Burning Daylight

boxes 0319Was it Snow White who wanted us to whistle while working, which really meant cleaning up after her short friends? And that ever-efficient Mary Poppins thought we could make a game out of picking up. Well, these women are clearly insane.

Lynn and I spent the weekend in full industry, or house husbandry. (Not that I mean to make gross generalizations, but why do husbands get the credit when women do most of the work?) And unless we supply “before” pictures, it doesn’t look like we did a dang thing. Even at that . . . well, no one’s going to look and think, “What a Spartan existence these people lead!”

In some unspecified Plan, by now all the upstairs carpets would have been removed, exposing the hardwood beneath, and all excess furniture and random stuff would be safely tucked into a storage shed, and somehow Lynn and I would be leading the pristine life we never have, and All Would Be Right With the World as would-be buyers traipse through our personal existence, passing judgment.

Well, they’ll be able to pass plenty of judgment, I’m afraid, because we are well short of our new pristine existence, and Audrie comes today to take the photos that will be splashed across her website. Thursday — and I hope that means 10 a.m. or later — our house officially goes On Sale. Get it while it’s hot!

To be perfectly frank (or practically-perfect-in-every-way TL), I don’t want it to sell right away. I would like to stay right here until the new house is ready, which we are, possibly optimistically, expecting to be June.

Audrie doesn’t expect a sale right away, although she warned us that the first week and a half will be a whirlwind of people cycling through the house.  She is aware of our timeline and hopeful that we can massage a sale along it. But she did also say that closing for any sale involving a loan has to take place within 45 days of an accepted offer.

I would really like to sell this to a family. Audrie’s husband Josh, co-owner of their company, said Gunnison has — this is going to be all wrong — passed 1031 (maybe?) regulations, which make this a desirable place for investors. I thought I just read somewhere that 60 percent of the residences in Gunnison are rented.

And while past investors have been locals seeing real estate as an investment option along with stocks and bonds, or parents putting their college students in a house, apparently these 1031 investors come from hedge and mutual funds. It probably still ends up as a college rental, although there are families looking to rent as well. When I see how badly poor Mrs. Trujillo’s house has fared after a decade or so of college boys (another big party last Saturday night, with bonfire flames taller than the house), I just cringe.

Audrie and Josh said we don’t have to accept any offer, although the likelihood that they will know who is buying it and for what purpose is low. And Josh said they could never in clear conscience recommend that we turn down a cash offer.

So far, we have no offers. Two clients of Audrie’s have looked at it already, and we’ve had two personal expressions of interest, one from a man who grew up in this house, but those expressions expressed themselves out of the running at the awareness of Gunnison’s insane prices.

Erich Ferchau (gunnisonforsale.com) sent me his third letter of the year, as I discovered while sorting through the mail pile yesterday. His letter shows seven single-family stick-built houses currently on the market in Gunnison, four of them under contract. None of them are in the Palisades, where two sales have already occurred this year.

So Lynn and I are cleaning and sorting, hurtling headlong into the unknown. My back did not do well at this activity, and I don’t know if stress is playing a part in it, or my back has just turned that crappy.

We started the weekend with the notion that we would tackle the big stuff, but everywhere we turn there’s more big stuff. And for awhile we were recklessly flinging things into our limited supply of tiny boxes, but that’s really not getting us anywhere except to another mess farther down the road. So we slowed down — Lynn because I made her (not that anyone makes Lynn do anything, and she was still plucking leaves from around a shefflera at 8 last night), and me because my back wanted me to stop.

When I wasn’t packing, sorting or cleaning, I was trying to make New House decisions: bathroom fixtures, stucco colors. We had settled on the trim color (or application), but on Saturday after lunch we drove around inspecting Dusty’s other builds where this “Lifetime” has been used on the trim.

[And I would like to say that one of the streets in south Gunnison, running east-west, was still an impassable mess. I’m not quite sure how the city is giving itself high marks for a snowplow plan that left so many streets unplowed most of the winter.]

“Lifetime” doesn’t seem to be any one color, unless “variegated brown” constitutes a single color, and while Dusty said it should get darker with age, it seemed lighter on one house. No matter: it will look all earthy and natural, which is what the covenants say they want. (They also say “no exterior metal except roofs,” and one of the other houses going up clearly has metal skirting, as does an existing house. So much for covenants.)

So there we were, working and deciding (or not), vindicating decisions made — and I was not whistling. Or finding it to be a fun game, Mary Poppins.

And there’s nothing for it today but more of the same. Audrie is not coming until 4, and I am going to have to take most of the day off to keep slogging along. I will say, Audrie has not seemed as concerned about this as we are. Maybe she’s just being nice. Or maybe she’s been in a lot of houses that look like ours. I haven’t asked, and it would be safest not to know. Ignorance can be bliss.

Back to work — daylight’s a-burnin’.

Photo: Does our living room look pristine yet? Where is Mary Poppins when we need her?


One thought on “Burning Daylight

  1. You’ll need to have someone come in and stage each room, creating innovative little groupings from existing pieces of furniture and assorted available accoutrement. And these groupings while encouraging perspective buyers’ imaginations, have nothing to do with the way in which you choose to live in your house. You may as well just move out now.


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