A Bright Idea

     We had this bright idea of selling our house and moving ourselves and our dog, Dexter, to Tennessee to live on the banks of Lake Tellico. The retirement community we visited was so appealing and since we have lived in the same city for virtually all of our lives, we thought it was about time for a change. To the shock and dismay of our relatives and friends we nailed up a For Sale sign and began to plan. That was two years ago.
     Time dragged on and I got sick of straightening the house and making the bed every day for fear that we would have the anxiously awaited “showing.” Actually we got pretty efficient at getting ready for the quick exit to allow buyers to peruse our dwelling. I was always in charge of bathroom pick up, dusting and bed making. My husband took over the heavy duties of vacuuming, trash collection and hosing the screened porch. He also became quite accomplished at making the countertop granite shine. Even though the house has lots of storage we became adept at stashing stuff out of sight. To date the house has “eaten” one pair of evening shoes, a sterling silver ring, some books, the dog door cover and a few critical pieces of mail. Hopefully when we are packing to move, these things will surface. I can’t imagine what happened to the shoes!!! Who could lose their fancy evening shoes???

     To add to our misery (yes, it is miserable to try to sell a house) it was a pain to try to travel while juggling our schedules and making sure the house was ready to show even in our absence. I have called in many favors by asking folks to watch our dog, Dexter, and keep the mail collected. Luckily I have close relatives who have dog sat for us. They have graciously stepped in to help us. Gotta love your family and friends! There were also the unending questions from well wishing friends who wanted to know if we had sold our house. It was disheartening to say, “no, not yet.” The “yet” indicated we retained some hope. They always smiled, but were probably thinking we were foolish to keep trying after so long.

     It was also excruciating to hear the feedback from prospective buyers. We thought our house was lovely and had been told so, but the comments were brutal. Some examples are: The kitchen is too small, we don’t like the flooring, the den is too large, the den is too small, the bedrooms are too large, the bedrooms are too small, the yard has too much vegetation, the yard needs more flowers, etc, etc. My favorite feedback statement was: “House is great and we love it, but it would take too much to make it our own.” We were told not to take any of the criticism personally but it was difficult to hear the negatives. Not very much positive feedback was conveyed. The entire process has a way of making you dislike your own abode!
     The big dream of moving out of state turned into one of hoping to buy a vacation home on Lake Tellico when the economy recovers. We are now considering downsizing within our area and moving close to family members. The two year journey of trying to relocate made us aware of the value of keeping with your roots. We have one child in Boston aka "the frozen north" and one in Zachary, Louisiana. While the idea of living in a big northern city is intriguing, the reality of retirees such as we making such a drastic change is not very practical, so… we are considering a move to a small nearby community of Zachary near our daughter and her husband.
     Over the past two years we had three realtors, one failed FSBO, four price reductions, over 100 showings, three offers and one almost offer. Every time the phone rang I was hoping that we had the offer that would get us out of this house. Just when we least expected it, we got the call. Finally, we had a sale!

     The phone rang early Saturday morning. Our realtor, Linda Gaspard (www.lindagaspard.com) woke us up with the good news that we indeed had a sale and that we would finally end our seller’s journey. At first the feeling was one of disbelief and even cynicism that it was true, but it finally sank in that we had SOLD OUR HOUSE. Can’t wait to see that SOLD sign in our yard!
    Now another journey begins…packing up 15 years of memories and belongings and moving 25 miles away to a brand new home and closer to contentment. We are ready for the challenge. Audubon Lakes, here we come!

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