Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Stop the ride, I want to get off

I am about done with the showings. This has been exhausting. Here is a summary so far:

On the market – 2/11
2/12 – 2 showings
2/13 – 2 showings
2/14 – 2 showings
2/16 – 1 showing
2/20 – 1 showing
2/22 – 3 showings
2/23 – 1 showing and an open house with 12 people coming through
2/25 – 2 showings
2/28 – 1 showing
3/2 – 1 showing
3/3 – 2 showings
3/4 – 1 showing
3/6 – 1 showing (scheduled)
Buyers who came back for a second showing - 2
Buyers who came back for a third showing – 1

Total showings to date – 19 (20 after tomorrow). If you count the open house attendees we are at 31 (32 after tomorrow).
Offers - NADA  :(

Just for fun throw in two birthdays, four birthday parties, a few snow storms and a husband overseas for a week. 

Someone PLEASE make an offer. Any offer. Come on. This mama is tired.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Anybody want to buy a house?

Did you think I fell of the face of the earth?  Nope still here.  And as always, crazy busy.  (notice a theme?)

So whats happened in the last month since I posted?

We had a couple of birthday's to celebrate!  Chance turned 10 (gasp! double digits) and Parker turned 6.  Yikes.  They are getting old which means I am getting even older.  We had birthday parties and cake and sleepovers and the month has gone by in warp speed.  Tomorrow is seriously the 1st of March?

Also one of these showed up in my yard:
No, that is not my house.  Or the actual sign.  I would post the real sign but this is the Internet and there are creepers out there. 

Its been pretty much a whirlwind.  We met with the realtor on a Tuesday, spent the next 5 days busting butt to get the house ready, almost divorced in the process and by Monday we were active on the market.  We've been on now for 18 days, have had 15 showings, 2 second showings and an open house with about a dozen people come through.

Unfortunately, no offers yet. :(

I can honestly say that when we do eventually sell this place and move, we are never doing this again.  They can cart my hiney out of the next house straight to the nursing home.  Or looney bin.  Or whatever.  We aren't moving again.  Or I should say selling a house again.  This has been one of the most stressful things I have ever done.  Its like a roller coaster.  One day you are on a high because you have had a ton of showings, you are getting great feedback, feels like an offer is imminent and then BOOM.  Nothing.  Hit a low.  Go a few days, no showings then BAM tons of showings, great feedback, feeling good, nothing....Lather, rinse, repeat.

The feedback is fun (sarcasm here).  I love people critiquing my house. One of my favorites so far has been "the place seems used".  Errrr, you do know people live here right?  Like it is used.  We use it to live here.  The house was built in 1984.  People have used it.  Its going to get used after we leave too. That's kinda what you do when you live in a house.  You use it.  What were you expecting exactly?  My realtor was baffled.  She wasn't even really sure what that meant.  And that was all the feedback the agent left.  Just those four words....the place seems used.  So helpful.  We've gotten a lot of good feed back too.  Just wish we'd get an offer already.

Monday will be three weeks we've been on the market.  Although it feels like its been a year. If we don't have an offer by then, we are going to reduce the price.  I just want to be done with it. move on.  Besides my hair is falling out at an alarming rate from the stress and I don't think I can take being bald on top of all the crap I am already dealing with.

Monday, February 4, 2013

It's about to get REAL

As usual, it’s been crazy. I keep waiting for things to slow down but it seems like they never do. This month is especially nutty for us because we have both the boys’ birthdays, parties and Tom leaves for an overseas trip. Ugh. January flew by fast, I can only imagine how fast February is going to go.

We finished up the kitchen and I will post pics soon. It turned out just the way we wanted it and are really happy with how it looks. We haven’t done many more projects since then. Long story short we gave up on listing this year. We were pretty sure this wasn’t the right time after much discussion and had pretty much shelved it for now. We hadn’t talked to a realtor but just felt like it wasn’t worth anyones time. We figured we’d take our time over the next year and try again. After all, that’s what we are used to. The mantra is always, “Maybe next year”.

Back up to this past Saturday night which involved a sleepover with a new friend of Chance’s and meeting his Mom who just happens to be a realtor. I can’t even remember how it came up in conversation other than she was commenting on how she works a lot, odd hours, etc and I asked her what she did. We weren’t even thinking of talking to a realtor (or at that point even trying to find one) but somehow one found us.

All I had to do was mention we were thinking of listing our house (honestly I think to a realtor that is like blood in the water to a shark). She is very interested, seemed very positive that we’d have a good outcome and wants to come take a look. Can’t hurt right? She said right now inventory is really low and anything that is coming on the market (that is priced right) is going very, very quickly. She’s already pulled comps for us that look very promising. She told us to start looking for a new place.

Tomorrow at 5:30 she is coming over to view the property and talk numbers. And then?

I am already about to throw up.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's always something

Came home yesterday to the sound of running water in the house. That’s never a good sound. After a frantic search (was a toilet overflowing? Did the hose pop off the washing machine? Is the dishwasher leaking?) I discovered a nice little ice skating rink in the backyard and the outside facet flowing freely. Tried turning it off but it was apparent the issue was bigger than that. It did slow the water some but it was still coming out at a pretty steady flow.


Called Tom, he was already on his way home. Told him to hurry, it didn’t look good. All I could do was wait and hope that we didn’t have a flood in the crawlspace or worse.

After he got home, turned off the water and evaluated the situation he confirmed my fear; a busted pipe. Frick. It’s been pretty cold here the last few days (single digits) and yesterday was the first day it got above freezing. That’s all it took. Tom said it appears that the facet wasn’t closed all the way the last time it was used. Grrrrr. Today he is home replacing the pipe. Fan-freaking-tastic.

This comes on the heels of a not so great moment for me. I’ve been diving head first into this house stuff for so long (like years, long before I had/put anything on this blog) and it all caught up with me over the weekend. The doubt starts to creep in. The what if’s start getting a little too loud. I’m trying to stay positive but I am already bracing myself for the letdown if we can’t list. Silly I know, we haven’t even talked to a realtor yet.

Sunday night I start to put my novice real estate skills to the test. A short trip to realtor.com and Zillow and the brain starts going crazy (why do I do this?). A quick check of our savings, an estimation of what our tax refund will be and some calculating of what it will take to get out (make up the shortfall of what we owe/list, realtor fee’s, what if they ask us to pay closing?) and what it will take to get into somewhere new (if we purchase something for $XX and we put down 5%...). Add all that to the laundry list of things I want to fix/update before we list and an implosion is imminent.

I didn’t fall asleep until 4am, Monday morning. Ka-boom.

After some talking it through with Tom, some tears (mine) and a four hour nap I feel more at peace with it all. We are going to stay the course but the pipe situation yesterday felt like a little salt in the wound (really? One more thing?). I am trying to take it in stride.

It may very well be possible that we won’t be able to list. It may very well be possible we will. But I can’t obsess about it anymore.

Whatever happens, happens. And it all happens for a reason, right?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

One down, 5 million to go - regrouting tile

The past week has been busy in the PnR household.  We were on vacation from work and school for the holidays and Monday was every ones first day back.  While it was nice to get back into our normal routine, it is exhausting.  We pretty much did nothing for the two weeks we were off and you forget pretty quickly how much time it takes to pack lunches, get clothes together, do homework, make dinner, etc, etc when you don't have the whole day to laze about.  It was a nice vacation from the grind.
One thing we did do on our break that was productive was tackle one of our first projects on the "gotta get it done before we list the house" list:  The master bath.  Well more specifically the first phase of the master bath.  On the agenda for this tiny, tiny room (which by the way is the ONLY full bath in the tiny house) is re grout the shower and floor, repaint and fix the vanity.  For phase one, we decided to tackle the re grouting because we figured it would be the most tedious job.

Back when we originally updated the bathroom we put white tiles and white grout, very neutral.  The only problem is we used a dark grey thin set.  A lot of dark grey thin set.  You know what happens when a you use white tile, white grout and dark grey thin set?  This:

 Lots of dark grey grout seeping up through white grout.  At first it wasn't too bad.  Over the years its gotten worse.  And as a result even though the tile and grout are clean, it looks perpetually dirty.  Not something that is going to be attractive to a potential buyer. 

So we busted out the dremel and got a bit (#569) that is specifically for removing grout.  It also came with a guide to help you guide the bit and not snag the tile. 

For the record even with the bit and the guide you will still snag the tile.  Its almost impossible not to.  They key is to go s-l-o-w and try to snag it as little as possible.   I tried a few times to run the dremel but after 15 minutes and me getting about an inch of grout out Tom took over.

 After a few hours, the shower looks like this:


And the husband looks like this:


After all the bad grout/thin set was removed we ran a vacuum over it to remove any dust that may have been stuck in between the tiles and gave it a good scrub down.  Then it was time to re grout.  (We briefly thought about using a grey grout but that would have involved removing ALL the grout.  It seriously would have taken days.  Instead we just removed the bad parts and re grouted white.) 

I know it doesn't look white in the photo but I swear it is!  The grout had to "cure" for 24 hours and then it was time to seal.  We ended up putting on two coats of sealer. 

The end result?  Shiny new looking tile!  Its purty.  And hopefully buyer worthy :)
We didn't get to the floor yet because honestly this "two day" project turned into five.  It didn't take long to get the grout out but the whole re grouting, curing, sealing process takes some time simply because you have to let everything dry.  Since this is the only full bath we have and I was tired of it being out of commission we decided to tackle the floor later.  But at least the shower is done! 

So one item off the list and what seems like a million projects to go.  We are going to give the bathroom a break for a while and move onto the kitchen.  (I know we should finish one project then move to the next but blah.  I'm tired of looking at the bathroom).   We replaced the old laminate counter tops back in October with a beautiful quartz and just need to install a back splash.  After that it's pretty much done. 

A sneak peek of the before (this was before the counter top replacement too)......

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013: Year of the House

It's been a bit crazy here as of late and as a result there hasn't been much time to dedicate to the blog.  Life gets busy, the day to day takes over and something has to suffer.  One of my resolutions for 2013 (amongst the usual suspects; lose some weight, get more organized, blah, blah) is to try and devote more time to chronicling our lives through this blog.

One of the major things taking over our lives is our house.  If I had to put it bluntly I'd say its pretty much the bain of my existence at this point.  I think about it everyday, usually multiple times a day.  Its one of the first things I think of when I wake up and usually one of the last things I think of before I fall asleep.  Why?  Because I can't wait to get rid of it.

Let me explain....

Back in early 2002 after only being married for a few years, Tom and I embarked on the adventure of home ownership.  All of our friends were buying and we were some of the last who were still renters.  We wanted to start a family and buying a house before a baby seemed like a logical step.  The market at the time was insane.  We'd go look at a handful of houses, go to dinner to talk about it, decide we liked one enough to put an offer on it only to call our realtor and find out that in the few short hours that we'd seen the property it already had multiple offers that were above asking.  It was beyond frustrating.  I can't even count how many properties we liked that were snatched up almost immediately after they came on the market.

Our lease was quickly coming up for renewal and I did not want to get stuck paying a high month to month lease or worse having to sign for another year.  The race was on.

We finally landed on what I lovingly referred to as "the piss house".  This place was in dire straights.  It needed work.  It was dingy.  The yard was 5 foot tall weeds.  It had no less than 5 different kinds of carpet.  It smelled like animal urine (hence the lovely nickname).   Even at that we still decided to go for it because it had "potential".  We ended up beating out one other offer that was already on the table.  We thought we'd won the lottery. Little did we know at the time what kind of lottery we'd won.

The first two weeks in the house consisted of painting every single wall and piece of molding.  Scouring every corner with bleach.  Ripping up carpet and padding that would make us gag.  It was nothing short of an adventure.  Our living room which has 18 foot tall ceilings had floor to ceiling mirrors mounted on one wall.  An entire 18 foot tall wall covered in mirrors.  I used to joke with Tom that all we needed was a pole and a strobe light.  

After pouring all the extra money we had into the house it was livable.   Not perfect but livable.  We found out one short month later that I was pregnant.

Chance was born the next year and for a while we just went about the day to day of adjusting to the life of being new parents and a family of three.  We'd do projects here and there that initially didn't get done because they weren't a necessity.  We'd redo the kitchen, then a bathroom.  Dig up the backyard and reseed.  Redo another bathroom and put down new flooring in the dining room.  We'd tackle projects as we had the money, trying to make the house into what we wanted.

A few years went by and the itch to have another baby started.  The only problem was the house was only two bedrooms.  After much thought we figured babies don't take up much room so we weren't going to let the lack of square footage put our family on hold.  Parker was born in early 2007.

Shortly after he arrived we were quickly reminded that babies DO take up a lot of room and almost overnight we'd outgrown the house.  We needed to move.

We met with a realtor and things were set in motion.  We were given a to do list (mostly declutter, imagine that) and had our sights set on a new build.  The day we were set to go sign the paperwork and give the builder an escrow check I freaked out.  Started second guessing.  What if we didn't sell the house in time to get into the new build?  What if I miscalculated and the budget I set up isn't going to work with two kids and a new mortgage?  What if this turns out to be a bad decision?  Is this really the right time?  Maybe in another year we'd be better off?  They say go with your gut.  I pulled the plug.

Little did I know the following year in 2008 the market would crash.  The economy would start to tank and we'd be on the forefront of a recession.  Any value we had in our tiny house was gone almost immediately.  Any dream of moving was off the table indefinitely.  I was crushed.  We were here to stay.  Any thought of moving was pushed out of my mind.  

Fast forward to now.  The boys are 5 and 9.  They share a tiny bedroom and we are crammed in here like sardines.  I'm constantly editing everything we own because we just cant afford the space for things that aren't absolutely necessary.  No one has a place that is their own.  Every room is multi-purpose.  If one thing is out of order the entire house looks trashed.  In short the house is a constant battle and it sucks.

Over the past two years we've been working hard towards setting ourselves up to finally get out of the house.  We've paid of some debts.  Put away a nice sum in savings.  Amped up getting this little house in order.  I can't even tell you how hard we've worked to get to where we are.  We are hoping its enough.  I am terrified that it wont be. Nothing has been easy with this house.  From the get go it's felt forced.  It's never really felt like home.  I'm hoping that of all the things we've dealt with up to this point in regard to the house it's this part that goes easy.  Cross your fingers.     

No matter what happens, 2013 is year of the house.  If all goes well we will list (and sell!) in the spring and move on.  Even though its a few months off I am already nervous to met with a realtor to see where we stand.  We have a few major projects left to be done and I will be chronicling what are hopefully some of our last adventures in this house and then the process we will go through to move on.    

Crazy how something so small can seem so big and take over your every waking thought.....

1 tiny house
939 square feet
2 bedrooms
1.5 baths
4 people
1 crazy dog
A dream long in the making