Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Going, going, almost gone!

Contact Rich if you are interested

Well, Spring is here, the crocus are up and movement is afoot for selling my house. I have also resigned my Federal job. I tried, truly I did, but I am still a talented and creative person and not an automaton. So much for that experiment.

Picture from listing

Sun room from listing

I have decided to clear out and move to Florida. Well, almost. I consulted a friend who has experience in house staging and she told me I needed to simplify what sellers were seeing. That is what I had done months ago when I cleared out all my family pictures and miscellaneous bric-a-brac. Anyway, that is what I thought. After a room by room appraisal of my house it remained certain that there was way too much of me and too little house to be seen.

Living Room from Listing

As much as I had removed small things, way too many big things remained that certainly detracted the from truly appreciating my lovely house. I have been reading for a long time. One of the things that changed my life was going to Occidental College and changing bad habits into good ones. Reading was one of them. My first degree was comparative Literature acquiring a small Spanish library. My education in France brought another language into play and I kept reading acquiring a classic French library. Then two more Masters Degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Historic Preservation and Landscape Architecture and of course all my plant books. You can imagine how they have added up on these topics alone.

Lovely image of my Dining room/ Reading Room

Unfortunately for my house it has been holding a library acquired during a lifetime. I can tell you where each and every book (almost) was acquired or a particular story about them. Try and do that with an electronic version on an Ipad or an kindle? It all becomes the same but they don't have my problems moving it all. Well these lovelies are camouflaged and distributed in over 12 large book cases around my house and more are in units in the basement.

I have packed 50 book boxes and will be sending them to Florida this week. Along with bookcases, and all the excess furniture that made my dining room into a multi-purpose room with a reading corner, similarly the mudroom, or for that matter an upstairs sitting room that is the true master bedroom. Numerous trips to the Collingswood library has left volumes of Greek accounts of the Peloponnesians wars, to Dylan Thomas, to Flaubert at their disposal. I have culled. I have packed what I consider to the finest editions, books or groups for my future enjoyment. At some point my Landscape Architecture library will be added to one of my Alma Maters.

Another listing image of the Dining Room

Kitchen Listing image

Well, I have stripped the house down packed and packed and given away as much as I can and the rest comes to Florida with me. The house will be all the better for it as people will be able to focus on what they are buying not my stuff.

Master sitting room instead of bedroom

I guess the truth is that when you are a single man with a dog in a three bedroom house you kind of design it for yourself. I took one bedroom and made it an office and eventually an exercise room. The Master bedroom has a nursery attached to it where a full size bed fits nice and snugly. That is where I sleep. I kept the middle bedroom for my guests who feel they are in the lap of luxury when they spend the night.

Guest Bedroom

It has been an experience greeting potential buyers or answering their questions. It may sound unorthodox but I did not mind telling them about the house, that is, those who were interested. There have been all kinds of buyers come through the first ones drove by as they thought the house was totally wrong. Another couple came in and after an inspection with their agent told me it was "too historic." I think if they knew what they were looking at the might have known from the street. Or maybe it was just that bathroom was too period. Regardless, there have been numerous couples who have seen it and thought it was perfect.

Foyer and Stairs

Foyer and Stairs minus pedestal and statue plus a few boxes

Add Image

I asked a neighbor to help me dismantle my garden urn. I have the perfect spot for it in Florida and I will no longer have to move the agave in an out according to the seasons. The agave is also wrapped up for the trip. I can't wait to get back to gardening in the tropics.

I have stripped the house down will go to Florida to organize and then will return for what I hope to be the final push.
It has only been three weeks since the house went on the market. The weather has not been great so only 7 potential buyers have been through the house. My broker, Rich Troiani of Drexel Realty thinks that is great and it only take one to make your day. So be it! Happy Gardening!

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