Our Awesome Realtor, Sherry Soforic

I have been terribly remiss on one aspect of my recent home sale – in all of the celebration over getting the thing finished, and the tearing out of the hair that came before it, I completely neglected to mention how awesome our Realtor is.
Spike helps sell house
Spike helping Sherry fill out paperwork to sell my house.
Her name is Sherry Soforic, and she works for F.C. Tucker. She’s been a friend of Stephanie’s forever and ever, and helped her buy her house. Stephanie’s been recommending her to friends ever since, and everyone we know who worked with her thinks she’s awesome. She also helped us find our house, and was amazing in getting us into it – through all the negotiations and figuring out how to get contractors, Sherry has been a tremendous support. She comes by it naturally; Sherry’s mom was a real estate agent in Indianapolis for decades, and Sherry’s been at it for years, too.
Given the housing market slump recently, and the number of problems and things that went wrong on the way to getting my house sold, Sherry went far above and beyond what a real estate agent should be expected to do – she’s been a true friend and a spectacular, helpful person as well. Although I’m thankful we’re done with real estate transactions, I’m disappointed that I won’t be talking to Sherry every day or every other day – she’s one of those smart, insightful, funny people you just want to have around. I highly recommend her if you are planning to buy or sell your house in the Indianapolis area – if you call her, let me know; I’d love to hear about it. Also be sure to tell her we sent you.
Sherry Soforic Szeszycki
F.C. Tucker Company
work phone – 317-846-7751
Sherry’s Charity Triathlon
Sherry is also a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, where she’s run three marathons to raise funds to fight cancer. She’s now in training for a triathlon, which I’m in awe of. She’ trying to raise $3,250.00 for this triathlon, and if you want to check out her donation page, I’m sure she’d be thrilled.

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2007 Spring Flowers

Hyacinths

April 2007 flowers

The 200 bulbs we planted last fall are coming up nicely in front of our house, and last night I planted 2 daisy plants and a lavender plant in the front. I also bought seeds for Columbines, Butterfly plants, and Delphiniums, and the other day Stephanie and I planted seeds in a starter kit for Texas Blue Bonnets and Aster.

I need to get some topsoil to prepare beds for our vegetables; we’re planting lettuce, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, green onions, rhubarb, radishes, oregano, parsley and basil. I hope. We need to get started soon. This is the first year I’ve planted vegetables, so I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing.

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Bedroom Painting Complete

Huckleberry on the Bed, Lucy on the Trunk
Finished Paint Job

We finished up the bedroom this weekend, which was quite a chore. The part where we had to clean up the latex paint the contractors spilled on the hardwood floors was a highlight. Fortunately, Murphy’s Oil Soap and a lot of elbow grease got it all up without damaging the wood. The room does look great. And it’s nice not to be sleeping in the hall.

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Our Bedroom is Half Painted – A Contractor Review

Yep, we’ve had a fun day around Casa De Stephs. Our roofing contractor’s employees threw a fit and left, leaving our bedroom half-painted. Why is it not professional painters in philadelphia but our roofer painting our bedroom? It’s a long story. Read Full Report to know about who is the best one for this job. But don’t worry, there are pictures. You can also take professional help from a reliable roofing service like Roofing World. To see more about Roofing World, you check here.

Remember back in October, when I wrote about the Worst. Roofers. Ever. ? Because we had hired the guys to do several jobs in June, and he was taking months to complete the replacement of our gutters?

Our leaky roof

And remember back in December when I complained that our roofer had to come over in the middle of the night because the gutters they still hadn’t finished replacing allowed water to pour down the walls?

Our leaky roof

Well, the contractor actually just finished up the gutters second week of March. We ended up hiring someone else to do the work on the balcony because we had so much water in our kitchen:

Pan to catch water

The contractor’s name and information, just so you don’t make the mistake of hiring him:

Richard Smith
American Pride Contractors
(317) 898-1948
(317) 507-5226

Well, Richard offered to strip the wallpaper off the walls in our bedroom and repaint because of the water damage he caused – for free. Now, his explanation of why he offered to do this is because he was concerned about his reputation. But I think he realized that we had a pretty good small claims court case against him (and still do, actually) and he hoped to avoid making us angry enough to pursue it.

So Stephanie took off work yesterday to babysit Richard’s crew while they started the painting. They got the wallpaper stripped off and the walls spackled, and they were supposed to finish up today.

Today, the guys didn’t show up until 11:30. And they worked until 1:00, and took a lunch break. Then they came back at 2:30, and worked until 3:00, when they started making noise that they wanted to leave. We mentioned that we had other plans for tomorrow (they had assured us repeatedly that it would only take 2 days, so that’s what we planned for.) So they got on the phone to Richard, had a big argument with him when he told them to stay until the job was done, and they took their tools and left around 4:15. I think they may have actually done a couple hours of work.

Our half-painted room.

When I called Richard, his wife Tanya answered, and she accused us of delaying the work by asking the crew to do more painting than they had originally agreed to do. Of course, that wasn’t true; we didn’t give they guys any direction at all about what to paint, and it was clear she was trying to put the whole thing off on us so they could rationalize not getting done what they said they would do.

So, I’m sleeping on the couch tonight, Stephanie’s sleeping in the loft, and we’re going to spend the next few days trying to finish up the bedroom. I think we’ll be pitching his tools out onto the front porch and telling him to come and get them.

Continue ReadingOur Bedroom is Half Painted – A Contractor Review

Goodbye, Pennsylvania Street!

I Just Sold My House!
A small photoset of house pictures on Flickr.
I can’t begin to describe how happy I am right now! We closed on my old house this afternoon, and I drove directly to the bank and deposited the check into our savings account. Yay! Thank goodness. Now we only own two houses – ours and Stephanie’s, which is rented out. I have to call and cancel the utilities.
I thought I would be more upset than I am, but I went over this morning to gather up all the cleaning supplies and go through everything one last time, and I realize how much happier I am at our new house. This probably sounds really shallow, but I love that all the woodwork at our new house meets at the corners correctly, and we have beautiful hardwood floors, and everything is not all shabby and worn. It bugs me to look at pictures of the dog and cats from my old house, because the background of all the photos looked crappy.
Walking around the house reminded me of what bugged me all the time when I lived there; I had a running list in my head of stuff I needed to fix and work on all the time. I still have that list in our house, but it’s much, much shorter, and it doesn’t cover every square inch of the house.
And I can’t begin to say how awesome it is not to have that extra mortgage. There’s so much we’ll be able to do now – after we pay a bunch of bills, of course. Oh, sunshine day! I could not be more thrilled.

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I think I’m finally selling my house tomorrow

I haven’t mentioned this before, because I didn’t want to jinx it. But I think we’re finally going to get my house sold.

We have a closing scheduled for 12:30 tomorrow. My realtor let me know before my water aerobics class that that buyer’s lender sent the package to the title company. So everything should be in place for tomorrow. Thank goodness.
I know there are some people I haven’t told yet – notably, my mom – and I’m sorry about that. We’ve just gone back and forth on this so much that we really weren’t sure of anything until today.

Continue ReadingI think I’m finally selling my house tomorrow

Photos of Our Balcony

I mentioned awhile back that our contractor had finished working on our balcony. When Stephanie and I bought the house, the balcony had been leaking water into our kitchen and the post and railings were rotted through, so it wasn’t terribly safe to be out on it. Also, the screen door was too long and scraped on the floor, so it was hard to even push it open to walk out onto the balcony. Fixing all this was wrapped into the purchase of the house, along with a new roof and the gutters, which are finally (!) done, too.

2007-balcony

So we’ve been diligently painting the new posts, railings and deck on the balcony in preparation for sitting out there in the springtime. Stephanie was talking to our neighbor Kraig, and he said that he can’t remember anyone ever using the balcony in the last 20 years; he didn’t even realize there was a door to go out to it. He thought it was just decorative. So we’re excited to be giving new life to a part of our house that has needed it for a very long time.

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The Whole Story

So apparently, sometime recently the furnace in my old house went out, and the pipes froze and burst. One of the people viewing the house found this, and the contractor they brought with them to see it shut off the water this morning. So the furnace needs replace, the pipes need lots of work, and more than likely the offer I had in the works to buy my house will go down the tubes.

On top of this, I’m having yet another bout of pleurisy and round of drugs to combat it — I’ve been taking the prescription steroid Prednisone. The working theory of my pulmonologist is that I have early onset Rheumatoid Arthritis, which causes joint inflammation and lung inflammation, and if left untreated causes severe joint damage and other problems. I’ll scheduled to go back to see the guy in April, but if I keep having reoccurring problems I think I’ll need to go back in sooner.
The Prednisone is both a good and bad thing — it certainly makes me feel way better – my stiff knees and joints go away, the pain in my lungs goes away, my endless stuffy head/runny nose goes away. My mood is way, way better – I feel great, have tons of energy.

The downside is that I’m ravenously hungry all the time, and even when I’m eating healthy, I gain lots of weight. I’ve gained 30 pounds since Christmas time, when I started taking the new medication. And aside from actual weight gain, I’m also retaining water, which is as bad or worse. And I’ve been exercising regularly, too, which you would think would help – but not so much really.

Basically I’m having a really crappy day.

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Macbook Delivery Delay

It’s not going to arrive until Tuesday. God, that is frustrating. I deliberately ordered it very early so it would arrive before the long weekend, and I paid for 2-day shipping, which was the fastest possible rate. After getting off the phone with Apple, they’ve refunded my shipping charges entirely, and they were very apologetic, but it’s still not at all cool. They don’t make it clear on their messaging that two days is two “business days.” I hate that fracking concept. In this day and age, shipping carriers should be delivering 7 days a week.

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My New Macbook

Speaking of GeekBling… I ordered a new laptop today for home. I got a 13″ white Macbook:

Apple Macbook

2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM-2x1GB
200GB Serial ATA @ 4200 rpm
Superdrive 6x
No Modem
No Optional Software
Keyboard/Mac OS
Country Kit

I’m embarrassed to admit that my current personal device is a graphite iMac, circa April 5, 2000, as seen in this old blog post I created when originally bought the thing. It was quite pretty, at the time.

My Graphite iMac

Worth about $20 today on eBay. It’s been supplemented for the last several years by my high-powered Powerbook from work, but that’s not really very cool at all, and I try hard to minimize my home-use. Especially since my work laptop is now having some hard drive issues. Yikes! We were going to wait until my house sold to do this, but it’s high time to cut the cord.

So now begins the anxious wait for the shipping and delivery. Order tracking is great and all, but I really wish Apple had a “Now were taking it off the shelf. Now we’re configuring it for you. Now we’re moving it across the warehouse” real-time notifying system. I wanna know exactly where my new toy is. Sadly the only information I have is “Not yet shipped.” Sigh.

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