101 Things v2 - 2009 to 2011,  Elementary School,  Rainbow Bridge

A-(house)-hunting we will go

As you may have guessed from some of the other posts made recently, we are preparing to move. Not too far. In fact, we are hoping to stay in the same county (given that there are 159 of them in Georgia, that’s a pretty small geographic area). We simply cannot send Luke to the local schools. The day he started Pre-K, I decided to take a really good look at them. We knew they were not good, but in case we are unable to sell this house in the next year, I was hoping they would be tolerable at least for him to attend Kindergarten. I thought I was going to hyperventilate or throw up upon reviewing the local elementary school’s stats. I believe the phrase “over my dead body” came to mind. No no no no no!

Then the great private school hunt started, which was almost just as bad. First off, who the heck has an extra $18,000 a year?! Holey moley. And most of the “affordable ones” were very much too much religious for my tastes. I chatted with a friend who used to teach at one of the most prestigious private schools in the city, and her perspective really helped a lot. She pretty much confirmed all of my worst fears about those upper-crust schools and made me feel much better (and less guilty) about deciding against them. One of the biggest stand-outs was the knowledge that Luke would have been one of the poorest children at that school. Excuse me? We are NOT poor. We’re not rich, IMO, and I’m not even sure I would classify us as well-off (depends on your perspective, I suppose), but not poor by any stretch of the imagination, and the last thing I want for my son is the warped perception that we are. (Well, I don’t know, after taking another $18K out of our pockets every year for private school, we might be poor!) The more I read, the more uncomfortable I got, plus the insane amounts of money, and I just couldn’t bring myself around to the idea that private school was a good choice for him.

I was freaking out pretty seriously by this point. Public schools rotten plus can’t afford private school; combined with the stress of L’s first day of school and taking Tigger to the vet to see if she could have her tube removed, and it was pretty ugly for a few hours. But, my wonderful and amazing friends all managed to talk me down from the ledge and give me some good tips, and several put me in touch with some of their friends who might be able to answer some of my questions about the local public schools.

So now we’re back to the great public school hunt. There really are some good ones once I started looking, and some of the better ones are even in our county! We do have school choice, but there is no guarantee that you will get in to the school of your choice (since everyone else likely wants into those same schools, too). The simplest solution is to move into the district we want. It is something we have been meaning to do for over a year anyway. We were just getting ready to start preparing when I had the whole mishap with changing contracts at work and lost 3 months of pay. Trying to get everything reset and resettled with that took up most of the time we had, plus in all honesty, it fell down on the priority list a bit. We got caught up in our daily routine lives and forgot to look ahead, so now we’re playing catch-up a bit. Naturally, there aren’t a whole lot of houses for sale in the good school districts. I’m sure part of that is our timing. School just started, so anyone hoping to move over the summer may well have taken their house back off the market, plus anyone wanting to move into the district did so over the summer and likely picked up most of the then-available houses. Result: slim pickings in August. We might do better towards the spring, but that is going to seriously stress me out if we have to wait that long to start looking at houses. So we’ll look now, see what we find, and hope we find something good before the spring madness starts. I’d really like to be moved in the next 6 months, if possible.

Then there is the whole nightmare process of trying to get this house ready to sell. Ha! It really is a mess, with stuff everywhere and flooring/carpet that needs replacing and new paint needed nearly everywhere and a practically dead yard in front and back. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but the sooner we start, the better off we’ll be. We now have a storage room that is well on its way to being full. We hope to have things better enough, inside at least, to have a realtor come take a look after Labor Day to see what our next steps should be. We also need to start getting our financials together to pre-qualify for a new mortgage to see if we can even afford to live in those districts. The house prices that we are starting to consider “reasonable” are quite scary, and running the preliminary numbers, I’m pretty sure we’ll qualify for that amount (likely more, but we don’t want to be mortgaged up to our eyeballs!). I know people do this everyday, and if they can do it, then surely we can do it. I’m still marveling at *how* they all do it and stay sane, though. Are we having fun yet?

Currently feeling: tired of house stuff already

2 Comments

  • Jill in CA

    Honest opinion here? Those of us who move and go through home purchases and home sales simultaneously definitely don't stay sane through the process. 🙂 Yes, you can certainly do it! But, it's hard, and I've definitely lost my sanity at multiple times through the process. 🙂 Best of luck to you! It will be worth it in the end…just repeat that over and over to yourself like I did!

  • Jenny

    Yeah, what Jill said. 😉

    The bright spot is that you might be able to pounce on an "off-season" sale over the winter. The market is always more of a buyers market in the winter because there are fewer buyers to go around. Good luck to you! 🙂