Realestate Update

trianglejohnNovember 10, 2009

Well the house is on the market and the same people that viewed it last Friday came back on Monday to view it again. Thank gawd I cleaned over the weekend. Keep your fingers crossed.

I fired the contractor at the new house (which is actually the older of the two houses) which brought about a whole new set of problems.

So I am a busy bee bouncing between two homes trying to keep one of them impossibly clean and tidy while trying to fix all the stuff the contractor messed up on the other. I have to get two major things finished before the city will bless the work and allow me to live in it (insane law in my mind!!! I mean, people lived in it before I bought it. All I did was renovate an existing room. Just another way to squeeze $72 more dollars out of me).

So my hands smell like furniture polish while they are also spackled with paint.

Wish me luck.

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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Good luck, John.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 5:05PM
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Well, the people from last month never made an offer but now I have another couple that saw the house yesterday and are back today to check out the garden - Yay! Gardeners!! I left a detailed map on the kitchen table marking all the edibles in the veggie/fruit/herb garden since the guy is a chef and wants to grow food. Hopefully he will take a shovel and turn up the soil a bit to see how wonderful my dirt is. Two things working in my favor is that the house was spotless and decorated for a small Christmas party so it looked great and I've been so busy being the contractor on the other house I'd forgotten to harvest the cabbages and broccoli from the garden so those rows are full and lovely.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 10:12AM
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Hey nothing in my neighborhood had sold in about 3 years until this week and these folks got almost full original asking price, so maybe things are looking up in the real estate market. Good luck John!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 7:18PM
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The contracts are signed. Hopefully appraisal is in my favor and inspector too.

They offered full price!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't think my feet have touched the ground all weekend.

They fixated on one small group of plants in the garden - an oddball raspberry relative (thank you Tamelask!). Somehow it is more important than the huge blueberry patch, the long row of raspberries, asparagus, the pawpaws, the loquats in full bloom - I mean I grow wasabi for Christ's sake but if those two bushes in the back of the garden inspire them then so be it. Who am I to complain.

I am the only house for sale on my street, and I always assumed it would sell to someone wanting to move closer to Raleigh from points South and East. But no, these folks are from downtown and want to move to the 'burbs.

I would like to take credit for the sale with all my cleaning and fixing up and staging but in the end I think it was the 1.1 acre of dirt that goes with the 35 year old house.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 9:22AM
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tamelask(z8a NC)

Awesome John!! I just saw this- so happy for you!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 12:51PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Wow, I just saw this also.
Yea John!! I was just thinking you owe us some photos, a whole photo gallery matter of fact on the original house as well as the new 'project'.
Now what was that raspberry family plant that sealed the deal??
Tam, you remember what it was?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 8:37PM
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The raspberry relative is wine berry - which I believe is a pest in some regions but down here it behaves just fine. It will fruit in the shade which is why I wanted some.

I am always reluctant to post a lot of details because a couple of times in the past I ranted about someone in particular or a certain business only to discover that they lurk on GardenWeb - if the potential buyers stumble upon my comments it could make for an uncomfortable closing. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

I will build a photo album somewhere and link to it.

My big conflict currently is that I really want to get busy planting but should wait until after the new house is painted which won't happen for a while.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 9:20AM
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What a wonderful Christmas present for you. Congratulations! And I like wine berry, too.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 9:24AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I had to come back and check.

What plants did you pot up for moving or have you already done that?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 10:07AM
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For the last year or so I have been rooting cuttings and starting seeds of plants that need a lot of sun, knowing that the new place is pretty much full sun all day. I like to propagate things so I tend to always have a side area devoted to a million pots of baby trees and such. Off the top of my head my potted up collection (that has already moved to the new house but won't be planted of a while) includes Illiciums, Calycanthus and Hydrangeas and some Loquat seedlings and one rooted cutting (very tough to root that way). I have some small conifers that never did well in the shade and some perennials like Helenium and Oenothera (not the pink one, one of the hybrid yellow moundy types), a bunch of daylilies and some iris. What is left in the yard to dig up is more ferns, native azaleas, a bunch of hydrangeas and a Daphniphyllum as well as Daphne odora and a monster big Musa basjoo banana and some Japanese maples (not the fancy ones). The tricky plants that may not make the move are some large palms: Chinese Windmill and Sabal minor (that I brought with me from Oklahoma), some Sassafras seedlings, an Edgeworthia, one of the hardy cinnamon trees, a cluster of spicebush... and every plant that I got from one of the swaps. Each one has a story so I have to at least try to bring it along.

I spend a lot of time dreaming about where to put stuff but the truth is the new house is older, dirtier, junkier and smaller and needs a lot of work. Part of the reason to buy it was to fix it up while I still lived in this house and to move in AFTER everything was fixed. That aint gonna happen. So before I build a pond and chicken yard or plant an orchard I really want to fix the things that are wrong about that place so that I don't spend all the rest of my life working on the house. Yeah, right, like that's gonna happen.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 4:09PM
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Sooooo - everything is flowing smoothly with the potential new owners. I sailed through the inspections, there are things to fix but nothing monumental. Appraisal is next week and by mid month everything should be in order and then I just do all the crazy stuff with actually moving out and into the new house. New house gets its final walkthrough again next week also. It should pass and then I'll get an occupancy permit and be able to live in it while I organize and figure out what room to renovate next. Friends that came by the other day commented that the scary thing about the farmhouse is that EVERY room needs work (some more so than others). The big problem is that you can't legally live in your house when you're doing the level of renovations that I am talking about. So I guess I'll be sleeping in a tent in the front yard.

So the odd things that are going on are: the neighbor right across the street has been foreclosed on. I think, there are signs all over the house but I haven't gone up and read them yet. This could affect my appraisal amount. Hopefully enough houses have sold in this area to balance that out.

The other odd thing is that the house continues to be shown and everyone that has walked through it has come back again and wants to be notified if the folks under contract back out!!!!!!!!!!

Now if I could just send some of this good luck to my brother back in OK that is trying to sell my folks house. That property has been on the market for a year and my cut of the profits are supposed to be paying for the renovations to the new/old farmhouse.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 4:32PM
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I thought about your trying to move those ferns, what with the ground frozen solid, at least in the Greensboro area. Maybe it will warm up a little before you have to do that...or say goodbye to the last few things you had intended to move. Boy, is it cold over here!!!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 8:53AM
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I'm more worried about running out of time to dig things up. The house moving is taking much more time than I thought it would. I doubt it will stay this cold for long (pleasepleasepleaseplease). Most of the bushes have been cut way back (no blooms this next spring) in order to make them easy to lug to the truck. Everything should be dormant. I guess I'm going to lose some things but even expert gardeners I know that moved in good weather lost a lot of their bushes and trees.

At the farmhouse I built a small greenhouse and stuff it full of potted citrus, guavas and tree ferns along with a massive amount of rooted cuttings of my more delicate things. The small electric heater isn't able to keep up with the low temps we've been having so I also stuck a kerosene heater in there. The big problem with it is that the fuel tank only holds about 11 hours of burning - so I have to wait until late in the evening to drive back over there to light it and then race back over there in the morning to shut it off before it runs out of fuel and burns up the wick. Good thing the two houses are only ten minutes apart but still, the back and forth is getting old.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 2:55PM
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I should probably post this over in the Buying & Selling Your Home forum but for anyone out there that actively gardens and wants to possibly sell their house - there are gardeners out there that will pretty much do backflips for your property. I met with the buyers over the weekend and I had to drag them into the house to show them the repairs they requested. All they wanted to talk about was the garden, what crops I grow and do I think such-n-such plant will grow here. There could be a crack running completely through the middle of the house and I doubt they'd notice.

I'm very happy. Exhausted, but very happy.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 11:11AM
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Congratulations on the sell of your house. I'm sure you had an amazing garden to go with it!!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 11:45AM
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Well, it's a done deal. Made it through the closing day without the 60 mph winds blowing a tree into the house (you have no idea how scared I was, the house is surrounded by tall tall trees, very close to the house, some not so healthy, some already dead, many big enough to cut a house in half). At the last minute the lawyers wanted the tool shed moved a foot (one corner over the property line). A legal letter to the neighbor to get their blessing and leave it be would have cost another $200 so I decided to move it myself... it took two days, one car jack, a couple of cinder blocks, most of my back, but it finally moved and remains remarkably level!

I dug plants in the rain. I dug plants in the dark by flashlight. I dug plants in the wind the next day but in the end everthing of value was trucked over to the new house where it now sits laying on the ground under a large blue tarp. Hopefully this weekend will be mild enough to start potting things up.

Rumor has it that my brother has sold my parents house back in Oklahoma in a story pretty much identical to mine - Yay! So whatever money I inherit will help fix up the problems that seem to erupt daily at the old farmhouse.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 9:59AM
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Congratulations! Glad to hear everything worked out for you. Guess you'll have a busy spring planning your new landscape.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 12:16AM
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It's been over a year, how are things looking now?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 3:41PM
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I just came back from running home for lunch to put up a sign so the dirt delivery guy would know where to dump my load. Looking out at the gardens before I raced back to the office I commented to myself that it looks like I've lived there for a decade and not a year and some months!

The exterior of the house just got painted and all those shade loving bushes and perennials that have been waiting for over a year to get in the ground have been planted (extras coming to the swap).

I still need the roof re-shingled but that may wait til next summer so I can scrape together the money. I worry about having roof work done with all my precious bushes up beside the house but if I time it so that they are dormant I may make it out ok.

I didn't get a lot of growth last summer due to the drought and high heat but plenty of stuff bloomed this spring and I see buds on everybody that didn't.

I'm installing a deer fence to keep Bambi and the herd out of my crops. The neighbors hate it - I tell them to shoot more, shoot from their front porches, shoot from their bedroom windows, I don't care. I'll even drag the bodies off to the woods without complaining - anything to reduce the population of deer. Luckily the crew is planting corn in the field across my tiny gravel driveway so that will keep the herd busy most of the summer if I don't get the entire fence up. So my spare time is spent up on a ladder pounding in 10 foot t-posts to support the mesh fence. If the fence fails to work I will be installing a hot wire about nose height. The draw back to the tall fence is that it really shows how small my parcel of land is! Before the posts were up my garden blended in with the neighbors field so it made the space seem bigger. Now, not so much. I'm on an acre and a half and the neighbors are on like 5 acre tracts. They do all sorts of things to keep deer out of their gardens except put up a fence. And yet they hate my idea....

One of these days when the house is clean and a few more things sprout in the garden I will post photos.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 12:53PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Can't wait to see those photos,John.
The deer herd here has thinned considerably..well, I think they just split up when the droughts dried up the creek. Now I mostly only see 4-5 and they seem only to come through maybe twice a month to catch to new growth on the catbriar.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 2:15AM
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Well, you know your plant collection has gotten out of hand when someone turns you in for illegally operating a plant nursery/landscaping business. No joke! I came home to a notice taped to the door telling me to call the county inspector over a zoning violation. I thought it was about the deer fence I'm installing or some sort of dispute over the driveway easement... but no. Someone actually sent in an anonymous email claiming that my back yard was more than a garden (operating a small scale nursery less than 6 acres is completely legal but you need a permit). The inspector had walked around the place and thought it was crazy.

So all is well. I know it wasn't one of my closest neighbors because they don't do internet stuff.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 1:28PM
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What a hoot! I am glad that I am off the road so that nobody sees my "pot ghettos" from winter sowing. Since many natives take two or more years to germinate, I have containers galore. No garden here, just wild spaces with lots of plants and paths to walk.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 2:19PM
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