08.26.14 Here’s what happens when you put the cart before the horse! Huh????

The broker’s open house for our sticks and bricks house just wrapped up.  In total 14 agents came through so hopefully that will pick up interest in the house.  They all loved it, especially our huge garage workshop.  The right person has yet to tour it but I know they will soon!  IMG_20140826_143616_155

It’s been a whirlwind the last few days, making it difficult to focus on things I’d like to write about.  A huge mistake was made by me when I decided to check out options for what we will buy when this house sells.  We’ve toyed with just finding a lot to park our RV on when we are in town, or buying vacant land to either put a mobile home, modular home or build something to rent out, or buying something already in place to rent out.  All of the above have to have enough land for us to park our RV on when we are in town.

Our agent, Jamie, took me all over the place last week looking at vacant land.  Since mobile and modular homes are the quickest to plant on a lot that was my first option.  The land I liked best won’t allow mobile or modular homes.

Remember the saying “Don’t put the cart before the horse”?  Well I must have not have listened when they were teaching this one.   Maybe if they had said “Don’t look for a house with money you don’t have!” I’d have caught on before now.

Roy is less inclined to want a mobile or modular home but wanted a small permanent house so I started looking at land with a house.  Right away I found the perfect one, took a ride out to Tickfaw to check it out and was so excited.  Sure it needed an outside air conditioning unit, was in desperate need of a pressure washing and yes I did fall through the rear porch floor twice but other than that it was perfect.  Those little details were not the problem.  We’ve gotten use to looking past all that when looking for a house due to our two years spent flipping houses. The price was ridiculously low and we could do everything it needed. Even with the things we’d need to buy it would fall easily in the amount of profit we hope to have from the house selling.  I thought we’d make an offer predicated on us selling the house.  After calling our agent to ask her to make an appointment for us to go inside I just knew we were on our way.

48176 Robertson Rd, Tickfaw, LA 70466

Turns out it is a HUD repossessed house, so there went our idea of making an offer contingent on us selling our house.  They don’t do it that way. They accept only bids made through an authorized agent, accompanied by a letter of pre-qualification from a lender (or proof that you have enough cash to cover the sale) and several other documents.  At the time we learned this it was after banks closed on Saturday and the bidding deadline was Sunday night midnight.  The fact that we also learned it didn’t have any appliances and was missing some light fixtures wasn’t really a problem because we could just adjust our offer/bid by an appropriate amount to cover that. Of course we couldn’t meet the deadline without a letter from our bank and the bank wasn’t even open.

However, we held out some hope that the bank that was in possession of the house wouldn’t accept any of the bids that were submitted because they were too low or whatever reason. It’s an odd process when the bank is involved, not straightforward like dealing with a home owner and an agent. Roy went to see the house and fell in love with it just like I did, it was perfect and had everything we wanted.  His excitement added to mine and we were hanging on to hope of the bids not being accepted.  If this was God’s will for us, it would all work out for our good.

Several things happened on Monday that gave us some hope that the deadline had been extended.  If we could get all our stuff together quickly we could still be in the mix.  We could not get it together soon enough and then found out near the end of the day that the bank was negotiating with one of the original bidders.  If they work it out with them or one of the other bidders then the house is off the market.

This turned into a very draining experience and we’ve made the decision to stop looking until we have money in hand.  I thought it was wise to look and get a good idea of what is out there.  That probably would have been okay had we not run into the perfect one only to find out we couldn’t get it.

So we’ll sit put in our sticks and bricks side yard waiting for it to sell.

I don’t want it to take us too long once the house sells before we can start our journey out west.  But I learned through this not to jump two steps ahead of having completed the first step.  You get tripped up and boy did we!  God knows what’s best for us and this just wasn’t it.

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Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

07.02.14 God’s blessings while we’re getting the house ready for sale!

blog 4The picture above says it all.  One exhausted, worn out man taking a break in front of his fan with holes and paint on his shirt and pants!  He didn’t get to do too much of this but it was nice when he did!  This post covers our last two weeks so it may turn out to be a long one.  We haven’t visited any interesting locations except inside and outside our sticks and bricks house but hope to be heading out west where we’ve planned many wonderful stops and will, of course, be sharing them with ya’ll!

Our days the last two weeks have been full from sun up till after sun down.  No more sleeping late for us for a while, though we’ve been so exhausted that we fall into bed as soon as we’re finished for the day and sleep soundly until the alarm goes off!  Our renters have moved out and we had a long list of work needed to get the house ready to put on the market.

Day after day was spent cleaning, painting, repairing, weeding and dozens of other jobs.  We cleaned all the kitchen cabinet fronts and the master vanity which is a beautiful piece of wood furniture with many many crevices and ornate woodwork and a marble top.  I used six different chemicals or blends of homemade chemicals to clean glass work (glass bath doors, vessel sink and waterfall faucet, ceramic cook top). Just a little note here when you mix baking soda and vinegar it acts like it wants to blow up which was rather frightening since I was in the house alone at the time. That did stop and after adding more baking soda it made a nice paste to scrub with.  Then there was scrubbing walls (I went through 21 magic erasers – my new favorite cleaning tool), painting walls, baseboards, banisters, stairs.  Roy painted a lot of this including the trim on the two dormers on the roof (we call them dog houses!). Then there was lots of wood floor revitalizing, pressure washing, repairing some things, buying lots of things, planting new plants, transplanting old ones, and mulching what we could.

blog 8Painting the dormer trim, see pictures below, involved Roy climbing on the metal roof after attaching a bolt to the floor inside the second floor of the house attached to a rope going out the window and tied around his waist. Because there are two windows he had to attach the bolt and rope for one, unattach it when he was finished, take it to the other room, attach and reattach that one, Reaching the top of the trim involved putting a step ladder on the roof, me going inside to the second floor and holding onto the ladder through the windows hoping I wasn’t going to let it slip and see my husband tumble down the roof.  Even if he was attached to the rope who know how he would fall!

blog2blog3Weeds were pulled from the gardens every day by the bushel full. At the end of the two weeks new weeds had already dared to grow back in some of the first gardens I weeded. This Louisiana rain sure does grow some strong weeds!  I have scratches, bug bites and I think poison ivy on 10394041_10152457151943903_3710178840653846148_nevery inch of my hands, arms, legs and feet.  I usually post pictures of most everything but you would not want to see pictures of my skin right now! I think it looks like leprosy, Madisyn says it looks like chicken pox.

We got an estimate from a professional painter for just the trim outside (not the dormers) and the walls inside.  It was a very fair estimate and probably right in line with other painters but way way over what we can afford.  Again God blessed us by putting this wonderful man who paints by day at Southeastern and has for years, into our lives.  Roy saw him painting at the office and just mentioned he could use a man like him at the house.  He said he’d stop by the next day and he did.  From noon till about 7 that night and a couple of hours the next morning he painted all the trim ceilings, columns, and windows on the front and back and the green decking  and shutters on the front porch.

What a tremendous burden that took off Roy and the amount he wanted was less than one-fourth of what the original estimate was and this guy did a perfect job! Roy painted the white trim on the sides of the house leading up to the second story peak which was very difficult but the rest added to that would have been too much.

Anyone in Hammond wanting this guys contact info please let us know.  He was a pleasure to work with and I’d highly recommend him.

IMG_20140717_143759_042 IMG_20140717_143914_110When I post cute little graphics about God’s blessings and what he can and will do it’s real, this is a perfect living example of God taking care of us because we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior and gave our lives to him.  The first weekend I had chest pains from doing so much work, being 10489924_10152472930218903_7163219169099977594_nunder so much stress and not eating properly.  Once I rested for a little bit that weekend I was better but the scope of what we were trying to accomplish was bigger than Roy, me, Chip or our finances could handle and he stepped in to ease that.  What an amazing God we serve!

Since we sold our lawnmower we went in search of someone to cut our grass and found a wonderful man to do it and his first grass cutting and weed eating made everything look wonderful.  Thanks Scott Tribble for being the wonderful Christian responsible man you are!  He’ll cut the grass for us ever 10 days until we sell the house.

Roy’s working 10 hour days at the University now (temporarily doing his old job) so I had plenty of alone time working at the house.  He was off for four days for the 4th of July holiday and took a day off work the following week so we could finish it all in fourteen days. Fourteen long, awful, draining, exhausting days.

It took 5 days of work (not full days) to pressure wash the house, garage and all our sidewalks and porches. Roy, our son Chip and I took turns with that wonderful project.

Chip helped in so many different ways and I truly believe without his help and God sending us the painter this project may have been more than Roy or my health could handle.  It was fun having Chip around and seeing him take such pride in the work he was doing.  From digging up azaleas and transplanting them for me, to hauling off piles and piles of branches, pressure washing the whole garage and carport, and more things I can’t remember, his help was a blessing! One of the best things Chip did for us was to make sure we had lunch every day and wonderful Gatorade to keep us well nourished. IMG_20140717_143853_053

We finished the last item on our seemingly never ending list a couple of days ago, Roy’s been working every day at Southeastern and I’m recovering while trying to make some headway on cleaning the RV which got severely neglected for two weeks!

The MLS internet listing pictures turned out beautiful.  I’m so thankful they used a professional photographer because she captured the house’s features in a beautiful way!  Thanks to Kelly (photographer), Tiffany and Jamie (our realtors) for doing such a wonderful job!  Check out the pictures at http://www.kw.com/homes-for-sale/70401/LA/Hammond/11337-WARDLINE-Rd/3yd-KW-8_998527.html

IMG_20140717_143811_262This is our address on Wardline Road.  I’ve always loved these tiles and wanted this picture to  remember this neat little momento of our time living in this lovely home!

We just got word that they are showing the house at 1 pm today!  Wonderful Scott came by to cut the grass just in time for him to finish before they get here.  Do you see it?  God’s timing is always perfect.

Here’s praying everyone has a restful, peaceful, recuperative weekend.  It’s forecasted to rain here all weekend so we’re going to hunker down and watch movies as much as possible.  If these folks don’t buy the house we’ll let you know when it does sell which will mean we’ll be preparing to move out west!  We might just have to buy us a couple of cowboy hats for the journey!