Monday, May 18, 2015

Once more into the breach Horatio!

We have another offer on the house.
It isn't anything spectacular, but it will meet my needs.
My goal in all this is to get enough to pay cash for the place on Johnson Creek road in Sequim,
This offer meets my criteria. Barely.
By the time I pay closing costs and pay the movers, we will have used up most of our available cash.
We will have to play it pretty cautious for the next couple of months.
The only hurdle left for us is to get through the home inspection. I know there are still some minor things to be done, but I have addressed all of the major things. The only thing of any consequence is that the stone fascia on part of the front of the house needs to be replaced. I was concerned about the cost, since I had no idea if it would cost a couple of hundred to fix, or God knows how much to replace.
I had a contractor over to give me an estimate, and he gave me a verbal estimate of $900 to replace the whole fascia. He was not sure when he could get to it, but figured around the middle of June. The only problem is that closing is June 16th.
Nothing like cutting it close.
The prior offer never felt right to me. And I couldn't stand their Agent. This time it just feels right.
Hopefully we will be moving in a month.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Three weeks later

Still a lot of activity on the house.
We actually had an offer, which we accepted. It got as far as the home inspection, when the people backed out.
The major point of contention was that there is a Zinsco circuit breaker panel in the master bedroom. Zinsco is an older design, and is no longer made. There have been reports of fires from malfunctioning panels. Bit there has never been a recall and they are not an imminent danger. I have always known it would be brought up at the time of inspection, but figured I would throw in replacing the panel as an incentive. Well, it never got as far as the negotiation. The people just walked off.
I am a little bit pissed that they wasted my time.
I am still on the hook to buy the house in Sequim, but the option runs out at the end of the month. We would hate to lose the option on the property, but it would not be the end of the world if we do.
Three showings yesterday, two today.
Hope things proceed with a sale.

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.