House Update: Why We’re Selling Our Chicago Condo
As I mentioned last week, we’re selling our Chicago condo. Yep, we officially put it on the market last Friday and had a crazy busy weekend of open houses. If you’ve ever sold a house before, then you know it takes a while for things to be finalized and “official”, so I’ll hold off on sharing any more details than this. Just know that things went really well and we are both incredibly happy. I promise to share alllll the scoop when I can.
I will say that selling our house was not a part of our initial plan. We envisioned finding our dream home FIRST and selling our house SECOND. But last week changed all of that.
We found a beautiful home in the Old Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago a couple of weeks ago. It was built in 1907 and is an American Foursquare (so it has the loveliest porch). It’s an adorable house with so much potential for DIY love! We decided to put an offer in and were not exactly thrilled to hear there were also two other buyers gunning for the same property. We put a fair offer in, but they ended up going with another buyer who didn’t have a sale contingency.
What’s a Sale Contingency?
Essentially, a sale contingency means that we need to sell our condo in order to buy a new home. We can’t afford to own two properties at once and will use the profits from our current home for the next one. Sale contingencies are common because often times people already own one property as they buy another one. However, as a seller, a sale contingency isn’t the ideal offer because the transaction only goes through if the buyer can sell their home in a timely manner. Of course, we were confident in our ability to sell our Chicago condo quickly, but we understood why a seller would go with another buyer without the sale contingency.
Finn and I are new to the buying/selling at the same time process and have relied on our realtor to guide us along the way. We were super bummed about missing out on the home we fell in love with and she said that could potentially happen again because of our sale contingency. Chicago is a tough market and good homes go fast, the last thing we want is to be at a disadvantage when hunting. She told us we would be in a better buying position if we got our house on the market (because sellers would know we’re serious!), and an even better position if we got our house under contract.
After that conversation, we realized that we didn’t want to lose out on our dream home again and we always wanted to be able to present a strong offer. So it was decided…selling our Chicago condo was the next step.
Selling Our Chicago Condo
Luckily, I was already prepared to list our place and have those open houses (more on how I got our house prepped to sell next week!), so we were able to move really quickly. Last Tuesday we decided to sell, Wednesday we had professional photos taken, by Friday we were up on the MLS, and Saturday and Sunday we had open houses. It was a whirlwind, to say the least.
Where Will We Live?
That’s the biggest question we had to ask ourselves…where the hell are we going to go when we sell? Even when we thought we would buy first, sell second, we knew we would be displaced from our home for a little bit while we did a few updates to the new house. I’m lucky that my family all lives in Chicago, and everyone has plenty of extra room for us if we need to crash with them for a couple of weeks. But the thought of inconveniencing everyone for 2-3 months sounds rough, so Finn and I are looking into other options and it’s hard to say right now where we’ll land.
Maybe we’ll rent in a new neighborhood for a few months? Maybe we’ll rent back from the person we sell to? Maybe we’ll move in with my mom for a few weeks? Maybe we’ll find our dream home tomorrow and things will work out? It’s really tough to say.
But I do know we’ll figure it out together. Finn and I are pretty meticulous with our planning and decision making and are always thinking 10 steps ahead. Our lives feel very up in the air right now in terms of the unknowns of finding a house and having a baby. We want those next life steps so badly, and we’re doing everything we can to get there, but life seems to keep taking us in another direction.
I will definitely keep you guys updated as things progress. I feel like everything is happening quickly, so I’m sure I’ll have more updates for you soon. If you need me though, I’ll be scouring Redfin and Zillow like a crazy lady looking for that diamond in the rough.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.