2.24.2009

Now Where Did He Go?


Who tries to sell a condo in a market like this? Charlie and I are thinking, with one showing, this is one of our more stupid ideas. We lowered the price so much that we'll have to come to closing with cash (where's that coming from?). We love this condo. Why doesn't someone else?

We called some property managers to see what it would take to get it rented. We heard we could get $1300 last fall when we were considering a move. Charlie can't retire if we live here because his retirement is less than the mortgage. (I'm good for nothing. Money is like oil to my water so I'm happy renting anyway.)

The same property manager we spoke with last fall said, "Hmm, well the market is slowing. I advertise on CraigsList and maybe I could get $900 for it."

"We'll take it," Charlie says. That's how desperate he is. I'm thinking if rent has gone down this quickly, a hundred dollars a month, then let's do it. What the heck. It'll cover way less than half our mortgage, but that's better than nothing.

He doesn't have time to call her back. I'm not going to. He can make all the real estate decisions. Since I'm not in that career anymore, I want nothing to do with it. It reminds me of work.

The realtor calls me. "Hey, I talked to the property manager at your building," he says. He was the original realtor for the building, the seller's agent to my buyer's agent when we bought. He's the one selling for us, since who better to sell it than the guy who has sold every other one?

"I'll support whatever you want to do," he says, "but I've sold twelve homes in the past ten days. I know I can sell yours. It's priced really well and it's just a matter of time."

Did I mention we've had one showing in 22 days? To my real estate brain, that means lower the price. That means panic.

"I've never had a client call me as often as you have, asking to lower the price. It's low enough. It's just a matter of time."

Okay, I tell him, we'll calm down. In the meantime, we've had this condo for one year. At one year, in a new building like this, you are supposed to get all your repairs done by the builder. You just write up a list and they are supposed to do them. It'd be good to get the repairs done before there's a sale, a whole new home inspection and a whole new list of repairs.

We lived in an Arbor home before this and it was like the military, doing repairs. At one year exactly, they'd ask for the list. You got one try and that's all you got. Any repairs they didn't do when you moved in were supposed to be done then, as well. But being Arbor, they got the move-in repairs done like the military, too: fast, huge crews, lots of signatures on forms.

Not so much here, but we keep adding to the list so it's okay. While I'm writing this a Pella guy is repairing the window behind me. We've lived here for well over a year now. This window has been this way all winter, sort of screwed up hing-wise. We bought blinds and curtains to camoflage the noise and cold coming in through the one-inch gap.

This is the third, fourth, or maybe fifth Pella guy here. The construction manager came by before that to inspect. They keep bringing in new windows, new parts, and parts for the new window. They always say, "It's such an easy fix. This won't take long. Why didn't they get it done last time?" They stay for so long I get hungry waiting. They try not to swear, but they are always here for three hours of so. Even for a little part replacement, they stay for a long time.

I feel bad for them. They have people calling them on the phone asking why it's taking so long. "I'm almost done," he says. He's said this about a dozen times. "I guess you've heard that before."

More drills, more noises, more sawing and pounding, and more calls from the other repair guys who have to do the jobs he was supposed to do after this one. Dr. Phil is already on, and it was breakfast time when he arrived. It's just a tiny piece of metal screwing his life up, and mine. Not mine, so much. This is kind of fun googling and having to be nowhere, waiting.

He's run down to his truck six times now, getting 2" screws and who knows what else. I think he hates his life. He was so happy when he arrived.

I'm happy there are no other repairs. At least not until it's sold. I'll be even happier then.