Saturday, August 27, 2005

July 3, 2005

I sold a book!
I sold my book, HOME FOR CHRISTMAS to By Grace Publishing! Yeah! It will come out as an e-book first, then as a print book. The publication date is scheduled for December 2005.In other news, the tentative buyers of our house found very little in the inspections. A few little things need repair (the drain stop in the kitchen sink) and a few other things they felt needed repair they got estimates on...which were WAY INFLATED. We have wood pillars on the patio, one is starting to show signs of wear. Estimated cost of replacement, $500....uh...NO. The wood's only about $20 and popping it in place would take about fifteen minutes, max. Other weird things - the inspector said the bathroom tub had no, it has THREE, all in a little holder on the lip of the tub (we don't know why it has three, they came with the house and all of them work). The buyers wanted us to add some dirt to the dip in the yard where the pool guy drains the pool...their price for a professional landscaper...$1,000.00!!!! Uh...NO. You can get free fill dirt around here and dump a couple wheelbarrows full on it and be done...although when the pool is drained it will wash it away again. There were many other little things like that, oddities that seemed strange to us. Of course, we've never bought a new home so we know that some repairs or maintenance come with any home. Especially if we don't like or want some of the features - like dark painted walls, lamp fixtures or built in curtains. The first thing I look for in a home is potential. Can I live with it? Is it easily changeable if I don't like something about it? I always look for a couple things in my new home buying. A great room: I prefer this layout because it has more space and more possibilites for entertaining. Also - if the kitchen is attached at one end, it makes conversation flow much nicer. Whenever we had company in the house I grew up in - my adopted Mom had to "go to the kitchen" to prepare food or drinks and so missed a lot of conversations and news from friends. Or had to have it all repeated. This annoyed the heck out of me. So I determined that I would always have a great room that incorporated a kitchen for those times when we had company. ALSO, who uses the dining room? Even when I had a dining room and tried to use it, everyone picked up their plates after grace was said and wandered back into the great room! In 12 years of owning the dining room - we used it for dining that ONE time. Eventually, when Hedy came to live with us, I turned it into her bedroom for a year. When I turned it BACK into the dining room people who'd been to my house many times were surprised - they never remembered the room existing before! Pretty much told me that dining rooms are rather useless, at least in my family and with the friends I know <G>. Bathtubs in every bathroom: It seems strange but many bathrooms that aren't the master now only have showers. Since I never know when I'll be bathing a passel of small kids or a couple dogs, I prefer a bathtub in all bathrooms - when one has company, its necessary (can you tell I come from a big family with lots of kids and dogs?). Hot water heater: I want the biggest hot water heater I can get - too many times when family was visiting, the hot water heater couldn't handle it and in a couple instances, actually broke! I have this terrible memory of the hot water heater giving up to ghost in the middle of my shower...while I had shampoo in my dripping wet hair. It was winter. The water was ice-cold. I hate cold anyway, but it was worse to be wet and cold...and having to rinse my then long hair for 10 minutes to get the soap out <shudder!>! Since then, I check both the age and the capacity of the hot water heaters in the homes we buy! Light: Lots of light. I don't care if its hotter than the hinges of hell out there. I love light. I want lots of windows - be they clerestory (up under the roofline), picture, bay, palladium, whatever. I do not like dark houses. Wide hallways and doorways: Wider than the standard 34 inches that contractors love. I don't know if I will ever have a wheelchair bound family member living with me again, but if I do, I want the doors and hallways to be wide enough to maneuver the wheelchair. Also, the dogs use the hallway as a run - they zip up and down chasing each other for fun. A good long, wide hallway means I won't be overrun by playing dogs. High ceilings: Richard and I have become spoiled by this house. Each ceiling in each room is raised in a different way. We have barn vaulted, cathedral, a barrel vault, a widow's peak, the log cabin center beam in two rooms and so on. The feeling of space is wonderful. A patio or porch made for lounging: I'm not talking about those skinny little made-for-looks porches on many homes today. I want a big patio or porch where people can sit and watch the deer, or the stars, my solar water fountain or the firelight from my chimenea. I bought the plans for this house from the designer. We love it so much I'd love to rebuild it someday. And in fact, since we are building a home on Echo Ridge, I'm hoping maybe we can build this one again. We shall see. Anyway, off to do some writing.
The potential buyer for our home terminated the contract today. I guess he couldn't come up with the money or something. He spent around $700-$800 on getting inspections done, but when it came right down to it, he decided not to buy our house. What a waste of time and money. The house goes back on the market tomorrow. Good thing we're in no hurry to sell. We still have lots of time on our side, so really, the right buyer will come along and love our home as much as we do. And if they don't, no problem. It looks like we're staying in the area for a while after all. (Not because of the house not selling, but because of the job! Richard got a huge raise!). This means we cam begin saving for building the retirement home in earnest now. I can't believe someone would put out that kind of money and then not buy, though. The inspectors found minor things, but nothing major. When we had our inspection doen on this home three years ago, it DID have major problems, but we loved it anyway. We bought it and simply started repairing. Most of the repairing we'd planned is completely done, we still have some things we want to do, like finish up the painting, but all in all, the home is lovely, inside and out. We do have to go buy new flowers for the front, though. The periwinkles simply cannot take the heat. Off to write some more.

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