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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We sold the Barbie Dream House



Dumplings, you may have been wondering why the spotty posting and dearth of snarky rants. I have just wrapped the longest, cruelest summer of real estate chicanery in the history of ever. We listed the Barbie Dream House in May with a pair of realtors from a fancy pants company. Their only goal was to convince us to sell as quickly as possible for the lowest price.

The first offer was made by a couple who owns a showroom at the Denver Design District. They had six months left on an apartment lease and wanted us to stay in our house paying them a rent 50% higher than our current mortgage. Our dopey realtors thought it was a marvelous idea.

The second offer was made a week later by a very young couple relocating from Texas. The inspection turned up a leaky outside faucet and some roof shingles blown off in a recent storm. The inspector scared the bejeesus out of the buyers by mentioning cedar shake roofs aren't covered by many insurance companies. They called out two roofers for repair estimates. One found about $500 worth of storm damage. The other said our 3-year-old roof was in shambles and had to be replaced immediately. He offered the names of two other roofing companies to back up his findings. (I found out later the owners of all three companies are related.) I had no idea roofers could pull such scams. The buyers flipped the hell out and demanded a new roof be put on immediately. We told them to take a flying eff. Our realtors thought we were nuts.

We fired them a few days later.

Seemingly within moments of hiring our new Wonder Realtor, we had a third offer. From a man who owned a roofing company. He was a complete jackass to deal with, but it turned out the third time was the charm. So to speak.

We were finally free of our decrepit neighbors (we did not know when we purchased the BDH that the neighborhood was a de facto retirement community). The HOA president is 92 years old and called me by his current wife's name. He calls her by his first wife's name.

These "neighbors"...

- suggested we build a cage enclosing our back patio so The Pea could not "escape" the house.

- tried to pass a covenant stating residents and guests had to be 16 years old to step off any back patio when we nixed the zoo idea.

- after a disagreement about their skanky pool guests were discovered the next morning encouraging their dog to defecate on our patio.

I'm leaving out the incontinent neighbor who would poop in the pool and blame it on The Pea. Or the one with dementia who left a small gift for The Pea on what she thought was our front door step, only to call a week later cursing me out for not thanking her. It turns out the gift had been left on a neighbor's porch.

So a mere two years after buying the BDH, we began working towards unloading it. It's been a very long, very hard journey. I stopped posting about our house because I couldn't muster the enthusiasm. We plowed every extra cent into renovations and upgrades (the house had been a complete pit when we bought it), making selections based on resale value not love.

We set our sights on the foothills of Denver. Close enough to cut LB's commute time by 75% and yet far enough from the madding crowds to offer us the peace we craved.

We moved this past weekend into an incredible home with mountain views and enough fauna to keep us running to the windows exclaiming "Did you see that?!?"

Tomorrow I will share photos...

30 comments:

Glamour Drops said...

all i can think is....

all's well that end's well...

it's about the only way to keep your sanity over the whole process, no?

Juliab said...

I am over the moon for you. Sounds like you've had a rough ride over the past few months but now you're in your new place, you can sit back and... start decorating! Congratulations, really looking forward to the house photos. x

Jessie said...

So much drama! Fortunately, the crazy saga is over. Congratulations on your new home, Raina! Looking forward to see photos!

Jessie
www.mixandchic.com

DaniBP said...

Well thank goodness that's over! You maintained your sense of humour while living in hell, I commend you. And I can't wait to see your new house. Happy staring-out-the-window!!
xox

ita darling. said...

Congrats Madame Lampshade! Im sure it was hard to squash the dreams of BDH and reset your sights onto something that you can really put down roots. I cant wait to see the fabulousness unfold!

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

Oh Girl, talk to me. First, I am so sorry to hear all of this. I can also say that sadly, I am not surprised. I have been approached by two different people (one a realtor) to sell my home now, and rent back at their ridiculous rates for a year before we move. The reason, 'my buyers want to get it now before prices go up'. Then the scare tactic...if interest rates go up, it will kill the housing market. My reply, we bought our home when rates were 7%...5% won't kill the market.

You know I have been waiting for you to move. I can't wait to see your new place.

Cathy Wall said...

Yay for you, big sigh of relief! I too have had my run ins with loony real-estate folks. And then those loony ex neighbors... wow there are surely some great tales to share and laugh over in the coming years as you settle into what I think might be "Big Rock Candy Mountain?"

Japanese Trash said...

Congratulations! On the new place and on escaping the lunatic asylum you were in before. Can't wait to see photos!

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

That realtor BS sounds all too familiar. My husband was ready to go along with it. I got to be the crazy bitch to turn down lowball offers.
Ugh! I feel for you but thrilled to hear about your new digs.

N K said...

Congratulations!!! Can't wait to see the new house. I can't believe you guys lived with neighbours like that. Sincere apologies.

wellfedfred said...

I asked a group from a very highly reputed (as these things go) RE firm to tell me what they though my previous apt should list for, thanked them as politely as I could, and in a short time sold it myself for almost twice their estimate. So I more than sympathize, and I congratulate you heartily. Enjoy your new house, you've certainly earned it!

Peeke said...

Congratulations! Totally sympathazie with you about the realtor issues. The guy who helped us buy our first was a dishonest tool that had no idea what "fiduciary duty" meant. The guy who helped us sell our first house was wonderful to deal with but we made it easy for him to sell the house - it was renovated and staged. Then the guy who helped us buy our current house kept showing us shit houses and refused to show us any new construction until we said "no" to all 70+ crappy 80's disasters he showed us (I now have an irrational fear of limed oak cabinets).

Can't wait to the see pictures! I have been loving all the awesomeness you are pinning on your "On Big Rock Candy Mountain" board....

Leslie Price said...

What a story! I'm so sorry! This could be a movie on the Lifetime Network! Seriously! Ugh!

ktgirl said...

Geezus. Long time reader, so I do know what you've been craving in a house and so darn happy you got it after the nightmare. We JUST went through a similar ordeal (minus the demented elderly neighbors-you POOR people!!!!), and I've sat up at night trying to imagine a business that could upend corrupt brokers. I've decided they ruin lives. But you know living well is the best revenge. And that you shall. Good for you, can't wait to see pics!
Katie

Debra Phillips said...

sounds like a book in the making. life in a croaker community with a child is a nightmare, have a friend to back you up.

congrats on the move, can't wait for you to share your new oasis
d

Squeak said...

Holy crap! As far as I'm concerned, real estate agents (as a group) rank somewhere below pond scum in the scheme of things. Having bought and sold 5 homes in 4 different cities in Canada, I could tell you stories that would curl your eyebrows.

And those neighbours - you poor, poor thing!

The good news is you're finally out of there. And you're due some good luck in the home-buying/neighbour department, so maybe, just maybe, the buying process will be much smoother than the selling process AND you'll end up with fabulous neighbours too.

Congratulations and good luck!

David said...

I knew the neighbors were bad, but I didn't know in what ways. How you didn't beat someone with their own walker I'll never know!

The realtors make my blood boil, then to throw in a pool pooper on top of it...SO glad you're out of there.

Bring on the wildlife photos!

PP@pimpmybricks.wordpress.com said...

Eeh, there's nowt so strange as folks. Especially estate agents and neighbours, in your case, and builders in ours (we finally sacked ours, and his response? To build a barricade over the front of the house to stop us moving in today. Which we're doing anyway). How wonderful you're away from the lunacy of your neighbours. May the new place be saner (or at least may the lunacy be more to your taste and less of the scatological variety.

An Urban Cottage said...

Holy shit; what a story! Congrats on your new house. I hope your kitchen is better than mine.

jtc said...

Great news!!!!

LMoore said...

Yeah!! Can't wait to see the pics and what your plans are for the new place!

Matters of Style said...

So happy for y'all!! Sounds like it is just meant to be!

Laine Sou said...

Oh G...our AZ home is in a geezer (i love old people don't get me wrong) community (we're younger and our kids are grown, but I guess this community used be an 'over 55' until the economy proved uncooperative) and it has shocked me how perfectly nice people (with their own grand kids who visit occasionally) treat younger kids who have moved into the neighborhood. I thought they would all be so loving and grand-parent-y...not the case. Very hostile and unwelcoming. It's too bad your neighbors motivated you change your scenery, but all's well that ends well, and it sounds like your new home is wonderful. Beware the scummy realtors. Also too bad because the ones who are distasteful give such a bad rep to the decent ones. Happy for your new digs!

Anonymous said...

First become enchanted...then embittered. Like with Decorina, then Jenny...

The Raina Pattern.

Raina Cox said...

Anonymous - Wow, after 4 years, Donna? I think we were "friendly" for all of 6 weeks. Some people don't click, get over it. I find it sad you're still hate reading my blog. And Jenny knows what she did.

home before dark said...

I've been away for a while and missed the DRAMA! Glad you have headed for the hills. I think realtors are the scumbags of the universe.

Can't wait to see what you choose when it's for love in your new home.

Jessica said...

wow, just wow! and congrats on the new place - holy cats it gorgeous!

The Pink Pagoda said...

Wow. It sounds like a long hard road and I'm happy it over! Congrats on your amazing new house!

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

How did I only just find your blog??? Love it. Ps good luck with the new house. Unfortunately this is too commo. So true about moving buying houses top three stressful things in life...

Raina Cox said...

Coulda shoulda woulda - Hello and welcome to this deliciousness!