Lessons Learned From Selling My Home (and my continued house hunt)

Mortgage and Lending with HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) NMLS 248937


In a previous post I mentioned how much fun I was having shopping for a home.  

Unfortunately that hunt continues since the inventory for my perfect house is pretty much non existent right now and we are officially homeless albeit with a very large bank account.

The purpose of this blog, (other than some free therapy for me to vent), is to provide a few tips, suggestions etc for anyone about to move or sell their home.


A little back ground- I just sold my home of 26+ years.  It was a fairly large home we raised our kids in and it was time to down size.  For my wife and I, that downsizing is not an easy step to take.  Our Master in the old house with closets, sitting area bath etc... was about 700 square feet alone....  While we do want less, neither of us wants to settle for something and we definitely do NOT want to be in an association or a 55+ community. 


What we did right:

  • We prepped the house to sell. De-cluttered, took care of any deferred maintenance items we all live with, New roof, New driveway, new garage doors, fresh paint and all new flooring upstairs and even fresh screens on the windows.  By time we were done we almost wanted to stay.

I think we may have over prepared and the house sold right away, it was a painless process - the buyers were great, the home inspection went well... and we are happy to sell to them..

What I learned:

  • You can sell ANYTHING on FB Market place. If you are thinking of throwing it out.. Take a picture and toss it up  on Market Place.  What a great way to get rid of your "stuff".  It was so effective that we did not have to go to the ATM for cash for months!
  • Hire some Muscle.  We went to local companies for the muscle to move the big stuff into our storage pods.  2 guys came and moved all of our big stuff... Items I was dreading moving and they made it look easy.  I probably should have added an hour to their time so I didn't move as many boxes myself.
  • Don't jinx your self - Twice while loading the pods I made the mistake of saying, its all going to fit easy... My shop alone took up the majority of one.. (did I mention I have too many hobbies?)
  • Don't buy too many Large moving boxes, Small and medium are better, Big=Heavy (QUICKLY) 
    • I never want to lift another box again...
  • Don't just jump to the brand name for that box they put in your driveway to store your Shi.. Ummm I mean Stuff.  We went to a local Company Hecht Trailers that had portable attics, and had 2 delivered to hold our lives, They were less expensive than the others and our movers even commented on how nice they were
  • We have too much wine... (well not really, until you have to move it)  It took us conservatively 4-5 trips to get my wine cellar moved to my son's basement. I know, first world problems!!  But in general, your hobbies take up space and you have more than you think!
  • Be nice to your kids, you may have to move in with them!  

What did we do wrong?

Staring at the screen trying to answer this question... its not an easy one to answer!

  • Probably- moved too many things my self, and that added to the stress, (and a few days of moving like an old man as my back screamed at me)
  • We certainly did not purge soon enough, we should have done that  more over the years. 
  • Time speeds up exponentially as you are working towards a deadline. There are a few important and expensive items I honestly do not know where they are and I am hoping I put them into storage.
  • The number 1 thing I did wrong- Under estimate how hard it was going to be to find a house. 

Still hunting... Wish me luck!



Call me for all your residential lending needs!


Robert Rauf 
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS# 248937
or my blog: http://activerain.com/blogs/rrauf 
Office: (732)908-4868  Cell (732)740-0175 


Since 1987 I have been helping my clients fulfill their dream of home ownership! HomeBridge Financial Services, Formerly REMN, HomeBridge Financial Services is located at 9 Grand Ave, Building 2 Suite A Toms River, NJ 08753. NMLS #6521. New Jersey Licensed Lender and Mortgage Banker #L041053. Visit www.Homebridge.com for more information. NJ Mortgages, New Jersey Mortgages, Mortgages in NJ, mortgage in New Jersey, Mortgages in New Jersey, Toms River NJ 08753, Toms River NJ 08755, Brick NJ 08723, Brick NJ 08724 Mortgage in Ocean County NJ, Mortgage in Monmouth County NJ, Jackson NJ 08527, Howell NJ 07731, Lacey 08731 08734, Beachwood 08722 Bayville 08721, 

Call me for all your residential lending needs!

Comments (9)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Robert - thank you for this update on your move.  It's definitely not easy but you approached it with some good planning while keeping your sense of humor and documenting the good along with the not-so-good things you learned.  

Good luck as your search continues.  Forget about finding "perfect" and search for that  ideal match.  

Nov 04, 2020 12:29 PM
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Michael Jacobs I have a great deal of empathy for my clients right now.  it is a bit of a crazy market - with entirely too much competition and not enough inventory.

Nov 06, 2020 11:57 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

we certainly have people in our market NOT selling because they can't find anywhere they want to move right now.

Dec 01, 2020 01:07 PM
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Tammy Lankford, I am beginning to second guess myself for selling... I never thought buying (for cash) would be so damn hard.  Into my second month of being Homeless.

Dec 01, 2020 01:10 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

One of these days I want to get up your way for a visit and find the house (if it's even still there) in Lakehurst.  It's where my parents lived when I was a baby and my daddy was in the Navy.

Dec 01, 2020 01:28 PM
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Tammy Lankford, That is just a few minutes from me.  

Dec 01, 2020 01:39 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Yes I knew that my mom shopped in Tom's River.  In fact, I have a toddler photo with a big giant goose egg on my noggin that was taken at some department store there and I fell off the seat on the way to have my photo taken.  I'll have to see if I can find a copy of that photo.

Dec 01, 2020 01:51 PM
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Tammy Lankford, Lakehurst is pretty small, and even today there is very limited shopping there, I think the Burger King even closed there - it is still very pretty around the lake though.

Dec 01, 2020 01:53 PM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

This is a great post and thanks for sharing with us!

Feb 10, 2021 08:04 AM