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.