12-6-17 Wherein Fred and Robyn sell Crooked Acres, part 3

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You guys! Andrea is having an awesome auction to benefit Winnie’s Wish, and ther’s some really cool stuff there. Go check it out and bid.


See part 1 here, and part 2 here.


*Our realtor said that a couple had fallen in love with Crooked Acres on Zillow and were distraught when it went under contract. Then they had a feeling and asked their realtor to call and see if it might still be available. Our realtor got confused and thought they were the people who’d fallen in love with the house way back in the beginning, the people moving here from West Virginia, and as a result I had this very strong “meant to be” feeling. I pushed Fred into telling our realtor that we would “entertain a reasonable offer.” They made an appointment to come see the house the next day.

*Remember the cameras? Yeah, we could see that they’d only spent 20 minutes in the house, and we both shrugged and figured out that that was that. But Fred said he didn’t think they were the same people who’d been so enthusiastic back in the beginning, and as it turned out, the realtor had gotten confused because this couple and the couple from West Virginia were represented by the same realty group.

*The day after they’d come through the house, we got an offer. We countered, came to an agreement and everyone signed.

*HOLY CRAP WE WERE CLOSING ON DECEMBER 15TH AND HAD NOWHERE TO LIVE. (And then I went off to Myrtle Beach for the better part of a week.)

*When I got back from Myrtle Beach, we began another flurry of looking at houses. We looked at, I think, 6 or 7 houses in one day, ending up at a house in Northeast Huntsville (on Chapman Mountain) that we’d seen probably four or five times. The first time we saw it back in June (I think), we fell in love with it. We kept going back to see it, but ultimately it was more money than we wanted to spend, and the back yard was going to be really hard to fence – there’s a patio in the back yard that is only a few feet from the property line, and… well, just trust me. It was going to be hard. But the lady who lived right next door to the house was the president of the Homeowner’s Association, and when we’d discussed it with her way back in June, she’d given us the feeling that it wasn’t going to be much of a problem, that what we were hoping to do (privacy fence, raised a bit around the patio, with a cat fencing attached to the inside of the fence) would be acceptable to the HOA.

*But like I mentioned, it was more money than we wanted to spend. We’d had several discussions with our realtor and with the homeowner, and we just really LOVED that house. The current homeowner and his family had lived there since 1989, it was a wonderful, solid house, and it was big (way more house than we technically needed, but y’know.)

*We had a long and involved discussion about the Chapman Mountain house, we both absolutely loved the house, liked the location for the most part, and it’s a very quiet neighborhood. We went back after seeing all those other houses, and decided maybe we should talk to the owner and see if he could come down to a price we were willing to pay. In an email exchange they came to an agreement on the price, and so Fred made an informal offer. We decided to go back the next day to take yet another look at the house and determine how difficult the fencing would be.

The front of the house.

Behind the back yard. (I’d show y’all more pictures, but those are all I have.)

*We talked to the HOA president (who, again, lived right next door), and she called the head of the architectural committee who came and brought a copy of the neighborhood rules and covenants. We discussed it with them at length, and got a really positive vibe from them all.

*Side note: both the HOA president and the head of the architectural committee seemed to think that it was really odd that we’d attempt to contain our cats, because in that neighborhood they let their cats roam free. Fred explained that we have “several” cats and then went on to explain that we didn’t MEAN to have several cats, but that’s just how it turned out. He mentioned Frankie and Khal’s FIV positive status, he told me later.

*So we left feeling sure that we were about to make a formal offer on the house, though Fred wanted to have a fence guy come out and tell us how hard it would be to fence in the back yard before we did.

*The next day, our realtor forwarded us an email from the HOA president. Turns out there were suddenly “community concerns,” and they had a list of questions:
*Please confirm the dimensions of the enclosure the prospective buyer wants to build, the outer wood fence (L x W x H).
*How many cats does your prospective buyer have now?
*What is the largest number of cats your prospective buyer could potentially have?
*Is your prospective buyer affiliated with an organization, i.e. pet adoption?
*Does your prospective buyer have regular inspections by the health department? City?

*Were you trying to use your favorite profanities on October 26th? I’m so sorry I was using them all up.

*Fred emailed the seller, immediately withdrawing the offer. As much as I had been in love with that house, I was immediately out of love with it. Not because of the house (it’s a great house, and we really like the seller), but if I had to live next door to someone who thought I might need to have regular inspections by the health department and/or city because of my cats, well. And moving into a house knowing that we’d been the topic of (one assumes) gossipy judgmental conversation between at least a few of the people heading up the HOA? Newp.

*My blood is boiling just thinking about it again. Because it turned out that Fred’s mention of FIV made the HOA president worry that our cats would be bringing “disease” into the neighborhood. Did I mention that she lets her cat roam free? And we were going to be containing our cats? Her whole line of reasoning is a special kind of something, indeed.

*As a side note: In our first house, we lived in a neighborhood with an HOA. We put a pool in and did all the rigmarole the HOA required, getting permission beforehand for the type of pool and the type of fence. When the pool was in, we went swimming. We were in our swimming pool in our own back yard, swimming around, when the HOA president came strolling into our back yard to take a look-see at the pool. Didn’t bother to let us know he was coming, just walked right on through the closed gate. We were, as I think you can imagine, thrilled.

*If you’re Facebook friends with Fred, this was the cause of his second round (or third? Well, most recent, anyway) of ranting about HOAs.

*So we freaked out again because OMG WE’RE CLOSING ON DECEMBER 15TH AND HAVE NO PLACE TO LIVE.

*While we’d been looking at houses over the summer, one of the houses we’d looked at was located in Harvest. It is not on a street named Deep Cove (or Deep anything or anything Cove), but for some reason I’d gotten it into my head as “Deep Cove,” so that’s what we always called it. It was a nice size, it was on a great piece of land, and the price was within our budget. Fred liked it more than I did, but I was at the point where I was like “You know? I can live there, and I can be happy. The cats will love the back yard, the neighbors have no problem with us putting up a fence, I’ll learn to love it.” There were a lot of “buts” about this house, though – it was going to need to be entirely repainted inside, it had carpet that was going to need to be removed, it was a dark house, it had a full basement that had been renovated so that it could be a separate apartment from the upstairs, complete with a kitchen – but I was sure I’d adapt. We went back to look at it again, and I was still “Meh” about it, but was SO FRICKIN’ TIRED of looking at houses that I was okay with making an offer.

*We talked to the realtor at length, and then went home and discussed it at length also and decided we should make an offer.

Deep Cove.


*I really hated the kitchen. Like, really hated it. It was small, it was cramped, it was dark – I just hated it. And the way the house is configured, there was no way to expand the kitchen, and neither of us cared for the downstairs kitchen (and were concerned about the fact that there WAS a “downstairs kitchen”). I tried to suck it up, I tried to get over myself. We discussed the flaws of the house, we discussed the things we liked about the house.

*Then we decided to make an offer on another house entirely.

To be continued tomorrow.

Random picture of Mercury and her Missions.


“To be honest, lady, if I could stop you from moving into my neighborhood, I’d jump at the chance.” (Dewey)


2016: Iva, giving Stefan the sniffity-sniff.
2015: No entry.
2014: Trappin’ Grandma Poo.
2011: For the Love of Cats review and giveaway.
2010: Bobby haz a complaint.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: I might as well go ahead and buy another six beds so there’s room for him IN THE FRICKIN’ HOUSE.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



12-6-17 Wherein Fred and Robyn sell Crooked Acres, part 3 — 22 Comments

  1. Loving this story. I have been incredibly lucky in selling and buying houses. No drama except a slight delay in some finishes on my first house I owned by myself. I was building. We were delayed by two days while my stuff was in a truck in my friend’s driveway. Not even exciting or interesting. I agree about the kitchen being a deal breaker especially if you cannot expand it. BTW, we have that same kitty bed hammock scratching post thingy that Dewey is in. No one will get in the hammock but they like the posts. I probably , certainly saw it here and had to have it so the bastardos would ignore the hammock. I am so excited for you guys. I love moving into a new home and finding homes for everything. And it is so fun to watch the animals adjust to us disrupting their entire lives. Heh.

  2. All this story needs is dramatic music in the background to be complete! And I’m ranting about the a$$hat HOA now with you! I bet that lady’s cat would have ended up living at your place (because y’all are awesome and cats know that!) and pissed her off even more. 😀

    • I bet your right SC Amy!!! Roybn should go and “cat” nap the ladies cat!!! The poor kitty does not deserve her guardian…

  3. I am SO enjoying this story. When you first posted that you were moving and indicated that Not Friends Of Fred has missed some interesting posts, I shot right over there and requested Friendship of Fred!!

    • Good move – I remember when Robyn made that comment and regret not doing the same. The house suspense is killing me!

  4. I laughed at: “What is the largest number of cats your prospective buyer could potentially have?”

    • As far as I can tell, the purpose in life of an HOA is to allow the neighborhood busybodies a say in what goes in everyone else’s yard. Far better for my lights to have a privacy fence around your property and do as you please inside it.

    • What is the largest number of cats your prospective buyer could potentially have?

      Plus foster kittens.
      Who would have to stay forever.
      We see no problems with this.

      Give ’em a heart attack or two! 🙂

  5. we have built new twice in the past 3 years. Our first build we fell in love with the location and lot but there was an HOA and it was also a 55+ community which we just barely qualified for. We lived in the first (beautiful) house just 2 years and due to unexpected job loss through company closure, we looked around for something similar but less expensive. We found another area to build with an HOA but MUCH less expensive. HOA in first house was 200 per month. New house was 100 per year. I could NOT STAND the HOA in the first house. they were always up in your business, and looking for “issues” in the houses in this small community. Add to the fact that they were all old and retired, grumpy……we were happy to move out.
    I think HOA’s have some good merits, but if you get some power hungry people running it. Your typical “hall monitors”, it can be annoying and chase you out of a neighborhood.
    Excited to read your next post on where you moved and to see pictures. Are you finished with the big gardening, pigs and chickens now?
    You were lucky to find out about the HOA problems before signing over on that house!!

  6. I, too, am loving this saga. I would have long ago had a heart attack! And this: “Were you trying to use your favorite profanities on October 26th? I’m so sorry I was using them all up.” made me spit out my morning coffee. 😀

  7. There was an OLD movie with Cary Grant–Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House—cute movie, but nothing compared to what you two went through. were there HOA’s back then??

    • One of my favorite movies of all time. I love when
      she goes through the minutiae of the colors and the painters say red, blue green etc.

  8. Aaauuuggg! What if I can’t wait until tomorrow!?! I am totally caught up in this story. But I know it has a happy ending…sigh.

  9. So that’s why I couldn’t swear up a storm when my Saints were losing to the Rams. It all makes sense now. 🙂

    Oh Dewey you know you’d be so lost without the crazy lady.

  10. I HATE HOA’s too! We fell in love with our house but had the pressure of a closing date too and had to jump on it. They’re so strict, we can’t even leave our garbage can in view from the street. And don’t even get me started on the ridiculous yearly fees that mysteriously go up every year due to “Rising administrative costs.” Yeah, I’ll bet it’s all those paper citations you mail everyone when you spot a garbage can. Anyway, we had a similar experience during the buying process. 4 houses later, we finally got this one. I am excited to read the rest of your story and that Dewey is adorable even if he can be a smart ass sometimes. LOL

  11. I’m amazed that you can communicate in anything but &@#%s at this point. And I’m now LIVING for tomorrow’s post.

    Also, that Dewey is such a card!

  12. Great story. Can’t wait for tomorrow. I’m just glad we have never had to go through what you and Fred did. I knew I did not like HOAs. Now I know why.

  13. How do you keep your cats so calm during this stressful time? Or in general? We recently got a new cat (in July) and he’s stupid and obstinate and likes to chase the other cats, which they take great offense to. Some one has been peeing where they’re not supposed to, like our bed! We bought some of those pheromone collars, and they worked at first, but even when I put a new one on him, he still went after the others. He’s not being mean, they don’t like him and run away, which sets off his chase instinct, I guess. I think he only wants to play. I’m thinking of getting feliway, but does that have a noticeable smell? My hubs is sensitive to smells. Or are there drops we can put in the water?