Monday, April 25, 2016

Listing your home for sale

Since it took us so long to sell our house you might not want my advice.  But if you are getting ready to sell your house and considering buying a new house, these are the things I wish we would have known.

We had three different realtors over the period of time our house was listed.  We first listed right before the market crashed.  So we only stayed on the market 5 months.
Then we waited a couple of years and tried again.  This time we listed in late July and stayed listed til November.  That year it seemed that the market was really good in April and May and then it stopped for houses in our price range again.  At this time there were three or four condos available where we wanted to move.  They weren't selling then either.
So after the holidays we thought we will list again early as in March.  That still didn't bring us a buyer til November.  At the same time condos were selling as soon as they hit the market or even before.  A big change from the summer before.  We literally had given up and were getting ready to take our house off the market and we got an offer.  But there wasn't anything on the market that we wanted.   But most of you know the story on how lucky we were to find this little cottage (condo).
But the reason behind this post, sorry I got distracted.

ROOF  This is the reason I think it took us so long to sell.  It was 30 years old but was still in good condition.  There were no leaks in our roof.  But all the realtors said if we list the house lower and that would reflect that the house needed a new roof.  WRONG  I really think had we replace that roof before we listed our home would not have sat so long.  As it was we had to replace the roof before we moved.  That is probably the biggest expense that you can have in maintaining a home.  Windows can be replaced one at a time, as carpeting or flooring.

Make sure you know how much closing costs are when you sell and buy another home.  In our case the closing costs were $25,000 on a $200,000 house. 

You can clean and stage til the cows come in and it may not even help.  Well, it does help but it didn't sell our house.  (We don't have cows but we did have buzzards, lol)

Here are some of the reasons people weren't writing an offer:
Bi-Level home
Bedrooms not all on the same level
Not updated (no granite or stainless)  We didn't want to replace ours in case we didn't sell.
Too many trees close to the house
The overhead electrical wires too low
Well and septic
Lots of yard work
Inadequate advertising  (Our last realtor did advertise but the one before didn't)

Sometimes houses will sell so quickly while others linger on and on.  I personally think a lot has to do with the price range.  No matter what price your home is listed for buyers want everything already done.  Our home was built in the 60's and priced low compared to others in our school district.  So, I wish you luck and a quick sale if you are on the market. 
Now to the present.................
It is such a wonderful feeling knowing that we are planted and found such a perfect place for us.  I feel sorry for those that have signs for sale in their yards.  We really like having "people" to mow and maintain the outside of our home.  We are really happy to be here.  I like finding spring surprises growing , like hostas and flowering trees.  It was worth all that we went through.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Stuffies

This is the new cabinet I bought off the selling wall.  We have several online selling walls.  They are all local.  This was an IKEA cabinet. I had so many built in bookshelves in our old house.  I knew I would miss them and I do.  This cabinet is perfect for my little Steiff collection. It has grown this year.
My friend brought me the bunny and chipmunk from her travels to Germany.
The white teddy bear was a gift from my elder friend .  She brought it back from Germany for me ages ago.
The bigger bear we bought in St. Thomas while we were on a cruise.There wasn't a tag on it.  So we just agreed on $25.  The day after we returned my neighbor drug me out the door with sea legs from the cruise to a local toy store.  Hans Otto Steiff, nephew of Margaret Steiff was there autographing bears.  I don't think that store exists anymore.  They had the greatest section of Steiff.
The other bears were gifts from my Hubby.
The new Steiffs came from the doll show last weekend.  Hubby surprised me with the colorful duck.  I got the elephant because he was adorable.  He is a Disney Steiff from Junle Book.  I can't wait to see the movie.
I also got the Spaniel puppet for obvious reasons.
The teddy bear puppet I found in some play clothes.
I was a collector of bears before I collected dolls.  I have some dolls from my childhood.  I loved all my stuffies.  (My grandson calls them stuffies). When I was little at nighttime, I would put my dolls and stuffies in my bed.  Since there was no room left for me, I would sleep on the floor.  Then my dad would clear the bed and put me back in.
So that's how my doll and stuffie collection started.  Many moons ago.

A little funny...........
When I picked up Mabel from practice the other night, this happened.
A little girl and her dad were walking up the hill.  She was carrying her sports bag and he had her LaCrosse stick.  They both looked like they were a little tired and stressed.  The little girl said, "I am coming ALREADY."  Dad turned around and whacked her sports bag with the stick.  No, I would not have thought this was funny if he hit her.  But it was so funny.  Good for him.  Kids can be so rude and he nipped that in the butt, well in the back pack.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Last week and random pictures.

 I found this cute little Vera Bradley baby set online for $14 shipped.  The tag says $60,  I loved the box.  You can't see, but the sides look like a bed.  For the new baby, of course.  They have nothing.
 Quinny with his Crawlfish with many babies attached.
Tea Cup swap from Australia.  My daughter and I.
What a crazy week last week was. Monday I
took new things to my little vending "closet".  I also went to the bank and post office and unpacked.
Tuesday I met my mother at her oncologist appointment.
As far as mom's leukemia, she is stable.  She is one tough cookie.  Last year she was on death's door.  But I hadn't seen her for a couple months.  It was a little shocking as she didn't look well.  She looked her age, 89, and just not well.
 I just got home and started to rest and the phone rang.  The other grandma forgot to get Mabel and her brother.  So both parents were calling me and the kids.  Grammy off to the rescue.
On the way home I picked up a cute little white cabinet I got on the selling wall.  I will show a picture another time.  I have been warned to not bring home any more shelves or cabinets.  I also brought the cabinet home in my bug.  I'm going to put my Steiff collection in the glass shelves.  So  I just made it home in time  to get Mabel scooped up and taken to dance class.  Her mommy is/was in Vegas for Arbonne.  She is getting a Mercedes so that might explain how well she is doing.
Wednesday my friend made a two hour trip each way to see our cottage and catch up.  She started out as my college teacher and we became close friends.  She has Lupus and has to have an 8 hour fusion of chemo once a month .  She looks amazing.  She brought me a little plant and a pretty necklace that she bought on her travels.  We had a nice visit.  
Thursday was my doll club meeting .  It's a little drive for me as it is for others.  This was my third meeting so I was voted in as a member.  It's a national organization, so I am official, he he.  Once again the house where we met was full of beautiful dolls.  
I got home in time to let the dogs out.  I decided to take them with me to pick up Mabel from her LaCrosse practice.  She is six.  Well there must have been three hundred kids coming and going.  I know my son has 50 on the team he is coaching.  The dogs went crazy and I didn't dare get out.  A friend of my grandson's mom captured Mabel for me.  We just headed back here.
While I was at doll club, Bernice my elder friend needed me to get her mail.  Also my friend that moved south was in town and wanted to get together.  So that day was crazy.  Hubby came home and took Mabel to eat, and I joined them after my errands.
Friday I was meeting my friend Cindy at Panera.  She has stage 4 cancer after a long battle.  She is sad and worried about her adult daughters and her husband.  We talked about Heaven.  Another friend  that I will be loosing.  My friend that was in town was also Cindy's friend.  So I told her about meeting at Panera and she stopped by.  While we were there my friend from another town ended up being there.  So I got to see her.  We screamed and hugged each other.  I haven't seen her for about a year.  Our friends are so important and I want to see more of them not less.  
So, since I was in the same town as my Doodle, Laken, I went an picked her up and brought her back home with me.  Her mom came to get her and we went to Olive Garden for dinner.
We waited to see if Mabel needed to be rescued before we made plans on Saturday.  There was a doll show in Columbus from the national group.  So Larry went with me.  He didn't last long before he went and sat in the lobby.  Most were antique premier dolls.  Not many vintage.  But great little bears 
and Steiff.  The dolls were so expensive as I knew they would be.  One tiny bear that was 3" tall was $595.  Well hubby made a purchase from that lady  while I wasn't looking.  I got a Steiff dog puppet and a wonderful Steiff elephant.   He's a Disney from The Jungle Book.  So these will join my others in the new cabinet.  We also had lunch at the hotel where the show was.  We ran into several members of my club.
Sunday we had the church nursery and went out for lunch.  My son and our oldest granddaughter stopped by.  K. Bug turned 13 last week.  My granddaughter in Colorado turned 10 yesterday.
So today groceries were a priority and we will be dining in tonight.  Very little on the agenda this week, yippee.  Of course I could never not have a list of things to do in the cottage but I will enjoy not having to run.
I know this is a busy time of the year for all of us.  We haven't even gotten to any of the grands sport games.  But we will soon.  Most are an hour away for them and us.
Happy Spring!

A cute little baby and wagon I got online. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Colorado Part One

Elli had dance practice  and also dance pictures.  We spent several hours at the rec center. This is the view from there.  I have rec center envy.  They have centers everywhere.  Lots of pools, classes and activities.  That is why the state of Colorado is so healthy.

I had the car two days.  Besides getting lost and making all kinds of u turns, we got to do a few things.  For instance we painted pottery.  Quinn and I made little dog dishes and Elli made a beautiful detailed plate.
This was his turn to hold Rosie.  He asked a question with a puff of hot air and it scared Rosie.
 Just for proof that we saw real butterflies.
 The gift shop is always fun except for the prices.  Quinn choose this net, hard to believe I know.  Elli choose some necklaces.  I saw some fairy gardens things and thought I should take some butterlies on a wire stick home to remind me of this trip.  Guess what, it was made by ME.  That made me excited (yes, something so little)  because I bought some of her fairy gardens things a couple of months ago. When we arrived at the pavilion Quinn had brought a tiny insect container a real hot dog and some string.  He had plans for when we went outside.  The lady that sold us our tickets held those items for us.  She had to think that we were a strange little group.
Here is what was outside.  I would quess that this was a man made stream but Quinn was in Heaven.  He used that net to catch five teeny tiny crawl fish.  No one was outside other than a worker. 
 This stream ran a long ways.  There were bleachers set up outside so I am guessing they do special events there.
 Can you see how wet this boy is?  He had his tiny crawl fish in that little container.  He didn't have to use the hot dog or string that we brought along.  But the hot dog disappeared in the car.  I bet that will get smelly soon.
In case you wondered, here is the adult in charge.  Yes, I let him take the crawl fish.  From there we went to Joe's Crab Shack.  I had promised Quinn a couple of months ago we would go there.  He loved the calamari that I got.  (That is the only gluten I ate while I was there)  My daughter, Heidi got someone to drop her off at the shack to meet us.  She got to drive us home.  I had my share of the driving there.  But when she walked in and saw that one of her former students had been waiting on us, they both were so excited to see each other.
I was in big trouble for letting him bring those tiny things home.  But it was okay that they had two snakes they brought home that were in the house.  Hubby asked how big they were.  I said I walked by them all week but refused to look at the tank.  I am scared to death of snakes and spiders.
Stay tuned for Part Two.....................

Friday, April 1, 2016

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I am excited.  I am leaving in the morning to head to Colorado.  I think they are having snow right now but most of the time I will be there it will be nice.  We have snow in the forecast for Ohio tonight. 
I went to run errands today and decided to go back to the thrift store because I saw some large shirts there that my son could wear.  While I was there an older lady (yes, older than me) accidently tripped me.  I almost took her down with me.  I caught myself but my foot turned outward and so did my hip.  Not good for that to happen tomorrow since I will have lots of walking to do. 
When I got home I went to get the dry clothes out of the dryer but they weren't dry.  My first thought was I forgot to turn the dryer on.  Nope, the dryer isn't working.  The set left here for us was old.  So were the ones that we left at our house.  But the timing stinks.....doesn't it always happen that way.
I have had an interesting week.  One day I met my friend that has cancer.  They decided not to operate as it could cause a stroke.  The base of her brain and spinal cord are involved.  When she was diagnosed and in the hospital, her husband was in another hospital and had one of his legs amputated.  The doctor said she could wake up one day paralyzed.  But so far the oral chemo is holding it at bay.  I ask her if that scared her and she just shrugged her shoulders.  She had to quit working.  She is also a pre-school teacher and we worked together for many years.  She is watching her grandchildren three days a week.  I last saw her at Christmas and could really tell a change in her.  We laughed about the things going on in each other lives.  Her daughter is getting married in May.  Life goes on like before.  Her husband has a prosthesis and went back to work.  They are not even 60 yet.   She said she is not in pain and is just living life on day at a time.  Her attitude is amazing. 
Then another day I met my friend that had moved south and that had come for a visit.  It was so nice to see her and some of her family.  She had two of her grandbabies, her husband, and son and daughter.  Her son has autism and has gotten really tall and thin.  He entertained everyone in the restaurant. 
Then yesterday I had friends with my friend that I worked with when I was the before and after school director.  It has been like the holidays getting to visit with friends I haven't seen for awhile.
So that's about it.  Hubby is staying home next week to take car of the doggies.  I hope it doesn't discourage him from retiring.
Have a happy week-end.