Fishing for us has taken a pretty big hit. Boat gas yesterday was 6.29 a gallon. That makes offshore trips REALLY expensive. We are adjusting but it means less trips and we go less far. We still enjoy it but the depth you fish here makes a difference.
D. seems somewhat stabilized. She has been staying on her meds. We think what finally convinced her to make this commitment is, in a moment of clarity she realized she had blown her entire $60 grand divorce settlement AND has a pile of bills from 5 baker acts. She is depressed right now but that's better than manic. Also, she gave up her apartment and moved in with mom.
The main reason I decided to post an update is....I've finally finished my 2 new books. Although I felt like I was close a while back, I still had a lot of work to do. I got nervous about copyright issues with some of the images I was using so I went through the entire book and made sure all of my images were legal for commercial use. I catalogued where I got each image from just in case. Lots of work but I'll sleep better. I also had some pictures that weren't quite right to my eye so I cleaned that up as well. Anyways, I'll be ordering ISBNs today and hopefully sending everything to the printer tomorrow.
Our condo is great but we are getting less and less comfortable with an airbnb above us. The owner had definitely worked on getting better renters but it still makes us a little uncomfortable. We can hear every footstep above us and it is just not a situation we want to be in for the next 30 years. Add that to the fact that at any time either owner above us could change.
We will be giving up probably the best view there is on Tampa Bay. But we hope to get a little bigger place and hopefully a much quieter place. The new one will still be on the water, though (not negotiable).
The real estate market is probably not the best right now but really the only concern we have is the difference in what we can sell our place for and what we have to pay for a new place. Hopefully a wash no matter what the market does.
I talked to my friend who is a real estate broker. He has a friend discount which should help considerably. He's also super knowledgeable about the area.
We found an area we like and there are homes in our price range. The market over there isn't overheated but there's definitely not a fire sale going on. We'll lose our view but we'll get square footage and we'll still be on the water.
There are quite a few condos for sale in our complex. It is a bit worrying but none are as big as ours or have our view so hopefully that will be a plus.
We are waiting on a photographer to list. Next week.
I am now tracking sales in our condo development as well as listings in the area we want to buy. Redfin and Zillow are both pretty awesome. You get instant notifications if anything has changed, like price changes, pending sales, etc.
Although this is good, it is contributing to some increasing anxiety. Just seeing things move off the market where we are looking and nothing selling in my complex has me really nervous.
We went house hunting Saturday. I was not in any way prepared to buy anything.
The first two houses we looked out were fine. One was really big but sort of oddly arranged. Really giant big center room with bedrooms on each side. I wasn't sold on the immediate neighborhood. It seemed sort of cramped and busy, but that's the norm in the area we are looking.
The second house was very homey. A family lived there. It would have been perfect for a family but it was sort of set up funky. My wife and the realtor really like it but it didn't speak to me.
As soon as we pulled into the third house I told my wife I liked the curb appeal. It is back in a cul-de-sac but pretty close to the main road out of the area. We walked in and both immediately felt that this is the one. I had looked at it online and pretty much ruled it out but it was sooo different in person. All of the homes we are looking at are on canals but most are on skinny canals that you can almost jump over (I'm exaggerating). This one is on a junction of several canals and has quite a large area of water behind us. When we were on the dock a man rowed by in his kayak and said he lived a couple houses down. He said he loved this little area and it was really quiet. Then we met the neighbors on one side and they said the same thing. Really nice people who had been there for over 20 years.
We went to a fourth house that was directly across the canal from the third house. You could see the other house from each dock. It was much larger and cheaper. It's funny how the last thing you look at makes you rethink the previous. We thought about the extra space and how much more house we could get for the money. The real estate agent there wasn't doing the owner any favors. She just followed us around and never stopped talking. Super annoying. One of the minuses is that they are building some massive condos at the end of the street and I'm sure the traffic would be an issue. Even then it made us rethink the previous house.
It made us rethink so much that we actually drove back to the previous house to look again. It was an open house but nobody had shown up. We talked to the agent for a while and learned they sellers were super motivated to get this done, but she did think there might be another offer coming. She also told us they had sold this a month ago but the buyer's financing fell through and it messed up their plans to get another place.
The price was right for us to be able to get it even if we haven't sold our place. Plus, although we don't want to, we can take bottom dollar for our condo if worse comes to worse.
In the end this house spoke to us. Both my wife and I said "this is the one", we have to make an offer. So we did. We went a little under asking but it was a cash offer. We found out later that there was indeed another offer for more than ours but it was going to be financing. I guess the owners didn't want to get burned again.
Anyways, they accepted our offer!
Now the fun part. Condos in our complex are simply not selling. I'm guessing we'll have to take what we can get, but that will be fine given that we bought the new house on the low end of our range. But, we have two months (requested by seller) before we close so hopefully we get this done.
Congratulations and what mark said. Cash up front for the condo rent plus a percent of sales.
It is odd how you sometimes just stumble into "the one", isn't it? My realtor had taken me around a little bit, didn't see anything that spoke to me. A few days later, I saw a sign for open house here coming back from the store one day, thought, "Well, I should stop in."
22+ years later, here I am.
Did you measure the dock to ensure your boat fits?
I'm literally losing sleep these days. The money situation is keeping me up. Ultimately we'll be fine but not knowing how long our place will be on the market and how much we'll get is not making me comfortable.
My agent came by with the photographer to take pictures of our place. I told him I was nervous and he did say that the market is a bit slower, but not as bad as I was thinking. He told me he likes to list things very close or even below market to sell quickly. He says he has done quite well with this strategy because it generates multiple offers. Then he told me what he thought we should list it. OMG. Significantly more than I was thinking. Fingers crossed.