One of the neat things about having an RV is that we get to spend a longer amount of time in one spot than if we were driving through in a car. We get to eat at the local cafes, shop in the local stores, visit the local library, volunteer at the local food bank, watch the local teams, walk through the local parks. In short, we get a chance to almost imagine that we are living there for good and enjoying the town as a resident would. We get a chance to ‘try on the town’ on and wear it for a while.
Though I’ve often said that we haven’t visited a place that I wouldn’t want to visit again, I’ve also discovered that there are great differences between wanting to visit again and wanting to live there. Some towns I can imagine living in while others not. And, yes, we’ve put together a list of criteria that we would look for in a new home town, though, this criteria can change.
We’ve been through the selling and emptying of Gary’s father’s home and now we get to apply those same steps to our home: fix those little things that we’ve let slide, stage the house, sell it, and then the hard part: what to do with all we’ve got in our house. We’ve read lots of stories about others who have also faced this decision and how they have solved it. Some have sold everything while others have sold some and stored some. We’ve hedging our bets: we’ve going to follow the second approach by selling most and storing some. We decided a while back that someday we’ll want a regular stick house which will need - furniture. So we decided to keep and store most of the antiques from my parents home. We like the pieces, they would be hard to replace and we’d never get a good price for them if we were to sell them. So, voila, we’ll store them.
We met with a real estate agent, Delana, on Saturday, April 27 and she looked the house over. She made a few suggestions and we told her what we were going to do to make it ready for sale. The biggest problem is the lower lever since we’ve just had that painted. The furniture was all piled in one corner. We had several large piles of stuff that we had brought back here from Lug’s house, my desk was a 6’ church-luncheon type table and both of us had plastic file boxes with paperwork all over the floor. Nope, we are not ready for a showing now. But, that was Saturday afternoon. And, can we move fast. That afternoon and Sunday after our charity walk, we scurried around and - by Monday we had the house ready to show: all staged.
We had taken down all the personal photos and replaced them with other prints or paintings, we had moved all of our office things like our laptops, files, office supplies, etc, up to a pie safe (an antique china cabinet) in the dining room and the rest we had stored in a large storage room we have in the lower lever. We folded up the 6’ table and arranged the furniture to fill both rooms in the lower level. It took 2 days but we are staged. We found things we had forgotten we had - like the cool items I’m demonstrating below. We’ve been moving these for 40 years and haven’t used them once. Isn’t it time to ditch these?
You know what ‘staged’ means: neat, clean, perfectly arranged and looking as if no one ever lived there. Yep, that’s what our house looks like now. And, actually, we are not living in most of the house. We have concentrated our life to two rooms now: the dining room and the kitchen. Well, of course the bedroom, bathrooms and closets. But’s we’ve really narrowed our field of habitation.
And none too soon. Our agent called Monday morning and, without any paperwork being signed, asked if we could show our house at 3:00 pm to a woman who was in town for only 2 days to look at homes in Des Moines. She is a top candidate for a local job and was just checking out real estate here. Well, what would you say? Sure, we said. We left at 2:45, me to grocery shop and Gary to wait across the street in the parking lot near our association pool. The woman stayed about 25 minutes according to Gary. However, she told her agent that this was the top one of the best two she had looked at. What really turned her heart was the sign I had put on our lower patio: I would have cleaned the windows and swept the patio but didn’t want to disturb the robin who’s building a nest in the rafters.’ Ooh, she said as she put her hand over her heart, I have a robin building a nest on my patio too. Maybe this is an omen.
Whooo - and we haven’t even fixed a price nor signed any papers. We’re not officially for sale yet and we’ve already had a good showing.