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Am I whining about living in a model home?

Am I whining about living in a model home?

Posted By Sunny Lockwood

Trying to sell our home has been an emotional labyrinth for me.

When we made the difficult decision to sell, I was filled with grief.

Our beautiful Victorian farmhouse overlooking the Mother Lode foothills of the Sierra Nevada sits on 22 wildlife-filled acres. I love the house. I love the neighborhood with its graceful deer and singing coyotes, its lively jackrabbits and wild turkeys.

We’ve only lived here since 2003. We thought we’d surely be in the house at least until 2018. But medical issues have intervened. The far off future is here. And changes must be made. Now.

So I tried to adjust my emotions. I said to myself, "Well, we’re just retiring a little earlier than we planned. We’ll travel and take classes and help out at the food bank and do all the things we thought we’d do in retirement."

And that helped a little.

But then, after learning from realtors what the house might realistically sell for in this Great Recession/Depression era, I felt like sinking into a Great Depression of my own.

The price quoted by those who know today’s real estate world well is about 55 percent lower than our place had been worth at the peak of the market. What a let down!

It is bad enough having to sell the home we love, but to sell it for so little (barely covering the cost of materials to build it) increased my pain.

And on top of all that, I felt guilty over my sense of loss. The evening news is filled with stories of families losing their homes to foreclosure. Families living in homeless shelters, or, worse, living in their vans or cars.

At least we’ll have a check when our house sells. And we’ll be on to a new and different adventure. No hunger or homelessness in our future.

But guilt didn’t improve my feelings one iota.

And then, we had to "stage" the house for potential buyers. That means we have to make it look like a model home.

"Remove the clutter," is how the realtor put it. Translation: Remove every trace of what makes our home our home – no family photos, no baskets of fruit or veggies on kitchen counters, no mail laying around, no books scattered here or there. No entertaining magnets on the fridge.

So Sweetheart and I now dwell in a state of attractive sterility: kitchen, dining room, living room and all bathrooms meet the model home standard.

Our closet, however, and the garage and my writer’s cottage are stuffed to the rafters. But the farmhouse looks perfect. Check out the photo of our kitchen that I’ve posted here. Does it look beautiful to you? Looks beautiful to me too -- but it does not look lived in. It’s hard to cook and eat in the kitchen when it has to look like this. (Sweetheart say’s I’m whining. Am I whining?)

Our realtor held an open house June 1 & 2. We had 11 people walk through. And I couldn’t get over how excited I was to see them come. I stayed "hidden" at my desk in the writer’s cottage, but I saw them ooohing and ahhhing over the views from our porch, and heard their comments about how beautiful the place is. And their words made me happy.

So now my spirits are a little higher and my hopes are raised that maybe we’ll find a buyer soon. Someone to love this place as much as I do.

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