Thursday, May 10, 2007

Decisions, Decisions...

We signed the paperwork to list our house last night. I think we're asking a fair price, considering the type. It's a little starter home, cute, new enough (6 yrs) to still be attractive to potential buyers, I think. I'm still purging unwanted stuff, packing not frequently used items into boxes to put in the attic (de-cluttering), cleaning, etc.

On Monday, my agent will take interior photos and put up the yard sign. I'll probably cry then (again). It still doesn't feel real yet. We did find a house in our neighborhood that we like a lot. Still trying to decide whether it's The One, but I can certainly see myself living there (that's a good start).

The tricky thing is that I live in a fairly affluent town, but we're not very affluent ourselves (nor are we poor). When we first returned to Louisiana, this was a pretty affordable area to live because it is a bit of a commute for the people who work in New Orleans (a 24 mile toll-bridge, plus interstate traffic into the city).

Hurricane Katrina changed all that. We were fortunate that our area was not severely impacted (in general, our area had wind damage, but only the homes within a few blocks of lake flooded). So much of the New Orleans and the immediately surrounding areas were devastated. While there are people who are committed to rebuilding there, a great number decided to move to our area. Suddenly being far away from the city became a plus.

Property values initially skyrocketed. They've leveled off now, though. As I said in yesterday's post, we priced ourselves out of a lot of properties by waiting (and by being conservative). However, I feel like we're getting to the point that the value of the starter homes will peak so this would be a good time to sell. No one is building mid-level neighborhoods, though. Everything is upscale, which is nice...unless you're in the market for a mid-level home. The houses in our neighborhood are mid-level and are 6-17 years old. Other mid-levels homes in the area are much, much older.

Insurance is another huge issue. Because of Hurricane Katrina, many insurance companies have stopped doing business in the state of Louisiana. My carrier, Allstate, will write new policies for existing customers, but they're one of the few. They may be the only one by now, for all I know. Insurance costs have gone up - I've gotten used to that. The state flood insurance plan isn't terribly expensive in our area. The kicker is that if we sell our existing home which Allstate provides with hazard (fire, accident) & wind/hail coverage, they'll issue a new policy for hazard, but NOT for wind/hail. We'll have to go through the state insurance plan for that. :-(

There's also a rule on the books that an insurance company cannot drop a policy without good reason if the customer has had insurance for more than three years. Well, if we buy a new home, then we start all over with a new policy, which Allstate can feasibly drop (oops, they call it "non-renew" - like that makes a difference) our hazard coverage within 3 years - which means we'd have to go with the $tate run in$urance plan.

It's a gamble. My agent seems to feel that Allstate is committed to staying in Louisiana, and because we have multiple policies (auto, life, home) and a clean claims history that they'd be unlikely to drop/non-renew us. Of course, he doesn't know that for sure. It'll likely take several years for the insurance industry to stabilize and attract new providers.

So here's how it stands. Our house will soon be on the market. I think we'll make an offer for the one we like best. It will be a predicated offer, contingent on the sale of our home. Then we wait.... we wait to see if the seller will accept our offer (or negotiate), then we wait to see if someone will make a decent offer on our home.

Let the emotional rollercoaster begin!


John McElveen said...

We'll hang in there with ya gal and keep ya Prayed up. God is preparing someone right now to come and buy your Home!

Thanks for stopping by the Blog. Today I posted the first of what it's all about- should be a shorter daily devotional in the future. Any critiques from you will be greatly valued. I appreciate your maturity (Spiritually) LOL- I don't know about the other!! and your wisdom.

If you see any problems, please let me know. I look forward to rading the Adventures of the Move! Keep me posted as well as any prayer reguests you need.

john.mcelveen@yahoo is the main e-mail

Shionge said...

I wish all would turn out fine Elle and that you'll fetch a good price.

Keep us posted :)

Nadine said...

I pray that all will go well for you as you move forward in this. I pray it will be a blessing for you and your family.

BehavenPaPa said...

Elle, something I know from experience is a. Cast your cares on the Lord, knowing that you have done that, 2. believe that He will give you the desires of your heart, because 3. He leads you in a path of righteousness, 4. After committing it to the Lord, Give Him Thanks. HE will bear witness with your inner you. Rest in the Peace He has given you - it's in you even now - just waiting to be stirred up. Blessings to you as you make this move foreward.

Sue said...

Elle, it'll all work out....good luck with the sale, new purchase and insurance!

Tracey said...

Hmmm. What about taking out a home equity loan and remodeling? Just an idea. Either way, good luck.

Elle*Bee said...

john, I do like our house very much - it's just so small that it's difficult to have company over. I'm totally putting it in His hands, though. If He doesn't think we should go, then we don't.

As for my spiritual maturity, trust me, when I tell you got a very late start and I'm still growing! I do enjoy your blog very much. I like the mix of spiritual and personal.

Thanks shionge for the good wishes.

nadine and behavenpapa,. That's absolutely it! Pray for God's will over my own (it would be nice if we agree, but it doesn't always work that way).

tracey, our house is in excellent shape (according to me and my realtor). The issue is the size/layout. It's 1163 sf, 3 bedrooms/2 baths. It was perfect when we first moved in. We had two very yound kids and not much family nearby so entertaining wasn't really on our mind. Kids are getting bigger, our social circle is expanding, most of Dear Hubby's large family is nearby now. Short of adding on to the house, there's not much to be done. (That's my Plan B if things don't work out with buying another house.)

Chicky Pea said...

Good luck, it's a scary yet exciting time. I hope all works out for you.

Lala's world said...

oh and don't I know what that is like! well I wish you all the best and for God's perfect Will to be done in this!!


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