It wasn’t until early afternoon that I suddenly realized exactly what was going on with my hair. It’s been just that kind of day.
What little time I spent behind my eyelids last night was not nearly long enough. I had a hell of a time getting to sleep in the first place, because my mind was working a mile a minute. I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning, unable to clear my overactive brain. I tried to distract my thinking by playing around with my iPhone. I checked emails, I checked Facebook, I played my word games, I perused the ABC News app. I did everything but get sleepy. So, finally I just got up, showered, and got on with my morning.
I left the house at 8:30 a.m., after a forgettable yogurt and granola breakfast. Eyelids heavy, but feeling energy highly compressed, I drove out through thick fog, which rolled in sometime during the night. (I know when I finally did drift off to sleep in the wee hours, I was listening to the fog horns out in the bay).
On Tuesdays, I go to two offices in one day. My morning client lives on his yacht. After parking my car and changing into my boat shoes (read: rubber-treaded Mary Janes with Velcro closure) I walked on down the main pier to his boat slip, then cautiously worked my way down the narrow wooden plank that connects to the lower floating dock, where his 60 ft luxury yacht lives. That plank was ridiculously steep this morning with a low tide. I made a special point to be very careful using those handrails, which are nothing more than old 2 by 4’s loaded with splinters. I’ve had more than my fair share of those nasties in my palms.
Once on the lower dock, which floats beneath me as I walk on it, I actually have to jump onto the boat. It’s not a huge jump, but it’s just awkward enough that I could potentially not make it. If you’ve never had Vertigo before, count your blessings. I had it once. A severe case, which then took years before all the residual effects went away. But, what continues to remain is a slight equilibrium imbalance whenever I’m not on firm footing. So, the minute I get on that wooden plank which also shifts under my weight as I work my way down, my lack of steadiness begins to send red flag alerts to my brain.
BUT, never mind. I pushed through all that this morning, like I do every Tuesday morning, made it onto the boat without a splash arrival, and then spent about 90 minutes sorting mail, paying bills, and making calls. Afterwards, while preparing to leave, I noticed the beauty of the scene all around me and snapped the photo above. The water was like glass, the winds were calm, the temperature was perfectly perfect and the fog circled around the boats on the opposite dock, completely blocking the spectacular scenery behind them.
It was like The Secret Garden, except it was The Secret Marina… and for a moment I wished I lived on that yacht too. I sighed pensively, and just stared for a bit. Well, maybe for more than a bit. I wanted to curl up and take a nap right there, like a house cat in a window seat.
Then, I snapped out of it, fluffed my damp hair around a bit. Odd….it seemed to be still wet from my early morning shower. Huh…maybe the unusual fog was having an unusual affect on my hair. No matter. I cautiously made my way back off the boat (that water leap was even wider because the outgoing tide was pushing the boat further off the lines). But I made it, safe and sound. Two years running, and so far so good (sometimes I imagine our local paper having front page news: WOMAN DROWNS LEAPING OFF OF YACHT, CRACKED HEAD AGAINST THE DOCK GOING IN.)
Back in the car, I removed my boat shoes, and slipped into my normal footwear. I ran a few business related errands, and headed on to client # 2 for the day. This is a non-profit office that supports a public school district. I love going there, because the office manager is a delight, the work space is wonderfully organized, and the bookkeeping is straight forward. Sure, there are investment accounts, but unlike some other clients, these folks set their bookkeeping up right to begin with. There’s no smoke and mirrors going on.
I settle in and stay focused. Then my cell phone rings and because my husband is clearly the caller, I answer it. Haphazardly, I run my free hand through my hair. SERIOUSLY? My hair is STILL wet…and kind of heavy, like it’s coated with something.
Okay, back to my husband. He’s asking me if I’ve checked my emails, because I need to ‘electronically sign’ the counter offer we are about to submit to the purchase offer we received late yesterday afternoon on our very recently listed home (for background, read my blog post titled ‘Time To Turn The Bend’: https://lifeandotherturbulence.com/2013/02/).
Stupid me for answering my phone…because the whole reason I lost sleep last night is now back to front and center. And, this unfortunately ruins my brain haze that had miraculously managed to cloud out the highly charged emotion that overcame me last evening, as we both pored through the 11 pages of an offer that was….well… NOT OKAY.
I know what you’re thinking now…we must have listed too high, right? Absolutely not. Our listing agent insisted she bring in 5 other ‘high visibility luxury property specialists’ to give their opinion on a ‘list/sale’ price (not that this is a luxury property, but it is a unique property for sure). We agreed.
Then we took the average of the 5 ‘list price’ suggestions, and put our property on the market just BELOW that average, in hopes of garnering multiple offers, given that the real estate market here is hot right now. It’s a sellers market. There’s loads of buyers, and minimal inventory. This property really is unique. It’s an anomaly, and has huge potential to investors who want income from the cottage, or homeowners who want their parents or college grads living on the property but not under-foot.
So, was it a full price offer? NO.
Was it close to full price? NO.
It was 10% lower than our list price… TEN PERCENT! That’s not a solid offer, that’s a bargain hunter sniffing around to see if the sellers just fell off the turnip truck.
You may be thinking an offer at 10% below asking doesn’t sound too awful…but I’m telling you: our property, which includes a main house and a cottage, is in MINT condition. This home has character and charm going back to 1918. Everything has been done and redone. Beautiful landscaping, new roof, new furnaces, new hot water heaters, new windows, gorgeous hardwood flooring, remodeled bathrooms, remodeled kitchens, new appliances, and the list goes on.
AND, in addition to wanting a bargain price, these people, these greedy arrogant house-stealing buyers, want everything I explicitly stated was not to be included in the sale. This includes all the furnishings inside our gorgeous fully furnished, fully equipped 2 bedroom, 1 bath cottage, which commands enough rent to pay our mortgage each month.
And, no it doesn’t stop there! They ‘offered’ to allow us to rent the main house back for 60 days (SIXTY DAYS? Who finds a new home in just 60 days?!) at the mere cost of their new house payment upon closing, which we calculate will be over $6000 per MONTH, based on their mortgage pre-approval letter.
SERIOUSLY? AND…wait! There’s more! They want us to pay to have both the cottage and the main house professionally cleaned after we move out. Did you say Professionally Cleaned? Ummm, no. You purchase the home, you Professionally Clean. I’ll vacuum, dust, Windex and mop. That’s as far as I go.
Upon receiving that call from our listing agent (“Congratulations! Just 12 days on the market and you’ve got an offer!”) I listened to her Cliff Notes version of the offer she was emailing our way. I became livid. They’re offering just 90% of list price? They want everything I explicitly said was NOT included? Well, here’s my Cliff Notes response to that: I DON’T THINK SO!
This is where you have to just imagine me stomping around the house, wide eyed and smoking mad. Talking to myself, lecturing THEM, ranting and raving like a lunatic. My poor and wonderful husband, who I love and adore, knew better than to try to appease me. He let me have my melt down. He let me carry on like a kid having their first full-blown teenage tantrum. I became Italian, waving my hands wildly as I raged on.
And, then the email with contract in tow appeared in my in-box, and moments later the follow-up phone call from our listing agent once again, wanting to go over the full blown offer, line item by line item.
“You talk to her”, I whispered to my husband. Relieved, he was more than happy to keep me out of it. Until he wasn’t, and then he put her on speaker phone so I could listen in. She advised us to write up a counter-offer, meet them somewhere in the middle. Are you kidding me?! Have they been anointed recently?!
Hell NO. So, she tried again. “You have to counter this offer,” she said. “Otherwise they’ll think you aren’t motivated sellers.” I wanted to scream: Motivated sellers? Where the hell is the fire?
Frustrated, I turned on the television and turned off my ears. The Bachelor. Sean is proposing to Catherine. I’m visually taking it in, while internally seething as I think back to just a month or so ago, when we ambled around to the decision to move. This is a lot of property and there is just the two of us most of the time. Well, the two of us, the loyal pupster, and our youngest of 3, who is living a life I like to daydream about…ski instructor half the year, sailing adventures the other half. Don’t get me wrong, she works crazy hard and long hours all year round. And mostly she’s not under our roof while she’s doing it. I miss her, and maybe that’s the reason downsizing appeals now. Her tidied room remains too neat. It’s a reminder that she’s not here.
We only listed in the first place because we thought this might be a good time to size down while it was a sellers market. We were told ‘This IS the time…interest rates are low, buyers are plentiful, it’s a feeding frenzy out there on any home in decent shape and your house is showcase ready…well, it will be after it’s staged, which is a cost to YOU, by the way.’
So, we went ahead and packed up most of our household goods, put it all into storage out in our garage, and let the professional stagers come in to work their magic. The result? It looks transformed, spacious and wonderful. It’s not reality living, it’s stage living. There is no comfortable seat in the house. I envy the dog, who just sleeps in a ball on the carpet.
….wait. Hold on a sec. Where was I? OH! I was still at work this afternoon, answering my cell while running my free hand through my hair. MY HAIR…what in the hell is IN my hair? And that’s when it dawns on me. Shampoo…that’s what’s in my hair…it’s shampoo, doofus.
While I was bleary eyed in that early morning shower, I was still seething, thinking about what I wanted to write in a fire-missive email to those greedy, arrogant, house-stealing buyers. And while I was picturing it all in my mind, I lathered, rinsed, shampooed, rinsed and shampooed again…then stood in that steaming hot shower letting my imagination run rampant, until the water turned cold. About 25 minutes later. I stepped out, toweled off, combed my sopping wet hair, got dressed and marched onward. Just me and my shampoo-head. Out into the foggy day.
The good news? My hair should just lather right up the minute I step into my next shower…which is moments away. The bad news? I’ll be thinking about that old adage: The first offer is usually the best.
Looks like there’s going to be a lot of bad hair days ahead…