Monday, August 31, 2015

Move to Hillsborough

The moving saga continued as the movers showed up on Wednesday. They arrived in Bradford at 10:45 a.m. and by the time they finished unloading in Hillsborough, it was 7:30 p.m. That cost me a pretty penny and they couldn’t even fit it all in the truck. I also had my car loaded.

The rooms in this small house are packed. Yikes! I will be picking away at it for days. At that time of night, I just threw the new sheets onto the new bed. Big mistake not washing them first… but then, I never wash things first.

Needless to say, the smell of the pillow cases made me horribly sick and I couldn’t find where the Advil was packed. I pulled the pillow cases off the pillows around 3 a.m. By then, the damage was done. I wasn’t sick to my stomach. I just felt headachy and miserable. And going from a king-size bed to a queen-sized, I was afraid I’d fall out of bed every time I rolled over.

The sick feeling carried into the morning. It’s hard to accomplish anything when you’re not feeling well. TDS was to come between 8 a.m. and noon. For some reason, I expected them early. I’d pick at putting some things away then sit down for a bit. This was not a good time to not feel well. There was too much to do. And I couldn’t wash the sheets because I hadn’t brought the laundry detergent. (It probably didn’t help that I hadn’t eaten since Tuesday night.)

TDS showed up at 11:55 a.m. “We said between 8 a.m. and noon,” he said. The work to hook up the fiber optics and make sure TV, phone, and internet were working took all afternoon. He wasn’t finished until 3:45 p.m. That took my whole day. There were still a lot of things in Bradford to get.

I made phone calls and my brother Don and his wife, Carol, along with my friend Annette Vogel agreed to help on Friday.  I arrived first and started loading more items in the car. Annette arrived and began loading her car, too. Don and Carol packedd their truck and trailer. Nan McCarthy showed up and we packed up her car, too, and there were still things left behind. How am I going to be able to get it all?

The unload took awhile and rooms were packed tighter and many items were left outside. People are going to think I’m a hoarder… maybe I am. Everyone left and I settled my aching body down to check out the new TV reception. Fiber optics does have better picture and sound. 

The next day I was freaking about who I could get to help. Everyone was busy. I broke down and called Adam, my younger son, to beg for help. He lives over an hour away and I hated to bother him. I didn’t have to beg, he agreed to come up. Nan McCarthy and her sister, Clare arrived at the new home and were going to start sorting and organizing all the boxes. They also put things for free out at the curb.

Adam and I managed to fit the remainder of the things in his truck, trailer, and my car. By Saturday afternoon, I was done in Bradford and left the keys behind. It felt really strange leaving. That house I loved was no longer home. It was bittersweet.

The McCarthy sisters were gone when we got to the Hillsborough house. I showed Adam around then we began the slow process of unloading. It doesn’t help that I can’t do much and I’m very slow. We got his truck emptied and we decided that my car could wait. It was getting late and I wanted the vertical blinds put up in the kitchen and mini blinds in my bedroom. By the time that was done, it was 8:30 p.m. I said I’d handle everything else. Adam left and I collapsed on the couch… another day without eating.

I am officially a resident of Hillsborough now. I’ll say more later about the moving process. There are also many people I want to thank for putting up with my crying and whining. I am so grateful to family and friends who helped, not only with the physical, but those who kept encouraging and supporting me when I was so down.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Emotional Roller Coasters and House Update

It’s interesting when I am able to relax and reflect on my state of mind. For a person who normally considers herself happy, I’ve been a wreck lately. One day I’m up and the next day I have to be scraped off the ground with a shovel.

I’m supposed to be happy. I have a new house and will be starting a new chapter in my life. But today I am not feeling it. There is still too much to do here with the packing, plus I’ll be moving into a home that’s not the house of my dreams. Yes, it was my choice. Yes, I settled after weighing the pros and cons.

The home and septic inspections went fairly well on Friday. There are a few issues, but nothing that can’t be remedied. However, it seems that the more time I spend at the new house, the less I like about it. It’s too late now and I wouldn’t back out anyway. I have to live with my decision and it will be okay… eventually… maybe… someday. It will.

The new kitchen won’t go in until winter. The garage can’t be built until next spring at the earliest. I can’t get a plumber to update the bathroom (which needs to be done for personal safety) for a few weeks. I’m going to move into a home that at the moment looks ugly to me. Tomorrow I will call to get a new heating system along with a/c, but that probably won’t be able to be done right away and to move into a place without a/c… well, you don’t want to be around me when I’m hot and miserable. 

I know, I know – eventually I’ll get it fixed up. It’s just with my present state of mind, to move into a place that’s not pretty or comfortable will add to that downward spiral. And I should know better. I do know better and I know everything will start to come together after I move in. These next two weeks are going to be hell on me.

Then yesterday I found out that the septic in this current house will be replaced before I move out. The septic guy is going to cut down the crabapple and peach trees that I love. I know. It’s no longer my property, but to see these two trees go will be hard. The birds and other critters that use them have given me much enjoyment. Knowing it needs to be done is one thing, but to actually see the trees gone will be sad. The peach tree was my mother’s. My brother gave her that tree. We brought it here when we moved, but it’s too big to move to my new home.

Oh, these emotions are killing me.

So, one thing I will do this week is go shopping. Shopping is supposed to make one happy, right? I’ll get a new stove and refrigerator, new plumbing fixtures (most current ones leak and they’re ugly), shades for the windows, new bed and bedding, a new couch, and I’ll order new flooring. Maybe I’ll even pick out some paint and primer because those walls definitely need a happy, bright color. 

I’ll have to plan painting and cleaning parties for the following week. I’m looking to make the official move-in day Friday, Aug. 28. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Broken Dreams

I dreamed for years of my someday home, my forever home. I planned and made lists of what I’d have in my ultimate home. I visualized (as much as I can visualize) this home, and yes, throughout the years, the dreams changed and evolved. It was never about opulence or luxury. I never cared for fancy or high-end. It was never about expensive appliances or massive palace-like buildings. I look for quiet, simple comfort.

Learning to live alone had its difficulties. I knew it was going to be hard and there are times when the emotions and loneliness weigh heavy. I’ve reached that point within myself where it’s time to move on; time to go after that dream home. I waited for years for this. I gave up a lot of me and spent a long time building me back up and discovering who I really am. I changed, evolved, and finally found a lifestyle with which I am happy… except for that dream home. 

But have I waited too long? I was in limbo for the past 20 plus years and I thought I was finally going to settle down in my dream house. My dreams, as simple as I thought they were, seem to be impossible to achieve. I am challenged in every direction and after reaching a point where I never thought I’d have to compromise on what I wanted, I feel I am falling into less and less of what I want. 

I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of living in limbo. I want to live my life; a life which was put on the back burner to get this house. Yep, I’m settling, but at the moment, it looks like I’m settling for less-than. Where are my dreams?

(This is where I am today in this emotional roller coaster in dealing with real estate.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

So Much to Think About

Every time I turn around there’s another decision to make. I haven’t even made definite choices on the last things running through my mind. I’m not sleeping well and my brain and body feel so tired. Have I mentioned before that house-buying and moving are awful?

I look around and even though I feel I have accomplished  a lot, there is still much more to do. I can’t take it all and I don’t want to take it all, but what do and can I take? How do I know what I’ll want once I move to the new home? I’m heartsick over it and can’t get rid of stuff fast enough. Most will probably end up in the dumpster.

The big question to what I want answered is how to best utilize space. My goal is to be more organized and have separate storage for each category of my art: writing, photography, drawing, jewelry-making, etc. One entire spare bedroom will be taken up just as a huge walk-in storage closet with designated shelves and spaces.

I have three printers (for the photography) on three small tables on wheels. There’s a sideboard in the kitchen. I can’t keep all. Should I keep the smaller tables or should I use the sideboard and put the printers on that? I wish I could see what it would look like ahead of time. (sigh).

I can’t even decide on which day to officially move in. Official possession of the property will take place on Aug. 21 and I have until Aug. 31 to be out. I, at least, need to get the new flooring and carpeting down before bringing in furniture and replacing the bathtub/shower with a walk-in shower is a top priority. (The last time I stepped over a tub wall, I wrecked my back and it hurt for days). 

All concentration is on renovations and every once in awhile I wonder about other items to make my new home more new and personal. Yes, I do plan to buy a smaller bed which means new bedding, but what about other linens? Every time I do laundry, I spend time cutting threads off towels and wash cloths. Could it be time to get new ones? It’s not like I need to buy a lot. 

The set of pans I use are almost 20 years old and some of the handles are getting loose. (That was the green set when I moved to Hampton.) Could I allow myself to get a red set which would go with the color scheme in the new kitchen? I saw a set at Kitchen Collections in Tilton last month. I love red accents in the kitchen. I’d like a red microwave, too. (Already have a red coffee maker). 

So many decisions. It’s hard to hold off for another two weeks. The home and septic inspections need to be done. I feel the house is mine, but it isn’t official yet, so I have to wait. I really can’t do anything until I’m handed the keys.

I have made a few decisions in spite of all my whining. (Yes, I’ll admit I’m a whiner.) The master bathroom is tiny and it doesn’t have a window (horribly small for a master bath and notice I’m not calling it an en suite as sweet it is not). I plan to paint it a pale lavender to give it a pop of color while also keeping it light. Replacing the full-size tub with a smaller walk-in shower will allow room for a small linen closet (of which there isn’t one at the moment — shows you how small that bathroom is). 

The flooring that I fell in love with at Home Depot will look beautiful with the main wall color of the rest of the house. I’ll probably keep some of the curtains from this house, but there are no blinds on any of the windows which will be another expense.

Excitement runs side by side with fear: fear of the dwindling bank account, that something will be found wrong during the inspection… oh, the myriad of worries. Jeez, I’m turning into my mother, ha ha.

It’ll all work out.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hunt is Over But More Work Needed

I fell into a pit of despair over the house hunt during the last of July and spent days in tears and sometimes outright sobbing. There just wasn’t a house that fit me in the area I wanted to live. Every time I left Bradford to go hunting, tears would come to my eyes as I felt I was leaving home.

I stopped talking about it except to a few people and for a week or so, I was a miserable wretch. Then one morning I woke up knowing that I had to make a decision on something no matter what. I would have to settle because I was dead set against renting until something I wanted came along. Who knew how long that would take and in the meantime, I’d be watching my bank account dwindle away. No, I needed to settle. I’d been visualizing my dream home for so long, the thought that I wouldn’t even be getting close was discouraging.

I made arrangements to look at a few homes in the Emerald Lake Village District (ELVD) of Hillsborough. I don’t want to move to Hillsborough, but the price of the homes would allow me to at least do some updates to “make it mine.” 

Don, Carol, Nan, and Clare met me at the first house at 11 Ellen Brook. Of course, I found fault and Don pointed out a couple of issues I didn’t notice. I also looked at other homes in the area. There is always something to not like and one of my priorities is to have the space to build a garage.

Days went by and I searched the website for home. I couldn’t find anything to fit me. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Ellen Brook. The brook kept calling me. I could hear the water babbling over the rocks and I went back for another look-see. I disliked driving there, but when I drove up in front of the house, I felt I was home. Nan, Clare, and another friend, Deb K., joined me. 

We looked around with more of a fine-toothed comb. I dislike finding fault with everything, but I need to know what needs to be done. And of course, the moment you notice a little issue, you can’t help looking at it. There is much more to this place that needs to be fixed than I originally noticed. Still, if I could get it at a decent price, I could afford to renovate. (It’s the only way to make a place “mine.)

I discussed offers with Laura Hallahan of Tall Pines Realty and we agreed on a price. Of course, the owners came back only going down $4,000 from the asking price. The house isn’t worth that, not even close! It’s assessed far lower. I came up $5,000 from my offer and they came down a little more; still nowhere close to what I’d be willing to pay. I could not stop thinking about that house. It’s mine. I could feel it.

I needed a day off and Carol and I went to Concord on errands. We also went to Home Depot and looked at kitchens, appliances, bathrooms, and flooring. The only thing I totally fell in love with was an Autumn Gold Pecan laminate flooring.

The owner came back and said they wouldn’t go lower and I walked. I was disappointed, but not totally surprised. I began searching the website again. There is absolutely nothing I even wanted to waste my time looking at. Now what will I do?

A day later, Laura called to say the owner agreed to come down to my top price. I agreed and was so excited. I started messaging and calling people. Then Laura emailed to say the owner wanted to hold off, that her father wanted her to hold out for more money. I was devastated. How could she agree to my price then renege? I know, it was her right, nothing was signed at that point. I was crushed. This emotional roller coaster is killing me.

The next day Laura messaged to say I got the house. I was pleased, but didn’t allow myself to get totally excited this time. I went to the office and signed the new agreement. I wouldn’t feel totally confident that I got it until the owner signed the agreement and the following day she did. The house on Ellen Brook is mine and I finally felt confident to talk about it and posted pictures on Facebook.

Now comes additional stress. The home inspection is in one week and closing is in two weeks, Aug. 21. I have to be out of this house by Aug. 31 which gives me 10 days to fix up as much as I can. I am looking to replace the heating; it’s kerosene and I’ll probably go with LP and add a/c. The roof probably needs to be replaced. The ugly, industrial carpeting the owner installed so they could say the place was rehabbed has to go. The tiny master bathroom has a tub/shower and I need a walk-in shower. The kitchen needs redoing. And all this isn’t even counting the garage or painting the interior. There’s more, too.

I need to decide what needs to be done before moving in. I have the week between the signing of the papers and when I have to be totally out of this house to get as much done as I can. Contractors need to be scheduled, materials chosen, and addresses changed. Oh, my poor head! My lists to do grow longer.