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Doing the Pre Moving Shuffle

September 22nd, 2007 at 10:50 pm

The expenses are beginning to add up already and the deal hasn't even closed.

I picked up 2 van loads of boxes this AM, (freecycled), so the only expense there was the gas. Planned the pick ups to be close to the old house, so I wasn't too far afield. Met my son at the old house, so used cheap help!! Good help however. And, as an aside....fun too. Which is saying alot. He hasn't been the most likable fellow in years past.

I have hired a real moving crew and truck for Thurs however.... so there will be money out for that day. Well spent, since I only have one son and my nephew is recovering from a car accident... A paid crew seems to fit my needs this time around. It works better too, when I tell them what to do. Not so much with relatives! Smile

Was too tired tonight to unload my van. We packed it with things I'm going to try to get rid of, as well as all my computer stuff, hate to put that on a moving truck for some reason. Sent an email to foster dtr & she is interested in much of my stuff I just couldn't see getting rid of entirely. She will keep and use things like the dehydrator & juicer, etc........and if I ever feel the need for them, I can borrow them back. She was thrilled and I don't have to pack them. Works for me.

Found a property mgmt firm who will take on my old house & help come up with a solution re; old room mate person. Pretty sure this won't take long, if she has to pay someone besides me. Calling her tomorrow with the details of the new regime.

Can't wait to have all my things in one place. When I sort of moved to moms last spring, I brought just the necessities. Then, I started bringing a van load of things at a time, but have had no where to really put them. I'm doing lots of daydreaming about my own furniture in my room, my piano at the same place I'm living and being able to look around my space and see NO boxes! I know the new place is very small & I'm planning accordingly......tossing or farming out all the things I have not used in the past 6 months.

Will deal with the crummy load of things in the van in the morning.....everything looks better in the morning, right??? Smile

Staying Busy While Waiting

September 21st, 2007 at 03:53 pm

We're in the waiting stage again for the house deal. Ordered the title search today and thought I had a friend who would do the inspection, however he has vanished......so haven't got that part nailed down yet.

Ran some errands, picking up last minute things for the little rental, so it is up and running by next week end. Splurged on a big roll of packing tape and a good dispenser thingy.....so I'm set for tomorrow morning. There are some things it is really worth paying a bit more for and this is one of mine. I will have a FULL van load of boxes by the time I meet my son at the old house, and most will be flat....so the tape is going to be handy.

Mom got to the eye DR today, to find out cataract surgery is necessary. She wanted to wait til after the move, but I'm lobbying for sooner, so we don't have to find a new DR, or go back & forth daily on the ferry. Doesn't sound like a good time to me!

Emptied out one of the bedrooms here at moms today. Grandson #5 has just rented his first apartment & mom went nuts packing a truck of things for him. Worked out well for all concerned....we got rid of things we couldn't take with us and he got a furnished apt!

There was a bit of sun here today, so I cleaned out the lettuce beds, as well as the old cucumber vines. The gardens have been so full and productive all season, it seems odd to see bare ground again. We are just now having to purchase veggies again, and not that many yet.....so the garden was definately worth it. I'm always pushing myself to clean out the gardens come fall, as I truly hate that job if I let it get too far into winter. Cold, wet, slimy .........not if I can help it.

I've appreciated all the emails giving pointers and encouragement re; real estate transactions. I don't know if there is anything more stress producing...than buying and selling. I will be happy to be done with it all; mom and I were placing bets as to when we think we will be fancy free!

Is it Going to be Sand Between Our Toes???

September 20th, 2007 at 10:58 pm

Yes, yes, and yes.........our counter offer to the counter offer got accepted late this evening. Now, on to the hashing out the details stage so we can firm up the deal for the beach house!!! There will be sand in our toes, as well as everywhere else I imagine. (having never lived on a beach, I can only guess)

Parts of me can't believe the whole chain of events; and then when we think about it, everything seems to be flowing easily and we can picture life in the new house as easy as pie! So, it feels good; to both mom & I.

And, in the small world department, or it pays to be chatty department........mom has a hot prospect for the commercial property!!! Not even listed yet and we've got 3 people interested. She went today for her check up re; her nose injury from her fall. The DR had been asking her questions on her last appt, about where she lived etc. In passing, she mentioned the property in town and she said he got very inquisitive. Today, she told him the property was for sale.....he called here at home tonight and said he had already talked to his accountant & they were very interested. Passed him on to realtor/grandson person. Can you tell my mom is a retired realtor?? Never one to miss an opportunity!

I mailed off the packet of info to my potential buyer of the vacant land. He wanted plat maps & tax numbers.... said he is very interested. Hoping he steps up and makes an offer this week.

Some kind soul from freecycle dropped off a porch full of moving boxes today. I will repay the favor to someone when I'm finished with these. I'm off to gather up some more tomorrow.....when I envision packing up moms house it boggles my mind. She has been here since 62 when they built, and has not parted with a single thing since then! Smile

We got the lease signed tonight for the house rental. Made it only 6 months, in case the property sells right away.

Took my samples in to the parks & rec dept for the display there prior to my fall knitting classes. Need to order supplies tomorrow before I forget in all the real estate frenzy here.

Made a ton of phone calls, including a reminder to moms tax prep guy.....we're still waiting for him to finish up 05 and I'm crossing my fingers he has our paperwork for 06, as I can't find it anywhere here.

Tonight we received the first order of my moms meds, which is 3 months.....all FAXED in from the DR. Too easy. And, way cheaper than the 30 day prices with the local pharmacies. She was pretty impressed. Good thing we have 90 days worth, as neither of us will have the time to spend running to the pharmacy in the near future anyway! Smile

A good day, but a full one. Feels a bit like a week crammed into a day. Grateful things are working out, so I will be able to see mom sitting on her porch at the beach!


September 19th, 2007 at 03:40 pm

We heard from the listing agent, the sellers of the beach house didn't accept our offer, but have counter offered.
We're approx $75,000 different in our numbers....and have until tomorrow night at 9PM to respond.

Mom & I have had some interesting discussions today about what to do. I point out how hard she and dad worked for so long.........that this seems a small sum to me. She thinks it is huge, but she is always comparing things to what they used to cost.

I can't figure out what they pinched and saved for, if not to enjoy it. The grandkids have all told her the same thing, I don't think anyone has had a negative comment about her buying the little house on the beach.

Money wise, it will be a stretch at the beginning. She will be financing the house, after we pool our available funds for the downpayment. The other real estate is beginning to be listed, and when it sells, we can either pay the loan down, or leave it and invest the funds, so we create an income stream.

I'm not at all worried about she & I being able to 'tighten the belt' as she says. Between us, we take cheap to new heights! With a goal like this one, I know we both have our priorities set in stone already.

So.........it's a waiting game again. Easy evening here, then a wild day tomorrow. Both of us have appointments all day on into the evening when we have the new couple sign the lease on the little rental. In the middle of all that, we'll meet with our realtor (also known as #1 grandson) and see if mom wants the house enough to counter. I'm betting she does! Smile

Gardeners Make Great Friends

September 18th, 2007 at 03:09 pm

Almost 2 weeks (maybe even 3) ago, I answered a 'Wanted' post on freecycle, regarding rhubarb plants. Today, I was finally at the old house and got to meet Joy, the woman wanting rhubarb.

Joy came bearing gifts. She had everything from starts of chocolate mint to fresh tomatoes from her garden. (If you have never had the aromatic type mint plants, you really should try some, kids as well as adults love them.)

We visited while she did the work....digging up 2 of my rhubarb plants the current tenants are just letting go to waste. It always bugs me to see food going to waste anyway......and these plants were starts from my old place.......which was from a start from my dads garden when he was still living, so to me, they were even more important.

Before Joy left, I had managed to convince her she "needed" some other plants from my garden......strawberries, crocosmia, Japanese anenomes, lavatera, and a minty little ground cover. I hate for people to come all the way for just one plant! And, despite the neglect in this garden, things were growing fairly well. With some attention in Joys' garden, they should flourish.

On my way home, after spending the last couple days at the old house, I was pondering how gardeners seem to be so friendly. Is it just because we share plants between us & we are outgoing in order to share?? Or, perhaps gardening is usually a solitary pastime and we are thrilled to spend time with someone else?? I don't know for sure, but as we got starts for Joys' garden, I was reminded of the generous gardeners I had met because of the garden.

Thanks Joy, for making my day! I know each of us will be working in our gardens today, getting our new to us plants settled in!

I Hate the Waiting!

September 16th, 2007 at 11:22 pm

Waiting. Seems like that is what real estate is all about ........at least after you have the property picked out.

We can't get questions answered re; the plat map until the county opens up the offices tomorrow. So, waiting for that. Seems the road to the house is most likely an easement, with the last 2 houses on the road using an easement through the house we're interested in. Would like to know for sure, as well as have it written down somewhere prior to purchase.

And, to top off the waiting........moms twin is here this week end and mom isn't sharing the house deal with her. So, we're waiting, and being quiet about it. Hard when it is pretty darned exciting.

My aunt took us out to dinner, so that was a fun treat. We've been pretty good with our meals, eating most of them at home, which I am certain is healthier; to say nothing of being cheaper.

I begged off shopping at the mall (yikes, was it a terror on the week end), when my aunt needed to "just run in for a bit". Sat in the car & knit! A much better use of my time. Can't believe how many people were at the mall.....trying to park was dangerous.

Daydreaming of the new place almost all the time.......no malls. Heck, no stores to speak of. I do believe there is a bait shop that also has the word groceries on their sign... Smile Post office, fire dept, and a school; but only through the 8th grade. Not sure what they do with high schoolers! We'd be almost an hour away from any sort of town with real stores and serious shopping. Sounds dreamy to me; but mom is making plans so she can get to Costco and Macy's on a regular basis.

Heading to the old house tomorrow to finish packing and have all my things organized for a truck & crew to come pick them up. Need to get them here, even if the beach house deal doesn't fly for any reason. Meeting with former room mate person this week to, laying out the finances for the house, to see if she honestly thinks she can handle the rent. Hate to go into a meeting with negative thoughts.......but I see no way this is going to work.

At least all this gives me stuff to think about while waiting for our offer to get written up and presented. Continuing to keep fingers crossed!

Gearing Up to Make an Offer

September 15th, 2007 at 09:31 pm

Yes, mom & I are getting our act together so we can present an offer on the beach house on Monday. We had a list of questions for the listing agent, and were in hopes he would get back to us yesterday.........here we are on Sat night and still no word from the gentleman. I'm venturing a guess he isn't the top salesperson in his office!

We're going ahead on Monday, even if we haven't heard back, mom wants this house in a bad way. Her eyes light up and she gets pretty goofy when we start talking about it......or we look at the pictures again. Have my fingers permantly crossed that the offer is accepted, or at least we get a counter offer we can live with. I truly hate this stage of real estate transactions!!!

The rest of the day was a blur. I took my week end young man on a freecycle errand and we shoved moving boxes in my van until there wasn't an inch of empty space left. Then off to the old house, unload the boxes and start packing. I have sorted prior to packing, as either way....moving into moms or the beach house, not all of my stuff will fit. (and I've been living without it since May anyway!!) Then, back to moms, unload the things we brought in the van....and it's already time to fix dinner.

Company for dinner; moms twin. Thankfully, both of them are on the mend from their recent falls. Each are just sore....but doing OK. My mom is not telling her twin about the potential beach house; it is so funny watching her.....I can't tell if the twin knows, but she mentioned the house this evening, so it's a possibility.

Knitting like a mad woman in all my spare time, to get ready for this quarters knitting & crochet classes. I've been asked to put a display up in the rec center office and when I stopped in to measure the space I was shocked to find it 4' X 5'. Yikes. That's alot of knitting!

Feeling a bit like a circus performer; the one with the plates on the sticks. Smile Knitting, moving, caring for my young man, taking care of mom, getting the little house rented, packing, sorting, and more packing and sorting! While I was driving home this evening, I couldn't remember when my classes started & thought perhaps I had forgotten one.......fortunately that wasn't the case & I'm good to go....nothing starts til Oct 4th...whew! I can tell I've got a few too many sticks and plates when I begin to panic! Time to take one thing at a time I guess.......

How Long to Hold Rental Properties?

September 14th, 2007 at 01:41 pm

We're having a meeting here in the next 30 minutes or so.........with the main topic being......what to sell so mom can get her dream house?

I've been gathering numbers (me who is number challenged) to show her on paper, how she is really loosing money these days on her rental properties.

Anyone else at this crossroad? Where years of hard work and budgeting to the max and accumulating real estate have come to the spot where it COSTS to keep them. The money she has to pay out each year in property taxes, as well as insurance and repairs doesn't equal what she can bring in with rental income. And, my properties are in the same position now too.

I think she gets it......but I'm never sure these days with mom. So, me, the math whiz (HA) is going to try and lay out the plan where getting her equity out of these properties (she owes nothing on anything in her portfolio) and doing anything else with it, is the better deal.

She wants so badly to gift her 5 grandsons with something when she dies.......I do believe that is the reason she is holding on to the properties. I need to show her she can leave a nicer estate if she isn't chipping away at the equity all the time.

I'm having one of those weeks, where life as I thought I knew it is changing faster than I can imagine. Dreaming of doing nothing at this beach house of moms!!!

Unsettling Phone Call

September 13th, 2007 at 08:19 pm

We had a great day, crossed the ferry, had lunch out and viewed 2 more beach houses prior to visiting The House we had seen twice before. Sat on the porch there & made a quick plan for tomorrow to list some more things, and come up with an offer to present.

As we got back home this evening, while everyone was saying good bye, and congrats to my mom for her decision re; the house........I decided to check voice mail. I was waiting for the call from the couple we need to get together with to sign the lease for the little rental. (probably the piece of property mom will list for sale too.......not the best timing, however the lease is for a year and any commercial use will have a couple years with the planning stage, so it should work)

Anyway........back to the phone. I did get a call from the young couple, excited out of their minds, this will be their first place. Also got the call from moms DR, her prescriptions are finally ready but they didn't get them faxed in. Drat. Then, there was a female voice, never did identify herself, saying horrible things to my mom re; the little house that just rented.

This woman was very ticked that we had "kicked out" her friend who used to live there. We did ask her to move, last Oct, primarily for her disregard of the lease terms & not paying her rent. It has set vacant until this coming Oct..... But, the woman on the phone was crazy mad that it was being rented to anyone, (there is a for rent sign in the window) as she thought we were selling it as commercial property. And, little does she know.....it will hopefully be sold asap as just that.

She continued to rant at my mother on the voice mail.......about how she was going to tell everyone in town just what mom had done. I'm so glad I was the one to check the voice mail! I deleted her right then, as I didn't want mom to have this spoil her day.

We did decide on the beach house...it is small, but it will work. Mom is on cloud nine. Tired, but still happy with her decision.

Hoping the voice mail lady has a really terrible day, that her negative stuff will circle right back at her. Not nice, but I'm tired and cranky too and that is exactly the way I feel. Sooooo grateful I grabbed the phone as soon as I got in the house!

Couple # 2 Gets the House

September 12th, 2007 at 11:41 pm

We chose the couple with no kids, the one that didn't ask if I was going to re do the attics, pull out the counters, and when would the roof be re done? After sleeping on the choice, the couple that was satisfied with the house in it's current condition, the ones that were willing to finish up the stuff I just didn't feel like doing........they are the happy campers tonight.

The house really is cute, just VERY old and quite small. And, I'm tired of old, small, dirty and vacant. Hoping to set up the meeting with Couple #2 sometime next week, to draw up the lease and give them the keys. They won't be moving in til the middle of Oct, as they are getting married and heading to Hawaii.

Since we rented the house, and did (finally) meet with the flooring gentleman, mom & I decided to go out to a late lunch before quitting for the day. Our favorite restaurant(the one where we always have a coupon from the paper) was closed. So, no lunch, no money spent........we headed for home & fixed dinner ourselves.

We did have time for a LONG discussion re; the pros & cons of keeping the property we just rented, or selling it. I need to dig for some numbers and we're going to repeat the same talk. I believe mom is paying to keep the property, what with insurance, taxes and repairs. I know that is the case on my 2 rentals. There is no way to charge enough to cover the expenses. I think mom is close to some breakthrough thinking here, she did say she thought I might be right.......and if she is making any money, it is minimal.

We're taking the whole day tomorrow and heading out to look at "our" beach house again, along with 2 other homes we have seen on line that meet moms needs. I'm hopeful she will just make up her mind and decide one way or another to move, stay, sell, rent.......something.

I did reach one of my interested people on my vacant lot. He owns the neighboring lot & is very interested. Told me not to accept an offer without letting him know. Plus, he's interested in our other lots.... Possibilities here I believe! Contacted our 1031 facilitator, so he's ready if mom does decide on a house tomorrow....we can get the ball rolling.

Next step needing attention: Contact the city to see if I can have trees taken down. Not used to working in a city, and I would hate to get fined for removing trees...even tho they are on our property. They are not helping the condition of the roof, so I'd like to get them down, build up the wood pile and have it all done before the new renters get moved in.

Each day I become more aware of how far behind my mom was getting on taking care of her life and all that entails. I think we're making progress, then another new chapter pops up! Tomorrow will be a welcome break!