Friday, April 30, 2010

Mixed Emotions

We had to stop at Ryan Homes last night to sign off on our new purchase price, now that they have the finalized price for the customization in the basement as well as the flooring selections.  While we were there, our sales rep told us that she needed us to sign another addendum ... something everyone else in contract right now has to sign.  Just the way that she approached in made me uneasy, and I could see Kevin was feeling the same way.  Let me first summarize what we already know about the area and that we're okay with.  Northeast Ohio basically sits in a geographical area that is a water basin - being so close to the Lake, this is just a fact and it is something we knew - whether we live in Mentor or Painesville Twp. 

Now - let me summarize how she shared the news of the addendum with us.  Apparently someone in the community rose a big stink to the city because his sump pump ran a lot.  He never had any water issues, but didn't like that this sump ran as frequently as it did.  His stink was so big that he caused the city to mandate that the developer do yet another land study to make sure that the land is fit to have homes with basements built on it.  The city engineer has been involved and the results will be revealed at this Monday's City Council meeting.  In the meantime, the corporate powers-that-be at Ryan Homes are asking that everyone under contract sign this addendum.  One of the bullet points on it states that while we've elected to have a basement built in our home, if the city deems that the land conditions aren't fit for a basement, then we have to move forward with the purchase of the home, but without the basement.

Our take?  We refuse.  We don't want the house without a basement.  To us it should be black and white:
1.  There is a problem with the land, basements shouldn't be built, and we want out of our contract because it wouldn't stand as it did when agreed upon by both parties (ourselves and Ryan Homes)
2.  There is no problem with the land, so nothing has changed, and therefore nothing additional should be signed by us.

This is the position we took with our sales rep (who has been awesome this whole time, by the way).  She said to trust her, that it wouldn't stand for us - if we're told that basements can't be built, then we can walk away free and clear ... although that piece of paper that we would have signed would say just the opposite.  We love our sales rep, but we can't trust a verbal agreement from anyone - not when you're talking this much money.  No way, no how. 

She sent us with the papers.  She said they need to be signed by Tuesday morning and we'll know the results of the city meeting by then.  We just don't want to sign them at all - see the two points above.  She mentioned that basically this paper is more or less for them to state clearly that a sump pump will be in the home.  Well, if that is the case, they need to draw up papers that say a sump pump will be in the home, plain and simple.  We'll sign that in a heartbeat.

Kevin actually called the City Engineer directly this morning.  He gave Kevin peace of mind - said he did the studies, has reviewed all results, and everything looks perfectly fine for basements to be built.  But again - we still won't sign.  Kevin is going to contact the sales office with our concerns.  Praying all goes the way God feels it should.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lists about Lists

Pack, pack, pack.  I feel like that is all that I do in the evenings and on my days off.  I'd say that roughly 75% of our entire house is packed up.  I basically have touched almost everything with the exception of clothes, furniture, and toys - most of which are going with us to Kevin's parent's house anyhow.

We've decided that we're most likely just going to move on in with them on Sunday, May 9th.  What a great Mother's Day gift for my mother-in-law!  (haha)  We are getting a Uhaul on the 8th, and my parents will be here with their truck, giving us a hand in moving.  It only makes sense to me that we take full advantage of the trucks and the help and get everything into storage that day.  I feel like I am in limbo right now and I just don't like the feeling.  I need to feel settled - or as settled as possible.

I have lists everywhere.  A list of what utilities have been cancelled and still need to be.  A list of who I've changed our address with and who I haven't.  A list of things to leave and write down for the new owner.  A list of items that we need to make sure we've purchased by the time the house is built.

Two items on that list are a washer and dryer.  The buyer asked in the sale of the home that we leave our washer and dryer.  I didn't really think twice - they are 8 years old and I didn't mind not having to lug them into storage, then into the new house.  But I didn't think about how much I hate shopping for stuff like this.  It isn't fun to me.  And now you throw these front-loaders into the mix and I am just all confused, not knowing what I should buy and what I shouldn't.

I think we'll head to Lowes, Home Depot, and Sears this weekend or next and take a look at their 'dent and scratch' items.  I got this suggestion from a friend who got an awesome LG set for $400 off because they each had a little scratch in the side - a scratch in a place where she'll never see it with how her laundry room is set up.  Heck - I'll live with a scratch if it keeps $400 in my wallet at this point.  Bring on the deals ...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Flooring, Flooring and More Flooring!

This afternoon we had our flooring meeting - our last and final meeting of picking things out (aside from a follow-up meeting with Guardian Technologies about some changes we want to make).  This was a lot of fun, just a teeny bit stressful, and more expensive than we had planned - but we kept focused on the fact that we want to do this the right way the first time and pick out exactly what we want!

Here are pictures of our selections:

Here is what we've selected for the master bathroom.  The soaking tub will be surrounded by the middle tile and then the top decorative tile.  The shower will have two full walls of the middle tile accented by the top decorative tile, and two full walls of glass.  Lastly, the bottom tile will be the bathroom flooring.

Here you can see our cabinet color.  (See my prior post to see our cabinets with the granite countertops).  Below it you can see the color of hardwood flooring that we've chosen, along with the ceramic tile.  The hardwood will be in the entry way, the dining room, the hallway to the living room and in the half bath.  All of these areas are connected, so you won't see a break in the flooring.  The ceramic tile will be in the kitchen, the morning room, and in the laundry room - also all connected.  At no point will the hardwood butt up against the ceramic tile, beacuse the living room separates the two areas and it will be carpeted.  The stain color of the hardwood floor is also what our stair rail and fireplace mantel stain will be.

Here are the two carpets we've selected - both very similar.  The top one will be in the main floor living room, on the stairs going upstairs, and in the entire top level.  We upgraded to 6-lb padding for these areas as well.  The bottom one will be in the basement, where we've upgraded to 8-lb padding.

One place where we felt we could save a little bit of money is in the full bath in the hallway of the top floor (Riley's bathroom) and in the basement full bath.  We're going to keep the standard (i.e. 'included") vinyl flooring in those two bathrooms.  Kevin wants to have a project eventually, so he said his project could be doing tile at some point in the future if we really want it.

So here is everything at a glance.  I loved the sales rep who helped us with all of this.  She has a college degree in interior design and it showed - she definitely helped steer us in the right direction with color decisions and we are thrilled at what we picked out!  (And yes, those are Riley's little legs in the corner of the picture.  I am glad she was part of the experience today, but wow - that wasn't easy!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend Updates and Pictures

Our weekend has been jam-packed with meetings for the new home, as I mentioned, as well as our home inspection here yesterday afternoon.  It's been a fabulous past three days and Kevin and I are getting more and more excited about everything that is transpiring!

I've already shared everything about the Guardian meeting.  Since Thursday afternoon we've visited the Florence model two times.  Glad we did.  We hadn't thought about the furniture arrangement in the living room on the main level and quickly realized that where we planned to have our television mounted wouldn't work - we'd need to switch walls.  Not a big deal, but something I needed to let our sales rep know asap. 

We finalized all of our upgrades.  It feels SO good to have everything decided upon and signed off on.  We decided to take full advantage of the building experience and go ahead and upgrade to a granite countertop in the master bathroom as well - something we hadn't planned on doing originally.  We decided on a few other things here and there and signed off on the final papers.

Also, since our house has officially sold, we signed papers to remove the contingency agreement with Ryan.  We're now in the full-sold mode!  Should something happen - God forbid - that we not close on our current home, then Ryan Homes would just stick the contingency agreement back on our purchase - but we don't foresee that happening.

Home Inspection
We had no intention of being at our house during the home inspection, but ended up returning to the house to the inspector and buyers still here.  Kevin came in to ask if it were okay if we came back early - no one had any issues with it.  I am glad we did.  I got to meet the buyer and let her know that I'd be leaving her all the names of the paint colors in the house, the company that services our furnace, as well as the installer/servicer of our A/C.  She was very nice.  It was funny to walk in to the house and see she and her fiance sitting downstairs on the couches, watching the Cavs game.  I had the strange feeling that I was intruding on their home - while it is still actually ours.

The inspector was super nice.  He noted on his report that especially given the age of the house, it is in excellent shape and has been very well upkept.  That made us proud.  We haven't heard the official report from our realtor in regards to what the buyers want fixed, but if they want everything that was noted, it will simply be installing four GFI outlets and fixing a gas leak in the basement (something we're fixing regardless, for our own safety, of course).  I am SO relieved to have that all over!  On to the next steps to take us to our May 10 closing!

Colors Meeting
We had our 'colors meeting' this evening.  This is where we finalize our cabinets, countertops, siding, brick, shutters, and fireplace.  We do all of our flooring and stain options tomorrow at noon.  This was a really fun meeting and made the whole thing seem super real.  Here are some pictures to illustrate:

This will be our siding color - "Hudson Bay" - with black shutters.  Our front door will be black and we'll have almond color trim and garage door.  Our exterior will also have brick, and it'll be the brick color shown on top of the picture - it's a brownish tone brick.  It's going to look SUPER sharp.

This is our exact combination in the kitchen - this granite, "Cherry Spice" cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.  It just so happened that the newest model in the neighborhood (not even open yet!) has the same exact combination, so we were able to step over and snap a pic of it!

Here is an upclose shot of the stone color that we'll be using for the fireplace.  Again, super handy that the new model had that exact same color stone for their fireplace, so I was able to get a picture of that entire thing, too!

Oh - and the most exciting news of all?  We're actually on Ryan Homes' schedule - slated for ground breaking to be June 2nd ... and we are scheduled to close and take possession of the house on August 11th!  That sounds so close to me!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Meeting Fun!

Tonight we had our meeting with Guardian Technologies.  I was a little apprehensive because I have heard several times that these sales people are extremely high pressure.  I was delightfully surprised.  Our sales rep was AWESOME.  I had done a decent amount of research on the products they offer and we knew what things we had absolutely no interest in.  All we had to do was tell him that and he moved right along; perfect.

While a lot of their stuff is super enticing to a somewhat gadget geek like myself, we didn't go overboard.  I am really excited about what we decided on.  We first decided on the location of our phone jacks and cable outlets that come standard with the house.  We then decided where we wanted additional cable jacks ... and which TVs would be hung on the wall, etc.  They run all the wiring during construction so everything is hidden in the walls.  I hate having any wires showing, etc, so this was exciting to me.  We also decided to have them pre-wire the living room and basement for surround sound.  We decided on two all-weather outdoor Bose speakers for the back deck, as well as a security system.  Very, very excited!  We had to put one-third down tonight, and pay the remainder once we move in. 

We'll have two more meetings with Guardian - placement and activation.  At the placement meeting we'll actually walk through the house once it is framed and mark on the exact studs where different wires and components will be.  Then at the activation meeting - once the house is done - we'll learn how to use the security system, etc.

We were originally going to have our 'colors meeting' tonight, too, but the Guardian one ran over and we decided to reschedule for Sunday.  This way we'll also use that time to confirm all of our upgrades and sign-off on those, too.  We have our flooring meeting scheduled for noon on Monday.  Then that's it!  We just have to wait to close on our house and provide them with our downpayment. 

Oh - it was also very exciting to walk in today and see the SALE sticker on our lot!!  407, baby!
The best part is that Kevin and I are just so excited. It is so awesome getting to do this together. I am building my dream house with my dream man for our dream framily. Life is good.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Seven Days of Agony

The next few days are going to be busy.  The home inspection is scheduled for this Saturday afternoon.  The buyer herself will be in town and will accompany the inspector here at the house.  I can't shake my nervous feeling.  I honestly have no reason to believe anything would fail, but I guess it is the unknown - is there something not quite right that only an inspector would know to look for?  I guess I hate not having control over certain things - and I feel like I have no control over this.  We should have all results/decisions by next Thursday ... so I just have another week of agony.  Geeeeeesh.

Today I stood at a fax machine for nearly one hour while I faxed a total of 83 pages over to our mortgage loan officer.  Kevin checked out mortgage rates this morning and saw that 15-year rates were down to 4.25%, so he took action to get us locked in to that rate immediately.  We're locked in!  I can't believe we're going to do a 15-year mortgage - that feels AMAZING!  Without doing the exact math, we will save about $170,000 total in interest that we won't pay for those extra 15 years.  That's incredible.

Tomorrow night we have two meetings at Ryan Homes.  First is our meeting with Guardian Home Technologies.  They'll help us pick all of our options for home theater wiring, security system, etc.  I have heard that they can be pretty pushy on their sales (we aren't interested in the intercom systems, central vaccum, etc), so we'll see how that goes.  At least we have an easy out because our next meeting is at 5:30.  It's our "Colors Meeting", where we'll select all exterior colors (door, trim, siding, brick, shutters), as well as cabinets, hardware, etc.  I am really excited for that.  We won't do any flooring selections there, though - that all comes at a separate meeting that still needs to be scheduled.

I've been pricing storage units over the past few days.  Looks like the U-Store-It between here and the new house will be the winner.  The first month is free, and based on the size that we need, we'll get a voucher for 2 free hours from Two Men and a Truck on our move-in date ... so that rocks.  It'll cost about $400 for three months of 10x30 storage.  Not too shabby.

Lastly, I am happy that my Craigslist postings have been getting a fair amount of action.  In fact, one couple just left after loading up two dressers that they purchased from us.  I just really don't want to move, store and move anything that we have no intention of keeping. 

I'm beat - physically and mentally.  Time for bed.  I'll update on the two meetings tomorrow night.

Monday, April 12, 2010

This Part is Nerve-Wracking!

We were at our realtor's office this morning, bright and early, to sign all of the purchase agreement papers for the sale of our house.  While it's all exciting, it's also unsettling.  Over the next two weeks several different inspections will be done.  While I have absolutely no reason to believe that any would fail, it still leaves you feeling a little unnerved.

We also need an appraiser to come through.  Typically this wouldn't be necessary, but the buyer is doing a FHA home loan, meaning that she is only required to put down 3.5%, so the bank wants to be absolutely sure that the home is worth what the buyer is taking the loan out for, should she default. 

I just want all of these formalities to be done and over with so that we can move forward with 100% confidence.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And So It Begins

I just laid Riley down for her nap and I am all ready to start packing.  Kevin is out golfing and watching The Masters with the guys today, so it's a great chance for me to just make a mess of things in order to get them organized.  I saw a great idea on a Martha Stewart site about assigning a color to each room ... then use construction paper on the boxes to organize what should be delivered to which room at the new house.  Being the anal person I am, I'll be doing just that!  (You know ... apparently writing the name of the room on the box isn't good enough for me.  HA!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's Official!

7436 Jeremy Avenue has officially SOLD.  I can't believe it.  Our realtor called this evening to say that the buyer has accepted our counter offer.  We are to sign paperwork Monday morning at 9am.  We are thrilled.

But now this awesome news brings with it a long list of things to stress about.  Details about what we do in the interim (our house won't be completed until early to mid-August).  Details about where to store our furniture until then.  Do we get movers to the storage unit?  Do we get movers from the storage unit?  I feel as though there are a million things going through my head right now and I just can't sleep.

One thing is for sure.  We have 45 days left in our house.  That is exciting and sad to me.  I am sure I'll cry when we walk out the door for the very last time, but I'll be excited for our new life that is going to begin.

Granted, this all could change should something fall through with the buyer's loan ... or if inspections fail.  But we don't foresee any of that happening, as she is pre-approved and I have faith in our house.

Wish me a good night of sleep - I don't think I am going to get it.  And I am sure this is just the beginning.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have An Offer.

When the phone rang a little after 9pm - and the caller ID showed Private - my heart skipped a beat.  I knew our realtor's phone number appeared this way.  And why in the world would he call that late for any reason other than an offer?

Thank the Lord I was right.

We've received an offer - and it isn't all that bad.  Kevin and I sat together, as our realtor gave us the details over the speakerphone.  The potential buyer wants us to include the fireplace and bar in the sale of the home.  She wants us to pay her closing fees.  She also came in at $10,000 less than our asking price.  Being that I am new to this whole process, when I first heard that, my heart sunk.  But then Kevin gave me a thumbs up and I had hope again.  This set us up nicely for a counter offer.  Our realtor asked that we think it over and call him by 11pm tonight or early tomorrow morning.

So Kevin poured two glasses of wine in celebration and we sat down to work through some numbers.  We took our time.  We talked through scenarios.  We put ourselves in the buyer's shoes.  We came back with a counter that we felt was reasonable, and at about 10:45pm Kevin picked up the phone and called our realtor.  He liked what we came up with and said that we should be hearing back from him tomorrow night.

Now we pray.

We'll be at Cirque Du Soleil's Alegria tomorrow night with my parents and my grandma.  I am so excited they'll be up here when we possibly receive the phonecall that could change our life.  I know that is a big statement, but seriously - this is life changing.  I can't believe it is happening ... and we've only been listed online with pictures for twenty days!  We have an open house scheduled for Sunday, and at the advice of our realtor, we're keeping it scheduled.  If nothing else, that could light a fire under this buyer to accept our counter sooner.  So ... should this buyer accept our counter-offer, here is the timeline:

* Inspections in the next 10 days (buyer is bringing in her own inspectors, at her own cost)
* May 10th - Closing date
* May 15th - Be out of the house for good by 1pm

When signing the Purchase Agreement with Ryan Homes the other night, they estimate that we should be able to close on our new home by early to mid-August.  It normally wouldn't take this long (their average is about 80 days, start to finish), but since we're building in a brand new phase, they are still finishing up all paperwork with the city for utility lines, etc, so ground can't be broken as soon as we close on our current home.  Sooo ... it looks as though we will be roomies with Kevin's parents for a while!

We'll see what tomorrow night's phonecall brings.  Until then, we'll pray.  God is so amazing, I cannot wait to see what He has in store for us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Papers are Signed!

Last night we spent nearly 2.5 hours with our sales rep at Ryan Homes and walked away with a signed and dated Purchase Agreement to build our new home!  We have a contingency addendum on the agreement, which allows us to lock in the current pricing and select our lot (407, baby!).  We have to make a payment to Ryan Homes every 30 days to keep the contingency agreement current, but the money goes towards the downpayment of the home.  Plus, if we decide for any reason that we no longer want to move forward, we get 100% of our money back, no questions asked.  To us this was a win/win situation.  We know that we're moving forward - just as long as our house sells.

So signing the mounds of paperwork last night set off a chain reaction of deadlines and meetings - all of which will be happening in the next two weeks.  We're going to be busy people.  I am SO happy that we took the time in the past 3-4 weeks to sit down and seriously talk through upgrades, options, wants versus needs, etc so that we don't feel like the walls are closing in around us in these 14 days.  We feel very, very prepared!

Must be done in next 14 days:
  • Meet with NVR loan officer for mortgage loan approval process, discussions around locking in rates, decision on 15-year versus 30-year mortgage, etc.  This has to be done within the next 7 days; We have this scheduled for this Thursday.
  • Solidify all structural decisions (this includes homesite, house type, front elevation, and fireplace). Must be done in next 7 days. We already have all of this decided upon and locked in.  Any changes to any structural decisions past the 7 days mark are subject to a $750 fee per change.
  • Meet with flooring sales associate in Oakwood to pick out all hardwood, tile, and carpeting for the house.  This is the one aspect that we haven't seen any pricing or options around.  This actually has to happen within the next 10 days.
  • Solidify all upgrade decisions.  We have the bulk of these decisions made and just have a few different things that we're going back and forth on.  This must be done in the next 14 days.  Any changes to any upgrades past the 14 day mark are subject to a $250 fee per change.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The 2nd Showing (#10 total)

Today's showing was a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the weather.  Riley, Wendell and I drove the car down around the corner, parked it, then took a really nice walk.  In fact, we ended up just walking back to the house and will return for the car later.

The realtor along with three women went through the house today.  I could just barely see them in the distance as I was returning back towards the house - they had already been inside and were chatting for a decent amount of time in the driveway.  Of course, if you don't know me well enough already, in my mind I am sure they were talking offers and my cell phone should ring any minute now.

Now, realistically, they were probably just chatting and even maybe talking about more properties they were about to go see.  But a girl can dream, right?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Whew ... I can't wait for tomorrow!

Since my last post, I actually spoke to the showing agent.  I love her!  She was so sweet and confirmed that by not showing Saturday we weren't losing our chances of interest on the house.  Here's the story:

She showed the house to a man on Thursday.  She says he really liked it.  His fiance hasn't seen it yet, but is coming through tomorrow (Monday).  She was out of town this past weekend, but his mom was with him, viewing some homes.  The agent said that he liked a house they saw, but asked her if they could get back in here again.  The agent thought this was really good and actually said that he felt a little relieved knowing that we put a 'no show' restriction on the house this weekend so that no one could see it.  So tomorrow is the second showing for this couple ... and I am very optimistic!  We came home from my parent's tonight and went right to work on the yard.  Kevin mowed and I cleaned up some of the landscaping from the winter weather.  It just looks great.

Oh!  We also buried St. Joseph tonight!  Upside down, facing the road, near the For Sale sign!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I Hope We Didn't Screw Up Our Chances!

We're at my mom and dad's this weekend for the Easter holiday.  Before leaving the house yesterday (Friday), we made the decision to call the Centralized Showing Service and ask that they restrict any showings until we return Sunday evening.  We just wanted to get out of the house and on the road as quickly as possible ... and left things out without tidying up.  The house isn't a wreck by any means, but things aren't put away.  Plus, cell phone reception is scarce at my parent's house, so it would be a headache for the CSS to get in touch with us to have a showing approved anyhow.

When I called to make this request, I was told that Angie Black - the realtor who did Thursday's showing(s) - wanted to bring someone thru for the second showing on Monday from 12-1.  YAY!  A second showing!  I couldn't run upstairs fast enough to tell Kevin!

Well, just this morning we received a voicemail from CSS - Angie Black was hoping we'd grant an exception so that she could show the house for a second time from 11-11:30am this morning.  I didn't get the voicemail until 10:30am.  I called CSS back and explained that a showing until tomorrow evening just isn't possible (plus, for safety reasons, I removed our key from the keybox anyhow) ... but that she could show it as early as 4pm tomorrow night.  They said they'd let her know and would call us back if she wanted to do that.  It's been nearly five hours - no call back.

Worried and sick that we've now lost a chance at a second showing and potentially an offer, I called Angie Black directly.  I received her voicemail, but explained to her why we restricted showings this weekend and hoped that we hadn't lost our chances with that buyer ... and asked that she call me at my parent's house if she needed to.  I haven't heard from her yet ... but just really hope we didn't screw our chances up. 

A realtor - and a potential buyer - would understand, right?  I mean it is a holiday weekend ... so I just pray that our chances are still there when we return tomorrow night.  At least we still have the showing on Monday ...

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

St Joseph Himself!

The DD coffee cup gives you a feel for this teeny guy's size!  I can dig this hole with a kitchen spoon if I want!

Weekly Update from the Realtor

We had another showing last night.  This brings the grand total to 8, excluding the agent-walk thru.  The agent showing was one of the agent's on the walk thru, so I'd like to imagine that when she saw the house during that time, she immediately had a buyer in mind who she felt the house would work for.  I sure hope so!

Also, we received our weekly update from our realtor's office yesterday.  This was our second week to get the feedback from the previous week's showings.  I always hold my breath when this call comes in - and let it go straight to voicemail - since I'll want to listen to it over ... and over ... and over again. 

Weekly Update - 3/31/10
  • 452 web hits on; 584 hits on
  • House being featured on 87 websites & will be in magagzine with color pictures
  • 4 showings last week:
    • 3/23 - curb appeal excellent, interior clean and well kept, nice backyard, no improvements needed, priced about right, very nice home
    • 3/25 - curb appeal excellent, interior clean and well kept, exterior needs updating, considering and is #2 on their list
    • 3/25 - Still awaiting feedback
    • 3/26 - curb appeal excellent, interior clean and well kept, nice basement, want sidewalks, no improvements needed, priced right
Weekly Update - 3/24/10

  • 283 web hits on; 564 hits on
  • House being featured on 87 websites & will be in magazine with color pictures
  • 3 showings last week:
    • 3/20 - curb appeal excellent, interior clean and well kept, property staying on buyer's short list, prefers an additional bath
    • 3/20 - (Realtor only) - Feels she has a buyer for this property
    • 3/22 - Curb appeal excellent, interior clean and well kept, very nice finished basement, prefers sidewalks
So all of the feedback has been really positive, which makes us feel great.  We want to get specifics from the people who mentioned the exterior needs updating, as we (as well as our family, neighbors, and realtor) have absolutely no clue what else could be updated from the exterior, as EVERYTHING is new (with the exception of a new driveway) ... so that one baffles us and we'd like specifics.

I'm About to Bury a Statue ...

Yesterday, knowing that we're trying to sell our house, a co-worker asked me if I had buried a statue of St. Joseph in my yard yet.  I hadn't the slightest clue what she was talking about!  Then she handed me some print-outs telling about why you should bury a statue of St. Joseph to help sell your house.

I called the local Christian bookstore and lo and behold - the cashier knew exactly what I was talking about and told me to come on in.  So last night I picked up my own St. Joseph statue for the front yard.  She instructed me on what to do with it - bury him upside down, near the for sale sign, facing the street.  Easy as pie!  So tonight I'll be digging a small hole and doing just that.

Now - granted - I am not Catholic.  I was raised Baptist and am a practicing Methodist, so I don't know all that much about Saints.  However, my good friend Kim shed some light on it all for me yesterday, as she probably picked up on the fact that I was a little hesitant and leary of praying to a Saint rather than praying to God about selling my house.  However I apparently shouldn't have any concerns, as I am not to pray to the Saint.  She told me that a Saint is believed to be able to intercede on your behalf - and also plead your needs to God.  So you aren't praying to them ... you're asking them for help as well as you continue to pray to God, which I do all the time anyhow, but have reeeeally  been praying for this house to sell!  God knows where we're going to be and when ... this is all His plan and only He knows!  We have faith!

So with that said, good ol' St. Joe is going in my front yard tonight.  Why not, right?