Hi there; it’s Sue Ann, your frequent blogging companion. I’d like to tell you what’s going on with me in the housing department.
I guess it’s a good thing I’ve spent the past few years studying ways for dealing with renovations, marketing houses, dealing with delays, figuring out exit strategies for investment properties, and ways to support people in transition.
Today, I find myself in transition. I’m the one needing support. While Lee and I recently built ourselves a home out in the country, where we will eventually live full time in retirement, I still maintain a large home in the Austin, Texas area. I raised my children (and quite a few others who have passed through) in this house. But right now, it’s just me and a lot of great memories of Christmases, high school band competitions, neighborhood gatherings, and many remodelings. Since my little pug died in the summer, it’s been so empty. I have to move on. I’ve graduated from my suburban band mom house.
Knowing what I know about selling houses, I know I need to make a few updates to the house so that it can go on the market. That carpet ruined by the ancient dog a housemate brought in has to go, since it stinks to high heaven, and there’s normal wear and tear on the paint (not to mention a room painted for an adolescent boy to resemble a thunderstorm, which currently has blue bulbs in the light fixture).
But twenty years of accumulated stuff is overwhelming to me. A lot went to the ranch house, but there’s still so many books, boxes of yarn, dishes…stuff from my kids. Ugh. It gives me SO much empathy for some of the people we’ve worked with when buying houses. One of the things we do is help people find a storage solution so they can just stick stuff in there and worry about it later, once their house is sold. Brilliant! I’ll put all the stuff I can’t use until my new house is ready in storage! Thanks to all that training from our mentors, I had a strategy.
Another issue is that, thanks to numerous delays and issues, the house I want to move to is not ready to live in. You may recall mentions of the “Bobcat” house where we had over a year of permitting delays. We then had many months of delays on the casita project, which we had vowed to finish before we started Bobcat—it’s our own money, so we had to put it behind our Hermit Haus projects s well. But ugh, I can’t stay in the huge house alone any longer. Funds from selling it will make the rehab of the other house possible!
That’s when I thought of another of the strategies we can use to help folks out when we want to buy their house—temporary housing! Sometimes going into a short-term rental frees up the burden of maintaining a problem house, so that we can buy it, fix it up, and sell it to someone else. Brilliant! We just happen to have a vacant rental property (the casita we’ve been writing about!) that just got rehabbed. I can stay there in the interim. At least it’s all new and sparkly clean (other than needing a lawn and the parking area finished).
The moving company blanched a bit when I explained the plan. Move stuff to three different places, then move some of it AGAIN in a few months. It’s not my idea plan, but for the foreseeable future, flexibility and the ability to adapt to change will be a needed asset. I might as well practice with all these moves.
So, thanks to remembering all I have learned in our business, I have a plan. I’m taking a few basics (chairs, bedroom stuff, kitchen things and towels!) to the rental, sending a few items to the ranch (with someone ELSE packing it), and putting the rest in storage. Later I will move it to a nice little house, along with my dear friend from high school (and future Hermit Haus Redevelopment colleague), Anita, and her dog (no more coming home to an empty house!).
The story of Anita and her home renovation is the subject for another post. Stay tuned for that!
I’m just looking forward to getting past the stressful time, at least the housing situation stress. I know there’s a light at the end of the household merry-go-round. With the tools I’ve acquired doing this business, I feel better prepared than I would have been a few years ago.
PS: The house I am moving out of is in the Meadows of Brushy Creek suburb of Austin/Round Rock. It has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms with three living areas (formal living, family, and large bonus room). The downstairs bedroom is perfect for an office or relative who can’t do stairs. The kitchen, all baths, and bedrooms are all updated. Bamboo floors are downstairs, along with upgraded tile floors. Upstairs carpet will be replaced (master has bamboo). Roof is recent, and HVAC is as well. Back yard has a beautiful, large covered porch and a gazebo, plus a cute storage shed. It is on a very quiet cul-de-sac with easy access to the toll roads, 183 and 620. We’d be happy to sell it as is, before it goes on the market. I’ll post better photos later.Hermann says please like and share!