Offer Made on House

Wow, once things start moving, they really move fast.

Last Tuesday, we met with Jim Cleveland, the Realtor, to sign the contract to put our house on the market.  On Monday of this week, the information was starting to hit the websites like

On Thursday afternoon, I went to get my hair cut and drove past the house, but there were three trucks in the drive, so I kept going.  About 5:15 pm, our Realtor called and said “There’s been an offer made on the house.”  It was lower than Kona and I were willing to accept, but the Realtor told us what he would offer as a counter offer.  Later that evening he called back and said they had accepted the counter offer and we have go in tomorrow (Friday) afternoon and sign the paperwork.  The closing will be around the end of April.

So, from the time people really became aware of it until the time that it was publicly announced until it was sold was about four days.  Not bad.  We had hoped that it would sell quickly.  We felt that it was very reasonably priced and luckily we weren’t in a position where we had to overprice it because of debt on the house.  We’re going to put a good chunk of the payment towards the new house, but we’ll also splurge a little and get some things we haven’t been able to get.  Kona is itching to get a sofa for the living room.

There’s still a little bit of stuff to pull out of the house and shed, but luckily we get to leave all of the appliances behind.  It’s mostly move in ready and one trip to the house should allow us to move everything out that’s left.

Finishing up the Mayfern remodel

After working really hard to finish up everything on the Mayfern house, we finally put the last-minute touches on it and met with the Jim Cleveland from Remax this afternoon to get the house on the market!

Jim looked around and was impressed with all the work we had done to it, including a complete new paint job inside and out, all of the carpet was pulled out and the hardwood floors were redone, the master bathroom was fixed, all of the outlet/switch covers were replaced, all of the furnace vents were replaced, the inside of the garage was completely redone, and lots of other little odds-and-ends were fixed/touched up as well!

As shown from the pictures below, we had a lot of work to do AFTER the contractors finally got done with it, so it was a big relief to finally be done! Now we just have to cross our fingers and hope it sells!!

Grandma Davis’ passing

After a long and well-lived 86 years, Grandma Lois (Swedman) Davis passed away on Friday, March 12th.

Christmas Morning 2009

It was unexpected (or at least as unexpected as it can be at 86 years old), but I am very thankful that it was quick and painless as possible.  The following pictures help celebrate the last year of her life.

The whole family came for her funeral and calling hours, which were Monday, March 15th at Zion Lutheran Church in Kewanee, IL.

While I know it is a blessing that she went quickly, it has been hard to lose someone that played such a huge role in my life. Grandma Davis ran a preschool before she retired, which both me and my brother were lucky enough to attend.  Some of my earliest memories are from going to preschool with Grandma and exploring/playing in her huge yard at the house on East St.  In fact it is this yard that I’ve always envisioned when thinking about my dream yard and how I’d like my future children to grow up.  A place with plenty of places to explore and hide, and a wealth of fresh fruits and vegetables that you could eat right out of the garden.  Needless to say, Grandma’s death has greatly affected me and she will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.

Saying Goodbye

March Birthdays Get Together

After a long day cleaning and working on the Mayfern house Saturday, we headed to Bloomington on Sunday to celebrate Grandma Jones and Uncle John’s Birthday’s. We’ve got a cluster of birthdays at the beginning of March on my side of the family, so it has become tradition to have one big get together to celebrate all of them. **Side note: Strangely enough, James’ Jones side of the family also has a cluster of birthdays in March with Shandi, Gene, LaWanda, and Eli!**

It was an enjoyable time with the K Jones’.  The lunch menu was soups and salads, which really hit the spot and left plenty of room for all the desserts!!  We had a great time talking with everyone and overall had a pretty relaxing day!

Forsyth Renovations

The contractor finally finished renovating the Forsyth house on Tuesday.

You’re like “What?  You haven’t sold that yet?”  No, we haven’t.  We haven’t even put it on the market yet, so if you know someone who wants a house with a fresh coat of paint throughout, newly refinished hardwood floors, a new bathroom floor, a new kitchen floor, on a corner lot with 1/2 acre in Forsyth (which has one of the best school districts around), here’s your chance to get it before it goes on the market.  That will save everybody some money as we’ll be saving a realtor’s commission and so probably take a lower value than we would otherwise.

“But you moved back in October!” you say.  I know.  And we hired the contractor to paint the house in November.  They did the outside and we were fairly happy and so we hired them to do the inside.  And they dallied and piddled and took forever to get it done.  Finally, on Christmas Eve, we paid them for what they had done.  Which wasn’t even everything that they were supposed to do.  When would they be able to get the rest finished — the week right after Christmas, “we’ll start on Monday”.  The last part was mostly some trim work, painting some things they had failed to do from the second phase, and laying the tile in the kitchen floor.

Kona and I were going to do the kitchen flooring ourselves, but the guy said “It will only take two hours, we can do it for $50” and Kona said “Do it!”  In early January, they had laid the vinyl tile in the center of the kitchen floor and stopped.  At the end of January, it was still like that.  It was like that three weeks into February.  Finally I called the guy and begged him to come finish the house so we could get it on the market.

Remember, we’re paying for utilities, insurance, property tax, and all that other wonderful jazz for a house that is sitting vacant, so we’re wanting to get it on the market and sold.

After doing some of the work, he called and said “The wall paper looks really bad and needs torn down and the walls painted and we can do it for $700”.  Hmm, last year, he estimated $300 a room and now this was $350 a room and one of them was very small.  This was on top of a $980 bill for the part they had done between Christmas and the end of February.  He said it was because he had to bring three guys out to work on it.  It didn’t look like three guys had done anything because the amount of work that was done was less than what one person could do in a day.  But every time Kona and I would show up, we “just missed the guys.”  They were either at Menards buying parts (I don’t know why he had to send all three guys to buy supplies) or they were taking a break (at 9 in the morning).  Kona and I had serious doubts as to what he was telling us.

Then he tried to put some wood stripping down as the transitions from the hardwood floors into the vinyl areas.  It looked crappy and we made him replace it.  The pieces were huge and oversized, but at least you could tell there was a transition there and it wasn’t obvious before.  He also sprayed lacquer on them, but it’s not obvious that he stained them first.

The left side is the "before" (i.e., what the contractor did) and the right side is the "after" (what James did)

Kona and I still have some work to do on the house.  We need to replace the screen door going into the patio, replace the outlets (some are white and some are almond and some are ivory), and probably replace the transitions.  But at least the contractor is done (3.5 months later) and now we can get in and clean and get the house ready to go on the market.

I’ll start that process on Saturday and probably do some more work on it next week during our “Spring Break” (two days off work).