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Selling Our Home in Bonsall, California: A Comedy of Errors and an Open House

Hey there, lovely readers! It's me, your self-deprecating, busy mom extraordinaire, here to regale you with the latest escapades from my chaotic life. Today, I want to share the hilarious (albeit frustrating) saga of trying to sell our house. Brace yourselves for a rollercoaster ride filled with tours, inspections, peanut butter fingerprints on freshly painted walls, and the never-ending struggle to keep my home clean while juggling a late summer visit from our oldest in Korea, our summer-long visit from our college gymnast going to school in Iowa, a week-long visit from Mema and Papa in Idaho, two school-age kids who live to argue with one another, and Evan, who is taking flying lessons an hour away...

Now, picture this: Birds chirping, a completely renovated English Tudor cottage nestled amidst the serene backdrop of the Moody Creek area of Bonsall. It looks like a page from a storybook. I thought selling this gem would be a breeze. Boy, was I wrong!

an english tudor house lawn roses
English Cottage Charm

Buyer No. 1: Contingent Buyers from Carlsbad

We listed our beloved abode, and the buyers started pouring in like maple syrup on pancakes. Life was sweet. I had scrubbed, tidied, and hidden all evidence of our little tornadoes for this very moment. We had a contingent offer within three days. That's a feat in the current market, with interest rates what they are, and at our price point - which isn't what I'll call, First Time Buyer.

We think they got cold feet... after working with their lender, "arranging things," for three days before submitting an offer, they made up some weird story about our roof, but we had just spent tens of thousands having the roof paper replaced and repairs made by a highly reputable contractor. After all of that, we went through one of the rainiest winters in California history without a single issue... so we are certain that wasn't the real story. I was LIVID. I wasn't angry at the buyers, but at the fact that this took almost THREE WEEKS. The first THREE WEEKS of any listing are the most important. We would have had dozens of showings had we not been contingent.

Black and white kitchen with stunning view
Black and White Kitchen with Stunning View

Buyer No. 2: The Showing BEFORE the Open House Signs Went Up

Undeterred by our initial setback, we picked ourselves up and put our sparkly clean house back on the market. Optimism coursing through our veins, we awaited the buyer who would fall in love with our little slice of Bonsall heaven.

outdoor living room
Outdoor Kitchen, Swimming Pool, and Fireplace

Our realtor called and said that there was a couple who wanted to see the house but couldn't make it to the open house. They wanted to come see it BEFORE the open house - at 9:30 a.m. We were hosting an open house anyway, so we busied ourselves in preparation and would make it happen. Our house isn't tiny, but it's not huge. Regardless, my 17-year-old handles the barn chores and I handle the house. My littles were in school on Friday, so I did most of the cleaning on Friday afternoon, threatening everyone within an inch of their lives if they made a mess.

Lady Luck seemed to have taken an extended vacation. Just as we thought we'd sealed the deal securing buyer number two, they backed out quicker than a toddler's ice cream cone hits the pavement. Why, you ask? Because the PRIMARY BEDROOM IS ON THE SECOND FLOOR. I kid you not. It's like they hadn't noticed that when they toured the house at 9:30 a.m. BEFORE the open house. The sweat from cleaning for their showing hadn't even dried before they backed out. I think we were in contract for less than 24 hours! The disappointment was palpable, but I never lose my sense of humor. Face-palm moments like these are practically my native language!

Life Among the Chaos

Meanwhile, let's not forget the three minions who call me mom. Between school projects and friend visits (it's still swimming weather in SoCal, and that may or may not be the primary way I bathe my kids!), maintaining a spotless home worthy of an HGTV photoshoot has become an Olympic sport.

Just when you think you've tidied up every nook and cranny, one of the kids discovers a hidden stash of glitter, and just like that, all of the hard work gets undone faster than a DIY block tower gone wrong.

Second floor master bedroom with view
Second floor master bedroom with view

Newly Remodeled Master Bath
Newly Remodeled Master Bath

The Saga Continues...

So, here I am, Dear Readers, doubly failed yet unshaken. Our house still stands as tall as possible, despite its eight-foot ceiling height, (in its defense, the house WAS built in the 1980's), waiting patiently for its new owners to arrive. And while keeping it in tip-top shape amidst the madness of family life is a daily struggle, I wouldn't trade these moments for anything.

Who knows what the future holds? Maybe the third time's the charm, or maybe we'll just live off of adrenaline and wipe away pep talk tears, all in the name of selling this house. Either way, I'm determined to find the humor in every twist and turn on this unpredictable journey.

Cheers to the house two glorious years we have spent back home in California, the kids, and the never-ending quest for a clean home. May your days (and mine) be filled with laughter, resilience, and just the right amount of chaos! And if you're in the market, look up my house in Bonsall!

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Once you commit to a contract on a home in NC, you pay a hefty fine for backing out! Wish California was like that.

Jennifer Bell
Jennifer Bell

Really? That's awesome! In CA, buyers can back out for a few reasons until their contingencies are released, (inspections, appraisal, financing). After the contingency period, they can only back out for failing to secure financing. One of our buyers submitted a contract one day, and backed out the very next day. We think it's because they got the quote from their lender, and the payments were going to be higher than they expected due to rising interest rates. Either way, buying and selling is sooooo stressful, so having someone waste our time like that was infuriating! California fines $1k for not signing a release of escrow funds. I would rather do that than, as the seller of our Kans…

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