Sunday, August 27, 2006

Selling Out & Moving On...Update

We have now been informed that the appraisal came back very fact, I am wondering how good? Did we ask enough for the old house? Not going to worry though. The insurance appraisal on the home we are buying came in at $150-175k, and we are getting it at 68k; all works out in the end.

I received a notice from the health department on the water test from the house we are selling. They had informed me that I had not paid the full amount for the test, so they threw the sample out! So...we are having another one done on Monday, and will make sure that the right amount will be sent in!

Other than that, all is going along very well, and hopefully sometime next week, I will be working on some changes to the new house!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Selling Out and Moving On...

After much debate, fear, anxiety, anticipation, and hope, we are finally being proactive in our efforts to move to a bigger house, and in this the work has become quite an undertaking!

Here’s the evolution that took us to where we are.

Deciding to sell:

When Samuel was born some 14 years ago, we entertained the thought of having more children and the need to add on to the house.

When Josephine was born, we had definitely decided that it was time to add on. As it worked out, we secured a second mortgage and promptly spent it on bill’s that popped up and that was that…no addition

When Aubrey Grace was born, it became imperative that we add on. Pam was trying to talk me into moving, but no! There was no way that I was going to leave here. Our first starter home… in fact, or only home. While everyone else we knew was moving about and doing bigger and better things, we were solid and set. This home and ten acres would someday become our family compound. Things would change and turn for the better. We actively talked about and planned on adding on.

When Katrina was born, I had already started gathering materials for an addition and the plan was in place. Pam was still dropping hints all over the place that it would be much simpler to just move, but I was like concrete and that was that!

I had finally gathered enough materials to add the 400 sq ft addition on. Actually I had enough material to put the floor and walls up and things were looking much better!

In the meantime, my place of employment had issues with management & a dysfunctional board of director’s and ended up shutting down. During the previous years, my body had also followed suit and was trying to do the same.

In the middle of all this one of our neighbor’s (druggie) had purchased and split some land adjoining ours and had it up for sale. With this came boundary disputes and the ensuing battle.

During this time I was in desperate shape mentally, and Pam was pushing for anything to happen. She decided that we had to do something so the addition was started even though we couldn’t finish it. We were doing something though.

In realizing that we were sinking both physically and financially, not to mention mentally, I finally decided that moving would be a good solution. I am the smart one you know!

After trying to survive for a couple of years with moving in the back of our minds, we finally hit bottom and ended up having to file bankruptcy. So much for moving…we would just have to try to save our money and add on as we could afford it. No credit means no moving, so… this was to be our home, like it or not!

Some six months later, Pam starts to look on the Internet for places to move and I knew that she was just being desperate and I would have to comfort her through it all. Moving! Not a chance in the world. I humored her and hoped she would get better…

A couple of weeks later, I hear her discussing our finances on the phone with someone and when the call is over, she announces that we are eligible for a home loan at sup-prime. Talk about shocking me!

Now she is looking at houses on the Internet and finds some she likes (normal looking houses without character), we go look and for some reason or the other, they we are not in a position to buy any them.

Finally she finds this place that seems different. It is two-story, which is totally not what one would think would work for me, considering that I have difficulty walking. We go look it over and everyone falls in love with it. It is quickly named the “tree house” and everyone plots and dreams how it will soon be ours.

We now start talking about selling our house and spring moves into summer. We talk, but pretty much rule the house out. It has three cash offers that were all accepted (heart sinks) and all for bizarre reasons do not go through.

During this time, Pam mentioned to one neighbor that we wanted to sell and move, knowing that her daughter was looking to find a place to buy, but nothing came of that.

We also have become proactive on getting our house ready to sell. Sam and me manicure the yard, cut down an offensive tree, and burn brush. We burn trash and just get things started in a good way.

We were getting ready to start on the house, which needed a lot of work. There was painting, siding and trim issues, and lots of work that to be done inside. The road would be tough, but we were determined!

This was towards the end of June. Summer was till young and we could get much done. Along about this time a man knocks on the door and asks if we would sell our house. I said yes, gave him a price and he said he wanted it.

A month later he’s been to the bank and I get a call from them asking for verification on me selling the house. Not much else has been done to the house due to a lack of money. Another few weeks and now we are all but ready to sell and move.

The details:

Termite Policy/inspection-I became quite anxious about this aspect of selling our house. When Sam was a baby we bought a clothes dryer and due to a lack of a good route to vent the dryer on the outside wall (the normal and accepted way) I decide to route the vent under the house. Everyone starts telling me about how wrong that is and that it would cause mold and rot. I ignore everyone and decide that because I am keeping the crawl-space vents open, that it will work fine. To top this, when the new heat pump was installed, they sealed the opening so I couldn’t even get under the house and check.

Part of financing for the buyer required a termite inspection and I became very concerned with the nagging feeling that everyone had warned me about. I didn’t want to look and see the city of termites living in a world of mold, but I had no choice!

I reluctantly get my hammers and cut a hole in the cement block and peek inside. Sam is working with me and asks if he can go under first. I said yes and under he goes! I asked how it looked and he said fine. I am surprised and relieved, but would he actually know what he’s looking at? I go underneath and it looks like new!

I call and schedule an appointment for an actual inspection and the man shows up and comes out with a look of concern on his face. Man! What had I missed? I asked how it looked and he said that he had never seen cobwebs so thick? I suddenly realized it was the lint from the dryer exhaust. He was happy for the explanation and to my relief, declares it to be as good as new! One down, two to go…

Appraisal- The loan is a rural development loan and is related to FHA, which is notoriously tough to pass. Now I am doing some praying…. lot’s of stuff to be done, not to mention stashing all the stuff that a family of six has acquired over the years. I did manage to get some stuff stored at Denise & Kent’s, but still so much more.

Sam and me fixed the bad spot in the siding, put up some new trim, fixed the stairs and added a rail. That was it! More to do, but no time or money… the hole/storm cellar/pond in the back yard was a big hazard and I fully anticipated having to fill it in. The roof is old, looks bad, but doesn’t leak and would probably cause problems. The shower needs work, the lower cabinets in the kitchen has some water damage, and many other that I would have liked to have time to fix.

The appraiser shows up and I go outside to assist her in measuring and inspecting the house. The cicadas are singing and she is more concerned with them biting her than the house. Measuring and a photo of the crawl space is all that we tend to. We go inside and she has me take a picture of the attic because she can’t reach it, she takes a picture of the shower curtain, and the TV. She does engage Pam in some conversation and that is about all there was to it. She didn’t see or mention anything I was concerned with. I did ask if there was anything I needed to do and she said to not worry about it, we were fine, and all was well! I gave her three packets of “Butterfinger” flavored hot chocolate, one potato, and one ripe tomato, smiled and she was on her way.

Water Test-In the past, we have used Reba Bailey with much success. This time she couldn’t be found so we ended up going with someone else. I dumped a gallon of bleach in the well and the next day they took the sample. It should be in Little Rock by now, and should show plenty of chlorine.

On the side, the bleach did do a number on the laundry, not to mention giving the house a very distinct smell.

We are now just waiting on the appraisal & water test to move forward. Hopefully everything will come out fine and when it does, things should proceed fairly quickly.

On buying the other house, it was listed at $74k and I offered $68.5k and it was accepted. We have the financing approved and are just working out the details…interest rates & such.

The plan is to close on this house and turn around and close on the other house within 48 hrs.

Do be, and we are, praying that all works out well.