We listed our house on September 15th, spent the next three weeks trying to keep things all tidy and neat in case we had a call to show it, and Ornery working insane 3rd shift hours for one whole week. After two weeks we had shown it twice. The first guy said, "I would like it better if it had a gameroom upstairs." (There IS no upstairs!!) The second one said the Feng Shui was wrong because of the way the house faces the street or some such thing. Hmm.
We asked the Realtor to host an open house, which she did this past weekend.
We figured it must be the green walls turning people away as our price is right on target for the market, so Sunday October 5th we began operation beige walls. Sunday Ornery painted the kitchen. Monday and Tuesday he worked on the dining room. Wednesday he painted the whole hall, working until 11:00 PM. Thursday he finished off the two little alcoves outside the bedrooms. He took Friday off from the painting. Saturday morning we worked at getting things all cleaned up, then after the open house was over at 4:00, we started on the living room, which we finished about 10 minutes before she arrived for Sunday's open house.
We were delighted to find that Lowe's Valspar Reserve paint (their top of the line) covered everything with one coat, even the cut-work, which as always required two rounds. Since the ceilings on most of the rooms we had to paint were 10 feet, there was a lot of ladder work!! Fortunately he didn't have to paint the ceilings as they were already white from when we painted the walls green. We figure the extra $10. per gallon for the better paint was worth it, considering it would have taken twice as much of the lesser grade paint to cover the walls. I doubt we'll ever buy anything else after how well that worked.
We had five people come through on Saturday, one on Sunday. The response from all seemed positive, but no contract yet. The main comment was about how clean and organized everything looked. The one on Sunday asked the Realtor, "Where is the television?" When she relayed that question to us, I replied we have never had a television and she said, "So you just don't know anything that is going on in the world??" As though the only way to learn the news was to watch TV!! Even if we had one we would not be news watchers. Just sayin'.
My response was that considering the slant one gets in the media, I am not so sure she is any more informed by watching it that we are by not. I was a little offended by her attitude. Oh, well. I asked her if she would hold a Broker's Open House, and she said she would try to schedule one. She will also see about getting new photos up on the internet sites so it represents the
very blah beige walls we are now living with. If that doesn't work, I don't know what else we can do. I don't think open houses in general work all that great to sell a house, at least that is what I have been told by previous Realtors. However, I have to say that having six people going through over the weekend was better than the two throughout the three weeks previous.
We still have the utility room to paint, and we hope to do that next weekend, or a bit during the week, but I am not in a hurry to tackle that as the pantry shelves are loaded and it will take a lot of work to paint them.
So, besides painting and shuffling stuff to paint, we have also been spending a little time at 507, our rental property. Back at the first of August we noted that the doors at one end of the house were sticking, so Ornery has spent countless hours making a huge mess of one of the door frames, and still it is sticking. The other door is actually worse and as he studied the situation realized that the floor had heaved, or the wall had sunk or something. So, we looked into having the company who did the piers before we purchased it in 2012 come look at it for warranty work. We apparently failed to register the change of ownership with the company (to the tune of $500.00) within the first year, so it voided the warranty. Okay! So, we are starting at ground zero again and they are scheduled to come out 10-15 to check it out and give us an estimate.
Since any foundation work will alter the whole structure, we are going to have to do some repairs inside once the piers are put in. Then, if we haven't sold this house yet, we will put 507 back on the market for lease. We don't really want to have to pay two house payments, sets of utilities, etc. if we can avoid it. When we had this idea, I really thought we would sell fairly quickly, but it has not turned out that way. So, we will move all the stuff we had started taking over there back here and when this house sells we will either store most of it and rent or find something quickly to buy.
Meanwhile, Ornery has been given the green light at work to work as much overtime as he wants as they are buried in work. He actually has ten projects on his plate, and is juggling things rather proficiently. The overtime is good for the budget, but hard to work so many hours there, then come home and paint or fix stuff here. He is doing remarkably well, all things considered, but both of us are pretty tired; a situation not helped any by the barking dogs next door interrupting every bit of sleep we attempt.
It would be lying to say I am not discouraged by how slowly things are going. I am not really all that patient once I decide to do something. I have missed many of the items from my studio I took over there, and between having stuff in two places and having crammed what is here into smaller spaces, working on my art has been rather frustrating. I don't think I will do that again. And if we don't have a contract this week, next weekend I will be moving all my stuff back here and setting it back up so I can enjoy it.
And I have been doing some art. The traveling journals are still coming around, but I think I only have two left to work in before mine comes home. I have done several washi tape crafts and sample swaps on Swap-bot, and have kept up with all my correspondence (+/- 30 pen pals now). So far in 2014 I have sent out just under 800 pieces of mail. That seems unbelievable!! The clerk at the post office knows me by name, and when I went in on Saturday to mail two journals he commented that he hadn't seen me in a while and that my mail wasn't as colorful as usual.
I'll work on that. :)
I have a few other big projects in the works. I just finished putting together a rather amazing package for the Creative Exchange, and am about 3/4 through with 20 Christmas ATC's for an Instagram swap. I'm hosting a Christmas/Winter banner swap, and am still sending back and forth a "letter" journal, an ongoing project with two of my pen friends. We do art and write in it each time we receive it.
Elizabeth wants to have a Halloween party, so I told her she could have it here since her place is too small. That will probably be our last big gathering to host--that used to be my thing, but not so much anymore.
Ornery and I have decided that Christmas this year will mostly be a non-event. We don't need any more stuff to move, and paying two house payments and utilities for both is certainly adding a certain amount of concern for the budget. So, while we may do a little stocking stuffing, or maybe some eBooks, iTunes, or things that don't take up much space, that's the extent this year. I think Elizabeth and Michael are on board with the idea, too, as they have had a rather expensive fall with huge vet bills and the likelihood of having to replace one of their vehicles.
So, that's my latest news. Today it is rainy and gray, another in a string of similar days over the last week, but the forecast is for some gorgeous fall days the rest of the week, and I'm happy about that!