable house story to laugh about after all of this stress and non-normal or enjoyable summer!! Congrats on your new home again 🙂

  16. So funny that the noisy street was a dealbreaker – I live in the middle of downtown right along the route for fire trucks, and whenever I sleep in a house away from the noise, it always feels so eerily quiet 🙂 I love the noise and bustle of a city. But I hear where you’re coming from!

    Thanks for sharing your story – what a whirlwind! Having a balcony is one of the main features we want in our next condo 🙂

  17. My husband and I moved into our first home not too long ago and we made an offer on it before I saw it! I had just started a new job so I wasn’t able to take time off to see houses during the week and my husband worked weekends so he went to see some without me. Homes were going fast here as well. I love our house and am so happy I trusted him about it.

  18. Congratulations Hauperts!!! Wishing you the very best! Good luck and God Bless 🙂 Can’t wait to see more pictures of the whole home.

  19. That’s awesome!!
    I think I would be ok putting an offer on a house I hadn’t seen if my husband liked it, because he would really have to love it to even suggest it. And, he’d be the one doing any major updates in the house if I didn’t like it 😉 haha.
    We bought a condo 3 years ago because we didn’t love any of the houses we were finding and now we are so spoiled by what we got in doing that. We’ve talked about looking for a house, but now that we’ve had this great condo (1500sq feet, central air, open floor plan, lots of light, on a bike path, full master bath) it is tough to find a house in a reasonable price range! The downside to an open floor plan? Toys. Everywhere.
    My musts in a house are at least 1800+ sq feet, 3+ bedrooms and a play room, master bath, dining room and a yard. I like pools, but only if they aren’t an eyesore. Fenced in in-grounds are nice, but a lot of upkeep for our short season in New England.

  20. HAHA YES! My husband bought our current house and I hadn’t seen it either. I didn’t see it until moving day! I love people’s reactions when they hear that- so many people (read: women) say they wouldn’t trust their husband’s opinions. Hello…if you can’t trust your husband, who can you trust? All I say is a house is a house, the people in it make it a home! Congrats!

  21. Congratulations on your new home. It’s always exciting but stressful when moving . My hubby and I moved 12 times!! Especially with s toddler- looks like Quinn had fun thru all of it.

  22. Congrats on the new house! House hunting can be so stressful. We looked at over 45 houses (no joke, unfortunately) before buying our first house. I know the next one will be crazy because we’ll need to buy and sell at the same time, but it sounds like your situation worked out as well as possible. I’m a bit of a control freak, so not sure if I would go with my husband telling me it’s the one, but then again, I trust that he knows me and us. That’s so crazy that you went for it! Enjoy!

  23. Congrats on your new home!!
    Buying/selling a house can be such a whirlwind – I definitely think having a great realtor is key – so glad you had someone you could trust and rely on to make the whole process go smoothly!

  24. Congratulations!! What a great story. This gives me hope that we can sell our teeny house and find our dream home someday 🙂 I would trust my husband to make the call on his own, I think…mostly because I’m so desperate for more space! haha

  25. I’m not so sure I’d let my boyfriend make an offer without me seeing it. We live on the south shore, too, bought a house together December 2013. I totally get what you mean about the market – so competitive! Congratulations! 🙂

  26. We had been house hunting for about 6 months when I was out of town for work. I got a text message with photos from a listing, my boyfriend saw, and we agreed that he should put an offer in even though I hadn’t seen it. It’s the house we live in now 🙂

  27. Congratulations on the new home! The timing of our house purchase was such that we put an offer on a house we both liked but then we closed while I was out of the country on a one-month work assignment. My fiancee was a total trooper and signed all the documents twice. He also picked out all the appliances and moved us in. The only thing I had to reorganize when I got home was the linen closet.

    We pretty much live in our dream home – the only thing we don’t have is a large master with a walk-in closet.

  28. We offered on our home without my hubby looking at it. We live in the burbs of Chicago and the housing market is the same in this area, homes on the market are under contract by the evening. I saw our house with our agent and knew the location was perfect, the size was good, it had tons of potential and the price was lowe enough we could do renovations. We had looked at enough homes together and this one was perfect. We are so glad we made that offer, though it seemed crazy at the time!

  29. Congrats on the new house! My hubs and I actually bought a house that neither one of us had ever seen and couldn’t see it!
    It was an antique house that my landlord had taken down board by board two years before and stored in a trailer. When they went to rebuild the house they asked us if we wanted it. They take down peg and beam houses and rebuild for a living so knowing their work, we trusted them. We would race home each day to see what the rooms looked like as they rebuilt the house for us. It was a fun/scary process but the house is beautiful! You just have to know who you are trusting. Sounds like Mal is super trust worthy!

  30. When we sold our house, the husband made the offer before his wife saw it (she was out of town). I think it totally depends on the dynamic of the couple…I would never let my husband do that. He doesn’t ask enough questions and is willing to overlook possibly important things if he really loves something else about it (no matter how unimportant it is). When our current house came on the market, I emailed him the listing and said “we need to see this now!”. I know his taste better than he knows mine (heck, sometimes better than he knows his own taste).
    Congrats on the new house! It’s always so exciting – especially if there aren’t a ton of projects you have to do.

  31. First of all – Congratulations!! What an amazing feeling to be in your FOREVER home. My husband and I bought our first house last year thinking we would be in it for 10 years, and while we don’t have kids yet – we’re seeing more and more friends move to bigger houses right after having their first kid. So we know we’ll probably be in our house for 5 years (tops) and I’m already looking for our next house, our FOREVER home.

    We also live on the South Shore and your must-have list is exactly the same as ours! I know you can’t say – but I’m so curious about the details – what town(s) you were looking in, what your budget was, if you sold (or bought) for over asking, etc.. I check redfin everyday and am crazy interested in this stuff. And I’m so glad to have a referral for an awesome realtor – Melissa can expect to hear from me in a couple years!

    Congrats again

  32. My mom bought my parents’ house without my dad seeing it (or knowing she did it!) She called him at work and said, “I bought a house.” And that was that. 31 years later, they’re still happily living there.

  33. I bought our house while my partner was working away. It was a foreclosure that had been vacant for 6 months so the photos made it look awful. He definitely took my word on the potential of the place, but it worked out great. We will be heartbroken when we leave this house in the next year or so for something bigger.

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