Posts

Showing posts from March, 2007

Marking Time

It’s been 10 or 11 days since my last post in this blog… a case of bloggers block! As you know, we accepted an offer on the house on the 15th. Since then, we’ve waited for the home inspection, waited for the results of the home inspection, and are currently waiting for the “back-and-forth” negotiation process that comes out of the home inspection process to end… which it surely will by Thursday afternoon, the 10th business day after the signed offer. I’m not good at waiting. The buyers did make an issue of a section of roof shingles that are wearing more than the others, and wanted us to re-roof the place. In return, I offered a partial credit at closing — which seems commensurate with the problem, which is really a cosmetic, not a functional, issue. So we wait.
In the meantime, we continue the cathartic purging of possessions. Box after box of things that are utterly, or nearly, useless. Betamax video tapes, audio cassettes, old receipts and statements, miscellaneous hardware, nut…

When Do I Celebrate?

We signed an offer on our house tonight — the Ides of March! I hope it turns out better for us than it did for Caesar. If all goes well, we should close near the end of June. I don’t know why I’m not more excited — (perhaps I’ve been over-doing it with the vacuuming)? I feel like celebrating now… but there’s more work to do, more hurdles to cross, still so many things that could go wrong. So when do I celebrate? now? or when the home inspection is done and the issues are handled? or when the buyer’s loan approval process is complete? or when the buyer’s townhome sells? or when we’re a week away from closing and everything seems like we’re on a glidepath to a clean close? or, when we actually close and the cash is in the bank? I fear that if I wait until closing… the end of the process… I’ll have little energy left. The celebration might be two fingers of scotch and a nap!
It’s only been a little over two weeks, but it feels much longer. Our Realtor, Ginny Sylvester, has been a real…

Outdoor Projects

Not much going on the past couple days. But the weather is teasing us with a sample of, oh, let’s say mid-April — it’s 72f as I write this on Tuesday afternoon. The snow’s totally gone, even the big pile at the end of the driveway that was 3 feet high last week. The moderate temps are also giving me an opportunity to tackle some outdoor projects… sand and paint an inside panel of the garage door; wash a few windows; pick up litter in the bushes; seed and mulch a few bare spots in the lawn; rake up a couple of the planting beds near the deck; clean and wash the patio and deck; take some dead fall plants out of deck planters; etc. — all to make the house look a little better. I’m not normally this ambitious — especially when it comes to yard work — especially this early in the season, but I’m doing everything I can to entice a buyer quickly. We have another showing scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Keeping fingers crossed!

Revelations

The temp made it to 52f yesterday… and it should be about that again today. The snow-cover is essentially gone. And as the snow melts, so too does it’s masking effects. Where last week a bank of plowed snow existed, today, there’s a line of jetsam on both sides of our streets and more throughout the yards. This debris collects during the winter, some of it blown out of trash and recycle bins, some blown into our neighborhood from less caring neighborhoods nearby. It all lays about, accumulates, is covered by snow, and waits until spring to emerge exactly when we’re trying to sell a house!
So it goes. After my daily constitutional yesterday, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I grabbed one of my blue recycle bins and headed out around the neighborhood, picking up discarded cans, plastic bottles, one big whiskey bottle (empty — I think I know which neighbor it belonged to), and anything else that made the subdivision look trashy. The neighbors, of course, were watching me. …

Spring

I stopped in my tracks on the way out to get the paper this morning. The crisp early morning air was still, there was no wind at all. But something was different. It felt like… no, that can’t be… or could it? It felt like, maybe, just maybe, there was a hint of spring in the air. It was something new, clearly something different. It felt good! I took a deep breath of clean cold air, picked up the paper, and it hit me. I was hearing robins. The unmistakable sound of robins. It was all around me. For a boy from the upper midwest, this is a clear sign of spring. We’ve survived another winter.

Hiding Out at Library

We got an offer on the house yesterday, Tuesday. After some consideration, we rejected it. The problem wasn’t the price offered, which was reasonable, but the attached contingency. If we accepted the offer, the prospective buyers would put their townhome up for sale and would need to sell it prior to our being able to close on our deal. That doesn’t sound too ominous but consider these facts… first, we’ve only been on the market for a little more than a week; second, during that week, we’ve had strong activity, including two second-showings; third, we’re just now getting into spring, the prime house selling/buying time. If we accepted the offer with the contingency, it puts our house in a sort-of limbo status… technically, still “on the market”, but most agents don’t show houses that have contracts pending. Our activity would go way down and we’d miss a lot of potentially better deals. The townhome the prospective buyers need to sell is in an area where a number of other properties …

Positive Sign

We had big plans to go through files and other stored items this weekend, but the house took precedence and almost nothing else was accomplished. The daily routine is to get up, shower, shave, etc, and once ready for the day personally, it’s time to get the house ready to show. Getting the house ready means we’ve got to hide or get rid of any incriminating evidence that actual real people are living here. Every loose hair on the floor, every water drop in the sink, every odor (in the morning, odors can be a problem), every foot-print in the carpet, every dirty dish… it’s all got to go. I feel like an ax murderer getting rid of the evidence… trying to mop up the blood, get rid of all the stained clothes, and stuffing the body in a trunk under my bed! If the prospective buyer even suspects that a real person lived here, they’ll walk. These are all important real estate sales techniques that I didn’t know before this.
So, once the place is ready, and as you’re backing out the door, du…

Waiting... with Emotion

We had two showings the day after the house went on the market. Both turned out to be “tire-kickers” — checking out the market but not ready to buy. Not a peep from anyone yesterday, and it’s been quiet today as well. Of course, the weather hasn’t exactly been cooperating — cold, snow, rain, ice… just about everything in the past week. Today, we could get a couple inches of rain on top of the snow and frozen ground. Not exactly the kind of conditions that put people in the house buying mood.
While we wait, our senses are more receptive to anything that could impact the housing market… the stock market (it dropped like a rock the day after we put the house on the market), the number of homes for sale (our real-estate agent has listings coming our of her ears right now), and government reports on housing activity (January was down 16%). All this caused me to go for a walk yesterday. I found myself in the sub-division next to ours, and as I walked, started to count the number of homes…