Last year was pretty much miserable so I am really looking forward to some new starts in 2010.
I knew the minute I returned home from my trip that I needed to make a change in address. I placed a "fishing" advertisement on Craigslist.com after researching the sad real estate market of Cape Coral. My goal was to test the market price of my home. Luckily, I must have hit it right! I received several inquiries, two of which saw the home and I received an offer within about 10 days.
During the next 5 weeks, I placed ads for furniture and other large items on craigslist, had two garage sales and spent many hours a day replacing long-neglected things in the house like pool and water filters, smoke monitor batteries and removing wiring, patching wall holes and of course, deep cleaning everything. This was a massive job of putting the house as much as possible into "like new" condition. Did I mention packing stuff for storage? I put not only my back into the job-but my heart-as this was the home that Frank built and loved and I wanted to respect him in this way.
A few days before closing, "Water" things began to happen. I had given my buyers permission to come in and paint and re-carpet and the Buyer's dad asked me about the leak in the water heater. Duh--what leak? Sure enough, there was a rusty water trails dripping down the side! I knew it was not very old so I found the manual and the receipt and called Home Depot, who said to bring it back and they would replace it with a new one. The Buyer was OK with that and Dad agreed to do the legwork.
Next, I was walking Cassie one morning and heard running water. Alarmed, I saw water gushing into the storm basin. I followed the stream and saw that the sprinkler head piping had completely separated and water was flowing freely forming a large pool in my side yard. My handyman Steve came right over and fixed it better than new.
Then, my Buyer's Mom pulled the fridge out to paint and water started leaking. There was no obvious leaking point and it stopped so I breathed a sigh of relief figuring the drain pan slopped a little with the movement.
The day before closing I was cleaning around the master toilet and dislodged a rusted-out bolt that stabilized the tank to the bowl and, of course, water started to leak. My neighbor phoned his plumber who came out to fix it at 8am on the morning of my closing.
The night before closing I could not sleep so I got up to get a drink from the refrigerator and walked into a pool of cold water. And--it would not stop. I had nothing to sop up with as everything was packed. It was 1:30am. I got online and googled "refrigerator leak" and saw a video that explained what to do. I FIXED IT! Found the leak--just a loose fitting--and fixed it!
The morning of closing, I need to blow dry my hair and the bathroom electrical outlet would not work! Checked the circuit panel and it was OK. Started hitting GFI reset buttons and the last one sparked madly when I reset it. I had no other choice but to head to the closing with wet hair and the news that the GFI was bad and I would buy them a new one.
At this point, I began to wonder if Frank was somehow involved in the house shenanigans from somewhere in the Great Beyond. He was always "teaching" me things about how stuff works and perhaps he was testing me now. Or, maybe he was just unhappy that I was leaving. I told him (yes, I talk to him) I was doing the best that I could and just because I was leaving our home and Cape Coral, it didn't mean that I would forget about him and our life together.
I closed on the home on December 30th to a lovely couple (Adam and Amy) who have a cute 2 year old girl and are extremely pregnant with #2 ! They are a terrific family and Mom, Dad and friends were all involved in the interior changes they were making. I rather enjoyed having all the company around as the house seemed to come to life after a long period of "holding its breath". And, I was so glad to see the energy and care they were expending making my house THEIR home! I could not have asked for a happier ending to my time in Frank's home. Selling the house was not just a financial transaction, it was another link in my emotional journey toward writing the next chapter in my life.
My greatest sorrow is leaving the wonderful friends I have in the neighborhood (long ago dubbed Lunacy Lane). But, I am mobile, have many open driveway invitations and plan to be visiting often.