Friday, June 28, 2013

On The Market

Selling a home is never easy but it seems that my husband and I have made the difficult sale an art form. The one exception to this was the time we sold our house to my mom and the transaction was akin to my mom asking what it was being listed for and then saying she would pay that price.  A once in a lifetime dream come true.  Our house went on the market two weeks ago and, believe me, I already know that this sale is not going to come as easily as the one I made with my mom. Given our outright lack of luck for the past three and a half years, it really should not have surprised me when putting our house on the market single-handedly shut down the sales of homes in our area.  Prior to our joining the 'for sale' group, houses were selling like hotcakes in our development for listing price and above.  We shut that down the day the hole was dug for our sign.  I am a hound even when we are not selling, so I am keenly aware of market trends and priced my house below the recently 'sold' competition for a quick sale. Ha!

I spoke with my realtor last night looking for some insight as to why we are stalled and not showing and I must admit her answer surprised and annoyed me.  She said that she has spoken to a couple of the realtors who have showed my house and they concur that it is really more of a 'theme-house' (like Disney World or Wisconsin Dells???) because of all the inlaid hardwood floors and lack of carpet.  Wait a minute! Did she mean to tell me that people would prefer to live on someone else's old carpet instead of beautiful hardwood floors?  Has no one thought to mention that a potential buyer could put area rugs over the wood floors?  Have anyone ever seen an episode of House Hunters on HGTV where the potential buyers are looking for carpet instead of hardwood?  This is a bitter pill to swallow and I must say that for me it begs the question whether realtors simply show a house or actually try to sell a house because I find it hard to believe that a potential buyer would not even come to see my home because of a lack of carpet.

I suppose I am even crankier about this because all the homes I am looking at are filled with exactly what I detest...the dreaded wall-to-wall carpet.  The last thing I want to be doing is replacing carpet, but it seems it is the first thing that will need to be on my list when we eventually move.  My realtor suggested that perhaps our buyer will need to be someone who is being transferred to our area, someone who is not 'offended' by hardwoods.  So, the way I am interpreting her suggestion is that we need someone from out of town (state?) with an open-mind when it comes to flooring options and who is not over-sensitive nor 'offended' by beautiful inlaid wood floors.  What are the odds?

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Midas Touch

It has been awhile since my last post because with the children home from school, I find my time is no longer my own as my chauffeuring and chef duties have multiplied tenfold (at least).  In addition, with all the constant chatter going on and the seemingly endless stream of questions I answer all day long, I cannot stand to hear the words in my head even if I had an idea for a blog post. I feel as though I am in a constant quest for '5 minutes of silence.' That said, as I sit outside in the Florida-like humidity (yuck) and stare at my For Sale sign, I cannot help but wonder why homes were selling like hot cakes in my area, specifically in my development, until ours hit the market and now sales have come to a halt so screeching loud that it is deafening. WTH?  Not only were homes selling quickly, but they were selling for list price and one even had multiple offers. Sadly, we have never had luck when selling a home...our first house sold for less than we had paid for it after three (yes, three) years on the market and we were thrilled to get what we did. Talk about torture.

The most annoying part of trying to sell this house after our awful and ill-fated attempt at moving to Boston last year, is the fact that I painstakingly copied the colors and decor of the houses that I had seen so as to make this house blend in and be more saleable when we needed to move.  The joke is on me, huh?  I just don't get it as we cannot win for losing. If we have hardwood, potential buyers want carpet, if we had carpet, they would want tile. Whatever happened to the time when a buyer would purchase a house and then remodel or repaint  after moving in. It seems that these days every potential buyer wants the homeowner to have designed the home for their needs prior to purchase. I asked my realtor not to give me feedback after a showing unless there was an egregious concern because I am sick and tired of people telling me that they don't like my ceiling fan or that my inlaid wood floors are 'offensive'...yep, I really heard that one last year.

So as my signs swings in the breeze, I wonder what it is going to take to sell this house without losing anymore money as we are already selling for less than we bought it for and doing so does not feel any better the second time around. Trust me. One thing is for sure though, in my next house, I am painting and doing whatever I want because I know that when it comes to selling, it really is all a crap shoot in the end. I might as well enjoy my house, my way while I live there.

Anyone want to buy a nice house?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

3-2-1 Summer Break

By this time tomorrow morning, I will be gearing up to head to school to listen to the Excellence In Attendance Awards and to cry like a baby when that noon bell rings signifying not only the start of summer vacation, but the start of my oldest's senior year in HS and my 'next in line's' freshman year.  I realized this morning as I was mentally preparing myself for my oldest's three week college boarding adventure this summer (and wondering how I was going to keep it together so as not to embarrass him at drop off) that his venture into college next year will not be only a physical separation but an academic one as well for me.  You see, the two of us are in perfect academic sync; he loves to share the details of his classes and we discuss his written essays and plans for projects and I love to listen and discuss things with him.  We have a mutually beneficially relationship where he is totally invested in his academics, but he loves the process of working things through with me and he allows me to be involved in his choices.  I would love to take credit for this fabulous approach but he came to this decision early on in lower school all by himself along with his desire to become an attorney and he never deviated from either plan over the years.

His brother, however, the all too soon-to-be freshman takes a completely different approach to school.  Though quite the intellectual powerhouse, this son believes the whole 'tell mom about your academic day' thing is way over-rated, perhaps even preposterous.  When my oldest and I are deep in discussion about an essay on Machiavelli or the merits of using one quote from Plato over another, my other son regards us with an eye roll and a smirk, often reminding me that we will definitely not be doing the same thing once he gets to high school.

Truth be known, I eagerly embrace the differences in all my children and I love the unique relationship I have with each.  That said, not only will I mourn my academic relationship with my oldest when he is away at college, but I am a tad terrified of how I will be handling my other son throughout his high school years.  I must admit though, what he lacks in sharing on the school front with me, he more than makes up for with his endless discussions about all things computer-related.  He might not seek me out to discuss an essay, but he certainly comes to find me to tell me a joke or a story.

So, although the weather is certainly not befitting the last days of school before summer break, by tomorrow at noon the bell will have rung, my tears will have been shed and my children will be chattering on about the fact that they are now 'rising ___________ (fill in the appropriate grade).'  Let the games begin!  Hello, summer 2013.