Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Real Estate

I am selling a house. This is a bad time of year to be selling a house, and a bad market to be selling a house, and to make it worse, three of the twelve houses on my road are for sale at the same time. This is not the result of foreclosure or a suddenly discovered toxic dump, although it does give prospective buyers the impression that people are fleeing en masse from Mallards Landing. In fact, one sale is due to a divorce, one to a newly perceived need to own a barn, and one (mine) to a cross-country move.

On the plus side of selling right now is a bill passed by Congress to not only extend the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers, but to add a $6,500 tax credit for not-first-time buyers who have lived five of the last eight years in their previous houses. The rules say the sales contract must be signed by April. This is supposed to stimulate the economy and, one hopes, the people interested in my house.

So far, this has not happened. But so far is less than one week.

Meanwhile, I am editing my life. Getting rid of everything I don't use, wear, or read. There is an astonishing amount of all three. How does this happen? I think stuff must be cross-breeding in closets... but Avram Davidson already wrote that story, long ago. I will say this: Editing fiction is easier than editing belongings. With fiction, you just press DELETE. It's more complicated to dispose of several thousand books, a 30-cup coffee maker, articles one planned on reading "some day," duplicate spatulas, and that lovely dress whose discarding requires facing the hard truth that one will never again be a size 6.

Stay tuned for a breathless saga of real estate in financially difficult times.


Miki said...

The crazy real estate market was on my side when I was buying my house here in Seattle last summer -- and I was able to find a house to fit my books! -- but I do know people who are still getting lucky with quick, relatively painless sales. Good luck. :)

Mark said...

I decided a few years ago that I disliked being owned by my Stuff, so about every year I do a major purge. I'm mighty tempted sometimes to do a major potlatch. Part of this is my intention to live as a full time RVer in a couple years or so, whether that RV has wheels or sails :-)

BTW, some realtors I trust in the west: Ana Logan
Robert Severino
Vici Duarte

Orion said...

Step one: Pile all the stuff that you don't need in the living room.

Step two: Throw a big party.

Step three: make sure every guest goes home with both a door prize and a parting gift.

End of excess stuff.

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