From FOR SALE to SOLD

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So as I explained earlier, we have just put our house on the market.  I have a few tips for everyone undertaking this feat.  And trust me, when you have kids nothing is ‘easy’.

First know your market.

  • What are the interest rates like.
  • How many houses are typically on the market.
  • Go to a few open houses and take notes, what stuck out as appealing or an eyesore.  Write these down and keep them to refer back to later.
  • What is the average price per square footage.
  • How long a house typically is on the market in your area.
  • What type of family/person are you selling to (small one bedroom – bachelor, young professional, 3-4 bedroom family with kids most likely etc.)

Take notes on…

  • What sold you on this house when you bought it.
  • What improvements you have made.
  • What value you have added.

Find a Realtor.

You want someone who is going to work for you.  I personally want someone who will get in touch with me on everything and on a regular basis.

Sidenote -with our first house we were 1000 miles away when it was on the market.  After a bad choice in realtor – lack of communication, almost no communication and the realtor not trying at all to sell the house, we let her go and found someone willing to work for us.  It paid off.

  • How will the house be marketed and how often.
  • Discuss with your Realtor whether any open houses would be beneficial.
  • What changes would the Realtor recommend.  Something as simple as altering furniture placement or a wall color could make a big difference.
  • Remember this person is working for you, and it is your money on the line.

Ahh the dreaded cleaning.

  • Plan on doing a full top to bottom Spring Cleaning.
  • Baseboards, windows, behind furniture and appliances, fans, lights, light switches, outlet covers, oven, the full workup.  Including the carpets professionally cleaned.
  • Sweep the garage, porch, outside stairs or walkways and basement.
  • Power Spray the house and driveway.

Declutter, declutter, declutter.

  • Start one room at a time.
  • Anything that you won’t be needing for the next 6 months, pack up immediately.  That means out of season clothes, shoes, blankets, toys that aren’t being played with daily, all the nick nacks that you have collected and sit out on shelves and dressers.  You are basically pre-packing for the new house, throw away items not worth saving and donate anything you can do without but is worth saving.
  • Go room to room and declutter (don’t forget your kitchen cabinets too!), then when you are done, do it again.  After 2 times through you will find your house newly organized and a LOT more easier to clean too.  My motto – If it doesn’t have a ‘home’ then it goes.
  • One way to think of it is; you are not only selling your house but a new way of life.  If your life is organized, and free from clutter those viewing the home will not only be able to concentrate on the house better but they will also be able to view themselves in the space.  Most people want to live in an organized space.  So sell it baby.

Last minute checklist before showings.

  • Dust the main areas that collect dust.
  • Clean major windows (front door, main windows on the first floor that collect finger prints)
  • Wipe down appliances.
  • Make sure there are not any dishes in the sink and countertops are clean.
  • Light a candle to make the home smell fresh.  Typically if your own home has an unpleasant odor you are accustomed to it but others are not so make sure there is a pleasant homey smell.  (I love apple cinnamon or fresh linen, hiding dryer sheets in closets and dressers helps too.)
  • Sweep main areas.
  • I like to have my laundry done and put away.
  • Walk through make sure all toys and items are put away in their ‘homes’.

Most other things should already be taken care of.  I like cleaning up every evening before bed so the house is ready to go in the morning.

Good luck everyone!

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Absence explained

Well everyone, I have been out of the blogger world for a little while now but I will be slowly getting back into it.  I am all about organizing, planning, and making life as low stress as possible and for me the last few weeks my attention was needed elsewhere.  We have a house now for sale and prepping it, cleaning from top to bottom, decluttering, yardwork, painting and the many other items involved in getting everything ready on top of the normal mom housework and child-rearing, I was not able to set aside time for my blog.  But Im back! Maybe not full force yet but you will be seeing more from me.  And I think a few posts on getting your house ready for sale may be in my future.  

Confession

I have a confession to make.  I am overwhelmed with everthing going on in our household right now which has left me rather less than perfect in other areas of my  – strive to be organized life.  We are going to be selling our house (hopefully it will go on the market in mid March), that in its self is quite stressful but we have remodeled our whole 2000 square foot house in the past 2 years of living here.  Of course there are some projects left unfinished and less impressive that we would like.  So we are trying to finish these projects; some large some small, meanwhile I am attempting to….

  • get the house completely clean
  • find a job
  • declutter
  • sell unwanted objects
  • go through our storage, closets, clothes, everthing and get rid of what is not really needed
  • paint all the trim
  • paint the playroom
  • paint the bathroom
  • take border off master bedroom wall (only room we haven’t painted since we moved in)
  • meanwhile our angel of a little girl at 9 months is getting into everything and loves to be independent and crawl but has found a real passion for climbing
  • I think my 3 yr old has never watched this much tv in his life, yuck not good

 

So there are a few, and trust me I didn’t want to bore you all with the long to-do list.  But I so have no desire to cook which is something I usually really enjoy.  Ugh, I can’t wait for things to slow down.  But I also am not looking forward to saying goodbye to this house we have made ‘ours’ the past 2 years.

What to do this weekend, Park / Playground

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I’m always trying to find ideas for things to do as a family over the weekend.  I don’t want to look back on the ‘younger years’ and think I just let them pass by because with kids life is just so hectic.  Every Friday I will be trying to think of something to do as a family, and likely will be something we will be doing.  So maybe I’ll see you there!

Thompson Park Watertown, NY

Map to Thompson Park

When we first arrived to the area the only park I could find was Thompson park in Watertown.  The park is nice and there is a large playground area.  However for a 2 year old that is not the safest of places.  There are lots of ladders, ups and downs, and for a parent is very hard to watch the child unless you are right behind them.  Definitely not a sit on the bench and watch a youngster play sorta place.

Carthage Recreation Park

Map to Carthage Recreation Park

This is our families favorite park.  It has a great playground area with sandbox and two sections, one for toddlers, and the regular play area for the older kids.  Lots of space to play and lots to do.  There is a pole barn and picnic tables for a picnic, large open field for more play area, and a large building that I believe you can rent for birthday parties (haven’t done it so not 100% on that).  We LOVE this park.  The parents that come are always friendly and unlike Thompson park I have yet to see this park overcrowded with kids.

Franklin St Park  in West Carthage

Franklin St Park in West Carthage map

I have stopped by this park a few times.  It is right across the road from the West Carthage Trooper station and Justice Court.  This park is worth visiting but is simple and the playground area is small.  There isn’t a lot of variety to play on.  When I am on a time crunch but I want to let the kids play this is where we stop.

Here are some other parks that may be closer to you, we haven’t been so I leave you to check it out let me know what you think!

Adam’s Recreational Park

Jack Williams Recreation Park, Evans Mills

Maple St Park, Black River

I think there is a small park in Brownville but I haven’t found it yet.

Riteaid trip

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Nail polish $0.49
Vaseline lotion $2.97
(4) Colgate toothpaste at $3.50 ea ($14)
(2) Tylenol pain cream $5.99 ea ($11.98)
Brainstrong toddler $13
(2) kid 7 day pill reminder $1.24 ea ($2.48)

Used
$1.00/1 vaseline lotion
(2) $5/1 Tylenol precise cream or patch
$2/1 brainstrong

$28 in previous Up+

Total cash $4.81

Total Up+ earned $29

Cost including tax was $3.81 for $63.78 worth of products.

Pallet chair rail

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I love a ‘rustic’ look and I love repurposing items.  My husband and I decided to use wood pallets and some old wooden ammo boxes to create a chair rail in our kitchen.  After remodeling the kitchen, and I mean total remodel from tearing old lathe and plaster and creating a grand cathedral ceiling, quartz countertops, the works.  The walls of this old house still are not as you would say… umm straight.  So our new flooring would be right up perfectly against the wall, and then a foot or two away there would be an inch gap.  So to do the moldings to match the rest of the colonial type moldings in the rest of the house and make an extra molding around the whole edge we would be looking at $500.  Just not in the budget that we have left. This is our low budget and eco friendly answer.

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This is our sunroom / workshop / tool storage / toys left out / everything room. It is a mess anytime we have a project underway. (Which is most of the time.)

Here we have pallet boards and old wooden ammo crate boards which i have washed and are drying.

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We started laying out a few boards to see how they would look.

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Liquid nails, finishing nails and an occasional lg nail gun into a stud on the top rail.

It is starting to come together.

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Extra hands helped speed up the process.

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And that is our chair rail in the corner of our kitchen / main entry area hence the coat rack. Cost for the whole kitchen…
3 liquid nails
1 box finishing nails
Free wood from pallets and wood boxes

About $12 (so far…i might sand, stain and polyurethane still)

If you want a look with less variation sand, stain, and polyurethane away. I havent decided whether or not to do that. I do recommend the polyurethane though.

What to do this weekend, Velocity in Watertown

I’m always trying to find ideas for things to do as a family over the weekend.  I don’t want to look back on the ‘younger years’ and think I just let them pass by because with kids life is just so hectic.  Every Friday I will be trying to think of something to do as a family, and likely will be something we will be doing.  So maybe I’ll see you there!

We haven’t tried Velocity in Watertown, NY yet, but we have been to lots of other bounce houses.  Syracuse has lots and Ithaca has one in the mall that we have been to a few times.  Velocity is in the public square area, they have two windows full of plastic balls from a ball pit.

Check them out at http://www.velocityfun.com/ to see what they have to offer.  Here are some highlights…

  • laser tag
  • bounce house
  • arcade
  • party room for special events
  • simple restaurant with pizza, hot dogs etc

Softplay pic

If you go please comment about your experience; price, friendliness,will you go back etc etc.

Kitchen , old = new

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I kind of have this thing for using old stuff and repurposing items.  I just finished putting this up today.

The wooden brackets are from the old victorian corner trim that you would see on the outside of a house.  Two boards that were very weathered found in our old barn. One wooden box, an old ammo box, one old grease box and a wooden barrel missing the bottom.  all found in our barn.  The desk is one given to me by my brother when he moved and i think he picked it up on the side of the road or at the thrift store.  Total cost to me…8 screws and a little elbowgrease cleaning everything.  I love it hope you do too.

Post your great find and cool project pics, i want to see yours too!

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Burlap Burlap Burlap

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We have a sunroom with 4 double large windows and 1 small window. The cost for making curtains was going to be $150 or more for all of the fabric, pleating tape, etc etc. a little more than what I have in my curtain fund right now. So after a lot of shopping around and trying to come up with ideas like using fabric shower curtains, sheets, or anything else my Mom and I found while shopping, I felt like giving up. Then we came up with the idea of using burlap. Our house decor is ‘rustic country’ I like to call it. Not so much the primitive country that is very popular right now, although we do have some primitive elements. So burlap curtains just sounded like they would fit in great.

After finding burlap for $3.99/yd and having a 50% off coupon, plus another 20% total purchase coupon, I am on my way to making burlap curtains. Another cool thing (I think it is cool) I am going to be making these as a ‘no sew’ curtain so anyone can do it. Right now I am using red ribbon to help the curtains really pop. And when I have a few panels done I will hopefully be posting a tutorial on making your own no sew burlap curtains.