Saturday, February 04, 2017

NADINE'S MOVE TO CHANGE - Living In An Empty House


Living In An Empty House

The day after the moving company emptied (for the most part) my house, my friend Barb, a fellow “semi-cripple”, came over to help me clean.  Despite cleaning constantly for showings, I just didn’t feel the house was quite perfect enough to pass on to the new owners.  Barb has severe shoulder, arm and leg pain on her right side, but she was wrangling my vaccuum cleaner fairly well with her left hand.  Meanwhile, I was in the downstairs cleaning out that mess of leaves and road sand otherwise known as a garage.  Barb kept chiding “I thought you would have everything out of here!” while wrestling the vaccuum around piles of things that were still in the house.  Geez, I was still going to be living at Jo’s for 2 months and as we all know from past posts – I need my stuff!!  In addition, there were a few other piles.  There was the “give-to-Karen pile, the give-to-Jo pile, the donate-to-Goodwill pile, the donate-to-Friday’s Animal Rescue pile, the plants-going-to-Claudine’s pile and the more-stuff-to-bring-to-Barnes-for-storage” piles.  Alright, alright, I’ll admit it, I was a little behind on the moving-out schedule, but I would manage.  Here it was Thursday and closing was scheduled for Friday and Barb and I were cleaning around more of my STUFF.  I admonished myself with a “perhaps you should pick up the pace a bit…”

And then the call came.  It was Marilyn and she had news that no homeowner ever wants to hear from their real estate agent.  Let me pause for a moment and tell you that I had been in the midst of one of the nicest closing periods one could ever imagine.  The buyers were great.  They loved my gardens and they were so nice, I created a garden guide for them.  We chatted over the phone from time to time about our respective progress and I checked with them to ask if they wanted this or that.  The inspector loved the house and passed it with flying colors.  The real estate agents had a great relationship.  Even the garden flowers were looking the best EVER (this might have had something to do with Liquid Fence and winning the battle with the deer, but I digress…).  Everyone was playing so nice in the sand box!  But the bank that my buyers used……oh the bank…….hereupon known in less-than-flattering terminology.   Let’s just say that they started making life miserable – for EVERYONE.  And there was to be no closing on Friday.  NO CLOSING!!!!

Oh my God….the drama that ensued.  Your author here was NOT a happy camper.  There I sat in basically an empty house and there was a possibility that the bank would make problems such that I would have to put the house back on the market.  And what could possibly have been the FIRST thing to occur to me?  I am a stager after all.  Well, with my furniture being gone, I had nothing to stage the house with if it had to go back on the market!!!  The horror!  “No, No. Can’t go there! This is just a delay, not an end” I told myself.

At left is what remained of my beautiful staging.  Not much to work with for sure!

I love CBS Sunday Morning and watch it every week.  A few weeks before this unfortunate event, they broadcast a segment about swearing.  Apparently it is good for you according to this study!  Listen to this:  “Cursing makes you feel better. In another study, participants were asked to plunge their hands into ice water for as long as they could bear it. When they were encouraged to swear up a storm, they were able to keep their hands underwater 73% longer.”  [1]
I have to admit there was a lot of loud making-myself-feel-better over the course of the next 2 days, which DID indeed prevent me from having any thoughts of finding some banker and submerging his HEAD in ice water.

On Friday morning, I cancelled my “Bittersweet” party as I had named it, and proceeded to sulk and cry and do a bit more self soothing, a la cursing.  Work was going on in the background to get things moving again, but when all there is to do is wait for the decision…AND there’s no guarantee…….Ugh.  Feeling as though all your plans are being held in the balance by someone else is so…..well….scary and out of control.  Desperately needing a distraction, I went over to Barb’s and helped her pack a bit for her move.  It did work to get my mind off things and helped my fellow procrastinator get ready for her move to a new abode.

That evening I went home and closed up my former bedroom and spare bedroom.  No sense getting them dirty again!  Since the girls and I no longer had beds, the living room became the living room, bedroom, dining room, and, of course, worrying room.  But I do have to say, a couple of good things came out of this.  First, I learned that I just LOVE my INTEX air mattress!  My old bed was laying out on the street waiting for bulky waste pickup as the last few weeks had seen me waking up every morning in pain.  But this air mattress was the bomb as they say (or used to say – do they still say that??).  Anyway –  it inflates and deflates itself with the touch of a button.  Why had I been spending nights in pain for so long?  It feels like, you know, sleeping on air!  AHHHHHH!!  Another good thing was that I learned how little I need in my surroundings to keep me happy and content.  Bed to sleep on, roof over my head, my dogs and cat next to me (they were not as pleased about their sleeping arrangements however – blankets on the floor versus their cushy beds.  HMPH!!!!), food, internet, computer and NETFLIX.  I am really starting to like minimalism and I am thinking that a lot of those boxes going to Florida may contain items that will soon be for sale!  Lastly, I had more time to finish getting my junk out and donated once and for all.

As the week progressed, the two real estate agents continued to do battle with the bank.  I decided to stay calm and pray for the best, binged on Mad Men episodes and kept the phone close.  If I can make a suggestion here to future home buyers….go to a local bank for your mortgage.  Somewhere like Liberty Bank or Charter Oak Credit Union or whatever small institution exists wherever you are reading this.  There are human beings in those banks and credit unions who you can actually go and SEE and talk to versus a faceless voice over the phone half way across the country.  The home town banks know the area and they have a vested interest in the local economy and the people who live within it.  There’s my two cents on that.

Anyway, the bank gave their “clear to close” on Monday.  The closing was scheduled for 9 am Friday morning.  BUT….are you ready for this?? On Thursday, they started fussing with my buyers about more paperwork!  By this time, the buyers were exhausted and stressed to the max and had been living in a hotel for a week.  Like I said readers – go local.  Those are the businesses that care.
Finally, all got settled at the 11th hour and the closing was scheduled for 5:30 pm on Friday.  On my way to the lawyer’s office, I stopped my car and turned to take one final photo of the street I had come to love so much.   It really is a great neighborhood.  I will miss it.  But it is time to look forward to new adventures, people and places.

And so one nail-biting week after our originally scheduled closing – smiles surrounded a big round table at the buyers’ lawyer’s office.  It was done and instead of feeling sad like I thought I would, I felt relief.  Maybe that was another positive to the drama.  By the time the closing finally came, I had HAD it and just wanted to move on.  I have to admit though….after the closing, my car started driving back in the direction of Silva Lane.  I had to remind her that we didn’t live there anymore!  Silly car.
Oh…and the bank that caused us so much angst?  Well, Mom always said if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  So I don’t want to name names or anything, but…….their initials are B – O – A……..


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