On Being Transparent: When Home Buying/Selling Doesn’t Go as Planned

IT’S NO SECRET.  I’ve been wanting to move from our “starter” home since a year after we’ve moved in.  I like change—A Lot!  Not a day goes by that I don’t look at real estate listings, and on one particular day, I received a realtor.com alert of a new home that had just hit the market.  It was a fixer-upper for sure, but it had the potential to be THE HOUSE, you know the one—the one we would happily and comfortably (continue) to raise our kids in, the one we would celebrate our children’s high school and college graduations, where we would be able to entertain tons, and tons of family—THE ONE we would grow old in.

I sent the listing to my hubs and he called right away, he even snuck over to do a drive-by while I was at work.  He called me and said “I’m in love and you’re going to love it too!”

He picked me up from work and we drove over to meet the listing agent.  And not to my surprise, my husband was right—I was in LOVE.  A 2500 sq ft, waterfront raised ranch.

It was a major fixer upper, it needed—at the bare minimum—a new septic system, a new roof, drywall, flooring, a new kitchen, updated electric, deck refinishing, a few windows—-and the basement needed to be finished.  A challenge, that for this house, we were all to willing to take.

We made an offer-it was accepted!

We had 45 days to sell our house.

We began chugging away at painting and de-cluttering and cleaning and updating our curb appeal.   All the while getting inspo for our new home:  meeting contractors, and electricians and plumbers at “The Lake house” getting estimates on remodel costs.

After about a week and a half, we listed our home.  We had our first showing two days later.  We were super anxious-my mom even brought me two St. Joseph Statues to bury in the yard in hopes for a quick sale.  

However, before I even buried them in the ground—The stars seemed to align and we received a full price offer.

Wow! how easy, we thought! We should have listed our home months ago!—NOT!  

A few days after accepting the offer on our house, things began to go down hill.  The quotes began rolling in for the new house remodel and they weren’t looking so hot–which after the major fixes were complete, we would have barely had enough money to make the home livable, never mind create our dream home.  

In our haste to own a true piece of the “American Dream,” we found ourselves in a very tough spot.  Do we go for it and hope and pray that we get no surprises?—-No, that wouldn’t have been smart.  So we ever-so reluctantly, backed out of the deal.  When I tell you my heart was broken in a million pieces . . . I had BIG plans for this lake house.


If only that were the end of my story . . . now in our current house, we went through the home inspection and begin fixing things up for the new buyer.  We started packing up the house-with no where to call home.  I scoured the internet for another house that would make my heart skip a beat like THE HOUSE-but it didn’t exist, and the market quickly became a sellers market, which meant crap houses for high prices.  We were completely discouraged and torn.

The next week we had our appraisal.  Did I mention our neighbor next door (with pretty much our identical home, minus the finished basement and updates) had his house listed for sale for over 2 months before we listed ours?  Welp, 2 days before the appraisal, he dropped the price of his home 20K!  Which seriously hurt our appraisal as far as comps went.

We waited on pins and needles for the appraisal report to be returned, knowing that if it came in under the offer price and the buyer wasn’t able to make up the difference, we were not willing to budge-mainly because we had no immediate place to go.  Our future completely rested on this appraisal.

Well, an excruciating 3 days later, the appraisal came in 10K under the offer price.  The buyer counter offered, however, the offer was still under asking price–which allowed us to walk away from the deal, free and clear.  I don’t want to sound heartless, because I felt so badly for the buyer, as I’m sure she had just as much excitement and joy in her for our home, as we did for The House.  But—we had to make a decision that was right for us.


Talk about an emotional roller coaster!  We were so ready to start this new journey of our lives, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  I know that THE HOUSE would have been a ton of work, and we were definitely willing to give it a shot, but not at the expense of being homeless for God knows how long.

The moral of the story:  Selling and Buying a home is not a simple cut and dry process. There are so many stipulations that you have to take into account, so it is important that you are physically, mentally and emotionally ready to deal with the upsets and victories that go along with it all.  

After all of this, we decided to take our house off of the market for a little while until we are ready to take on that process again.

I know our Forever Home is out there, but I will wait on HIS timing for it to happen.  Until then, we will continue to love on our lil home and thank God for all that we are blessed with.

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  1. Liah Anderson
    May 26, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I first hand know the stress of the process it's a lot! I really didn't know why it was going the way it was taking so long, but God had a bigger plan and an even better house that he wanted us to have. So girl I know that this is a setback but I know by Faith he's already worked it out for you. Your dream home is coming! Wait in victory

    • Carli Alves
      May 26, 2017 / 2:41 pm

      Amen! I appreciate your comment Liah! What a frustrating process it can be—-and to just wait in the unknown is enough to make someone go crazy. I have comfort in knowing that we made the best decision for our family at this time.

  2. Tanida West
    May 26, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    I wish you guys all the best! You'll find the perfect home, and if it's not perfect when you buy it you'll make it perfect with all your talents.

    • Carli A
      May 30, 2017 / 11:22 pm

      Thank you Tanida! I appreciate your vote of confidence! 😘

  3. Shelly
    May 27, 2017 / 10:02 am

    Thanks for sharing this. We are house hunting and just can't land on the ONE for one reason or another. And boy has it been an emotional ride. Like you I've come to the conclusion that since we haven't found our house yet, it's not meant to be and that GOD will show when the when, where and how when it is right. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Carli A
      May 30, 2017 / 11:10 pm

      Thanks for reading Shelly! Praying that your time is near and that all works out. 🙏🏾

  4. Sharyn McWilliams
    May 27, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    I can see why the Lake house appealed so much! But you did the right thing and the perfect for you place will come in time.

    • Carli A
      May 30, 2017 / 2:37 am

      Thank you Sharyn for taking the time to stop by and comment 😊. I appreciate your kind words!

  5. Kate Hollingsworth
    May 27, 2017 / 10:01 pm

    That lake house was phenomenal- something like that would cost millions of dollars where I live (even in its run-down condition). I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason so keep planning and dreaming and be open to possibilities – the right house will present itself to you 🙂 xx

    • Carli A
      May 30, 2017 / 2:39 am

      Thank you Kate! Yes, I had major plans for that house and was probably most disappointed by the fact that it seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity. I will keep praying and waiting on that right time 😊

  6. Live Pretty on a Penny
    May 30, 2017 / 2:41 pm

    This happened to us when searching for our first home. Sometimes it seems meant to be because you can literally see it. But it doesnt work out. Something better always comes along like you said, in his time!

  7. Angela East
    June 6, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    I've been wanting to move so badly lately. Your story made me think of the work involved. I hope you guys get another shot at your forever home soon. Thanks for sharing your story Love.

  8. Anonymous
    July 22, 2017 / 1:34 am

    Carli: Your house is beautiful, your family gorgeous. Your more perfect house will come, save your money in the bank, so when the perfect house comes along, money is less an issue. My husbands favorite quote "you can never have too much money in the bank". We had to wait "forever" for a move up house, and daughters were 12 & 16; and still 20 years later, they consider this one home. My husband owned his own business and we had very little expendable income (no debts but house payment); and now are retired and so happy we didn't buy larger bigger homes when they came around. Your family looks perfect and has a great mom/dad ..all those things are much more important.

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