The Hellhole

Sunday, July 17, 2011

We have decided to take our house off the market. It's not going to sell any time in the foreseeable future so we're facing reality and doing some things we'd been putting off for that elusive day 'when we move'. Generally, the Atlanta real estate market is not improving and specifically, three houses on the main road near us have gone into foreclosure, all of which are newer, albeit smaller, than ours, which means cheaper and more buyer-enticing. That's not including the house next door to us which will either be a short-sale or a foreclosure, depending. (Sniff...I miss Theresa and the Chinese Crested pups.)

The second factor that really made the decision for us is that we're about to have to put a substantial amount of money into this house, meaning we'd have to take a loss even if someone showed up tomorrow with a fistful of cash, so we're staying long enough to recoup at least some of that investment. What happened was, the tile and grout on the floor of the front bathroom had started cracking, which I thought was because the house was 40+ years old. A very close friend who is quite handy (he finished his entire basement by himself and it is GORGEOUS) has been out of work for a while, again thanks to the recession, so we agreed that he'd re-tile the bathroom for us. We had to have it done, regardless if we stayed or sold, and I'd rather pay him than someone I found in the Yellow Pages. Plus, we know from hanging out in his house what great work he does. That was all well and good but when he actually got a close look at what was going on, he found that the tile wasn't cracking because of age, but because of an insidious leak behind and below the bathtub, so the entire bathroom is going to have to be demolished, gutted and rebuilt.

He's still going to do it for us, along with a few other minor repairs that are beyond my capability especially now that my dad is not here to advise, supervise and rescue, but the scope of the job and the cost have increased exponentially. So we are stuck here for a while, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Just knowing what the plan is makes me feel better than the previous uncertainty. The mortgage and utilities are quite low; we could not rent a one-bedroom apartment in anything like a half-decent neighborhood for the same amount as our mortgage. And we like the suburb where we live, honestly - we'd just like something larger and newer, but that's not going to happen for a while and so, as my boss likes to say, "it is what it is".

As I mentioned, I'm looking forward to doing some things that we'd put off for too long. For example, I'm buying Alan a barbecue grill. He loves to grill and we both love the taste of grilled foods - not just meats, but we like corn roasted in the husk on the grill, garlic bread, portobello mushrooms...drool. Well, we hadn't bought him his own grill not because of the expense, but the impending move. We'd been to a few different friends' houses who happened to have gas heat and their grills were piped right into the home system, no propane tanks required. We figured, knowing our luck, we'd spend a few hundred dollars on a nice grill for him, only to find that the house we bought would have one already installed. But of course, at that time we didn't think the potential house was years away. So Imma gonna get my sweetie a bad-ass grill. Probably today. Want to come over for steaks?


  • I do! ;)

    Even though it sucks you can't move when you'd like to, I understand the relief of making a decision.

    Good luck w/ the bathroom!

    By Anonymous Heather, at 12:56 PM  

  • Hang in there, Helly and Alan. Sorry your dream is deferred. Sounds like you are making the best of things.

    1) Re-do bathroom
    2) Hang out until it makes sense to put the house on the market again
    3) PROFIT! (yes, I am stealing from you once again).

    By Blogger basil, at 4:12 PM  

  • Yes, I want to come over for steaks! It's been way too long since we've seen you guys. That's a nice-looking grill - I saw it on google+.

    When you redo the bathroom, are you going to put in a garden tub/jacuzzi??

    By Blogger Nancy, at 6:39 AM  

  • Our house is paid for, and although older and small, it fits out needs just fine. Some time in the near future we will have to reroof and paint. I'm not looking forward to the expense.

    As for a barbecue grill, we gave ours away last year. We don't eat all that much meat, and bbq meat is not good for us, so we figured we'd let someone else use it. I'm getting rid of more than I'm taking in.

    By OpenID dkzody, at 4:42 PM  

  • Heather, let us know when to pick you up from the airport.

    Basil, we're trying, but it would be easier if you'd just get a job at UGA and visit on weekends. No pressure though.

    Nancy, name the date and we're on. At this point, I don't think I'm going to have room or put Matt through the plumbing gyrations for a jacuzzi tub, but one never knows. Gods know I'd love one.

    DKZody, we keep getting close to having ours paid off but then disasters happen and I refi or use our HELOC rather than gutting our savings or maxing out a credit card. We owe less than $50K on the two combined, and I guess that's a good thing in this economy. As far as grilling, we're as mad about grilled veggies as meats. We love to grill corn on the cob/in the husk, peppers, mushrooms, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, asparagus (well, I love the asparagus, he doesn't). Okay, I have to stop now or drool will short out my keyboard.

    By Blogger Helly, at 7:37 PM  

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