12-5-17 Wherein Fred & Robyn sell Crooked Acres, part 2

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Update: The cats are starting to get restless. I got three hours of sleep Sunday night/Monday morning because Khal started howling around 3 am and would NOT shut his big floofy face. He quieted down around the time I got up for the day, of course, and spent the day snoozing happily. I’m sure he was conserving energy to do it all over again.

I took the day off from unpacking yesterday to get groceries and run errands (and Alton, yes – if you saw a green Kia Soul with a “Cat Lady” magnet in Huntsville Saturday mid-morning, chances are good it was us. We made a trip to Lowe’s to buy odds and ends, and that’s the time we were out and about!) At this point we’re probably 75% unpacked, but the rest of it is going to be slow going because Fred’s back to work and I am SO TIRED. With the kitchen and bedrooms unpacked, we can function well enough, so I’m not going to stress about it.


See yesterday’s post for part 1.


*A look back through my email shows that we got the offer on or about September 7th. And it was a decent offer – asking price, but with the tractor thrown in. (The tractor was not part of the sale price, but we were willing to include it.) The buyers – SHALL WE call them Jack and Jill Wagon? Oh, let’s. The Wagons wanted to close on October 27th. And we had no place to live! We’d seen a ton of houses over the summer, some of them we liked quite a bit, but we’d stopped looking at houses several weeks previously because we just knew we weren’t going to sell the house this year. So there was a flurry of looking at houses. We looked at something like 10 houses one Friday, and the first two houses we looked at sent me into a depression because they were just not what we wanted. But the houses improved as the day went on, and by the end of the day we had seen four houses that we liked quite a bit – the last house being the house we fell in love with.


*There was a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) in that neighborhood. And they had pretty strict rules about what you could do in your yard. The fence around the back yard of this house was three or four feet tall, and the cat fencing we’d have had to put on the fence would have shown above the top, and the HOA wasn’t going to allow that.

*If you’re Facebook friends with Fred, the first time he ranted about HOAs was at this point. Because I ADORED this house – we both did, it was our dream house – and there was just no way to make it work.

*So we kept looking. Fred really liked a house in Southeast Huntsville, I REALLY liked a house in the Monrovia area of Huntsville. We were going to go look at the house in Huntsville one more time, when Fred caved and decided we should make an offer on the Monrovia house. It was a great house, had a WONDERFUL (already fenced in) back yard, had a field with cows on one side and behind it (it was at the end of a road, so neighbors across the street and on the side), had a heated and cooled sunroom, a basement that was perfect for Fred’s office, and a great master bedroom. We made the offer, it was countered, and we accepted. (Or maybe we countered and then it was accepted, it’s been a couple of months and a lot has happened.) Here are some pictures of it.

Back yard. It’s bigger than it looks in this picture.

Sunroom (top) and a storage area below – perfect for houses where the cats could sit on cold or rainy days if they wanted to be outside.

The sunroom.


*The home inspection happened on our house. It’s been our experience that detailed home inspections by home inspectors who know what they’re doing take 3 – 4 hours. This home inspector (who was chosen by Jack and Jill Wagon or their realtor who we’ll call… um. Unprofessional Jerk is probably too on-the-nose. Let’s call her Pat.) took about an hour and didn’t find any big issues. They’d requested a radon test, and so the home inspector left the test. It was generally accepted by everyone involved that there’d be no issue with the radon, that it was just a formality.

*Spoiler: there was an issue with the radon.

*The EPA suggests that a radon reading of more than 4.0 requires a mitigation system. Our radon was at 4.7. Fred talked to two specialists, who were certain that since the vents under our house had been closed off at some point in the past combined with the fact that there was a hand-dug, uncapped well under the house, it was no wonder the radon level was high. They both suggested that we open the vents and seal the well, and repeat the test. If it was still elevated, then go ahead with putting in a full system. When our realtor asked if that would be acceptable, Pat the Unprofessional flipped her lid and acted like we were attempting murder. “It’s called ‘Do The Right Thing'” Unprofessional Pat said in an email, “the buyers want it MITIGATED.” Apparently brilliantly unprofessional Pat was unable to understand that we were trying to mitigate it in the way recommended by actual professionals. A couple of days later, we got a late evening call that the appraiser would be at Crooked Acres the next morning to, y’know, do the appraisal.

*In the meantime, we had a home inspection done on the Monrovia house. There were no big issues, we requested that the seller fix a fairly short list of things, she responded by having a handyman out to the house to give her an estimation of what the repairs would cost. She wanted to just give us the money at closing and let us take care of having the repairs done ourselves. While we were debating whether we wanted to accept that, sitting in the kitten room one mid-September Saturday, the phone rang. It was our realtor.

*Jack and Jill Wagon wanted out. Due to the asbestos in the house siding (which they knew about and specifically excluded in the initial contract) and the radon issue, they “could never be comfortable living here.”

*A month and a half later, I still have a hard time typing that without ROLLING MY EYES.

*I’m not going to go through the step-by-step boring minutiae of the back-and-forth between our realtor, Unprofessional Pat, her broker, and Jack Wagon and his wife Jill, but I will tell you this: there’s not a single person on their side of the equation who didn’t expect us to feel sorry for them. I’m not unsympathetic to their personal issues, but when you act like THAT and it messes with my life, I have a hard time dredging up too many tears for you.

*So, the house sale fell through. Which meant that our purchase of the house in Monrovia also fell through. The house was officially off the market. We were going to put it back on the market in April 2018. We were going to relax. I was a few weeks away from my annual trip to Myrtle Beach, which I was looking forward to in a BIG way. I hadn’t gone to Maine over the summer because I didn’t want Fred to have to deal with the whole selling-the-house thing on his own. Also, I had hoped that the house would sell quickly and we might end up moving over the summer; if I’d known how the summer would actually go, I probably would have just gone ahead and made a quick trip to Maine.

*FYI, we did open the vents under the house and had the well capped, then had another radon test performed, and it was 0.7, well within the safety standards.

*Life went back to a more relaxed state, since we didn’t have to worry about the house being ready to be shown at any moment.


*The phone rang. It was our realtor. Someone wanted to see the house.

To be continued tomorrow.

Random picture of Belle and the Beasts.


“Cool story, bro. There gonna be a sink in this new house?”


2016: “Am sleepy, lady. You go ‘way.”
2015: No entry.
2014: This is Archie.
2013: The Sopranos, 3 months old.
2012: Dandelion went off to her new home just fine.
2011: SO stressed.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Every time I look at him, I want to squeeze the stuffing out of him.
2007: “We should do Stinky,” Fred said.
2006: I’m telling y’all, this is the MOST mellow cat I’ve ever seen in my life.
2005: No entry.