Tag Archives: 100 Kimberly Drive

Away from Home

Mindful of the future, I want to be flexible and frugal. So after selling my house in surprisingly short style, instead of buying a new house or signing a lease, I decided to live with a friend. She had the whole upstairs of her house empty and was welcoming extra income to offset a mortgage. We had even lived together before, when I was a three-month intern at her ad agency about six years ago. I would save money, be contract-free and have fewer responsibilities. This would be a win-win for both of us.

I moved in at the beginning of November. All is nice enough. A decent size bedroom, with storage across the hall in another vacant room and a bathroom practically to myself. None of the home care to worry about like an owner. A very accepting, low maintenance housemate. All my change-of-addresses are complete, and the litany of post-move crap is finally done.

The transition is harder than I thought. Yes, all the reasons I sold my house and moved where I moved were good ones. This is a great scenario, cutting in all the right places, floating because it works. Aside from banking an extra $1,000 a month now, I’m also closer to many area amenities – grocery stores, retail shops, restaurants, fitness centers, doctors, downtown. But something is incredibly hard to adjust to.

It’s not the location. It’s not the house. It’s not my friend. I think it’s a feeling of loss, and being lost.

For the longest time, I have been independent. I started living alone my junior year of college because I didn’t like the roommate experience. I have had my own space since. (Pretty much… I moved back in with my mom for a period between an internship and first full-time job, and I hated it. I lived with an ex-boyfriend for a couple years, but let’s face it, that was my domain.)

I feel awkward not owning a house, I guess. That was the biggest purchase of my life, a substantial accomplishment. Like my forefathers, I was proud to have property. People were proud of me. It became part of my identity, whether I wanted that or not. It was where I created memories and discovered self.

It’s not the lack of possession. It’s the feeling like I don’t belong.

I realized that I have a history of having no home. A real home. A safe place that is comfortable and mine. My parents struggled to provide that. Then, as a young person, I’ve been a rover. But I want to stop.

It hits me kind of like a freight train to admit that I want that home, that the utmost thing I’ve been craving my whole life is a place of my own, to settle down, to build a sanctuary, to be whole and secure. I want a life filled with adventure, but excitement cannot be as sweet without a normal.

Selling 100 Kimberly

True to form, there have been and are to come a lot of big changes in my life. To prepare for such, I decided to sell my house, wanting to minimize expenses and increase flexibility. I was motivated by fear that the home selling process could take a while. Standard could be three to six months. Long-term could be a year or more.

100 Kimberly Dr LivingAlmost as soon as I moved into that house in Travelers Rest, I knew it was farther out in the country than I wanted to be. I thrive on activity and wished to be closer to downtown right away. It was a home and property too great for me alone and also not where I wanted to settle down.

But I was there and needed to make the most of it. To avoid the huge immediate headaches of selling, moving and paying any capital gains tax, I had to wait. Besides, it was a lovely place – hardwood floors, wood-burning fireplace, stainless steel appliances, custom open plan, tons of storage, tremendous outdoor spaces, etc.

Once I passed the two-year safety mark, however, for my sanity and purse, I veered toward putting the house on the market. Thinking I should start the potentially drawn out process, I went ahead and listed. A bit to my chagrin, I used a realtor, whose time could be devoted to the sale. I did negotiate a five percent max commission, so that eased the pain of payout. Her company also had the key element of 10-plus online listing tools that I couldn’t readily access.

100 Kimberly Dr KitchenI prepped by cleaning the house from top to bottom, literally using a cobweb brush in every ceiling corner and scrubbing the baseboards. All the rooms had finally been filled with furniture and wall décor. I hired a lawn maintenance man to keep the grass and leaves at bay and improve curb appeal. We enlisted a professional photographer to really capture the beauty of the house. (No doubt photos sell!)

The house went on the market September 22. The first showing was booked about five minutes later, after a buyer who’d been looking for that exact style home in that exact area saw an automatic email notification come through. Okay. Prospects coming at 4 p.m. I must rush home to stage!

That I did – Swiffer floors, fluff pillows, spray room freshener, place flowers, dim ambience lighting. The kicker was the handouts presentation on the bar, complete with a Home Highlights list, personal Letter from the Owner and Duke Energy Efficiency Report. And if they needed another touch, just grab a mint from the treats bowl.

100 Kimberly Dr move prepHardwork paid off. Within 24 hours, we had an offer. And in another day, we had a signed contract. I got my asking price and made a profit after only two years of ownership. The buyers were the cutest little family to fill that home with love, growth and happiness, a young couple with a seven-month-old half-Asian baby girl. Don’t worry about anyone’s savvy here. This was the best outcome that could have been expected. One day on the market – better yet the best outcome ever.

My entire life, I have only heard horror stories about people selling houses. Take a lesson here. If you pick a wonderful home and thoughtfully take care of it, some buyer down the road will recognize that. Kind of crazy though… I thought I had months to plan my next move.

Spring & My Aching Back

I never worked so hard in my life until I became a homeowner. I’ve lived on my own many occasions and in actual houses – not just apartments – where I was required to handle maintenance. I’ve always been self-motivated to do chores, perhaps passed on from my dad, who spent many a Saturday anally bustling around the house dusting end tables and scrubbing floors. (As a kid I was frustrated that my dad would not chill out and watch a movie with me instead, but now I realize that I had no clue what adults balanced.) I am an OCD-like spic-n-span cleaner too and get a lot of pleasure out of controlling one of the only things in life that can be – my home environment.

My Front Yard

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with owning a home. The one that plagues me right now is landscaping. Never before has my brain hurt like this from pondering “what should I do early spring before it’s too late in the year for South Carolina temperatures” and “what type of ground cover should I plant on that barren back hill that won’t take a decade to lush-up” and “should I have some of these trees cut down so that my garden and grass can get enough sunlight”. Never before has my back hurt like this from battling fallen leaves from 100 trees on my acre+ lot, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, pressure washing the deck and more.

I put this on myself. Never before have I had this much pride in my surroundings, wanting my yard to be a place of beauty, peace and functionality. It is also a nice source of unusual exercise. My perfectionist tendencies help is some ways – I’m detail-oriented to pick out a shade mix grass seed for my forest of a lawn. They hinder in some ways – I want to do everything as great as I can as fast and I can  and end up disappointed because it’s just not possible.

The gorgeous houses down North Main Street make it look utterly appealing and simple. Pristine mowing, shrubbery, floral plantings, stone paths and birdbaths abound, mmmyes. (I wish you could hear the sound effect.) The easy part is that they hire professionals to care for their properties. I can’t bring myself to give up yet.

It has begun as of April and will continue through October, when cooler weather sets in. We will all slave away with grounds keeping, both backbreaking and heartbreaking. I say kudos to those optimistic fools like me out there! I will defy Mother Nature for another season. But understanding my plight, I will show good faith and will not get upset. I am literally going outside after writing this article to rake and transplant ivy.