Expat Life

Tying Up Loose Ends Back Home

Tying Up Loose Ends Back Home

Last night when I went to bed, I still owned a home in Tennessee. This morning when I woke up, I didn’t.

Oh, this house that was the bane of our existence even while we lived in it (e.g., the lightning strike, the chlorine flood, the sewage spill, among many, many other things) has continued to be a source of stress even after we moved 4,000 miles away.

When we put it on the market back in February, it showed so well with the renovations and new furniture we’d bought just months before (not realizing we’d be moving overseas) that we had a contract on it in two weeks. At our realtor’s advice, we agreed to a contract with a 60-day close and allowing the buyer to procure a business license for the sale to go through. This was one instance where we should have followed our own instincts. The buyer wasn’t able to obtain the license he wanted and the deal fell through two days before closing, after we had waited 60 days and sold everything inside the house. We were devastated. The house went back on the market, but with only two weeks left in the US, we knew there was no way we’d be moving away with all our loose ends tied up before we left.

Without any furniture inside to make the house look like a home, this time around it took a good bit longer to go under contract, and after it did, there were multiple hiccups further delaying the sale. So we’ve spent the last four months trying to juggle bills in two different countries and making sure someone was handling our home’s regular upkeep from what feels like the other side of the world.

These are the sort of things you come to expect as an expat. I have yet to hear anyone’s story that went perfectly from start to finish. There is always something. This home was our something…but not anymore. Someone else has the keys (and the responsibility) now. And by this evening, our extra parcel of land should also be under new ownership. Ends officially tied.

With all that said, the only thing I should be feeling right now is relief, and to some extent I do, but I also feel a little wistful. I didn’t get a proper goodbye – no final walk through of the house to imprint the memories made there into my mind, no dangling my legs in the creek one last time before we signed the papers. At just a few months shy of three years, this home has been the place we’ve lived the longest as a family, and it’s pretty safe to say that a part of me will always be there.

But it’s someone else’s house to fill with memories now, which gives us the freedom to fully embrace this new chapter of our lives. We are just expats now, not expats that still have a home in their home country. There will be no more questioning whether we were meant to keep the house for our eventual return to the US when we’re 80. And no more ties, at least of the legal variety, keeping us bound to a particular place. A little less looking back, and a good bit more looking forward. It’s about time.

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  • Diana Bockus
    September 14, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    I like how you are keeping a positive outlook! It reminds me of Miranda Lambert’s song – the House that Built Me. How long are you in England again? Do you think you’ll want to come back after a few years?

  • rorybore
    September 13, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Congratulations! I am sure it is all bittersweet, but I like that you ended with positive outlook of looking forward.

  • Janette Johanson
    September 13, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    You know the only thing I can think of that you didn’t do before you left and before you sold your house/land and waved goodbye was…… coming through Texas to stop and eat a donut with ME! What a relief it must be to get that land and house sold!! I am still in dire straits to sell our land. Cross your fingers. Its been on the market over 1000 days!! <– WHOA!

  • Katrin
    September 12, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    I can totally understand that you have mixed feelings about it but I am glad you finally sold the house! Congrats!

  • Kerry
    September 12, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Ahh yes, I remember the sewage spill of 2012…
    Congrats on selling (finally) but I do understand your bittersweet feelings. It was a beautiful home xo

  • Ashlee - I'll Love You Forever
    September 11, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    I am so glad that it has sold and that you guys can continue moving forward. I can’t imagine all the stress dealing with what you went through. The boys and I have been on the house hunt, purchasing our first home. I am ready for the next step in our lives and can’t wait until the house hunt is over, haha. xo

  • Shaylynn
    September 11, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Oh, I’m sad. That house was so beautiful, I miss it sometimes. AND IT WASN’T EVEN MINE

  • Emmymom
    September 10, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Glad it finally is closing- and yes the remodels you did and the furniture you had in it really did make it magazine worthy, so not surprising it took longer to sell empty. So annoying that first deal didn’t work.

  • Sara Louise
    September 9, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    A huge weight off of your shoulders I’m sure! Congratulations! x

  • Autumn @ The Spirited Violet
    September 9, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    I’ve read all of your posts on this home and goodness. Such a lovely place, but such a stressful one too! I can’t imagine juggling two bills between two countries!!

    I’m glad we were able to sell your place and now you can have some rest!

  • Natalie
    September 9, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    I’m so glad you have sold it but understand it is bittersweet to leave a house!

  • Connie Weiss
    September 9, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Congratulations on the sale! I know how that feels having two homes to pay for. When we moved to the country of Utah our house was still for sale in Denver and it took several months to sell. It is a huge relief!

    Be free!

  • Daisy
    September 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    here’s to your new adventures here in the UK!

    we’ve moved countries twice now so I know where you are coming from when you are talking about tying up loose ends, never easy and I have found it hard to let go of some things, on the other hand a new place brings new opportunities, so keep moving forward, I’m sure you have a bright future ahead!

    How are you finding living here by the way? The houses are so much smaller…definitely something I had to adjust to!

  • Keith Wynn
    September 8, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Leaving a home is always bittersweet but at least there are new adventures that lie ahead :)

  • topchelseagirl
    September 7, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Although bittersweet it must be a relief and now to the future!

  • Gina
    September 7, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    We had a very similar scenario. It took us a year to finally sell our house in Canada. It became much harder and with multiple hiccups for us as well after our furniture was sent to us and the house was empty. It was incredibly hard and stressful ~ I completely understand what you went through. It is a relief to have it done and over with but you are right it is still hard. So happy for you that you no longer have to worry about it. Congrats!!! The future looks bright. xx

  • Tammy Chrzan
    September 7, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    Congratulations on the sell of your home even if it is bitter sweet xx

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe
    September 7, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    No final goodbyes! Many mixed emotions!! I’m sure it’s bittersweet. Good news though!

  • Jenn
    September 7, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Congrats!! I know it can be hard trying to sell a house when you live so far away! Glad everything worked out :)

  • Nicole
    September 7, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Finally! I remember back when you were getting closer to leaving the US, you guys tried to make the best of your last days at home-having picnics, spending time with your chickens and admiring the creek. You did get to do all of those things! And you also have most everything about your house documented on the blog for you to look back at :)

  • Ashley | Domestic Fashionista
    September 7, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    YAYYYYYYYY!!! Here is to looking forward!

  • Stacie Stamper
    September 7, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    So glad that burden has been lifted!

  • Jo
    September 7, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Whoot whoot! so happy that you managed to sell up!

  • Jen Mc
    September 6, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Hooray! Congrats! I hope you had a mimosa when you woke up to celebrate.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Mrs. Match
    September 6, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Oh I bet thatis a huge relief! I’d be wistful too. I loved that house!i still wish we could have been the buyers. Then you could have visited! ;-)