Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sold, Not Sold, Sold, Not Sold

In the adventures of selling a house I call foul. Last week I thought my house was sold, this week ... it's not. The person who put in an offer changed their mind after the inspection which apparently found nothing major wrong (okay, so the bathroom door doesn't shut properly, if you live alone ... who cares??) According to the realtor there was no real reason for the change of heart, the prospective buyer just thought the minor things that needed doing weren't worth moving into. Fair enough but I have learned a few lessons from this.

When an inspection is done I'm going to put a time limit on how long they have to decide to take the house or not. This woman had the inspection done at noon on Monday, asked for a couple days to think about it and didn't make a final decision until Thursday. I spent 4 days in a high state of anxiety and I won't make that mistake again.

And when another offer is made on this house my lowest price is going to be higher. The only reason I accepted lower than I intended was because the quick sale was convenient for me and meant I didn't have to have people in and out of my house on multiple occasions. Packing up the dogs and disappearing for an hour is inconvenient and having that situation removed was worth something to me. My realtor definitely thought I should not have accepted so low an offer and I think is quietly pleased that it will now likely sell for what it's worth.

It also means that if this person who put in an offer ends up coming back and wanting it again, the price is higher for her too. I am not putting up with that kind of bullshit twice and now I know what kind of crazy she is, and trust me, I've dealt with a lot of crazy lately, if she wants the house, she has to pay.

Added to which there is some bullshit waste treatment charge that the town automatically skims off the top of every house sale - $1600 plus tax. That's almost $2000 off the price of my house I have to account for when considering offers. It's a one time charge for every house in the town so it's only applied to the first sale of that home since the implementation of waste treatment plant. It extra sucks because I intend to move out of the town and I will never benefit from the plant's treatment of waste sewage. You know, for a town that is struggling to keep people from leaving you'd think they'd try to avoid this kind of nonsense.

My house has been really good to me, it has a good energy and I don't want someone with bad mojo moving in here. I want someone who will see it as I did, and love it as I do. Maybe not for the same reasons but at least to recognise that it's not just property but a home. I have worked very hard(and so has my Dad!) to make this place something to be proud of and I will not have someone cheapen it. So, onward to house showings and the adventures that come with it!

Monday, May 14, 2012


Today is house inspection day and although I don't think there's anything to be concerned about there's always the chance that something will come up I was not expecting since I know jack sh*t about house structure. If the inspection goes okay it means that I really need to start worrying about finding somewhere to live. I have a couple options for somewhere to stay while I look for a new house but I'd obviously prefer not to have to move all my stuff twice.

I also have an appointment to go look at a house tomorrow. I sure hope it's a lot better than the last two I looked at! Houses here are quite old, even the house I'm in is almost 70 years old, so your options are limited - you either look at a pokey old farmhouse that has spent the last 130 years settling, shifting and aging or you look at a house that some guy built with his eyes closed 30 years ago. The house I'm going to look at has one acre and looks out over a farmer's field where his cattle graze. I can't imagine how amazing that would be! Good thing I'm used to the smell of a feedlot down the road. We'll see, the house was originally a minihome (mobile home for Westerners) but has been converted to a bungalow. Let's hope they did a nice job.

There is one house, the Three Brooks house, which is still an option but only if the basement issue can be resolved easily and without too much expense. My dad also has concerns about the roof but that would be something we'd have to look more closely at if the house becomes a serious contender.

Everyone says to not rush the process but it's hard to not worry. If I didn't have the dogs and cats I wouldn't worry so much but prevailing on someone for their hospitality when you have a herd of animals is a bit much. It certainly results in a bigger hassle than if you didn't have any at all!

At this point my options are limited by my budget and the lack of homes on the market that are suitable to my purposes. Oddly enough last Fall that there were many more houses on the market that would have suited me ... you'd think Spring would have them coming out of the woodwork!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tamzin's House of Dreams

It has been far too long since I posted in this blog. Many things have happened while WBNS has been on hiatus, most of which have been documented on the Invictus Dog Blog, but since some pretty big events are about to occur in this little province, I thought I'd return to writing about Nova Scotia (which includes the dogs of course) and the wonderful life I have managed to set up for myself.
I now work at a shop in downtown Pictou, it's the sort of job I imagined having when I first thought of moving here but the 'small town' mentality got the best of me and despite multiple resumes being submitted to various companies, it was not an easy process to be hired as a CFA (come from away). Thankfully my new employer, Pictou Pharmasave, is a great place to work with the greatest people and I really feel I've met some kindred spirits of the world in one little seaside shop.

The reason I've jumped over to this blog is because big things are happening and rather than make my dog blog more general to my life, I thought it would be easier to make this blog about everything. There will be no shortage of photos of the dogs, or talk about them, because they are such a huge part of my life and why I do the things I do.

Notably the Big Plan for the last 3 years living here has been of a mind to getting a larger property with a larger house that I can fence and safely run the dogs. Here in Pictou County dogs are not allowed off leash unless they are on private land or in designated areas; needless to say I've been walking my dogs 'illegally' for the last 3 years. Time for a change.

I had this last litter of puppies which I knew I had to get raised and placed in new homes before I could list my house. While the litter was growing I was making plans, painting, updating, cleaning and purging so that when the puppies were gone I could list the house. As the litter got to about 5 weeks I spoke to a realtor who is two doors down from the pharmacy and we discussed buying and selling in the County. At that time she told me she had someone who was anxious to get into a house, preferably a bungalow and in The Heights, which is where I live.  (Cool story there, I'll have to tell you one day).

Once I was down to 2 puppies it was time to get serious about looking at houses. I looked at one that is a possibility with 4 acres but there is an issue with the basement and possibly the roof, so it's on the Very Maybe list. I looked at two others, one that needs to be condemned and another which appears to be rotting from the bottom up.  The prospects weren't looking good but it wasn't an immediate concern since my house was not yet listed and my realtor (MR) told me to expect to be on the market 2 to 4 months.

Her 'anxious' person was still anxious so she wanted to let her view the property late last week in an exclusive viewing with a 24 hour contract (which we just made our actual contract in the end). I said that was fine and then went into high gear clean mode to try and get it ready with two puppies still, four adult dogs and two cats! I managed to get out of the house on time, with everything spick and span, fresh and clean and hoped that there wasn't something dog related that I forgot about.

I had arranged with my parents later that day to see the house with 4 acres (we'll call it the Three Brooks House since that's the road it's on) so I drove to meet them and MR there. Once I arrived MR surprised me by telling me my house had an offer! It had officially been on the market for about 4 hours. We looked at the Three Brooks House and then sat down to look at the offer. It was low, lower than I liked, and we countered high. MR said she'd let me know.

The next morning she said the buyer didn't want to pursue but she may change her mind after  some thought. She was right, less than an hour later MR came to me with a counter offer. I spent some time thinking about it, discussing it and working the numbers. While I know that people want the most money for their homes, I had to consider what this easy a sale would mean to me. No more packing up the dogs and cats, no more rushing around to clean and no more people trailing through my house looking through my things. I weighed my options, countered with a slightly longer closing date, and accepted the counter-offered price.

In less than 24 hours my house was sold. As of last night the offer was accepted and I have until June 15 to find a new home. Needless to say there are conditions such as an inspection and the buyer's financing, but as long as those things pull through I will be out of this house, and hopefully into another, on or by June 15! I have a dog show to attend in Lunenberg on the first weekend in June so as long as everything goes according to plan I will be able to take Cora to her first show. If there is something that requires my immediate attention that does not allow for a dog show then her first show will be the end of June.

I never in a million years thought my house would sell so fast, yesterday I was freaking out internally every 20 minutes or so and having little panic attacks but today I am much better. I have a few houses I'd like to go look at so perhaps one of those will be suitable. I mentioned to some friends that I pushed the Easy button and sold my house in less than 24 hours, let's hope the same button applies to buying! Wish me luck finding a house in Wee Bonny New Scotland.