Real Estate Karma

I've come to the conclusion that Jesus must have a twin sister that never made it into the Bible. The only explanation I can think of for the luck I've had with real estate ventures is that God or Lady Luck was looking out for me because I'm the parent of multiples.

Caution: Don't read the rest of this post if you're having trouble selling your house.

It became apparent fairly quickly that our little house wasn't going to be good enough for our new family. In the end we decided to build a new house in Wilson County and rent a house while we tried to sell our old place. So we moved out of the old house and spent a few weeks fixing up the old house and getting things ready to sell.

After the house was ready to go, we met with our realtor and put a sign in the yard on a Monday evening. We agreed that the listing would go up on Realtracs Tuesday afternoon. We were definitely shooting for a single person or a young couple hoping that the small size and historic neighborhood would be our hooks. We ended up compromising on the listing price with me wanting to go lower and The Mrs. wanting to go higher. Our realtor very carefully stayed out of that.

So the for sale sign went up Monday evening. Tuesday afternoon the realtor calls to tell me that the listing has just gone live on Realtracs, but he already has a tour set up for someone who just saw the yard sign. Wednesday morning I was on the way to work and I noticed my engine temperature redlining and steam coming out from under the hood of my car. Two hours later I'm in line at the mechanic and the realtor calls me again. He has an actual valid offer in his hand. For our full asking price.

I had to stop for a minute to let that sink in. The listing was online for less than 2 hours before he had a full price offer for the house. I very nearly needed a change of pants when he told me. After a couple of rounds of negotiation we ended up with a offer everyone was willing to accept. It was actually for more than full price, but they asked for several concessions so we negotiated the sales price higher but ended up making a little less than our original asking price.

The deal wasn't without its ups and downs. The buyers were first timers in their early twenties, and relocating from out of state. My realtor gave me the impression that we were really negotiating with their parents, and their parents wanted to play hard ball. We were definitely sweating the home inspection. There was nothing wrong that we knew of, but you never know what might happen with a house that old. Their inspector didn't find any major problems, but he wasn't very professional in what he wanted us to do. He included things like trimming the trees next to the house, changing out the locks (common sense says that the buyers themselves should do that just to make sure we don't have a spare key), and removing a couple of things from the cellar. The things to remove from the cellar included the old furnace which was way to big fit through the cellar door. Apparently the house was built over the top of it eighty years ago, but it was a menace to the new owners.

So we ended up spending some money doing things that really weren't necessary, but once again we lucked up. Turned out that they needed to be in town immediately for work, and rather than try and find a temporary rental they wanted to rent our house until they could buy it. Their loan took extra long to process because they were so young and newly out of college, so I actually paid for most of the unnecessary things they asked for by charging them rent for six weeks.

So we were basically lucky as hell that everything worked out so well and so quickly. I think everyone walked away from that deal happy. The only bad part of the situation was dealing with their unsavory realtor.

So now you have the evidence for my theory that Jesus was a twin. Between this experience and the ease that my bachelor pad got sold I think I make a pretty strong case.

Parental War Story #2

Every parent has their war stories. A colleague, and my oldest friend both had singleton boys a few months before the wonder twins were born. They've been telling their war stories to me for the past few months. Both suffered through several ear infections and various other ailments. Up until last month I just nodded and said 'Glad we haven't had that happen yet.' Not any more though.

Last month we had our own trial by fire. Saturday night as Luke was going to bed The Mrs. commented that he was sounding a little hoarse. That was the first sign of any ill health from either baby. Four hours later Luke was a wailing croupy mess, hacking like a 3 pack a day smoker and refusing to sleep for more than half an hour at a time. I won't tell the whole sordid story, but suffice to say Leia didn't escape unscathed herself. Several days later Luke was on the mend and we thought we'd dodged the bullet with Leia. And then she got hoarse. She didn't end up getting the croup like her brother, but she did end up with an infection in both ears and an antibiotic that has to be take twice a day for 10 days. Anyone ever try to give an unwilling infant medication? Not recommended.

Here's the highlights of the week:

- Two doctor's office visits.
- Four after hours calls to the doctor's office. (My favorite was at 4 AM.)
- Three sleepless nights. (The Mrs. handled this a lot more than I did. Props and monetary donations go to her.)
- Approximately 523 doses of medicine administered to unwilling babies with sharp teeth and flailing arms.
- Eleventy billion hours of pacing while holding a twenty pound baby. (My left bicep is HUGE.)
- Two new dehumidifiers at a combined cost of $100 at Target.
- One episode in which Leia produced a Linda Blair style projectile vomit.
- Two different grandmothers dropping in to help at different times.
- One late night visit to the 24 hour pharmacy.
- One sick wife.
- Five sick days used by me.