Old Stone House

Buckets and Gutters

October 13, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 2:49 pm

bucket1.jpgA long time ago my father taught me that one of the best ‘toolboxes’ is an old drywall compound bucket. My father had a bucket for plumbing, an electrical bucket, a drywalling bucket, and the general use bucket. Simple, sturdy, and free. (more agony and joy…)

Of Autumn Winds and Hindsight

October 5, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day,Ugly Addition @ 9:14 am

justlivingsmall.jpgI can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post! Where has the time gone?

I’m happy to report that nothing extraordinary has happened since my last writing – and I’m grateful for that! It would seem that our little experiment with the housing market did us a world of good – allowing us to prioritize our needs, be thankful for what we have, and avoid possible economic disaster. (more agony and joy…)

The deal is off

August 4, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 10:07 am

Long story short: We’re NOT moving.

After 8 weeks of valiantly trying to sell our house, we came to the conclusion that this was not meant to be, and pulled our house off the market. In the last few days we’ve had a number of very interested buyers come through the house – each prepared to make an offer – but ALL wanting to wait until after the holiday weekend.  In the meantime, our offer on the other house (Brant) had expired and we needed a firm offer on our house before we could make any deals. If all that wasn’t frustrating enough, our agent was suggesting that we should drop our price as contractors were prepared to make an offer on Brant (they were looking to flip the property!) and we needed to make our move NOW.  All the while, Brant had developed a bad mold problem in the basement. (more agony and joy…)

Survived another open-house

July 21, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 11:57 am

Another weekend has passed and we have survived yet another open-house. We managed to re-landscape the yard where the weeping tile was installed, re-stretch the (dry) basement carpet, touch up the wall paint and repaint the trim. The house looked great, and our agent told us that everyone who visited had positive things to say.

(more agony and joy…)

Digging holes, and filling them back in

July 17, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 2:43 pm

pipe1.jpgShortly after publishing our last post, I starting researching wet basement carpets and began to panic. Countless websites indicated that a wet carpet in the basement was a lost cause – the only remedy being to remove/discard the carpet completely. Panicked, I left work early and visited the dealer who had first installed the carpet. I was set at ease when he explained that the carpet was completely salvageable, including the under pad. Outlining our current situation (selling the house) he agreed that removing the wet under pad would be the best course of action. He also explained that we had purchased the antimicrobial/antibacterial under pad when we had the carpet first installed – and added bonus. I purchased some replacement pad (cheap!), and was assured that once everything was dried that they would lend me a ‘kicker’ to re-stretch the carpet.

We cut out the wet pad and elevated the carpet over chairs and buckets. We arranged two oscillating fans such that they were blowing underneath the carpet, and started the dehumidifier. We were amazed to find that 24 hrs later the carpet almost dry! Yah!
(more agony and joy…)

When it rains, it pours…

July 15, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 9:54 am

Ever since the last offer fell through, we’ve endured a bit of a roller coaster. The house was once again ‘live’ on the market and phone calls started trickling in. We got a phone call on Friday morning asking for a showing, unfortunately the people wanted to see the house in the 30 minutes and we had to ask for more time – they canceled. Next we had an appointment scheduled for Saturday evening. We cleaned the house, and then the people phoned to reschedule for Monday. Yesterday arrives and we clean the house again, and a half hour before the appointment the people cancel.

(more agony and joy…)

Counting one’s chickens…

July 5, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 9:43 am

Simply put, the deal’s off… The buyers withdrew their offer. They spoke to our listing agent when they met to sign the release papers, and in the course of the conversation it became apparent that the home inspection didn’t matter – their finances had fallen apart. When asked if the counter-evidence against the home inspector’s report had made a difference they explained that they didn’t review it / it didn’t matter.

Back to square one…

(more agony and joy…)

Bad house inspection – Bad house inspector

July 4, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 10:11 am

So we have encountered a major setback – ‘apparently’ our house is fraught with problems…

I received a phone call yesterday from our agent informing me that the home inspection had not gone well – citing MAJOR water problems. Distressed, I left work immediately and met our listing agent, as well as the buyer’s agent to review the report.

1. Evidence of extensive water damage in the basement

We surveyed the finished room in the basement and asked the buyer’s agent to explain where the water damage was. She pointed out ‘banded’ stains around the perimeter of the baseboard, as well as a large circular scuff on the wall. She explained that the basement had obviously been wet and the baseboards had wicked up the water, and the wall had become saturated.

2. Entire rear wall of sun room is soaking wet

We moved to the sun room where the buyers agent pointed out where the wall was ‘soft’, and the water stains at the base of the windows.

(more agony and joy…)

Almost Sold?!

July 3, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 9:12 am

I mentioned in my last post that a couple had booked a private showing – they visited the house and loved it!  So much so, they booked another showing an hour later, and the next morning we had an offer.  After much negotiation we agreed on a price – about 4% less then the list price – but with excellent conditions.  The couple has agreed to a 30 day close, they have no condition of finance or sale, and only want a home inspection – booked for today at 9:00am.

From what we can tell, this couple is very excited about the house. The booked a building inspector before we had even reviewed the offer.  Likewise, they made humble requests for leftover paint and would like to offer a private deal for some of our furniture. We are delighted!

It would be premature for us to start celebrating quite yet – as the house is not sold until the deal is closed.  However, everything suggests that this deal will finalize today.

With regards to the home inspection: this could go either way.  On the one hand, the house should pass with flying colours. The house is dry, strong, and every utility has been upgraded to code – including electrical, HVAC and plumbing. On the other hand, old houses need maintenance – windows need to be painted/replaced, the front porch should be restored, and there is just those little things a conscientious homeowner should be taking care of in order to maintain the value, beauty and functionality.  This house is no different then any other house – new or old – however we worry that if this eager couple has never owned an old home, or isn’t prepared to dedicate a portion of their time to maintenance, they may conclude that this house is too much work, or isn’t in good repair.  The home inspection should prove their mettle.

So, we wait with bated breath… Fingers crossed!

Slow road to exposure

June 26, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 3:41 pm

So, there has been a number of phone calls regarding the house – nothing overly serious – mostly inquiries about storage space etc.  As such, yesterday we hosted an agent’s tour.  Our representative and 25 other agents pile into cars and drive around the community looking at each other’s listings in an attempt to drum up business; a good practice as referring agents getting one half of the listing agents commission. As well, it provides the agent with valuable feedback – critical for price evaluation etc.

The feedback on the house was very positive – agents were particularly impressed with our kitchen.  As for price,  the consensus was the price was either 10k too high or ‘right on’ – which again is positive as it means that we have some room to negotiate while maintaining a competitive price point.

As I post this we have another booking set for a private showing…  Here’s hoping!