Friday, August 17, 2018

Southern Homeselling and the Low Ball Offer.

Image result for real estate offer

So, you already know we're selling our home.  It's been on the market a while and we've had a couple of offers.  The offer we just received bears note.  It was ludicrous. It was fully 10% less than our asking price. That may seem like a trifle to someone who's home is priced in the high 6 figures, but to us, it was a freaking insult.  

But it gets worse. The reason they couldn't offer more was because they only could qualify for the amount they offered. Ok, so fair enough, but why?  Why on earth would you go out looking at houses you CAN'T afford knowing you would have to offer any one of them less NOT because you feel the house is worth less, but because you can't qualify for that higher amount?  Why aren't you just looking at homes that are priced more in your budget?  What kind of real estate agent says "Oh I know you can't possibly afford this home, but we can always offer them less...."  

Perhaps we're affected by all those shows on HGTV.  He's a part time window dresser and she sharpens pencils at home and their budget is 1.2 MILLION?? (And the first house they go out to look at is priced at 1.5 Million?) So why can't someone qualify for our little homestead? What is wrong with their background that keeps them from that 10% more?  And it goes in circles.  If you can't qualify, why offer less and if you can't qualify why are you looking and... Ok,perhaps I'm being a bit exacting here, but it's all still insulting.  

The sign is still in the yard, and the people are still trouping in.  More later...

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Selling the House and Notes to Buyers


Much like elsewhere in the US, houses for sale in the south mean several things.  1) Strange people coming through your house while you are not there; 2) that silly sign in the front lawn;  and 3) having to keep your home 'show ready' all the time.  

But it's not #2 or #3 above that drive me the most crazy. Yeah, it's the people that come through the house while I'm not home.  Here is a quick reference list of things NOT to do when you visit some one's home while considering whether or not to buy it.  
  1. Lock the damn door when you're leaving!  I can't tell you how many times we've come home after a showing to discover the front door unlocked (or open!)  
  2. If the house is owned by an asthmatic, don't wear heavy perfumes, cologne or drench yourself in some smelly eu de toilette before you enter said home.  The owner will come home and breathe that in and spend a nice afternoon in the ER thanks to you wanting to smell like a french whore. 
  3. Cigarettes. Same as above, and don't be tossing your lit butt into the yard either.  
  4. Kids. No.  Don't bring your kids.  They will chase the cats, get into things, open drawers and make messes in other people's nicely kept (read: show ready) homes and the owners will curse your progeny and your lineage when they get home. (And dang it, put the stuff back that they get out!)
  5. Don't touch.  And should the horrible happen, you or your kids has touched and yeah, DAMAGED some valuable item (valuable in our eyes, perhaps, but value it has!) then at least be honest enough to own up to it and pay for it!  
  6. Cats.  Ok, we have cats.  It's posted in the notes for real estate agents so that they won't bring anyone allergic into a home with cats.  So, when you review the home, and you've been inside that home, the reason you didn't buy it cannot be TOO MANY CATS. (Hey, we only have 4!) And besides that, they don't come with the house! They don't pee on the carpet and they don't attack your children so long as you keep the kids from chasing them down! 
  7. The Neighborhood.  We live in a very nice neighborhood. You (or your real estate agent) should know which areas of town are and which are not good neighborhoods.  They won't bring you into a neighborhood that you don't like.  Driving up into some one's driveway and not getting out of the car because 'you don't like the neighborhood' is tantamount to sending back a well done steak because it's too well done!  
  8. The Open House.  Don't show up at an open house unless you're in the market to buy.  I know people from the neighborhood always go to these just to see how a house looks on the inside, but don't be showing up looking for a job, asking people if they need this fixed or that fixed. 
I'm sure I'm going have more rants before this is over, so you might want to prepare yourself for that sometime along the way.  

Next, the adventure of the new roof! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Southern Home Swapping and Home Staging


Before I begin, let's take care of the missing elephant in the room.  Yes, I know I've not posted anything in a very log time, and I intend to rectify that.  And no, this has nothing to do with the Everlasting Living Room project which will make many of you glad beyond words.  

Recently, I decided I needed to retire from the work I am doing. Yes, thank you and yes, tears, and yes, there are reasons other than just not wanting to work, but other reasons seem more in play than I can put here. So anyway, as part of all that, we've decided to sell the house.  Yes, the house with the nifty new living room. This also means that much of the stuff we have must be sorted, trashed, and/or packed.

This also means I get to go up into the attic.  The attic is my 2nd least favorite place to spend time, right behind the crawl space under the house.  Not just because, you know...spiders, but also because there is a lot of junk up there I have no idea WHY  it's up there. I am loathe to discover a lot of stuff I'd rather not face.

So, finally the day arrives and up I go and time I spend and I discover what so many people at work already know...I'm a box hoarder. (Is there a Box Hoarders Anonymous Group? Again, I digress.)  Now this is not like those TV shows about the people who hoard newspapers and boxes and take out containers and dogs and all manner of things unmentionable.  This is just boxes. Empty boxes.

You see, at work I ship things.  The other guys will bring me some oddly shaped item or several small items and ask me to ship them off to far flung lands (state wide) and I have to have boxes to use to ship said items.  To prevent me having to spend my days spelunking in the cardboard collection bins, I collect boxes to be prepared for such shipping.  At home, it's not the same but it is the same.  I may purchase a new printer or vacuum cleaner or even a new blender and then, in case we need it, I keep the box.  This is just in case we decide that the item doesn't meet our needs, and we wish to return it. Packed back up in it's original box makes it easier to return. 

You see where I'm going here?

That's right, the attic is filled with lots of stored stuff, but I discovered that about half the boxes up there were empty.  Some going back more than 20 years!  Marv the Hoarder strikes again.

So, now the boxes are flattened, taken to recycling (I'm so green Kermit is jealous!) and I'm set to pack things off to the thrift store donation bins this next weekend.

And, in case you're wondering, we're still moving to a mid-south area. 
Cuz we likes the South, we does.  Or Mid South...you get the idea...


Friday, November 24, 2017

I Can't Contain my Excitement


This nifty little concession stand like building showed up outside our building the other day and I really marveled at the speed at which it was built. it seemed like it was not there one day and then completely built the next. I blamed myself for not being aware of my surroundings, but...then I began noticing little things, like the holes at the bottom and the style of the siding.

Closer examination revealed that this little food shop had been just delivered like this, nearly complete!  How did they do that? Was it built on a trailer, or maybe partially built at another location and then delivered? 

Closer inspection proved what I was looking at.  This building was once a shipping container!  It was the holes in the bottom that caused the tumblers to drop into place. 

Once in place, it only took a couple of weeks for the insides to be fitted out and then food was served!  The idea is that a different food vendor will be using the space every day. 

Couple this with the new music space just to the left there (You can't see it, I'll take more photos when it's complete) and you have  a new downtown relaxation destination. 


Saturday, September 30, 2017

IT'S TIME TO IMPEACH


I'm going to go off the standard southern insights for this post and touch on something more national, if I may.  

If you're like me, you've grown more than irritated in seeing those articles and videos (lots and lots of videos) posted everywhere which decry 'This Reporter Slams Trump!' or 'That Celebrity Eviscerates Trump!' each and every one of them shows some person of interest (reporter, senator, celebrity, soccer mom) all speaking simply the truth of the lies and terrible leadership skills that President Trump has shown in his first 3/4 year in office.

Basically, the one thing so many of us want to happen is to have  Trump Impeached. But the question remains: WHEN? Ok, so why not now?  Your next question might be 'what does it take to impeach?' Let's get down and dirty and get the information we need now and quickly.

First and foremost, Impeachment is decided and instigated by the House Judiciary Committee, which then turns to the Senate to convict.  

Historically, this committee has issued Articles of Impeachment for acts in three general categories:
 1 - Exceeding the constitutional bounds of the powers of the office.
 2 - Behavior grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the office.
 3 - Employing the power of the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain.

It has been suggested that Trump has exceeded the bounds of office, but no one can actually state for sure, even though most Americans feel he has.  As for numbers 2 and 3 above? Trump seems mostly concerned with number 2 (no pun intended.) and more and more it seems Trump is concerned with  #3, making money for himself and his "1%" friends.

So, with this knowledge, what can we do?  It's time to force Impeachment Proceedings.  In order to do that, we need everyone to ACT NOW!  
  1. Write your Congressman and Senator.  You can do this quickly using Resistbot. Text 50409 with the Word RESIST, and follow the instructions.  
  2. Sign petitions. Click here to Sign the Petition
  3. Contact the members of the Judicial Committee and demand they begin impeachment proceedings
  4. Share this page with your friends, your co-workers, your dog groomer - in short - everyone.

Below is a list of the Judicial Committee members and their email addresses. Most of them only accept email contact from their constituents, but the Chairman has a House.Gov email address.  Here is what to say: 


"As a taxpaying and voting citizen of [Your State] I am formally demanding that the House Judiciary Committee begin the immediate impeachment of President Donald Trump on the grounds of behavior grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the office of the Presidency as well as employing the power of the office for personal gain." [Be Sure to include your full name.]

Here is the list of Current House Judiciary Committee Members. Everyone should email the Chairman, Bob Goodlatte. There are also 3 names below that accept emails from anyone*. For the rest, find your Congressman on the list and use the address/email form beside their name and send them the above letter.

..REPUBLICANS.. (Majority)
Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06)  EMail Bob Goodlatte
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI-05) Contact Page
Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21) Contact Page
Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-01) Contact Page
Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49) Contact Page
Rep. Steve King (IA-04) Contact Page
Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-08) Contact Page
Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) Contact Page
Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04) Contact Page
Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02) Contact Page
Rep. Tom Marino (PA-10) Contact Page
Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-04) Contact Page*
Rep. Raúl Labrador (ID-01) Contact Page
Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27) Contact Page
Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09) Contact Page
Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06) Contact Page
Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04) Contact Page
Rep. John Ratcliffe (TX-04) Contact Page
Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02) Contact Page
Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01) Contact Page
Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) Contact Page
Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05) Contact Page
Rep. John Rutherford (FL-04) Contact Page
Rep. Karen Handel (GA-06) Contact Page
..DEMOCRATS.. (Minority)
Ranking Member John Conyers (MI-13) Contact Page
Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10) Contact Page*
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) Contact Page
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) Contact Page
Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09) Contact Page
Rep. Hank Johnson, Jr. (GA-04) Contact Page
Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22) Contact Page*
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL-04) Contact Page
Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) Contact Page
Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02) Contact Page
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) Contact Page
Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01) Contact Page
Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) Contact Page
Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33) Contact Page
Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08) Contact Page
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) Contact Page
Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) Contact Page
* These Representatives allow emails from anyone.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Family, At All Costs


Southern people are family oriented. Anytime there is a gathering, it's always a family gathering. Big families or little families, it's an important connection.  And it's amazing to me to see several generations of the same family all living in the same little holler* and seeing each other every day. I grew up in a close family, but we now live in different parts of the country and rarely actually see each other face to face.We communicate a lot, but distance keeps it down to emails and social media. Even if we had only landlines and snail mail, we would regularly connect.  I know this.  Family is important. 

Which makes it all the more confusing to hear stories of families who don't speak to one another. To me this is hard to understand.  I hear stories all the time about "Oh I haven't spoken to my brother since he broke my pen in the 3rd grade."  or "She wore my blouse and stained it and I haven't spoken a word to her since."  Of course I'm making light of this with insignificant examples. To me, regardless of the transgression, regardless of the affront, there has to be a way in which we stay in communication.  I've had cross words with my family and yet we still stay in touch.  We live at opposite ends of the country but we still do what it takes to stay a family.

30 years ago, I had the misfortune of attending my great aunt's funeral.  She was one of 11 children and was the last of her siblings.  I remember her saying "Well, there's only me now." Without family, she was feeling lost. Most of them had lived close their whole lives. AND they stayed in constant contact. (This, before cell phones and social media!) She died less than a year later. The connection to family is life giving, life sustaining, important beyond your-my-their needs or wants. Do whatever you can do keep that connection from being lost.  This is why we're here, to be part of that family part of that connection, part of that love.  

Look at those people who pop up on the news, relatives of some mad bomber or murderer. There they are, supporting their kid, their brother, their family, even after he/she's brought down the full weight of the media and the world on them.  Why?  Family.  The ties that bind. A connection that cannot, should not be denied. It allows them to say "We love you in spite of what you've done, what we've done, what's been done; and we're beside you regardless of those events."

Why we choose to cut off a family member is not as important as realizing that the connection is lost.  Be it a blood relation of sister, brother, mother, father or cousin or the family and extended family, adopted brothers, children, step fathers, step children, the list goes on.  Love does that. I would say "Blood does that" but we all know that true family goes beyond blood. Love does not cut ties. Love doesn't hold a grudge. Love doesn't determine who's worthy or not. At least it shouldn't. It doesn't matter what happened in the past. Leave it there.  Create new memories now and in the future before it's too late.  When you or they are gone, there is no going back and rekindling the love you once had.

And if you're the one that broke the connection, there is hope. You see that connection is still there, still waiting for you.  Regardless of what you've done, or said, or felt or thought, family is family.  

I could fill this little blog post with all manner of quotes both biblical and secular about how family is above all; forgiveness is more important than anything but the one thing that matters is that  you need that person, those people, in your life. You need it, they need it we all need it.  No matter how large of a transgression, no matter of what was said, Familial Love conquers all. That connection stands far and above any  misunderstanding you may have.  Look past it, look at the love.

There is no time like the present to reconnect.

================
*In the south east mountains of the united states holler is used instead of hollow; a small rising valley region between two hills or mountains;often containing a creek or other fresh water source.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Southern Sun and the Eclipse

Image result for eclipse
It comes as no surprise to anyone that the US had a solar eclipse run across diagonally from Oregon to Georgia.  It should also come as no surprise that Nashville, my home, was in the 'Path of Totality' for said Eclipse. What did come as a surprise to me was that I had to work on Aug. 21.  At least my office set up to see the eclipse first hand, out on the plaza in front of the building. 
One of the guys in our office ordered in some special glasses (yes, the good ones) and we forwarded the phones to voice mail and headed out a good 30 minutes before to the moment of totality.
The plaza was full of folks from all over, and when the moment of totality came, it was breathtaking.  In a matter of moments, the sun winked out, and the lights in the adjacent buildings could be seen with the naked eye.
In some areas I'd heard that people shouted and cheered when the sun was covered.  At the Nashville zoo the cheering may have caused the animals a bit of concern but here in the downtown, people were a bit louder, but overall it was more a moment of awe.  To see something to amazing that could very well be a once-in-a-lifetime moment was enough to make you just stand and watch.  
The full totality of darkness lasted only 2 minutes.  Then the lights came back as the shadow of the moon moved on. Some people headed on back to work, others standing around using their special glasses to watch the event in it's entirety. 

Many years ago, my daughter and I watched a partial eclipse and used a pinhole in a piece of paper to see the shadow travel partially across the sun without looking at it.  The light around us then merely dimmed.  We still enjoyed it. Oddly, she is living in Cheyenne Wyoming which was also in the path of totality this time around.  The next one won't come until 2024 and maybe the two of us will be together again and can travel down to see it.  

One can only hope.