Sunday, December 13, 2009
An Exhausting Weekend
On Friday afternoon I received an email from one of my brokers asking if they could show the house on Saturday between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Despite my insistance on no showings during the holiday period and while I have guests, since my guests aren't here yet I said okay, reluctantly. So, instead of spending Saturday cleaning closets out as I'd intended, I started cleaning at 9:00 a.m. and didn't stop until 2:00 p.m. when I threw on some make-up, a different top, bundled up for outdoors and headed to the hardware store at 2:10 p.m. Fortunately it was a mild day - in the 30's - after Thursday and Friday spent with windchills well below zero. The sun was shining, there was no wind to speak of, and it felt positively warm! I even had my sunglasses on - alas, not my good old sunglasses which were lost a week ago Saturday when I was looking at houses. Somewhere, somehow, the were left behind or fell out of my pocket and I am still lamenting their loss. I've had those sunglasses since before our trip to Amsterdam in 2001. They've been all over with me. Sigh. Sometime that morning, I received an email from one of the brokers with the buyers' inspection report attached. I was surprised to receive the entire report, they did not have to share it with me. I spent some time reading through it, wondering what it all meant. Yes, I knew I had some grading issues and moisture problems in the basement. The basement walls seemed to be in okay shape but tuckpointing was indicated. It wasn't something I'd ever had done, that's for sure, so it must have been done sometime during the construction process. I was surprised by a few things - something broken on the water heater (which must have been done when brother-in-law Fred installed it back in 2003), a broken stem pipe(? - not sure what it's called) on the sump pump connection to the storm sewer pipe discharge, wrapped in duct tape -- yes, I saw that many times, I just never thought anything about it, LOL! The sump pump seated too high in the crock? Well, I wouldn't know anything about that. Because of some missing insulation in the sill wall cavities, there was frost build-up (well, it was 25 below zero the day the inspector came, geez), and yes, the basement windows are flimsly and have always leaked cold air and have mold streaks on them. The main thing is that the house is not a danger to me or anyone else, and isn't about to collapse. That's good news! All the mechanicals work too. Anyway, I hiked a good mile to the hardware store where I picked up some needed house thingys, and then backtracked to the Walgreens and spent some time there looking at Christmas cards on sale (I picked out some really cute ones) and a few other things. Before I knew it, it was 3:45 and I checked out and made the mile walk back home. The fine day had clouded over, the wind had picked up and it was colder and bitingly damp, but still well above zero. It was definitely bearable and I took my time, savoring the relative warmth after two days of bitter cold windchills. When I got home I could tell that people had been through the house. The shower curtains were askew, the curtains in the master bedroom had been pulled apart (why do people look out the windows in the master bedroom???), the basement light was left on, etc. etc. and the broker(s) had left a card which, my brokers had previously informed me, was not meant as a solicitation but to signal that they had brought people through the house. When I got home I was too tired to do much of anything. I went to bed at my regular time and didn't sleep well, getting up at 3:45 a.m. to try relaxing in the recliner. I did get some additional sleep and woke up about 6:45 when it started to get light outside. I was wondering what my buyers would come back to me about on that inspection report, how much it would cost, and how I couldn't afford anything at this point, and the entire package deal of buyers/sellers and three homes was going to fall apart. Would the sellers of 110 Street sue me for non-performance? Would my buyers insist on regrading work (that could cost thousands of dollars) and would I tell them to kiss my grits? I washed my hair, read the newspaper, got ready for an investment club meeting. We met at Meyers and had a delicious breakfast, as per usual, and I caught up everyone on the continuing saga of attempting to sell this house and attempting to buy a new one! I told them about my table pounding incident (last week Saturday) and they laughed and and laughed. Well actually, it was rather funny. We asked an obliging waitress to take our photos in front of the lovely Meyers Christmas tree in the main dining room. I haven't got them emailed to me yet (they are on Sue's and Angie's cameras) but will post them here when they arrive. I think we are all gorgeous despite being women of a "certain age." After breakfast we adjourned to my house, admired my beautiful Christmas tree, and had our gift exchange. What fun! But - the Packers were playing the Bears at noon in Chicago (I had mistakenly thought they were playing in LEGENDARY LAMBEAU FIELD), so some wanted to get back home in time for the game and others of us had other plans, and I wanted to change clothes and relax in my new official Green Bay Packers blankey-snuggy from Georgia and Michelle. As the meeting was breaking up, my phone rang. Sue said "It's your broker," and she was right. LOL! The upshot is that I need to get a consultation with a home performance expert (that is what the WE Energies website calls them). After doing some research myself on the internet, I located one that sounded promising and, lo and behold, he is actually on the short list of name one of the brokers provided to me. So I emailed him - we shall see. The buyers' primary issue appears to be the potential for air infiltration leading to moisture build-up leading to mold in my basement. So, I did some research on that and learned about foam insulation, so that seems the way to go. The costs - well, from what I read not too bad, but we shall see what we shall see. The lousy basement windows - hmmm. I don't want to think about house stuff any more today. However, I have the Purple Heart picking up on 12/15 and so I cleaned out the linen closet - two very heavy bags of towels, sheets and curtains that I will never use again. Now I will tackle the front downstairs closet, where I have two boxes of unused towels and other linens and assorted stuff stashed. Most if not all of that will join the stash for the Purple Heart pick-up. Only two more closets to go through after that. In between bouts of continuing to attack/shovel the ice/snow on the driveway. Speaking of which, since the Packers won I pledged at least another hour's effort. Oy - my shoulders hurt! It's like chopping ice.