Migrating Migraines

Moving has never really daunted me much. I guess we were always moving up, moving on, creating a new future and a new beginning. It was always exciting and it always felt right. Our move to NC was no exception, in fact I think more than any other move before it, this one solidified for us that we were on the path we knew we were meant to be on. We were creating the future we’d always imagined and man was that liberating. Taking that dream out of our hearts and putting it into our heads – it was the gutsiest, bravest and boldest move we’ve ever made as a couple and I’m thankful every day we woke up with that strong conviction one morning and just made it happen. But this move was definitely more tiring, and definitely more overwhelming than the rest. Not going to lie, there were a few times I wanted to just throw in the towel and give up. Perhaps it was the whole cross country bit, or the whole new jobs bit along with it, but you guys – I’m still re-cooperating 4-months later.

We’ve actually owned (and moved into!) 3 homes, in the last 4 years. What kind of crazy are we?


We’ve learned a lot on this journey though. Even more so this time around with the whole out of state relocation. Some costly mistakes, some just costly realities that couldn’t be avoided. Now that all the dust has settled, I thought everyone else could more or less benefit from peering into the hard truth of some of the things we flubbed on house hunting/buying/living 3.0.

1) When you’re moving cross country, don’t plan on moving right into another house

This one cost us $500 and a tear or two. Looking back, we were so overwhelmed with everything else going on in our life (selling the Michigan house, finding new gigs, traveling down every other weekend for 12+ hour drives between MI and NC) that we saw a house we thought could work, and we jumped. It wasn’t until we came back to sign the paperwork for proceeding that we started to take a closer look at the house and realized, much to our dismay, that this place was just not right for us. Crap. The bad news, we had already entered a contractual agreement that basically said we’d owe a fat $500 big ones if we backed out. The good, we avoided buying a house that we just didn’t see ourselves in for the long haul.

Durham Real Estate

Although the house was as cute as a button, we realized when we went back to see it that the backyard was positioned up on a hill, looking over a busy thorough fare. This led to lots of car noise, so, we passed.

Lesson Learned: Chill yo jets.

Road Noise Behind House

2) High Maintenance Buyers

So, I probably should have seen the writing on the wall with this one after we had a few crazy requests thrown at us during the closing process, but the people that bought our last house. Ummm – they’re sorta high maintenance. 😉 Now our house sold and was closed on in less than 3-weeks. A lightning fast, where do the hours in the day go 3-weeks. And we are SO LUCKY that our house flew like that, but even for minimalist non-packrats like us, getting everything packed and loaded in that time period was, well, tight. The final night before we moved out we were totally scrambling to get everything cleaned up and ready for the next group. By the end though, I’d hand washed the floor and everything looked pretty darn nice. Certainly 10-times nicer than any other of the 3-homes we’ve moved into on moving day, but ya know, that’s all relative.

After we we’re already chilling down here in NC, I get a call from our Realtor on closing day saying the buyers are NOT happy with the house’s condition. They’re biggest complaint was that there were crumbs in the cupboard. Oye. Yep, probably were crumbs in the cupboard. Dang, must have forgotten that. They asked for a $250 cleaning fee to cover it. Which made me snort laugh, but in the name of, ya know, not wanting our sale to fall through over this level of ridiculousness, we obliged.

Lesson learned: Clean yo cupboards, or be prepared to pay up.

Moving Checklist

3) Contracts, Dang They’re Pesky

So … contracts. Yes, they’ve bit our behind more than once. Now in hind sight, this was a very easy one to avoid. Very easy. But y’all, life was moving so fast at us when we moved down here that it turns out, we missed some more fine print. Now, I went into this a bit before, but I really don’t think this one is all on us. But, sadly, we do hold some blame – enough blame to cost us another cool $650. Uggh … when I start adding these digits up I get certifiably depressed about it.

Coming off of home ownership, and only renting apartments during our college days, Jay and I were kinda clueless about apartment dwelling. So we got burned big time when our apartment failed to tell us that we need to provide 30-days notice, for our 90-day lease, in order to avoid an extra month carrying cost. Since we just signed on the dotted line and rushed to grab our keys, we missed this important detail that was so SO easy to avoid.

Lesson Learned: Read yo contracts

Empty Apartment

4) Moving Furniture

My final lesson. Seriously – sell everything you own before moving. Perhaps we’re the world’s worst packers, but I don’t thing they’res a single piece of furniture that didn’t get damaged, in some way, during our move. Scratches, stains, you name it. Now, it certainly did not help matters that it was raining cats and dogs when we went to load in all our stuff into the apartment, but we had to throw away and or sell at a significant discount and tons of our goods. In my mind, I did sell off all my worldy belongings before we moved, but if I could do it again, I’d grab a suitcase, fill it up, and get on that plane with only the items I could carry. Ok, right, that’s a slight exaggeration, but lordy, I would NOT be hauling down some of the items we did.

Lesson Learned: Sell yo furniture 

Damaged Furniture From Moving

Anyone else have nuggets of wisdom to add to this list? I’ve been channeling Cher an awful lot lately around here … If I could turn back tiiimee.

3 thoughts on “Migrating Migraines

  1. Crumbs…seriously!? That’s what they were worried about? High maintenance doesn’t even begin to cover it!

    Another reason to be sure to read a contract: When we bought our 1st house 3 years ago, the owner let us have the carpets cleaned 2 days before closing and we found out he had taken the fridge even though it was written into our offer. After we went round and round, closing got cancelled at 8pm when we were supposed to close at 8am. Surrounded by boxes in our rental, we were freaking out! Luckily our landlord was also a realtor and told us how to handle it. A few phone calls later and we were good to go! We got a new fridge out of the deal (plus a few gray hairs!). As we’re now looking to sell our house, I will be reading an offer with a fine tooth comb!

    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    1. I know, right!? 🙂 Good for you guys for calling them out! Sounds like it worked out better in the end since y’all got to pick out your own fridge! Closing on a house can be a real headache, for sure!

  2. I’ve lived in my same spot in the middle of no where for the past 15 years and I hope to never move! Glad everything FINALLY worked out for you guys:)
    Thanks for sharing at the Teach Me Tuesday Linky Party. Hope you can join us again tonight starting @ 9pm est:)

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