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Maintaining & Updating

July 25, 2011

The House…

Considering the economy and the housing market, we’ve had a decent number of showings so far, but no nibbles.  We’re staying calm because there’s no reason for us to panic right now, and we have left ourselves room to negotiate.  Right now, we’re just hoping the idiots in Washington don’t screw it up for all of us.  (You’ll notice I didn’t specify a party.)  The hardest part at the moment is just staying ready for showings.  The house is staged, but we are living in it.  Even though we’re pretty neat, there are always the little things to be done, like a couple of glasses to be washed from the evening before, the morning coffee cups, last night’s newspaper, stuff like that.  The bed gets made early, and any shifting of ottomans, etc., gets done.  I may or may not run the vacuum.  Sometimes I just wait until there’s an appointment scheduled, then do it shortly before the appointment.  That just-vacuumed look goes a long way toward making a good impression.

The realtor uses a scheduling service which, so far, has given plenty of advance warning for appointments to show the house.  We get a one to two hour window.  “Realtor Jones would like to show the property between 3 and 4pm today…”  That gives me time to do any last minute adjusting, time to turn on the lights in all the rooms, etc.  I can get the dog’s harness on him, so all I have to do is hook the leash on him.  When the realtor arrives, I can usually see them park across the street, so I quickly get the dog leashed, and we head out the back through the garage while the realtor is working the lockbox on the front door.

Since we are now a one car couple, I just take the dog for a walk.  I can position myself down the street where I can see when the realtor and potential buyers leave.  In the triple digit heat we’re having right now, I don’t want the dog nor I to be out in it any longer than necessary.

The RV

This past weekend, we met Paul, the mechanic, at the RV.  He had two new deep-cycle batteries and new shrouds (covers) for the rooftop air conditioning units.

I have a real problem with heights, so I observed from the top of the rear ladder while Paul walked around upright on the roof, removing the two old covers and replacing them with new ones.  We did buy the RV “as-is”, but some disclosures would have been nice.  The rear shroud had a hole in it, and was held together on the underside with duct tape.  The front one had a section missing completely, probably cracked sometime in the past by a tree branch, then stripped off by high wind.  Of course, I should have climbed up there and crawled around if necessary before we bought it, but we’d have bought it anyway.

We replaced the two deep-cycle “house” batteries.  The old ones were nearly three years old, and even though they were full of water, they barely showed in the “charged” area of the tester.  The “milk carton” crate was bought at WalMart, and now holds extra motor oil, hydraulic fluid and distilled water.  The crate will keep the bottles from rolling around.  Incidentally, the mechanic said we could use automatic transmission fluid in place of hydraulic fluid.  Good to know in the future, because it’s cheaper and easire to find.  Obviously, there’s still lots of cleaning to be done in all those seldom seen places like this one.

There was a hope that the old batteries weren’t providing enough starting power for the Onan generator, but even after the new ones were installed, we’re still just getting a “click” when the start button is pushed.  The next step now is to have it looked at by a generator guy.  In this heat, there’s no way we’re even going for an hour’s drive without the generator operating so we can use the house air conditioning.  The dash A/C just doesn’t get the job done at this time of year, because of the amount of space that has to be cooled.

Nell measured the cockpit blackout/privacy curtains.  We’ll probably order them from http://www.greatrvaccessories.com .  Nell says their price is about the same as what we would have to spend if she made them herself, and theirs are already sized, hemmed, and come with the rings/hardware already attached.  The existing ones are probably the original curtains, and the sun has really done a number on them.  It’s not really noticeable from the inside, but when they’re pulled across the front windows, they’re pretty sad and tacky looking from outside.

The photo above shows the new cabinet door hardware we bought and installed a week ago.  We’re trying to eliminate as much of the old shiny brass look as possible.  We also bought a new ceiling fixture that’s directly across from these kitchen cabinets, the one above the dining table.  That will get installed at some time in the future when it’s not so hot.

We picked out the new vinyl flooring this weekend also.  Now we need to get an estimate on the installation cost.

Every time we do a little more with the RV, Nell gets a little more excited.  Her target for retirement is the end of this year, but it’s her intention to continue to work until the house is sold.  It would be nice if the house would sell before the end of the year.  One of the things we need to do now is zero in on a couple of decent RV parks within an easy commute to her job.

And so we continue… one step at a time.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. syd harper permalink
    July 25, 2011 8:45 pm

    We sold a house, very small, only 850 sq feet last month. It took all of 2 months using buyowner.com. We did not think that it would work, but we are quite happy.

  2. July 26, 2011 1:31 pm

    When we sold our house in Indiana, we had the same arrangement with the realtors. We have three little dogs so it took us a bit longer to capture the dogs, get them harnessed and get out the door. While we were harnessing two dogs, one slipped away, pooped in the middle of the living room and returned to get her leash without a beat. We hurried out the door only to find the pile when we returned. Guess who bought the house? Yes, the lady was a dog lover and loved the house because of it’s dog door.

  3. July 26, 2011 2:09 pm

    Thanks Ralph. Doesn’t it show that there is someone greater then ourselves that is in charge of the sale of a house. When it is supposed to sell, it sells. Best Wishes.

  4. August 1, 2011 3:14 am

    Just a click when you press the start button sounds like a bad starter solenoid…but it could also be grungy wire connections to the starter soleoid or ground connections too. Check your wires, connections, starter solenoid. If you pull it off any autoparts store can check the solenoid for you and if it’s bad they might have the replacement part.

    Awesome looking motorhome Ralph.

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