We've been working all along to get everything ready for showing the house. There were three stages: the first when Colleen showed up and gave us a quick run through of everything she thought we should do, things that we could kind of take or leave. They were as big as getting everything that was natural wood painted either white or gray and moving my entire library out of my office to things as small as the orientation of my second monitor.
We got a lot of those things done. Including the miraculous cleansing of the carpets and tile. The tile was so white, Jet came in saying, "For a while, I thought you'd spilled flour all over the kitchen floor!" We didn't have all the woodwork painted, because not only were all the kitchen cabinets natural wood colored, but all the window casings, all the railings, all the doorframes, all the edging at the bottom of all the walls, the fireplaces were encased in natural wood for the mantles, the doorway to the back patio was all natural wood, and all the window shutters were all natural wood. There wasn't any way we could get it all painted, especially while living in the house because the guys doing it would have to sand off all the finish and then paint it, and the guy doing the estimate said, "I wouldn't advise living in the house while we were doing it."
So we didn't.
The second stage was Colleen bringing in Debbie, her staging friend, and the two of them went through in detail and told us what we needed to do, and that included a few more bookcases, centering a lot of furniture on the walls they were on, getting rid of knicknacks and all the bits and pieces of personality that were our stuff throughout the house. Binning anything that was out on any horizontal surface, completely rearranging our living room and removing all the comfortable furniture (like the old gliding rocker we got just before we had Jet for rocking the baby to sleep) that didn't look too good, and then clearing out all the plants that weren't going to be used for decoration.
They all went into the basement, which has good window wells, so they were able to get some light. Still, not a long-term thing, and we were hoping it would be.
The last stage was Debbie and Colleen bringing all the decor, which included wall hangings, towels, half a dozen fake plants (including some bamboo), and lots of things that were just out on all those horizontal surfaces. Ways to show that they could hold a lot without cluttering them up, and those decor items included giant clocks, more fake plants, red vases and pots and ceramic items and lots of interesting shaped lamps. They put them everywhere, and it still looks like Not Our House... form over function, again.
One of the things that maddened me was that my second monitor had to go flat against the wall, where it was impossible for me to use it. But it hid part of the room, and "made the room look smaller"... which still makes me roll my eyes, but so it goes every time the house gets shown and during the open houses.
The weather here had been super snowy and cold for the last several months. People all through the area were talking about being tired of winter, and on the Wednesday before the Open House, we had a "snow tornado" run through the Denver area, with hurricane force winds, plenty of snow, and even some rain to start it as it was warm enough, but the temperatures dropped into the teens at night. Schools were closed both Wednesday and Thursday due to traffic concerns. On Tuesday, right after we'd finished everything we could do before the open house, Einstein, our Ford Focus decided to destroy its transmission, and John right before the snow tornado, he got it to a garage to be fixed. That left room in the garage for all our patio furniture, so it became really easy to clean the snow off the back patio when the storm was done.
Our Open House was on the first sunny day we'd had in a long time. We had more than 47 groups of people through the house that day. There were so many that Colleen couldn't quite keep track of everybody, but there was a ton of enthusiasm, and later she said that she could see the look on people's faces, that with so many people there, it was going to be difficult to buy this house. Sunday had 26 groups through, still a lot, but fewer enough that Colleen was able to spend some time with each group. We then set a deadline of Tuesday at 2pm for offers, and by our meeting with Colleen on Wednesday morning, we had seven offers in hand, all but one of them for more than our asking price.
We'd hoped. We weren't sure, and we were so unsure that we'd spend a good chunk of Tuesday going to the local apartments to see what their rates were for a three month rental, just in case the offers weren't nice enough to let us stay through the start of the summer and Jet's graduation. But the top two offers gave us exactly that and for enough time that it is probable that we'll get the time to just move once into the new house instead of having to move twice.
So we signed the contract. On Thursday, they had the inspector come. The report went to Colleen on Friday, and she talked with us about it today, and there were two relatively minor things they wanted done. One of which John finished this afternoon, and the other we'll use the warranty on the roof to have repaired and recorded. We also got Einstein back yesterday, after all the insanity was done, and we needed him while Jet was working during Spring Break. Einstein had timed his breakdown perfectly, and he now has a new transmission and clutch that are both butter smooth and much more forgiving than before.
Things are looking to be on track. Our new house has been backfilled, the basement concrete was poured along with the garage and the driveway, and they're going to start doing floors and framing on Monday when it's supposed to be in the 60's and getting into the 70's in the coming week. So the weather really looks like it's going to cooperate.
I also had a personal medical thing show up, which I'm wrestling with like Jacob and his angel, and I had my third Community Conference with the Longmont Restorative Justice Partnership on Thursday night. I also found out that the local artist organizations, ARTs Longmont, folded this last week, and that the studio tour that Mimi and I had been thinking of doing wasn't going to happen. So a lot to wade through. And with the death of Google+, I'm starting to think of this blog as something that goes back to being something that's mostly for my friends. So... it's interesting realizing how that frees me to write.
And, with all this insanity, I'm kind of grateful that I didn't commit to GameStorm in Portland, OR gaming convention, as much as I wanted to go last October.