I have been home from the Caribbean cruise for five days and not had a chance to write a post for the last two ports we stopped in. The internet on the ship slowed down to the point that reading email was about all anyone could do.
The cruise ended in Galveston, Texas and friends Alison and Susan were at the port waiting for us. Steve and I met these two cousins on our free cruise to Australia September 2014 when we were assigned to the same table in the dining room. Then coincidentally, Alison and her sister-in-law were in the cabin right next to us on our second free cruise which was to Hawaii December 2014. After going out for brunch and a bit of shopping in Galveston, Alison and Susan drove us to the Houston airport. These two cheerfully drove all the way from north of Houston to Galveston and back to Houston for us, probably 200 miles altogether. Southern hospitality at it’s best and I hope we can repay them someday.
I have to mention that Steve and I have made so many fine friends since we started traveling 6 years ago. On the other hand, in 9 years of owning our home here we don’t know the name of a single person on our street and no one says hello or is so much as willing to even make eye contact.
I had my phone on airplane mode while out of the country in order to not have roaming charges but once at the Houston airport I checked my phone messages. For a bit of background, we had listed our house for sale by owner back in November. A full week before I flew home a real estate agent came to the door and told Steve he had some buyers who found our house online and contacted the agent (instead of us–not smart) to see it. Steve asked what the commission would be and he said 3%. That’s $13,470 to do some paperwork and coordinate inspections and appraisals which I could have easily done. Steve told him I was not at home and he would talk to me about the commission. When Steve sent me an email about it I blew it off.
When I checked my phone messages there were three from the realtor which at first I wasn’t going to respond to. But since I was bored sitting in the airport I decided to call and before he could say anything I told him no we would not show the house to his buyers as we were not going to pay any commission. Evidently, he must have known the buyers were very interested because he said he would check with them to see if they would pay the commission. He called back a few minutes later and said yes they would pay all of it and we set up a showing for the next day, Sunday.
On Tuesday we received an offer and it was exactly 3% less than our asking price. Can you believe it? However, one half of the married couple buying the house signed the contract as Doctor …………….. That wasn’t a very smart agent to let her do that because we knew they didn’t have affordability issues when we made a counter offer. It was accepted. Now we just have the hurdle of inspections and the appraisal which I’m not too worried about.
Closing date is set for April 8th and then we will be FREE of property taxes (that subject alone warrants a rant post), homeowners insurance (another rant), a water bill that is an absolutely gouge when we barely use any, sewer bill, natural gas bill, electricity, trash removal, cable, and internet bill. And of course never ending maintenance costs.
The next two months are going to be very busy getting rid of almost everything we own before we take off in our little motorhome Tulip. It is too small to full time in and sooner than later we will buy something larger.