For the last several years, my husband and I have been talking about moving out of state after I retired. We had discussed, traveled through, and vacationed in the states we were thinking about before we decided on a specific state. Then we talked about the must haves and the “deal breakers” – you know, the things that a property has or doesn’t have that will have us turning on our heels and running away.
So, jump ahead a couple of years from the beginning of our discussions. Earlier this summer, I decided to start hunting through real estate offerings on sites like realtor.com and zillow.com. I started to realize that many properties posted as a “new listing” disappeared in less than 10 days. In addition, I began to sort through our stuff deciding what to sell, trash, or transport to our new home. If I don’t need it before we move, it’s landing in a box.
As a OTR trucker, my husband comes home on weekends, so I started saving the URLs to properties I liked to share with him on those weekends. We made a deal that when I found at least 10 properties that we both liked, I needed to contact a realtor and set up some dates to go view the properties.
This brings me to last week. Just one week ago, I contacted a real estate agent in the community of the state where we are hoping to re-locate, and since my husband was going to be home, we decided to pack the camper and go see the properties.
The Difference A Picture Can Make
The FIRST thing we came to realize was that the pictures the real estate agents placed on the listings are pictures of the best rooms at the most favorable angle. In many cases, the pictures showed the room bigger than it actually is.
In the listing for one of the properties, we saw pictures of a large room with built in bookshelves that would make a perfect music room or music room / library. The picture made it look like there was plenty of room for my piano and the electric key board, room to put the two guitars on stands and maybe space to put an easy chair. In reality, the room was smaller than my current kitchen and without a wall that the piano could fit against.
SECOND, we realized was that some of the yards were much steeper than they looked in the pictures. One was so steep we wouldn’t even be able to put a picnic table in the yard.
THIRD, we realized what some people consider to be “move in ready” had a lot of work to do. More work than I was willing to put in for the price.
FINALLY, we have to can get the financing set and get our house sold. Neither of which have been set in motion.