Thursday, June 29, 2017

Book It, Danno! This One's Done.

Today was the day.  We Closed on the purchase of Lot 62 and on the Construction Loan.  We are now lot-owners in Covington, Louisiana USA, and in a few days, our lot will show signs of transformation into a home.  And we will be pleased.

It’s hard to believe, but the ‘For Sale’ sign went up May 15th and 10 days later, we had an offer.  We countered the offer one day later, and they accepted.  Their purchase would be in cash.

On the 11th day, the house was considered ‘sold.’ 

Only 19 days later, June 14th, we closed and were totally moved from our home of 29 years. 

By the end of the day we had driven 354 miles and were moving into a temporary rental house in Covington, Louisiana, approximately 2 miles from where our future home would be built. 

Total time at that point – 30 days. 

And today, June 29th, on the 45th day, we closed on both the lot purchase and the construction loan.  We are done with all we can do over the next five or six months.  Now we just wait for the builder to build it.

45 Days isn’t bad at all.  I hope the next 175 days goes as quickly. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Update as of June 26, 2017

The last of our belongings arrived today on a second truck.  And wouldn't you know it, there wasn't enough room in left in the 10' X 20' X 14' high space to take it on.  So we had to quickly rent another space that was 10' X 15' X 14' high.  And three hours later it too was full.  We just barely squeezed in the last item, our securely bundled up Select Comfort Numbers Bed.

With the additional space for climate controlled storage, we're now paying near $400 a month just for storage space.  Add that to the moving company charges and we will have spent $8,000 before we get to move into our new home.  And that will probably cost another $1,000 to $1,500 before we can start opening the boxes.

No matter, this was something that needed doing, no matter the cost.  And we're really looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, we are settling into our temporary house, even to the point of becoming comfortable with it.  Two nights in a row I cooked on the Big Green Egg, and although it was done in a 'make-shift' way, it was fun and turned out to be delicious.

The only mishap so far was the electrical plug prongs got smashed and broken on my power recliner.  Judy got on the phone right away to Gallery Furniture's Customer Service Department in Houston.  Before long, a replacement power adapter was being FedEx'd to us.  Talk about customer service, THAT's customer service.

As tired as we were we decided to celebrate the events of the day, so we went to try the last Mexican restaurant in Covington left to check out.  Actually, it was better than the other three, which were only so so and way too expensive for the quality of food.  This one is closer and better.  But their margaritas, although delicious, were way too expensive for us.  Next time, 'just water, please.'

I have a feeling we will both sleep well tonight.  And tomorrow we can start thinking about the actual close on the lot purchase and construction loan scheduled for Thursday morning.  By noon we should be land owners in Covinton, Louisiana, and our builder can begin construction, hopefully by Jyly 5th but probably closer to July 15th.

So I've already started the first in a series of videos as the house takes shape.  This first one is just showing the lot before anything happens.  Here's the link to the video:

After this week, we wait patiently, or as close to patiently as we can.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Update as of June 14, 2017

We closed on our house sale and within the hour, were on our way to our new life and new adventure in Covington, Louisiana.  We arrived at our rental house about 7 hours later.

It feels like it's out in the country, but we're only about ten minutes from shopping.

This will be home for the next five to six months while our house is built in Terra Mariae.  

And this is the one we put up for sale only a month before:

The next morning we met the manager of the storage place to make arrangements for the bulk of our belongings to be stored, then we waited for the first truck to arrive.  Yes, it will take two trucks to move us from Texas.  It's a LOT more than when we moved to Texas 30 years ago.

The movers were here and gone within about 4 hours total.  

Now we have to sort through the boxes to find where they put everything.  The boxes we so carefully packed and labeled were put into larger boxes, thereby spoiling our foolproof method of knowing where each and every item was located.  Now we begin to search.  I can't see that it will be an east task.  But we have six months to do it.

Updates will follow.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Update Three Days Before Closing And Moving

Another day, another day closer to the confirmed date of our closing on the house, June 14th at 10:00 am.  By Noon on June 14th we will be homeless and the movers will be half loaded with all our stuff onto their trucks.

We're excited.

Meanwhile, the buyers are equally excited and equally involved in packing 44 years worth of their stuff for the short move here.  We will see them at the closing.

Our agent emailed us a copy of the document breaking down the closing costs.  It's a sizable sum coming out, for sure, but we're very pleased with how things are turning out.  The Buyers are nice people who should fit well into this house and its private setting, and its good neighbors.

Because they opted to purchase our refrigerator, one large Big Green Egg, our kitchen table and kitchen hutch, our packers will have that much less to load and unload in Covington.  But that means we will have to purchase another refrigerator, one large Big Green Egg, a kitchen table and a kitchen hutch, but not until we're ready to move into our new house.  Could be we won't have room for some of it.

Meanwhile, Judy's sciatica pain is not going away, she was worried that she could not drive the car while I'm driving the truck to Louisiana.  Brother-in-law, Allen, came to the rescue.  He flew over Saturday morning, we loaded the car with some fragile items (the big, gaudy French Mirror and the glass art piece we had hanging over the fireplace, the elephant statue, along with a small TV) and some other items until the car was full.  Allen was on his way home before noon.  That was a relief, and another relief when he emailed that he had arrived home.

We're down to the wire packing stuff that we can pack.  And we're slap worn out from doing it.  The professional movers who do this kind of work every day are to be commended.  It's really hard work.

The remaining items are items too large for us to handle and include some of my tools (especially the larger power tools) that I have no clue as to how to pack.  Not to worry, the movers know exactly what to do.

Meanwhile, Judy suffers and I keep looking for items that I can pack.  We hope to be done with all that we can do on Tuesday.  That's the day we will deliver all the devices back to Comcast.  So on Tuesday, we will no longer have access to the Internet until we get to our rental house in Covington.

The only way to reach us will be by phone (voice or text).  Most everyone who needs it already has the number.  The old house phone number will no longer be in service.

I feel like I could sleep for a month.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Update on the sell of our house

It only took 11 days to sell our house.  The folks who offered to buy it 'knew' the moment they came inside that 'this was it.'  How do we know this?  Well, they told us so.

Yes, they called asked if they could drop by without the agent and look at some of the items for sale. They only live two minutes away, so we said yes. come on.  They were here two minutes later.

Larry and Sheryl.  They immediately told us how much they liked our house and knew it was exactly what they wanted after a few years of searching.

They have lived a few blocks over for 44 years.  It's a two-story house with all four bedrooms upstairs, as was the custom back when it was built.

But Larry said he is 70 and climbing the stairs is getting to be more and more difficult, as is maintaining their over sized lawn.  Our house fit their their needs perfectly, including their 'back-yard' lifestyle. (just like us)

We had included the Mini Big Green Egg in the sale just so they could start out as 'Eggheads', so one of the first things we did was to go to the outdoor kitchen (formerly known as The Coop) so I could show them a little about how to cook on a Big Green Egg.

I had already fired up a large Big Green Egg (formerly called Lulu) and placed some Magnum Loads on it to cook.  That way they could actually see the Magnum Loads cooking indirect on the Egg.

Meanwhile, Judy and I showed them around, taking care to point out important details about where controllers for the outdoor lighting and irrigation systems were located, showing the path of the underground French drain and clean-out ports, and other things they should be aware of.

Larry was curious about the hot water circulating pump and actually climbed into the attic to see it. I also explained how to drain the hot water tank periodically using the drain valve I had the plumber install.

I also pointed out the ring binders I had assembled for the various appliances, controllers, devices, etc, including a hand-drawn map showing locations of underground pipes and wiring, along with water spigot locations and the French drainage network.

By then the Magnum Loads were ready so I showed how we cut and serve them to guests.  They loved them.  We gave them the remaining cooked Magnum Loads to take home, and told them there were more in the outdoor kitchen freezer for after they move in.

As  we got to know them more, and them us, it became clear that we could have become good friends years ago had we met.  They are just very nice people who basically want the same things as us - a comfortable home, a private back yard and a happy life.

They were here almost 3 hours.  That should say a lot about how nice their visit was.  We hated to see them go, but we had more boxes to pack.  So did they.

They later called to say they not only wanted to buy the refrigerator, but also the large Big Green Egg that we cooked the Magnum Loads on, the kitchen table and hutch.  We agreed and we feel they will appreciate everything that is as much a part of this house as we were.

We told them the story of the Chicken Ranch, the Coop and the many videos we've made over the years.  We also urged them to join the Big Green Egg forums so they could ask questions about their new cooking device - the Big Green Egg.

Meanwhile, agent called to confirm the closing date of 6-14-17.  The movers will also be here loading up that same day.  We will depart and they will move in when they can.

And two families will start their new adventures.

Larry and Sheryl are going to be so happy here.  We can feel it.  And as sad as we will be when we leave, we know our home will be in the good hands of people who will enjoy, appreciate and take care of it.