Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Report from House Listing City

 

The papers are signed. The Plan is in place. The listing is due to go live the 8th of July provided the-son-I-wish-I-had and I can get through our job lists in time. So much to do. If all goes well Tim’s part will be done in two days of work. He says. I say three. Got the window cleaning and house cleaning scheduled for the 5th of July and photographs the next day. I’ll be walking around in circles all next week trying to get my part done. Paint a bench on my front patio. Purge some more stuff in my closet. Find some papers for the realtor including a death certification for my husband. I’d already registered one with the county tax office but they didn’t take his name off the registered deed. I guess that’s not uncommon with government offices to not follow through with stuff like that so you can't close without that certificate at the closing.

We’ll accept offers until the 15th then look them over all at once. Randy, my trusty realtor---let's hope he is---thinks we’ll get multi offers with more than a few good ones. He says there's absolutely no houses in my price range in my school district for sale and that’s a major draw because I live in a School of Choice Zone between two very desirable schools. He’s also going to accent the wheelchair accessible features of the place, the 830 square feet garage and the privacy of my backyard with its nature strip which is in full bloom right now with orange lilies, Queen Ann’s Lace and yellow and hot pink flowers I’ve forgotten the names of.

My roll top desk was picked up while the realtor was here to hash out details of what I need to do and not do. That was kind of hairy, though, because the lady picking up the desk had a vehicle that wasn’t big enough and she came all the way from Maryland. The half hour pick up turned into an all afternoon deal because they had to go rent a small van and she and her partner will be driving back home separately, each taking half a desk with them. It was a hold-my-breath moment, hoping she wouldn’t ask me to cancel the e-Bay sale, return her money and leave my desk standing in parts. Hauling large object home from out-of-state was something my husband did on our vacations so I had some sympathy for the situation even though it was their own fault. But she was motivated to get the desk home and my bank account thanked her. And if she's like my husband was she'll turn the Tale of Desk Pick Up into a great story that will have everyone laughing and make her love it all the more.

Randy doesn’t believe a house needs to be so sterile that you can’t have things like my wind-chimes up or a Puff tissue box or toaster sitting on a counter top. He also doesn’t play games with bringing in rented furniture to stage a place. My house won’t be featured on a HGTV make-over show on how to make money for a staging company. And I can buy my own cinnamon bun scented candle if I want the place to smell like I just baked bread, thank you very much. Houses are selling in my area in 8 to 10 days plus he thinks the seller’s market will hold until the end of September. When banks can do foreclosures again---which they haven't been able to do because of Covid---it will be a game changer. Even if the happens soon, I should be okay because of how long the foreclosure process will take before a glut of houses will get dumped on the market all at once. Real estate boards are watching for that trigger switch to happen which can come any day now.

The number of things Randy wants Tim and I to add to our To Do List was short. But one of them took me nearly two hours to figure out where I put the instructions for adding a code to my front door key pad. I don’t have a tradition door nobs to put a lock box on. It was either add a code or buy a new deadbolt. I thought I’d put the instructions in a box I set up for the new owners. Not finding it there, I downloaded the manual online but my new computer wasn’t acquainted with my printer yet so I had to dink around with introducing the oldest machine in the house to the newest machine. And wouldn’t you know it, my old brain kicked in after all that and I remembered to look in the place I’d kept those instructions for the past decade and there it was. Oh, yes, I've got it all together. All my pickles are in the jar, all my goldfish are still swimming in their tank. If you believe all that, I have an ocean front cottage to sell you in North Dakota where the buffalo roam the sandy beach. ©

Edit to add: Foreclosures have started. And I was right about Tim. He's working his third and final day as this goes live on Wednesday---vacuuming cobwebs in the basement. I'll have to go to recycling and Goodwill on Friday but otherwise I'm ready except for the window cleaners and house cleaners on Monday while I dusting furniture.

47 comments:

  1. Unbelievable progress, my friend! I hope you can write in the contract that you can stay in the house til your move. That would save another hassle. What a project almost complete! Happy Days.

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    1. We have it written that I get 60 days, 30 of them I'd have to pay rent. Anyone who counters will less will get a hard no. With 30 days to close and 60 days to move will put me to Oct 15 and my move in day is Oct 5th...this is all assuming I get and accept an offer as soon as others have in our area.

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  2. It is so exciting to follow you, Jean! I have a feeling you'll be pleasantly surprised at the interest in your home. These are crazy times. Yesterday, it was so hot and humid here in the midwest, I decided to go to the basement and cull through some Christmas decorations. I sifted and sorted and ended up keeping only those things with a very strong sentimental attachment. I never thought it would be so hard to make decisions about what to keep and what to let go, but I think we'll be very glad to have this behind us. Hang in there, Jean. You and Tim have worked very hard, but you've made wonderful progress! Looking forward to the upcoming posts!!

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    1. Oh. yes, Christmas! I sorted mine months ago and ended up with two boxes. Then last week I did it again and now I have one box. I've already packed a lot of stuff and will go through it again.

      Tim is a good guy and we have fun working together. He was the best neighbor we ever had and is the best friend I've ever had. After working here all day today he even coming back to help someone load my computer wardrobe at 9 PM. My kitchen looks bare without it but it's a relief we didn't have to move it to the garage to sell after the listing ends.

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  3. It's only 7 a.m., but after reading your post, I'm exhausted. It actually sounds as though things are well under control, thanks to your months of work -- and all those post-it notes slapped here and there! I just can't believe that things won't work out perfectly. It's a seller's market, and you've got a great place to offer folks. Those schools are a real plus.

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    1. Hope that market holds, but even if it doesn't this house has features a lot of mid-range priced houses don't. So it should sell. Still holding my breath until the month is in my bank account. Had a house deal fall apart the closing when the so-called buyers didn't show up.

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  4. I know that so much can happen right up to closing, but you've done all that you can do. (Which is sometimes the most frustrating part of it all.) The housing market around here is still crazy; houses are getting snapped up within a couple of weeks, even those that aren't nearly as well-maintained and well-situated as yours.

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    1. It's crazy, isn't it. People throwing bids they'd never get a mortgage on because the value isn't there. Yet they come up with the cash. I just need one solid buyer with a good credit score.

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  5. That's a huge big deal and it sounds -- well, as Linda said, exhausting. But going well. I'm sure you'll sell in a heartbeat and probably for far more than you think. RIck is having issues with the sale of his mom's house in TX due to issues related with his late stepfather she knew nothing about. It's always something. I wish you well -- it sounds like it's under control (ans whew, about the desk!)

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    1. People come out of the woodwork don't they when money is involved. I don't envy rick having to deal with it long-distance.

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  6. I totally have faith this will go smoothly. You have carefully put your ducks in a row. Will you still keep a relationship with Tim when you move? You won't have much for him to do. Hope you keep the friendship alive. He sounds like a keeper.

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    1. We will live a good distance apart but we talk on the phone at least a couple of times a month and have for years. That won't change. And were I'll be living is by a huge mall that everyone gets to once or twice a year so I expect he'll stop in when he's in the area. We're planning a one day moving sale for right after the closing for a few bits of furniture. Then he'll be moving me when the time comes.

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  7. Your house will be a pleasure for prospective buyers to see. Do you feel comfortable sharing a link to the listing here so we can, too? If not, I understand. In any case you have so many good people sending you love that the right buyer will feel it. Will you meet any of them? Is it common practice now to set up a period of time collecting offers? Must be a perk of a seller's market!

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    1. That is a perk of a buyer's market. I guess some people will insist that their offer be submitted right away but because we'll state the date we'll read them all, they're request won't hold water. If I share the listing link it will be after I've moved out. Even the address you see on the email notification people subscribe to shows an address to a house I haven't lived in in 20 years.

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    2. It is getting exciting to see it all come together. Tim just left his entire part is done until the closing. Our barter and my payment to him for his work is all settled as of ten minutes ago. Now I'll take a day off to catch up on laundry the Friday hit the recycling sites, Goodwill and hazardous waste drop off. Next up, is planning what to do with all the time I'll need to spend away from the house that first week it's listed.

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  8. Things are moving along and it sounds like you have everything in hand. It's exciting to read about this, but I'm sure doing it might be less exciting, more stressful. Still it's finally happening. Fingers crossed it all goes along without a hitch.

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    1. It is getting exciting to see it all come together. Tim just left his entire part is done until the closing. Our barter and my payment to him for his work is all settled as of ten minutes ago. Now I'll take a day off to catch up on laundry the Friday hit the recycling sites, Goodwill and hazardous waste drop off. Next up, is planning what to do with all the time I'll need to spend away from the house that first wwek it's listed.

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  9. I think your timing is perfect. Here realtors have put up their signs with "Coming soon" on houses that aren't ready yet and they sell before they even get the info online!
    Good luck!

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  10. Well, I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised by your house sale. Of course, I'm not a realtor, but it's still a seller's market here, and the realtor knows what is available in your price range. Schools are a huge deal, too, as you know. I still see people asking for reasonable house ideas on our local FB page. And you've worked really hard for a long time...you deserve a good break. :-)

    Went to my dentist today and saw the new development from the parking lot. It really looks NICE. You are going to love it.

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    1. I'm going back out to tour my unit the week the house is listed. Can't wait to see all the changes. The management is trying to buy that dental office for their ten year plan.

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  11. Good luck with it all. You're garage is larger than my entire apartment. lol My apartment is 650 sq feet.

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    1. Thanks. It's a guy's dream garage with vaulted ceiling and only two hundred square feet smaller than where I' moving.

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  12. I was beginning to wonder where you were in this whole process, and was about to peruse your blog to catch up. (still might), but great to see this post! The real estate market is CRAZY now; I'm sure you are hitting at perhaps the most historically perfect time ever. Congrats in advance!

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  13. YOU GO GIRL!! YOU'VE GOT THIS!

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    1. Thanks Vicki. Since you've been at my house a few times, I'm sure you know how much work Tim and I have done to downsize!

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  14. You are amazing and can do whatever is needed

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    1. My feet right now would disagree with you right now. Tomorrow I'm taking an easy day of doing laundry, getting gas and picking up a good dinner.

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  15. It's so much fun to sit in a comfy chair and get all excited for someone else, who has to do all the work. Great news about leaving the time open for multiple offers. I've wondered how that's handled in this kind of market. It will be such a relief to have everything done and the move planned. I too have faith it will go smoothly.

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    1. I hope so It's not common to ask for 60 days from closing to possession, which I'm doing and anything after 30 days the buyer has a right to ask for rent. I don't have a problem with that. But my terms could cause less offers. In a buyers market that's should be a problem, but anyone buying can also decide to wait until fall when the market will turn into a buyer's market. All I know for sure is that my house is shiny and clean and I hope it makes up for not having updated appliances and marble countertops.

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  16. I’m so glad it’s all coming together for you, but I will be so relieved when it’s all done.

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    1. There are so many moving parts with selling a house that anything can go sideways at any time. I'm going to try not to worry about that.

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  17. Fingers crossed for you, Jean! Hope all goes swimmingly!

    Deb

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    1. Me too. I'm almost afraid to say out loud but I could be less than two weeks from having a signed buy/sell agreement.

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  18. I'm excited for you but you are reminding me of what I will need to do whenever I am ready to sell and I'm tired just thinking about it. ha! Good Luck!

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    1. My best advice is to start early because you never know what's on the horizon to slow you down.

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  19. What an exciting time frame you're now in Jean and that's a quick Turn in your area, so shouldn't be too stressful if you get multiple offers and so quickly Sell. I was Thankful that Villa Boheme' Sold rather quickly for a Luxury Home, since those can be a tough Sell, but it was a desirable Floor Plan that had a limited supply since the Builder went Chapter 11 before they finished out their part of that subdivision Years earlier. As for Foreclosures, that was my Specialty in my first Corporate Life, but Laws and Procedure vary State to State and we only did Loans in 11 different States besides Arizona, so I'm not familiar with how it goes in all States. A glut of REO Properties can cause problems tho', Short Sale Properties take a long time to hash out the Sale of, so you might still be Golden in spite of the Edit Update of Foreclosures now being allowed and starting. Here in AZ I couldn't usually complete a Foreclosure for 90 Days in the best case Scenario, then we usually had to convey it to the Investor, which takes time too, we kept very few REO in our own Bank's Inventory... Banks are not in the Selling Real Estate Industry really so they don't like that scenario unless a tonnage of Equity can be had... and lets face it, if that were the case most people wouldn't have lost the Home, they would have Sold it and repaid the default out of the proceeds.

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    1. The ninety days is what I'm hearing, too. We think the house across the street that sold 3 weeks ago, and the people moved out already must have been trying to stay off a default. This past week they've had a crew of professionals in their working on every aspect of a house like an investor would do. And like I've done before listing.

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    2. The problem with Foreclosure flips by Investors is that it can hurt the comps in an area considerably if they Sell too low to get out from under it fast. Our Bank Portfolio didn't keep REO Property long and most Investors don't either, they want a performing Loan, not a liability of something they won't get a return on. Most Foreclosures are right at the wire of being upside down in value.

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    3. That's not a fun fact, considering it was just across the street. LOL

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  20. Your countdown to "launch" is so reminiscent of our last few moves, and why I don't look forward to the next one! The very best of luck, Jean. I hope you find a qualified buyer quickly who clears all the financial and legal hurdles so you can make your big move. A friend to help and a trustworthy real estate agent make all the difference.

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    1. Supposedly weren't accepting offers from anyone who isn't prequalified. But with so many moving parts I won't breathe easy until the money is in the bank. Scary and exciting all at the same time.

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  21. I'm very impressed! Just thinking about doing all that makes me tired.

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    1. You've already done your big move and across state lines. Now, that was impressive!

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  22. As others have said, just reading about what you've accomplished left me exhausted.

    The real estate market is crazy in Oz too at the moment.

    Best of luck! (now off to read your most recent posts) ~ Libby

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