Downsizing: The Open House

 

dsc_0005We had a few showings after the house went on the market at the beginning of March. I heard a lot of folks talk about what an annoyance showings can be because you have to keep the house neat, clean, and ready for visits at a moment’s notice. We didn’t mind that part of the process because by the time the beginning of March rolled around, the house was clear of clutter and excess furniture. That meant less time spent moving items off surfaces to clean and, frankly, less to clean, period. We didn’t exactly enjoy dusting and vacuuming all the rooms all the time, but it felt easier.

March 13th was an overcast day, and we weren’t wildly optimistic about the chance of showing off the house to its best advantage. Our house had plenty of windows that allowed lots of light, but a gray day is a gray day, no matter how open or bright the interior of the building.

Danica reminded us that we were not to be at the house when potential buyers were there, so we figured we would just take a little drive to Lancaster and leave the showing in Danica’s capable hands. But after we got in the car and pulled out of the driveway, Bill suggested we go look at a small housing development that our painter Linda suggested, Olde Orchard Hill. The builders were well-respected in the area, Linda thought the houses were well-built, and the development was just a couple miles south of where we lived. We could take a quick look around and still go to Lancaster afterward.

img_6915The development was cute. A lot of the homes were already finished and had residents. Although the houses used the same finishes within their groups, they were not cookie-cutter-looking homes. There were variations. And the model home was open.

We stepped inside and met Ted Baldwin, a realtor with Howard Hanna Real Estate, who showed us the model home. It was a revelation to me: an open living room with a cathedral ceiling. The living room space flowed into the open dining area and kitchen. The laundry room was just off the living room near the stairwell to the unfinished basement. The master bedroom and a second bedroom were located on the same floor as the living room and each had a full bath. The master bedroom included a double closet and the master bath offered a double shower. The second bathroom served the second bedroom and acted as a powder room for guests. The unfinished basement offered plenty of possibilities for Bill and his equipment.

Ted explained that some of the homes were under roof and waiting to be completed, giving new owners the option of finishing the space to their taste. He showed us the various floor plans available and suggested we look at a few properties in addition to the model home, some finished, some not. We looked them over to see the differences. Back at the model home, we took some information with us and went back to the car.

Time passed quickly while we talked with Ted. By the time we got to our car, the open house was over and our enthusiasm for the model home replaced any thought of driving to Lancaster for dinner.

It was too soon to get excited about this possibility. We still had to sell our house. Until we knew what kind of cash we had to work with, we didn’t know if we would be able to afford one of these.

Then, within 19 days of the house going on the market, Danica put up the Sold sign. img_6318

This blog post is part of a series called Downsizing. This is the chronicle of moving from a 2475 square foot home to one approximately half its size during the first six months of 2016. It takes place in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

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