Now, this may seem stressful and a terrible idea, but let me tell you why we did it and how we did it.
We moved to South Carolina six years ago knowing nothing about the area. We settled on a house in a new neighborhood in Blythewood. We have truly enjoyed living in Blythewood. It’s a great town with a great park, and a nice small town atmosphere.
What we didn’t like was that after four years of living here, everything we did was NOT in Blythewood. We both work in downtown Columbia, childcare was downtown, and our friends were near downtown. We liked downtown, but hated driving there.
My spouse and I agreed over a year ago that 2020 would be our year to move. That was the year he would find out if he got tenure–spoiler alert: he did!– which meant we’d be in Columbia forever, potentially. We knew what neighborhood we’d like to live in, and our exact budget. We also knew we could make some money on our current house as we’d bought when prices were low.
Then, the pandemic hit. All of the sudden things stopped and got financially uncertain for a lot of people. We were lucky that we were financially secure during this time. So, we discussed moving again in April. Should we move during a pandemic? Is it a good idea? Can we do it safely? We decided we would pursue it knowing that we didn’t HAVE to move, but would do it if all worked out. This was the perfect time to be picky about selling and buying. We had time.
First, we talked to a realtor about selling, and found out what precautions the real estate industry was taking for the pandemic.
We found out that we can ensure only serious buyers come for a showing, and we can ask them to wear booties, masks, and use hand sanitizer. We can even ask that they don’t touch too much. To help ensure this, we opened all doors before they came by. We listed our house on a Friday morning, and had an offer on Friday evening. I guess it was a sign we were going to move!
Next, was the buying part.
Since the pandemic began, there had been a lull in houses going on the market in our price range, specifically in the neighborhood we wanted. Also, interest rates were LOW! I mean, this is the perfect time to buy or refinance if you can. The savings are great!
About three weeks after our house sold, we found our dream home. It showed up on the realtor app at 1 p.m., we toured at 4 p.m., put in an offer at 5 p.m., and found out it was ours at 9 p.m. It was a whirlwind! Pandemic buying is not a time to buy if you like to drag your feet!
The physical moving part wasn’t too terrible.
My spouse and I both were working from home, and had very flexible schedules. We were able to snag moving boxes for free from random posts on Facebook, pack all of our stuff ourselves, and clean the old house from top to bottom ourselves. We did hire movers to pack the truck though. This was non-negotiable as it was hot and I was tired! And it ended up working out very well. The company we used has their workers tested for COVID frequently and follows safety precautions. They didn’t linger more than needed, and were very efficient.
Now, we are settling in after moving a month ago. Apparently, due to the pandemic, there is a major delay in stocking home décor and furniture. So, if you move and need new stuff, know it can take a while. Other than needing a dresser still, we are fairly settled. Only one room left to organize, so I’ll call that a win!