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Phase Two: Sell the House ~ Check

November 1, 2011

Wow.  All of a sudden things are getting serious.  In a good way, mind you.  Then again, things could fall through, and we’ll be back in a holding pattern again.  But it’s an exciting time, and I’m not particularly superstitious about jinxes, so I’ll share the news.

We have an offer on the house!  It’s not the greatest offer, by any means, but it’s an offer we can work with.

It’s been a bit unsettling, to be honest, just sitting and waiting for the house to sell.  We keep a neat house, but there’s a difference between that and trying to maintain a showplace all day every day.  “Showplace” may be a bit strong, but one does have to keep the house ready to be shown at any time.  And let’s be honest here.  How many of us keep our house ready to be shown to strangers at any time?  When I’m painting, I find myself delaying some things, wondering if I can get the studio cleaned up in time for a showing.  Artists don’t function well under those conditions.

The offer will require us to close in less than 30 days.  That gives us roughly four weeks to be ready to vacate.  This is not like renting a U-Haul and spending the day before closing moving the furniture and clothes from one house to another one.  This is going to call for some interesting timing, I think.  We still have modifications to do on the RV.  We could live in it now, but we’d rather have the major things done before we do.  We should be getting the cost estimates for that shortly.  I called the RV place and told the owner that we needed a front burner position in his work schedule.

It’s time to go back through the house again… closets, drawers, garage… and do another round of clearing out.  We have to keep the house staged in case something goes wrong with the closing, and we still need furniture to live on.  Once the RV is ready to live in, we can move as much as possible over to it, but we can’t live in it until it’s relocated from storage to an RV Park.  I’m thinkng we may need to spring for a one month storage building rental, so we can move furniture, etc. out of the house just before we close, then distribute it from there.  And another trip or two to the Salvation Army is obviously in our future.

There will be a mad rush to get things done in the last two weeks, and then we’ll move into the motorhome.  Nell intends to work for a few more months, so we will, in effect, go into another holding pattern.  We’ll need to find a decent RV Park within a reasonable commute to her office.  During that four months, we’ll learn what we need to do to live in the motorhome during the winter (at least we’re in Texas, although I’d prefer to be a little further south… Dallas winters haven’t been enjoyable the last couple of years).  We’ll acquire the things we’ll need for living in RV Parks and campgrounds.  We’ll adjust to the new living environment of the motorhome and get to know it intimately.  We’ll get acquainted with the various systems (water, sewer, propane, electrical, etc.), and hopefully get a lot of kinks worked out regarding internet use, TV reception, RV maintenance, etc.

And I’ll learn to work at the mini-studio/workstation, and maybe start doing a little more outdoor painting on decent days.  We’ll get storage and books and art supplies figured out (and, I suspect, unload a lot more stuff before we actually hit the road).  And Hemi the Miniature Schnauzer will get acclimated to his new home.

We’ll also need to work out the best way to tow the Trailblazer.  I’m beginning to have serious doubts about towing it backward on a tow dolly.  The more I research, the more I learn about the hazards of towing a car that way.  There’s a significant additional expense we’ll need to deal with if we opt for a transmission lube pump and tow bars, but since the Trailblazer is rear wheel drive, that’s the sensible option.  I’ve got a lot more research to do.  Fortunately, I’ve got some time to figure it out.

So here’s the deal:  with the sale of the house, we pay off the motorhome.  The Trailblazer is close to being paid off.  For temporary living, I have found at least one RV Park within an easy commute to Nell’s office.  The monthly rental of a space with full hookups, including electricity is approximately one-third of what we pay for our present mortgage payment plus utilities.  Hopefully, by mid-summer we should be kicked back in a campground somewhere, listening to the breeze in the trees, scratching the dog’s ears, and wondering whether we should do anything the next day or not.

There are some things that need to be worked out, of course.  But it’s not a bad plan.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2011 2:59 pm

    Again I wish you all well in your endeavors and remember our time in the motor home fondly. I used one basement storage for all my art supplies and the ones that were to big went under the mattress and behind the sleeper couch. Good luck, Syd Harper. I am excited for you.

    • November 2, 2011 3:47 pm

      Syd, I’ve started putting supplies and small frames in big tubs that will go in the basement storage, and we’ve got some other things in the works as well. Thanks for the advice and the good wishes!

  2. Yorky permalink
    November 2, 2011 3:19 pm

    Good luck with the sale Ralph, hope you can find a good campground.


    • November 2, 2011 3:48 pm

      Thanks, Doug. Fortunately, it’s only for a few months, and I suspect those will go by quickly.

  3. November 2, 2011 3:20 pm

    Ralph and Nell – I have recently gone through a very similar situation. We had to majorly downsize and a set out boxes marked donation, trash and store. Hubby said get rid of the “store” so we did. We even threw away after the move so you will have to be brutal! I gave family one date to come and take what they wanted and they did that. You don’t have time to let family string this out. An offer on your home is so rare these days. You are being smiled upon. This is a very stressful time for you both. My best wishes. Norena

    • November 2, 2011 3:52 pm

      Norena, most of our decluttering and downsizing has already been done. We went through that process a while back, but we’ll still have to unload more now that the time is near. The family have all taken – or spoken for – the things they want. We’ll just have to deal with some furniture that nobody wants. The rest will go to Salvation Army. Thanks so much.

  4. November 2, 2011 3:25 pm

    Dear Hemi – This is stressful for you too. My three rescue dogs started scratching and licking due to the stress, incessently! Our vet suggested Benadryl and that helped. One week after the move, Maggie, Mollie and Charlie are sleeping like it never happened. Best wishes to you too. Norena

    • November 2, 2011 3:55 pm

      Norena, I’m also a rescue dog. I already have my own crate and bed in the motorhome and have spent a couple of nights in it. Thank you. ~Hemi

  5. RVPAINTER permalink
    November 2, 2011 3:44 pm


    • November 2, 2011 3:56 pm

      Thanks, Dick! We’re just a little excited. I think the next few months will go by quickly. I took a look at the rig you’re getting. Sweet!

  6. November 3, 2011 2:37 am

    WooHoo! Hoping everything works out for you and Nell. Love you both!

  7. November 3, 2011 11:48 pm

    All right! Now the fun begins. You’ve done the hard prep already, so I’m sure you’ll make the move just fine. The transition period will actually be of great benefit toward getting you acclimated to your new home. Hope you report back that all went smoothly.

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