One Last Round in the Heat

There’s nothing quite like going from 9 inches of snow to 90 degree temps. Both suck, in their own special way. We arrived in Phoenix yesterday afternoon. The rest of the day was consumed by hauling furniture from the second and third floors down to the garage, in preparation for a charity pick-up today. The only really sticky moment was when we got the desk down to the landing between the second and first floor and weren’t really sure how to get it past that point. After a brief moment of panic, we managed to sort it out.

Of course the charity organization wouldn’t give us a specific time for the pick-up today. Fortunately, they are only a few minutes away, so we were their first stop. They showed up at 9:30 and had everything loaded in less than 20 minutes. Then we had an appointment with a traveling notary at 10:00. The title company sent her to our house when I told them we didn’t know when we could leave the house. So by 10:15 am, our schedule was clear. On to the packing.

Since we had busted our butts the last two trips, it wasn’t a terrible day. We packed as much as we could and we ordered pizza. We moved more things into the garage and we straightened up in anticipation of the final walk-through tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is our “down” day, since we’re attending the IndyCar race, which won’t leave us time to do much else. We’re going to need it.

Transfer Case Woes

We arrived home from Phoenix late Tuesday night. My first task for Wednesday (after picking up the beast), was to get my Cayenne to the dealership to find out what was wrong with her. Good news – it didn’t take them long to diagnose the problem. Bad news – it was an expensive repair that required a part to be sent overnight. Good news – it was covered under the warranty.

The transfer case needed to be replaced. Since this is a massively expensive repair for an expensive vehicle with less than 20,000 miles on it, I googled it when I got home (via a loaner Cayenne). Seems like this has been a problematic part for Porsche due to some design issue. So I quizzed the service guy when I picked up my baby this afternoon.

He admitted they had been performing transfer case replacements with alarming regularity over the last few years, but assured me that the problem had been addressed and that I should now be fine. I certainly hope so, because I do not want to be facing a $4000 repair after the warranty runs out. For now my baby is back and purring like a kitten. She’s also the cleanest she’s been all winter. That won’t last.

Another Brutal Round

Once again we managed to accomplish well over a week’s worth of work in a little over three days. I actually got to take a shower a full two hours before the cab was scheduled to arrive this time. We caught a bit of a break because the people buying our home decided to buy most of the furniture, so we didn’t have that to deal with. The remaining pieces (primarily the guest bedroom furniture and a desk and chair) will all go to charity.

We were so wiped out after working all day Saturday that we crawled into bed at 7:30 pm. Consequently we were awake at 3:00 am on Sunday. That trend shifted slightly over the next few days, with a 4:30 am rising yesterday and 5:30 am today. During those days I managed to pack 15 paintings, 2 mirrors, 2 large and oddly shaped pieces and around 30 boxes. I also took two car loads of stuff to charity.

Today I stripped the bed in the guest bedroom and bagged up most of the linens, towels and bathroom rugs. I now have 4 large plastic bags in addition to the furniture earmarked for charity. The only things not packed are a few kitchen essentials, limited articles of clothing and one set of sheets and towels for us to use when we come back in April.

I can honestly say there wasn’t anything I planned on doing that didn’t get done. It would have been nice to eat out once, instead of relying solely on delivery for meals, but that’s a minor quibble. We only have a few days to wrap things up in April, but I’m totally ready for it. I just wish I could say the same thing about the new house.

Once More, With Feeling

We took my dad on a tour of our new house today. He hadn’t seen it since the basement floor was poured last summer. I think he was impressed, but honestly, it’s hard to say. At one point when we were driving around afterward, I noticed my car seemed to be behaving oddly. It would lurch when accelerating at low speed.

Great, just what I need to deal with. But not today. We dropped off the beast just before 5:00 pm and headed to the airport for our flight to Phoenix. Fortunately, we just made the train to the main terminal. Then we just caught the tram. Things were starting to look up. Or so I could hope.

Our flight to Phoenix was smooth and landed on time. The airport was way less crazy then when I arrived in February and we were at our house just before 10:00 pm. So this is it. The last big push before we come back to close on the house. I have just under four days to get everything packed and ready to go. It’s gonna be gonzo. I’m ready.

Progress on the Home Front

We had another realtor set off our alarm in Phoenix on Monday morning. The panel is ten feet from the front door and it’s on a 60 second delay, so I’m not sure why they are having such a problem with it. I’ve confirmed that our realtor will be there for the inspection and appraisal, so we don’t have this problem again. The listing has officially been updated to “under contract,” so we probably won’t have any more people coming through. The Monday showing was scheduled before we signed the sales contract.

We’re flying back down to Phoenix in a week and I’m busy making a list of all the things we need to get done while we’re there. I’m trying really hard not to have a panic attack about it. Meanwhile, on the home front, our fur baby is back to his usual crazy antics. He seems to have recovered completely from his cold in near record time. Plus side – less long naps on my lap, minus side – back to being bitey.

The tiling of our new home is almost complete. Basement and main floor are done and covered with paper. We actually got a small bonus area of tile, as they mistakenly did the working garage mudroom. It’s only about 100 square feet, but they are going to eat the labor cost and we just have to cover the tile, which is cheaper than what we would have paid for epoxy. Grouting of part of the second floor was being done yesterday. The only areas not tiled are the (heated) bathroom floors and the laundry room.

Most of the interior doors have been installed. More drywall was delivered yesterday, although they have yet to start actually installing any. Hopefully that will start next week. We are buttoning down a few final selections. We picked the granite for our dry bar yesterday and we’re visiting a few tile stores this afternoon to finalize the guest kitchen backsplash and bathroom tile. Three months to the finish line.

Two False Alarms and One Real

In an act of serendipity, we managed to set off our alarm here on Saturday afternoon. The door from our house to the garage doesn’t shut tightly and it blew open slightly while we were parking the car. Apparently the monitoring company here has different standards for false alarms, because they called the house and left a message, but didn’t require a call back. Not sure how I feel about that.

After a somewhat sleepless night on Saturday and some deep conversation over Sunday morning coffee, we decided to accept the offer on our house in Phoenix. Getting completely out by April 9th will be a huge stretch, but then we’ll be finished and can fully focus on our new house. We made a few minor term changes on a counteroffer and sent it off less than an hour before the 6:00 pm Sunday deadline.

The buyers signed the counteroffer less than an hour later. So, I guess we’re doing this thing. Unless they find something in the inspection that gives them pause. Which is unlikely. The buyers had listed their current home just a few days before viewing ours and had an offer within days. The April 9th close date is being driven by that offer – they want to sell their current home and buy ours on the same day. So unless they find something “unfixable,” I don’t think they are going to back out of the deal.

The only things that I see as potentially derailing the deal would be concerns about the HOA (doubtful) or the termites (slightly less doubtful). Now we have to wait on the inspection and appraisal. Meanwhile, we are heading back to Phoenix again at the end of next week. Even if this deal falls through, we have plenty still to do there.

Anniversary Present?!?

I was in the kitchen this morning when the phone rang. The caller ID listed a number from Paradise Valley, Arizona, so I answered it, fully expecting to be tormenting yet another real estate agent trying to get the listing for the non-existent house on our empty lot. Nope. It was the monitoring company for our alarm in Phoenix. Yikes.

Turns out, a realtor was showing our house and didn’t deactivate the alarm quickly enough, thereby setting it off. The alarm company called the house and talked to her, but they needed our security code to verify it was a false alarm. Lovely start to the day. Despite my pledge to avoid manual labor, we did sneak a little in, clearing out our mudroom, as it will be temporarily serving as the art storage room.

We had a lovely dinner and settled in for an evening of binge watching, when I received a text from our Phoenix realtor. The couple who had viewed our house that morning had fallen in love with it and wrote us a full price offer. Only one tiny hitch – they needed a close date of April 9th. Gulp. So we haven’t even recovered from our last round of brutal effort on that house and now we are facing getting completely out in five weeks. And they don’t want the furniture. My mind is reeling.

Unloaded for Now

Our trailer unloading efforts on Wednesday afternoon were limited to removing the artwork, which will be stored in our house. We both crawled into bed before 8:30 pm. It seemed like a really great idea, except we were both up and wide awake slightly after 4:00 am the next day. Ripley’s schedule is officially a mess. Once it was reasonably light outside, we unloaded the big chair from the trailer. It gets to sit in the garage until we do some rearranging in the house.

We brought the boxes to our storage locker and unloaded them before stopping by our new home to check on progress. Our timing proved to be fortuitous, as they were just starting to install the interior doors and we had some tricky trim issues to resolve. Our massive front door had also been delivered and installed. The floor tile was finished on the main floor. It was great to see all of the progress.

Today our primary task was to return the rented trailer, but before doing that, we used it to take a large upholstered chair to a charity organization. Conveniently, the trailer return location was just blocks away. Donating the old chair made room for the big chair we brought from Phoenix, so we were able to move that into the house. Now that we no longer have to deal with the trailer, the Xterra can be parked on our patio and we can reclaim the garage. Tomorrow is the 23rd anniversary of our first date and I am declaring a moratorium on heavy manual labor for the day. I think we’ve earned it.

The Long Drive

The six days I spent in Phoenix ranks as the most physically and mentally exhausting period of my life. At the end I got to fly home, First Class. My husband preceded my arrival by four days and was now faced with a thirty plus hour drive home, pulling a trailer. So I got off easy. By the time I left for the airport at 4:30, it was obvious my husband was in no shape to start the drive.

Instead, he parked the car and trailer back on the street and finished cleaning up a few things around the house. After eating, he took a hot bath and crawled into bed around 8:30 pm. He woke up early the next morning and was on the road by 4:30 am. I was able to track his progress via his iPhone. Gotta love technology. I wanted to make the drive with him, but we also wanted to minimize the amount of time we needed to board Ripley. Given how much his departure ended up getting delayed, we made the right choice.

I ran by our new house Tuesday morning, before picking up Ripley from boarding. As usual, he was a little clingy and needy. So other than a few essential tasks (taking my mom to her orthopedic appointment and helping our friend get his Xterra off our patio to make room for my husband’s Xterra) I spent most of the day being a playmate and nap pad for our little fur baby.

My husband intended to make at least one overnight stop on his journey. But, it turns out that sitting and driving is a lot more restful than what he was doing for the previous ten days, so he never really felt tired enough to stop. He pulled in just after noon today, approximately 31 1/2 hours after starting. Now we get to unload and find somewhere to put all this stuff.

The Final Push

Yesterday morning we had cleaning people scheduled to come to our house at 8:00 am. We also had a plumber scheduled to arrive between 8:00 and 10:00. Why? Because we discovered on Saturday that we had a small leak in one of the pipes connected to our water softener. We also had an ongoing issue with a small leak in our kitchen sink, which my husband was originally going to fix, but he ran out of time.

It turned out to be a good thing that we called a plumber, because the small leak in our sink was actually due to a crack in the disposal and it needed to be completely replaced. He also replaced large sections of pipe going into and out of our water softener. Apparently the plumber that installed it did an shit job. So, $800 later, we were leak free. Fortunately the plumber arrived just as the cleaning crew finished, so they didn’t have to deal with the water being shut off.

Next up was the realtor and the photographer. We had staged everything that was going in the trailer in our garage, so the inside of the house was clear for the cleaners and the photographer. Loading the trailer took way longer than expected, which was the theme for the week. I ran a car load of stuff to our storage locker when it became apparent that not everything was going to fit.

I am not exaggerating when I say that we finished loading and locked the trailer about an hour before my cab to the airport was scheduled to arrive. I straightened up what was left in the garage and hopped into the shower. My cab showed up ten minutes after I got dressed. Talk about cutting it close.