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Thoughts about a house
Old 03-09-2006, 08:01 PM   #1
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Thoughts about a house

We're thinking of selling our house, and it hasn't been easy since it's such a great house.* *Preparing myself for the sale got me thinking about homes.

First, let me tell you the story of our move.* * We bought a property a couple years ago, ostensibly for investment.* *I love waterfront property as an investment.* *As my gramps the real estate tycoon used to say, "they ain't making any more waterfront."

We fell in love with the view, the bright southern exposure, the water, and the biking/walking-distance proximity to places we like to go.* *So, we started camping out at the beach house, and we eventually stopped going home to the main house.

I wanted to keep hard real estate as part of my portfolio, so I decided to just call the old house our investment property and the new house our main residence.* *Now, we're ready to sell the old house to ensure that we get the crazy capital gains gift that our fearless leaders crafted for us.

But it's hard to let go.* * The old house is magical.* *It's a timberframe made from 400-year-old firs that were recycled from a local pier.* * It will surely last for 100's of years, and our original plan was to keep it in the family *forever*.

It's in a forested area by the water.* *Quiet and serene.* *In the afternoon, the light reflects off the water and dances on the walls.* * And there's plenty of local wildlife.* * Deer, eagles, owls, woodpeckers, racoons, and slugs mostly.

The only downside is that the place is pretty dark due to all of the wood.* * And it's a long hilly walk/ride to any nearby amenities.

So, ultimately, we decided to keep the bright and practical beach house and sell the magical timberframe family estate.

Have you ever owned something of irreplaceable quality that made no sense to keep?* * It used to seem like the "family estate" thing was sort of the holy grail of houses, and it was a really great place to live, but daily practicality seems to trump planting long-term roots.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-09-2006, 08:46 PM   #2
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Have you ever owned something of irreplaceable quality that made no sense to keep?* * It used to seem like the "family estate" thing was sort of the holy grail of houses, and it was a really great place to live, but daily practicality seems to trump planting long-term roots.
Never bonded with any of our homes cause it always seemed leaving meant something better was on the horizon.* I would have kept the house I grew up in, but that was impractical big time.* I think I'm going to bond with our next/last house much better.
I do regret letting a couple of classic cars go a few years back.* On the other hand, cars can be as bad as houses.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 07:02 AM   #3
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Re: Thoughts about a house

I have never been in that position either. Wab, show us some pictures. It sounds lovely. But it also sounds like the other place is now home.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 09:14 AM   #4
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Re: Thoughts about a house

over the years i've planted such wonderful gardens around my house that people actually stop in off the street requesting tours. there's a canopy of seven scrub pines and a huge sandbox tree with about 35 species of palms underneath. i've lost track of how many trees & other plants make up this urban forest just blocks from downtown fort lauderdale. now i'm planting a perimeter of bamboo to protect my privacy from the minimansions being constructed all around us.

so i understand your plight. it will be hard to leave here. but if i later sell this house, it will buy me such an amazing boat that would bring me to the most beautiful places. or i could buy an acre of hawaiian jungle. how sweet would that be.

so as hard as it might be to give up your timber, how nice to be able to find solace at your beach.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 09:20 AM   #5
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Wab, I completely understand. My childhood home sits empty now, but full of a generation of memories - neither my brother or I will ever live there but can't bring ourselves - yet - to dismantle it.

We attach sentiments and emotions to the place where we had good experiences. My current house is a pile of junk to all practical analyses, but to me it's almost like a second skin. I've spent 17 years here and have a hard time imagining leaving it. Although I would certainly like more space, and better insulation and a larger yard and a nice fireplace, I'd still rather stay here.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 09:22 AM   #6
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Aside from having a garage, and the extra privacy, a house is mostly a big hole where the money goes... I could live in an apartment or condo just as easily, and may just do it when the illusive retirement finally arrives. No more fire ants, crabgrass, leaking plumbing, leaking roofs, shrubs that need trimming, etc.

But I would miss my garage!!
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 09:41 AM   #7
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Re: Thoughts about a house

My current home is my 8th house since I starting moving around the country 30+ years ago. There is no family home filled with childhood memories of my kids growing up. The current house is larger than we need but serves our purposes for the present. When our kids all move away we will sell it and move elsewhere.

We also own a summer home in the mountains nearby. It is a great place to go to get away from it all but it is a lot of physical work to keep the woods and nature from taking it over. We have thought about leaving it in the family but we don't think the family really gives a darn about it. They come to visit from time to time but don't seem too crazy about it. When we move we will most likely sell it too. For now, we are still enjoying the solitude and enjoyment we get from it. After we stop working we may spend more time there for a while. We thought about moving into the cabin and selling the house but it is too far from the grandkids and is a pain to get to...winter is a nightmare due to 10+ foot snow levels most of the winter. Some folks do live in the area but have lots of toys to get the snow out of their way.

We would rather live on a beach somewhere but can't afford what it would take to do that. Renting for a month or two will have to do.

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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 10:46 AM   #8
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Wow I didnt think the market was down THAT much

Dang Depression...
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 12:25 PM   #9
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
..Have you ever owned something of irreplaceable quality that made no sense to keep?...*
Oh yeah... well, the quality part may be debatable - - - two cars;* Chevelle and Impala.* They are very impractical, but they're an extension of us (how sad is that?), it's impossible to send them on down the road.

Oh well.* I figure everyone has their vice.* We try to limit ours to the cars.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 12:48 PM   #10
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Wab, show us some pictures.
Sure!* *And PM me with your offers.*

I just grabbed these pics off the web from the builder and some of the vendors he used (which featured the house in their ads).* *We changed the wall color from that green to "navajo white" to brighten the place up a bit.







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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 01:00 PM   #11
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
I just grabbed these pics off the web from the builder and some of the vendors he used (which featured the house in their ads). We changed the wall color from that green to "navajo white" to brighten the place up a bit.
Wow! That looks like an amazing house! I can see why you are emotionally attached to it.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 01:47 PM   #12
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Wow is right, that's my dream house I'd have if I didn't want to ER so badly. I can see why you wouldn't wan't to sell. Have you thought about renting it?
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 01:51 PM   #13
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Yeah, I'll pipe in here, that is an amazing house ok ! I'd have a hell of a hard time selling that one too ! I've had my share of this issue as well tho. Like bow-tie (nice chevy reference) I'm a car, well, and motorcycle freak. I've got a few old Harleys right now that I bought and fixed to sell, but am having trouble parting with the old girls.
Good luck with this one, I'd have trouble looking at that house in my rear view mirror.....

-Pan-
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 02:11 PM   #14
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Panhead, you sounds like my dh.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 03:15 PM   #15
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Re: Thoughts about a house

It's beautiful Wab!

I envy the house, but not your decision.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 07:46 PM   #16
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Re: Thoughts about a house

I heard a recent quote recently from a junk man:
"You are defined by what you can not get rid of."
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 03-10-2006, 09:24 PM   #17
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Re: Thoughts about a house

I think that there are fewer people with the "ancestral homestead" due to increased mobility.

I think my family lived in at least 6 different places by the time I was 10, and the last "family" place I probably lived in for about 9 years (though my parents were divorced for the last 3 of those).

My grandparent's home was the "family" place for me - they'd bought it in the 40s when all my father's generation were teenagers (or nearly there) and they stayed there the rest of their lives, so we kept going to visit and it was always the "same old place" (or the "old Same place").

I've been in my current home (the only one that I've been an owner of) since 1985, but it is just a house.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 04-01-2006, 02:59 PM   #18
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Time for an update to This Old Thread.

The magical house went on the market this week.

I interviewed a couple of listing agents. I wanted to get independent CMA's and figured I'd probably list with one of those DIY MLS guys. I was upfront with the agents, telling them we were considering keeping the place, might market it ourselves, etc. In the end, I went with an agent who tried to buy the place from us a couple of times and who eventually ended up building her own magical timberframe. She clearly understood the magic, had a good relationship with the builder, and had experience marketing high-end homes. So, I went against my gut-level cheapness, and went with a full-price broker. Rather than try to haggle with her on fees (i.e., reduce her incentive), we agreed that if closing a deal came down to not quite getting the price we wanted, we would have wiggle room with the listing fees to ensure that we closed happily ever after.

Initially, I had planned to sell pretty much as-is, continue to defer the deferred maintenance, and to leave a bunch of our stuff in the house so I wouldn't have to schlep much until we closed a deal. I was overruled on all counts. We spent two weeks schlepping, cleaning, refinishing, landscaping, contracting, and staging. It was exhausting but well worth it. I fell in love with the house again (but there's no way I'm moving my stuff back in again), and we had a record-breaking broker's open house. Even the original architect came by and basically gloated about the place.

To create a competitive bidding environment, our agent didn't want the house shown until a few days after the listing became active. And we said we'd review offers tomorrow. I think it worked. We had people flying out to see the place, and we're told that offers will be presented tomorrow afternoon.

I really have no idea if we priced correctly, if the place is being marketed correctly, or if the agent's tactics will pay off. We'll know more tomorrow....
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 04-01-2006, 03:32 PM   #19
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Re: Thoughts about a house

I see why the decision to sell was so hard. I love the fireplace. We've always wanted one of those. (Rumsford??)

The house my parents raised all five of their daughters in would be our "ancestral homestead". When it became too expensive to live in, as well as the time devoted to it's upkeep, they sold. That was almost 30 yrs ago. The family that bought it still lives in it today. It's a beautiful lake home. I know that one of my sisters would grab it up in a heartbeat if it comes on the market someday. Fortunately she can afford it since the rest of us can't. It would so much fun to have it back in the family again.

Hope everything works out for you wab.
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Re: Thoughts about a house
Old 04-01-2006, 04:44 PM   #20
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Re: Thoughts about a house

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
* So, I went against my gut-level cheapness, and went with a full-price broker.* * *Rather than try to haggle with her on fees (i.e., reduce her incentive), we agreed that if closing a deal came down to not quite getting the price we wanted, we would have wiggle room with the listing fees to ensure that we closed happily ever after.
WAB
Please be sure to update us on how your strategy works. I am also interested in hearing what "tipped" you over to pay the full serve commission structure. I am in this stage and am not wanting to throw 3% out the door for the listing and getting little more than some forms completed and some pics taken.
Thanks
nwsteve
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