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Well hello there. What in the world are you doing still hanging around? The past year has been a real world wind. I will never say anything bad about my job. I love it, a lot. As I wind down to retirement one year from now though my job has been busy.

The demands for the job have meant that I haven’t had much time to do any creative work. That will be changing.

So, here is a quick update on life as a weekend country girl.

  • We are expecting granddaughter number two in mid June. Sweet Amanda and Baby Boy are going to be giving Lucy a sister and we are thrilled. I am getting busy on nursery preparations finally. The sweet girl may not have everything finished before her arrival.
  • The Southern Belle and Joe have left the city that they love and have moved to Denton, Texas for work. I now have all of my kids living in a four hour drive. I am thrilled and will be filling you in on that quirky town soon. They have bought a house and it is going to get a mini makeover before they move in this month.
  • We bought an RV. We have taken it out on the maiden voyage and love it. We have plans for a lot of trips in the future.
  • This week we will start an exterior makeover of our house. I am so excited! We are getting an enlarged front porch, a carport, and exterior paint on the bricks.

I hope you are all doing well. I promise that I will be doing a better job of keeping you up to date from now on.

Thanks for hanging in there. I appreciate you all more than you know.

Blessings,

Karen

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Selling a Home

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I am not an expert in a lot of areas.  Never ask me to knit, crochet, sew, or bake a soufflé.  I can’t grow anything that is is the least bit tricky (this month alone I have killed an orchid and it appears one of my succulents are dying), and car repair of any sort is not my thing.

What I have learned a little about in 34 years of marriage is how to sell a house.  As of now we have sold 4 homes, each one sold in less than a month, most in about a week.  House number 5 is currently under contract after being on the market for less than 5 days. You can see the home here.

I am pretty proud of our track record selling homes, but my guess is that my kids wished we did things a little differently when they were growing up.  My daughter commented once that we never finished any projects until we were putting the house on the market.  Guilty as charged.

Here is what we do, when we are selling a home:

  1. ” IZE “ your home.  You know what I am going to say here already:
    • Neutralize– Appeal to the masses.  Nothing that would be too taste specific.  Not the time for a purple wall or leopard print carpet.
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    • Depersonalize-You must detach from the home.  You are breaking up with this house anyway, so start moving on in your head.  Family photos, ribbons, medals, and shopping lists on the fridge must go.
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    • Minimize- Go ahead and get a start on moving out.  Have a garage sale, donate to Goodwill, and store anything that is not essential, in pristine condition, or that is too overpowering.  My green hutch and all of the milkglass got moved out.  This is not the best shot of my beloved hutch, but it was all I could find.  I will have an awesome picture of it when it moves in to my craft room.  Promise.
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    • Sanitize- I am not saying you are dirty people, really I am not.  What I am saying is it needs to be cleaner than the way we, at our house, live on a daily basis.  We washed the windows inside and out, had the carpet professionally cleaned, weeded the flower beds, and scrubbed the grout in the bathrooms, organized the linen closets, and power washed the sidewalk, porches, and driveway.  The bathroom counters got emptied and cleaned.  I am sad to say that a lot of that only happens when we have a house on the market.
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  2. Upgrade your home.  It takes money, and/or elbow grease to make money.  In our case a little of both.  Mostly on the back of Mr. Math.
    • Lighting– This is honestly one of the areas that I do not understand why more people don’t take care of before putting their house on the market.  If your house is more than 5 years old, or is a builder basic, you probably have at least one light fixture that needs updating.  If you shop around, you can find some great lights for not a lot of money.  Mr. Math replaced the very builder basic light on the front porch and in the entry way.  I stood on the ground and begged him not to die.  Not all lighting is this challenging to change out.
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    • Flooring– Go with what is selling in your area.  I checked out the two recent sales in our neighborhood.  See what they both had?
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      • Both had hardwood flooring in the family room.   We had carpet so we knew we were going to have to up our game.  We shopped for the best deal on neutral engineered hardwood flooring and had it installed. We spent some serious money on the flooring, but we knew that it would not get any traffic if we weren’t on par with the other homes on the market.  It is really nice, but I probably would have gone a lot more rustic if I was purchasing for me and not the masses.
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  3. Make your home memorable.  I know I said neutralize, so why would I also say to make it memorable?  What I mean is make your home stand out from the rest in the minds of buyers- in a good way.  Keep the walls neutral but try to have at least three rooms with something in them that will be remembered by the buyers.
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    • We added this barn door and buyers can see it as soon as they walk in.
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    • Our neighbor had this awesome turquoise buffet in the entry way.
    • I love my teal dresser that we use as an entertainment center.
    • Oh that bathroom.  I am going to miss that beauty.  The dresser, the antique vanity, the fence board shelving unit and the light are all neutral but very memorable.
    • The faux shiplap wall is getting a lot of traffic right now on Pinterest.  It is easy, and makes quite a statement.
  4. Hire the realtor in your area that is actually selling homes and then listen to the realtor.  The person who is selling homes quickly in your area probably has potential clients already lined up.  The realtor we used sold the home next door quickly and for above listing a month before ours went on the market.  She had a list of people who are currently looking to move into our neighborhood from her last sale.  She also set the price for the house which was higher than I thought we should go.  She was right.  If she had told us our house was not worth what we believed, we would have had an opportunity to fix the problems before moving on or not list, but I would never list higher than the realtor believes it will sell for.  I would either need a different realtor or realistic expectations.  Our realtor walked through the house prior to listing to make sure we had everything done that would help the house sell.  She was honest and helped us see things that we had not considered with furniture placement.

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It made me proud of our hard work that we had more than one family want the home, and that the new buyers wanted to buy some of the furnishings as well.

We love hearing from you.  Thank you for following along on our journey as we move into our forever home.

Blessings,

Karen

 

 

Sometimes the Answer is Not Yet

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This week Mr. Math and I went to look at the home that is for sale to be moved.  He thought it was cute too and was also excited about it.  That thrilled me.  I sometimes run ahead of myself and was worried that I was stepping out where my husband wasn’t willing to go.  He gets me and what I want to do and for that I am grateful.

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As we walked around the house, there were some issues that are going to make moving the house very hard and expensive.

  • There is a concrete foundation wall completely around the perimeter that would have to be demolished before the under the house work could begin because of the design.
  • The porch is not stable and would have to be removed in order to move the house. The porch beams are attached to a concrete porch and the chances of us successfully removing the porch intact to reattach would be slim.
  • The bathroom was added on at a later time than the house was built and would have to come off.
  • The main support beam that runs along the bedroom side of the house has dry rot and would have to be replaced.          Mr. Math checked it out top to bottom. 

All of that information was a bummer, but still potentially doable.  (We still hadn’t given up at that point.) The nail in the coffin on this house for us was that chimney.  Well not exactly the chimney, because I already knew it had a chimney that would have to come out.  It was the dummy who removed that structural wall between the two front rooms that now has the chimney stack holding up the ceiling weight.  The chimney has to go for the house to be moved and in order for the house to be stabilized enough for that to happen.  The interior work required for that to happen would be an unreasonable amount of money and would destroy the flooring in the front room.

  
The brick showing through the Sheetrock

Soooo… the house is not the house is not the one for us.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a house for us out there.  I have Craig’s List set to notify me by email everytime a home to be moved is listed.  Today this showed up.  It is cute, and new, and I love the vaulted ceiling, but it is not what I am looking for.

We have decided to “be still” and wait.  I guess my version of being still may not be everyone’s version.  My version is to focus on getting things in order to make another life change so that when the opportunity arises we will be ready.  Yep.  I know you saw this one coming a mile away.  When I tell my friends this life change, no one is surprised.  NO. ONE.  How have I been so personally unaware?

We have decided to put our suburban home on the market, hopefully this spring, if we can get the list of “to do’s” taken care of.   We will be commuters to work which I never wanted to do, but our heart is in the country.  I never, ever, thought I would say that.

My Burb Home

Once our suburban house is sold, we will make the big move to the country.  We will be “one home” owners for the first time in 10 years.    Frankly, that scares me a little lot.  We currently furnish over 4800 square feet.  We have six bedrooms, two living rooms, two dining rooms, four bathrooms, and an office.  Paring down to 2200 square feet means that we will be getting rid of a lot of things and will have decide what stays and what goes.  I am committed to making the hard decisions as we go and letting go of things I do not need or does not have a spot in my home no matter how much I love it.  Things like my beloved mudroom bench, my funky bedroom furniture, and one of my media center dressers.

Finished Mudroom Bench

Hold me to that, friends.

I slept all night for the first time in weeks after thinking this all through and getting this post written.

Thank you all for following along on our mid life journey. 

 In the next six months we will have our first grandchild, put our house on the market and will hopefully make the move to our forever home.  There are plenty of projects ahead for me to keep busy.

Blessings,

Karen

 

The French Provincial Bedroom

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Our new house has the cutest little girl room. It is painted a soft green and has a black rail about three fourths the way up the wall. It also has lady bugs that will have to go but everything else will stay. I am planning to paint above the rail a cream color. Recently while searching Craig’s List I ran across this furniture.

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It was $75.00 for the whole set so of course I was suspicious of the solid wood posting. When I arrived it was obvious that it was partly solid wood and part particle board, but the price was right and I took it. It is going to be my green bedroom furniture.

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I have discovered Glidden Gripper primer. You have to love something that is good for sticking to glass. I can already tell it really does bond to the less than solid wood parts of the furniture.
A quick disassembly let me discover that the drawer fronts were two separate pieces. That gives me the chance to use two colors on them with no taping! Yay.

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I chose to paint the furniture a gray green color with a black top and lighter panels from the same card.
The hardware is going to be black.
I am excited to get moving. The weather is cooperating so I got some quality time in on painting today. We will finish everything in the garage by bedtime tonight! It is supposed to be 67 degrees on the morning! I love that!

New Home Color Scheme

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I am so excited to get started on decorating my new home! I have a floor plan and am busy figuring out what moves in, and what does not make the cut.

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Remember the whole downsizing plan? Well when all was said and done we ended up purchasing a home 60 square feet bigger than our current home. I know…I am crazy, but what can I say? The house spoke to me.
I have decided on a color scheme for the family room, dining room, and kitchen. A while back I got a ton of fabric from my friend, Kandy. In that fabric was a brown floral that I love.

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I loved the vibrant colors and earth tones mixed. A few weeks ago I was on a Sunday afternoon drive when I spotted a garage sale. Who has a garage sale on a Sunday afternoon? The nice lady said she was moving out of town and wanted to get rid of things that she would not be taking. I got a set of four fun chairs painted a soft yellow ($30.00 for all four chairs!)and immediately thought of the fabric.

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When I got home I decided then and there that the fabric would be my jumping off point. My mudroom bench is already the minty green color in the fabric

mudroom bench

I recently purchased an armoire that will be going in the family room to serve as a phone charging, bill paying station once Hubby works his magic on it. I want it to be the dark teal color.

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This is my inspiration for the color:

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I am ready to get this started!  I better get busy on the social planner’s furniture so that there is room in the Garagemahal!

Hot Housing Market

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Wouldn’t you know it…we are in the midst of a hot selling market. We are trying to buy a home in the Houston area and it is proving tough. We have a loan, we have sold our house, we are packed and ready to go. Let me buy your house, please!
Home Sales

Tomorrow we look at four more homes. Fingers crossed.

Packing Up

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Moving this time is different for us. We are older. The packing is harder on our bodies, we are both working while we are moving, our pets are old and not dealing with the upheaval very well. Probably the biggest change is we do not have a destination. We are moving out, but not moving in to a permanent home. We really are working without a net right now, but it has been exciting too. We have had an opportunity to clear out and evaluate what we really want to keep.

We have an exciting summer ahead.

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