Moving from Los Angeles to Montana. (Part 2 – house hunting)


Things are happening.

A photo posted by Heatherface (@hthrfc) on

It’s early-mid February 2015. A realtor comes to the door and asks my mom if we’re considering selling the house, because he has a buyer interested. She thinks to herself “What the hell, why not” and takes his card. We discuss it as a family and have the same reaction: What the hell, why not. We get the ball rolling, and everything happens so fast we’re lucky we didn’t leave anything important behind. We did, unfortunately, leave a lot behind because we just ran out of time and didn’t think to double-check drawers etc before leaving, but as I said, luckily none of it was important. Mom left her kitchen knives, I left my apron, as an example. Annoying to have lost, but nothing irreplaceable.

I thought we’d have a year or so to settle everything, I started making Pinterest boards to help me plan. I was going to make a binder full of checklists and important information. I never got around to printing even a single checklist, but did still get some great tips. Instead of a year, it was almost immediate. We officially sold our house February 20th, which was the same day I started house hunting.

I’d never moved before, I’d never even house hunted for fun, this was all brand new to me. I had to learn as I went. I do not envy those who had to look for a new home before the internet made it so easy, I almost lost my mind as it was. My parents had enough to deal with, so house hunting was my job. We decided on a general area of the country to move to, not wanting to go too far south (intense heat) or too far east (intense cold) and agreeing we wanted more land but not too much. They told me their price range, and I took care of the rest. Using multiple realty sites, I looked at between 700-800 houses all throughout Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Nebraska, and South Dakota. I favored Zillow.com, it was the easiest site to navigate in my opinion, and I liked all the options it gave me to narrow the search. I could specify my price range, how many bedrooms and bathrooms, and lot size. That’s one reason why I ended up looking at so many, I hadn’t specified lot size at first and found a lot of potentials that ended up being on a small chunk of land barely bigger than our L.A home.

mt

I was hoping to find something in Montana or Wyoming. I’d seen pictures online of the landscapes and just fell in love. My parents didn’t really have a preference for location, but they did tell me what they wanted in a new home. Dad wanted an enclosed garage & maybe a workshed, and no fixer-upper homes. Mom wanted a large-ish kitchen with an island and either a deck or a large porch so we could spend time outside. Both Mom and I each wanted a separate room we could use as a croffice (craft room + office) if possible.

I’d started house hunting on the 20th. On the 25th, I found our dream home. It was hell, but only took five days. In early March, my parents flew to Montana to check out the city and house in person, while I stayed home to watch after the dog. They loved it and made an offer before flying back to L.A, the owner accepted right away. In mid April, Mom and I made a road trip so I could see everything in person (that’s right, I was completely going by pictures until we actually owned the place) and to start setting up necessities like buying beds and getting the electricity turned on. We spent the next month cleaning and decluttering and packing, then next thing we knew, it was over.

I found us a beautiful house with a breathtaking view in a wonderful little city that’s so quaint it feels silly to call it a city. The dream I barely knew I had came true, I live in Montana.

→ For previous entries in this series: [Part 1]

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