Monday, July 25, 2011


Did I mention the real estate company offered us 4.5% commission, down from 6% if we use them as a buyer's agent as well?

I'm positive we sweated over every possible option (and sweating has not been difficult with temperatures in the mid-90s since we've been home from vacation).  In the end, we, and by we, I mean I, was so worked up with stress about it, we spent an afternoon in the quiet cool living room discussing it with some rationality, and we decided to take the 4.5%.

Here are things to remember:
We are trying to have a lightning fast sale.  Not only does Brian's brother want this because he's getting ready to go out of the country, but the faster we sell the less we have to pay on the mortgage, like missing a mortgage payment = awesome.

And because things need to go fast, we don't have time to stumble around with the wrong forms and liasoning with my dad, etc, this is better, everything will be easy and accurate.

And finally and really most important to consider: Our house is selling for what we have it listed for.  If an off the street person bought it, a) it most likely wouldn't be for full price, b) we'd be paying the 6% and not thinking twice about it.  And c) we'd be ex-freaking-static that the house sold at all.  So really, we are making out all over the place and going crazy (by we, I mean me) trying to save 1.5%.

It's hard to let the money go but when you look at it that way, it really makes sense.  And right after we decided, I gotta say, a weight was lifted from both of us immediately.  That is worth something on its own.  Everything feels better now.

Today I met with the handyman to discuss the changes in the kitchen and deck.  We talked about all the things I wanted to do and he made a list and he's getting some quotes together and time frames.  My goal here is to keep my budget as low as possible and still be able to make the changes I think will enhance the home gallizons beyond what it is now.  But I also have to compromise some things.  I dropped my list considerably, including discussions about a screened porch and repairing the flooring on the front porch.  The flooring on the front porch especially needs to be done but we can move in and save the money and get to that later, maybe possibly doing a chunk of it ourselves, like the removal of the porch flooring anyway.

Two - I really wanted to consider cabinet options beside the stock cheapy cabinets.  For the yellow house we went with the cheapest cabinets available (unfinished, wood) and my main issue with them is you cannot sand these things smooth.  I sanded the crap out of them and they are still bumpy.  Which I'm all for a cottage lived in look so I painted them thickly with white paint and put on the cutest Anthropologie knobs and they passed, they were fine.  But I don't want to paint cabinets again.  I hate painting cabinets.  It's not even the fronts that bother me but the inside and I want the insides to be white.  So the next cheapest option are these white cabinets that are smooth like a melamine finish I guess.  And although they are going to clean so easily, the bumpy white cabinets hold cat hair and dust like you wouldn't believe, they aren't the richest looking cabinets you've ever seen.  Plus the trim isn't squared off inside the cabinet, it's rounded and it bugs me SO MUCH. 

I know it doesn't look it but they are bright white cabinets not off white and dull.

I was considering having him also price the KraftMaid white shaker panelled cabinets, like my dream cabinets, they are twice the price. 

$154 per linear foot compared to $71 per linear foot for the cheapies.

I thought about and thought about it and decided to go with the cheap cabinets.  I think I'm already going to be over budget but say I'm not with the cheaper cabinets, I can maybe have money to work on the front porch flooring.  More things can be done and when you look at a white cabinet I'm not sure how really notibly different it will be.  Sure in a really nice home, but this is a little cottage in the hood.  No one's going to think, "Damn, you should have gone with the KraftMaids."

Or maybe they will.

I'm also going with solid black formica countertop.  I was thinking about doing this when we renovated the yellow house but I didn't because of dust and dirt and possibly scratches.  I had them at the garage apartment at my mom's and I really loved the look of them and I don't remember not liking them for dust reasons but since we were trying to sell the houses, I didn't want to go too crazy.  But I think we'll be in the blue house for a very long time and I like the black.

Also they don't carry the black with white specks, that's currently in the yellow house or the gray with white specks that I have currently in the blue house.  I think this is so weird.  All the options are colors or brown specks and that's just not what I want anyway.  So really I HAD  to go with black.

I was considering not doing the standard counter with the lip at the back, the sort of built in back splash.  I was going to have it like any other countertop where it's just flat and then you put in a back splash of your own.  But I don't really know when I'll be able to do the back splash and I'm worried I won't get to it in time and water will collect there and be messy (in other words, I'm worried about bugs) so I'm going with the standard back.

I also debated back and forth about putting in shelves to the right of the window. 

Kind of like this but just on one side of the window and nothing mounted like a microwave.

I've seen it used in other blogs and I love the look but when it came down to looking for wooden brackets I was having a difficult time and it became more expensive than I wanted it to. 

I liked the Anthropologie brackets, but they don't have any way to secure the shelf to the bracket meaning the shelf could come down pretty easily.  But then I realized we can secure the shelf directly to the wall with fasteners and when things are on the shelf you wouldn't really be able to tell.  So I bought the brackets last night and of course they are on back order (one of the reasons I'm ordering things early whenever I can).

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