I'll try to get this thing caught up to March 2012 soon.
Now that we had our land, the next step was selling the house. We tried to focus our efforts on decluttering and making some minor repairs in order to get it market-ready. However, we kept daydreaming of the new house in the meantime. We visited Wayne Home models in Ashland and Sandusky and spoke with their consultants about our plan, home options, and finishes. Everyone we spoke to was very helpful and friendly, full of good ideas. That's one thing we have loved about WH since day one. There has never been a bad experience with any of their employees or contractors to date. They have all been very responsive to questions and very patient with our (hundreds of ) questions.
Also during this time, we went back and forth with floor plans...Montgomery, Stafford, McAllister, back to Montgomery. Jenn was extremely patient and calm with us during this time. Then I was bored one day and decided to look at the Signature Series plans, which we had been avoiding due to cost. The Litchfield Tradition Elevation was perfect! When looking at the other floor plans, we were bumping out walls, adding square footage, moving basement stairs, etc. These were all very pricey changes. With the Litchfield, however, the only main change to the footprint we needed was to remove 1' to make it 65' wide due to lot restrictions. This might just be the one.
To prepare our current home for the market in January 2012, we attacked it HGTV style. We did major decluttering of closets and cabinets. We filled a 10x9 storage unit with stuff and made about a dozen trips to Goodwill. Per our realtor's research, we would be in for a long ride. The average days on the market in this area is high. Add to that the fact that our house has no basement or central air (all normal features here), and we geared up for a torturous 9-12 months. One good thing is that this would allow us to pay off the land and we could use the equity as our 20% down payment. Or so we thought. Three weeks later, we had an offer for 95% of asking price. Done! Well, that was easy peasy.