Monday, March 21, 2016

Getting the old house ready to sell or how the heck did we get this much stuff.

The one thing I would bet most people don't consider when they sign on to build a new house is a realistic estimate of what they will need to do to sell their current home.  I know I sure as heck didn't.

I mean I expected there to be some cleaning and painting involved, but when our real estate agent came in and gave us an honest evaluation of the value and what we need to do to get top dollar, I was stunned.

Now, a little background.  Its just me and Susie and the dogs, so no kids or kid stuff.  We have been married going on 25 years and have lived in this house which we built 16 years ago.  Since that time we have accumulated WAY to much stuff.

In the past two months, we have taken numerous trips to Goodwill to drop of clothes and household items we no longer use.  We have rented a 10x10 storage locker for things we need out of the way to stage and sell the house. As Cindy says the less stuff in the house the better.  I have replaced all the bright brass door levers and cabinet knobs with aged bronze (you know all that stuff HGTV says is trendy).  We replaced all the overhead light fixtures (again to get rid of the bright brass) and donated the old fixtures to a construction recycling center.  We are replacing the 16 year old carpet in the main rooms on the lower level with Pergo (only slightly more than carpet in terms of cost, but will hopefully give us more bang for the buck).  We have painters coming in to paint the two story entry and the other rooms on the 1st floor.  We had a wonky retaining wall rebuilt.

Was I expecting to have to do all this?  No.  But am I will to do it to get more than average for our house?  Yes.  Will it pay off?  Jury is still out on that.

So, some advice, have a pre-sale inspection done like we did before you do anything to your house.  Ours only showed the wonky retaining wall.  And depending on the age and how well you have kept up with updates and painting, I would be prepared to put $5000 or more into your house to get it ready to sell.

Oh, one more tip.  Check Craigslist for moving boxes.  We found a couple very near us who bought a lot of moving boxes from Home Depot and were looking to get back some of their investment.  I got 8 large garment boxes and close to 80 other boxes (small, medium and large) for about $70 bucks.

Progress or just a big hole in the ground.

On a whim we stopped by the lot on Saturday on our way back from the initial drop off at our storage locker.  Surprised to see this......

They have the footer poured so far...

and according to my conversation with our PM, they will be pouring the rest of the foundation today or tomorrow.  

Now, he explained that because of the slope of the lot, its not going to be zero entry, but he will work hard on the back fill and grading to try and keep it to one step into the house.  

Judging by how fast the other homes are moving along, things look right on schedule.

Pre-Construction Meeting or Meeting our new best friend.

A little remiss with this posting.  On March 7th, we had our pre-construction meeting with our temporary sales rep (our regular sales rep was still out on maternity leave) and our project manager.

Our PM or new BFF seems to be a very capable guy (avoiding using the adjective young here as everyone is beginning to look young to me) who has been doing the job for several years and has delivered over a hundred homes and not missed one deadline.

We went over the entire build step by step, room by room, from front of the house to the back of the house.  He was very detailed and went over each and every change we had made from the standard plan just to make sure he understood everything.  Answered every question we had and addressed every concern.

They are going to work with us as best they can given the topography of our lot to make it as accessible as possible.  Really concerned about having more than one step from stoop to the house and from the garage to the house.  They can add some extra blocking in the shower to grab bar installation and said they would not remove any extra insulation that appeared in the exterior walls of the garage before the drywall goes up.

He went through the process of how inspections will be handled and how items that need to be fixed or replaced will be marked.

He said we are welcome to visit at anytime, but to not get in the way of the guys if they are on the job site.

Seems like we got a project manager we can work with.  But still a long way to go.