No Blog Today

No blog tomorrow. If we’re very lucky blog Monday. Maybe.

The money pit struck again. I might need a go fund me, because things are dire. more later.

134 thoughts on “No Blog Today

      1. We don’t have a buyer. but we’re over extended, and …. Okay, we don’t know how to pay for about 30k of NEEDED STUFF before it goes up. Yes, I know. That much, because materials and labor are through the roof in CO. Not cosmetic. Needed. There’s…. mumbles.
        I’m terrified it won’t sell in a month and we’ll lose both houses and be homeless. And we really like the new place.
        BUT I hate to ask for money. Unless I’m doing something in return. Maybe a fundraiser for the blog is best?

        1. I’ll be happy to contribute to the Save Sarah fund. Just let me know where to send the money.

        2. Well, things that come to mind:

          Get a second to cover this, then pay it off with the sale proceeds; you’re no worse off and the expense gets buffered.

          Offer a $30k “allowance” on the price, after jacking it up a bit, and sell “as is”.

          Flip it to Blackrock, who won’t care about “needed stuff”. Talk to who also won’t care, tho dunno if they go up in that price range. (Offered a friend more than she was going to ask.)

          Having a hard time thinking of $30k worth of needed stuff for a relatively modern house that you were actually living in, unless you’ve been doing kinetic experiments in the basement.

          There are initial signs that the market madness may be reversing, so sooner is probably better than later.

          1. Your suggestions are worth considerating. In my neighborhood, about a year ago a house that was marketed as a fixerupper and needed a lot of work was sold as is for full price.

          2. BIL and his sister put their mom’s house on the market for $ less than they probably could get for it, as is. Don’t know that they were required repairs, but someone was definitely doing major remodel on it.

            Ditto for house down the street. We are shocked what it sold for. But they sold it as is, with a list of known needed costs, roof, etc. (upgrades are different).

            Even 32 years ago when we sold our house. Purchasing banker said the roof needed replacing. We adjusted the price, buyers moved in, paid rent, replaced the roof themselves, house closed. Market wasn’t anywhere near as good as it is now.

          3. Given the lack of info we have on what’s going on, it’s possible that at least some of the money is needed for something that local law says needs to be in place before the house is sold. Though I couldn’t imagine what that might be.

            1. Thinking about it, last year my insurance got cancelled because my roof was too old. Roofers were asking me “WTF are we doing here, your roof is fine?) If it’s something like that, anyone trying to get a mortgage would have problems.

                1. Ah, so it’s a cryptid infestation, and if you talk about it the MCB will drop a shoggoth on you.

                  1. Let’s hope it’s merely a cryptid problem. There are worse things.

                    Fortunately, she remembers it. That rules out the green penguins.

        3. Sell shares of ummm something#
          No, wait, promissory notes? Sure, that’s it

          Sell autographs. They’re valuable now and will appreciate.*

          #Goldport Press (probably not); your next timber harvest? Your next litter of kittens

          Actually, if we could sell our place without fixing it up (except for shingles) at almost what we owed on it (and we had rolled a car loan and a credit card into it) and it sure needed work, I’m willing to bet you can sell your charming former dwelling at a good price—as someone else has already pointed out.

          And our local market isn’t as hot as Colorado’s.

          *Probably, in my un-researched opinion/wild guess

        4. Seriously, Sarah, PUT IT UP!

          People ARE taking houses “as is.”

          You can always go back and fix it up later if it doesn’t sell, but GET IT UP!

            1. When we were last in the market we were greatly attracted to a house which had been sitting idle for aa decade or so, with its kitchen mostly gutted. We saw that as a plus, an opportunity to design a kitchen as we wanted e rather than living with or redesigning around somebody’s poor judgement.

              Alas, we bid based on our estimate of market value less costs of bringing that house up to snuff (about thirty-three percent of ending value) fell short of the owner’s asking price … by the costs of bringing it up to snuff.

        5. Ouch. And if it needs work you can’t rent it out, even if you wanted to be an absentee landlord. (Been there. Done that. It worked, but we’ll never do it again. I hope).

          1. absentee landlord. (Been there. Done that. It worked, but we’ll never do it again. I hope).

            Ditto. Amen!

            It hasn’t gotten easier for absentee landlords either.

        6. When we moved away from Portland, the roof self-destructed in a storm just before we listed. We did NOT fix it, just got somebody out to replace the missing shingles with a lick and a promise, and listed it with a disclosure. Didn’t make much difference in the sale price, but it did take an extra few days of inspections for the sellers to sign off.

          You don’t have to fix everything. This is not going to be a victory at this point, “retreating in good order” is the scenario now. Live to fight another day.

      1. Well, maybe a thousand of us have $30 burning a hole in our pockets. Sharpen your knives and eat the elephant!

        And we’ll pray for you too.

  1. Crap. I’ve already spent a weeks worth of December’s money myself, sorry to hear you’re in the same boat.

  2. Well, gosh darn it, if it’s money you’re needing just say the word and I’ll empty out every flipping coin in the dratted cuss jar for you.

  3. It’s in the air. RedQuarters will get a new oven on Thursday, because after 30-something years one half of the heating coils in the old one died.

    Note: cakes don’t bake well with just the broiler. Especially if the cake is on the top rack. In case you ever wondered.

      1. We had to do that a few years back; over the course of a year the oven, the dishwasher, and the oven all passed – but not so close together that we could replace as a package. None of the replacements quite fit the cabinet holes, either.

        1. Next time our refrigerator goes out, we’re going to have to redo the kitchen (can we say awwwwww). It was difficult enough finding a replacement 16 years ago … very limited space.

          We replace elements in our last oven a number of times before it died again. This time the elements were not available, at any price. Not even appliance recycle. Broke down and bought a new oven to replace the 28 year old unit. Don’t get me wrong, I love the new glass top, the convection, and other oven features. But I didn’t need them.

          When the 33 year old freezer died, our electric bill went down. But the new freezer lasted 14 months, 2 months past the warranty (CC warranty for the win).

          Our first set of laundry washer/dryers lasted 18 years. Second and thirds sets, 12 years each. We’re a couple of years into our 4th set. Up until very recently all our appliances have been Kenmore, whenever possible. Kenmore isn’t really an option locally anymore.

          1. Egads… the freezer I gave someone $50-delivered a couple years ago is probably 50 years old. Didn’t impact the power bill enough to notice. Could use a new door seal, but used a little backing rod to fix where it was deficient, and it does well enough. It seems like more of a bargain every day… I’m told by our local appliance repair guy that those now-dominant Korean and Chinese freezers are short-lived and you can’t get parts. 😦

            Those old round-cornered fridges, when they’d lose their thermostat would go down to -40 and stay there, and didn’t eat much. Made a great freezer usually free for the trouble to haul it away.

            1. My parents just bought a freezer recently as well.

              But apparently they’re making freezers differently these days, and if you want to store your freezer in a place that gets cold – like a garage – you have to get a “garage-ready” freezer.

              Unfortunately, they didn’t realize this, assuming that all freezers are “garage-ready” because where else would you put a freezer? They’ve had it five months, maybe, and ever since the weather got cold, the freezer won’t go below 45 F.
              The company will compensate them for the value of the food that isn’t freezing, if they have the receipts, but still…

              Whatever wasn’t ruined has gone into the 70 year old chest freezer that they though was defunct, but is mysteriously now working again after sitting around unplugged for the last half year. It can sit out in the cold and still work.

              1. “garage-ready” freezer.

                Blink … I did not know that. I wonder if that is what happened with our 9 CUFT that we originally got? We had to have a repair person come in and say “Yes, not working correctly” and the CC would pay us for the cost. So we were out $60 for that.

                I won’t be happy if the Costco one quits after 36 months (Costco Warranty using the Costco CC), but it was only $99 (one of the annual freezer sales).

              2. Generally frost-free can’t tolerate cold, they get confused. (They also freezerburn stuff.)
                Generally manual defrost don’t care. (And don’t freezerburn stuff so much.)
                But I gather there are exceptions to both.

                My $50 freezer (manual) sits in the back porch, and doesn’t particularly mind -25; at least stuff stays frozen hard as a brick, tho the freezer seems to put out more heat the colder the weather gets. Maybe it’s trying to heat up the outdoors…

                Since this house came with a kitchen fridge, my good fridge is in the garage, which is only nominally heated. Took a while to find a setting where it’s happy when temps in there get down around 50. Turns out “just barely above freezing” in a warm house is not the same setting as “just barely above freezing” in a cold garage. Fortunately it’s away from the outer wall and backed between piles of crap, so it’s a bit “insulated” or yeah, it might have decided not to get cold anymore.

                When you move an older fridge/freezer, sometimes corrosion crud in the coils gets roiled up and blocks the works, and then they quit. But if they sit unpowered long enough sometimes it settles out and they work again. So it was explained to me by the repair dude.

            2. Ours was a 1985 version. It was freezing. Seal was fine. Problem was it wouldn’t shut off. We have a slight problem with brick ice cream … It was 15 CUFT and double the size we need, for all that it was half the size of the one we had in Longview (30 CUFT, inlaws convinced us we needed one that big … no we didn’t).

              I believe the really old ones would be better on power. This one not shutting off, not so much.

              We now have a 7 CUFT chest from Costco. Right now it is almost empty. I have to get all the “must keep frozen” stuff to the little frig freezer and defrost it before our half pig is ready in December. Then it will be pretty much full, for a bit.

            3. “… go down to -40 and stay there, and didn’t eat much.”

              That’s the difference between the “environmentally bad” old high-performance refrigerant and today’s “environmentally good” inferior replacements.

      2. Years ago, it was possible to get replacement elements for electric ranges, and I *think* even ovens. My first townhouse had some interesting problems.

        1. You can buy replacement elements for electric ranges. We just did a couple of months ago.

            1. Apparently that was the problem – no one had parts in stock, and if one element went out, the other is probably contemplating failure as well. So, a 37 year-old oven, no longer made, looking for both heating elements and an electrician to repair it, and . . . It would have been after Thanksgiving before the repairman could get to it. That was NOT negotiable for MomRed.

              1. 37 year-old oven, no longer made, looking for both heating elements and an electrician to repair it, and . . . It would have been after Thanksgiving before the repairman could get to it. That was NOT negotiable

                That, and the cost to repair said appliance, was within a hundred or so dollars, to more than the replacement, if you could find an equivalent replacement. If it was just the elements and they were actually available, hubby would have replaced them. Did it more than once before elements became harder to scrounge and we finally said “enough is enough”.

                1. Cooktop burners (at least the old school–I never had to work on our glass flattop) were easy to swap out. It’s been too many years since I had to deal with an electric oven that needed attention.

                  The cooktop elements were fairly generic, but I can imagine the oven elements having a bunch of alternatives. Standards? We don’t have any standards!

                  1. Yes. The top coils were generally easy to swap out. I did that regularly. Last batch though weren’t as “compatible”, getting worse, connection compatible. It was the oven elements that finally were the last straw.

  4. Put up the gofundme.

    And if there is anything which can be helped with outside of the monetary; you are allowed to ask for help on that too.

  5. oh dear
    gofund, fund raise or what ever, that is about all I can do right now, other than send well wishes.
    I had a drain clog that was caused by roots from the tree out front. At first I thought it was a washing machine giving up the ghost (Washing clothes and suddenly wet basement floor), then when I checked the drain in the floor it was still dryish. Flushing at that point did not cause a rise, or so I thought.
    Next morning, I took a shower and flood city . . . well, it ain’t the washer.
    Bought a Harbor Fright 50ft snake and bound it up several times, overheated it twice, made a slightly bigger bit for the smaller piping (cast iron 2 inch with too tight bends) and took the bigger claws to the grinder to sharpen and still had to go with the smaller claw before the big one could get past the joint the roots got in by., I would like to get a replacement snake the same size ½” or so but only 25 feet long and make out well past the roots of the tree, to be certain.

  6. I just shared one of your books on my Facebook page. It’s the only one I’ve actually read in its entirety, but I hope that it gives you at least a few more sales, and some of the people who acquire it will take a look at your other books.

    Wish I could do more, but right now we’re still very much in recovery mode after the 18 months without a convention.

    1. And as if life isn’t fun enough, this evening I finished loading out after a local gaming convention, started the van and discovered that the brakes have gone out. Pedal is almost down to the floor.

      At least the hotel is letting us leave the van on their lot overnight, and tomorrow I get AAA to tow it to our local Goodyear to sort the brakes out. If we’d gone to Youmacon, we’d be dealing with that in Detroit, trying to figure out how much longer we’d be stranded up there while it was fixed, etc. Even two weeks ago, at Indiana Comic Con, the convention center would not have let us leave the van on the loading dock. They’d want us to call AAA immediately and sort out things with Goodyear tomorrow.

      There’s never a good time for a breakdown, but all things considered, it’s probably one of the least bad times it could happen. And unlike 2018’s hydroboost woes, at least we have over a week before we need to take off for Grand Rapids Comic Con.

      I just hope I don’t have another round of health issues this winter.

  7. The suggestion I got from a realtor is to not fix anything. Just sell it. The market is hot and money you invest in fixing it to sell is a bad investment. Your market might be different, but do you REALLY have to do that work?

    1. Same advice from realtor friends here. The house is not falling down, the electrical isn’t on fire, the plumbing isn’t spurting out the walls, the roof hasn’t blown away entirely. Therefore plenty good enough to sell in a hot market; better to be more “flexible” on the price instead of sinking cash into it. You end up with the same money (or probably MORE money, because you never get back the net cost of repairs or upgrades) and the buyer thinks they got a bargain. AND you get rid of it sooner. Everybody happy.

      1. Doing it that way also opens up the possibility of prospective purchasers being investors willing to spend the money to finish renovating the house and then flip it.

    2. Agreed that you don’t actually have to fix anything right now, since we’re still mostly in a hot market. But the air is already starting to come out of the bubble, so time is your enemy. Get it listed with the defects, right now!

      1. Yeah, I just saw where Zillow discovered they’d been overbidding (they use an algorithm) and have started losing money on houses that need renovation. That, I think, is the first clue that the peak is in sight and you don’t want to be selling on the other side if you can do it NOW.

  8. I agree with Kevin and Reziac. From all I hear, selling a house is not a problem. It’s a seller’s market like there’s never been. From all I hear, no one can buy any kind of house without a bidding war. These are not normal times. Take advantage of them. Please! You are too valuable to lose and are already over-stressed.

  9. I sold real estate for years. The truth was almost anything you did to a house to sell it didn’t return a profit. I saw people paint and put down new carpet and then the buyer came in and said “Oh, we love the house but need to rip up that hideous carpet and paint first thing.”
    The only exception to that was a house custom built for a man who came from a dirt poor background. He had no taste and when he found himself with a well paying job had the home built with speckled shag carpeting – red plumbing fixtures in yellow counter tops, rooms with stained woodwork on one side of the room and painted white on the other side. Glitter ceilings and a chandelier that belonged in a European palace. The dinning room was painted a dark mustard color…It was a horror.

    1. He had taste, just bad. Really bad. But did it make him happy?
      We just finished a project repainting a camp manager’s house which had just had mold “remediation.” I put a roller in every single room of that two story house, painting everything light gray. In the full knowledge that when the new manager arrives, his wife will undoubtedly want to repaint the place to her taste. But that’s a different situation.

    2. Accent walls are all the rage nowadays. Red plumbing fixtures and glitter shag? Like, wow, man; how seventies! ( Ain’t no way….)

    3. ROFL. When we moved into our present house the kitchen was the size of a walk-in closet, with bright yellow linoleum and two patterns of bright orange and yellow wallpaper… and the real estate whispered to me not to say anything about the kitchen because the owners were very proud of how they’d redecorated it.

      I COOKED in that kitchen through eight Texas summers before a windfall permitted us to have it ripped out and replaced… and even then I had to argue the case with Better Half, who does not cook and really couldn’t understand why I wanted to change anything. I threatened to take a video camera around to all our neighbors and record the wives’ reactions to that statement…

      1. and even then I had to argue the case with Better Half, who does not cook and really couldn’t understand why I wanted to change anything. I threatened to take a video camera around to all our neighbors and record the wives’ reactions to that statement…

        :laughing: Oh, my.

      2. The student apartment I had in Troy really WAS a walk-in closet, five by eleven. A sink had been plumbed in, but there wasn’t room to open all cabinet doors underneath. The stove and refrigerator were right next to each other on the opposite wall. I had to keep the dishes, pots, and pans in the living room.

    4. Heh, that, exactly. While there’s this notion that houses have to be plain white inside to sell, reality is everyone has their own ideas, or wildly colorful houses wouldn’t exist to start with. And yeah, I’ve heard that exact thing from just about everyone I know who’s bought a house — it’s all new inside but OMG, we really need to repaint, and tear out that carpet for flooring or kitchen… yes, more than once I’ve seen someone tear out and replace a brand new kitchen. That’s when I started to realize that pre-sale renovations are a dead loss.

  10. Looking at the budget… Sarah, on Friday, I can send you $250. Can I get an IOU for a cover, though? (It wouldn’t be called until at LEAST next year, February or March. If I get into gear myself.)

    I’ll send it in a bank check to whatever address (Goldport Press?) you want, so nobody takes a cut off the top. Let me know.

  11. I think the big thing about paint and carpet is that the house looks fresh, not that they will necessarily want what you chose. If it looks ratty it is harder to visualize it looking nice. Assuming, however, that this isn’t what we are talking about here, I agree that in today’s market it might be worth being flexible to the tune of some thousands of dollars on the sell price with full disclosure, so long as it will pass inspection.

  12. Bah! List it NOW! Raise the asking price $20K, in expectation of it getting bargained down. A little less than you want is better than panicking over losing it all!

    1. I suspect this is the best course. Just disclose it, sell as is, and run. The first loss is almost always the best loss. Better to take a small loss than lose everything and in this market you might not take a loss at all. Denver housing is still vertical, but interest rates are starting to creep up. That’s your enemy right now.

      1. I’m inclined to to concur with ‘disclose and sell’.

        I have a lot of obsessive perfectionism, and pretty often get myself in trouble being fixed on doing things a certain way. My impression of Sarah’s description is that it sounds like this issue of mine.

  13. Agree with others! Put it up As-Is. I know people selling hurricane damaged houses ABOVE undamaged prices. I don’t know the problem, but can’t be worse than a tree in the house or roof pulled partially off.

  14. Asking for prayers for a cousin and her family. A cousin of mine has pancreatic cancer, and has been admitted to hospice in a coma. She is expected to die within a few days.

    1. Praying.

      And ouch– that’s what got one of our adopted grandmothers. (The wonderfully cranky Red Cross lady I sometimes brag on, the one that sent probably tons of cookies to every blessed command she could wrangle a contact address for.)

  15. Unless you’re underwater, I agree with everyone above: Sell it and run. That’s what I did. I got less than I wanted and a bit under asking, but it was more than enough to cover the new place (although I still took out a loan – inflation hedge).

    I hit the tip jar; if you have a fundraiser, I can manage a bit more. Best of luck!

    BTW: It was in Denver, but to get there from almost any direction, one had to go through homeless encampments. I have no doubt that drove away the full price, I want to live there buyers. I ended up with an investor (and closing was a disaster, but not part of the “cut and run” advice).

  16. Just sent a donation to through PayPal. You should probably run campaign’s every so often. The writing you do on this blog is valuable, and a great service to our community (whatever you may call this collection of Odds {and sods}). Ok guys and gals, TANSTAAFL

  17. Let me add my vote to “sell it as is, don’t wait”. People are crazy for houses these days – the wreck I used to live in apparently sold for near $300K.

    (Which I saw none of, but that’s family messes for you….)

  18. tip sent via PP. Take the advice and just sell. The Kalifruitopians don’t care and will change everything you ‘fix’ now anyway.

  19. More than happy to send Mrs. Hoyt the yearly blog subscription early. Is the PO Box still valid?

    Also, unless it’s a legal bar to selling, getting the house on the market while it’s still hot is the priority.

  20. Sorry if double posted sent your way via BCE > Dio’s plus prayers and blessings.

  21. Collect Sarah’s conservative and anti-communist posts for publication. Sarah probably has too much on her plate atm to do it herself; so maybe someone could ‘volunteer’ for a percentage?

      1. Ok. Unless there’s a lien involved you have no problem. Worse comes to worse they wait for their money. That what interest if for and that possibility is included in the price.

      2. Heh. I’m so old I can remember when filling a gas tank cost $25 instead of the current $50+ (and rising.) AND (not to Liberals) that increased transportation cost bleeds into EVERYthing.

        The there are the attendant hassles induced by the erratic supply chain. Everything you do takes longer and costs more than anticipated. It’s like trying to run in Georgia clay mud.

          1. I remember when gas broke a buck.

            For you young innocents: gas pumps were set to have the price in three digits. Many places had to set it to half the price and explain you would pay double that.

            The first time it broke two dollars, I saw pumps that had hand written “2”s in that slot, but the pump could handle it.

            1. I remember when per gallon gas went over $1/gal. I remember the gas lines. Gas on even/odd days based on car’s plate number. Gas stations being out of gas. … Getting paid to take neighbors cars down to sit in line and getting gas. Parents wouldn’t pay me. That became one of my “chores”. Payment, got to borrow the car (as long as I brought it back with gas tank full). “Boy friend” worked at a gas station … he’d let me fill up the car on not allowed days … Hubby talks of $0.35/gal gas and “gas wars” where gas go down to $0.19/gal.

        1. Akshully, it’s not the gas. All this just means today’s dollar is worth 16.51¢ relative to 45 years ago.

          1. Yeah – but the dollar was worth twice that at the pump a mere eighteen months ago.

            I guess Ms Psaki would say that this means I’m getting much greater value on my free shipping from Amazon.

      3. It sounds like you haven’t been able to think of anything other than the immdiate crises, but some of us have occassionally sent a contribution to the blog account in the last couple of months. You should look and see if there is anything there as well. Best wishes through all of this vail of tears.

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