Seven years ago I inherited a house. It had problems. In his last years, suffering from dementia and increasingly frail, my father had been unable to make the decisions to make much needed repairs, and would not have been able to remember what all the activity and noise would have been about, or tolerated it, if I had tried to get them done. The roof leaked, badly in one area (a bad roofing job some years earlier). There were bricks falling off the chimney, and rot in the deck and other spots, and other items. In truth, it was a fixer-upper. It turned out that the antiquated electrical system had things not up to current code, and the furnace setup likely wouldn’t pass inspection either. And, the floor in the upstairs bathroom, damaged by a leak in the wax seal of the toilet. That was all contractor stuff. Then there was the DIY list: Scraping wallpaper and painting, some smaller carpentry jobs, taking apart the garden shed that was getting close to falling apart (and building a deck in its place), building up the parking area that was flooding (fun with gravel), laying down a garden path with stone left over from the chimney job, rebuilding the gutters across the driveway, and more. All in all, a lot of money spent and a lot of work, leading to the cleaning and de-cluttering to get it ready to show. Finally, in November my agent agreed we were ready.
The listing went live on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Several people looked on Wednesday and one made an offer which was unacceptable (30K below the asking price). On Friday there were more lookers, including two agents from another Realtor. One of them made an offer from a client who had seen the listing on-line and liked it (The photographer was very good.). That was for full price with a decent down payment. They wanted to finish Due Diligence (the contingency period in which a buyer can back out and get the down payment back) on 12/15 and Close on 12/22. We negotiated changing the Closing to 12/30. They also offered that the buyer would want to rent the house back to me for four months (January thru April) so as not to have to shut the house down for the winter and to have someone here (She winters in Florida, and also owns a business in town.) The contract was signed on Saturday. So, from listing to contract = 4 days, and contract to closing = 33 days. I was glad of the rent-back plan. Finding a place to rent and getting moved in just a month would have been a scramble, especially, as it turned out, my car decided to break down about the middle of the month. Now, the deal is done. The money is in the bank, and I have four months to find a place and get there.
It was head spinning how fast this went. It doesn’t feel completely real yet in some ways. I’ve known since before Dad died that I would have to sell it. I had no idea it would take so long to get it ready or happen so fast when it did. The truth is that this is a ridiculous much of a house for one person, even ecologically irresponsible to be heating the whole thing for one body. By the time I do leave it in April it will be almost exactly fourteen years I’ll have lived in it. That is longer than any one home in my life. I’m ready for change and something that fits me better.