I know that if I had asked people what they thought about me selling our house I would've gotten lots of different opinions. I didn't need lots of different opinions to confuse me. I just needed to think as clearly as possible about what to do, and decide for myself and for my boys.
I had so many thoughts running around in my head for months:
Would I regret it?
Was I just trying to run away from the grief?
Would moving actually make things easier to cope with?
What about my beautiful garden that the lovely landscapers just did for us? How could I leave it? The garden was actually the one thing that almost made me stay, because I loved it so much and was so grateful for what they did for us.
What about the cubby house that the kids from Aaron's school built? I knew that if we left I would want to take it with us.
Could I afford to buy something I would be happy in? I was so blessed to be able to pay off our mortgage because of Aaron's insurance money and the fundraising money. It was such a blessing to have no mortgage for a year. I knew I would probably have to have a mortgage again if I bought a new house, and was so worried about how I could cope with that financially.
How could I leave our beautiful new house which we built to suit Noah? We loved our new home and we chose everything for it. It would break my heart to have to walk away from it.
How would the boys cope? I knew they would be upset about it and didn't want to put them through more stress after what they had already been through.
Could I handle selling and buying a house on my own? How could I cope with the stress of that, and would it be worth all the stress?
Should I just rent out my house and rent somewhere else, until I really knew what I wanted to do?
I had these thoughts running around in my head for about three months. At first I just thought it was a silly idea and thought the idea of selling would pass, but the more and more I thought about moving, the better I felt about it. I finally made the very hard decision that I really had to sell our house and it broke my heart, but at the same time I was looking forward to having a change and hoped that it would help all of us. It's an awful thing to dread going home and to hate being there. I used to love being home, but home was just a sad place to be.
The nights and weekends were the worst because they were so long. I would usually only sleep for a few hours, and would then wake up and lie in the dark just thinking about how different things were, and wishing the sun would just come up.
I knew that I just had to have a clean break from it and knew that it wouldn't be a place I wanted to go back to, so selling was my only option as it would be cheaper to pay a small mortgage than to rent. When I finally decided to sell I told my boys, family and a few close friends. I was so worried about how the boys would take it and just casually mentioned it in the car one day that I was thinking that it would be a good idea to move. As soon as I said it they all burst into tears and said they didn't want to move. I knew that is how they would take it and we talked about all the good things and the bad things about moving. They then started to see that although it would be sad, that it may be a good thing to move.
I was so worried about starting the process, because it would mean that it was really happening, but I had been looking at houses on the Internet for a few months, just to see what prices houses were. I knew which areas I would like to live in, and one house kept standing out to me. I told my friend Lisa that I had my eye on a house on the net,but didn't seriously think it would be one that I would be able to buy, but she said there was no harm in just having a look and rang the real estate agent.
The next day Lisa and I went through the house and I liked it even more in real life. Lisa had told the real estate agent why I was wanting to sell my house, and had arranged for him to come and have a look at my house. I was planning on meeting a few different agents, but when I met Dave (Hernyk) he seemed lovely and expained things really well, so I thought straight away that I would probably just choose him to sell my house.
Two days later he came back to my house and told me how much he thought it was worth and explained the process of selling a home including all the costs involved. He told me that Harcourts recommend that you get professional photos and even a video made as it looks a lot better on the internet. As he was telling me that and the costs involved for getting them done, I was thinking that I could just take the photos myself and was about to tell him, when he said that he realised I was into photography.
I was surprised but he explained that he was actually at the landscaping awards dinner and saw me there, and hoped that I didn't mind, but he had read my blog before. He then told me that he had spoken to the company that did their professional photos and video and explained my situation to them and said that they agreed to do the photos and video for free for me! I couldn't believe it and was blown away that strangers would do something so nice for me again. I feel like so many people have done so much for us, and couldn't believe that almost a year after Aaron passed away, that people were still helping us so much.
Dave then said that he felt so much for us because of what had happened, and said that if I chose him to sell my house, that he would like to offer his time to sell it. I had no idea what that even meant, but he then continued to say that he had gone to the director of Harcourts and told him of my situation and said that Harcourts wanted to sell my house for me for free - charging NO commission! I felt like crying and could've hugged him, but didn't want to scare him! I could not believe what I was hearing and was so, so grateful that such a big company and that Dave would do something so amazing to help me.
I knew straight away that things were really meant to be and was so grateful for the blessings that were starting to come my way. Things started happening within days and photos and video were taken and my house was listed on the internet and in the newspaper.
I had looked at a couple more houses to compare them to the one I really liked, but I didn't like any as much as the first one I looked at. I made an offer on the house and a couple of days later I was signing a contract to buy the house I liked, but it was subject to sale of my house. Dave told me to be prepared to wait around four months for my house to sell, as that's how long on average that houses were taking to sell right now. Two weeks later Dave rang me to tell me that he had two offers on my house!
At the end of December our house sold. I was so grateful to know that I could relax during the summer holidays and not have to stress about whether or not our house had sold, and didn't have to worry about keeping it clean all the time.
I was so happy that it had sold, but so sad at the same time. It's such an awful situation to be in, to have to sell a home that you love, because you now hate being there. The boys were excited when I told them that our house had sold, because they knew that the house we were moving to was going to be nice and it was also close to their schools which meant they could all walk to school. It was nice that they could see that it was going to be a good thing to move.
The last few weeks I have been coming home from work and packing boxes all night and doing the bigger cleaning jobs.
It was a good chance to do lots of sorting and tossing out things we didn't need anymore, and it was easy to get rid of a lot of the boys and my stuff, but I couldn't get rid of any of Aaron's things. I told him I was sorry as I threw away a lot of his old sports magazines, but I kept a few for the boys that had a label on them with his name and address on them. I just didn't think I needed to take hundreds of magazines with us. I had moved his clothes to the top of our wardrobe, and couldn't bear to part with any of them, so I just packed them into boxes to move to the new house.
I left the pictures and wall stickers up as long as possible and hated having to take them down.
The week before we moved was really hard. Jay was so sad to know that we would be leaving soon and was so upset. Kobe also started crying a lot more than usual and kept saying that he didn't want to go to 'the new house'. Although I knew that moving was the right thing, I was also feeling really sad about leaving and started wondering whether I was doing the right thing. I knew deep down that I was, and that things wouldn't have worked out how they did, if it wasn't right, but it was still so hard.
As soon as I decided to sell, I wrote to the lovely landscapers who did our garden for us, and told them what I was planning. I told them what a hard decision it was, and how I had planned on staying at the house and enjoying the garden for many, many years but how it just became too hard to stay there. I was so glad to get a letter back from them, letting me know how glad they were that they could do our garden for us and to know that we loved it so much, and wished us well as we moved and said they hoped that it helped us. I know that without having the garden done it would've been so much harder to sell the house, as it wasn't finished off. I felt so sad having to leave our beautiful garden that meant so much to us.
The buyer of our house was happy for us to take a couple of special things from our garden which Aaron had planted, which I was so grateful for. Our lovely friends Nettie and Kelvin are awesome gardeners so when they offered to help, I put them on transplanting duty. It's not a great time to be moving trees but hopefully they will survive in my new garden.
My brother Jared pulled the cubby house apart (as there was no way we could get it to the new house whole) and put it back together at our new house. I was so glad that I could bring it with us.
Once everything was in our new house, Jay, Kobe and I went back to our old house to have a look and to meet the carpet cleaner. Harri didn't want to come and see it empty as he said it would make him too sad. As we drove there Jay had tears streaming down his face and he told me he didn't want to leave because he felt Dad and Noah there. I told him that I don't think that they were there because of the house - they were there because of us, and I said that I really thought that they would be with us wherever we go.
When we got to the house Kobe and Jay went straight to their empty rooms and just sat in them. It was so sad and made me cry.
It was really sad to see the house empty. Jay and I sat outside and had a good cry together and talked about how hard it was to leave, but how our new house would hopefully be a happier place to be.
We were both so sad when we shut the door for the last time and had a good cry out the front, and laughed as we took a photo together because we were a wreck. We knew it would be a time that we would want to look back at, later on.
As I drove away I felt at peace about the decision and knew that the move would be a good thing for us. I stopped at the supermarket and left Jay and Kobe in the car, and when I came back Jay said 'I've just been thinking that I am silly to be upset. It's just a house and Dad and Noah will always be with us'. I told him it's not silly to be upset and it's okay to be sad about it, but that he was right. We were only there for a couple of years together as a family and it was a lovely house, but it wasn't lovely to be there anymore and hopefully our new house will be a happier place to be.
The morning after our first night in our new house, I opened up my bedroom curtains and saw this....two rainbows! It would've been amazing to wake up to one rainbow, but two!? Surely it is more than a coincidence!? I really believe that Aaron and Noah were letting me know that they were happy with my decision and were letting me know they were still watching over us.
Thank you so much Harcourts, Dave Hernyk and S Group for being so kind and generous, and helping the boys and I to have such a positive experience with selling our home and buying our new house. If anyone is looking for an awesome agent then I know who you should call :)
Thank you also to everyone who helped me move and clean on Saturday. I am so grateful to have such amazing family and friends.
Thank you also to everyone who helped me move and clean on Saturday. I am so grateful to have such amazing family and friends.
We are already feeling at home and happy in our new house. Jay said yesterday 'it's official! I love this house!' which is a huge change to how he was feeling on Saturday. Photos of the new house will come once everything is unpacked and it doesn't look like a bomb has gone off :)