The Close of an Era

We are coming to the end of our stay in the house that Dear Husband and I built 25 years ago.  We have fabulous memories  of those 25 years.  My mother, and DH’s second son lived with us for many of those years.  We entertained family at Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter.  We watched my youngest sister’s girls grow in the first half of those years, and have been watching our granddaughters the last ten years.

We will sign the closing papers in two days, and if the walk-through goes well, will close on the sale July 30th.  That day, we’ll do a walk-through for the house we  wish to buy, and July 31st we’ll do the closing.  So…by August 1st we will begin to move things into the new house.

We will need to buy new appliances, and at least three carpets (entry, dining and living room).  There are hardwood floors in the public areas of the house.   I want to have the locks changed, and add deadbolts to the doors.   My friends are baby sitting both my indoor and outdoor plants until we get settled, so I need to get to know the house so we can decide where those plants will do the best.

If all goes well, the movers will bring about two-thirds of our belongings, including the beds, the oak table, chairs, kitchen and quilt studio on August 4th.  Once all that is squared away, we’ll need to have the 16 foot POD delivered.  That has more books, the china, clothing, and more kitchen stuff. (I suspect there is more, but I just can’t remember what was in those boxes.  The most difficult part of our move will be deciding what we keep and what goes.  We’ll have half the room now, so we’ll need to get rid of half the “Stuff!”

Wish us well!  🙂


More of the Same

But  something different, too.

Today, we put a bid on a house.  Last Thursday we walked through three houses.  The first two were ranch houses, and the second turned out to be a two-story duplex.  If you are looking at houses, I recommend that you not assume the pictures are giving you a clear idea of what to expect!  I thought I would love the third place, and didn’t care for it at all.  We looked at the first one because it’s in the same town we live in now.  We thought it had large front and back yards, with absolutely no landscaping, and that wasn’t the case. The yards were surprisingly small, and there was some shrubbery.  Unfortunately, it backed up to a club of some kind that was for sale.  We couldn’t see that in the pictures! lol

The middle house, which I didn’t expect to care for, turned out to be lovely.  The layout is clean, and open.  It’s sunny, has three bedrooms and three full baths.  The basement is partially finished, and one of those bathrooms is in the basement.  The master bedroom suite is on the south side of the house and the two guest bedrooms and second bath are on the north side of the house, with the public areas of the house in between.  There is a two and a half car garage, and a laundry room on the main floor.  I believe the house is about 1800 square feet, about half our present house.  We were willing to look at houses much smaller than this, but this house feels gracious.

There is a brick patio off the kitchen, and a pocket back yard that is surrounded with the most incredible garden.  The bones of the garden are evergreen trees and shrubs that block our view of the house to the east of us.  There are strip gardens along the north and south sides of the house where paths lead to the front yard.  Other than the fact that our neighbors are incredibly close (compared to where we live now),  I can’t find anything to complain about.

Our agent put in a bid, contingent upon the close of the sale of our house.  IF we manage to bring our buyer to close, we would turn around and close on this house the same afternoon.  At least, that’s what we hope will happen.

I’m sure there will be more to come in this saga.  🙂

Back on Track

We are back on track with the sale of our house.  All the repairs have finally been finished, following the fall of a 60′ evergreen onto the roof in February.  The painters were finishing the interior repair in the office minutes before the photographer came through.

Brochures have been printed, the house has been listed, and we had our first visitors Thursday night.  So far, we have not heard anything from them.  Our agent was particularly excited because these people had visited the house last year when it was on the market.

Our house is a one of a kind house, with an unusually large lot within in the city limits.  It’s not going to be easy to sell, but I think the agent is hungry, and he may be able to find the buyer we need.

So, we’re back to keeping the house relatively tidy.  I’ll have to be careful about tracking garden dirt into the house.  🙁

Almost Two Months

I’ve been absorbed with the possible sale of our house.  The same man who wanted to buy it last year has tied us up with a contract again this year.   If he does not come through and purchase the house this year, he won’t get a chance the next time it goes on the market!

We are supposed to have a closing date of July 31st, but the buyer just requested his second extension to find the funding he needs.  He has until July 17th now, but if he doesn’t succeed, we will have to cancel the appointment with the movers.  If we do that, I’ll be canceling the contract, and opting to see if there is anyone else who will be interested.

Meanwhile, we have packed boxes every day, filling a 16′ POD with things we don’t need daily.  Books, china, kitchen things, linens – things that can be stored in a non-climate controlled situation, have all been boxed.  Now our house looks rather like a normal house, with the exception of the living room, which has very little furniture left.  We gave away the two couches!  (It was either that, or burn them!)

We have made electrical repairs, had radon testing, had the exterminator come through, and are waiting for a visit from a roofer to replace a rubber gasket and the top 8 inches or so of the shingles, which were damaged by hail.  We’ve replaced the garage door openers with ones which have an optical safety control.  We’ve had the furnaces tested, and the landscaper is coming to shape up the gardens.  Whew!  If the house doesn’t sell, it will be a very safe, very tidy place to live! lol

My niece is here for a week to help us pack.  I’m delighted to have the help.  It gives me a chance to talk with her, and find out what’s going on in her life, and get more packed.  That’s a win-win situation.

Wish us luck.  Think positive thoughts for the sale of the house.  Pray, if you are so inclined.  We will accept any and all help to move us through this sale.

Friday’s notes

We’re coming down to the wire today, trying to get things cleaned up or cleared out before the photographer comes to take pictures for the brochure the agent will provide to those looking at our house

We’ve been moving things to the basement, boxing things up, and getting general cleaning done.  The guy who came to clean the carpets worked miracles, getting out an old rust spot and a newer stain that we couldn’t identify.  I made sure to praise him to the agent,  who had recommended him.

Yesterday, the men came to patch the hole in the office wall, and while he was at it, he patched some nail pops that had been irritating me for about 15 years.  Today they painted one wall and the ceiling.  I hope things will be dry enough to return the office in time for pictures,  we can always do that room last.

The house should be really clean, and lovely for Easter, but we won’t be hosting the usual family gathering.  Hopefully, we can rest for a couple of days before the house isn officially listed.

I love the open areas, and the light.  I love that the house shows it’s size and looks uncluttered, but it’s a very sterile look.   I’ll have some serious work to do when we start opening what I’ve packed up at the next house.  For sure, we won’t be keeping everything.  Most likely once we have moved, all my posts will be about having to decide what to give up.  If you’ve read this far, you are a very patient person, or a very good friend!

Getting Closer

We have the sounds of banging and heavy thuds reverberating through the house.  At long last the repairs are being made to our roof.  The roof was damaged, nine holes, when a 60-foot evergreen blew down about six weeks ago.  We hope they will finish this evening, but they may need to return tomorrow.  Storms are coming our way, so there won’t be much room for delay.

Yesterday, our realtor came to stage our house to prepare it for photographs.  I made a list as I followed him around so that I wouldn’t forget anything.  We’ve begun with some of the easiest tasks, and will work at it daily for the next few days.  The realtor wants the house to look as large as it can, so we are putting away or packing up anything we can live without.  I think the house looks sterile, but it certainly does look BIG!  We need to move at least six chairs, a table, and several other odds and ends downstairs  They want me to shift some plants to clear three windows in the living room.  I’m astonished as how effective his requests are in opening up the rooms.  Be prepared, though; our island in the kitchen looks like the State of Texas.  It’s almost bare, and just huge!

I made a call today, and we have a carpet cleaner coming on Monday.  We had a load of composted topsoil delivered today, and I began top dressing the perennials in the gardens at the front of the house.   I need to find someone to clean the outside windows this coming week.  Dear Husband has talked with a company about delivering gravel for the drive.  The cleaning lady comes on Thursday, and we should have pictures taken on the Friday before Easter!  Whew!

Things are really heating up with the sale of the house.  I can see the agent is eager to sell it.  We are not as eager to make the move, but the time is right for a LOT of reasons.

My mantra these days is:  Wish us luck!  🙂

Catching up with friends

Hi, All!

We’re having a quiet morning, so I thought I’d do a little catch-up.  The tree you saw in the last post is gone.  The tree service was quick and professional.  They even raked up small bits of branches and “stuff” so that we have very little to do to clean the lawn.  They will be returning today to take down the remainder of the trunk, and two more trees which we feel  might be dangerous, should we have another big wind.

The restoration company is sending someone to look at the damage to determine the scope of work to be done.  We’ll see their representative tomorrow, and will do our best to light a fire under them to get the job done.  Dear Husband tells me that I can expect several days of repairs.  The damage is mostly located in one small area, so they won’t be able to put more than two or three men to work at one time.  I want it repaired before the spring rains come!

We have talked with another agent, and decided to sign a contract for their services to sell our house.  There are two of them, working as a team, and the older of the two has quite the success rate for sales in this area.  We asked a lot more questions this time, and think that they may be a good fit.  Once the repairs are done, they will come back to stage the house and take pictures.  This time the brochure for the prospective buyers will show the house with gardens in bloom, an improvement over the last which made the house look like it was in a desert.

My mind is focusing on more packing!  I go to sleep thinking about one more place we can clean out, or another way to make the rooms look their real size.  I think this will be the year we move.  I’m resigned to leaving my wonderful home, but eager to see what the future brings.  Wish us good luck!

Yup, I’ve been busy!

You have to know that if I’m away from my blog for three weeks, I’m busy.  I’m not quite sure what all I was doing, but I’ve been busy! lol

I think we saw the last of the herons and egrets about the middle of this month.  I’m always sad to see them go because they are such beautiful birds to watch.  Our weather has closed in and it’s pretty cold for the end of November.  In a week the family will be happy to be gathered in one warm place, visiting and celebrating Thanksgiving.

I have had a number of houseplant projects on my list of chores for the past month, and got to them today.  The aloe plant needed to be re-potted.  I learned that aloe needs less water than I have been giving it.  Did you know that when you re-pot aloe, you don’t water it for a week??  I was astonished to learn that.

I have a geranium that I bought when I was visiting with Frankie in central Indiana.  I have that geranium in pale pink and in hot fuchsia.  I wintered it over last year and it did well when I returned it to the front porch.  This fall a couple of the branches were broken, so I put them in water to start roots.  Today I potted two of them.  We moved the larger plants into the sunny window of the office for the winter.

I have had a Norfolk pine growing in my living room for years.  The plant has done very well, but the terra cotta pot it was in was beginning to crumble.  I’ve been meaning to re-pot the pine for the past year.  I FINALLY put down a plastic table cloth, brought in a new pot, potting soil, gloves and a sharp knife.  I slid the knife along the inside of the pot to be sure the roots were loose.  Dear Husband came along to give a hand lifting the pine from the old pot to the new, and lifting the new pot to it’s new home.  I’m really relieved to be able to cross off all these potting projects off my to-do list.

If I didn’t tell you, Scraps on a Mission has ended for the year.  I have eight small quilts that need to be delivered and six thank you notes to write.  I found a bolt of batting on sale for one quarter of the original price and picked that up so that we will be ready for the coming year.  The final count for 2013 was 58 quilts, with one woman making about 26 of them.  We gave some lovely quilts.  I’m working on baby quilts for my family now.

I’ve been crocheting in the evening when I sit with DH.  Charity Crochet Exchange on Facebook does a project each month.  They ask for six-inch and twelve-inch squares, and request a specific color plan for each project.  I’ve been doing very basic squares for them.  I figure that my simple blocks make a background for those who do the lovely work.  I just finished 52 six-inch squares for a Meals on Wheels auction.  They can either put together one afghan in white, aqua and teal from these blocks. or disburse the squares through out the other projects.  The next project is in shades of pink, with white and/or black. I’m glad to have something to keep my hands busy at night.

Dear Husband is Christmas shopping on line.  Now that he is retired, and has more time to play at the computer, I find him in the office looking for a new home, or shopping.  I’m delighted that he has taken over this activity.  I’m happy to wrap the gifts

And last, we have taken our home off the market for the winter.  I don’t want to have to clean up after people who come to look at the house during the holidays, and I don’t want to have to keep it super clean so that they can come to look.  We may have a stager come in to help us make the house as appealing as possible, and perhaps I can persuade DH to make some minor changes that might make it easier to sell.  I’m happy to have one more winter in the house. 🙂

I hope that those of you who visit here are well, and getting ready for Thanksgiving,

April 2, 2013

This will be a memorable day for me.  Today we put our home of 23+ years on the market.

Our realtor called to let us know that he had put the listing on the MLS.  He had to use a temporary picture of the house, until they can get the current picture in place. It was something to do with the rules of the road for the Multiple Listing Service.

Minutes later, he got a call from a local realtor, asking if the house was available to be seen!  Three hours later, the first couple came to see it.  I asked our realtor if that was common, and he said it NEVER happens that way.

Last night, knowing that today was the big day, I started the laundry, tidied the office desk,  put away odds and ends and washed dishes.  I asked Dear Husband to dry dishes and put them away, while I finished with other chores.  We were well on the way to putting the house in condition to be seen.  Still, we had to push a bit today to be sure it was ready.

We do not open the house to prospective buyers.  They are to arrive with a realtor, who uses the lock box to get a key to let them in.  We are supposed to be going out the garage door as they are entering the house.  We slipped away and ran an errand as they looked things over.

I doubt seriously that we will get a bid from this visit, but everything has been so unpredictable that it’s possible.  We will see what we will see.