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House Sold and We Are Outta Here!
Old 05-14-2008, 02:15 AM   #1
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House Sold and We Are Outta Here!

The house sold in 28 days. We plan on moving out the first week in June. We are amazed at how fast it sold, as are the other neighbors who have had their homes on the market for many months.

Part is luck...the right buyer at the right place at the right time.
Part is preparation...we did A LOT to the house in the past several months to get it ready to sell.
Part is where it is and the rear yard.
Part was waiting to market it at the right time of year here.
Part was having several Open Houses to get traffic through the house.

Our buyer does not have a contigency on the sale and put 50% down. The inspection had two very minor points and the appraisal is very close to the sales price. There have been no insurance claims on the house in 8 years. That leaves only them qualifying for a loan. We believe we have a slam dunk!

The house we are moving into was a contigency contract with our home sale. We got them to drop their price and to move out "early" on short notice. They argeed to our contract changes to move up the various dates on our closing. Slam Dunk!

In two weeks we will be living in our motorhome in the driveway while out stuff awaits loading on the moving truck and the houses to close (both on the same day). Then we drive the 300 miles and stay in a campground for a few days while we get moved into the new house. Once that is done we move the motorhome to the house for storage. That alone saves us $220 per months on storage fees and allows me time to do my own maintenace and upgrades....my other RE hobby that has been on the back burner until now.

We will be enjoying the pool and our casita is already taking bookings from family and friends for the next several months. Being 2 hours from Vegas, an hour from Zion Nat. park and a half day drive to Monument Valley, The Big Ditch (Grand Caynon), Arches Nat. Park, Canyonlands Nat. Park, and Lake Powell. We are also 10 minutes from Snow Canyon State Park, 20 minutes from Gunlock State Park (nice lake) and Qual Creek (another nice lake). The state line with NV is 30 minutes away so Sin is within easy driving distance now. Lotto, slots, girley shows, cheap booze and free drinks while you pertent to play he slots. The buffets are still pretty cheep too.

The house will we a stopping place for kids and other family. We are a one day drive from all of her family. That was in the plan and why we still needed enough bedrooms to house two families at a time. We could do three if we use the motorhome; or four if they bring their own RV which we can park in the driveway. If pressed we could sleep 10 adults and 6-8 kids on the floor. With the motorhome, we can add 2 more adults and at least 5-6 kids.

We are still downsizing some stuff we don't have room for so our dash to the moving date is on.

I can't wait sufing the net in the privacy of my own pool or on the deck watching the grandkids enjoy it. It sure beats sitting in the formal family room trying to carry on a convesation with us.

We will still have a mortgage; about the same as we do now so there will be no additional bite on the family income. We expect to break even on gas, elect. and water compared with our current home. Taxes will be a bit lower due to the smaller home and less Ritzy area.

OUr quality of life is expected to be greatly improved as most of our daily activities will be outside in the morning and evening hours. I can get back into my various motorhome and house projects and then RnR by the pool or in the spa. Fire up the gas grill and enjoy a few adult beverages (home made).

Danger....Rough life ahead!!.............NOT!

We are finally get serious about retiring....none of this messing around with it no....nope...this is the real deal.

Ahhh Yes....the end of the day....it's Homebrew time.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:47 AM   #2
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Steve, sounds like St George, Utah. I've passed thru there a couple times. The scenery is beautiful, but boy it sure does get hot there in the summer.

Congrats on selling your house...not sure where you are moving from, but some friends of mine in the northernmost area of Utah are telling me that the market has not been too bad there yet. All-in-all, sounds like you're a happy camper...er...RVer!

R
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR View Post
The house sold in 28 days. We plan on moving out the first week in June. We are amazed at how fast it sold, as are the other neighbors who have had their homes on the market for many months.

Part is luck...the right buyer at the right place at the right time.
Part is preparation...we did A LOT to the house in the past several months to get it ready to sell.
Part is where it is and the rear yard.
Part was waiting to market it at the right time of year here.
Part was having several Open Houses to get traffic through the house.
Steve, congratulations on the quick sale of your home.

I was curious to know what sorts of things you did to the house to get it ready to sell. Do you mean repairs, or staging the house, or upgrades, or...?

Anyway, I think your situation is terrific and very likely could lead to the easiest move ever!
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:10 AM   #4
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Steve, sounds like St George, Utah. I've passed thru there a couple times. The scenery is beautiful, but boy it sure does get hot there in the summer.
That's when you load up the motor home and head for the mountains!

Steve, I am very happy for you and your DW. Sounds like good fortune smiled on you big time on the sale/purchase but I know you guys worked very hard to make it happen. Enjoy!
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:37 AM   #5
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Sounds like everything is falling into place! It's so nice to hear good news such as this...enjoy!
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #6
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The house will we a stopping place for kids and other family.
There's always a downside.

Congrats.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:45 AM   #7
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That's fantastic Steve. Nice to hear that things are coming together, and so neatly, too.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:47 AM   #8
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Congratulations. Nice to see some good news
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:51 AM   #9
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Congrats Steve,
You have a Casita? Are you part of www.casitaclub.com ?
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:51 AM   #10
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Let me add some congrats, too. You've paid more than your share of dues! Have a homebrew or two for me...
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:12 AM   #11
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Wow! Congratulations on selling your home and moving on. I wish you the very best!
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:41 AM   #12
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Steve, congratulations on the quick sale of your home.

I was curious to know what sorts of things you did to the house to get it ready to sell. Do you mean repairs, or staging the house, or upgrades, or...?

Anyway, I think your situation is terrific and very likely could lead to the easiest move ever!
Mine sold even faster, 2 weeks , so I'll share what I did. We are past inspection and repairs, and the buyer's loan came through, so we're almost ready for closing at the end of the month. All I need is my lien release from CitiMortgage, they keep telling me different stories but a supervisor says he is "100% certain" it was mailed out on Monday. If it doesn't clear soon ...

Anyway, over the last year I've been removing clutter from everywhere, including closets and the garage. I've worked hard on my lawn and get great comments from everyone. I kept up with all maintenance so the bad 3 way light switch was fixed, fence repaired, etc. I felt like making it look as move-in ready as possible was best, and having a near-clean inspection made sure the deal didn't fall through at that point.

Shortly before listing the house, I painted the front door from some dull color to red; re-stained the porch rails; power-washed the driveway and patio; picked up the rest of the clutter, including doing things like putting the toaster and foreman grill in a cabinet; cleaned and recaulked the tub/shower. I got the house as clean as I could and then brought in a house cleaner to do it better--this paid off as the buyer told me realtor she couldn't believe how clean the house was. One thing that worked really well was something called a "magic eraser", a disposable sponge from Mr. Clean. It takes marks off of walls, trim, doors, everything!

My realtor wanted me to stage the house better as my formal living and dining rooms were empty. She suggested I rent or borrow some furniture, and paint a couple accent walls as the house looks pretty white/light yellow throughout. I didn't do this, but I did get some plants and borrowed a couple knicknacks. I felt like having empty rooms was ok and let the buyer imagine their own furniture, rather than getting junk to put in there. I was on the verge of doing the painting when I got my offer.

My carpet was only ok, I decided to just steam clean it and my buyer wants to replace it anyway, so I'm glad I didn't go to that expense.

Basically I kept the attitude that it's a house and not my home, as you want people to imagine it as THEIR home, not yours. We had no pictures or anything personal out.

I kept the house as clean as possible so I'd always be ready for showings, and always allowed a showing anytime (though I would've turned down an unreasonable one). I had about 10 minutes notice for my eventual buyer, so being ready paid off well.

I picked an agent very familiar with my neighborhood. She showed my the current listings and history and coached me to the right price. Basically we looked at other ranches in the neighborhood and used the $/sq ft. They are almost all 10-15 years old so it was a valid way to do it. She did know of a couple houses that had really nice upgrades that explained the outliers that we should ignore. There's little sense in pricing too high unless the house is unique, and even then it's a big risk that probably won't pan out. Mine is cookie cutter house so a high price would be obvious and I'd just lose prospects.

When I bought the house I knew in 5 years I'd be selling it, so I looked at houses then with resale in mind. I didn't do any upgrades because I didn't figure they'd pay off. I did do a decent amount of landscaping because it didn't cost much, and I kind of like the work and seeing the results, and the yard needed it.

With all that, the luck of getting the right buyer was the big thing. But I think you also have to be very ready for whenever that buyer comes.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:48 AM   #13
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Congratulations to you both for quick sales !
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
...
I was curious to know what sorts of things you did to the house to get it ready to sell. Do you mean repairs, or staging the house, or upgrades, or...?
We did several upgrades.
Kitchen...all appliances were replaced last year.
Upstairs bathroom...replaced blue toilet and sink; replaced tile countertop with solid surface, repainted.
Basement full bath...tore out and remodeled from the floor up (left tub in place). New shower tile and plumbing, new countertop, new sinks, new floor tile, new lighting, new toilet new faucets.
Downstairs kitchen...replaced floor, countertop, sink, and re-finished cabinets. Replaced Harvest Gold range with a stainless one.

The tile in these rooms was beyond ugly and was very dated (Think early 1960s). We could have done the other bathrooms too but decided to dress them up rather than tear them down. DW had some nice curtains made for one bathroom and added a bunch of colorful accents to it. Same for the master bath. We changed the window coverings and did a lot of little cosmetic changes to make it look new.

We ripped out some landscaping in the front last Spring and replaced it with more atrractive native plants so it looks new and more interesting.

The rest of the yard was really cleaned up and the winter damage cleaned up. We removed about 1/5 of our stuff to storage and then dressed up the house with a few silk plants and other minor decorations.

We toured several houses that were For Sale in our area and price range to size up our competition and made the decision to spend the $$$ on the remodeling. I believe it was money well spent despite the fact that we knew we would not get it back. We did it to accelerate the sale and it apparently worked. The three other houses on our street that are For Sale have been for many months and may continue for many more. Why? They are overpriced for what they offer the buyer.

We had our own appraisal done before we set the price. We knew about what the market would bear on the age, location, condition, and size of our house. I would check the MLS (public pages) daily to see what was happening in our zip code and in our area. We priced the house to sell; not to sit for a year. We "might" have gotten a few more thousand out of it by waiting but we also had a contract on an other house so selling was a priority...not equity building.

All in all, we did OK. Our equity will make a very nice down payment on the new house and our payments will be about the same due to lower taxes and insurance at the new house.


Hot...Yes....but it is a dry heat.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:33 PM   #15
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Steve and RunningBum, thanks for the descriptions of all you did to prepare your houses for quick sales! You have given me some great ideas of things I could do at some point before putting my house on the market. Thanks.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:47 PM   #16
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Like Runningbum, we had all the carpets and tile floors cleaned. I regrouted two bathroom showers, repainted the whole interior of the house over a 2 year period, repainted all the external door trim, repainted the front door and added new brass kickplate, powerwashed and sealed the driveway, emptied out many closets and two of the bedrooms, took down all personal family photos, cleaned the house and hired a service to keep it that way.

We also made sure we got the dogs and their bed, toys and kennel out of the house for all open houses and showings. We opened all blinds and turned on all lights. Sprayed each area with a citrus air freshner and vacuumed the carpets. We had a showing on a day it snowed and the yard was obscured...that was the day the buyer toured the house.

Go figure, we put a ton of work in the yard and the buyer made an offer with it covered in 3 inches of snow.

In this market one has to be the best for the money. We believe we did that and the two offers we received on the same day would seem to prove it. Especially in our price range.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:58 PM   #17
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Thanks! I made a list of pertinent suggestions from the two of you, to look at as the time gets closer. I'll add these. It's a good start, with tips that are proven because they worked!
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:43 PM   #18
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The more I think about it, you two (RunningBum and Steve) really knocked yourselves out and were rewarded with quick sales. That was a lot of work!! Congratulations to you both.
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:05 PM   #19
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Thanks, you can definitely work to improve your chances of getting lucky. Sounds like Steve had more work to do in an older house. It's definitely a decision you have to make about upgrading or leaving stuff as is in an older house. Probably a lot of people would really not like to do their own fixing up, so upgrading exposes you to more potential buyers, and in this market that was proven to be a good call on his part.
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:07 PM   #20
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Hey, I just had a thought. Southern Utah is and area I plan to visit one day so I might as well just bring my dog and bunk up with you guys for a few weeks.
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