Preparation and then things just click?

Hot air baloon at sunset; text: sailing off into the sunset, Alicia Butcher EhrhardtWHETHER YOU’RE READY OR NOT

And we are so definitely NOT ready.

But the last flooring was installed, the staging ladies have done their thing, and our real estate agent is now our real estate agent (all the advice up front doesn’t count until you sign on the dotted line – at which point all kinds of things start happening, like open houses and a lock box on your front door…).

We haven’t recovered from the trip.

We have no place for our stuff – the stuff we need to function as inhabitants of a house (where is my skillet, and how will I make eggs when the gas isn’t reconnected yet?). Which may be a problem, as the period between when you put a house ‘on the market,’ and the time when you are removing your last belongings so you can hand over the keys, is an unknown variable.

I don’t know where anything is

It happens to everyone, but it is especially hard to deal with when you have ME/CFS and daily brain fog: and now it’s far worse because some of the stuff in this house was put away by someone other than me, in a hurry, and without labeling either the box or the corresponding card in my card file. Or worse still, labeled as ‘miscellaneous.’ Aargh!

I located a few of the critical items in very odd places. Not sure I have everything I need, as distinct from the comforts, even yet.

And the dryer vent, taped by the painter, is loose – so I’m not sure I can do laundry (I’m living with the absolute minimum amount of clothes out).

Everything is to be kept tidy

And by ‘tidy’ we mean the way the staging ladies left it (a model home look), or restorable to that condition on short warning, when someone uses the system to ‘book an appointment.’ Aargh!

Meanwhile, we do have to be allowed to eat. Other Half and his good friend are down there trying to reconnect, safely, the gas to the stove.

But the forever home may be available soon

Don’t know exactly when, as they actually have to get everything they asked us for, and decide whether they want us. It is possible for them to reject us.

And it is possible for us to be legally required to leave our ex-home because it belongs to someone else after all these years, before we have a place to land.

It’s a first-world type problem – and I’m not whining – except complicated by my limitations. Residence Inn America for two months? We probably could survive. Rent or buy an RV? Ditto. I think.

So we’re adjusting.


And I’m marveling that I’m still standing – and taking a nap every chance I get so that I can be coherent for the next crisis event. Such as talking to the people at our brokerage (Vanguard) and being able to satisfy them that I’m me, so we could transfer money. By phone. Since the money has actually been received at the other end by the right people, I did it.

A bit nerve-wracking: you will be asked a series of questions, based on (?) publicly available information, and if you miss one, you’ll have to go the long route of being identified some other way. I’m still chuckling over one question about a boat we owned. And wondering where husband hid it all these years.

I love Vanguard. They get things done, and always have alternatives. I am currently furious at one of our banks for the way they made a decision (which led to the nerve-wracking phone ID). And at the other for the fraught way they handle wire transfers, as if you were a criminal actively trying to circumvent laws. Why is it that the people the laws are intended to protect always feel the brunt, while the people who should be caught and punished never even feel a thing? Being law-abiding is becoming more difficult every day.

There is a For Sale sign on my yard. After 37 years.

Life is interesting, but I’m finding the watershed point was signing those papers, and I’m strangely free.

That and the deposit wire-transfer going through on the same day is… unexpected.

Off to the Gray Havens.


13 thoughts on “Preparation and then things just click?

  1. marianallen

    I’ve had a couple of friends sell their homes, and they swear by staging. Their homes sold pretty quickly. Personally, I have enough imagination to imagine my stuff where other people’s stuff is, but that’s just me. Apparently, staging makes a big positive difference, so your tribulations are not in vain. I’m looking forward to imagining you taking naps of relaxation in your new home.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      From your mouth to God’s ear, Marian.

      And you’re right – apparently we are very rare in being able to look at a space on a floorplan, and imagine (and work out on the computer) how our stuff would fit/look. Other people don’t want to – or can’t – make that mental effort. They see ‘new carpet’ and ‘freshly painted’ and know they’ll be able to live here without doing something immediately. Hoping you’re right – and that’s why we had the staging done. What started the whole thing was that the upstairs had the original carpeting, not damaged except by the matting of years of use (we bought the best quality when we moved in), but 37 years… Cleaning would not restore it to near-new appearance, so husband made the decision to replace. Whoever gets this place gets a fresh start, but I would not have picked the very light colors. Not my style.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Janna G. Noelle

    I had no idea you were so far along in the moving process. You’ve been busy during those long breaks between blog posts. I hope that you find your new place soon (first) and that your current place sells shortly thereafter. You could be blogging from a new address before you know it.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Well, except for the details.

      Handyman showed up already – he’ll be here at least all day.

      Getting the house ready for showing the first time yesterday, after we haven’t even unpacked from vacation, and restoring the staging ladies’ ‘vision,’ was quite a concentrated effort. I feel as if I’ve been over by the traditional Mack truck.

      Thanks for the good wishes – it’s been instructive and I have a lot of new material. Blogging will be erratic until settled, and my Patreon is all scheduled until mid-July, but I think the worst was getting things ready. Now we have to ‘live clean.’


  3. Widdershins

    Another giant leap forward! 🙂 .. may your house find its perfect new family and may your new home come through right on time. 😀

    However… about the hotel/RV option. Unless you’re an RV officianado, they can be very challenging to live in (unless you’re thinking of a 60′ monster with a wrought iron balcony) energy wise for any length of time, and there’s always never quite enough room … coming from one who knows of what she speaks. 😀 … hopefully it’s not a decision you’ll have to make.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I think we’ll be able to go from house to apartment; unless something major changes, the apartment will be ready if the house sells even moderately quickly. So phew!

      But after not leaving the house much for years, this has been a very complicated Keystone Cops affair.

      Hope we do find a buyer – this was a great house for the kids growing up.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. joey

    My husband works in finance, so I’m laughing a bit, in a snarky way, about the identifying questions. I marvel at how some institutions make it so difficult to get the money you’ve provided them. People don’t think right about banking. It’s not the bank giving you your money, it’s THE BANK HAS YOUR MONEY!!! I really do want to be protected, but for the love of Pete.
    I had to talk to five people last week TO PAY A BILL. TO PAY A BILL. Are other people TRYING to pay my bills?!? I would like to add them to my holiday card list!

    Also, with the purchase of this last house, there was an uncomfortable period of time, maybe 4-5 hours when we did not have our money, and they did not have our money, and where was our money?!? I didn’t like that. The Mister was cool with it, but I was not. I prefer cashier’s checks. And did you know you can open a bank account ONLINE?!
    I don’t like any of it.

    I’m just ridiculously excited you’re making this happen!
    Keeping a tidy house is not a problem for me. Keeping a showroom ready house sure is hard. Never mind when we had to sell with kids. Oof. If you do end up RVing or hoteling for a while, I hope you live sloppy a few days just cause you can! LOL Freeeeedom!
    Oh, but I do hope it sells quickly!
    Best of Luck! x


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Thanks, Joey. Because it IS my money, I want them to be very, very careful with who they release it to. That part with Vanguard was okay.

      A cashier’s check would have to be mailed to California. I joked with the salesperson there that it would have been easier to go get the money in cash, and take a plane.

      I have now activated the voice identifcation system, and in a week or so will never have to go through the questions again – apparently voice prints are quite identifiable. They were so anxious to help, while the bank was so anxious NOT to help.

      Where was your money, BTW? Not really lost, just not registered at the new end yet? We had that between the time I said, irreversably, that I was sending the money – and the time (before close of business) when it registered at the other end and the salesperson called me.

      I’m pretty ridiculously excited myself – but the agents can begin showing it immediately, and I still have decided what stays out, and what goes back in a box and into the closet or the other closet or the eaves storage spaces or the garage or the basement.

      And what if I have to find it again? I had my low carb pita bread yesterday – they staged the kitchen – and I can’t find it anywhere. Wait, I didn’t go down to the basement…

      That’s torture.

      I do hope it sells quickly, but without a contingency, or with some kind of plan to make sure. I know you can end up with this long chain of people who have to sell a house to buy a house…

      The first handyman can’t come until July (and he should have told us); another is coming tomorrow at noon. Says he has some time next week. We should prioritize and let him do the more visual things first (shower doors have to go).

      I think it takes more effort to live in a constantly-staged house than anything else I can imagine – every time I put something away, it goes to a different place.

      Thanks for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. joey

        Yeah, The Mister tried talking to me about The Fed, and that’s where the money is numbered and it’s really okay and blah blah, but it doesn’t feeeeeeel okay, lol

        July for a handyman? Must be someone you really like, hm?
        Everyone hates shower doors now, unless they’re see through and floor to ceiling and enclosing a shower the size of Texas. Of course, plenty of people buy homes and hire their own handyman to remove them 🙂
        I hope you find your bread…
        It’s all good. It’s all gonna work out well!



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