It’s serious now. The photographer is coming next week to take wonderful photos of my wonderful house to improve my chances of getting a wonderful offer. Sharon the realtor wants to know if everything is ready. Yes! Well, about 95% ready, but we’re almost there. Mark the contractor has sent Andre to finish up all the little details that needed attention. He comes while I’m at work and sometimes he’s still there when I get home. Luckily, the dogs know him quite well by now. One sniff and they go back to their naps. Andre has done a good job and the house is truly ready to be put on the market in a week. I know how I’ll be spending this weekend – cleaning. And buying plants. And organizing all the paperwork involved in selling. And cutting the grass. Wait, I’m picking up my son this weekend. He’ll be the one cutting the grass! And repairing the fence that Buddy loves to chew. And picking up all the little bits of debris from the renovation still half-buried in the grass. Come Monday, we’ll both be glad to go back to work and school.
I’m meeting my realtor about once a week now to explore neighborhoods and look at houses. I rented places in some of these neighborhoods long before they got trendy and expensive. If only I had had some money back then, I could have made quite a nice profit by now. While this isn’t my first or even second time buying a house, previous house hunts don’t seem to make the process much easier. True, I understand more about my needs and wants in a house. I also know which renovations are relatively cheap (painting walls) and which ones are much more expensive than I care to think about (kitchens and bathrooms). I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to know about renovating a house this past year and I don’t want to repeat the experience. I may not find a kitchen as nice as my current one, but it has to be pretty decent as I have no intention of gutting and installing a new one. Plus, the insurance wouldn’t be paying for it this time; I’d have to use my own money – ouch!
My first-choice neighborhood is mostly too expensive. Or rather, I’d have to give up some essentials, like a place to park, in order to live there. The neighborhood has been slowly gentrified over the last five years or so, but all I can afford there is a fixer-upper. On to another neighborhood, where I get much more bang for my buck. I’ve seen some nice houses and some dumps, but there have been a few I liked in my price range and they go on my shortlist. My realtors want me to have a shortlist ready as they are convinced that my house will sell quickly, which means I have to buy quickly. The problem is that there aren’t nearly as many houses on the market lately, which makes me a bit anxious. So I add yet another neighborhood to my search. I decide that two-story houses are allowed. A carport instead of a garage will be acceptable. Despite my house fire and really wanting a fireplace, I let it go as a requirement. I draw the line, though, at dark paneled rooms, a popular remnant from the 70s. And so the search goes on to find that perfect empty-nester house. Stay tuned!