Friday, November 01, 2019

The story continues

Just when I thought there would be no changes - there are.  As I have said, the owner has stage 4 ovarian cancer.  She is getting chemo right now.  But I didn't know she would be having surgery in early December.  Well, she is.  So that means they are asking to delay closing until the 20th.  Now IF I still decorated for Christmas I would be really upset.  But I haven't in years!!

The thing I am worried about is that this year looks like it is going to be COLD in Texas.  We have had freezing or near freezing in Southeast Texas (Houston area).  We have tropical and semi-tropical plants.  Usually, I would put them in our storage building, BUT (1) we are in the process of cleaning it our and (2) I don't want to have to move them twice.  Yeah - I know = sounds like a personal problem!  It is, but all the same - plans change.  My daughter will "foster" my two six-foot Hawaiin plumerias.  I really don't want to lose them.  The other plants I will just have to group in the corner of the patio which is on the south side and pretty protected = they hope and pray.

I did get a giggle from the email their agent sent ours.  She said normally they would "negotiate" the amended offer (well, OK) but they wanted to leave the neighbors with good feelings - even at their loss.  Then the male owner looked at our inspection report.  He said nothing about the serious defects (that could result in the house burning down) but nitpicked the little things that made no sense to me.  I was reminded of the old saying "gagging on gnats and swallowing elephants!"

I have been throwing things out.  Yesterday out went the (outdated!!) VCR tapes.  I really was hoping there was some recycling place since they are covered in toxic chemicals.  AND I had hoped I could find a taped segment of my beloved Taz playing with the water sprinkler.  Alas - reality struck.  We put out about eight bags (couldn't get them too heavy) last night when we were pretty sure there wouldn't be any goblins to tear them open and spread all that around.  And the decluttering will continue today - and tomorrow - and the next day - and ...

So I may not be complete with my venting - yet.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Rather strange

Just when I was pretty sure the contract wouldn't go - that they would not accept the addendum or come back with a counter - they SIGNED IT LAST NIGHT.  The accepted the reduction of the price by the entire 20k.  I guess Christi (the wife) said enough.  She wants to spend time with her grandchildren and isn't sure just how much time that is.

I have totally accepted the fact that we are (1) downsizing, and (2) I will be giving up some items.  This move is for the very best.  We are gaining some things.  Unbelievable is that the dining room is larger.  With our family at twelve and we have family dinner on Sundays, that is important.  I will have the biggest dining room - and the breakfast room and the associated kitchen are bigger.  For twelve people (oldest grandson is 6'6" and 230) the extra room is going to be good.  The flow isn't as good as here, but that will work out.

So back to decluttering and disposing of things.  Then packing.  If I think about it, it is really overwhelming. I can only think of doing a bit at a time without panicking.  We have been here 44 years THIS month.  Amazing how things accumulate.  But I have about 40 days.

Thanks for tagging along on this little adventure.  It was great to have a place to vent!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Stand still

So - the contract was accepted - like it wouldn't have been since it was full price based on inspections.

So we had the inspections.  The owner disclosed that there was "cosmetic" grouting to be done on the chimney,  Uh,  no.  Probably cracked ceramic flue cracks.  The pool needed replastering.  Yes, BUT.  The first company would not give a quote on replastering because they thought the pool was popping out of the ground.  The second (and mechanical inspector) both said - yes replastering and not popping out BUT the deck surrounding the pool has dropped (therefore cracking badly) a couple of inches which has ruined the coping around the edge of the pool.  So a $5000 job is $18,000.

The mechanical inspector found the gas wall oven is leaking gas.  The main electrical box is defective and must be replaced (a neighboring area had their house burn down because of the same box - and ours here was done 15 years ago).  The dishwasher door will come open. When running.

When you total just the major problems, it comes to (actually more than) $20,000. So we amended the contract - offering 15,000 less on the price and they pay $5000 of the closing costs.

I know the woman has stage 4 ovarian cancer.  She is getting chemo and being a breast cancer survivor, my heart breaks for her.  They have asked to have until Monday to go over the amended contract.  I hope this is the real reason.

Their agent is (get ready for this one) the wife of the female owner's ex-husband, and has stated at the get go that she is protecting the seller.  I know this is what the realtor is supposed to do.  I was in real estate in the 1980s - when the first oil bust happened to Houston.  I had to quit.  No one was buying anything.  BUT she is not familiar with this area.  She had them price that property high, but we did sign for that.  They are selling "as is" and that is fine, but we will not pay the inflated price for a property with THIS many serious faults.

If it was meant to be - it will happen.  I know they now believe they are sitting on a gold mine and looked to make $100,000 on that house.  My inspector says different. 

So we will see what happens on Monday.

Friday, October 25, 2019

House inspection day

We just returned from being with the inspector for four hours on the other house,  He is THOROUGH and I love it.  Great guy.  We were there for four hours or more.  I was feeling sorry for the woman who lives there.  They were gone - she is being treated for stage four ovarian cancer and is not doing well.

He did find some biggie deficiencies that we can address with negotiations on the closing costs.  But his final statement was that HE would buy that house if he were buying, so that speaks volumes.

The longer I was in the house today the more it grew on me.  Yes, we are losing 700 square feet - which means the equivalent of a couple of rooms.  But there are some things that actually are better.  It is a give and take.  That comes with any downsizing.  It certainly didn't show as dark as it did over the weekend.  Perhaps because this cold front brought rainy dismal weather.  But with my table lamps, it will work just fine.  This present house is BRIGHT!

We had a scare Tuesday when my pool company came to look at that pool.  There is equipment that is broken and missing, but they said they couldn't replaster because the pool was coming out of the ground.  I sent the pictures to a pool builder and they said they really believe the deck is sunken more than the pool rising.  I looked at it today and I don't think that is what is happening.  Neither does the inspector who we didn't have him add the real inspection report.  Sooo.  That is one huge amount we are not looking at having to do.

With all that - it looks like closing will be early December.  I hope Christi (the owner) lives that long for many reasons.  I don't want to have to wait for probate, but I want her to be able to move to Abiline and spend her days with her grandchildren. My heart breaks for her.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

We will be moving before Christmas - probably

The contract was accepted.  It should have - it was full price.  That was a big surprise to the owners I know because they had it "as is."  And that condition is meaning at least $10,000 in repairs.  The pool is in terrible condition, and we have the inspector going there today.

My daughter (and our realtor for that matter) wanted us to offer less.  And then the idea is that if the repairs are REALLY excessive, we modify the contract.  That was until yesterday when the loan officer said the best way to go is to negotiate closing costs.  So I will be talking to my agent today.

So the next step is to downsize our "stuff" which isn't going to easy thing to do.  G would just like to pitch everything - seriously.  If it hasn't been used in a week - pitch it.  Then we pack and move.  After that, I bring in our contractor and he will paint the house and then we will replace the carpets.

On the carpet - I was reading an article about making the house sell faster.  I knew most of them - they haven't changed from 30 years ago when I was in real estate with ONE exception.  They said rather than replacing the carpet - add hardwood flooring.  That is a big no.  If I put in hardwoods or any upscale flooring it would be in the one we are buying.  It is mostly carpet with new tile in the kitchen.  The baths have some wood looking flooring up to the 1970's terrazzo!  There is so little left I don't understand why they didn't go the extra 10 square feet with the "new flooring."  But I had terrazzo until two years ago, I can live with it again.

Now if I can just get all this out of my brain at night.  My insomnia is rampant.  When it gets dark and quiet, my brain is placing furniture and mourning lost possessions.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Not my dream house

The house we have put a contract on is most certainly NOT my dream house.  I am pretty much living in that one right now.  BUT it does have some nice things about it.  Number one IS location.  Next door to my daughter's family!

I don't know where the builder's head was, but he made some huge errors in that house.  All the bedrooms are BRIGHT.  The master has THREE windows.  One of the secondaries has two and is bright.  The living area has one tiny window.  I can't understand that.  There is a fireplace centered on the outside wall and that one little window is to the right.  There is an equal amount of space on the left - and it is a blank wall.

The backyard is beyond beautiful - but one of the main problems present that has made it "as-is" is the heater for the pool's hot tub is gone - taken out apparently AND the jets don't work.  We will have our pool company really look at that.  The pool needs to be replastered, but that is normal for a pool.  Ours has been done once (and probably could stand it again).

They first listed the area around the chimney as leaking when they did the listing on Thursday, but yesterday they did a second seller report and said the problem with the chimney is just grouting.  So another possible problem.

We gave a full price contract - before we read the report.  And that price is dependent on what amount the repairs on these things comes to what we will finally offer.  In the meantime, we have been approved for the loan, but now have to convince the underwriters we are not getting this as in investment property.  I don't know why that should bother them - the loan gets paid.

Now to get this house ready to put on the market.  We plan to move out, paint and carpet, then put it on the market.  Busy times ahead.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Just WOW

It's been quite a while since I have been here.  And things have pretty much been status quo - until last night.

First, Katie has gone off to Poughkeepsie to college.  She LOVES it.  She flew home for a couple of days on their fall break, and we have been enjoying her so,  She is doing so well.  Her roommate is from Nigeria and they get along quite well.  Her training schedule for water polo has gone to 20 hours a week, and she is getting quite the work out from that.

The biggest thing that has me so torn is it looks like we will be moving from the home I love so and have lived in for 44 years. I dearly love this house, but...

G has convinced my daughter that we are infirm.  She is hell-bent on moving us in with them by some means - either by them selling and us selling and getting a larger home or them enlarging their garage and we live in the garage apartment. She even has thought of enclosing the game room they added upstairs where they would move up into for the master and we take the existing master.

None of these is a good option.  Not for either me nor G.  We are in 2600+ square feet.  We each are in a bedroom - he snores and I have bouts of insomnia.  Those two things don't mix.  One of us will be disturbed.

Anyway - the house next door to daughter has come on the market.  We looked at that house when it came up before and decided it most certainly wasn't our "dream home" nor was it one we really liked.  Well - I am looking at the handwriting on the wall, and this house has gotten too big for me to keep.  I don't do stairs well (I fell from the "killer step" a few months back). 

The one next door is 2000 square feet, so there is certainly enough room for us.  I don't like the boxiness - the kitchen is totally closed off from the den.  My current house is very open, and I love that about it.  BUT compared to my option - even going into the new independent living facilities - I don't like any of those.

So we are going to go look - again today.  We are ready to make an offer.  I am so conflicted.  Being close (really close - not one mile) from the grands will be great - even if Katie is in New York.  Leaving this house that is just the way I like it (not the clutter mind you - it has gotten the best me admittedly).  But there are changes coming one way or another and I want to be the master of those changes, not the recipient of those changes.

Keep me in your thoughts.