Tuesday, March 23, 2010

kids and home update

On Sunday my son's half-sister stopped by with three little girls. I thought at first they were all hers even though it was odd that one had curly hair, the other two straight. But it turned out the curly haired girl was the daughter of the half-sister's boyfriend. Who A (the half-sister) didn't even know about until January although she'd been living with the boyfriend for a year or more.

Have you got that?? All three girls wanted to draw so I got out pencils and markers and they had fun. How delightful to be around kids. The curly haired girl drew this picture and asked me to draw on it too. How my drawing pales next to hers. "Bag," she said, and started withdrawing all the markers from the box and when I gave her a bag she stashed them in there.

I said she could have them if she shared. No comment. "Chair," she said later. She nodded toward the TV although that TV only works for DVD's. Then she nodded at the computer monitor. Finally I turned on the real TV and found Sponge Bob but they were all ready to leave by then. What fun.

Meanwhile back at the ranch I was supposed to sign the Purchase and Sales agreement on Friday. However I called the Realtor and told her I felt that the house needed too much immediate work as revealed by the inspections and that it was too much for me to handle and I wanted to withdraw my offer.

She went into Realtor mode, and did what I call "yelled" at me. I was getting a good deal, all houses have carpenter ants, doing a roof is nothing etc. etc. At the end she said do you want to take more time to think it over. So, humbled, I said yes.

There are so many lives at stake in a sale, no? The Realtor fights to get the highest price she can for herself (commission) and for the seller. When she thinks the sale might not go through or the price go down she goes into brutal salesperson talk. Supposedly she is also my Realtor, but this is a hard row to hoe, being realtor for both the seller and buyer.

Meanwhile, on Saturday I emailed her that I agreed with myself about withdrawing. But at noon she phoned me, and pretended (my opinion) she hadnt gotten my emailed withdrawal and I burst out with "Oh I guess I'll go through with it. I said I would." (My homeopathist said awhile back I should make a choice and stay with it.)

On Monday morning the P&S was still unsigned by me though. I called my lawyer and she said we could ask for an extension on the decision until Friday. So, I have a few more days. But will that just extend my torture?

old pajamas still feels I can get more house for my money and that this one is overpriced. But old pajamas hasnt looked at the 56 houses I've seen before, a good number overpriced and another good number trashy inside. Really I can hardly determine "overpriced" as to me they are all overpriced.

To further torture myself I looked at a darling little year round cabin here in NH on a lakefor $160,000. It is only 520 square feet but the owner is meticulous. This place even has an underground sprinkler, a hot tub, a gazebo, a storage shed, a full sized washer and dryer. A tub vs shower stall (unusual in a place so small). A Jotul woodstove. A metal roof ( great up here -- snow slides off it). It is clean beyond belief. It has a two car garage and lake access. Fully insulated.

Of course, no way I can live in 520 square feet. But the condition and conveniences (he even had electricity and a paper towel holder in the storage shed) are incredible. Rarely do you find a homeowner who takes such good care of his home.

I also flipped through listings in the Putney area and Amherst/Northfield area. More and more places are coming on the market. Much larger, human sized places for the same or teeny bit more price as the Cape Cod cottage. Although property taxes just about everywhere are higher than on Cape Cod.

What's it all about, Alfie? I feel like I am in an episode of as the world yearns or churns.


Cat said...

Suki, go with your instinct. If that purchase doesn't feel right, it isn't. Say no, stick to your decision and find the 'perfect' place for yourself! You will!!


kj said...

suki, the one question that i think will help you the most right now is:

do you most want to live on the cape?

love always,

The fearless threader said...

Did you change your mind beacuse the realtor shouled at you or because you wanted to buy the house? There are lots of problem with the house, more than you feel capable of taking on. You know wha you want to do and the realtor should be severely told off for shouting at you like that. Highly unprofessional.

Hilarywho said...

I agree - you have to go with your instinct. But it wouldn't hurt to make one of those lists with good things about the house on one side, and bad things on the other. This might help you decide.

Robin said...

Suki, this is a "crossroads" decision for you... I do have one question: if you opt to purchase the adorable cottage - do you have contacts who will hire all the appropriate people to do the work?
I can see some of these repairs will take time... and I sense your wanting to be in your new home asap. It takes time to find good roof repairers etc.

As for your realtor - well, you are discovering that there are a lot of impatient, "hard" people out there... she has many unprofessional attributes - but -
KJ "hit the nail on the head"...
I don't think you want to stay where you are....the Cape is (and has been) calling you for a long time... even if you don't decide on this house - you should still look at Cape Houses...that's where your heart is...

Sending you a big hug and the courage to make a decision. Whatever you decide will be the right thing!


♥ Robin ♥

Annie said...

Suki! Wow, this is hard. First, you have to decide where you want your house. I think you know and we all agree it is in the Cape, that is the place for you, then go from there. Have you researched the ants? OP may be right about a lot, but this is your house and you have to go with what you feel, like Cat said, follow your heart.
Don't let the realtor bully you, she only cares about herself. This is your life, you get to make the choice. Have faith in yourself to make the right choice, you will!Good luck! xoxo

sukipoet said...

Cat, I endlessly change my mind about everything. I am so wishy washy sometimes I get tired of myself.

KJ, I think I want to live on the Cape. For the most part, yes. I dont like leaving my son behind up here though. But that is probably the only regret about leaving NH.

I dont know why I change my mind sometimes Fearless Threader.

sukipoet said...

Hilary, maybe I will do the list idea. I am a list person.

Robin, if there is one place I have contacts it's on the Cape both the upper and lower Cape. My son has already volunteered to paint the walls and sand the floors. Even the Realtor claims they will help me remove the appliances that turn out not to work. There are hundreds of roofers chomping at the bit for work. Several good friends have husbands who either work in construction or do amateur home renovations. I have contacts out the gazoo. I myself am lazy about doing this kind of stuff, even if doing it means finding someone else to do it. But maybe I could surprise myself.

sukipoet said...

Annie, I have made so many distressing life choices, maybe it is that I have no faith in my ability to make good choices. I am either rash or too sensible.

Lynn said...

Oy Vey!

Shaking my head.
Wishing you the best outcome possible.
No one can make this decision for you. Only YOU know where and how you want to live.
I just hope you make sure you are giving yourself the what and the how YOU want.

In the meantime, be gentle with yourself;
Be strong with the realtor;

and be true to yourself.

Hugs from me.

I'm glad you got some fun little kid time in! That really makes me smile.

marianne said...

Don't let the realtor lead your decision!
Follow your own feeling instead of her salesperson talk.
First of all decide where you want to live, thean choose the house which feels good in all ways that even a leaking roof won't stop you from wanting it!
You will find it. Don't let anyone push you!

Good luck!

louciao said...

I feel your anguish, Suki, to the point where I got butterflies in my stomach when you said "meanwhile back at the ranch..."

My first thought is that this situation is not about Pleasing Others or Being Nice or Being Amenable, or even Following Through Because You Said You Would. It's about you pleasing yourself and doing what you feel is right for you. Sounds like it's time for you to be "Selfish"!

kj said...

i have a second question.

if old pajamas hadn't told you he doesn' think the house is worth it, would you be more ready and willing to buy it?

because if that's so it sounds like he might not know what you know....

love suki,

patti said...

I have been looking at houses recently too, Suki - am up to around my sixth (so you have way more experience than me)

Saw one yesterday much like the one you were looking at - a total fixer-upper, but a reasonable size. I was inspired to make it all beautiful because it was in such bad condition and dirty too, even though it meant money & lots of hard work.

Today I look at a smaller place - immaculate - beautiful kitchen/bathroom polished floor boards, lovely garden etc.

Suddenly the fixer upper is looking less appealing to me.

Go with your instinct, that is how good decisions are made. Old Pj has wisdom.

Sending you some clear thinking vibes.


patti said...

P.S. I am so over Realtors already!!

Annie said...

I am with Kj, about OP, he is great and has been a big help to you, but you are different people and will be bothered by different things. As for being wishy-washy, we can all be, and this is an important choice you have to make, but it is not the end of the world if you buy it and then decide you don't like it, you can sell it and if you let it go, you will find another, but I would stick to the Cape, don't confuse yourself more by changing location. And just so you know, you can't make a wrong choice, it just appears that way, but there are no wrong choices. They all lead you on your path. Big hugs. xoxo

sukipoet said...

Patti, good luck on your house search. Well, yes, much nicer to move into a move in ready place.

But this house is not a true fixer upper. It is only twenty yrs old and the state of distress comes more from the fact that it was owned by an elderly woman who did not replace things in a timely manner. I suppose she figured why spend the money, i'm on the way out. Or something. Or maybe she was just thrifty.

If i do these initial things, I think it will be quite nice. There are hardwood floors throughout, a fireplace. It is cute and has clean lines IE she didnt add ugly stuff to muck it up.

It would have been up to the inheritors to get it cleaned and would have been something I would have done myself if I were going to sell a house. There is lots of light too as it face south.

I guess buying any house is a risk even a brand new one can be built shoddily.

I will enjoy hearing about your hunting adventure.

sukipoet said...

KJ, old p and i love a number of the same things such as books, movies, art and the like. But I do think around this anyway we are seeing things differently. Me through rose colored glasses that perhaps he does not share. I would have felt more at ease taking the plunge if he'd liked it too. old p has been telephoning me several times a week since i've been up here, supporting me in my house search and listening to me say the same things over and over and over with great patience. I really appreciate that so much and it has helped me feel less isolated up here.

sukipoet said...

Annie, even my ninety one year old Mom got frustrated with me before she died, saying I deliberated too much rather than striding forward. Whichever house I chose is the right one for this present moment, I know that. Thanks.

sukipoet said...

ps old p if you are reading this, I love ya including your opinions and perspectives. heart heart

soulbrush said...

my gut feeling is that you should go for this, and throw yourself into the whole renovating process which will give you so much to think about (both joy and aggravation) but will be better than just stagnating which you are doing right now. you would probably never be completely satisfied (who is), so just jump in at the deep end and take life by the 'balls', you can do it, and whatever it is like now, it will be all yours in the end.

Mim said...

No matter what you do you'll always wonder "what if" so just do it and get it over with. That's my theory and I have lovely sad moments wondering what if. But if I let "what if" rule my life I'd still be back in Brooklyn, living in an apartment and sitting on the fire escape watching the sunset and thinking I was in the country.

Does that help.

PLUS I want the listing of the perfect house on the lake in NH!!!! I'll buy it and you can visit me anytime OK???? mim

Mim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Katiejane said...

Tough decisions are everywhere we turn. That is simply what life is about. We can never know if the decision we make is the right one or the wrong one, it is simply the best one at the time. There will always be better houses around the bend and you can wait forever and weigh the possibilities or settle for the one you like and make it your own. Good luck with your decision.

kikipotamus said...

Oh, I miss having children in my life! I keep crayons and things on hand just in case.

Thank you for the further descriptions of the little house. It's good to know that it's sunny and south-facing. It sounds charming, really. I love that it's surrounded by nature. If you put up bird feeders, lots of species will show up.

Good luck with the pros and cons list.

old pajamas said...


I have known Susan about half my life. Believe me, ladies, I have no particular wisdom, or common sense, for that matter. I do have opinions, which I've always shared openly with Susan. We speak often by telephone. We see one another when she comes to the Cape. I'm confident that whatever place she chooses, she will make a 'home' of; she has the grace and good taste to do that.....pajamas

4roomsandthemoon said...

Don't buy what you don't want! It has to be loved before you buy it -dreamed about, thought about, and oh so much desired! There should be no reservations, and no if onlys! Don't let sales talk sway you!

Mim said...

We like you Old PJ's!! Can't wait to meet you at the housewarming.

sukipoet said...

take life by the balls, I like that Joss. I have been stagnating, good word, that's how it has felt to me.

Mim, do you really want that listing? great for kayakers in fact some kind of kayak rack comes with the property.

I too have many what if I had done that moments. Including all the houses I didnt buy in the 1990's

studio lolo said...

I'll bet having the kids around was a nice distraction. The art is wonderful!

The house. Jeez Louise, what angst for you.

All this advice would probably confuse me but I'm also finding some really good comments/points here.

maybe you should play "worst case scenario." If it seems like it's a hurdle you could easily deal with, I'd go for it and roll my sleeves up and begin the process of settling into your new life.
I'm glad you have old PJ to help you 'see things' even if you don't see eye to eye on everything.
I know his heart is there to help his friend ;)


word veri= sought (as in advice?)

Robin said...

Suki, after reading all these comments from loving friends, I think you should still buy this house! Get as much price deduction as possible - then set out making this house - YOUR HOME.
It is adorable - has all that beautiful land around it - small perhaps - but you are one person with two kitties....it will be fine. And, sigh....a fireplace!
(A rareity in San Franciso..)
You can spend the late Spring months having every thing that needs done - done....then, your first Summer at the Cape in your OWN home. You will have friends and family (your son) to visit you and OP will be close by....

Again, I know it's a big decision - but "Go for It, Girl"!

Love and courage,

♥ Robin ♥

p.s. OP - we all adore you and are glad you have been and continue to be such a good friend to Suki!

Kim said...

Suki, it sounds as though you may have made a new "one syllable" friend who knows her mind! I wonder if she might be able to advise you to "buy" or "no"! :-) Of course, I am just kidding. It sounds like you had a nice time with the little ones. They do provide a break and a different angle when you are so mired in the adult world, don't you think?

As far as the house, there still seem to be larger questions to answer. For example, do you want a house to make your own and repair or would it be better to have something you can just move into without changes? Are you willing to give up space (and maybe place) to make this happen?

This is a challenging and, in the end, rewarding experience. The thing is you have to hang in there. It will unfold as it needs to unfold. You are asking all the right questions.

I think of you often!

sukipoet said...

Kim, no I have never wanted to repair a home in that way. I dislike broken objects. I am not good at repairing things. I would prefer a more move in ready home (although not necc granite counters and steel fridges) but at least enough cabinet space and a little bigger rooms.

You hit the nail on the head re: my thinking today. Am I willing to sacrifice liveable space size for being on the Cape. Or sacrifice being on the Cape for a house of human proportions.

I know a lot of people in the world would love an 800 square foot place of their own.

But me, i have books, papers, art supplies, antiques, also some lovely furniture my grandfather made, a trunk of family quilts,most of which would have to be ditched to live in this small place.

what do I sacrifice, that is the question. I only have one more day to ponder.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

oh...the tiny place with the Jotul stove, the hot tub and immaculate...I would love to try it...would I be that brave...I am stuck too.