When we put the house on the market, we really did not think we would still be here come summer....or in the least it would be that the house was sold and we were on our way out. Yeah, not so much. So here I am, taking care of the house....the Spring version! The Winter version was dealing with 7 feet of snow....the Spring version is a whole other ball game.
Keeping up the house
Spring and Summer has brought new challenges to selling the house. We have been maintaining the house itself fairly well, and I have gotten much faster at getting the house ready for a showing. But now there is a whole OUTSIDE of the house to deal with.
In the 2 dozen showings, we have only had one small comment about the yard (someone who loved the house and were considering making an offer, but didn't want a pool). Otherwise, we haven't had any comments, positive or negative. But of course you always want to put your best foot forward, and the yard is the first thing you see when you pull up to the house.
Let me tell ya...I thought that the snow was rough. And it was. But I will take the snow over all of this that I do now!
I now have to mow the lawn. I hadn't done this in over 20 years. We have a basic walk-behind type mower, and once I got the hang of it, it was fine. Takes me about 45 min to mow everything. The lawn gets mowed about once a week. I hate when I mow on Sunday, then we have a showing on Wednesday....the lawn isn't ready to be mowed again, but it has lost its freshly mowed look. But I can't control when the showings are, or the weather. So I mow it when it needs it and I can.
I had to spray weed killer, and couldn't get the hose to stretch to the back of the yard, so I did the best I could. I probably got about 3/4 of the property. The way back of the yard wasn't too bad, so I didn't stress about it.
I am afraid of the weed whacker, and G-man has already said it is very heavy and hard to handle. Yeah, I am not going there. So....the areas that I can't reach with the mower.....I cut with scissors! Yes, I cut the edge with scissors. I feel stupid, but it is better than screwing it all up with the weed whacker. Snip, snip, snip. It is mostly along the edges where we have the flowers and we built it up with pavers.
The Front Porch
I am going to repaint the porch, as the snow shovel and snow beat it up a little. Or more specifically, the 1/3 of the porch near the door got a little beat. The other 2/3 of it is fine, but since I will be painting, I might as well do the whole thing. We have extra paint, so no expense...just time. That will be Memorial Day weekend, since the likelihood of showings will be low, and it will have an extra day to dry. I also bought spray paint to freshen the mailbox and the wreath hanger on the door. I added a planter to the porch with flowers, so it looks more home-y.
The deck really needs to be reboarded, but we weren't about to start that now. Then came the idea to restain it (putting lipstick on a pig, as my husband said). Research showed that would require WAY more work than I could do in a short period of time (I could use the "shortcut" stain and not sand the floor, but couldn't use that product for the lattice that surrounds the deck. The lattice required a different product, and that would require sanding). Just for giggles, I called a few places and found out it would be about $2000 to have someone come do it (dealing with those guys on the phone was a delight).
OK...so that isn't going to work. So the final decision was to "stage" the deck. Any money we put into this project would at least be for "us" as we would take it all with us. I moved our conversation chairs to the upper deck (which surrounds the pool), and bought 2 expensive side tables. I made some placemat pillows that we put out for showings (I haven't had a chance to waterproof them, so they move inside and out), along with some candles. For the lower deck, we bought a patio set and 2 trips to Home Depot to get it home and several hours to put it together (nothing lined up, I had to order a replacement part for a defective part...then they sent the wrong part...) and we have a more put together look. I got some stuff to dress the table, a few pots for plants, more placemat pillows. I even got a rug (the rug still needs some pizazz, which I am hoping will be a project for this weekend). Total cost....$550.
When we have a showing, I sweep it all, wipe all the tables, set the table, place the pillows. It helps distract from the deck that needs a facelift.
I really didn't want to buy this stuff. No one has said that the deck was a negative. But I was also looking at trying to sell a "lifestyle." Sitting on the deck with your beverage of choice, taking a dip in the pool. Still, I wasn't thrilled spending the money. It came from our "moving" savings, so no new debt.
The Flowers/Follage Beds
I planted some annuals in the front (a few didn't make it....sad). I still need to dig out some of the built up mulch and put fresh mulch down. We also have large beds on the sides of the property that have follage, and now I am dealing with cleaning those out as well. Weeds, sticks, misc stuff.
My peonies are on the "unused" side of the house, and they aren't even close to blooming yet. But another Memorial Day project will be cleaning up that side of the house.
Darn weeds....you pluck them...and they come back! Why can't this be a "one and done" type project?
But alas.....none of this compares to the biggest adventure....and probably the one thing that is turning out to be the deciding fate.....The Pool. Remember I said that something happened? Remember I said be careful what you wish for????