MY NEW JOB: LIVING WITH WHITE CARPETS
I have acquired a new job: living in a house with white carpets.
We made one of the two choices offered:
- Sell the house after cleaning it up and fixing the obvious and/or necessary problems, or
- Update the house as much as possible before putting it on the market.
The easy choice: sell more or less as is
Clean things up.
Touch up all the paint – I still have the cans of good quality Benjamin Moore paint in the basement, and a card file with a paint sample for each, and a list of which rooms are painted/trimmed in that color.
Have the carpets cleaned.
Add a credit to the house price for new flooring to be chosen by the new owners to their taste – and which it would be so much simpler to have installed when the house is empty between us leaving and them moving in.
Put on market.
Live in your own home, only tidier, until it sells.
The hard and expensive choice: upgrades
The lovely staging ladies we hired and the husband decided to go with alternative #2.
They say (and I hope they are right!) that homes that look dated don’t sell – because the homebuyers of today lack the imagination to see their own possessions in a house decorated by and full of the belongings of – someone else.
Our real estate agent said that the division among buyers was about 50/50, and we should do what we wanted to. That many people who might buy a four bedroom house were locals moving up, and would be buying for the school district and for more room for a growing family.
But she seems excited that the upgrades are being done, and is hopeful they will help sell the house more quickly.
Houses that don’t sell can hold up future plans
Which puts us in an interesting position.
Because we are looking for the best fit in a CCRC (continuing care retirement community), and will go to a lot of trouble to pick a specific one (or small number thereof) which will suit us, and they tend to be close to full capacity, we may be on a waiting list for a while.
This means 1) we need to get on that waiting list asap, and 2) we may be living like gypsies in a caravan, with this one sold, and no place to go for sure, for an indefinite amount of time.
After all our planning!
The supposedly accepted method is to wait until they offer you the place you want at the CCRC of your choice, and THEN put your house on the market and sell it in the typical 60-90 days it takes for the CCRC to have the unit you are offered ready for habitation.
The cart has gotten before the horse
On the theory that even if we were doing the ‘accepted method,’ we might as well get started on the known necessary repairs, and we did – but I never expected them to turn us out of our home, and to be living in a house – sans window coverings because the painter wants them gone and houses show better without them (!) – for an indefinite time, with NO unit offered to us for us to move to.
Not exactly sure how it has happened.
Part of it was the wish to get the house to market during the supposed spring selling time frame (which we will have missed).
Another, other houses staying on the market for a long time.
The third – get other people involved, when the one of the homeowners has very little energy and really needs help – and the juggernaut takes hold and roles on.
And now everything we own is in boxes in the basement – to get it out of the way of the carpet installers (here all day yesterday), the kitchen/dining flooring installers (soon), and the painter (thankfully scheduled while we will be away).
We’ll be living, for an indeterminate amount of time (hope it isn’t long), in a house with no shades.
And white carpets.
And white walls.
And everyone agreeing that it is much harder to get stains out of white carpets!
Learn from me: you can’t control the juggernaut, and you keep poking away at the things you can control (changing the carpets) before you realize what you’ve done.
Corollary to Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will, and will cause a lot more work.
Another reminder to do these things sooner rather than later if you want to have any choice in the matter. I can’t imagine doing this ten years from now.