Category Archives: General

… we’re still here.

Niko & Puck

Niko and Puck, just waking up.

Unfortunately, we haven’t had a house showing in two weeks now… this is getting a bit frustrating, and we’d like to move before this winter.

We’ve changed our criteria a bit. After looking at houses we can afford on 5 acres and seeing the shape they are in (one said “DO NOT ENTER FOR YOUR HEALTH. HAZARDOUS MOLD.”), we decided to look for slightly more expensive houses on one-acre lots in the Twin Cities Suburbs. Blaine, Coon Rapids, etc. There are a lot of nice places in Ramsey – so there’s a possibility.

But… I think we need to put off the house hunting until my house starts looking like it’s going to sell. Blech.

A house in Zimmerman


Last weekend I looked at a few more houses. Chris is taking a second look at this house today. It’s a modular home, on 5 acres of land about 6 miles out of Zimmerman. The house itself neds a lot of work – the people who owned it before were obviouslly in the process of updating it when they were foreclosed on. But the price is not bad, and we might just be able to put in hardware floors before moving in. Mostly, the work that needs to be done is cosmetic… paint, carpet stretching, trim, etc.

The proprety line actually goes back quite a bit farther than I am standing taking this picture. Here’s an aerial view:


Kallie’s New Hiding Spot

Kallie in the window

At least this is a spot in the house that I expect she can get to. Once I found her in the wall, behind the air return grille. Another time we were watching television and the rest of the animals informed us that Kallie was in the ceiling. Sigh.

We had three house showings on Tuesday. The first and third were the same couple – they decided to come back with one of their brothers and dad. Their second visit took an hour and a half, and it sounds like they really like the place. I guess the dad went through the house “with a fine tooth comb” and the only thing he had to comment on was the condition of the front (cement) steps. I had briefly considered the steps… but that was $1,000 that I think was better spent elsewhere (the new 200 Amp electric upgrade, for example…).

I haven’t heard anything yet, and we also haven’t had any showings since then. I was quite determined to have the house sell this week – we’ll see what comes of it.

“Don’t Forget Us!”

Don’t Forget Us!

Niko and Kallie got wind that moving plans had started, and wanted to make sure they got packed as well. They’ve been pretty good packing helpers, really.

My house is on the market! Finally – a month later than I was hoping, but it’s listed. Here’s the online listing. It’s priced to sell – I may have been able to get more out of it, but then 10% of the houses in my town are for sale. We had one couple look at it yesterday, and they stayed for 1 1/2 hours. Someone else is coming tomorrow morning to look at it. Our Realtor is very optimistic that it will sell quickly – we’ll see.

It’s kind of nice having the house super-clean all the time. But it’s a pretty big production to get ready for a house showing: remove extra clutter, put the cats in a dog kennel in the garage, put all the cat and dog stuff in the garage… and take the dogs to the park.

I’m determined that we’ll get an offer on it this week. Chris is sure we’ll get multiple offers, which will drive the price up. Gee, that would be nice!

Home Staging

Dark paint?

Brown walls in the living room? What do you think?

I had a Home Stager come through our house on Saturday morning. I used to host her website, but she’s “unofficially” doing the staging now, so cancelled it. I like doing business with people who do business with me – so I gave her a call. And I’m really glad I did!

You look through Home Staging websites with before/after pictures and think, “Hey, I can do this myself.” And I thought I could too. But having someone else go through your home makes you realize things you never would have noticed – every-day things that you’re used to living with and wouldn’t think buyers would be turned off by… little things that make a huge difference. I had my list of things left to do, and the stager sent me a loooonnnnggg list of completely different things! And here, I thought she was just going to come tell me where to position the furniture.

For example – we painted the old 70/80s brown panels in the basement a few years ago. The stager said we should also paint the trim and metal support beams (there was an earthquake in Morris in the 50s, did you know that?) to match the walls. It was a tedious job – but it made a HUGE difference.

She suggested painting the living room REALLY DARK, which surprised me. I picked up the closest color sample at Ace Hardware, just to see. Here’s another picture:


… It is WAY DARKER in person than the photos seem. Actually, the color she suggested is a bit lighter, and less red. Here’s the paint card – she suggested Wheat Ridge, but the closest pre-mixed sample was Wicker:


So, I don’t know. We finished painting the kitchen today, with the color she suggested. I like the color. I think I will like the dark living room color, but I’m afraid of what potential buyers will think.

… we have a lot of work left. To make matters more difficult, I have a TON of food co-op work to do, and TON of website work. I told the co-op board that they need to find a replacement by July 1st… but that’s another whole saga.

Now, back to work!