We are on the market! Today let’s chat about some real estate! Now, we as oilfield wives (OFW) all know that the state our husbands work in one moth could quite possibly be different from that they work in next month. I have found it is rare to find an oilfield wife that actually lives or owns a home with her husband in the same town or area that her oilfield man (OFM) works in. Some of us have lived in multiple states just to follow the oilfield work. Others may have never actually purchased a home and prefer to rent not knowing what the future holds or where the next patch will pop up. Some OFW even traveling with their man and their home is simply just a place to store all our stuff. When it comes to real estate and the oilfield lifestyle there is definitely no cookie cutter situation from one family to the next.
My husband bought our home in 2007, yes even writing that I let out a sigh. He paid way too much for it, but hey the oilfield in Grand Junction, CO was booming, real estate was up, people were employed and making money. Then came the dive of 2008 and the oilfield moved out of Grand Junction almost overnight. I was shocked at house prices as a result of the economy but not near as shocked as I was to see the negativity equity in all homes almost instantly. Robert and I got together in 2009, by that time foreclosures were popping up all over the place. We were pregnant and even though our house was going to be too small for the growing family we decided to sit tight, ignore how upside down we were on the house and focus on the fact that we both still had jobs and God had blessed us with a healthy baby girl.
I still to this day cannot believe the amount of “stuff” kids have. Kids have a lot of stuff but near as much as babies! It seems like when you have children every room in your home becomes their own. Special swings, furniture, toys, books, consume any free space and if you are OCD like me the clutter starts to turn you in to a mad woman. It comes no surprise to me that people with families and especially small children are always looking for a bigger home because “they have out grown their home”. Truth of the matter is I think we as the parents, the adults, are never the ones who outgrow our home; it is our children who outgrow our home. Even having one three year old, it has become all too obvious that this oilfield family has most definitely outgrown their home!
This home selling business has been a real process for our family, one because I am a working OFW, and well two because I only have a husband half the month. When we started on this journey we knew the first thing we had to do is sit down and see exactly how under water we were in our house. The bad news is, it was a lot, they good news is we had saved enough money to cover all the upgrades that were recommended to us in order to be able to sell for what we owed. So that was the first step, one get our payoff, two find an appraiser and get a current appraisal, three find contractors to do our upgrades to get the value of the home where we needed.
Last summer was miserable. I felt like I had so many random contractors at our house everyday it was really stressful. I came home from work one day on my lunch break and it looked like a bomb went off in our house, no windows, no doors, hell I wouldn’t be surprised if there were birds flying around in the kitchen. We dumped so much time, energy, and money into remodeling our entire home we really missed out on a lot of summer. The overall process of remodel started in March and did not end until August. We stuccoed our home, put in energy efficient doors, windows, refinished the hardwoods, laid all new carpet, built a new covered deck, had curbing and a patio poured, the list goes on. After the summer was over and all the work was done, I had a good friend (and great agent if you’re looking for one in the area) give us some estimated values, we got another appraisal and thank the lord we had a good feeling we could sell for what we owed!
Since we dumped so much money into remodeling our home, I met with our agent to get an exact idea of closing cost. By this point I was pinching pennies. It was October, we got our first snow, and TA-DA our furnace went out, 5k flew out of the window almost overnight- awesome! So back to square one. After remodel, furnace, preparing for 2013 taxes, our savings was almost drained. We have never been an oilfield family that has lived off bonuses like a lot of OF families I know, in fact in the 10 yrs. Rob has got one bonus in the oilfield and it was four years ago, so living on that hope was useless. My husband and I felt defeated almost overnight, but where there is a will there is a way.
We just listed our home this week For Sale by Owner (FSBO) since right now we just cannot afford a realtor but like I said we’ve outgrown our home. I did a lot of research with a friend at a mortgage company, got some information from the title company, and through the recommendation of a friend we listed our home on http://mlsmyhome.com/ . You pay a flat fee, your home goes in the local MLS listings and on http://www.realtor.com/ and you do all the leg work. My husband bought our FSBO sign at Home Depot, I made the brochures to go in the box, I set up the showings, everything! I have consulted with another local investment couple who gave me lots of pointers, and our agent who even though we cannot afford to list with her right now, she has still stood by my side through this process and helped guide me and give me tips! (I’m telling you she is the best if you are moving to this area message me and I will get you in contact!)
If you are anything like our family and have outgrown your home, but feel your upside down, or you don’t know where to start, even if you know you couldn’t afford the closing cost, email me! I’d be happy to help! And in the meantime if you know anyone in the area looking for a cute little home in the Grand Junction area share my listing or check it out yourself! http://mlsmyhome.com/default.asp?f=listing_details&listingid=383839