Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The push to get ready to list by April.

Over the last week and a half, I've spent every spare minute trying to finish off the projects in the house. After I'd cleaned up the deck, the peeling iron railing became painfully obvious to me. Along with the iron posts on the screened porch, the area under the deck, and the front steps. I bought a wire brush attachment for the drill to get as much of the flaking paint as I could and then re-paint. You probably have never heard anyone use the curse "stupid fucking curlicues," but you would have if you'd been there when I was working on the posts with curving metal parts.  But hours and hours later I was done.
How's that for neat? Since I won't be planting herbs here this year, I removed all those pots and packed them away, just leaving a couple for basil and parsley.
See those curlicues  on the post in the corner? Yeah, there were five of those posts to scrape and paint. I repainted the furniture, too. Fortunately the hostas are coming up in the planter boxes to add a little life.  I think the screened porch is one of the nicest features. There are woods on two sides, a nice tile floor and hardwood ceiling.And I added a really cool fan out there when I moved in.
I also cleaned out the entire garage and basement. It's not glamorous, but there is all kinds of space. A hoarder would have a field day with this basement. Around the corner there is a cement platform with even more storage and when I remodeled, I put all the old kitchen cabinets in the basement for yet more storage. Through that doorway at the end,
is a room we call the game room. Right now I have the bikes stashed in it. But again, storage.
And then on into a bomb shelter. The original owners in a fit of cold war paranoia built it. A cement ceiling, thick support beams, walls a couple of feet thick, running water, a sump pump, and a built in wall safe. And bizarrely, a window. Go figure. I guess you could watch the mushroom cloud from it. I painted it to look cheerier and to take away some of the duck-and-cover feel to the barren gray room. And storage possibilities? Oh, yeah.
On to the living space of the house. Here, the freshly de-cluttered den. I removed the bookshelf behind the couch that held games and books and also took away the two spare dining room chairs that lived there so the path to the porch door is unobstructed.
Both bedrooms are now a neutral color instead of the greens the boys picked out when we moved in. I left minimal art up - just enough to make it look spare but not empty.
Same color in this bedroom, which belongs to my younger son. I can't clear it completely because he still has to live in it.
My room is also de-cluttered. I took down the carved gourd mini lights I had strung along the ceiling. I love them, but my taste is admittedly quirky.I'm told that the idea is for people to be able to walk in and envision their own things in the house.
The main bathroom can't be changed much. But I did repaint it to make it a little fresher.  I'm hoping there will be folks out there who like the tiling I did.
There wasn't much to do in the kitchen except clean. This is a room I keep pretty decluttered anyway.
Except you see that empty space at the end where the chairs are? I was reading an article about what conveys with a house which said that anything that might be in dispute - i.e., something which is not actually attached but might reasonably be assumed to go with the house - should be removed before anyone sees the house. When I remodeled the kitchen, I also had a matching island built with a granite top. I love that table - it's the perfect thing for working bread dough, phyllo pastry or making cheese. So out it went. I stashed the slab of granite under my son's bed (after dropping it on my thigh and leaving a great bruise) and have the table loaded in the car to take to storage.
And finally the living room and dining room. I took out the book case behind the table and also stowed away a couple of chairs. And all the books not boxed up are on the one remaining bookshelf at the end of the living room.
I met with a realtor yesterday evening. After touring the house he said it was "neat as a pin and in showable condition today." No recommendations for changing anything. So now I wait.

46 comments:

  1. I love your house! I would covet that screened in porch! I bet it will sell quickly; it looks in great condition! Years ago we looked at a house that had a bomb shelter in the backyard, that was in Montana.

    You did so great with all your hard work!

    betty

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    1. Thank you. I often think that if there were a full-on nuclear armageddon, why would you even want to try to rid it out?

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  2. Well done you! I am most impressed having been there a few times with selling houses and getting them read for show. I once had to get a piano moved to storage as it diminished the living room.
    It will pay off for you, the house looks spacious and fresh.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. Thanks!I do think it make a difference to emphasize spaciousness.

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  3. Wow, you better be careful--and I agree with the realtor. When word gets out about the quality work you do, you may get offers to help on others needing to prep a house for sale.

    I like the idea of uncluttered. The buyer can then imagine rooms after their own signature has been applied.

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    1. If people wanted to pay me to do that. I'd consider it. I think someone with a good imagination doesn't need it cleared out, but even then it helps. I know when I bought it, ht owners had massive dark furniture in the master bedroom and I was actually surprised when I brought my own in and saw how much room there actually was.

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  4. Wow, you've done an excellent job there! The house looks really well cared-for and very attractive. The living and dining room looks so light and spacious. I'd be surprised if you had to wait very long for a buyer.

    I love the way you painted grass around the sides of the bomb shelter, by the way!

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    1. Thank you. I hope people can overlook the older design (with things like no master bath) and fall in live with the clean lines and space.

      And thanks - it is a little silly but I did it for the kids.

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  5. Nice! You look like you are good to go, literally! And yes, people will write in anything. Our first offer, they wanted a buffet I had custom made to match a table. Um, no. Second offer, they wrote in our gas grill and humidifier. At that point, we were just too tired to argue.

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    1. The article I read said that once people see something they want it, so make sure they don't see it.

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  6. Well done, girl!

    Two things:

    LOVE how you painted the bomb shelter. That is AWESOME!

    Also, I freaking LOVE the color of the walls of the living room/dining room areas. And that couch is faaaaaabulous!

    Great taste you have!

    And honestly, I am so impressed with all that you've accomplished!

    *two thumbs up*

    X

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    1. Thanks - I had fun with that bomb shelter! And also thanks about the wall color - I plan to use it in the next house, too.

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  7. Well done, lady. I'd put an offer down myself if I lived in your part of the world! Question… could you live like this all the time? The first time I sold a place it was a condo, and in preparation for selling I did all the same kind of work, and after doing it all, it looked so nice I wanted to stay. :) (I didn't, but I regretted not doing the work for myself instead of for someone else.) I feel inspired to declutter my house; thank you!

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    1. You know, I was thinking about that very thing - I'd like to live a more streamlined life and it may be that I get rid of even more things as I go.

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  8. Looks ready to me, nice job. The last two pics, the living and dining room, have a Southwest look, I have a couple navajo blankets and hopi vases who would feel right at home there.

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  9. You've made fantastic progress. I love the painted grass.

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  10. I'm not a realtor but would have to say you did an amazing job! Best of luck to you :)

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  11. Your place looks great. Have you ever used the bomb shelter for tornado alerts?

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    1. No, because of the window. There is a small bathroom in the basement that has no external walls - that's the safest place in the house.

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  12. Now that it looks so fabulous are you going to "Love it or List it?" I love that show. The screened-in porch is to die for. Why are you moving?

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    1. I do love my house. I hate living in this little town.

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  13. nice...its a cool house...i am sure you will get some bites...the market seems pretty good right now...had a friend list a week ago and he has had showings daily....

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    1. I waiting anxiously for it to start showing.

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  14. Excellent...and all that work brought out a great sense of humor too...especially those 'stupid fucking curlicues'

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    1. I was raised by a sailor and it shows. :)

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  15. You've done a fantastic job. No way I could have done it. I am completely inept with tools and probably worse. extremely lazy. When do we see the place you are moving to?

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    1. I discovered through this house that I can do way more than I knew.

      You get to see the place I'm moving to when that place is revealed to me!

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  16. Your home is beautiful and it looks perfect for selling. I am sure it won't take long at all to sell it. Wishing you lots of luck!

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  17. I’d move in any time. So much uncluttered space. Just right for me and my junk.
    Good luck finding a purchaser soon.

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  18. I love it. You've got some serious energy. I hate living in a little town
    too. Sigh.

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    1. I didn't mind the small town as much when I was married, but much less so now.

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  19. Looks good and I must again compliment you on your energy. I wish you success in selling the property off.

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  20. I don't remember how long you've lived there, but I started following your blog from the purchase point. I hope you turn a GREAT profit to compensate you for all the hard work you've done and continue to do over these years. Good luck!!

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    1. I moved in fall of 2007. I will actually take a loss since I bought right before the market crashed, but I'm reconciled to that idea.

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  21. Great looking place. You shouldn't have any problems.

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    1. There's the no master bath problem, unfortunately, but nothing I can do about that.

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  22. I adore the screened porch, for sure. Your house should sell by, um, tomorrow with the way it looks!

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    1. It's not a house for everyone - you have to be able to overlook the small bathrooms, which for many is a deal-breaker.

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