Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#122 - Lightening Our Load Takes Work

The holidays are coming. This means that our house will be full of family and friends. Usually, we have Thanksgiving at our house. This year, our oldest daughter will be coming into town with her fiance for the turkey dinner and the house is often crammed with fun and laughter.

The good thing about having gatherings at your house is that it forces you to clean and to get organized so that your home can be full of people. Having company on a regular basis keeps you living honest.

A Christmas gathering at my brother-in-law's house.
I love being with my brother-in-laws. Both are wonderful men.

One thing that I would like to quit doing is to quit waiting until we are going to move before we kick the house into high gear for future showings. But, as a former Real Estate Broker, I know what I used to tell my own clients, "How we live to sell is not how we normally live."

Putting the house up for sale means that moments like these
might be interrupted for a pack of strangers to come passing through.

For now, I've been walking around making my punch list for things to do to sell the house, such as paint the exterior, catch up with the caulking, replace a couple of window sills and a main item on the list is to finally replace the front leaded glass door that our dog Howdy has gone through a couple of times.

I've been painting so that the walls have a fresh color and I've been giving the baseboards a clean white coat of high-gloss paint. Things are looking pretty good.

Of course, when it comes time for the showings to begin, we will have to move the chicken coop to the grassy area behind the garage so that it won't be the "main event" of the backyard. And, we'll need to add a little picket fence to the area behind the garage for a nice dog run for the dogs to stay in while we are having showings.

Since the dogs are not really allowed upstairs, not allowed on the carpeted rooms...they are already kept under control in the house and only on the tiled areas that are easy to maintain. I know people looking to buy a house do not like to visit other people's animals, so they will be kept out of sight as best as possible during the listing period.

Hot and sweaty working day outside with Howdy.

Speaking of our listing time-frame...I always dread that part of selling the will get the potential buyers who want to come look at the house during dinner-time. But, you've got to be flexible and realize that those buyers will keep on looking, they'll go to the next appointment and perhaps find a house that they like instead of your own. So, once our listing period begins, I'll be prepared for the sight-seeing crowd to begin traipsing through the house.

And yes, unlike the TEST that my daughters gave me in this see if I was paying attention...I will give the sale of
our house my every attention so it can be sold for the highest
amount of money in the shortest period of time possible.
As for the sign language...very funny my sweet angels.

The worrisome part is the state of our economy. Deputy Dave and I have always sold our houses very quickly, but this economy has changed the way people buy and sell houses. Some people can hardly give their house away and some buyers won't be able to buy for years and years. Things are not easy on either end. So, there's a side to me that is concerned that we will sell our house very fast, too fast, and there's a side to me that worries that the house will sit and sit and sit without selling because we won't be able to get a qualified buyer in this hard-to-please-the-loan-officers kind of economy.

Stefie has already signed up for her Spring semester away from home. She has her plans to move; she's working in a solid, forward motion toward a bright future of her own. So, as of January, she won't be living here our our house any longer. Boo hoo. My baby will be leaving on a more permanent basis. But, this means that we could put our house up for sale, technically, around December 1st.

Since it takes approximately 45 days for a closing to take place, even if we got an immediate buyer, the closing date would not take place until sometime in mid-to-late January.

Moving means saying good-bye to seeing this when we leave our neighborhood.

But, we'd still get to be in our house throughout the holidays, regardless.

Sticking that "For Sale" sign in the yard is a big commitment. Having a deadline for that sign to go in the yard will also push us into full speed motion to get the punch list items completed to prepare the house to sell. Knowing the sign is about to go up will light a fire under us. A big fire.

A good fire will be lit under us, hopefully not a refinery/chemical
plant kind of fire that lights up the entire area.
I won't miss the chemical leaks, the "Shelter-in-Place"
drills nor will I miss the horrible smells that come with this industry.

Lately, another thing I've been doing to sell the house is to go through old files, old paperwork...a pain in the rear job that must be done. I cannot believe all of the old paperwork we've had that needed to be shredded. So much of our younger years, the memories, old days gone by...those days are gone, but not forgotten as we move forward onto this next phase in our life. Letting go of the past and embracing the future can be scary, exciting and full of surprises. Oh, I know the surprises are coming.

With good, solid planning, I hope to avoid as many unpleasant experiences as we can.

I am ready for new surprises, the fun kind, such as when we
are learning to do these sorts of things, as shown in the books.

For now, the timing of when to put the house on the market is the question. I think we will actually be able to move forward much faster than we had originally planned. I believe we can buckle down and get to the nitty gritty of moving as soon as possible.

More than anything, I dread packing. During our lifetime, between living the military life and coming back to America...renting, buying, upsizing, downsizing, upsizing and now moving to the country...I have packed and unpacked so many times that I can't keep count. When we were younger, I had the process down to a science and could be finished in three days flat. These days, it takes infinity. I'm slow. I'm trying to get rid of the excess right now so I won't have to pack and unpack it again, but it's difficult. The good thing about moving is that it FORCES you to go through the recesses of your closets, drawers and cabinets. And, I'm always amazed at how much junk that can be accumulated.

And, these two cuties in the picture above and the picture below, these are our REAL babies of today...these two go with us to the farm!

And all of our clothes that magically shrunk in our malfunctioning dryer will have to be donated or sold at a resale shop! What to do with those nice clothes that suddenly do not fit so nicely? Darn those shrinking dryers! Those clothes will have to be cleared out of the closet and drawers, they can't be taken with us...unless we expect to get Farm-Fit and lose some pounds by working the land every day. Maybe I'll go ahead and pack the too-small clothes...they just might fit again by the end of this coming summer.

Moving to the country will give Howdy HOURS more of this
kind of fun every day. I hope he can handle it!
Well, I need to get that For Sale sign in our yard because I've got some old nick-knacks to part with, some more papers to shred and ultimately, I am eager to shed those Farm-Fit pounds!

Lightening our load takes a lot of work.


LindaG said...

This is the part that scares or worries me, too. Selling the house.
I am going to bookmark this entry to give me an idea of things I need to look at.
I had hoped to hold off painting until our stuff is moved out.
I'd just as soon people use their imagination and not see our stuff.
We are not party people.
The house we sold in Nebraska we paid a realator to sell for us as my hubby was on his way to Okinawa with two of our boys and I was on my way to Korea.
I think you are lucky to know the ins and outs of this business.
Good luck at selling when you want it to sell!

A Primitive Homestead said...

Wishing you a fast sell & move to the country. From reading your blog I know this will be a dream come true for you. Looks like Howdy keeps watch over your flock. Seeing the books you have made me think you would enjoy the magazine Hobby Farms. I get it at Tractor Supply & Mary Janes Magazine to. So you will soon be an empty nester. I have one who left home very young & one who recently left home at least 95%. I miss them. I have been sorting things & cleaning out things to. Oh my the things we keep over the years. Dont forget to get some rest for yourself. Blessings!
Lara said...

Linda --- You know I dread that packing! I wish we could get another RV to have out on the land, but we also want to build a storage building to hold our furniture so we won't have to pay monthly rent for one of those and we can use the storage room later as Deputy Dave's workshop. But, I am hoping that by us building a workshop with a room in the back for us to sleep in with a kitchette and bathroom area will end up to save us money from the cost of an RV and the storage rental costs. As for the packing, soon I'll start "pre-packing" to get non-essentials out of the way.

Lara --- It's weird seeing everything start to fall into place. And our dog, Howdy, he is so wonderful and does love watching over our flock. He's a bit bossy, but he came from a farm and it was ingrained in him fro the start. He will be the most perfect farm dog ever. :-) Am I partial or what? And you are RIGHT! I love Hobby Farms magazine, but need to renew my subscription. I have kept all of my old back-issues because that mag is full of great info. It's weird to have the kids really move out, but we have done a good job as parents and the girls are getting a great head-start in life. They'll always have a place at home, when wanted or needed and they know that, so there's a cushion for them with us. Anyway, sometimes it's hard to decide which things to keep!