Archive for December, 2017

It Didn’t Take Long to Run into Issues


Door waiting to be installed

The first night of home ownership was wonderfully celebrated and shared on this blog. Today was the first day of really digging into the place. It started out great. Chris and I headed to Lowe’s and looked at exterior doors.  I need a new front door but the real pressing issue is the door between the kitchen and the garage. It really did not look to be a major problem but it did need to be done as the door split from the door frame Tuesday night when Chris changed the knob. For some reason the previous owners had replaced the door but the frame is the original and the door was too heavy for the original frame. Second on Chris’ agenda – install the garage door opener that he purchased on Friday. Easy, peasy.


Bedroom wall color with signs of the previous paint. I love aqua but this was like frosting with a bit of sparkle.

I have been thinking about what colors I wanted in the house. Yellow in the main part of the house, teal for the front door and something special for my bedroom. I have some cloth for drapes that I used in 1984 for my bedroom in San Jose. I have been carrying it around for over 30 years and I love it as much today as I did back then. I picked a wonderful tan color that has the slightest hint of peach. To pull out the flowers in the fabric, I am painting the bed frame that a friend gave me a deep rosy peach. It should be completed tomorrow. I was feeling pretty good. The aqua wall with sparkles is gone and I can start moving in my bedroom furniture.

About this time of euphoria, Chris asks that I help him get the door up into the opening which he had cleared of the old door and frame. Oh, no! The door does not fit because the flooring put in by a previous owner makes the opening too small. Not a problem. We can cut out a bit of the floor. But the flooring goes under the cabinets! And the orignal kitchen flooring is under the newer flooring! And it looks like it is an asbestos based vinyl! Can a put a row of exclamation points? Should I add a bunch of unhappy emojis?  A removal of the flooring and a wall are already planned but not for a long time and we were hoping to not replace the whole kitchen.


Threshold into the kitchen

Change of plans – cover the door with a plastic sheet and get the kitchen ready for me to make Christmas dinner. We knew that the garbage disposal did not work and that the dishwasher was not attached to the cabinets from our home inspection. Did I mention that everything is dirty and things still in some drawers? And the upper shelf of the dishwasher is full of dishes? Chris pulled the drawer under the oven out to look for clues as to the flooring and we can’t get it back in due to it having been bent and screws missing. I think that I will call a Frigidaire repairman and have him totally check it out. I feel like I am in a HGTV show and just got the first call!

Today I am going to get the bed painted before I do an open house at 1312 Gold Way in Rohnert Park from 1 to 4. Chris plans to get the garage door opener installed and get the kitchen to where we can run water and do dishes. This is a setback but I am going to merrily go forward in the holiday spirit and plan for Christmas.


I am a Real Estate Mogul!


My new home with Christmas Lights

I closed escrow on my new home in Rohnert Park yesterday. I have the keys and the Christmas tree is up! Eight years ago as I was seeing the loss of my beautiful home in Forestville (yes, that was documented on this very blog!), I thought that I would never own a home again. My marriage was at an end with resources split down the middle, I was going to rent somewhere (and I did not know where), the real estate market was in the depths of depression and I was in a pretty bad place. I put on a  good show of being positive and I did rent a darling farmhouse out on Joy Road. It was a great place for healing.


My Farmhouse Living Room

In the summer of 2011 I purchased some property in downtown Forestville. Actually for total transparency, my IRA purchased the property. It was a real bargain and has been a great investment. It is just a couple of blocks from my old home and it has given me extra income when I needed it the most.


Friends celebrating my Townhouse Purcahse

Two years later the real estate market was just beginning to take an uptick and I decided if I was ever going to own my own home again, the time was now. I purchased a two bedroom, two bath townhouse in Sebastopol.  I am still amazed that I was able to qualify for a 95% loan and that someone was willing to accept my offer. Was that ever a great decision! The prices of homes in Sebastopol (all of Sonoma County to be more accurate) have gone through the roof. I have loved it here but have missed having a garden to grow my roses and those stairs seem to be taking a toll on my knees. This last June Chris and Laura needed to move from their rental when it was put on the market. Six weeks did not seem to be much of an inconvenience so the family of 4 moved into my spare room. Alas, it has been six months and we are all still here!

Yesterday was the beginning of my having a home for myself. I have great tenants in Forestville, my grandchildren have a great place in Sebastopol with school and friends, and I have a garden in which to play.

We knew that my new home is a fixer. It needs a heater which will be installed next week in time for Christmas. While changing the locks last night, we discovered that we need new doors for all doors not just the two we anticipated. When the water was turned on at the kitchen sink, it flowed directly to the cabinet. Looks like some plumbing needs to be addressed. I am sure that this list will grow as the week goes on. So exciting to be a homeowner!


Family helping make my new house a home!

I am back! Welcome to my blog.

Collage_2017I cannot believe that it has been 18 months since I posted.  It has been a very busy 18 months full of selling homes, spending time with my granddaughters and taking in the bounty of the this beautiful land. I have been working all of this time and am pleased with the results BUT I have the need to start writing. There is an excitement in my own life but is contrasted with the devastation from the fires that destroyed so many homes and landscape. Here is just one of many images of homes that I have sold over the years.


It will be years before our neighborhoods and landscapes will recover. There is much concern that the real estate market will be as negatively impacted as the landscape. Yes, it is impacted. Rentals have been scooped up immediately. Homes are flying off the market. But I am working on 4 places that will go on the market in the next few weeks. Life goes on no matter how bad it feels.

In 2 days I will be moving into my new home in Rohnert Park! I have to say that it is not a great house but I am going to turn it into a fantastic home. I will have a yard and I will dazzle the neighborhood with a magnificant yard. I am so excited.  I made my first offer on this home in July. I am paying more than I wanted and it has taken forever.  Why? Because it is a short sale. A few years ago these were very common and while we did not love dealing with them, the banks had figured out how to get the home sold in a month or so.  Today it was like they had never seen a short sale. It has been an extremely frustrating experience.  But it is finally happening.

I have gotten the question, “Why are you moving from Sebastopol to Rohnert Park?” Bottom line is that I am moving from a two story townhouse with a tiny yard and stairs to a large yard and single level single family residence. The yard is a clean slate and I am already planning the gardens, both front and back. And it is only a few minutes from my office – which has very little to do with any decision.

Did I mention that I will be doing a bit of remodeling? I have no idea how much I will be changing but the house needs some basic infrastructure improvements. I plan to share the process and decision making. So stay tuned to see all the changes!




December 2017


Previous Posts

Other Topics Covered

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 737 other followers