Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Real Estate Saga...

When I read other people's blogs, I sometimes get irked with them for not posting more often. How bad is that, when it's been a full month since I posted?! I'm sorry, fellow bloggers!!! May is a crazy month, but now school is out and summer ennui is setting in.

So I'm going rant and feel sorry for myself for a few minutes. Here's my family's pitiful, wretched real estate saga. Feel sorry for us, we sure do! :)

My family has spent two years trying to sell a house no one wants to buy. We’ve watched helplessly as several nearly-perfect-for-us houses have come on the market and then been sold to someone else. We’ve repeatedly felt like we were missing the boat and we’ve been disappointed time and again.

Our real estate saga began in May 2008. Having pestered my husband about moving practically since the day we moved into our house in almost four years earlier, he finally agreed that we should put it on the market. We’d had enough of the steep backyard and being fifteen minutes away from nearly every place we go, including work. We wanted our kids to be in the best local school system, and we wanted a yard where they could have a swing set. So, with a two-month-old baby and a preschooler, we packed up as much extra clutter as possible and put it in storage, and put the house on the market. We had high hopes of moving before school started in the fall. Ha. The wait began...we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Keeping a house semi-ready to show to potential buyers is not an easy task in general, but adding two small, messy children to the mix makes it even tougher. (At least we don’t have pets, right?) Getting ready for a showing is a process that usually takes a few hours rather than a few minutes. Not so bad if it’s just a few weeks, but spending two years living in that state of limbo has been downright torturous. Now, I know that in this economy, we are just lucky to have a house to live in and to be able to pay for it; I don’t mean to sound like an ingrate. But nonetheless, the uncertainty and the stress have taken their toll.

After a year on the market, we replaced much of our aging carpet with hardwood flooring, in hopes that would help. It didn’t, though it certainly looks nice. We dropped our asking price several times, to as low as we could possibly go and still afford a new house. We fired our first realtor and hired a new one last fall. She has done a great job of advertising and making us feel like important clients, but still - no sale. We had one offer, back in October - it was laughably low and didn’t work out. Then last month, we had a first: someone came back for a second time to see the house. This buyer (a young single gal) came with her father and they spent well over an hour here. (I know because after taking the kids to McDonald’s for an ice cream, we sat in the car down the street staking out the scene and waiting to be able to come back home. There’s not many places to go to kill time around here, and that way we‘d know for sure when they were finished.)

She made an offer that night.

It wasn’t a good one.

So, we began the process of countering, and just before her deadline to respond to us, our realtor called and explained the numerous financial roadblocks our buyer was encountering. She’s only approved to borrow a sum that’s about $25k less than our asking price, even though she can afford the monthly payments based on her income. So we waited more.

After nearly 2 weeks of waiting, she finally gave up and withdrew from the deal, because she simply didn't have and couldn't get the money she needed, despite the fact that she really loved this house. So, we're back to square one yet again, 2 years and a month in. In a couple of weeks, we're having the carpet on our stairs replaced, and we're having all the main living areas repainted. They're a neutral color now, but a fresh coat of a more modern color (it's just a beige, nothing fancy) might spruce it up a bit. But the bottom line is we only have about 2 months until school starts back and we need to move by then. If we don't, my hubby is quite persistent in his belief that we should give up. Bah.

So, the ordeal that is our real estate life continues, and continues to make me slightly insane. I’m tired of this house consuming my time and spending time on it that I should be spending on my kids. Those kiddos of mine are now 2 and 7. Two years of their lives have been consumed by this ordeal. I’m tired of having half of my belongings in storage, and I’m tired of having very few of my beloved pictures displayed. I want to keep my house reasonably clean and orderly because I like it that way, not because I have to meet someone else’s standards. I want my life back.

Ok...pity party is over for today. I have to go clean the house.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The things kids say...

Because I'm in love with these pics of my babes in the flowers...

Always popular among my Facebook friends, I'm going to share some random things that have been overheard in my house in recent months. Enjoy.

"Get your foot out of my pants."

"No, you may not sit on the stove."

"Tell her that your mom says you're not allowed to sit by people who cough on you."

"Your pants are on upside down."

"Why are you wearing a shoe on your head?"

Emily: "I want to learn French so that if we ever go to 'French' I can speak the language. OR if we go to London."

"Take that spoon out of your ear."

"There will be no more ninja-ing Mommy."

"Caroline, how did you get lipstick on your face?"

"Other people's hairbows are not your business."

"We do not drink bathwater. Gross."

Emily: "Mom!!! When I yawn it feels like someone put Germ-X in my ear."

Upon hearing that she had yet another snow day, Emily told Caroline, "I don't have to go to school today, so you don't have to miss me!"

Emily: "There's a girl in Mrs. E.'s class named Miracle. But that's weird, because she looks like a Jenny to me."

Emily: "I put a FG on this so I'll know I made it in first grade."

"That is a pair of pants, not a jacket."

One morning we were getting ready to leave the house, and I wasn't moving fast enough for Caroline, who told me, "Chop chop!!"

Emily was eating Nerds candy one day and having trouble getting them out of the box. She held the box up to her eye, peered inside, and said, "Hey Nerds, come outta there with your hands up!"

And my recent favorite: Caroline (barely 2) was eating a Dum-Dum lollipop. She suddenly exclaimed, "Circle!!!" and showed me that her lollipop was, indeed, a circle. I was impressed. She showed Emily, who said - with the kind of "duuuuh" tone only a 7 year old can muster - "That's not a circle, Caroline, that's a SPHERE."

Emily has a circle on her head. It's not a sphere.


Well...I hardly know where to start with my new fancy blog. I've toyed with the idea of writing one for awhile now, and just never pulled the trigger. I mean, my life and my brain aren't really that interesting to anyone else. But I sometimes find myself with super fascinating (ahem) insights that just really need an outlet! So I suppose I'll be writing about a variety of things - my kids and the funny, crazy, wonderful, frustrating, or adorable things they do. My wonderful hubby. (He does funny, crazy, wonderful, frustrating, and adorable things, too.) My wacky family. My very very part-time writing job. My terrible luck with selling our house (two years on the market and counting). Politics...because everyone wants to hear what a Republican Bulldog has to say, right?  That's what I thought. And just everyday life as a mom of two little girls. So, consider yourself warned.

So, where to begin? I used to keep a blog that was mainly about Emily and our family. But with this one, I want to talk about all sorts of different things, not just my immediate circle. Sometimes I might write about what we're up to; other times I might be sharing my thoughts on something going on in the world at large. If you don't agree with me - that's fine. But I believe that we can all learn from each other, even when we disagree. Especially when we disagree, perhaps. I also have to dot all my Is and cross all my Ts and assure you that when I have a strong opinion about something (which is pretty often), I'm not personally criticizing anyone who has a different opinion; I'm not even necessarily saying that person is wrong. I'm just sharing my opinions...after all, it's my blog! But I've had trouble from time to time on Facebook with people who don't agree with me and attack me for having a different opinion. That's not my style, and if it's your style, I kindly ask that you go elsewhere with that. I'm happy to approve comments that offer ideas different than my own, but I won't approve ones that are truly mean-spirited or vulgar.

Okay - that's all I have to say for right now, just some general housekeeping business. Next time I'll have something more interesting to talk about. But welcome to my blog, please stop by any time!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My sweet babies...

These are my babies, tiptoeing thru the tulips. Er, daffodils.

I finally took the plunge...

I finally took the plunge and decided to start a blog. I will be blogging - with what frequency, I don't know - about whatever's on my mind. My family and our goings-on, motherhood, politics...who knows!! Welcome to my little blogging corner of the world.