Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

Archive for the tag “Real Estate”

My House Has Told Me That We Need to Talk

I think our house wants to kick us in this region.

Yep, my house is starting to figure that something is up.  It’s noticed that I’ve been a bit more distracted lately.  That I’ve been stepping out for afternoons and coming back with empty boxes.  It’s tried to listen to my phone conversations and heard words like “possession” and “keys.”  But the lipstick on my collar was when a  guy walked through the house and shouted that with three guys and a truck it would be “easy to clean out.”  This house is no dummy — it’s figured out that we are leaving.

And it’s letting us know it’s displeasure.  This is no house to be easily scorned.  First, there was the tiny-tiniest rivulet of water from the door of the washing machine to the floor.  The repair man came.  He pronounced it a “non-specific leak” and told me to wipe my gasket.  But the house has other tricks up her sleeve.  The dishwasher has started making the strangest hum while running, yet isn’t sick enough for the fellow at South Appliance Repair, who was all too anxious to cash my $375 cheque just 18 months ago, to come out.  And somehow, the only bugs to come out of dormancy in this frozen wasteland I call home, have managed to die in the upstairs flush-mount light fixtures.  The ones I just washed 2 months ago.  The ones I guess I’m going to be washing again.

I’d bring home some flowers for the kitchen, but this house has upped its passive-agressive game, and now I know it would be a good $35 wasted.  As if to cover its eyes in horror, both light bulb on our porch blew at out at once, leaving our night-time coming and goings in darkness.  No cheery, bright welcomes anymore, just stumbling toward the keyhole by street lamp.  Then it brought out its big guns.  Friday morning I tried to open the door of our bathroom door and – nothing.  The lever handle had total ceased to engage the mechanism when you turn it on one direction.  In other words, a person could in a moment of er, urgency, find himself fumbling in futility as he tried to reach the fixtures on the other side of the door.

I realized that this was our house’s equivalent of hardball.  “Fine.  You want to leave?  Not until you clean up a bunch of carpet stains caused from some very small children with very large bladders.”

House, Baby.  I’ve avoided this conversation for way too long.  Yeah, we’re going, but you’ve got to know:  It’s us, not you.  Seriously.  Have you seen what a single bedroom with three girls packed in it looks like?  It ain’t pretty, unless you think being inside a room after a IED stuffed with nail polish, Barbie Dolls and used Kleenex has gone off is pretty.  And what about the time I nearly got hit by a bus putting the Baby in the truck?  In the rain?  WHEN I HAD A HEAD COLD?   Yeah, I’ve met someone new on a quiet street, but I only started looking because we’ve grown apart.  Or we’ve grown by three kids and have to part.  You get the picture.

Look, I know you’ll meet a new family real soon.  Yes, house I can guarantee it, because Transfer of Title is a legal document.  So buck up Sweetheart.  Us leaving is the best thing that could happen to you.

And please, please, please stop breaking things.  I promise I’ll buy you flowers.

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Part III: Does Fate Make House Calls?

Housekeeping is back to normal around here!

When you last left this blog, I was just rushing my entire family out the door into a massive snowstorm so that another family and their Realtor, who were 30 minutes early I might add, could view our house that we were trying to sell.  (Part I and II of the Incredibly Funny Story of How We Sold Our House is detailed here.)   And when I say I was rushing the troops out I do mean solo.  My dear husband was trying to clear the layer of snow in the back alley, and as he walked back to the front yard, he was greeted with a convoy  of idling cars and all his kids sliding down the front steps with snow boots and open jackets.  Quelle surprise!

I flipped on the fireplace and dashed out.  As I shut the door I decided that I should leave it unlocked.  We had a keybox for the Realtors to use, and I knew they had been getting in since there was a card from the showing this morning, but it seemed to rude to just lock a door in someone’s face, so to speak.  I let the very affable fellow waiting on our side walk know, and climbed into our SUV as the other family climbed out of theirs.  Then we went for a 30 minute drive which considering the weather, was one of the most nerve-racking journeys I have ever been on, and will remain the subject of another blog.

As we swung back in front of our house, we saw the Realtor’s car pulling away.  Then a cell phone call!  Hopes rise!  It’s our Realtor!  Hopes soar!  She has a very important message from the other Realtor!  Hopes atmospheric!  She said that he couldn’t get the key to work, and he was concerned that our house was unlocked.  Hopes back to normal.

We went out to dinner at friends that night and everyone commiserated that our house would sell, just be patient.  They gave us pep talks and remembered how hard it was.  We drove home, and as I paid for diapers at the Shopper’s Drug Mart, my husband read the email on his iPhone with the Offer to Purchase attached.  After some back and forth on price we reached a deal.  By the time my Sweetheart picked up Sweetie Pie from her Guides’ sleepover, we had a sold our house.

The buyers’ Realtor was still really concerned about those keys, so much so that the wanted us to let him in for the home inspection, instead of relying on the keybox.  I thought this was overkill since it worked for other showings.  It must of been the bad weather causing problems with the lock.  But for hundreds of thousands of dollars, I’m willing to humour someone.

Friday morning he arrived, opened the keybox and pulled out the keys that I saw our Realtor put in — same tag, same key.  And then I watched as he put them into the lock, and nothing happened.  The lock would not turn.  I tried and the entire mechanism totally jammed.  I compared them to the key that I have used nearly everyday for 6 years and they were exactly the same.  I tried another set of keys that I had cut at the same time and they worked perfectly.    And it dawned on me then:

That if they hadn’t all shown up 30 minutes early in a snowstorm, and I hadn’t left the door unlocked, they probably wouldn’t have bought this house.

So, here’s the $64,000 question:  Fate or coincidence?  Were they destined to buy this house, or just the first of a string of potential buyers?  Were we having good luck, or was some sort of intervention at work?

I’m afraid I’ll never know.  But I am glad that I don’t have to shout at the kids for disturbing my throw cushion vignette.  And I hope I never again am forced to ask someone for help retrieving my pants.

The Incredibly Funny Story of How We Sold Our House, Part II

Just another spring day in Edmonton!

Well, maybe not incredibly funny, but still worth a chuckle.  Hey, usually Real Estate reduces people to tears, not laughter, so you’ve got to take what you can get, okay?

To pick up where I left off last time, (if you missed it here is The Incredibly Funny Story of How We Sold Our House, Part I) it was the middle of an official Snow Fall Warning – Winter Storm, and the entire city was covering in at least 2 feet of snow.  The roads were treacherous, my Sweetheart had shovelled at least twice between 9 pm Friday night and 8:30 am Saturday morning, and it was still coming down.  On any normal snowed in Saturday, we would have turned on the Netflix, made some hot cocoa and rode it out.  But this wasn’t a normal Saturday because we were trying to sell our house and we had 2 – two – showings, Girls’ Engineering Club, no groceries, a Girl Guide cheque to drop off for signature, and supper at friend’s house to get through, and oh, did I mention that it was snow-aggedon out there?   So, I took off with two girls, Sweetheart took the little kids and we agreed to meet back at home with a) everyone, b) groceries, and c) take out lunch, so that we could be out the door by 2 pm when our second showing was due to arrive.  All this would have to be accomplished sometime after 10:30 am when the first showing was booked.  No problem, right?

Both vehicles arrived at the same (late) time, and we dashed in the door, piling snowsuits at the back mat and started stuffing french fries in any mouth we could see.  The added wrinkle in our very rushed lunch was that we had to feed 7 people (one kid was away at camp,) and unload 9 bags of groceries in under 1 hour while keeping the house in show home condition.  Which leads me to my tile.

Straight men can't pick tile.

My Sweetheart and I often quip that the finishes in this house were picked out by heterosexual men in a building supply warehouse.   By this we mean that they are most impractical choices you could possible make — every so slightly off white carpet, easy scratch light stain hardwood, and this dark brown tile with “Creme” coloured grout.  Now, just like Granny doesn’t drive a black car because it shows the dirt, guess what happens to that lovely expanse of chocolate brown ceramic?  Like my husband says, “Looks great unless you walk on it.”  Which was what I was doing with my soaking bootcut jeans, leaving water marks all over.  I looked at what I was wearing and realized that my long t-shirt and cardigan actually covered me like a mini-skirt, so in the interest of maximizing my Real Estate dollar, I whipped off my jeans and tossed them on top of the snowsuits.

With 30 minutes to departure, we were right on track.  Sweetheart was outside shovelling one more time, and I was helping the little ones in the washroom.  As I pumped liquid soap on Big Boy’s hands, their was a knock on the bathroom door.

“Mom!”  It was Tall Girl.  “The Realtor is here.  He’s early.  Can he come it or should they come back?”

My mind raced.  They was the pivotal word — should potential house buyers come in or come bak.  If we turn them away in this snow, would they even come back?  What the heck, we were almost ready to leave…

“Tell him that we need 15 minutes and they can come in.”  She turned and began to sprint to the door.

“WAIT!”   I opened the bathroom a crack, stuck my hand out toward the pile of sopping clothes on the mat and hoarse whispered as loud as I could: “HAND ME MY PANTS!”

Next time – Part III, Was it serendipity or was it fate?

The Blog is Back

A bunkbed, a bedroom and sound proofing all in one. It's a home run!

And….we’re back.  Sorry, folks I was offline for so long there, but I’m glad to be back.  Though I hadn’t realized that I was gone to long.  Time flies when you are dealing with Real Estate.

Which is where I was:  in the unreal land of Real Estate,  dealing with Realtors (I didn’t know that was supposed to be capitalized.  You don’t capitalize doctor, or mother, but you do Realtor.  Well, I capitalize Mother, but that’s another story.)  So, this blog post with be a sort of update on where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.  Unfortunately, it is profoundly un-profound.  After the last 10 weeks of cleaning and showing and viewing and fretting, I really don’t have anything grand about the universe to tell you.

But I sure have some funny stories, so let’s go with that.

The Story of How We Sold Our House

We were selling our house because a) we needed to either renovate or move and it was cheaper to move, and b) we lived on a busy street without a driveway and we needed a driveway.  The listing was about a week and a half old, and we were settling in for the long haul.   You know — showing after showing with comments like “It’s on a busy street,”  and “The backsplash is too dark.”  It was a grey thursday, and as I pattered downstairs and peeked out the window, I smiled:  Snow.  A couple of lovely white inches were covering all the brown grass and dead perennials.  And then I stopped smiling:  Tracks.  Little bunny tracks all around the yard leading right under our back deck.  No!  When we said “Move in ready” and “Perfect for the growing family” we did not mean rabbits!   After a quick critter check, the weather warmed up enough for my husband to cut and screw some 2 x 6 all around the base of the deck, keeping Mr. Hop-on-Outta-Here away.

However, the warm weather was a portent for something else.  A major snow storm was brewing, as in Environment Canada Weather Warning – Heavy Snowfall snow storm.  Having lived in a few parts of Canada, I’m no stranger to snow.   But this snow, which began it’s accumulation on Friday night, was one of those Northern Alberta doozies that would shut down any other civilized Canadian city.   At least 2 feet must have fallen in about 36 hours.  And it was blowing and drifting and generally travel preventing.  It was call in the Armed Forces weather.   (Sorry for the Toronto dig.  Bad habit.)  When you were stopped at an intersection, you couldn’t see on the other side of the traffic lights.  In order to keep our walk clear, we had to shovel every two hours.  We really didn’t need to worry about the bunny, because it was impossible to tell where the deck actually ended, there was so much snow.  Our backyard just looked like someone threw a white sheet over an unmade bed.

Luckily, we here in God’s Country are a hardy bunch.  We had two house showings booked, and everyone showed up.  Early.

Next time…Part 2: “Hand Me My Pants!”

Sorry, Mom. Your story isn't working for me.

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