PCS Orders and Owning Property
Have you ever heard of the curse on buying property while in the military? I had never heard of it until a few days ago. But the legend goes that as soon as you buy a home, you will come down on orders within the next 2 years. We got to Fort Bragg, NC, in February of 2009 and our orders to Arizona got revoked 4 years later. With two year long deployments under our belts, and the unit never being unfenced, we decided to purchase a home and make lemonade with lemons. I love my home. It is in a great neighborhood and my minions (8 and 5 year old girls, 1 year old boy) have friends in the neighborhood. It is close to base and other shopping, as well as keeping within budget for a specialist, it was just perfect for us. Well, the curse has appeared, and we came down on orders for Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Just a little less than 2 years in our home and we are off to …. whiter, colder pastures. Regardless of the stress it has caused, and being worried about sitting on property (debt), I am glad we moved off post. We finally had a place of our own where we could take time to upgrade and build. Yes, I have pulled my hair out worrying about renting my home out, or selling it, but as I am constantly told, it’ll work itself out. With some advice from a realtor about modifications and pricing, lots of blood sweat and tears….my house is officially market ready and I have a renter with a signed contract. Now 30 days out from moving, that’s one thing off my checklist and I’m on to the next!
The visit with the realtor to prepare my house for “show” was, honest and brutal, BUT needed to be heard. Ok, here is a little background: when purchasing our home we looked for foreclosed or short sale homes. Two reasons; the price was going to be much less in a neighborhood that were priced higher AND I could paint, modify and work to make my house the way I want. A house in an investment after all! Granted we haven’t had much time, and there are still things I want to do, such as redoing the kitchen. It’s moving along slowly, and with a renter, I can still put money into it now and again. If my house were to sell now at market value, we would make a profit because it was a foreclosed home. When walking through my home the biggest issues were cosmetic. Painting, repairing a back door (NC homes do not come with back gutters so the bottom of the door is damaged), and a few shingles were the main items on the list. We put in a fire pit and began to save money to start painting, but with emergencies that arose, we have had to put things on pause. Ok, back to the realtor walk through, she came through the home and named those exact same things, I had already painted half the home, so it was back to work for me. Did I mention my husband isn’t home? Yeah, I am alone with 3 kids, no help, and a house to prepare for move, all while he sits in Korea. Once he gets home, we head out for Alaska within a week! There is no time for sitting for me!
Time to get to work!
Want a full body workout?? PAINT. YOUR. ENTIRE. HOUSE.
Let me tell you what, any beachbody workout, fitness class, or gym time has no comparison to painting each room of the house and trim. I have been sore from my fingertips to toes. It takes 2 hours to tape a room and less than 5 minutes to remove the tape when you are done. Kitchens and bathrooms are the worst! Tell you what, covered in paint, pile of tape and plastic on the floor and cleaning brushes when I finished a room…….I felt so incredibly proud of myself. I felt on top of the world that, I did it myself. I originally quoted services to come and paint but it would cost me well over 3k to paint my home. So far I have spent about $500 or less doing it myself. Tip…Go to Lowes, 10% military discount.
Remember the blood, sweat and tears I was talking about?? I had bruised and cut my hands while replacing window screens – strike one. While prepping and moving furniture in our bonus room, my one year old by my side, as I was moving a book shelf, it came crashing down! Thank goodness he wasn’t in the way. Tons of books and my grown mans toys, ALL over the floor. Once I cleared out the pieces and vacuumed, I wiped my hands and said that was a sign from God for me to be done for the day! HA!
After days of being covered in paint and tape, no make up, hair a wreck and nails gone…..the interior was DONE! Minus a few touch ups, I am finally finished. It was time for me to move outdoors! Now on the outside of the house, due to good ole mother nature, mold had begun to grow on the siding. I quoted a power wash company to wash my house….$300 bucks baby! I’m telling you, I am all about saving and this was NOT saving. I found this FABULOUS house wash ($8 at Lowes), literally takes 15 minutes. Spray it on with a hose, wash it off once it’s on (after letting it sit for about 10 minutes) and VIOLA! All mold is gone and the house looks shiny and new!
I have worked so hard, alone, while wrangling 3 kids………and I couldn’t be happier with myself. Prepping a house is incredibly hard work but in the end, if you are willing to do the work yourself, not only will you feel an incredible sense of accomplishment but you will also save yourself a pretty penny.