Expat: moving house in the US


I’m sitting in my new kitchen (on the only chair we currently have here). I’ve just connected the iPad to the wireless for the first time!

The kids are exploring their new surroundings. Hubby set up a TV last night. They’re happy… I have five minutes to cool down a bit!

So far this morning I’ve brought two car loads of stuff over. It’s hot and humid and I’m a sweaty mess. By tomorrow night we will be living here. Well, camping anyway!

Our old house is the tidiest it’s ever been and I’m trying to keep the children (a.k.a the destructors) out of it to limit the amount of re-tidying I need to do.

Our Realtor will be starting viewings on Thursday… It’s rather nice knowing that I don’t have to be in the house for the viewings, something I hated doing when we last sold a property in the UK (that we were actually in the country to sell!).

That’s the biggest difference between buying/selling here in the US and in the UK; your Realtor. A good one will earn their money; finding you the right property, advising you on your offer, helping you through the process, putting together your schedule and then actively advertising your property, taking on the job of coordinating viewings and covering Open Houses. There is also a lot more paperwork that you need to deal with, in the UK your solicitor does more of it for you, on your behalf. Here, you have to sign and initial several hundred pieces of paper before you get the keys to your new house!

The market here at the moment is moving very quickly and we will have viewings from Thursday and over the weekend, with an Open House on Sunday. With any luck, we will have an offer by Monday evening. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

It’s been chaotic, and that will continue for awhile, so the blog is taking a back seat! If only there were several more hours in the day :)

I can’t wait to give you a proper tour of the new house and garden (and all the projects we have to do). But, here is a little taster of both…





[House and garage from front garden; living room looking towards the dining room; looking out of master bedroom into the hall; the very blue hall and stairs; looking towards to the back of the house; some of our rocks…]

As is sit here in the kitchen, I am very aware of how much work we need to do. From dealing with the attractive flowery wallpaper to replacing the roof; everything needs done. But, we are in no rush. We will do a room at a time, and make sure we do the roof before winter!

But first, I’m going to have a little rest before the next car load of boxes :)

[Update 9 July 2015: I’m linking this post up with the lovely Chantelle from Seychelles Mama, for her Expat Family linky. I wrote this post almost exactly a year ago and I would love to say that we’ve done all the work I mentioned… Of course, that hasn’t happened, but we are getting there. From the full house rewire to the huge landscaping project to sort out the drainage at the back of the house, lots of (invisible!) progress has been made. And, the pink flowers in the living room you can see in the photo above, gone! Replaced with a lovely calming grey. The roof however, well, as I sit here typing I can see roof tiles flying past the window… It’s taken a year, but the roof is now being replaced! Next come the external walls/sidings and windows… Yes, really, the walls; wooden houses, still can’t get my head around that! I had hoped to write a new post for this month, but summer vacation and dealing with contractors have resulted in very little time available. But, this post seemed appropriate :)]

Seychelles Mama


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37 thoughts on “Expat: moving house in the US”

  1. Sara, that first photo of your home looks like it is straight out of a ‘dream house’ board on Pinterest. There might be a lot of work to do, but it doesn’t look like it from where I’m sitting :) Good luck unpacking. Mel

    1. I have to keep pinching myself Mel! It is a big project, that no one else seemed to want to take on, hence how we could afford it! I can’t wait to get stuck in :)

  2. Jennifer Rozens

    Ah you’re an old house lover like us! That staircase is fantastic and no one can duplicate that! I love the outsude look too – that garden will be too much fun. Good going – you bought a house I would have!

    1. Yes! It’s beautiful, so many original features, built sometime around 1820/1830 from what we can gather. Needs a bit (a lot!) of TLC and some upgrading, but we love it :)

  3. Wow, Sara! The house is just stunning. That’s a dream house in my books. I quite like the flowery wallpaper :) But just think if it looks this nice now, how amazing it’s going to be when you’re done decorating and refurbishment!

    1. It really is, I still can’t quite believe it! Some of the wallpaper is quite pretty, but the blue in the hall has to go! I’m a bit of a calm greys kind of girl :)

  4. Love it! It’s picturesque and so awesome! We’re traveling to the Boston area in a couple weeks and I can’t wait to lay eyes on sights like this again. We have a lot of brick homes here and your house is like candy for my eyes! Thanks for sharing pictures :)

    1. The houses are beautiful aren’t they, just how imagined New England would be before we moved. I still can’t quite believe we’ve been able to buy this amazing house!

  5. Oh it looks gorgeous, you’ll have so much fun making this in to your home. I love the character, what we can see of it, hope you get settled in soon x

  6. Wow Sara it looks amazing! I’ve been wondering how you were getting on! Tour new house looks gorgeous, I look forward to reading more of your plans! Fingers crossed for viewings and an offer and hope the move goes well! Xx

    1. Thank you Caroline, I have been a bit quiet, but it’s been quite a busy month! I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to the projects :)

  7. What a beautiful house and your garden is awesome. One of the biggest things I miss about living in the States is a house and yard. An apartment is not the same. Thank you for sharing.

    1. It is an awesome house, and not something we could ever have afforded in the UK, so we’re making the most of it :)

    1. The posts I linked to above show some updates, although mainly big holes on the way to being updates… I’m going to be writing about our new roof soon, that will show some of the changes, and there will be plenty more over the summer :)

  8. I always enjoy that we do a little trip back down memory lane and visit some old posts, I bet that it’s nice for you too! I’ve seen some of your updates that you’ve done to the house and it looks fab. We have never owned our own house but I know we certainly wouldn’t be done with everything within a year either!!
    Thanks Sara for joining in for #myexpatfamily xx

  9. Lovely house and lovely update! I can completely imagine that the changes and updates are taking longer than planned, but the important thing is you feel happy living in the house anyway. You’ll get there in the end!

    1. We love the house, and we are definitely at home here. Would just love to get a bit more decorating done :)

  10. Hi Sara!
    The house looks amazing! The photos are so gorgeous ..the surroundings are so green! Congratulations! I am looking for a house in Bristol with my family and it is pretty hard to find something good for a cheaper price. I hope we will be moving to our dream house soon, too! Thanks for sharing! All the best!

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