Saturday, March 8, 2014

Home...sweet home?

So, this week kicked off with yet another snowstorm. Ho hum. Schools were closed Monday and Tuesday (the 8th and 9th time this has happened during the academic year--5 of which may need to be made up in June, depending on whether the Powers That Be decide to excuse any of them). Yaaawwwwn. But the truly noteworthy event of the week actually didn't happen until Friday, when Husband and I met with our local real estate agent to discuss how to proceed with the sale of our house. Now, keep in mind that we're coming into this kind of blind, our only previous residence being a rented apartment. We've never actually been on the selling side...which turned out to be a LOT more complicated place than we had imagined.

We'd already been through the part about making the checklist of "Things to Fix/Spruce Up", and we had begun to address these tasks, marking them off as we accomplished each one. But we found ourselves a bit taken aback by the formidable stack of paperwork (like, a tree's worth, I tell ya) presented to us by the cheerful Agent L. (I like that...makes her sound a bit like a spy, yeah? That's right, she's...infiltrating the market for us....or something...) We waded through sheets and sheets of random legal stuff like "any evidence of lead paint? check 'no', and initial" and "are smoke alarms equipped with a battery backup?". (Here we were stumped...Husband and I stared blankly at each other...then shrugged with indecision. All I know is, they shriek when clouds of sauna-like fog roll out from someone taking an overly-hot shower...or when something in the oven creates a bit too much steam. Does that answer your question? Moving on...)

I took my duties seriously and paid close attention for quite a while, hanging on every phrase of mumbo-jumbo that came flying my way. But after a certain amount of time I admit that my brain checked out. Is the plumbing functional? Well, I should darn well hope so! (Like there's an acceptable alternative? No, I'm sorry--but the outhouse in the back yard is fully operational--enjoy!) And what might have actually been my favorite: are you aware of any underground storage tanks? (What do you where we've buried the bodies? Is that a problem for you? Don't worry, they've never caused us any issues, so I'm sure they won't bother you at all...) Yeah, it's possible I got a wee bit punchy toward the end, there.

Then we got around to nailing down some critical specifics, such as "what exactly needs to be done before listing the house?" (basically: power washing the outside), "what happens after that?" (photographer comes to take the shots that will be posted on the Internet) and "when do you suggest we move forward?" (Right about NOW would be advisable. Gulp...) Agent L then helpfully promised to email me the name of someone who could take care of the exterior cleaning (whom she promptly called first, to give him the heads-up on what we needed and when to expect to hear from me. She's good, this one...).

And while she was at it, she asked if I had any moving companies in mind. At this point Husband chuckled politely and interjected, "Oh, we haven't even thought about that yet!" contraire, mi esposo (yes, I'm aware of the mixing languages...writer's prerogative) my organized (obsessive) brain has already indeed considered it...but I have no idea how to attack this particular agenda item. You see, the last time we relocated, it was from a town 30 minutes away...and we packed, loaded, and drove the truck ourselves. (Fortunately, we are in complete agreement that that is sooooo not the plan for this time.) No worries--she made another note to send me information on that topic, as well. (Forget what I said earlier, this woman is a veritable TREASURE...)

Finally, there was just one more thing to cover. Husband has been pushing for us to schedule another recon mission, to scope out more homes for sale in NC. When he proposed this, I pointed out that it might be premature, since even if we found something we loved right this minute...we can't buy it until we have a contract on our house, anyway. However, he's feeling anxious that we might "miss out on something great" if we have to wait a few weeks to go nose around the Southland again. After speaking to both Agent L and Agent C (in Chapel Hill), he agreed that we'd be better off getting our proverbial "ducks in a row" here in Maryland, so that we can scout with a purpose next time we visit, rather than just...window-shopping.

Thus, Operation House for Sale has begun in earnest (as I currently sit here and watch Husband traipse in and out of rooms, wielding a small touch-up paintbrush and a determined expression). And Operation Carolinian Dream Home will hopefully commence within the month. (Good Lord willing and the creeks don't my dear mother used to say...) Now all we have to do is try not to break anything between now and then...hmm, it's a nice day, I think that's my cue to go shoo everyone outside, where it's safe (!

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