The Condo Is GONE! HVAC Is Coming!

Y’all, this is such a great day for us!  We literally just finished signing the papers on the condo.   The condo is GONE!  😀

condo collage

So here are the details:

We put the condo on the market at $79,500.  We thought that was a totally unrealistic asking price, but we decided to do it anyway.  We got a full-price offer fairly quickly, but after a couple of weeks, that deal fell through.  When that happened, Matt decided immediately that we should drop the price to $74,900.  He just wanted the condo gone at that point, and wasn’t really concerned about making as much as possible on it.  So we dropped the price.

We got another offer a couple of weeks later for the full (lower) asking price.  We were thrilled, but we were also concerned about whether or not the appraisal would support that asking price.  After all, we bought the condo for $50,000.  That was before the housing market crash.  Around the time of the crash, the values of the condos the size of ours dropped considerably.  And sadly, according to all of the information online, those values are only just now back up to where they were when we bought our condo in 2006.  In fact, the condo just to the right of ours sold about two years ago for around $49,500.  The condo to the left of ours was on the market for around $51,500 for a long time.  There was no interest in it, so it was finally taken off of the market.

Zillow has all of the 2 bed/2 bath/832-square-feet condos in our building estimated at around $51,000, and Realtor.com has them all estimated at $49,000.  So yeah…all indications were that the $74,900 price was way out of reach, and the appraisal had us worried.

But in the end, we had no problem with the appraisal.  I find that pretty amazing.  Miraculous, even.  I mean, when you’re dealing with houses that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, a difference of $24-26,000 isn’t really a big deal.  But we’re dealing with properties that are valued way under $100K.  Under $80K, even.  And for properties at those values, when all of the comps in the same building are around $49-51,000, a difference of $24-26,000 is a very big deal.

And in only slightly less exciting news…

We’re finally getting an HVAC!!  That was always the plan — sell the condo, and use the profit on an HVAC system for the house.  And it’s finally here.  The guy came out and did all of the measurements and calculations on Tuesday, their electrician came out Wednesday to make sure we had everything we needed to support the system (we don’t…our house only has 100 amp service, which we’ve known about since before we bought the house, so he’ll have to switch us to 200 amp service in addition to the other standard electrical stuff he has to do to get a brand new system up and running), and we got our quote and signed on the dotted line yesterday.  They’ll be here at 7:00am next Tuesday to start, and we’ll have a completely functional HVAC system by the end of next Wednesday.

You can’t even imagine how excited I am!!!!!!!!!!!  (Yes, all of those exclamation points are totally justified.  😀 )

After spending one winter with an ancient furnace that made a big, house-rattling exploding sound about 50% of the time it came on, and then one hot Texas summer cooling our house with with just four windows units, and then another winter with no furnace, and heating our entire house with electric space heaters, and this summer being down to a mere three window units cooling our house…

It’s about time!  This will be the absolute best $18,000 I’ve ever spent in my entire life.

For you locals who are curious, we decided to go with Danco Comfort Systems for our HVAC install, and we’re getting the Trane XV20i system, which was the top-of-the-line of the five options they presented for our house (the options ranged from $12,000 to $18,000).  The reason we decided to go with Danco came down to a matter of customer service and their thoroughness in factoring in everything so that there would be no hidden or surprise costs.  The customer service that we’ve experienced from them is second to none.  And while their top-of-the-line system was about $3500 more than the bids from other companies’ top-of-the-line system, we still went with them because we felt more comfortable with them.

To compare and contrast, one other company that gave us a bid came out and spent about 15 minutes walking around the house and measuring the rooms.  He wasn’t very friendly at all, and didn’t seem very concerned about making any kind of impression.  He didn’t even look at or ask about our electrical situation (which would seem pretty standard for an older house like ours), didn’t ask us any questions about what we wanted or expected out of our heating and cooling system, etc.  Just 15 minutes, and two days later, he emailed an estimate with three options ranging from $12,000 to $14,500. There was absolutely no explanation of the differences in the options, so I guess we were just left to research that information ourselves.

The Danco guy, on his first visit, spent over an hour here.  He measured everything, made notes about the exact number of windows and asked about any upgrades we had planned, asked about the insulation we plan to use in our attic, asked us lots of questions about what we think our heating and cooling needs and wants are, and on, and on.  He walked around outside with us to determine the best place for the outdoor unit.  He went into the attic to check the electrical situation, and to see about placement of the indoor unit and how they would actually get it into the attic.  The next day he sent his electrician to check everything out, who very thoroughly looked over everything to see what needed to be done.  Then the first guy came back yesterday, spent about another hour going through all of the options very thoroughly, let us ask about a thousand questions, and patiently answered all of our questions.

Obviously this local company isn’t paying me, or even giving me a discount, for promoting them (I didn’t even mention my blog to him), but I will happily promote a company that is so customer service oriented.  And I’m also more than happy to pay a bit more for goods and services from companies like that.  (Although I have a feeling that the other company’s final cost would have been closer to the $18,000 mark once they realized that our electrical service would have to be upgraded from 100 amp to 200 amp.)

So anyway, this is an excellent end to a very productive three weeks.  My father-in-law and I got so much done over the last three weeks (he leaves this afternoon), the condo is officially gone, and we bought an HVAC system.  Things are good!  😀

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:05 am

    WooHoo!! Congratulations on the sale of the Condo, I knew all the upgrades would increase the value, but $24,000. is really good! And, to now get your NEW HVAC… with the new warranty! That will be a great value in the next few years, as well as much more comfortable for you and Matt. Plus, I’m sure the monthly savings on your electric bill will offset the cost of the unit and installation.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:06 am

    What exciting news! Great way to start the weekend! So excited for you and Matt!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brad W.
    September 11, 2015 at 10:19 am

    We couldn’t be happier for you guys! Thanks for taking a minute to update us on something good that is happening to someone (well, you guys) in a world where all we hear, day in and day out, are the unhappy things. Time to celebrate…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    [email protected]
    September 11, 2015 at 10:27 am

    WOOT WOOT! Congratulations on your wonderful addition! What a great reward for so much hard work 🙂

    (and congrats to you, Matt and your FIL on all your progress this week as well!!!)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Deep breathe. Sigh of relief. Celebrate!!!!!!!!
    God is good. All the time.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:36 am

    YAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY! HAPPY DANCE! As someone who has also lived in a hot and humid climate (southern Louisiana) in an older home with only window units, and then upgraded to central air conditioning and heating, I am so happy for you! It is so nice to have the full view from your windows, and evenly distributed heating and cooling from central hvac. And the insulation in the outer walls of your dining room is a real plus, not to mention the upgrade of the electrical wiring that will be part of the deal.

    I am not at all surprised at your getting the higher price for your condo. Its sales appeal is what made the difference. All your hard work truly was sweat equity, lol!

    Please give your FIL a rousing “good-bye, well done!” from this reader of your blog. He’s a treasure, and I for one can’t wait to hear when he’ll be coming back.

    Onward and Upward, Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Congratulations, Kristi!!!!! So happy for you and Matt! It must feel so great to have that chapter closed.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Hope Williams
    September 11, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Oh I am over the moon for ya’ll! Congrats on the sale! You have waited patiently and been blessed for your patience. I’m sure You and Matt will enjoy your new blessing and a the comfort it will provide! Happy happy happy for ya’ll!
    Blessings, Hope

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:38 am


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Johnson
    September 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

    It shows that ALL your hard work pays off!! That is fantastic, and must make you feel so good about what you do! You will feel so good about having a new HVAC system. It makes such a difference to have a quiet, and energy efficient HVAC. So happy for you! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Genelle McDaniel
    September 11, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I couldn’t be more excited for you. And you always, always want a Trane. Why? Because the compressor is the best and most efficient there is in the industry. No, I have never been affilated with Trane, and yes, I know there are other heat pumps built in the same building as Trane, with the only difference being that they DO NOT have a Trane compressor. The compressor is the whole life of the unit. You did GRRREAT!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Gilmer Gal
    September 11, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Gosh, I feel like I’M the one getting a new a/c unit! I have to tell you, I’m going to miss that little condo. It was a dollhouse, truly. All the work you did on it paid out big in the end. Sellers sometimes don’t realize what paint and staging and ungrading can do! Your neighbors should be happy that you have helped increase the value on their property! Did you include the furniture?

    Did the a/c guy say anything about upgrading from single pane windows to double pane? Just wondering if he thought new windows might also help.

    Congrats, Kristi! Looking forward to a nice warm winter watching you work on your house. (Oh, putting those a/c units in the garage, I hope!)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Don’t ya just love when the stars align?! I’m happy to read this good news.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I can’t even wait to finish reading before commenting ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? OF COURSE IT’S WORTH IT!!! You took a little dump-y thing (I know that’s not a word, bear with me) and turned it into an elegant little palace of a nest! OF COURSE IT’S WORTH IT!!!

    So relieved you didn’t go with the low prices you were mentioning at your previous post! Congratulations! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Sooooooo excited for you!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Renee Strange
    September 11, 2015 at 10:48 am

    After following your blog for some time and watching your hard work and struggles, I’m a little teary-eyed. Few people have your work ethic. You are an inspiration to us all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos
    September 11, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Awesome. Congratulations on both the sell and the new HVAC!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 10:53 am

    This is great freaking news! Congrats! I agree that customer service is so important. I’m happy that you went with the more “expensive” option. If anything goes wrong, it seems that the company that you chose would be more likely to respond in a timely manner.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda Adney
    September 11, 2015 at 10:55 am

    You are a rock star…So excited for you and Matt on the sale of your condo and your new HVAC..

    Would love to meet your Father In Law…he sounds like an awesome man and a rock star also..

    Enjoy the fruits of your labor, Kristi in your garage…Now you have a Kristi cave…Wahoooooooo.

    And LOVE the light from the dining room…It makes me smile like the piano does…Such a successful few week!!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michele R.
    September 11, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Kristi – I am beyond excited for you! It has to be a wonderful feeling to have the condo off your mind and a new HVAC system on the way! Your home has evolved and changed so much in the year or so I’ve been following your blog. I have enjoyed watching it all come together and reading about each project. Your home will soon be comfortable and even more beautiful than before. Good luck and congrats!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Congrats! I live abroad and there is no central air/heating in our house. I miss that! I can totally understand your excitement.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Yay! So much weight off your shoulders over the past couple weeks: condo sold, all the stuff/junk/supplies out of or organized in the garage, sheetrock up in several rooms that is there to stay! Serious progress!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    The F-I-L
    September 11, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Yesterday I saw the condo for the last time and looked around to see what Kristi did. I was stopped in my tracks in amazement. The pictures don’t do the condo justice. Amazing work. How talented my daughter-in-law is.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Stacy Norman
      September 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      What a blessing you are!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Lisa E
      September 11, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      How sweet. Even though we don’t know Kristi or you personally, we are so thankful to you for all of your hard work, too. She is certainly talented but you both rock in our eyes!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      On that note, and I fully agree, do you hire out!!! Wish I had a FIL to help! You are both amazing talents! and congrats on the sale, too!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Len Williams Carver
    September 11, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Woo-Hoo!!! blessings in abundance you have received. I am just so happy for you and Matt. You just made the other condo owners extremely happy and placed a jewel of a home in your buyers crown. So happy for you and your new HVAC what a difference that is going to make especially for Matts comfort level. I truly hope this will save you enough that you can insulate other needed areas and perhaps get better windows, then you will really reap the rewards through lower energy bills. Congrats have a blessed weekend oh and tell your FIL we all appreciate him so much, God speed.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 11:29 am

    What awesome news….HIP HIP HOORAY! So happy for you and Matt.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Peggy R
    September 11, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Congratulations Kristi and Matt !!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 11:50 am


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I am so happy for you. Glad all your hard work has payed off. I love that you are supporting great customer service. Also, the kitchen opening is the best idea. You will never regret it. We moved last year and have been slowly renovating an old house and our rooms have that same slightly separate but open to one another feel, which I love. Our favorite change was putting in French doors to open up the dining room and den to each other. Drastically improved the look and flow to how we use and enjoy the spaces.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila F
    September 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Wonderful ending to your story of hard work! So happy for you and Matt! And safe travels for your FIL!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Kristi, I wanted to give you an FYI. We are in the middle of an addition and some remodel also. This included adding two new hvac systems in our home. The guy that did the installation for us told us to be sure and change the filters pretty often during the renovation. The unit has to work harder when the filter gets dirty and could cause it to freeze up. All of that being said, CONGRATULATIONS on the new hvac system. It’s going to be awesome!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    So very glad you are getting the HVAC installed (and not really sure how you ever survived without it).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Brava and congratulations!!!! It’s nice to know all your hard work paid off. Break out your favorite bubbly. (Mine is ginger ale ;D) If you sold the condo furnished the buyers got a BARGAIN. They just got the nicest condo in Waco.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lauren P
    September 11, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    My husband and I have been looking for a home nearer our church (currently and hour away), but we’re newlyweds along with owning and operating two small start up companies. Talk about tightening the belt! 😀 I looked at your lovely before and after photos, and WOW! I know everyone is remarking on the staging and color schemes (which I do love!), but the first thing I really noticed was how much additional storage you’d added to that little place. And yours is all elegant and built in. From the homes we’ve been looking at in that price range, your buyer got a palace! I’m so glad it worked out and you’re already on the road to an HVAC for your forever home. High fives and congratulations to you and Matt!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Congrats on selling your condo! You did a LOT of work to make that happen and I’m sure the new owners will be thrilled with it.

    Also, happy you are getting a new HVAC system. Enjoy!

    Enjoy the last couple of days you have your FIL visiting.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I’m so happy for you and Matt!! but a little sad to let that condo go as a reader 🙂 well, I can always visit your older posts on it, I suppose… Thanks for sharing the information about the prices – it does show that putting in hard work and lots of love in the space as you did does actually count! I’m glad the reward is coming your way thus, too, not only via us readers cheering you on 🙂
    Have a great weekend and lots of happy moments (make that hours!) thinking about what you (and your fantastic FIL) have accomplished in the last few days – and what is coming next week!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Yay, yay and yay…..You have had a wonderful week.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Awesome news! What did you decide to do with the garage heating and cooling?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara H.
    September 11, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Congratulations. Your perseverance and hard work has paid off. I’m so glad you’re getting the HVAC before winter. It sounds like you made the right decision about the company. Your stress levels should be a lot lower this winter without the banging noise!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Yaaaay for Kristi and Matt!! Cooler days are a’comin’!
    Tell your FIL to have a safe trip and all of you have a good weekend.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Thelma Hamilton
    September 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Congrats! Now you need to promote your great work to the other home owners in the Condos. LOL I have no doubt your hard creative work is what added the value.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa E
    September 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Congratulations, how exciting! I know you seem amazed, but when you truly sit back and think of all the extra value you added by built ins and such, the price point was much deserved. So happy for you for the sale, all the work your FIL helped with and now the new HVAC system, Woot! Woot! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    We got a Lenox system several years ago and it has pretty much paid for itself as we are now completely off our forced-air oil furnace. Cooling in summer is less expenses as well. Nothing like getting quality equipment! Hope you love it as we do ours.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    You make things happen!! And, it is good.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mad Margaret
    September 11, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I’m amazed at the hard work you put in on your condo and your house. You earned every penny you got for the condeo.

    You and Serena of Thrift Diving are my inspirations. Started following both of you this year. Because of your blogs I have finally stripped the chair I bought in 1984 that’s been sitting all this time in that ugly brown paint. Can’t believe the sense of accomplishment I feel. Am going to paint it and have figured out how to add a permanent covered cushion.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    That’s awesome on selling the condo! Selling property is so stressful. An HVAC system is so exciting. I had to spend one summer in southern Missouri without one and I never want to do that again!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    We have had the Trane 20i for 5 years now and I am very pleased with it. It replaced a 22 year old Trane. It’s so quiet at the lower speed that you can hardly hear it. The thermostat is very specific, so the temperature stays even. I estimate our electric use for heating/cooling (in Virginia) went down 40%.

    Congratulations on the sale of your condo–your hard work paid off!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judi in Tinton Falls
    September 11, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Mazel Tov! Your Hvac system should make you both so much ore comfortable both summer and winter. I swear by my Trane system, and it’s never let me down. As for your condo, I envy the folks who were smart enough to snap up such a gem. Good news all around.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    As someone who is currently living with 3 window units in her house, let me just say how happy I am for you!!! We are waiting to get back taxes paid off before we can splurge to get our old, worn out unit replaced so we are making the best of it, but man, it ain’t easy.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laura F.
    September 11, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    We also added central air to our home. We didn’t have the electrical system that we needed for the extra output, but the contractor suggested that we switch out our electric dryer for a gas dryer so that they could use that spot on the panel without upgrading the whole system, so that is what we did. It was cheaper to do it that way for us. Just info for others who might be interested.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Yay!! Congrats on selling the condo (at such a great profit!), and on your new HVAC system. Both are a huge relief for you, I’m sure!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    I can only imagine how ecstatic your former condo neighbors are (or will be!) over the sale price. Congrats on all of that hard work paying off, literally. Enjoy the new HVAC!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Doing a happy dance for you here, Kristi. No more ugly units in the windows. You have regularly commented on how much you dislike them. So happy for you. The buyers of the condo are getting a really lovely gem as well. It must be such a relief to have that finally out of your hands. Onward and upwards girl.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Congrats on the sale of the condo…and at such a great price!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Congrats on the condo sale. Happy for you getting your HVAC system & the electrical upgrade. You will have the service you need for your additions too. I’m glad your FIL was there when you made your decision as he seems like he knows his way around. Can’t wait to hear when he’s coming back. You do great on your own but things really get moving when he comes. I’m sure you will miss him doing the work alone.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    So happy for u sweet girl! Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Pat Federico
    September 11, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Over the moon delighted for you Kristi….. You work so hard to make a happy home for you and your Sweetheart Matt….. It’s about time some good things have come along…… BIG HUGS, Pat

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2015 at 9:51 am

    God is Good, all the time!

    Continued Blessings My Friend!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen W.
    September 12, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Congratulations!!! That is wonderful news. I’m not the least bit surprised at the major upswing in value. All the custom work you did on the condo is what people are drawn to. It ended up looking comfortable and attractive, and anyone who purchased it is lucky to be living there.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Happy for you Kristi. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Congratulations!! So happy forcyou & you are going to love your new HVAC !!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Just wanted you to know I am soooooooooooo happy and excited for you!!! It is such a good feeling when a bunch of great things come together!! Absolutely love your blog……thanks for having the courage to put it all out there.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marie W
    September 13, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Congrats on the sale of the condo. I live in Norhern VA – DC Metro area, youre condo would have sold for close to $200,000 here. It was gorgeous. I’m jealous of the buyer!! Happy for you though. =)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 13, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Hi Kristi,

    I just have to say you rock! You have accomplished so much since I began following your blog May of last year. You are truly inspiring to me and I really admire you. I pray your continued strength in God, and that for everything you touch it may continue to prosper. I pray that doors will be opened for you in areas you have never even dreamed or expected, and that your store baskets will be filled beyond anything you could have ever dreamed, imagined, or expected. Have a blessed day and keep up the good work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 14, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Congrats!!! How exciting that you can move forward with the new HVAC too!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 16, 2015 at 12:20 am

    @Kristi Launer

    Hi Kristi

    Congrats on your brilliant expansion! What an incredible prize for so much diligent work

    It demonstrates that ALL your diligent work pays off!! That is fabulous, and must make you feel so great about what you do! You will feel so great about having another HVAC framework.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 16, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Great news! I’m sure that it’s a huge relief to have the condo sold! And a good HVAC is a must! I’m a sweater, so I’d be a bear to live with if our a/c went out!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 17, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Hope all is well with you Kristi. I get concerned when you don’t post for a week.

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