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Monday, March 31, 2008

rachel on reading

Every time I finish a book, especially a good one, I have a sense of loss. As if I just realized I am homeless and I look around in a daze, saying to myself "now what?"

Just thought I would share that.

Yeah...I don't know why, either.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

how's that again?

I don't think there is ever a good time to hear your 6 year old son, piping up from the backseat of the car:

"I'm going to be a father soon."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

still a -sellin the homestead

We have gotten some major things done on our list. For one thing, Edgard is nearly done with the fence. I am definitely a firm believer in the good fences make good neighbors. Especially when your neighbor has decided to completely redo his yard the year before but only got as far as cutting the sod off. The weeds, I kid you not, are as tall as my son. Not the nicest thing to look at. And then, when you add in that we have let our backyard go while concentrating on the front yard and the inside of the house...well it wasn't pretty to look at. So now putting a fence up, we will only see half a horrible yard...ours. Even that is starting to shape up. We bought 3 mature trees to plant in front of the fence so that when the leaves come out we cannot even see over. Are you starting to guess I am a hermit?
I am.
I like my privacy.
The other big development is the muscles in my arms. I have personally rototilled a section of our yard where I plan to plant some mock oranges and something else that I forgot the name of. The thing is, though, we don't actually own a rototiller. I have been doing it manually with a pickaxe. You know those things that you see the guys on the chain gang using. This has definitely put any dreams I had of a life of crime permanently to rest. I don't have the arms for it. If I get caught, that is. And I will get caught...that is an assured fact. How many successful stay at home mom/criminals have you met? And my chances shrink drastically when you figure in that I am also a hermit/bookworm. So back to the rototilling. I literally had to cut and remove the sod about half a foot down. My 5 bags of soil are starting to look a little measly. All in all, though, things are really starting to shape up.

The other thing that I wanted to address are the commentators who were kind enough to give advice or ask questions. I really appreciate the time that you took in doing so.

Literary girl's advice was to hire a Realtor. There is nothing more I would like to do but the way our finances are, the only way we can make this a lateral move, is to squeeze every available penny out of this place. That being said, I did have a wonderful Realtor on hand. She charges a flat fee of $2500 for a non-mls listing and after using her for our last house, we can verify that she goes the distance and a bit beyond. And she is now in Wisconsin. This is the first time I have ever been jealous of Wisconsin apart from their cheese. Although Racine will always hold a special place in my heart.
So while we will try to sell it ourselves, in the future we may take that advice and find another Realtor with a flat fee. I will keep you posted.

Mamacita Chilena asked why we were selling. We are selling because we have a chance to rent a nice size house in the country. The rent is very low and we would literally cut our housing costs in half. That way we could pay off our debt in one year instead of who knows how long. We then could start saving for our dream home which would be located in a small city on the outskirts of the city we live in now. That is where my husband's company is located now. There would be no commute time fro him, saving on gas, and I love that the antique store to walmart ratio is very low in this cute little place, yet everything is still very close. The other bonus is that the house I would be renting is located next to my best friend, Susie. That will come in very handy for dumping my kids on her at all hours and dropping by, uninvited, for dinner. I am sure she will be very glad she came up with this idea.

Beeker advised me to do thorough research on the neighborhood for setting the selling price. As well as make the house neutral, declutter and so on. I felt good that what I had done has coincided nicely with what Beeker suggested. So I seem to be on the right track. Although I didn't take down personal pictures. I only have a few on the wall of my bedroom and I have nothing to replace it so I feel that would make the wall seem very bare. But other than that, all systems go!

Tenpounds asked if once we get all ready to sell might we decide to stay. This one is funny because, honestly, I have been thinking the same exact thing myself. We will still try to sell so we would never decide to stay but...let's just say...I would not be too depressed if it didn't sell. Now we have a nice new fence and I am getting the garden the way I want it and there have been some great improvements inside. Plus the uncluttering that beeker mentioned above has made things seem much more open and easy to clean. But bottom line, if we sell, we get rid of debt and get closer to our goals of having our home where we want to live and the possibility of Edgard retiring earlier. His job is a very physical one and I would be very happy if he wasn't still doing that at an age where he will feel every ache and pain. So, as nice as we may get this place, it will be better in the long run to move.

In closing I will leave you with some pictures.

daddy's two little helpers
Here is a picture of those weeds in the neighbors yard that I mentioned.

And this is a picture that I took right before I yelled
"Anthony, untie your sister from that tree!"

fake smile
And this is the picture that is proof that I am only being tolerated.

another fake smile for the madwoman with the camera
...more tolerance.

Friday, March 21, 2008

it turns out that this isn't fun

Selling your house sucks. I realize that this is all too obvious and that I am saying this before I have even put the signs up, but I am literally in the middle of a long to-do list of things I need to fix before we put it on the market and am feeling the strain. It is sad really. I won't even fix these things for myself. We will finally have the house just the way we want it---in time to sell it to somebody else. We did that with our last house. We'll probably do that next time, too.

Sad. Pathetic.

The good thing is that if we don't sell it, then at least we get to enjoy our labor. The other feeling of dread is showing it to people. We are selling it ourselves---no Realtor---translation: no buffer. Last time that we showed our previous house, some jackass, who didn't, of course, didn't end up buying it, had the gall to tell us that our paint scheme was "odd." He also asked if we would repaint it. We told him to go suck eggs. Well not really...but we wanted to.

This time around we will also be facing a bad economy and a hellish sellers market. But, a person who has looked at more than a cabillion homes for sale, I know that ours should show pretty well. It is amazing how many people not only neglect to fix anything on their homes before listing them, many don't even clean them. I am a messy person by nature, though, so to maintain some semblance of cleanliness and order will be wearing to me.

Does anyone have any sage, home selling, advice?

Will somebody please wake me when this is all over?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

reel a state....

We are getting ready to sell our home.

Stress abounds.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

there are signs everywhere

Even if my children didn't make it abundantly clear, everyday, that they very much live here...there would be subtle hints.