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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Adventures in Real Estate Part 3: Waiting

Those of you who know me personally know I'm not a patient person. At all. So my house feels like it's been listed for just shy of two years, not two weeks. I've found one I want to buy, I need this place to sell! But in addition to being a lesson in patience, there's another problem: keeping my house clean.

Now I understand that having no one else living here with me (such as little people running around) means I have it easier than others listing their house. However, as it is only me, and my amount of visitors is slim to none, I had the privilege of not really worring about how things looked. See, while I have the kind of OCD that means I cannot wait more than 30 seconds to read email if there's a little red 1 on my mail app, I do not have the kind that means my shoes don't go in a pile by the door, or that the clothes go directly in the hamper when I take them off. Up until ten days ago, at any given time, there were more door knobs with bras hanging on them than not, and my ironing board was a permanent piece of furniture in my laundry room. Now my shoes are in the closet, my bras are stuffed in a drawer (maybe I kept them on the doorknob because they wouldn't all fit in the drawer easily), my ironing board only comes out when I need to iron, and I've made my bed every day for ten days. EVERY DAY. I literally (and you know if I say "literally" I mean literally) cannot tell you the last time I've made my bed for ten days in a row. I bet if you ask my mom she will say never, which is more than likely completely accurate.

At church this morning, Jon talked about prayer, and talking to God about what we want. So I'm praying my house sells, but also praying he gives me patience in the meantime. Maybe I'll also add another prayer asking for discernment on whether I should sleep on the couch until my house sells, or just sleep on top of my comforter. I'm not sure this making the bed nonsense is worth it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Adventures in Real Estate Part 2: Looking

I'm addicted to HGTV. Seriously addicted. It's my off season ESPN. Every Sunday for at least the past two years has been spent watching House Hunters. Often, I like to yell at the television: "IT'S JUST A PAINT COLOR!" or "NO! You don't NEED to redo the kitchen. You WANT to!" So I was very thrilled that in my house hunt this time, I had not turned into one of those people.
I started looking for houses by learning what I could afford, then I figured out where I want to be, and what I am really looking for, which is an old house with character. I'm willing to sacrifice big closets and a whirlpool tub for a porch swing and built ins. That's just who I am. I found several I liked online. But how do you rank a bunch of super cute houses in the same neighborhood? And how do you keep all the ins and outs straight when you are looking by yourself? Well when you're a nerd like me, a Google Form is clearly the way to go.
HUGE dork... I get it.
In addition to my list of things I said I wanted in my next house, I had a rating scale of Perfect, Good, I Can Live with It, or I Don't Think So for kitchen, curb appeal, and neighborhood. I also had a place to note how many bedrooms and bathrooms, and a comment box for storage, what needs to be redone immediately, and any other comments. My sister reassured me "I actually think this is a great idea." I replied with, "Well, I kind of do too, but it's things like this that make me realize why I am still single!"

So, I've been inside of five super cute houses the last couple of days. Two weren't even Google Docs Worthy ("Google Docs worthy" just became the new "spongeworthy" btw).  Of the three I recorded, one of them was ok, one of them was cute, but too small, and dare I say, one of them was just right.  As I planned to knock out walls and add in appliances, I realized maybe I am one of those HGTV people. But I am not the annoying brat on House Hunters who doesn't want to do any work, I am more Jonathan Scott with an eye for how to change the space to make it more functional.

So... I have found one I am in love with. Hopefully soon I will be writing "Selling" and "Offering" posts too!
Monday, May 20, 2013

Adventures in Real Estate: Part 1: Cleaning (and listing)

For years, I've talked about one day getting a "real" house... You know, where I own all four walls, and have a porch and a yard and everything. Well, I finally decided now was as good of a time as any... And I decided to clean, declutter, and get this townhouse ready to list. It shouldn't take too long, right? How much stuff could I accumulate in a little over 1000 sq feet anyway? (SPOILER ALERT: lots)

I started one night a couple of weeks ago and I pulled everything out from under my bed. My mother can attest, this has been a place I historically shove crap. As I was pulling out plastic bins and folders and more shoeboxes than I think I have shoes, I began to make three piles: KEEP, TOSS, DONATE. I kind of felt like Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie, minus the friends. And the champagne. And the Run DMC audio track. This took approximately two hours, and I knew this was the least of my worries, so I decided I'd tackle the rest that weekend.

I went shopping for some plastic bins to store things in. I had allocated one smallish plastic under bed box as my nostalgia box. If I didn't need it/wouldn't use it again, it had to fit in the box before I was allowed to keep it. I figured this would help me not turn into a hoarder. Making the box: Tim Couch bobble head, my Class of 97 "Most School Spirit" trophy, VHS tapes from The Raider News, and the Nerg football Carter got me when I broke my wrist (because when Autumn asked what would make me feel better, her three year old replied "A football, Mom!"). Not making the box? My caps and gowns ("even the tassles???" questioned my mom), letters from people I don't talk to anymore, my Governor Scholar id.

As I was cleaning, I learned there were two places in my house that I threw all of my crap: the guestroom closet and the laundry room. After about five hours on both of them, this was the difference I made. (Request: Please don't judge me based on the before pictures):

Closet:







Laundry room:







I cannot even guess how many trips I made to the dumpster, but I only made one trip to the Goodwill. One trip with my back seats folded down, and my car FULL.





Now I will admit my outside storage closet looks a bit like the closet in Monica's apartment that Chandler finally takes the door off to see what's in there... But hey, if Monica can have a messy closet, so can I!

I want to embed this clip, but YouTube won't play nice... so I am linking it in case you want to see (Trish, I know you will click on this link)

My house listed last week. Let's hope all of this hard work pays off and it sells...

Stay tuned for Adventures in Re Estate, Part 2: Looking