Monday, March 25, 2013

SOLD! Now let's move...

How perfect is it that we close on the Jacksonville house on April 1 and then close on the Apopka house on April 12?  IT IS MORE THAN PERFECT!!!

We are buying our new Jacksonville house was a great price, $35,000 below appraisal.  It is a short sale, which typically takes 3-6 months to complete.  I have a friend who has been waiting 9 months!  They should really call this a long sale!  "Short Sale" means the seller is in a financial dilemma and in order to avoid foreclosure, they ask the bank to intervene by reducing the principle they owe, allowing them to sell for less than they owe - they will be short of funds. Sometimes the bank makes the seller pay them back some of the difference, sometimes not.  It all depends on their financial situation.  Like us, most buyers rarely find out the whole story.

So this darling little house in an established neighborhood (nice mature trees, clean streets, no ratty houses...) went up for sale for the ridiculously low price of $86,000, and this attracted a lot of buyers, including us.  We bid, and there was a bidding war with two other buyers, but we won our little trophy home with $96,000, gave a deposit and signed the contract with the seller to buy the Jax house in early February.  Although our bid was accepted with the sellers, the bank has the power to request more money from us or the sellers.  We would have paid more, but were hoping not to. We were delighted to find out only a month later that the bank had accepted our bid and the paperwork was starting.  We were even more astounded to find out that the closing would be April 1, only two months* from the day we placed the winning bid. Unheard of!

Our Apopka house went onto the market on a Saturday.  We had a lot of lookers (10 appointments in 7 days) and a contract was accepted on day 12 for 97% of our asking price**.  That's a really good offer and we were happy to accept it.

So the buyers could imagine their own stuff in our home, I boxed up most of the "extras" in our house, which we stacked in a storage unit.  I culled a lot of stuff from overflowing closets, but now realize that I don't miss most of the stuff, so when I unpack, I plan to get rid of at least half of what I thought was oh so important.

We close on the Jax house next Monday.  Mark and I will tow a rental trailer filled with the contents of the storage unit on Saturday when we head up to stay with my parents to celebrate Easter and to close on the Jax house the next day.  We will go straight to our new house, unpack the boxes, drop the trailer off at a UHaul place in Jax and then head back to Apopka to face the overwhelming task of moving away from the place we have called home for over 25 years.

How lucky are we that we can move our belongings straight from our current house to our new house without having to deal with storage worries?  We originally thought we'd have to go the POD rental route, but now we can back the big moving van up to the garage, shove everything in, drive it to Jax, back up to the new garage and shove it all out.  Gosh, that sounds so easy!

*Update: Probably because we paid cash for our short sale house - less paperwork for the bank.
**Update: We actually got our entire 100% asking price due to a buyer's agent faux pas on wording in their contract.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Decorating Styles

I suffer from total style confusion.  

Country white and blues with that worn look?  Love it. It is easy on the eyes.
Pristine white glossy and glass and stark?  Amazing and makes me feel clean.
Bold colors?  Cool!  Bring it on.
Black and white?  By all means, yes!
Modern?  Groovy!
Overstuffed with lots of pillows?  Let's fall in.

What is in my house?  A mishmash of variety.  I don't have a favorite anything, be it color or style.  I know what I don't and white frilly French Racoco, busy black Oriental, and big dark clunky rustic Mediterranean.  I don't like cutesy hat boxes, clutter and fluff, and I don't like dead leaves.  I'm not fond of Colonial either.  Aunt Alice calls the collection of furnishings we get without considering what the flow should be, Early Halloween Style.  Oh no...I suffer from Octoberitis!

Surprise surprise, our dining room furniture is Colonial, but I am fond of it.  Purchased when we bought our first house back in the early 1980's, this was da bomb!  The table and chairs were a belated wedding gift from my father-in-law, who passed away shortly after.  The china cabinet followed because, well we had china and it matched.  Down the road I came across the server cabinet (basically a smaller china cabinet without the hutch) and picked that up.  I like the carmelly colored wood, but wish it didn't have a flower carved into the cabinet doors and chair backs.  I like that I can change the fabric on the cushioned seats and plan to find something that will tie our outdated dining furniture into the rest of my odd collection of furniture that we call home.

Mark likes to furniture shop.  Unfortunately, he is attracted only to a variety of colors that could be mistaken for a pile of dead leaves.  We have a tannish colored microfiber sofa.  It was a great price and it was "comfortable".  I swear that man would wear slippers and pajamas in public if it were socially acceptable.  Mark bought himself a wide leather recliner that suits his big and tall frame.  It is in a different hue of tan, maybe more grayish.  He bought it because it fit him and, well, that was the only color it came in.  Because I love to read and rock, I ended up spending a lot of time in his recliner.  Mark made the royal decree that I needed my own so he wouldn't have to share.  I thought maybe blue, burgundy or dark green might tie in the two tans.  I wanted a smaller recliner that would fit ME, the one my Big Sweetie Mark teasingly calls homunculus. (A homunculus is a perfectly proportioned little person.)    Instead, we ended up with a giant brown recliner that hurts my neck and lower back.  It rocks, and there is enough room for me, my dog, a blanket, a stack of books, and a laptop - OR one big Mark. I wanted a printed area rug to pull in all colors of our furniture.  Our new rug is beige, and it sits atop creamed-coffee colored carpeting.  I shop for throw pillows without Mark.  The current fall/winter pillows need to be replaced with something summery.  The only shade similar to a leaf's will be green and alive!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Yesterday Today and Tomorrow

This healthy plant was started from a tiny wood twig off my mother's Yesterday Today and Tomorrow bush many years ago.  The flowers bloom from a woody little ball, starting off deep purple.  Day two they turn lilac, and day three they fade to white.  They bloom most of the year in Central Florida.  The fragrance is intoxicating - from a distance.  It's a good thing ours isn't planted right outside a window, as its strong scent would be overwhelming!  (click on pictures to see full size)

And finally, my poor poor Amaryllis!  Several amaryllis bulbs were given to me by my mother, who has a nice garden full of these red flowering plants.  As the plants age, the bulbs split and make "babies".  Mine have matured, split, and split again giving us many beautiful spring flowers.  This is the first year the deer have noticed them and they won't allow a flower to bloom fully.  They have been feasting on the leaves too.
I love the deer, but I loved my flowers. Sigh...
Amaryllis bloom from 2011

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Sons, Twenty Years Later

When our boys were in grade school, each child had to have a poster about themselves when it was their turn to be Student of the Week.  Parents were instructed to write something about their child and help them create a collage of photos, plus any decorations that reflect his personality.  Cleaning out closets, I came across both posters and just wanted to share, twenty years later, how very accurately I pinned my sons.

Mark Robert Watson, Jr. - 3rd Grade
(will be 29 in May)
Robert wants more,
Be it food or a favor,
He never can get enough.

He wants information,
Challenging confrontation.

He's smart and he's quick
Never misses a trick.

He's demanding, delightful.
His manners are frightful.

He's tiring and taxing
He's loving, relaxing.

He's gentle and kind
I'm glad that he's mine.

His blue eyes light up
When he learns something new.
He can't wait to share it
With someone - - - 
YOU'LL do!

David Patrick Watson - Kindergarten
(will be 26 in April)
When David laughs, 
it sounds like little bells 
jingling in the breeze.
He touches our hearts
with his sensitive, giving personality.
is very important to David.
He is quiet, thoughtful and calculating.
David knows karate
and when he is out 
with his mother at night, he says, 
"Don't worry Mom, I'll protect you."
And he means it.
Although he tries to hide it,
David's emotions run high with 
tremendous love and allegiance
to the special ones around him.
These people 
fortunate enough to know David
get to enjoy the pleasure of his 
hidden wit and sideways glances.
 We are proud and we love him very much.