ART, Decorative Arts, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Dallas Consignment Stores

Dallas Consignment Stores
A Good One

HEADING TO HEATH: DALLAS CONSIGNMENT STORES I HAVE LOVED

That Was Then

My husband has always loved consignment shopping.  Over the years he’s found some consignment store jewels.  My mother, a child of the Depression, looked down on anything that wasn’t brand new.  I’m somewhere in-between.  Some of my favorite clothes have been hand-me-downs from Mom and Aunt Edie, but when it comes to home furnishings, I always thought new was better, unless you bought bonafide antiques.

This is Now

We have most of the furnishing we need to move into the new house.  I’ve warned Bill that after we move in, it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame, but that ballgame may take a few decades.  One thing we do need now is  formal dining room furniture.  I went out to all the local furniture stores looking for a brand-spanking new dining room suite.  After awhile, I threw my hands in the air in a gesture of helplessness.  It didn’t matter what the price tag was, you just can’t find real furniture anymore – or at least the good furniture my mom and my aunts taught me to appreciate.

Bill suggested we try the consignment stores.  Since I couldn’t find anything at the other stores, what did I have to lose?  We went with two things to buy.  One was a cabinet to use as the vanity in a powder room and the other was something for the dining room.  I made a list of possible venues.  Here are  some you might enjoy.  I’ll list them in the order in which I visited them, which was geographical from my house in Wylie.

The Consignment Embassy*

This upscale consignment store is tucked away in a Richardson shopping center called The Shire near the intersection of Central and the George.  We’ve sold some items through them and we pass them frequently in our many trips between Wylie and Dallas.  It’s a small store, but they have gorgeous stuff.  You know the kind of place where you really want to back a truck up to the loading area to get one of everything, even if you don’t need any of them.  This place is so snazzy, you’ll have to pinch yourself as a reminder that it’s a consignment place.

The prices range from ridiculously high to ridiculously low.  They have beautiful chandeliers, but we considered the prices to be prohibitive.  At the same time, they were virtually giving away an Arabian silk rug we are still kicking ourselves for not buying – even though we had no idea where we’d use it.

We did find a dining room suite that we really liked, but it was our first place to look, so no way we were going to buy it on the spot.  I’ll go ahead and tell you that the table and chairs remained at or near the top of the list and we made several trips back to the shop in the ensuing weeks.  More about that later.

As far as the staff is concerned they range from detached to ice queen.  Ice queen was there the first day we visited.  We managed to slip in, fall in love and slip out without so much as a “how do you do.”  Perhaps that works well in the consignment business.  I didn’t like it so much.  There is another lady there some times.  She’s friendlier, but leaves you to your own reconnaissance until you indicate you need a little encouragement.  Then she’s fine.  More about that later.

Isn’t consignment shopping fun?  I’ve run out of words for the day, but I’ve still got a lot of shops to cover.  So please come back next week.  We’ll start at Estates Etc.

*I’d give you a link to their website, but it’s down, it’s been down since we started looking weeks ago and it’s still down, but the ice queen doesn’t seem very concerned about it.

Architecture, ART, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, TRAVEL

Headaches and Heart Attacks

Bill mugging for the camera in the water induction machine.
Bill mugging for the camera in the water induction machine.

HEADING TO HEATH: HEADACHES AND HEART ATTACKS WHILE BUILDING IN HEATH

Though building the house in Heath is mostly a joyful experience, there have been hiccups. Ya gotta take the good with the bad.  So here’s some of the bad.

WATER INDUCTION

I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but it really was bad news.  The drought is effecting the moisture of the ground, deep below houses.  There’s a chance that without the water induction treatment, somewhere down the road there might have been a problem with the foundation – but it was a slim chance that might occur long after we live there and the procedure is very expensive.  It also adds zero to the actual value of the house.  Every penny we spend down in the dirt where no one can see it, is money we can’t spend on making the house pretty.

Waiting for a pretty day to pour concrete
Waiting for a pretty day to pour concrete

CONCRETE BLOW-OUTS

Sometimes after the cables are tightened on a post tension foundation, a few of the cables will pop out of the concrete.  It’s really no big deal.  It means more work, but once it’s fixed it doesn’t compromise the foundation.  Problem is, there was no one to tell us that after 5 PM on a Friday afternoon when we discovered them – and we got the pleasure of worrying about them all weekend long.

True to the contractor’s word, the trouble spots were jack-hammered out, the cables were re-engineered and then they set the forms for concrete to be poured.  Second problem – the weather changed and waiting for the foundation to be fixed slowed down the process – by weeks!

THE FIREPLACE POSTION

The day the framer’s started, Bill met with the foreman and walked him through the entire house pointing out details like where in the laundry room the doggie door would be and how he wanted the fireplace to be positioned.  So, of course, the doggie door went in at the wrong place and the fireplace wasn’t positioned correctly.  The doogie door was a minuscule problem.

The fireplace was a bigger challenge.  See, even though we’d told the general contractor about the problem, the subs were coming in installing the gas, the fire box and the pipe that went up the chimney.  Eventually everything had to be pulled out, pulled down and re-installed.  It didn’t cost anything except time, but when you’re building, time is money.

The Dust Catcher We Didn't Know We Wanted
The Dust Catcher We Didn’t Know We Wanted

THE DUST CATCHER 

I don’t know that they actually have a name, but that’s what I call that place inside that’s directly over the front porch.  Most folks put fake ferns or antique trunks up there.  Well, I don’t like them, so I told the architect we didn’t want one.  What I didn’t realize was that by not having the dust catcher the beautiful window with the princess balcony on it would not only be a faux balcony, it would also be a faux window.

As soon as the sheathing went up we realized that the great view of the fourth fairway which we’d been enjoying during the framing would go away.  It’s the sort of thing that you really can’t “see” on an architectural drawing, but we couldn’t live with it.

Cha-ching!

THE NOOK WINDOWS

So when you enter the house, one of the first things you see is a view of the pond through the breakfast nook windows – or not.  Maybe you’ll just fixate on rails in the middle of the windows and not see anything else.  That’s what Bill saw the day the windows were installed.  Like the dust catcher, it was one of those things  you don’t anticipate as you pore over your plans, but the view is what sold us on the lot.  So – the pocketbook takes another hit.

So that’s a few of the headaches and heart attacks we’ve suferred since we’ve been building.  Now you know why we go everyday to check on things.  Come back next week and see some of the things we’ve picked out for the house.

Architecture, ART, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Gardens, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Update on Building

Heath TX
Before

AS SOME THINGS WENT UP, OTHERS CAME DOWN

Last week I gave you an overview of the progress we’d made on the house. Most of the progress we’ve made has to do with things going up.  but we’ve been just as happy with some of the things which have come down.

CLEARING THE LOT

Heath TX
During

Here’s a news flash!  Builders and clients have different priorities.  Here’s how our lot looked when we found it.  It was spring and things were beginning to turn green around our pond.  In our contract for the land, our developer promised the lot would be cleaned in the next two weeks.  It didn’t happen that way.

Our hope had been to figure out if there were any decent trees in the mess and based on that, which angles had the best view when the trash trees and foliage were gone.  When the trees didn’t come down, then we had to climb through the brush and try to figure it out for ourselves.  That’s when we found out the pond had a bad dose of chiggers.  That’s an asset we’d have been happy to forego.

Heath TX
After

After the lot had gotten it’s water treatment, they showed up to clear the land around the pond.  I envisioned a crew with chainsaws and bulldozers.  What we got were a couple of guys with axes and hand saws.  Still, the lot did get cleared and we were able to finally ascertain exactly what we’d be seeing through the windows.

THE LONE OAK

As an aside, I’ve got to tell you about our oak.  Among all the trash trees an oak struggled for life.  We decided to see if it would thrive after the brush was moved away.

The oak looked pretty pitiful and once the balcony for my office was added, it also blocked the view.  You can see its shadow in the after picture.

Bill and I continued to debate whether we were actually going to keep it.  Eventually, we decided it was both too sick and too much in the way to stay.  I thought that was the end of it for now.  We’d just wait until we were tackling the landscape to get rid of the pitiful thing.

heath TX
Bill the Lumberjack

Au contrare!  The next time we went to the lot, Bill had his chainsaw with him.  It’s an electric chainsaw unworthy of even a bit part in a horror movie, but it was a chainsaw.  He’d researched cutting down trees and was ready to do battle.  Thankfully, one of the guys on the plumbing crew was a little more familiar with the process than Bill and he came out to help.  Bye bye tree.

So far, so good!  But not everything has been easy.  Next week I’ll let you in on some of the headaches and heart attacks.

Architecture, ART, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Catching Up with the Build

Architectural Rendering of Our Dream home
Architectural Rendering of Our Dream Home

HEADING TO HEATH: UPDATE ON BUILDING THE HOUSE

OK, so I abandoned you way back in September. I’d found a rental house and the builders were just about to start on our dream home. Let me catch you up.  

GETTING THE PERMITS

When we built a house in Pismo Beach, California, Bill decided to be our own general contractor.  Being a smart guy, he was thrilled to delegate that job to someone else for this house.  He’s still very involved, but now he can share the headaches.

In Pismo Beach, we got to know the guys in the planning office very well and made some guest appearances at the Planning Commission Meetings.  Whittle and Johnson, the building arm of Whittle Development, took care of the permit process for us in Heath.  Part of that process was a soils test and to our dismay, that test reminded us Texas is going through a drought.  Lucky us, we needed more moisture in our lot.  Cha-ching!

Water Induction System
Water Induction System

So, we had to hire someone to come bore holes and add water.  Then someone else had to come and test the soil again.  Then you repeat the process until the lot has the right amount of moisture.  The water induction equipment was on the lot for about a week and it made a HUGE mess.  I nearly lost a sandal to the gooey result of their work.  Eventually, the permit gods were happy and work started on the foundation.

ENGINEERING THE FOUNDATION

Once the lot was ready, they started digging the foundation and the plumber did whatever it is that plumbers do.  Our foundation is a post tension foundation.  Instead of just pouring a slab on top of the ground, they dig a series of trenches, leaving large columns of dirt standing.  The columns are covered in thick plastic and then bound together with cables.

2014-10-04 17.05.00
Post tension foundations

The day the concrete trucks came, was nearly my last.  I was driving to the lot and as we rounded the corner on our new street Bill started yelling.  I thought I was about to plow into one of the bazillion pick-up trucks driven by the construction workers.  He just wanted me to look at the concrete pouring equipment.

Okay, so it was pretty cool.  The great big boom up in the air, but geez, did he have to scare me so bad?

Concrete trucks on the lot next to us, pouring our foundation
Concrete trucks on the lot next to us, pouring our foundation

Once the foundation was poured, the framers went to work and that’s when it really started to feel like we were going to have a house in Heath.  Those guys were fast.  They started one day and by the next day they were framing the second story and before we knew it the roofers were showing up.

Framing Begins
Framing Begins

Roofing didn’t take very long either and while they roofed the sheathing went up giving shape to the house.  Since then things have seemed to slow down.  Things are happening, for sure, but it doesn’t look very different.  The plumbers, electricians and HVAC guys have been at it like crazy, but it’s hard to get excited about that sort of thing.  Last week they delivered the drywall.  I think we’re going to have a house.

Come back next week and I’ll tell you what was coming down as the house was going up.

The bones of the house
The bones of the house
Roof on and sheathing up
Roof on and sheathing up
The house from the other side of the pond
The house from the other side of the pond
Architecture, ART, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Why I’ve Been Missing in Action

My view of Wylie from my office window.
My view of Wylie from my office window.

HEADING TO HEATH: MISSING IN ACTION

So I moved to Wylie and sort of disappeared off the face of the earth. What’s up with that?

The Real Estate Stuff

Moving takes time.  We moved out of our Dallas home into a rental in Wylie.  Why would we do something like that?  Well, because we’re building a house in Heath.  We wanted to sell our Dallas house and we did, but we had to move before the contractor even started the foundation of the new house.  So we had to find a place to live.

Building a custom house takes a lot of time, too – especially shopping for all the stuff to put inside.  Many builders like to say they build custom homes, but they don’t really.  You go to their selection center and make choices from their offerings.  For this house, our choices are whatever we can find in the world – make that whatever we can find in the world that we can afford.  Balancing our champagne taste with our beer budget is quite a challenge.

The bones of the house
The bones of the new house

We also spend much of our time visiting the build and discussing our concerns with the general contractor and his subs.  It seems as if every day we discover little oops that we have to address.

Lenicam Video Productions

Then there’s my part time job.  It started back in May and it grew.  At first, it was just a few hours a week.  Then I went on vacation.  Then the boss went on vacation.  Then things started snowballing and I found myself working around the clock, writing about Lenicam weddings videos for their website.

Lenicam videographers recording a reception at Ashton Gardens
Lenicam videographers recording a reception at Ashton Gardens

The boss’s goal was to increase his visibility on search engines.  From the beginning I warned him that we’d need to be a little more proactive to really move him up in the rankings, but he told me to cool my jets and keep writing.  Come to find out, he was paying closer attention to what I was saying than I thought.  Right now we’re in the process of revamping the whole website.  I can’t wait to show you what we’ve done.

Windshield Time

I’ve also been spending a lot of time in my car.  Wylie is out in the middle of nowhere.  The freeways and tollways are all about twenty minutes away.  Looking at a map, it appears that Wylie should be more convenient than it is, but it’s not.  We can’t wait to get out of here and get to Heath.  It’s further east, but it’s very close to I-30

So for now, I’ve gotten my ducks back in their row and have carved out some time for blogging.  Chances are that when the Heath house is finished (predictions range from late January to mid-March) I’ll disappear again for awhile.  Thanks for dropping by.  Next week I’ll tell you about some of the fun things we’ve done when we could escape from shopping for tile and light fixtures and cabinets and appliances and paint and …. well, you get the picture.

DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Did We Find Our Rental?

Is this finally Home Sweet Home, for now?
Is this finally Home Sweet Home, for now?

HEADING TO HEATH: DO WE HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE?

Monday night things looked grim.  Yet another landlord had nixed our six-month lease issue and the list of issues with our friend’s house was growing.  After we saw it, we realized the house didn’t have a straight-forward answer to our pet issues. My Precious is house-trained to use a doggie door, but the way the house was set up, we didn’t know where we could put it.

That Left the Wylie House

The Wylie house was our only option, if we didn’t rent my friend’s house.  When Bill first saw that house in Wylie, he hated the floor plan, but that bad floor plan was looking a whole lot better, now.  We had one month, minus one day, to find a place to live.

The Wylie house was within our budget and that counted for a lot.  My friend’s house was 10% over our budget and we’d have to maintain the pool.  When you’re building a house, budget is very important.

Wylie was also a lot closer to our build.  Not only would it take much less time going back and forth, but the gas consumption and wear-and-tear on the car would be less.  Oh yes, and we could get there without going on the tollroad – a savings of over $14oo if the build takes six months.

Then there was my puppy.  You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  She needed a straight shot out her doggie door to her potty space.  She’d had that for fourteen years.  Even if we had figured a way to route her through a sunroom, we’d never have gotten her all the way around the pool before she stopped to do her business.

All things considered, we had to reconsider the Wylie house, bad floor plan and all.  But first, we had to find out if the owner would allow us a six month lease.  Tuesday night, we crossed our fingers and called the Wylie landlord.

Then Out of Nowhere!

The Wylie landlord called back with good news on Wednesday morning.  While Bill was filling out the application, I got a call out of the blue.  An agent I’d talked to on the weekend was calling to let us know her owner had re-canted on the pet thing.  I reminded her that we also had the six month’s lease issue.  We discussed it a bit and she said her landlord would be a fool not to take our contract.  So we decided to go take a look.

It was perfect!  We loved the floor plan.  It was in our budget.  It was three miles from our build.  There were several possible doggie solutions.  Life was good.  We called the agent back and asked her to find out about the six month thing.  We only wanted one landlord checking our credit.  We take our credit score very seriously.

Euphoria Sets In

We were feeling a whole lot better.  We didn’t have an answer yet, but certainly something would work.  Wouldn’t it?

Well, “out of nowhere” didn’t work.  The agent had been so sure, but not sure enough.  I was standing in the grocery store when she called me back and I wanted to throw something.  I called Bill and he sent the application to the Wylie landlord.

We’re Approved

I didn’t sleep much Tuesday night.  Intellectually I knew our credit was great and that we’d be approved, but there had already been so many landmines.  I won’t keep you guessing anymore.  We were approved.  In fact, we’ve moved in and the bad floor plan is a lot better than we thought it would be.

But while we worried about finding someplace to live, a lot more happened.  Come back next week and I’ll catch you up with our build and maybe tell you a few moving adventures.

DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Will We Find a Rental?

You can't live here either!
You can’t live here either!

HEADING TO HEATH: WILL WE FIND A PLACE TO LIVE?

I believe in the power of prayer and friendship. Early on a Saturday morning I made a post on Facebook, “Mission Find-a-Rental is in full swing. I’m hearing a lot of ‘But you have to sign a year’s lease!’, ‘Pets? I don’t think so!’, and ‘Sorry, it’s been leased.’ I think I need a little prayer coverage on this project.”

Help Was on the Way

Almost immediately things improved.  I got some good advise on next steps and the prayer warriors went to work.  One friend offered a guest room.  Another offered up a one bedroom condo.  Another friend had just bought a rental property and offered it “friend-priced” and without a lease term.  None of those exactly fit the criteria we’d set, but they were all better than homeless.

That afternoon we ventured out to look at some properties, hoping that someone would fall in love with us, in spite of our pets and our six months lease.  The pickings were mighty slim.  There was our friend’s new rental, but it was about twenty miles and $3.92 toll away from Heath, not to mention that the “friend price” was still a little steep for our budget.  There was one house in Rockwall we’d seen, but we hadn’t confessed we only wanted six months, yet.  We had an appointment to see a house in Wylie on Sunday and were trying to get an appointment with another.

The Sunday Tour 

So, Bill wasn’t crazy about the house we toured.  We drove by every other possible rental in all the communities on the eastern side of Dallas, but each one seemed worse than the other.  We were stumped.  We decided that first thing Monday morning we’d confess to the Rockwall agent that we wanted a six months lease.  If Rockwall rejected us, that left my friend’s house.  Still no more perfect than it had been the day before, but looking a whole lot better.

Down to the Wire

Monday marked thirty days until we had to be out of our house.  Bill called up the Rockwall agent, did his best sales thing and was shut down – completely.  Other than that, we had one more appointment we’d set.  We decided to go see my friend’s house after that, because then we’d know there were no other options.  Our budget would be busted and every time we went to the build, we’d pay about $8 in tolls.  That adds up fast.

What were we going to do?  Come back next week and I promise, there’s still hope.

DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Mission Find-a-Rental Revisited

No Pets Allowed!  One Year Lease Required!  Still on the Market!
No Pets Allowed! One Year Lease Required! Still on the Market!

HEADING TO HEATH: STILL LOOKING FOR SOMEPLACE TO LIVE!

With my list in hand I started to make calls. It was an eye-opening experience.

It’s Off the Market

About the first zillion calls I made for rental houses were completely useless.  The houses were “off the market,” “leased,” “gone” and otherwise unavailable.

This is when I started worrying.  I’d thought this was going to be easy.  Do a little research.  Make a few calls.  Take a little walk-through.  Rent a house.

It’s Available, BUT…

Finally, I found a few (very few) homes that were actually available – but only up to a point.  We were starting out with two strikes against us….make that three.  The first two were Precious and Princess.

For the uninformed, Precious is my beloved Shih Tzu.  She’ll be 14 years old in a few days.  She doesn’t shed, stink, bite, chew or otherwise mess up our house.  She’s trained to use a doggie door and does so like a trooper.  Outside, all she needs is a small area cordoned off for her business.  I understand that there are dogs who will destroy everything in their path, but those dogs are not Precious.

Princess is our cat.  She was rescued from the pound and is a few years younger than Precious.  Like all cats, she very low profile.  She uses her litter box without fail.  She’s both spayed and de-clawed.  She does not chew or claw or any other nasty stuff.

I know everyone says that about their pets, but mine really are virtually invisible, except for the gallons of love we get from them and the occasional outrageous vet bill.  We’re willing to pay pretty much any pet deposit anyone wants to charge, because as long as it’s refundable, we know we’ll get it back.  (Shame on those folks who want the pet deposit to be non-refundable and you know who you are.)

Anyway, there are a lot of landlords out there that won’t even consider renting to people with pets.  I think this is a cause someone should take up.  Used to be you couldn’t rent if you had kids.  That’s called discrimination this day and time.  My pets are my children, so if you won’t rent to us, then you’re discriminating against me.  If you know of a petition I can sign somewhere, I’m in!

The Other Problem

The final hurdle between me and a rental was a one year lease.  Now it would have been very easy to lie about the whole thing and let the chips fall where they might, but that’s not how I do things.  We were willing to sign a six months lease.  We were willing to pay more per month and we would have even paid a penalty, but we were turned down left and right.  No shoes,  no shirt, no service!

So what happened?  I’ll tell you next week.

DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Mission Find-a-Rental

This house is not for rent!
This house is not for rent!

HEADING TO HEATH: WHERE TO LIVE IN THE MEANTIME

So last week I mentioned we were having a little difficulty finding a place to rent.  Well, actually I think I said I thought we were going to be homeless.  Let me tell you about it.

Blinded by a Misconception

When Bill and I returned to Texas from California, eight years ago, we needed a rental and fast.  I called a real estate agent friend of my mom’s and by the end of the day, we’d found something.  A year later, Bill came home from Iraq and the tiny two bedroom duplex I’d been renting was suddenly too small.  I did a little research and in no time at all, we found something and moved in.  This is one time that my previous experiences were misleading.

Beware of Craig’s List

For my first stab at finding us a rental this time around, I went to Realtor.com.  Bill didn’t like what I found, so he took the lead.  The first thing he did was lead us into trouble.

I am not a fan of Craig’s List, but Bill uses it all the time.  He’s bought books there, sold all kinds of things and also finds different kinds of contractors and workmen for the house.  This time he found trouble.

During his first search, he found a house for rent that was right around the corner from where we’re building.  The rental was only slightly above the budget he’d given me and Bill was ready to lease it sight unseen.  I’m usually a worry-wart about things like that, but hey, I figured we’d only be there a year at the most and I can deal with almost anything for a year.

The Craig’s Lister sent us an application.  Bill had it all filled out and was ready to send it back when a little bird sang in his ear, “Beware the Ides of March.”  Well, actually, Bill just got cold feet about sending all that information to someone he didn’t know.  So he had me check the tax records.  The Craig Lister was not the owner of the home.  OOOOPS!

The Do-Over

Besides living through a cautionary tale about Craig’s List, Bill learned several things while he was researching rentals.  For instance, he’d been unrealistic with the budget he’d given me.  No way were we going to find something within the range he originally gave me.  So he raised the budget by a couple of hundred dollars.  He also found out researching rentals is a lot of work, so he delegated it back to me with a long list of the rentals he’d found on a variety of rental sites.

His priority was for homes that were being rented out by their owners, rather than homes being leased by agents.  I just wanted to rent from someone who didn’t steal our identity and empty our accounts.

With fear and trepidation I started trying to figure out if the homes on Bill’s list were really real or just another scam.  I quickly found that most of the houses were on Zillow.  So I poked around Zillow a little more.  The new price range made things a lot easier.

Eventually, I had to quit researching things on the internet and start making calls, but I’ll tell you about that next week.

DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL

Business with Friends

The Sadeks and their escrow officer

HEADING TO HEATH: DOING BUSINESS WITH FRIENDS

Well, closing day is still a few weeks off, but everything is going smoothly – at least as smoothly as anything Bill and I ever expect – but there are a lot of things are going on.  In other words, the deposit money went hard.

Escrow Things

First, I want to give major kudos to my best friend, Deborah Shera.  She just happens to be an escrow officer with Chicago Title.  She usually does huge commercial closings, but since she loves me, she agreed to take on my teeny tiny little escrow.  Since we are acting as our own real estate agents, it’s been nice to have a friend keeping her eye on my escrow. Her client list reads like an issue of Fortune magazine.  If you’d like to be on that list give her a call at 214-987-6782.

Anyway, things are trucking along in that department.  The buyers are as anxious to move in as we are to get that call saying, “The money has been wired into your account.”

More Kudos

Our Guy for Real Esate!
Our Guy for Real Esate!

My next kudos go to another good friend, Michael Picolo.  I haven’t known him as long as I have Deb, but that’s because he was probably in diapers when I met Deb.  Nonetheless, I’ve known him for over a quarter of a century.  Michael is a real estate agent with Ebby Halliday and he was my Plan B.

Well, actually, he was my Plan A.  Mr. Bill is the one who wanted to try and sell this house ourselves.  If it had been up to me, I would have just called Michael and been done with it.

We did call Michael though, because we wanted him to know what we were up to and we wanted his input on the price.  He “got” our house and understood its value.

I’ve found that most agents just throw a few comps into a software program and wave it around like the Holy Grail.  Michael knew our house and he knew the market, so he was able to give us a real number, not a piece of marketing.

He also knew us and figured with our experience in real estate and our expertise in marketing, we could get it sold ourselves.  He was absolutely golden throughout the whole process.  Calling to see how things were going and bolstering my confidence, because I really just wanted to hand it over to him, in spite of Bill’s insistence that we could do this.  When we got a buyer, Michael was the first to congratulate us.

Fast Forward to Mission Find-a-Rental

One morning Bill and I woke up and realized that we’d have to move in about a month.  I hit all the rental sites I knew and started trying to find something.  I suggested calling Michael, but Bill said, “He doesn’t make enough money on a rental to justify bothering him.  You can do this.”  Isn’t it amazing how often Bill has to keep telling me the same thing.

I dug into the task, but it was hard going.  For one thing, the market is hot.  As I called around trying set up viewings of different properties, I heard, “It’s already been leased,” a lot.  I also found out that pets are not universally adored.  Oh and we weren’t sure how long we were going to need the house, so we really didn’t want to sign a lease we might have to break.

So, after a couple day of banging my head against a brick wall, I made a post on Facebook telling my friends I might need a little prayer coverage on the project.  I have amazing wonderful friends who not only started praying, they started coming up with solutions.  Deb had already offered up her guest room.  Another friend had a small condo we were welcome to.  Other people had some really good suggestions of various sorts.

Then Michael called.  He had a solution for me.  Come back next week and I’ll tell you about it.