We put an offer on another house - for real!
It's a great floor plan with a nice yard and a shop... but of course with all those perks there are compromises... Specifically the house hasn't seen paint or decor since 1984 and has been smoked in all that time. (can you say "stinky"?). I think they may have been trying to reduce the overwhelming nicotine smell when they ripped out the carpets in most of the rooms... but it just left it looking shabby and still smelly.
The other compromise is the location. It's not terrible, it is still our preferred neighborhood and backs onto a park but the road is noisy-busy. (We really thought we wouldn't move unless it was to a rural spot. The thing is rural with a decent house and shop is WAAAAAAY over budget for us.)
So the imagination exercise is back! I will be decluttering to list our house immediately and preparing to move (if our offer is accepted of course). I will be trying to actually purge the extra stuff intead of storing it. Not sure if that's possible with the personal stuff (family pictures for example), but I'll try.
Even if the deal falls through (and they do tend to do that with us), I want to make the house list-ready as an exercise in clutter-discipline. It's so easy to get complacent with clutter and let the "lived-in" look expand into the "can't have anyone over because it's messy" look.
I have to face facts, though my home is cozy and can be pretty, our family hobbies are not suited to a steep driveway, in-house garage or loads of stairs. The hobbies look like they are hear to stay (and that's wonderful) so it's not an unreasonable thing to want a property that can make the hobbies easier. Not to mention all the stairs are brutal on my mother-in-law (her M.S. has her subjected to being CARRIED up the stairs when she wants to visit us). A rancher would be much more friendly to her as well as us.
Of course I am scared of the work of moving, change is never easy. It will strain my husband terribly (he is very sensitive to change more than most) and it's not a move-in ready house so the short term (if the deal goes through) will be costly and difficult. But I wouldn't risk all this upheaval on a whim. I truly think the other property could suit us into old age like it did with the previous owner.... if we can live with the road noise.
Wish us luck!!!!
PS the house is no bigger than the one we have now, but it has less rooms so each room is bigger, I think that will be nice (if the deal goes through)