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New Developments

Fail on the blogging for the month of March. Last month was spent decluttering our condo, getting the interior painted, and completing other minor home improvement projects, so we could list it to sell. These activities took every weekend of the last month and then some. Out of necessity, we increased the size of our storage unit down the street, so we could place everything in there we didn’t currently need or that was adding unnecessary clutter to the condo. “There’s no way we’ll ever fill this whole thing,” I said to my husband as we shuffled our crap from the smaller unit to the bigger. Famous last words… The only thing I really miss are my books. I kept a small number out for “staging” purposes, but eight boxes went into storage (Mark’s back can attest). I find it curious bookcases are not meant to be used for their intended purpose when you’re trying to sell – just the occasional knick-knack. Must. Give. Illusion. Of. Space. Or some such nonsense…

I got frustrated and cried (more than once), despairing we’d never be able to get everything done in time to list it by spring. This probably wouldn’t have happened were it not for Oscar, my realtor (and good friend)’s resident handyman and painter. He repainted our kitchen, the upstairs hallway, Mark’s office, and the upstairs bathrooms. He repaired all the damaged drywall and cracks in the ceiling where the house had settled. He replaced all the tile in the office bathroom. He power washed the brick wall outside. And, he installed a new sink in our downstairs powder room. We LOVE Oscar and will definitely ask him to do work for us again, which brings me to why we decided to list our condo in the first place…

At the end of February, we found a house we fell in love with out in Waterford, Virginia. The house was built in 1790 and has lots of charm and character (at least, we think so) – front and side porches, tin roof, stone foundation, terraced back yard, etc. We love. Only trouble is the house is a short sale. As we’ve come to learn, there’s nothing “short” about short sales. We put an offer in at the beginning of March and are still waiting to hear something back. A month and a half later. The bank is the final arbiter of whether or not our offer will be accepted, not the sellers. In fact, the sellers accepted our offer very quickly. From what we understand, after getting an appraisal, the bank will sometimes counter a buyer with a higher asking price. Soooooo, we’ll see. As of right now, we are the only offer on the house. We’ve given the bank until May 15th to respond to us. At that time, if we still haven’t heard anything, we may void the contract if we wish.

In an effort to manage expectations, I’m trying not to fixate too much on the Waterford house given there is a definite chance the whole deal will go bust. If that happens, I trust there is something else out there for us that we will be equally excited about. In the meantime, I’m enjoying our freshly painted and decluttered condo, typing at my desk for the first time in I don’t know how long.

As a final note, we’ve been on the market a month now. No offers yet, but lots of traffic. Most of the feedback we’ve received has all been positive – condo shows well, priced fairly, yadda yadda. All good, but I wonder how long before someone actually bites? Mark’s convinced when the azalea bush in front of the fence fully blooms, we’ll get an offer. This, of course, was what happened when Mark purchased the condo eight years ago in May. Guess we’ll see!