Friday, April 20, 2012

Internet Scams are Hitting Real Estate, too!



The weather was good this morning, so Nicolas got an early start on the lawn before the rain moved in.  It seemed to be a common theme – with 3 of the neighbors out on their mowers, too!

The weather is warming up, and my lilacs are just starting to bloom.


I couldn’t resist cutting some to bring inside, and now my whole house smells like lilac!  I love that smell!


Well, we’ve had a couple of crazy weeks around here . . . we thought we had our house sold, and were making some really good progress in purging stuff.  The deal was a cash offer, very close to our asking price, with the buyer relocating from out of the country and wanted much of our stuff . . . too good to be true, right??

We had that thought running through our heads, but our realtor kept assuring us that all was good, and everything was in order.  There was some confusion over the earnest money, and we still had some uneasiness about not having met this buyer, but he was supposed to be arriving in a few weeks, and we trusted our realtor.  Then, all of a sudden, he (the agent) is not returning our phone calls and emails, and we find out that he left our house on the market, but wasn’t returning calls of other prospective buyers, either.  We finally showed up at his broker’s office, and tried to get to the bottom of the situation.  The broker made some calls and found out that the offer was determined to be a scam . . . I guess it wasn’t a priority to get that information to us!

We were incredibly upset, and felt betrayed and mislead by our agent, who was supposed to be working for us!  After a few more meetings with the broker, and some guidance from a couple of real estate lawyers, we’re getting some restitution from the agent . . . so at least that’s some good news . . . but we’re back to square one as far as selling the house, and we now have several rooms without furniture!

We did have one showing while all this was going on, so we’re dealing with that buyer as “for sale by owner” and trying to bring it together.  If it doesn’t work out, we’ll re-list with a new realtor . . . but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’re able to work it out!

Just goes to show you that no transaction is safe from scams, and you can’t trust anyone to look out for your best interest – you have to do it yourself!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

It been a busy couple of days around here – between getting ready for Easter and still working on purging, we’ve gotten a lot done.

Luckily, we were able to avert one little issue that could have become a problem at closing.  Our county requires a well and septic inspection for transfer of property, so Tom started calling around to a few inspectors to get an idea of how much it would cost.  After talking to a couple of guys, we found out that the county did not have a record of our well and septic (even though we know it was approved!).

I dug out my records from when we built the house and found the well and septic permits and approvals, and on Friday Tom & I took them over to the County Environmental Department.  We talked to the woman in charge of the inspections, and she already had heard about the problem from one of the inspectors.  She told us that she had looked all over and could not find our records.  As it turns out, about 6 years ago they scanned all the old paper records and shredded the originals . . . well, somehow ours got missed!  She was very happy to see that we still had our copies, so she scanned them so they could be added to the online system.

We should be all set for our inspection now . . . whew!

Back at home, Nicolas and I made our Easter bread, and it turned out really good!


This morning I barely had it frosted before Nick and Tom dug into it for breakfast!  YUM!!


Today I made cookies and fruit salad to take to Tom’s brother’s house for Easter dinner, while Tom and the boys worked outside in the yard.  It was a beautiful day, and Bryce wanted hot dogs on the fire for dinner.  So after all the outside work was done, and I cleaned up the kitchen, Bryce got a fire going in the firepit out back.


We had hot dogs and brats on the fire, and enjoyed the warm spring evening.  Tomorrow after mass, we’ll take a day off from purging and cleaning, and spend the day with Tom’s family.  Then on Monday, we’ll be back at it . . . we just had a phone call from a guy who’s coming Monday evening to get our dining room set.  We’re making progress!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Purging and Minimizing

Whew!  It’s been a busy week around here!  We haven’t heard back from the buyer regarding the contents of our house, so we figured we should just start getting things listed on craigslist, starting with the things we don’t use on a regular basis.

We quickly sold the sprayer (I guess we’ll be putting up with dandelions for the little bit of spring we’ll be here!),


and both of our leather couches in the liviBrown couchng room (very popular – maybe we should have asked more $ for them!). 

Yesterday somebody called about the globe we had listed, and came over to look at it after dinner.  Tom had told her that they could looked around and pick out other stuff that they may want, so they did.  It was like having a private estate sale for one person!  In addition to the globe, they bought our living room rug, the fireplace screen, the sofa table, 2 lamps, and lots and lots of knick-knacks and books.  I even agreed to sell one of my little wall-hanging quilts! 

P1010001That was a tough one to part with, but there’s not really enough wall space in the RV for all my wall quilts, and I can always make another if I want one . . . it went to a good home!

By the time they were done going through the house, we had sold several hundred dollars worth of decorations and books (stuff we probably would have had a difficult time selling individually), and she had loaded her SUV with lots of new stuff for her house – WIN-WIN!


The really funny thing is, even with all the stuff they bought, we look around the house and don’t really notice anything missing!

There’s still more furniture to go, but we’re hanging onto the essentials for a little while yet – you know, beds, kitchen table, couch & TV.  I also need to start moving kitchen stuff to the RV so I know what will fit.  Then I’ll know what’s left to give to my sisters or donate!

In addition to purging, we’ve also been minimizing.  Every night, Bryce and I scan old pictures and save them to my hard drive.  The boys have enjoyed looking through all their baby photos, and old pictures of Tom and I!  Tonight we took all of our CDs and DVDs out of their individual cases and condensed them into several zippered cases.  Now we have a huge pile of empty cases to go in the garbage this weekend!

I thought it would be really difficult to give up my things, but it hasn’t been too bad . . . not as easy as it is for Tom and the boys, but kindof liberating!