Saturday, September 21, 2013
Well, last time I wrote about the house selling/buying situation was at the very beginning of the adventure. So much has happened since then it almost gives you whiplash thinking about it! When last I posted, a couple was going to come see the house before it was ready for prime time. I broke my neck getting it as close to ready as possible before I left for Chicago. (The B-day Bash was really fun. Lots of old friends) Well, they never showed up. I was disappointed but relieved at the same time, as it really wasn't ready to be shown. When I got home I got serious about "staging" the place and I guess I must have done a fine job, as the first 4 people saw it on a Friday and by Sunday morning I had 2 bids and the other who saw it wanted another showing so their SO's could see it! I accepted a cash offer for my asking price with the stipulation that I be allowed to stay in the house till my November 4th closing date. All was agreed upon and the "SOLD" sign went up. That's when the fun began.
A cash offer doesn't require an appraisal, but they got one anyway. Now a little background info is needed here. I bought this house in 2000 for $140K and I agreed to pay outside vendors an extra $10K for the upgrades I put into the house while it was being built, so essentially I paid $150K for the house. Over the course of 13 years I added at least $40K of improvements. I did those improvements for myself and I enjoyed every one of them. I also knew that I was probable making the house "too improved for the area" but that was fine with me, I was staying here forever, right? Well, maybe not so right after all! Anyway, I just wanted out and I listed the house for $150K. She was getting a 190K house for 150K. Great deal, which is probably why all four of the lookers were really interested in it. Anyway, her agent sends Frick and Frack over to do the appraisal. They used 3 comps, 2 of which were really not comps at all. The third was close to comparable but my house was bigger and had a 2 car garage, not a one car like the house they used to compare. Well, instead of ADDING for the extras, the dinged me $5K! so the appraisal came in at 145K when it should have been closer to 159K! We went back and forth on it as the buyer wanted me to come down on the price. I was so upset I removed the sold sign! I know she was driving past the house on a regular basis, so that was my way of thumbing my nose at her!
Anyway, they go through with an inspection. I did my own pre sale inspection and had corrected many of the issues my guy found, but I left a few so their inspector would make himself look useful in finding a few problems. Well, the day of the inspection she showed up with the inspector, a termite inspector and her agent. That would be considered normal, however she also toted along both her sons with their wives, a cousin and his wife and a nephew! It was like Grand Central here! I took extra cookies out of the freezer and retreated to hole up in the office! I think the thing that really galled me was when her agent said "It's amazing how many of the upgrades you have done to your house, my client has done to her own house. You have that wonderful hot water circulating pump that brings instant hot water to all your faucets, and the terrific air purification system you installed with the ultraviolet light so you have "hospital quality" air" It's uncanny!" Here she was trying to get me to come down on the price when she KNEW how much I'd put in in upgrades! It really galled me, but I just smiled sweetly.
Then they submitted the inspection report. Since there was very little that needed to be done, they got so picky as to ask me to replace light bulbs in the bathroom fixtures! I kept reminding myself that I was getting a cash deal with the ability to not have to do an interim move. That was the pipe dream I wrote about in the previous blog so many months ago. I replaced the darn light bulbs along with a few other minor requests and thanked God that I didn't have to have the house on the market for months on end. So far we are set to close on the morning of the 4th of November. The new house will close that same afternoon.
On to the new house. I am working with a fabulous builder! He is on site almost every day I am there and is willing to make so many changes, both major and minor. I have been picking out and making decisions on so many things, from the color of the shutters to the style of the towel bars and everything in between. I have decided to go with black white and gray for the dominant colors and I"m adding pops of color for each room or area. For instance, the house is all brick with the exception of some vinyl on the gables. I've chosen gray shake shingles for the vinyl with black shutters and a red front door. Just today I decided on the granite for the kitchen. I chose white cabinets with a black glaze and black handles with black appliances. I had seen a granite called Bianco Romano that I fell in love with, I was almost positive I was going to go with that till I got to the granite warehouse. My neighbor was with me and she spotted it first and called me over. We had seen several slabs that were not the usual shiny granite. They were labeled "LF". We asked and were told the LF designation was for "Leather Finish". Yes, the granite was not the usual shinny finish but was called Leather Finish. It has a texture to is and I found it so very appealing. My current granite requires me to take a towel after washing it and dry it off so streaks and water marks do not show. The LF doesn't have that issue at all. I felt like a bride when she tried on THE dress! I just knew it was the right one for the kitchen. Currently I have all the windows up, the electrical is done and they are waiting for the inspection of the insulation before they begin putting up the drywall. I had a lot of fun telling people I "had shingles". They would look all concerned and sympathetic and then I'd tell them it was "the good kind" up on the roof! The brick has been delivered and hopefully the weather will not play a part in the completion of that application. Once the wall board is up I guess they can deliver the cabinetry and begin to get the trim applied. We are still on target for a November 4th closing. The kicker though is that I am leaving for a river cruise from Paris to Normandy and on to Mont St. Michel. I will be gone from Oct 13th to the 28th, giving me 3.5 days to pack up the house for the movers to load up on Saturday. The half day comes on Thursday when I do the final walk through for the house. That Sunday will be spent cleaning up the current house for the buyer. I"m sure I will be exhausted that week, so in anticipation of that, I have begun to pack up any and everything that I can now, and I have begun living like I am camping out in my own house! I have packed up the everyday dishes and will use a few stray Corelle plates and paper plates and I will use plastic "silverware". I have been eating down my freezer to the best of my ability. Amazing what you find in there! All in all it has been an adventure and despite my annoyance at the buyer (or maybe it was all her agent?) things have gone remarkably smoothly. I am indeed very blessed with how things have gone down.