Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Closing

As we are getting more settled into our little apartment and we are getting closer to Thanksgiving I thought I would use this time to tell you all how our closing went.

Selling our house to downsize I am fully aware is not the norm in our culture. Everyone is pushed to want bigger and better.

Selling our house and moving into an apartment doesn't mean that I do not want bigger and better too! For instance I dream to have a kitchen like this...

Or my own little craft room/office that has every color in the rainbow.


What it does mean is that I want to have those things when I can pay for them out right.

So many people have left sweet and concerned comments and emails saying are you sure that you should be selling right now? There might be a better way to get our of debt. And other things that I would totally be saying a little over a year ago.

And no this is not the best market to sell in, but I will say that God blessed us by selling our house so fast. We are one of the very few non short sales that sold in our neighborhood or even our area. In Chicago I know is a lot worse then other areas right now with the housing market.

But I will be honest even when we got a contract on our house for almost our asking price and then the inspection when AMAZING. All we had to do was clean the chimney. 

Did you read that... ALL we had to do was clean the chimney!

But I also started doubting our decision. 

When we drove to the office for our closing I was so sick to my stomach. I was seriously doubting our decision. I didn't want to leave our pretty house with all our great neighbors. I work hard on that house and I had sooooo many more plans of what I could do with it. But alas, we were now stuck with selling the house.

So I told myself...fine then I don't have to like the people taking my house from me.
I even told Mr. Genius that if they say one bad thing about my house I am calling the whole thing off. 

I am sure I said it with my bottom lip sticking out and my arms crossed and my feet stomping the floor...just like a mature Christ-loving woman should be acting.

So we sat down at closing and the couple buying our house walked in. And of course to my dismay, they were nice people. 


And the wife was holding an adorable 4 week of little girl.

Double Drat!

They walked in shook both our hands telling us how excited they are to be buying our house and how much they love all the things we have done to it. Talked in detail about how the colors were perfect and the trim work we did.

Then I thought well they must be pretty ok if they compliment all the work I have done. 

So I reluctantly talked to the wife in between signing all the papers. 

We found out that there were moving here from the a suburb of Washington DC. They have a 3 year old that has the same birthday as my Romeo. 

By the end of it I felt like we were friends. I was ok with handing over my house to them. Not happy about it, but ok with it.

But my friends it gets better...this next part showed me that God's hand was in every detail of this sale. 

While we were waiting for the HUD. Apparently that is the last thing you need to show that the sale is final. 

I turned to the husband and asked what he did for a living, he said that he sold telecommunication systems.

I half smiled and solemnly said "Aw, that is what my dad sold."

Then Mr. Genius asked, "Did you happen to know Ted Spottswood (my dad)?"

The guys face turned white and his mouth dropped open. 

He said, "Uh yeah, I worked very closely with him the last 5 years he was with us. I knew him very well."

I was in shock. 

"You know my dad?" in a small almost little girl voice, is all I could get out cuz I just broke down and cried. 

The husband stood up and said the most wonderful things about my dad. Things I already knew about him, but it is just refreshing to hear them from other people. 

He then too started to cry and came over and gave me a hug. 

His wife knew my dad's name due to the fact her husband was very upset when he found out my dad died.

My realtor had left the room for a second and then saw I was upset and well pretty much everyone in the room but the 4 week old baby was crying. 

When she came in we told her about the new buyers knowing my dad. She of course was amazed but she grabbed my arm and starting shaking it saying over and over. "Katie, this is AMAZING! Katie, This is just a God thing!"

Which I totally agree with. 

I mean just thing about it. A couple that is originally from TN and another couple that is from DC move and meet up in a far suburb of Chicago over one house! Then what we have in common is my dad!
This was the confirmation I needed to absolutely know with every fiber in my being that we are doing the right thing by selling our house right now.

Although it really made me miss my dad even more. I wanted to call him so bad to tell him what happened.

So friends, if you are rolling around in your head about making hard decisions to get completely out of debt. Do it! And then come here and tell me what blessing that God gave you and revealed to you in the process.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Pictures

Today was a pretty day here in Chicago.

The sun was out!

It maybe the last day we see the sun this year, so I took advantage of it.

We got the boys out to take their pictures for our yearly Christmas cards.

Can I say that those of you that are photographers...I tip my hat to you.

It was a job and a half to get these boys to look in the same directions.

Here are some outtakes from today.

Really big tree, two little boys...

This is when I remembered that Wild Man had been smacking on gum.

Here they are debating over who has the biggest belly.

Then they just started getting loopy.

So I asked then to stand still...


Then they were just over it and we called it a day.

Out of the almost one hundred pictures we took, we have one that is Christmas card worthy.

Thank goodness we have one good picture, so it wasn't a lost cause.

Have you all taken your Christmas pictures yet?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Repairpal Mobile app

Last week I was asked it I wanted to review an iPhone app called RepairPal 2.0 Mobile.

This is how it was described to me:

RepairPal 2.0 Mobile is a new app that tries to make car maintenance and repairs as simple and painless as possible. Also, It could save you money! The new app helps you:

  • Make sure you get a fair price on auto repair
  • Know the fair price for your auto repair 
  • Find shops and dealerships near you 
  • Get expert advice from real professionals

Well I have been having some funky stuff going on with my minivan and in our family I do the house stuff and Mr. Genius does all of the car stuff. Seriously if any light on my car turns on I call him in a panic. And for the past 2 months I have had two lights on that won't go away.

Plus two maintenance phrases that keep coming up.

The low brake fluid light is still on even after the Mr. Genius filled the brake fluid up to almost overflowing, and it isn't leaking.

So I got the RepairPal App and started working it.

You set it up and put in what kind of car you have what year your car is.

Once you set that up you can put in reminders. Which would have been wonderful to have when we lived in the house cuz Mr. Genius did all the oil changes and brake pads and routers. This would have helped up to keep up with how long ago we did those things.

Then I went to my local car repair shop...BY MYSELF!

This was very scary for me cuz I know these guys are going to talk about things I do not know about and I feel like they are going to take advantage of my ignorance and tell me I have to get things done that I do not need.

So I went and asked for a diagnosis which only costs $12.

As I sat out there they came out and said that they think it is the Master Cylinders. I smiled and pretended I knew what they are talking about, then when he went back to put my car back together I looked up on the RepairPal app what a Master Cylinder is.

Not only does it go into detail what the Master Cylinder is, it also gives you and estimate of how much it would be.

The estimate my local Firestone gave me was on the high end of what RepairApp said it would be. But it was within the range.

They also recommended a bunch of other things to do that ended up equaling out to be over $1100!! Yeah right!

So I circled the two that needed to be done with the replacement of the Master Cylinders and when you do that you have to get your Brake system flushed. RepairApp did mention that too!

I took this quote home and then looked at what places around me that where recommended.

When I called the recommended places then were $100-200 cheaper!

I ended up going with the Ollie's Garage and made an appointment for next Friday!

The only thing I let my husband know about was what I decided to do!

This app definitely did give me the confidence boost I needed to feel like I can do "car stuff" on my own. So now when he is out of town I won't be as worried about car repairs.

If you and your husband do not know a lot about cars or your husband is gone A LOT and it makes you sick to your stomach when you have to take your car in for repairs. I definitely recommend this app!

The RepairPal 2.0 Mobile app sells for US$4.99. Click here to purchase the RepairPal 2.0 Mobile App or to learn more about it.

On a side note: We are settling into our apartment. It is a little adjustment moving from a 3600 sq ft house to an 1100 sq ft apartment. But it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. 

Have a good weekend everyone!