Jan 31, 2011

Life is like a box of chocolates

A famous person once said, "My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."  Ok, so Forrest Gump was a fictional character but he would be exactly right if he were talking about our house hunt in London.

You really don't know what you are gonna get.  To start with, you don't rent there.  You let.  From there it just gets more confusing.  Prices are in pounds not dollars, so I guess, kids, you do need to learn math!  Also, every house seems to come with a garden of one size or another but that is because that is what they call their back yard!  I thought it sounded very aristocratic to have a conservatory until I found out it was just an ordinary sun room.  It also seems that they prefer bidets for showers.  I had to look that one up and I guess our feet will be very clean!  A lot of homes we see on the internet have gated entrances.  I am not sure if that is to keep people out or us in :).  The girls and I want a very "english" looking house all aframe and ivy covered but I guess I will tell them the same thing Forrests' mom told him.  You never know what you are gonna get.

Jan 30, 2011

County dumps & Craigslist

This past week I learned that getting your house ready to sell and move is a lot like losing those last 10 pounds.  Somehow, slowly over time you put them on one at a time, not noticing until all of a sudden one day your pants don't fit.  You don't realize until you've lost them how much lighter and better you feel.  It was like that as I went through each room, remembering where I might have obtained a certain item but not knowing how they had managed to have piled up.  Like those pounds, it was arduous work.  I had to be dedicated to parting with what had become part of me.  I had to commit and follow through, but once I did, it was worth it.  As I stood over the edge of the hole I could not see the bottom of and hurled the broken, used and useless items I had accumulated over the years, I suddenly felt lighter and happier and glad that I had done the hard work.  The only question that remains is, "what was the nasty, smelly, puddle of "stuff" we were standing in?".  For those items that had retained some worth but had outlived their usefulness to me, I embarked on my new favorite pastime.  CraigsList.  Odd how utterly intoxicating it feels to have people give you cold hard cash for your used stuff.  Albeit, a small percentage of the value you originally paid, the satisfaction, priceless.   I have to be careful though, as my girls are pretty observant and may start to notice their bedroom furniture missing!

Jan 29, 2011

Catching up

I've had sistah girl to myself all week and loved every minute of it!  Sad to say, she had to leave & go back home.  I'm thankful for all her help & support - can't imagine doing this without her :)

The girls & I talked to John via video conference.  It was nice to see & chat with him.  He spent the day driving around looking at different towns & villages.  Looks like there are 4 that look interesting - Ascot, Sunningdale, Windsor & Virginia Water. 

Not feeling well today - spent most of it in bed, reading & resting.  The girls were terrific - playing nicely together & going to bed on their own.

Jan 28, 2011

Selling your house 101

So it must really be happening because there was a Realtor sitting at my kitchen table going over the details of selling my house today.  You know the saying, "they have an app for that?" Well, when it comes to selling your house, Windmere Real Estate kind of does.  I have a long list of people to schedule: inspector, contractor, power washer, landscaper, decorator, house cleaner.  Phew, I am tired just writing it all down.  But, I am glad that Jim had all of the names and phone numbers handy so I didn't have to do all the leg work myself. 
Thanks to my big sister, I spent the last week bingeing and purging.  My house, that is!  I got rid of everything that we aren't moving or storing.  The hardest part is done, now I just have to keep it shiny and clean for potential buyers!