PART ONE OF INCREDIBLY TL;DR UPDATE: SELL THAT HOUSE
APRIL: Our neighbor's house sold for way over asking, after 12 offers, all within four days. While we were planning on selling our house next year to move to a better school district (and hello, a bigger house, natch), the crazy hotness of the Portland real estate market shortened that timeline. And hello! I would MUCH rather clean once, remove children and dogs once, and sell the house in one fell swoop, instead of packing up said dogs and children each time the house needed to be shown. Not to mention keeping the house to a pristine state at all times. I would have lost my goddamned mind.
MAY: We packed a TON of our non-essential belongings into a POD and stuffed it into storage, because let's be honest: there were only two outcomes of attempting to sell our house: 1- We sell our house, or, 2- A&E calls us to feature us on an episode of "Hoarders." We hoped for Outcome #1.
Memorial Day weekend arrived, and we packed up the children and the doggies, and left our awesome realtor with a pristine house to show while we spent the long weekend with my grandparents.
We arrived back home on Memorial Day to FOUR offers, all over the asking price. We were gobsmacked. They were all very compelling offers, and were all around the same price.
So, we were left with two options- 1- Go back to each potential buyer and mention all offers were around the same price, and see if they could offer more, or 2- Just take an offer.
We took an offer. I would have felt like the hugest asshole going back to these buyers and asking for MORE money, especially since the offers were for well over asking price. Buying a house takes a shit ton of money, and to put in an offer in this market, already over asking, was enough in my book.
One offer, the one we took, was the best. Since we are in a situation where we couldn't even start looking at new houses until we closed on this one, we needed time. They gave us time, in the form of a 60-day rent back, free of charge.
We were thrilled. Our realtor said that doesn't really happen (in a normal, not-super-crazy-Portland-market). Immediately, we knew it was the best offer. How often are you able to give someone TIME??
But there was more. The offer we took had an additional perk. The potential buyer was the owner of a local restaurant, DiNicola's. They added "Pizza for life" as part of their offer! While many sources mention it was in the official offer, it was not. It was in an email from their realtor, so we knew the buyers had a sense of humor, and we knew it was an add-on in a more informal sense. Our realtor had brought their pizza over for dinner while we reviewed offers, and once we made the connection, we had a good laugh and accepted their offer.
Our real estate agent mentioned it at his sales meeting, which ended up as a subtle mention in their blog. I took their blog as an opportunity to subtly share that we had sold our house, and, "Oh, yeah! Funny story- they offered pizza for life." Then my friend from college, who works for a local news station, saw my post, and decided it was the perfect angle to do a story on the hot Portland real estate market (THANKS, BRIAN.).
We had a great time doing the story with Brian- we don't get to see him or his wife Ashley as often as we'd like, so the story gave us a fun opportunity to hang out with him for the evening. The story was really well-done- Brian is a great reporter, and his photographer is super talented, too. I even managed to eek in a soundbite: "If you don't like pizza, you're a monster!"
As they were wrapping up the 10pm live broadcast, Brian casually mentioned something about how this story could get picked up by the national affiliates. Rob and I basked in our silly 15 Minutes of the news story that evening, and thought we'd just go about our lives from that point on.
The next week was insane. The story went viral. First, it was TV. We had friends and family all over the country tagging us on Facebook about how they saw us on TV while they were watching the news. Then the Internet picked it up. Reuters. NPR.Huffington Post. It not only went national, the story went international. Go ahead, Google "pizza for life," it's still everywhere.
And the owner of DiNicola's, while totally joking/not joking, has totally held up her end of the deal- we went to her restaurant for dinner (if you live in Portland and have never been to DiNicola's, you need to drop your dinner plans and go. NOW!), got to meet her in person, and she gave us our first pizza voucher. She is serious about this pizza deal, y'all. I loved hearing her say she looked forward to watching our boys grow up, as she has two grown sons herself.
ALL THE FEELS, PEOPLE.
When you buy/sell a house, most of the time you don't really get a story on who the person is buying/selling the house. We knew Donna and her son Johnny were restaurant owners, they made an amazing offer, and that was about it. Through all the news stories, I found that Johnny's brother is in the same neighborhood, that he (Johnny) loves to garden, that they are a close family who take care of one another.
Meeting them in person helps let go of this house a little easier. This is the house that Rob and I fought tooth and nail to buy my first year out of college. This is the house that had to have EVERY SINGLE CEILING painted before we moved in (seriously, people, while crimson and grey are my alma mater's colors, don't ever paint your ceiling crimson and your walls grey. Just don't). This is the house where we had many parties and many gatherings with friends and family (including Rock Band Halloween and Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Years 2-7). This is the house where we brought home both our children from the hospital. Where Rob planted a cherry blossom tree just for me on our anniversary, and where we planted dahlias that grew to the size of dinner plates. Where we made little improvements that were needed years ago, only to sell the house. This whole story has all the warm fuzzies that I wish every single stressful event could have.
And now, we are scrambling to pack and move as quickly as we can so they can enjoy the house they bought and will love.
Hey there, I'm Holly Marsh (Maker/Illustrator/Mama/Nerd), the force behind MarshMueller. I started the company in 2011 after getting frustrated with the ho-hum options in big box stores when creating my first son's woodland-animal-themed nursery. I hand-pick every fabric, thread color, and zipper, design my own sewing patterns, and moosh them all together to create rad products for parents and gift-givers in my Astoria, Oregon studio (aka MarshMueller Secret Labs).
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