Sunday, October 20, 2013

Home Inspected.

(I apologize if this post is full of typos, my editor is at a wedding while the author of this blog watches our children alone on a Sunday afternoon!)

On Monday the buyers had the house inspected. It was actually kind of perfect because Matt had the day off (Columbus Day for those of you who don't live in New England) so we went out to lunch and took the kids to a small farm for some apples. Over the weekend we prepared the house the best we could. As I have said before, we are honest and we don't have anything to hide. That being said, did I paint the wall in the basement where the dog and cat food bowls are because I thought it looked moldy? You bet I did. I sprayed the wall with vinegar first and then used Kilz to paint over the area. Admittedly, I was worried that the home inspector would say the word mold and the buyers would run in the other direction. The reality, it is a basement, and we had a very humid summer. I definitely don't feel guilty for correcting a problem I though the inspector might blow out of proportion. Matt did a somewhat "lipstick" fix to the front gutter, but we disclosed that the roof and gutters were in need of some attention, so guilt here :) Additionally I replaced the dryer hose, fixed the dripping toilet, and fixed the insulation in the attic. All of those things had been on my todo list for months, if not years! I also made sure all light bulbs worked, outlets were accessible, and cabinets were clutter free.

The inspection went fine, as expected, and the buyers were completely freaked out, as expected. Having been through the process Matt and I remembered feeling like the house was a total lemon after the inspection. Luckily their realtor (who we found out is the father of one of the buyers) calmed their nerves and they presented us with a semi-ridiculous amendment to their original offer. As in they asked for a TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR credit, hahaha. The one unexpected problem that the inspector found was that the furnace was leaking. I knew the cement under it was wet but thought it was just condensation. Part of the credit was supposedly for the roof but again we had previously disclosed the roof's age/condition. Our realtor was firm that they should not expect a credit for a new roof. Since we basically declined their offer they came back to us with "repairing/replacing the furnace and a 4K credit at closing". Our realtor offered to split the closing credit with us but we chose not to counter and instead asked for an extension of the contract so that we could have the furnace looked at by a plumber.

It was a long four days but on Friday afternoon a very nice guy came over to look at the furnace. After about 15 minutes downstairs he delivered the best news we could have asked for. The furnace needed a new drainage hose, the part cost 11 dollars!! We had him do another small repair to an exhaust duct and in the end we wrote him a check for $160.00. AMAZING! We were seriously afraid that we would need to replace the furnace and that financially we were not going to be able to sell the house. We texted our realtor the good news and gave her the green light to let the buyers know.

As far as I know their lawyer will draft the purchase and sale tomorrow and if all goes as planned with their financing we will be closing the week before Thanksgiving.


There is SO much to do and since Matt will be saving up his vacation time for the move and the upcoming holidays most of that stuff is going to need to be done by yours truly.

I will do my very best to keep on posting but I am not making any promises! At the very least I am planning a "mega house post" with tons of before and after pictures before we start packing.

Leaving this house is going to be heartbreaking but we are as ready as we can be!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Full Price Offer!

The short story: Our realtor called me on Wednesday of last week and suggested that we consider re-listing our house. Apparently she had a lot of buyers express interest in our house after we took it off the market. I agreed to "a one weekend last chance listing". On Saturday afternoon we received a very fair offer but it was less than our break even price, after a lot of conversation we decided we were going to decline the offer. Just as we were lamenting that "ah, so close" feeling I received a text from our realtor...FULL PRICE OFFER!

Long Story: As my loyal readers know we have been trying to sell our house since July. This is actually the second time in six years that we have listed the house. All summer I worked to keep the house ready for showings. I did every single thing the realtor asked and expected of me and we just couldn't get a reasonable offer.

By early September I was so burnt out from all of the showings and was ready to have my house, my privacy, and my sanity back. We took the house off the market on Monday the 16th. For two glorious weeks I let the kids get out every toy, we left towels on the floor, and I didn't dust a single knickknack. That is not to say I didn't clean, we have pets and kids after all, but it was amazing to loosen the reigns! We made plans to head to Maine for the first weekend in October to celebrate Mimi's birthday. Matt and I had also been throwing around the idea of getting away for a night so I booked us a cottage (at a motel) for one night in North Conway, NH.

The week before we headed to Maine was a pretty typical week. I had both kids all day on Monday and Tuesday, we ran errands and had a play date with a new friend from Lily's school. On Wednesday Lily went to preschool in the morning and Ben and I went for a run. This is the part where I should mention I HATE pushing the jogger, ugh! After school the kids and I met Vicki and co. for a picnic at the beach, it was 80 degrees. I am completely thrown by this unseasonable weather but I figure we should make the most of it. While having lunch Vicki and I talked at length about how the house had not sold and what we were planning to do from here.

When I got home from the beach there was a message on my phone from our realtor asking me to call her and that she had a proposition. She had also called the house phone and sent me an email. I put the kids down for a nap and returned her call. My gut reaction to her request to relist the house was, hell no! I did tell her that I would need to talk it over with Matt and that I would get back to her. Dingle and I exchanged a series of pretty hilarious texts and we were both confident that we would not be relisting. By 9pm on Wednesday night I sent the realtor an email approving the relist. Neither Matt nor I know how that happened, haha.

Thursday I showed my kids a healthy amount of neglect and Octonauts episodes so that I could undo the last few weeks of living in squalor. It took me all day. In fact, I still wasn't done when Matt got home from work, nor was I done the following morning. I put the last touch in place at a full sprint as I raced out the door to pick Lily up from school at noon. Keep in mind I also had to pack for the whole family for a three day weekend away. Good thing both the dog and Ben were standing in waiting at the door when I raced by, there is no guarantee that I would have remembered to pack them otherwise.

No more than three minutes after closing the door behind me my mind was on to the next thing and I had all but forgotten that our house was being show six times on Saturday. On Saturday morning Matt and I got up bright and early and drove to North Conway for a little retail therapy and alone time. It was Mimi's birthday and she insisted that babysitting our tots was the best gift we could give her, ha! Don't have to tell me twice.

We had a great morning shopping, it has been a very long time since I was in a store without a stroller or a child hanging from my leg. That being said I bought myself a new pair of jeans and spent 90% of my time looking at cute things for the kids that they totally do not need. ( I "splurged" on a yellow puffer vest for Ben and a sweater dress for Lily.) Matt was able to find a few new shirts for work which, when paired with the jeans his mom got him for his birthday, made him a happy guy. While heading to lunch we got a text from the realtor saying a couple had made an offer. Up until that point I had literally forgotten all about the house. It was too low for us to really consider but it did make me feel like all my hard work wasn't for nothing. We had a ridiculously good (not at all good for you) lunch complete with big beers. After walking around a bit more we decided to check out the Conway Scenic Railway and upon finding out that the tickets were very reasonable decided a train ride was totally up our alley, even without the kids.

After the train we found a cool little hole in the wall to watch the Sox game and have some dinner. Just after the waiter had taken our order both of our phones started blowing up. The couple from earlier had sweetened their offer and the realtor offered to lower her commission if we were able to come to a deal. All through dinner we weighed our options and in the end we both agreed that the offer was still just too low to take.. We didn't feel any real urgency to call the realtor back so we finished up our meals and watched the game for a bit. Just as we were about to settle up the tab we got one last text...a second couple had made us a full price offer!!!

There was still a chance that another offer would come in on Sunday so we held off on an official acceptance. That night we stayed in one of those little cabins that you often see along rural routes in New England. Yes, technically it is just a motel room but I have always wanted to stay in one. Of course I was terrified that it would be horrible and dirty since there were no reviews online but overall it really wasn't too bad. I wouldn't want to stay there for an extended time, or with the kids, but for one night it was perfectly fine (and very clean). The only problem was that I had forgotten my flannel pj pants in Maine so I was freezing when I woke up around 6...too cold to go back to sleep. I let Matt sleep until 7 but I was craving coffee and missing the kids so I pushed him out of bed and we got on the road to come home.

On Sunday around noon we formally accepted the offer, no other competing offers came in. Now of course I am totally stressing about the home inspection, which is next Monday at noon. I have to remind myself that we are honest people with nothing to hide, and that the home inspection will not turn up any surprises. Fingers and toes crossed that I am right about that last part!

The plan if everything goes smoothly (which I know when selling/buying a house is a relative term) is to close at the end of November and move in with Mimi and Doe until we find our very own dream house in Maine.

Whether or not I allow myself to get too excited, I am not going to be any less disappointed if the deal falls through. You guys, MAINE! After 10 years in Massachusetts we are finally going home!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

So Close

I have so many wonderful funny things to write about, but I am stuck.

Every time I sit down to write about something that has happened recently I look at my post list and it weighs on me. It weighs on me to have had another loss, to have this stupid unpublished draft.

This post is very personal and probably will not make you laugh. I know what you're thinking, "Well if she isn't even going to try and make me laugh then I am out of here." Honestly, I can't say that I blame you! But if I don't do this post, lift this weight, I am afraid that I will just stay stuck in this stupid place.

When I had my first miscarriage in May of 2011 I was almost 11 weeks pregnant when we found out that the baby had stopping growing. We had told all of our friends and family that we were expecting and undoing that news was very, very hard. When it was over and we had begun to heal I told Matt that I did not regret telling everyone in the end, because we had not suffered alone.

As I mentioned in my last post this most recent miscarriage happened before I was very far along and we had really only had time to tell a few people. As I suspected, telling our families that we had had a miscarriage before they even knew that we were expecting, totally sucked. I sincerely apologize to anyone reading this post and hearing this news for the first time.

In some ways this loss was easier. I didn't have to have surgery (twice), we didn't have to go through the agony of knowing that the baby's tiny heart had stopped beating, and I didn't spend 9 weeks with my head in the toilet. (Don't get me wrong, I will suffer through months of morning sickness if I get a healthy baby at the end, but holy wow was that a kick in the shin last time.)

It took me a long time to reconcile in my heart what had happened when I lost the baby in 2011. Simply stated, miscarriages are tragedies beyond my comprehension. As a scientist I understand their biological importance and I am able to feel gratitude that I was not faced with an alternate, impossibly hard, reality. That doesn't make them fair. When I had my first miscarriage I was disappointed, and scared that there was something wrong with me. Knowing just how common losses are has helped to quiet those demons. This time around I obviously felt disappointed, we were hoping for another spring baby, superficial I know. But I was not scared like last time, I was pissed. Honestly...just really angry. Didn't the universe know, it wasn't my turn?? The morning I knew I was miscarrying I cleaned the entire house for a showing all the while crying angry tears and slamming the vacuum into every wall, chair, and baseboard heater this house has.

A few days later I was feeling physically better but I was still having a hard time letting go of the anger. I still felt pregnant, I still felt a connection to that little spirit. I went for a run along the beach. I don't know what the weather was like, I was too mad to care. I was mad that people wouldn't get out of my way, mad that my right ear bud kept slipping, mad that I had forgotten to shuffle my playlist. I was on the verge of tears and about to turn around and head back to the car when I decided to just stop. Here is the thing, I NEVER quit on a run. If I tell myself I am going to do three miles I do not stop moving until I have done three miles. It is hard for me to even find the words to explain what I was feeling. I sat down on a bench and started talking to the baby's spirit (in my head of course, I haven't completely lost my marbles). I told the baby that I was sad and angry, I thought about how badly we want to add to our family, and I said my goodbyes. But here is the thing (and gets admittedly really weird) I still felt like the baby's spirit was with me. And as soon as I realized I felt that way, and stopped fighting it, I stopped being angry. I stood up, hit shuffle on my playlist, and started running again. The song that started playing, "Feel So Close" by Calvin Harris. It is an upbeat dance song but the lyrics hit me like a truck.

"I feel so close to you right now
It's a force field
I wear my heart upon my sleeve, like a big deal
Your love pours down on me, surrounds me like a waterfall
And there's no stopping us right now
I feel so close to you right now"

I know that this may sound totally crazy, but I am putting it out there anyway. I feel this baby's spirit with me. I didn't feel this way after my first loss but this time has been different. I have no idea what it means and I am completely open to the idea that this "feeling" is nothing more than an elaborate coping mechanism but simply stated, it doesn't matter if I understand it and I certainly cannot ignore it.

I will say that it is pretty fantastic that if I ever want to feel close to that little soul all I have to do is lace up my running shoes.

I feel you baby, all around me. Thank you for helping to heal this broken heart.