House For Sale, Stray Legos Not Included
Under Contract

The 10 Plagues of Amalah

On Sunday morning, the day of our Open House, we woke up to a bedroom full of wasps.

Wasps. Not hornets. We'd already dealt with the hornets.

And now there were dozens of freshly hatched little wasps all over the (Schüco brand, professionally installed in 2007, 10-year warranty transfers to new owner) windows. 

This shit is getting BIBLICAL. 

We spent the entire morning smashing wasps with rolled-up magazines and vacuuming up their corpses, then went on a fruitless search for the source of this latest plague. We searched the attic, closets, vents, window frames, roof, gutters, trees, you name it. No nest or hive in sight. The wasps simply appeared out of nowhere, were promptly and violently dealt with, and we haven't seen another one anywhere since. 


I'm sorry we hurt your feelings, Townhouse. It's not you! You're lovely. Everyone who has come to see you thinks you're lovely! It's just us. Please. Stop. You've punished us enough. Please don't fall apart or catch on fire or have a million rats fall out of the ceiling like in Ratatouille

After killing the last wasp, Jason and I just stared at each other like, we give up. Then we loaded the kids in the car and drove off to look at houses. 

We toured...let me see...about 15 different places this weekend. Most of them were a quick step into the foyer, a big ol' NOPE, and a circle back out to the car. Others were bizarre enough to hold our attention as we tried to figure out what the HELL was going on with the whacked-out floor plans and questionable renovation decisions, and whether the house was weird in a funky, full-of-potential kind of way or weird in a run-for-your-life-from-this-money-pit kind of way. 

Others were just boring. Or too expensive. Or just alllllmost right but not quite, okay let's call this one a maybe and move on. Only to have the cons grow more glaring in retrospect. (Amazing how an oversized jacuzzi tub in the master bath can distract you from the fact that there's not enough bedrooms.)

Point is, we didn't find a new house yet. 

Meanwhile, the very first person who toured our house (literally an hour after the listing went live) immediately asked to put an offer on it. We decided to stick with the Open House plan and said we'd review offers today, later in the afternoon.

So far we have four. Sounds like we might get even more, and agents are still calling me asking to get clients in this morning. We've requested a 30-day close so the kids at least have a shot at starting the year at their new schools, which hahaha, we don't even know what schools those are because WE HAVEN'T FOUND A FUCKING HOUSE YET. 

On the one hand, all my cleaning and obsessing and decluttering and general crazy-making over the past month clearly paid off. The house looks gorgeous and shows well and sparked a nice little bidding war and YAY. I think this afternoon is going to bring us some very good news, fingers crossed.

On the other hand, I'm totally going to end up in a crazy fixer-upper in the country with magenta shag carpet and not enough bathrooms and a terrible kitchen and like, a barn in the backyard because why not. We container garden so let's just go from that to straight-up farming. Who cares about squirrels and mice and wasps when you have deer and and foxes and ticks!  

And hell, given our recent luck, we'll probably end up dealing with bears, or killer bees. And inexplicable sharks. 

But at least this morning I did not have to deal with any frogs, locusts, or tap water turning into blood. So maybe things will work out, after all. 



Emilia Hald

I'm really enjoying your moving posts. We're hoping to move in the next year, I'm dreading the decluttering that will have to be done before we sell our current house. With a toddler and a baby, I don't know what we're thinking. We already looked at some houses in the area we want to move and I really had to wonder at some of them.

(Oh, and guinea fowl will take care of any ticks. Though the foxes might take care of the guinea fowl. Just to add to the crazy.) :)


I know it makes me a jerk for thinking it, but I immediately thought to myself "I hope they get a real fixer upper in the country cause it will make for some awesomely funny blog posts!" But really I hope you find a house you love quickly.


My heart goes out to you! Because of my husband's job, we've had to move multiple times on VERY short notice. Our record thus far is touring 36 houses in 2 days. I've learned to keep copious notes and take pictures because they all start to blend together after the tenth. Good luck to you and glad to hear you at least aren't having a problem selling the house!!!

Liz Tea Bee

Now that you have a feel for what's out there, I seriously recommend doing most of your looking online. We were able to eliminate a huge percentage of properties based on the Zillow or Zip Realty listings.
I'm super curious where you guys are looking. Mostly because I am super nosey.


Oh my, we are looking "forward" to this process next summer. I hope for no wasps.

You may be able to enroll kids in school as soon as you have a signed contract. That is, as soon as you find a house.


It will make your life hell (even more hellish while moving)....but when we last moved, I went to our new school's office with a letter from our realtor (saying our sale was legit) and contract, and they let me start the kids a few weeks early.

Bonus pro tip: if you're new school has a weekly early release day, alarm the shit out of that thing on your phone.


So I checked it out on Zillow. clutter free. I think my anxiety would be way less if my home were that clutter free. But it just isn't feasible in real life, is it? Tell me it isn't actually feasible.


Soooo, for what it's worth, I have friends who are selling in Hagerstown. I suspect this is WAYYYY farther out than you want, but what the hell, I thought I'd post it. :) I have ZERO financial interest in this house.


We bought our home a year and a half ago, but I distinctly remember nearly having a meltdown after we toured a handful of houses one Saturday morning, each progressively worse (and more expensive) than the last. The crowning moment was a house, with an asking price about $20k higher than our "budget," whose owners decided to add on a second level THEMSELVES. Yes, themselves. And no, they had no experience. I nearly died right there, in the house with crooked staircases and carpeting up the walls, when I realized that we couldn't even afford this POS.


Wow - four offers already and possibly more to come! That's wonderful! I'll keep my fingers crossed that you find something soon that you love, but in the meantime, congratulations!


Oh no, do not dispair small boy! All shall be well.....


I'm totally voting for fixer-upper AND a farm because, FUNNY.

Wait. You didn't ask for my opinion. But it's the Internet! You get it anyway!

I really do wish you all the best in the hunt - just remember we all benefit enormously from your annoyances. xoxox.

Mary Kate

Good luck girl! You would fall over and die if you saw what that amount of $ would buy in the midwest!! Of course than you would have to live here- ha!


Ooh, congrats! Isn't it exciting when it works out in your favor? We had 8 offers in 4 days on our house in Rockville. What I did learn is that even when every step goes as smoothly as possible, it's still a gigantic pain in the butt. Check out Clarksburg. There's lots of new construction out here - it'll only cost what you're selling your place for and there is rarely any craziness in new houses!


Congrats on the multiple offers. Where I live, condos and townhouses sit on the market. A builder dumped over 100 properties on the market when RE went south. We haven't recovered yet.

ps You will find the right house especially if you have good realtor. My aunt and cousin are realtors and they 1) never hold open houses as they are a waste of time 2) say if they can't find your house for you in 15 showings, you don't know what you want. That I know isn't true in your case.

Sassy Apple

Hmmmmm...I suppose the other side of this hell would be finding the PERFECT, OMG, move into tomorrow house with no nibbles on yours?

Does that make you feel better or worse?

During our epic house hunt with a FIRM top dollar limit (frugal husband), we saw the most grotesque homes I've ever seen. One had a dining room IN THE BASEMENT.

Eventually we found a limestone bungalow with arched entryways, exposed brick in 2 rooms and main floor laundry.

We had looked at 32 homes and put in offers on 2 (and been rejected) before I found our dream house as I was driving by the same day the sign went in the yard.

I'm sure you don't have time to read all these comments, but it's been cathartic for the rest of us.

Best of luck!!

Apparently your comments section is where people come to live out their own blogging dreams.


OMG. The wasps!!! This is getting out of control. Tell Townhouse she is being a little bitch ;-)

Just chiming in to say that I feel your pain when it comes to buying in the DC Metro area. We bought at this same time three years ago (started looking right after July 4th holiday) and inventory was SO LOW that we just saw pieces of crap that were at the top of our price range and still needed $100K in renovations. We were originally looking in the Potomac/North Bethesda/South Rockville area and ended up buying a fixer upper a little further north in Rockville. It was at the lower end of our price range so in theory we would have the money to actually do the renovations needed. But here we are, almost three years later and are just getting started on some of our bigger projects (new kitchen - hooray!). But UGHHHHH! Real Estate in this area just kills me.

I know you will find the right house and everything will work out, but you have my sympathies in the meantime when it is SO STRESSFUL!!


Seriously? One day you look back and day. :)


You need to come to Loudoun County in Virginia. Purcellville, lovettsville, etc. Wineries everywhere and views that will make you tear up they are so beautiful,

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