Thursday, April 16, 2015

One week In

The house has been on the market for a week now.
We have had ten showings. No offers.
No negatives about the price, a few about the floor plan.
I always knew it would be a little difficult to sell this place. The floor plan is unusual, with all the bedrooms on the top floor and the only access via a spiral staircase. The washer and drier in the basement. All in all it makes for a lot of stairs. It never bothered my, but several of the people who have looked at the house were heavy enough that the stairs could be a challenge.
The general feedback was that they like the location, don't like the floor plan.
When someone wants to show the place we have been going to Shari's for a slice of pie. Not real good for my diabetic diet, but we have also been doing a quite a bit of hiking, so it balances out, more or less.
Wish someone would at least make an offer.
Oh well, it has only been a week.

Friday, April 10, 2015

On the Market

Our house is now on the market. It has taken four months and about twenty grand to get it all gussied up for the sale.
The Ad had been up for about two hours when we got our first call for a showing. And the good pictures are not on the ad yet.
I think the price location and timing are spot on, so we will see.
We also signed papers on the house in Sequim with a contingency agreement today.
When it came time to sign the Real Estate agreement, it kinda shocked us how much we have to shell out to various and sundry people. It's like everyone is standing in line with their hands out.
I am not greedy or anything. Money has never been my primary motivation. I am not out to extract every possible dollar out of the sale of my house. I want to get enough to get enough cash that we can pay cash for the new place, pay for someone to move us, buy a few new things and get settled in.
This has been a good house to raise a family in, a good location and a quiet neighborhood, but I am looking forward to the quiet of the country, with no neighbors in sight.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


The Contractors completed the remodel on the bedroom in the basement yesterday, That left a couple of things for me to take care of.
Paint. I have a gallon of mauve paint that has been waiting around for a wall, so today I painted the walls. Tomorrow I will do the trim. I have some of this rich brown that will compliment the walls very nicely.
I need to install some window surround wood to close out the window openings. I have it cut and ready to go, but need to paint the trim before I install it. Then the only things left to do are get a carpet installed and put in the blinds.
Then the house will finally be ready to put on the market.
It has been a heck of a journey.
We have our eye on a place in Sequim. Couple of acres three bedroom two bath 1760 sq ft with a detached garage and shop. Exactly what we are looking for.
Then would come the nightmare they call moving.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

House Hunting

We have been tossing around different destinations for a quite a while, and pretty well decided on the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Coupeville, La Conner.
So last weekend we headed out for Sequim. Neither one of us had ever spent any time in the area, so we kinda wanted to get a feel for the area and look at a few homes.
The weather was outstanding, with blue skies and mild temperatures. We had been perusing the house for sale adds, and lined up a half a dozen places to look at.
Most of them were not what we were looking for.
One was pretty much what we want, but was located WAY out on Hiway 12. The one I liked the best was located not far from town on 3,2 acres out in the woods. I loved it, but Mrs A wanted it to be more out in the open. I told her if we owned the property we could remove some of the brush and trees to open it up. It only has a two car garage, but that is twice the garage I have now, so it would do. With a little budgeting and a bunch of work I could probably get a shop put on the property. The building kit would be about ten grand, and I suppose local labor would double that.
Today there was another property showed up on the market, with an existing four car garage and shop. Looks promising.
My brother Bill just put his house up for sale, and it sold the day he listed it, so the market is pretty hot right now. If I can just get this place finished up and on the market, we may be moving soon.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Next steps

This selling your house and moving is a pain in the ass.
Admittedly I had let projects around here slide. Something about working six days a week, with the added benefit of being in my mid sixties is not conducive to anything getting accomplished around the house.
We had the real estate agent over the other day to discuss strategy.
There are a couple of very different strategies when putting your house on the market. The prevalent theory currently is that you want to empty your house out and put everything you don't immediately need into storage. This "opens up" the rooms and makes the house look bigger. It allows the prospective buyer to mentally place their furniture in the rooms without distraction. The thought is that if you have a bunch of stuff in the house, people will spend their time looking at your stuff and not your house.
The second school of thought is "Staging" your house. It is similar to the first, but leaves just enough stuff in the house to suggest how nice the house can be with the studied placement of a small amount of furniture in a tastefully created presentation.
While I agree that is is best to remove the majority of your possessions out of the house, I agree with the idea of staging the house for a couple of reasons. I think a few tastefully placed possessions add to the appeal of the house, and makes it more comfortable to live in while it is up for sale.
Mrs A on the other hand would empty the house of everything. As I told her the other day "You would empty the house of everything except one chair, and we would have to take turns sitting in it!"
Needless to say, this remark was counterproductive.
I have arranged for the moving and storage company to come and pick up the majority of our possessions and move them into storage next Tuesday. They will hold them until we have procured our new residence, when they will pick up the rest and move them to our new home. This isn't cheap, but I an getting a little old to be moving furniture.
Then comes step two of the plan.
The contractor comes in and finishes off the spare room in the basement. I have worked on this room off and on for several years. Pit in a vapor barrier and framing, with a sub floor. Insulated the walls, added wiring and lights, put up drywall and painted it. It still needs a ceiling installed and trim and some sheet rock done. Finishing the room out will add about 300 sq ft to the livable space of the house, bumping it up over 2.000 sq ft, making it 4 bedrooms instead of three with a corresponding rise in price.
The investment with be worth it, since it is so close to being done.
As soon as the contractor is finished, the house goes on the market.
We have several properties in mind in the Sequim/Port Angeles area that meet out requirements.
Maybe after this is all over I will be able to slow down and enjoy this retirement stuff.
What fun would that be.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Getting closer

I have been working my ass off getting the house ready for going on the market.
Very seldom does a day go by when I don't work on some project. The two biggest projects were the deck and rhe wiring. Both are done now. I just finished lag bolting the railing posts today.
We had a real estate agent over on Friday to get down to the business of marketing the house. We needed to take an impartial look at how much we can get for the house, with the intent of buying something in Sequim for cash, I want to walk in owning the new place outright, no mortgage. So far everything looks like it is working out.
We are going to move most of our belongings into storage, leaving just enough stuff to live with. A guy is coming over on Tuesday to give us an estimate on how much to move and store our stuff, and then deliver it to our new house.
Part of the reason for moving the stuff out, is that we have a big spare room in the basement that is currently stuffed with our packed possessions. The room is partly finished. I have built up a sub floor with the intention of installing carpet or pergo. But first we have to get the room empty. Then I can finish levelling the sub floor and laying flooring. I am getting an estimate from a contractor for putting up the ceiling. This would put the total living space of the house just over 2,000 sq ft, and push the price over the $300,000 range.
There is a pretty hot market in my area, and not a lot available, so it looks to be a pretty good sellers market.
If everything goes according to plan, we could be moving in less than a month.
I'm starting to get excited.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Deck Renovation

We are pretty well done with the deck renovation. All new structure and underpinning, but the decking handrails and balusters are the same ones that were on before.
I still need to secure the bottoms of the balusters, and there is a five foot section of handrail that needs to be replaced and the balusters attached.
When I finish up with the deck, we need to get the house ready to sell. We have been packing everything up in totes and stashing the totes in the basement. I know that the real estate agent would like us to pretty much empty the place out for showing, but I really don't want to rent storage and move everything a couple of more times.
Oh well, we'll do what we need to do.
One of these days I'll be able to devote more time to doing the things I WANT to do. So far, retirement is more work that I anticipated.
We are still looking to move to somewhere in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, La Conner. We have seen several things we like, but until we know what we can get for our house. Realistically I hope to get $275,000 for our place, and we have seen several places that meet our needs in the $250,000 to $260,000 range. We just hope they are still there when we are ready.