The painters finished last Thurs and the place looks great! I calculated that between all the rooms I/we painted since we moved here nearly 6 years ago and this recent wave of painting we paid for, every room in this house has been painted. Some of the rooms weren't in bad condition, but the paint colors were so sad and depressing that it made the walls look shabby even when they really weren't. While cleaning/organizing the basement I found the left-over paint cans from when the previous owner had some of the rooms painted. The paint cans had computer-printed labels indicating the date of April 2000, so the painting had been done just a few months before we moved here. But the colors were called "Exhausted", "despondent", "Given up", "Suicidal", and "I'm an Old Fogey", so they HAD to be changed.
Rather than go to the beach as we always do for Labor Day weekend, we decided to stay home and tackle the rest of the organizing/cleaning/sorting/throwing away/etc needed before the realtor's return visit on Tues. We worked liked dogs, putting the "labor" back into "Labor Day". But it was satisfying at the same time to see the fruits of our labor. We also had time for some fun.
Little Miss Sunshine
On Sun we met up with Kerry, Hugh, George, Kelly, Ana, Maura, and Evelyn to see 'Little Miss Sunshine'. What a great movie!!! Its both a comedy and a drama, or a 'dramedy' as Kerry reminded me. Its the story of a dysfunctional family that learns that being 'family' really is something. There are some sad parts, but they are greatly outnumbered by the side-splitting parts. A definite "must-see". Afterward we had dinner at Capitol City Brewing Company.
Stress and Arguing
For weeks now we've been working hard to get our house into the best possible showing condition. Making appointments with tradespeople, meeting estimators, reviewing and comparing estimates, selecting workers, checking the work, paying everyone, doing some painting, organizing, cleaning, sorting, throwing away, furniture moving (on several occasions), and even hauling a new/used refrigerator home ourselves - it was more work than we expected. While I was at work all day every week I kept expecting Joe to accomplish things at home, and when he didn't I finally decided to let him know on Fri how disappointed I was. As you might expect, this lead to a big argument. Then Sat morning when we were starting to move furniture (again) we got into another argument. On Sun it happened again and we both got a little out of control with the stuff we said. I'm not going to name names, but one of us threw a cup of dry dog food across the room at the other, in a fit of anger. It was all because of the stress we've been under for the last few weeks. Of course we made up, and Mon turned out to be a much better day for us.
A Welcome Diversion
On Mon Kerry called and invited us to meet them for lunch, and afterward she & I could work on the sewing projects I'd asked her to help me with. So after posting digital photos to the ads I'd written on Craigslist, we drove out to meet them. We walked to a nearby restaurant and ate outside, eventhough the weather was overcast. When we got back to their house we got to sewing and talking and laughing. Afterward the four of us sat on their front porch and talked some more. Before we knew it it was 8:00. We had such a good time, and it was a welcome diversion from all the work we'd been doing.
On Tues evening the realtor came, expecting us to sign on the dotted lines to list our house. But first we wanted to know the actual price she recommended we list at. Unfortunately it was not good news. When she'd initially come to the house a month ago she gave us a suggested price range with a $55K spread. Then a few days later we got a letter from her with more info, and reducing the spread to $30K. On Tues night she said the market seemed to be getting worse and that she recommended we list the house for $20K LESS than the lowest number of the price range! Its not that she doesn't know what she's talking about. We selected her because she is a neighborhood specialist and she really tracks the local and national markets. Basically she said 'this is probably the worst time to list a house'.
Needless to say, I was crushed. I felt like I'd spent weeks and months, working and sweating for nothing. It made me think of people who had birthday parties planned for the evening of Sept 11, 2001. Or people who'd spent a year planning a big wedding, only to get appendicitis and have to spend their 'wedding' day in the hospital. Something devastating comes along and takes all the wind out of your sails, leaving you with little more than a sore back and not enough sleep. That night Joe & I stayed up late talking about our 'options', and then when I finally tried to go to sleep, I just couldn't turn my mind off. After tossing and turning for awhile I just got up and watched a movie on Logo until 3am. The next day I called in sick because I was exhausted, disappointed, depressed, and completely deflated. I literally did nothing all day long. It actually felt great.
We decided not to list our house for sale right now. Technically we don't need to sell our house right now, since we don't have any house in DE on which we want to move forward. We figured that waiting until next Spring to sell will give the market here a chance to improve, allowing us to get a better price for our house - and - it will allow the DE market to 'catch up' with the DC market (since it is always several months behind). Hopefully in the Spring the prices in DE will have lowered so we won't be selling here when prices are low and buying there when prices are still high. We have our beach house, so there's no need to do anything if the market conditions aren't right.
Joe's New Job
However, regardless of the real estate market, Joe will be starting his new job in DE on Sept 18 so we will be moving his clothes and some personal things to the beach house the weekend just before. Coincidentally, that same weekend is DE Pride so we are happy we will be in town that weekend and plan to attend the Pride festivities and hopefully meet some new friends.
We do not want our house here to appear that no one lives here, so we've decided that I will remain here and continue working in my current office when Joe moves to the beach house. We will see each other on the weekends. Plus, since I've been banking all my vacation days the entire year, thinking I'd want to use them when we moved, I have lots of vacation days that will allow me to have several 3 or 4 day weekends. On the weekends that he comes back here, it'll be just like we still live here. At least that is the plan for now. We'll see how it goes.
Why I Love Craigslist
We don't want to take everything with us when we (eventually) move. Some things just don't work out as well as you think they will when you buy them, or you just grow out of them. Rather than throwing them away I decided to separate them into 4 categories:
- Things to throw away
- Things to donate
- Things to give away
- Things to sell
Easy enough, the stuff to be thrown away was bagged and hauled out to the curb and picked up by the trash collectors. Out of the blue we got a call from Value Village, indicating that their trucks were going to be in our neighborhood, asking us if we had any clothing or household goods to donate. I said YES. We went through Joe's chaotic closet and bagged up about 8 bags of clothes he no longer needed, wanted, or could fit into. Value Village came and picked them up so I didn't even have to drop them off anywhere.
Then I put ads on Craigslist for the free lawn mower, gas grill, screen door, and wheel barrel I didn't want. Within hours the wheel barrel and screen door were gone. The next day the lawn mower was gone, and the 3rd day someone took the propane tank but left the grill behind. 3 out of 4 isn't bad.
I also put ads on Craigslist for some rarely used exercise equipment I wanted to sell. Two days later I had $170. cash-money in my hand for 2 out of the 3 items, and I have an inquiry for the 3rd item. Its worked out so well that I am considering listing some more stuff to sell.
Oh, and did I mention the new/used stainless steel refrigerator we bought (and brought home ourselves) came from Craigslist?
Drag Queen name of the day: Anne Tellope