Friday, March 16, 2007

Not with a bang, but with a whimper

Sorry for the lack of posts lately - we've been swamped working every night after work, and on the days off we've had getting our house ready to sell. Given that our new house closes August 28, and we need to sell this house to buy the new house, we want everything to be in good shape before we list this one. Apart from that I haven't felt much like blogging of late.

So, to say it's been a busy week would be an understatement. We've made pretty much daily trips to home depot. I knew it was going to be a long week when Dave came downstairs and announced that he had "good news and bad news" a week ago.

The bad news was that the bathroom walls we had recently removed (hideous) wallpaper were covered with a thick vinyl wallcovering underneath the wallpaper we'd (now unwisely) taken down, and he had already picked some of the vinyl away, so now it all had to come down.

Here's the bathroom before we moved in, to give you a sense of what I mean. To the left of this picture is the tub, and you can see the sink/toilet there. That's it - another two feet for the tub and a wall!

The only good news was that our bathroom was now a couple of millimeters bigger.

The rest of that night I peeled vinyl wallpaper away while Dave was at job #2 , only to find crumbling lathe and plaster walls below them. The next few nights we bought sheetrock and drywall compound and have slowly mudded up and sanded them down. One last go at it and we should be able to paint. We left the remaining vinyl up and just mudded over it so it'd look smooth. We've picked out a nice fresh spring-ey green.

What else? Well, our basement, like lots of older houses had a bit of a moisture issue (aka it leaks in some spots) and any buyer would go running after hearing that (if only we'd known!), so we chipped away layers of paint and cement on the floor with wire brushes, and putty knives to scrub away loose paint, prep the floors and Dave and I put on patches of waterproofing cement so that the new buyers of our digs will not have to put up with what we have. For good measure we're also coating the floors and walls with a waterproofing white paint. Once that's done we'll buy some cheap-ass carpet to lay down and it'll be done. The worst third of the basement is done, so now we just have to reposition furniture and organize our crap and paint the walls, and get some new carpet down and it should be good to go.

The master bedroom has never had a closet door since we moved in, and we figured new buyers would be lots more interested in the house if there was one there, so we've cut one down to fit (and further sanded it when it was too big to fit), painted it, and now there's this gorgeous door on a freshly patched, sanded, and painted master bedroom (walls, ceiling, and trim, two coats!). It doesn't even look like it should be our house anymore! Definitely an improvement.

We've also moved our king sized bed into storage given that it gave us about 3 millimeters of walking room in the bedroom. The double bed that was in the spare room is considerably smaller, but we'll remake it as an office/workout room. Adjusting to sleeping in a double bed has been interesting... I woke up pinned to my left by Dave, at my feet by the two cats, and walls on my right and at my head. Good thin I'm not claustrophobic. I was practically eating the wall, which would be a bad thing because it's a safe bet that there's lead paint on these walls.

We also put a ton of extra things that have been cluttering up the basement there so that it would look more open and less junky.

My parents drove up to help us today as well - dad made all the windows sparkle (what a difference), and mum swept, cleaned floors, and made a fabulous lunch and did a ton of other things I'm sure we'll discover.

We're still dealing with a house that isn't quite ready to be listed just yet, but progress is being made and, fingers crossed, I think it should be ready before the end of next week. Woo hoo!

The bang and the whimper? After a few panicked calls to the mortgage people this week (why would I provide them with information if the person taking it don't pass it on to their underwriters? You'd think a whole other source of income and info about our down payment and changes of address (THREE TIMES I GAVE THEM MY NEW ADDRESS) would be something they'd pass along... apparently not so much) the deal on the new place officially closed today unless we notified them otherwise. And so, it's ours! YAY! I can't wait to be sipping tea on the second floor balcony reading all your blogs (well, at least for 30 seconds until my laptop battery dies) in my PJs. Next week we're hitting the decor centre to pick out the finishes and then we're just playing the waiting game to sell this place.

This is what our new house looks like right now. For the record I most certainly did not break the condition of going on the property while it was under construction without going with a representative of builder and I also didn't wind up with two soakers as a result of doing so.


Sandra said...

Wow you sound busy. Pre-listing renos suck. I hope they are over soon.

But the new place .... it will be alll worth it!

Nancy said...

Hang in there. This is an intense time, but you'll enjoy settling into your new digs this summer!

wordgirl said...

As George Harrison said...all things must pass. Of course, he was talking about dying and I'm just talking about days that suck. I guess both are true.

kittenpie said...

How exciting! We spent last week looking into what kind of pre-sale work we'd need to do on our old place, too. So much, it's killing me to just contemplate, but still, that's how it is, I suppose. We mayu even go in for a full flip, which would mean a summer of renovation hell, but it might be worth it.

Heather said...

Sandra: They do indeed suck, but hopefully they'll pay off with this place selling quickly and for a good price.

Nancy: It is an intense time, and the new digs should be awesome.

wordgirl: I think the work will eventually feel rewarding when it's done, but it's hard to see that it'll pass when i'm covered in paint, drywall dust, wood chips and cement bits. (and the kid in me wants to make a joke about George Harrison and constipation.)

kittenpie: Oh the pre-sale work, it's enough to make you reconsider moving (unless you're too far in to go back like us). A full flip would be very brave... I love watching those TV shows about that kind of thing, but not sure I could really pull it off. (but if you decide to please post pics!)

Izzy said...

Oh my! This post brought back memories of selling our last house. Good luck! I hope you sell it super fast :)

Teena said...

Very nice house! Do you plan on putting up walls ... or leaving it as is :)

cinnamon gurl said...

Yikes, I'm exhausted just reading that. Especially the bits of "just do x, y, z, t, u, v, then b,c, d and we're done. Tra-la!" And repeating the exercise in the next room. ;)

It's why we have no plans to our current place. WAY too much work!

Good luck!

TB said...

Man, it always sucks to be doing stuff right before your house goes on the market because you barely get to enjoy the fruits of your labors. But, if it'll sell the house by summer, it'll all be worth it!

I feel you on the no time/busting your ass thing though. Hang in there!