On February 4th, I’m putting a little piece of me up for sale.
It’s the home I bought back in 2006, when I was starting life anew. I found this little rambler in Bothell, backed up against a greenbelt, with a huge deck and fenced yard. I was watching house prices skyrocket out of control and figured if I didn’t hurry up and buy right then, I’d never be able to afford to buy a home in the Puget Sound area.
That was the thinking. I had $60K as the result of a divorce that I was going to invest somewhere and this seemed like the perfect little place. 3 bedrooms, large master bedroom. I even allowed the company I worked for at the time to use it to install Penguin triple-pane windows and film it for a TV commercial.
I remember a great summer backyard open house out on the deck and what fun it was. A deer once wandered through the neighborhood. Being in the back of the development, only people who lived there would drive by. There were the neighbors, Dana & Tammy, Norm & Susie and several others whose names I’ve forgotten.
Then, less than a year after buying it, I met a woman too amazing to let get away. My little rambler was too far from downtown to make it ‘our’ home, so we ended up buying a different home and I planned to sell off the Bothell residence.
But you may have notice the key phrase, 2006, above. I bought at the absolute peak of the housing market and the crash that followed prevented me from selling. So, for the next 8 years, I rented it out. I had never planned to be a landlord, but I found myself in that position–having to fix garage doors, replace a water heater, re-roof, etc. Combine that along with the fact that rent was hundreds under the payment and it was basically a financial stone around my neck.
However, I got lucky, with two dream tenants who treated the home as if it was their own. When the most recent tenant decided to move south to be closer to family and with the market recovering, it just seemed like the right time to make my move.
Ten years from now it would be the perfect place to be. We’re just not at that stage yet.
What I’d like to share with you–with all the preparations that have gone into getting it ready to sell, it’s a really awesome house. More awesome than it ever was when I lived there. That made me realize what a shame it is to live in your home and never enjoy its potential. I’ve become even more resolved, once this adventure is over, to get our Seattle home to where we imagine it could be. To get it ready to sell, and then… just live there.
If you know someone looking for a home, you might pass this link along to them. It gives a snapshot of what the house is all about, but I’ve got to tell you: it now looks even better. Just send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll hook you up with my real estate guy.
I look forward to being an ex-landlord, but at the same time, I’m going to miss that little place.