Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Process

While in the bookstore, I picked up an astrology book and read the first few lines of my horoscope.  It said something to the effect that the first part of the millennium has not treated me well, but 2012 will change everything for the better.  It said that all the bad things that have happened to me since 2007 were just motivators to move me into a better environment.

Hmmmm.  2007 was when things started getting bad with my neighbors.  2012 is the year we plan to move.  Dead on, wouldn't you say?  I was tempted to buy the book and read the rest, but feared some negative predictions would follow, and I didn't want to set myself up for bad news.  My nerves are already shot.

I've been tempted to put our house up for sale now since I know it can take years to sell a house, but the house is so dusty and we have so much clutter that I know a real estate agent will insist that I put everything in storage so that the house can be "staged."  Plus, I don't really want strangers snooping around in my personal stuff. 

I'm feeling burnt out from moving everything out of my mother's house and selling it last year, so I'm not quite ready to have a real estate agent giving me assignments and having strangers traipsing about in my personal space.  I know the very first "potential buyers" to look at our house will be my nosy next door neighbors.

The steps I need to go through before we move are as follows:

1.  Clean house and finish making repairs.

2.  Find a real estate agent, who isn't a selfish jerk or lazy slob or harried mother of young children, who will actually have the time and work ethic to do the job right.  Back in the days when people were moving here in droves, my father had a real estate agent who didn't get any bites on his house in over a year.  He was paying two mortgages all during that time, so he fired her and I helped him find someone better.  This new real estate agent had his house sold in less than a week. I butted heads a lot with the guy who sold my mother's house, because his answer to inactivity was to drop the price another $50,000 every two weeks.  I could sell my own house with that tactic.  So, I have to choose a real estate agent carefully.

3.  Once we get some feedback on our house, we may have to invest in things like new flooring and fresh paint to gain more interest.

4.  Get a real estate agent in Arizona to show us around.  We may have to make a couple of trips out there before finding the right horse property.

5.  My husband will need to start applying for jobs in the area we choose to move.  Hopefully, getting a new job and a new home, and selling or renting the old home will all come together nicely within a short period of time so that my husband doesn't have to live out of hotels and we don't have two mortgages and one empty house.

6.  Pack up over 25 years of personal possessions belonging to my husband, my husband's parents, me, my parents, and my children, and move that load plus 5 vehicles, 1 trailer, 3 horses, and 2 dogs a very long distance.

7.  Unpack and set up the new property how we need it to be for our purposes.

8.  Then I will need to start looking for work.

That's when we can finally settle in.  Since my husband is the bread winner at the moment and my kids are in college, I will have to do the majority of this work by myself.  So, you can see that it won't be an easy, simple process.  I'll consider myself lucky if I get it all done by next Christmas.  The timing of a lot of this depends on other people and unexpected problems leaving me alone for a while.  I waste a tremendous amount of time each day just handling problems I didn't have the day before and discouraging people from taking up my time with their own agendas.

Yesterday the annoying neighbors had a bunch of kids over at their house, and they played in front of my house in the road all day, screaming and yelling.  I couldn't let my dogs outside or work with my horses, because the mere hyper-ness of all the activity around us was overwhelming for them.  There was a lot of stampeding, snorting, and barking going on.   The kids and parents were either oblivious to how their behavior was affecting my animals, or they just didn't care.

My husband said, "We have a neighborhood now.  We've been fortunate enough to keep a figurative wall up around us for many years, and our neighbors stayed in their own space, but those days are gone." 

Once you get kids in the neighborhood, all bets are off.  Kids do whatever they want and play wherever they want, regardless of NO TRESPASSING signs and telling them to stay off your property.  I know.  I was a kid once and I thought the entire neighborhood was there just for me.  I remember trying to sneak into a neighbor's pool once and getting caught.  I also got chewed out for riding my bike up and down another neighbor's driveway and chased out of secret gardens.  Although, if I picnicked quietly on someone's lawn, they usually left me alone and didn't complain. 

I search for equestrian properties on the Internet every couple of days.  I don't care about the interior of the house.  I go straight for the outdoor photos and photos of the horse facilities.  Then I look at an aerial view of the property.  It's amazing how many great equestrian properties are ruined by subdivisions being built right across the street and motocross tracks next door.  I see a lot of properties up for sale in which the neighbors have junk vehicles piled up against the fence.  It scares me that I might end up moving right back into the same situation I'm in now. 

If we weren't moving out of state, I could just return to the property multiple times to see what kind of activity goes on there before making an offer.  I did that once with a property we were looking at buying years ago, and my revisits paid off because I discovered that neighbor kids were riding motorcycles on the vacant lot behind the house after school and on the weekends. 

Hopefully, this kid infestation will end once they return to school from winter break, but I'm sure my neighbors will then just find one more annoying thing to do to encroach on my space.  My friend told me that their horses got loose YET AGAIN, and she had to run around the neighborhood catching them, because they don't know how to handle horses.  They've been boarding them for many years now, but have never learned how to put on a halter and lead them.  In the process of putting the horses back, my friend saw all the junk piled up on my side of the property, and she told me that she feels sorry for me because I have to look at all that crap.  I just get tired of all the junk pickers who come through and throw stuff around every time I'm trying to work with my horses.


fernvalley01 said...

good luck on the search! I hope you find your dream home soon. I grew up on a farm , and I have to say we as kids had it good , but we played ONLY where we were alowed to , as the city encraoched , we saw the same , families in town would send the kids to "go play on the farm"! not only rude but highly dangerous! !!

Dreaming said...

Having just sold two houses... I feel your pain. I think we have been fixing up one house or another to sell it for a decade! It sure isn't easy!
When we moved here we bought and then regretted it. We were in a great neighborhood but the wind was unrelenting. We wished we had rented for a while to see where we really wanted to settle. That might be something to consider as well. Also, since so many people are having a hard time selling, there are more rental properties that have land and where you can keep horses than before.
You have your work cut out for you!

Cheryl Ann said...

Nuzz, we are looking to retire in about 5 years and we like Arizona, but our grown children are here...Chino Valley is nice. Prescott is nice, too, and they get snow. Personally, I love Apache Junction because of the view of the Superstition Mountains. I don't know about prices, however, as we aren't even looking now. We need to do the same as out our carpets now that our German Shepherd is gone, repaint the house, get rid of clutter. I have 37 years of junk to go through!

Vaquerogirl said...

Sounds like you have some major chores coming up. I know you'll tackle them all with humor and fortitude! You might consider contacting a local horse group in Arizona where you'd like to live. All groups like that know about properties, which ones are good, have water, trails etc. I answer a lot of those kinds of e-mail from people coming into the Bay area. Just a thought.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

thanks for visiting. I've been neglecting my blog and my blogger friends, and I'm on the way to change that.

Don't be overwhelmed by everything you need to do. Try to do a small job at a time. That's what the organizers tell us... Pick a drawer or a closet, not the whole room.

It does sound like you need to move, just for your own health. I've started some yoga, and some exercising, and it really helps. Maybe try a class and see how you like it.

I hope you feel better soon. I've been reading your last few posts. Please be safe!!! and keep those dogs close to you!

achieve1dream said...

I hope the horoscope was right and it all comes together smoothly and quickly. I'm excited you finally get to move though. :)