The Great House Hunt of May 26th

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Cart? Horse? Cart? Horse? I’m not sure if I’m doing things in the right order in regard to my house selling/home buying venture.

I probably should have taken the day to get my current house ready to sell…but instead I took the day to see what the market is like. (Actually, I thought it would only take me a couple of hours…I was wrong.)

Sigh.

Things don’t look good. I may not be able to make a move as soon as I had hoped. However, I’m going to keep on working toward making it happen.

Here is how my Saturday went. I’m totally pooped. I was in the car for 6 hours, saw 16 houses, drove 160 miles, and only ended up with 4 potentials and 1 that I really like.

Tomorrow I’ll be cleaning and de-cluttering my current house. Maybe things will go better on that end.

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39 Responses to “The Great House Hunt of May 26th”

  1. Hatson Says:

    Shelley, I feel your pain. No really I helped my sister de-clutter, tear out carpeting etc. etc…….all day today and tonight I feel like I am decrepit. Let’s hear it for Therma Care! I know we all wish we could come and help you with the many projects that moving creates. It’s alot of work staging and making your house look like no one really lives there. Trash bags become your friend as you speedily pick things up and dash to your car before the realtor arrives to show the house. New beginnings are exciting. Try to remember that as you face the trama of moving. Sheesh I am such a mom, but with 6 kids that is unavoidable. Lol

  2. sideways721 Says:

    Shelley, your fact-finding mission was positive! 25% of what you saw were possiblities!

    Good Luck!
    We have moved from West Coast to East Coast back to West Coast, all in Seller’s Markets, and now to Texas.

    Absolutely, “staging” your house is essential. I do this as a side business, for some realtor friends of mine. The obvious places of putting a few $ in are the bathroom and bedrooms for fresh towels/rugs/linens. Putting in a couple hundred $ makes a big difference in the sales appeal of a home.

  3. sideways721 Says:

    Forgot to mention that no matter what you do it is a pain in the ass. We bought a house having only seen the virtual tour… e gads.

  4. Alison B. Says:

    Shelley, just in case you are not familar with this site:

    http://homebuying.about.com/od/buyingahome/qt/Buy1storSell1st.htm

  5. Claire Says:

    Good link, Alison! I like this page about staging your house – so important that people think your house is attractive and well cared for.

    http://homebuying.about.com/od/sellingahouse/ht/homeprep.htm

    Shelley, one tip – apparently any sign/smell of a pet can put a potential buyer off. Sad but true. Something to do with the perception of possibly soiled carpets, chewed door frames, remnants of fur left around..I would recommend removing Sadie’s bed and bowl from sight, and if you have people viewing, maybe consider asking someone to take her for a couple of hours? She’ll understand. 😉

  6. jena Says:

    Shelley you are just too damn cute!

    Seeing Sadie’s big wet nose made me miss my Trixie. She’s visiting her dad this weekend. 😦

    You’ll find just the right house but you’ve gotta keep looking. You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs…

  7. AmyMc Says:

    Declutering the house….not fun. Best wishes with your house hunt!!!

  8. Shelley Says:

    Alison B….thanks for the link. That article helped me so much. I knew I needed to sell first…but I really wanted to know what I’m facing as far as finding a new place to live. I think I’ll go out and spend a couple of hours for one more time to look (the last 6 houses I found) and then only go out as I find one or two houses that appeal to me.

    Claire…boy, your article taught me a LOT. I figured I would put away all my pictures…but to pack away all my books and take down all window coverings? Man, that’s going to be tough. I HATE…abosolutely HATE living somewhere without coverings on the windows. It sends me into a depressed state. Even when I was living in a dorm at college…the first thing I did was treat the windows.

    Also, I knew that I had to clean, clean, clean…but alphabetize my spice jars? Not even I…the great anal retentive woman…am that obsessed.

    rolls up sleeves and dives into housework

  9. brc Says:

    Hi Shelley.

    I didn’t read the links that Alison and Claire sent you, but please, please, please don’t buy or get your heart set on a house before you sell your current house.

    I have two friends who found houses they loved and bought first, thinking they could sell before their closings. They didn’t and ended up carrying two mortgages for a long time and then were forced to sell way below market value in order to stop the financial bleeding.

    And don’t be discouraged by what you’ve seen so far. You WILL find a house that’s right for you and your budget. Keep those spirits up.

    I don’t want to sound like your mother or anything, but… Girl we need to talk about the videotaping while you are in a MOVING VEHICLE! Don’t want to see you and Sadie get hurt.

  10. brc Says:

    Just to add. While you’re cleaning and de-cluttering and house-hunting… I’ll say a little prayer for you:

  11. leejolem Says:

    That looked like a fun road trip with you and Sadie. I wish I could have ridden along. I would have brought snacks, some good music, and lots of laughs! HC4S and I put in 500miles a couple weekends back driving to Goshen, IN for TH tix. I lerve a good girlie road trip. Plus, I love looking at houses. Shelley, do you ever watch House Hunters on the Home and Garden network? I’ve learned so much from that. Of course I’m only interested in the fun part–the buying, not the icky part of selling. I can’t believe they recommend you only have like 2 family pics out and put your books away. Whatevah! I can understand de-cluttering, but to totally de-personalize seems a little extreme. I’m excited for you on your new adventure, but nervous to. I hope you find a house w/in your budget that you lerve. We built our home 3&1/2 yrs ago, and while it’s not my total dream house it’s as close as I’m gonna get in this lifetime. We’re still trying to get all the window treatments and pics up–I’m a procrastinator.

  12. Shelley Says:

    Just got back from looking at last 6 on my list. Found two more potentials.

    Now…I’m really getting to work on clean-up.

    Oh…by the way…I promise not to set my hopes on ANY house before mine sells.

    I just wanted to see what was out there…to give me incentive to leave. 😉

    I promise.

    (as far as driving and recording…I guess I do live on the wildside…just kidding. I promise to be carelful)

  13. leejolem Says:

    2 more potentials–yay!!!

    OT–tomorrow is my oldest daughter Abigail’s HS graduation. I can’t believe she’s that old. It sounds so cliche, but I remember the day she was born like yesterday. I guess this sort of fits into Shel’s post because life is always full of changes and passages. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but ever present.

    Hope everyone has a great holiday.

  14. GwenB Says:

    Shelley, you haven’t heard from me much, but I want to say good luck, take a deep breath, and do take your time. As for commuting 60 miles to work and 60 miles back … we did that for 17 years! It just about killed me. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

  15. Mall Rabbit Says:

    Good luck on the house staging & hunting. Sadie is such a good doggie passenger in the car. How sweet! I’m hooked on the HGTV home selling/buying shows.

  16. huckleberryfriend Says:

    Good news and bad news – You can probably buy a house for substantially less than it is listed for. Bad news – you probably won’t get as much for your house as you would have a year ago. Most parts of the country are in the prices falling stage. Get as much as you can for yours, but don’t be afraid to low ball when you make an offer. In most parts of the country, there is a glut of houses on the market right now.

    The advice above on staging is extremely important in a down market. You need to help the buyers make an emotional connection with your house. Good luck.

  17. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    I went to 8 houses one day and din find any I liked, heck one, went in the attic and saw there had been a fire in the house and they didnt even tear the wall down just put a wall kind over it (but I cold still see the fried wall behind it) I asked the realtor when the fire had taken place he didnt now what was talking about, so I showed him, shesh, they need o check the houses out good before trying to sell them.
    Good luck in finding the perfect house, hope yours sells quickly and everything goes smoothly (or as smooth as possible)

  18. Hatson Says:

    Lee, I know what you mean. I find myself humming “Sunrise Sunset” all too often.(Of course that could be a medical condition of sorts.) You should write down all your feelings on that special day and share them with your daughter. Don’t forget to tell her how lucky you are to be HER mother.

  19. Laurita Says:

    Sending you supportive “been there-done that”, “hang in there!”, “you CAN do this!” vibes thru the aether, Shelley 😉

    In recent years, living alone (with my cat Misha), I sometimes feel like my home is my companion… so I’m just sharing this song from that perspective, with the anticipation of knowing you’ll fall in love with your new house, when you’ve finally moved in there, no matter what and how long it takes!

    And also just cause this amazing performance will bring a smile to your face in the middle of all the hard work of this day, and days to come…:

    (“An excerpt from the 1988 NAACP awards, in which Luther VanDross sings “A House is not a Home” live. He, more or less, sings this song directly to Dionne Warwick…”)

  20. Hatson Says:

    Laurita, That was AMAZING. It made me cry. I had never heard his version of that song I have always loved. Thank- you so much for bringing that moment to all of us. I love this site!

  21. justwatchin Says:

    Good luck Shelley…and guess what? My dog looks a little like yours, more like a fox (a real one)…..it’s a hassle to look for homes…I was doing it for awhile, and pretty much got discouraged, so stopped for awhile. The good thing is you can always keep getting your house ready during the times you are sick of looking….hang in there.

    I’ve gotta say too, and this is not even slightly related, but I’ve only just discovered today that you are the creator of “Santa Baby” one of my most favorite videos ever…..

    Take care…& hang in there!

  22. Shelley Says:

    justwatchin…thanks.

    but i gotta confess…i only wrote and sang “Taylor Baby”…someone else created the video.

    here’s the song if you’re interested in downloading it.

    Taylor Baby.mp3

  23. Alison B. Says:

    Shelley, was going through the archives and enjoying your ‘Classic Beauty’ topic from April again. Some perfect music there to relax to after a day of cleaning and de-cluttering. But when the next cleaning day arrives try this:


    Sabre Dance by Khachaturian

    This version performed by Vanessa Mae (violin):

  24. Shelley Says:

    Alison…thanks for the tunes. 🙂

    for the record…i hate cleaning mini-blinds…and i refuse to take them down to clean them.
    pain. in. the. tuckus.

  25. Alison B. Says:

    Shelley, I believe that the manufacturer’s instructions concerning mini-blinds explicitly state that, when cleaning, they must never be taken down. It s a little known fact. 😉

    I’ve just been catching up on your tube videos…the gardening/baking one makes me hungry for pound cake. Its a cold foggy night in S.F. and now I have to go out searching for pound cake…

    I like your “Taylor Baby” song 🙂 When Gray posted that it really put everyone in a happy mood.

    OK, off to find pound cake!

  26. Sierramaira Says:

    I feel your house-hunting pain. I looked very hard in my little Southern corner of Mississippi last summer and came up empty-handed. Housing prices went sky high after Katrina.

    Best of luck to you in selling and hunting!

  27. Dr. Bob Says:

    Hang in there Shelley — We were thinking of selling our house last year, and I found the whole process difficult. Thankfully we got a reprieve and will be doing it in the next coupla years. Praying that someone will walk into your house and fall in love with it — how could they not?! And that all will go smoothly.

    When Claire said that it was “so important that people think your house is attractive and well cared for.” I had to laugh. It’s like dressing up your ex-boyfriend for a date with another woman. You don’t really want him anymore, but you have to look rueful about it.

  28. Mr. Reality Says:

    LEEZA GIBBONS FOREVER!

    After a brief hiatus, I am back to implore everyone to follow the positive energy example of LEEZA GIBBONS.

    Shelley, proceed with house selling and house buying THE LEEZA GIBBONS WAY, and you will get precisely what you want.

    Also, you have been working hard and dealing with a difficult situation, so I am providing the following “treat” for those reasons. Under normal circumstances, it would be against my core values.

    http://www.tmz.com/2007/05/25/taylor-hicks-scores-a-really-hot-chick/

  29. Shelley Says:

    Geesh, Mr. Reality…you’re a real “giver.” 😉
    Thanks for the pic…but I tell you Taylor Hicks is old news…I’m all about Bob Guiney, once again.
    Oh…and you are forbidden to mention the name of L**z* G*bb*ns around these parts.
    She…like Jane Fonda…is a HACK.

    Dr. Bob…your comment about dressing up my house being like dressing up an ex-boyfriend cracked me up.

    You get…

    The Official Prize of the Day

  30. justwatchin Says:

    Hey…it was the song & the singing I enjoyed most..take care

  31. Dr. Bob Says:

    Whoo hoo!!!

    Um … I have a vague recollection of Bob Guiney.

    Yeah — I know that there will be a false note in my voice when talking about the desirability of my house when I try to sell it. My husband is worse — he will walk around talking about all of the things wrong with it. O_o

  32. Shelley Says:

    you do know i’m kidding…right?

    bob guiney isn’t half the man constantine is.

  33. Quossum Says:

    Shelley, I *loved* your videoblog. So frustrating…I can so feel you. James and I recently went through a long phase of trying to find a house, but everything with decent yards was located ‘way too far away.

    Just the thought of going through what we’d have to go through to sell our house gives me the trembles. Maybe this neighborhood isn’t so bad after all…

    –Q

  34. Dr. Bob Says:

    Yes — I had the idea that you might have been kidding re Bob Whatsisname. Am a leeetle worried about the Constantine reference, though.

    I have to say that I am laughing at your characterization of driving sixty miles round trip as insane. We Californians laugh at you!!

    I am thinking of changing jobs and drove out for an interview on Thursday. It was over 100 miles. One way. Not to say it is at a remote location, but there was a sign warning me that there were venomous snakes and to be careful. Teetering across the parking lot in my suit and high heels, lookin’ fer rattlers … now that’s my idea of a job interview.

  35. rowan Says:

    wanted to comment on this thread last night, Shelley, but was foiled by circumstance. I think that seeing 16 houses and driving 160 miles in one day is more than i could have managed in a fortnight. Wowzers! So hope you strike gold soon. With that sort of dynamism, I can only imagine you will!

    I haven’t heard of Bob Guiney, or L**za Gi**ons. Am glad you only had vague recollections of him, Dr Bob, cos I was feeling a wee bit like someone who remembers every poem they learned in junior school but forgets their own name and whether they ate already. (That latter issue can be, er, taken pretty much for granted in my case.) Anyhow – the Guiney pic sparked-off a dissstant memory of another fellow represented in black and white, which may appeal to you, Shellz, and other Monkbotesses out there. I give you, Sting dancing. The 1929 original version of this song is also listed. I am coveting the lovely old phonograph, but am irritated by the stiff-upper lip tone of the singer, attempting to cheer everybody up – am half irritated, and half laughing.

    Dr Bob – you Californians amaze me. How do you do it? It would take me (could I drive) about two hours to drive 100 miles. And rattlesnakes? Gak! You would need to get a pair of biker boots to match your suit if you decide to go work there. You set a good example for me. My driving instructor is beginning to lose his cool, trying to get me to increase my speed to 30mph. I am yelling that the G-force is too much for me, but he is not smiling.

    Raising my morning tea in honour of all Monkbot sisters travelling long distances every day.

  36. jenfera Says:

    Rowan, thank you for the kewl Sting clip! Cheered me right up, so did the thoughts of you not wanting to exceed 30mph.

  37. rowan Says:

    Thanks Jen! Glad you liked Sting. Have only reached the dizzy heights of 30mph once – am happier coasting along at 20 – 25 tops. Another lesson tomorrow…O_o

    Thinking of you Shelley – you’re in my prayers.

  38. Jan Says:

    Shelley: I feel your pain on the house hunting since I just went through that myself. I didn’t have to sell a house though which is the bad part. I hope I’m going to be in my new house for many years to come. I had many days when I just felt like not looking at all because there was nothing that looked good online. My house is really spacious inside but you would never know it by looking at the outside. Maybe some of the houses you saw that you didn’t like are great inside? I am really guilty for buying a house based on feeling like it was a home. The previous owners had a stained glass sign hanging over the breakfast bar and a wood entertainment center with their name carved in it (custom made) and bows and arrows in progress and lots of musical instruments. I just felt like they really cared the place and made it a home. Your home is like that too. I could tell that it is a home and not just a roof over your head. Others will see that too so hang in there.

  39. Dr. Bob Says:

    Rowan, thanks for the Sting Dancing. Why was Glinda the Good singing on that record, though?

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