Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Designed to sell - almost!

Getting your house ready to put on the market is pretty much a full time job, for crying out loud. I need a maid, a gardner, a house painter and oh, a cook would be nice too. Fortunately for us, we only work a few feet away from the house so we're sort of blending our daily work and fixup schedule.

I can' believe we've done this so many times before and often with me working away from home plus managing kids, dogs and sometimes horses, all at the same time. How in Heaven's name did we do that? And this house is in pristine shape compared to most of the other homes we've sold.

We've lived in this wonderful home for over three years, quite happily, I might add. I love it and have taken great pride in the care and outdoor dressing we've given it. In fact, the latest "improvement" is rather unusual.
When the giant elm tree in our side yard was struck by lightening, it started falling toward the driveway, almost exactly where everyone visiting us parks their cars. The tree had a large rock flower bed around the base. When the tree was gone, Mike and his friend/partner in crime, Tracy, decided it would make a nice fountain. Three months, a load of rocks, and many porchtime wine-sipping design sessions later, we had an 18' round limestone fountain that would do any federal building proud. I'm serious. It even has lights in it at night. It's awesome - a teeny bit out of place perhaps - but oh what fine craftsmanship! Now the challenge is to bring in enough landscaping to make it look like it's part of the overall theme. I put seven koi in there that will eventually be as long as one of Kevin's size 13 shoes. The birds are ecstatic. They think they've died and gone to the Washington DC.

We are very excited about our new adventure (more on that later) so we're forging ahead to get this house ready to sell, a task that has evolved into an obsessive compulsion for both of us. There's the little paint touch up here that leads to even more touch up there which means multiple trips to the hardware store for matching paint (an experience I loathe and so do most of the clerks mixing the paint, I've noticed). Scrubbing baseboards, teetering on stepstools to swish the cobwebs off the vaulted ceilings, (bobbing all the time to avoid falling spiders which is a cartoon it itself) and renting what looks like an iron lung to clean the carpets.

AND, cleaning the carpets worked so well in the house, maybe we should drag the machine out to the studio and clean the rugs in our offices. How insane is that? Mike's rugs are in a working studio! He CUTS WOOD in there so there's sawdust in those rugs. Think about it. A mere vacuuming would be just fine but the urge to clean a corner to see just how dirty they are is too great. Damn. The corner looks good. Have to do the whole rug.
Then there's the whole spring thing. The huge trees that gracefully embrace this home are naked right now. So, we're thinking a few annual flowers might dress it up some. Oh, if only we could go to the nursery at Home Depot and just grab a few petunias - not going to happen in this lifetime. By the time we get to the checkout counter, we've got three nice flats of petunias, a few creeping junipers, a couple of shrubs to replace the pine trees we moved and several brightly colored geraniums we were sure we could find a good place for.
I'm thinking around the federal building fountain might be good.
Just in case a potential buyer is lurking in here . . . I've posted a page about our house. You can read more about it here: http://mikescovel.com/FSBOBurnet.html

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