Friday, February 28, 2014

All In a Day's Work

I met my client for the first time at the house I was showing him in Carrollton on Tuesday night. After we introduced ourselves and I met his family, we walked inside and started making our way through the house. As I walked down one hallway, I thought I heard water running.  I opened a closet door and discovered that the water heater was leaking water. It wasn't gushing, but it was a steady enough flow that the floor beneath the closet was already saturated.  I immediately got on the phone to the listing agent and told her what was happening.  She said she would handle it, and we quickly left the house.  It wasn't a great first showing, but it got me thinking about how many other crazy situations I've found myself in since becoming a Realtor.

I've watched Hoarders on TV, but had never seen a home like that in person.  That changed when my friends asked me to show them a house that was for sale down the street from their current house. They were curious if it was in good enough shape for them to buy and use as a rental. When we entered the house, the first red flag was the fact that the owner was home and wanted to give us a personal tour.  (I hate showings like that. It's so much better when my clients and I can walk through a house on our own, make our own observations aloud, and take our time).  But, having a host was nowhere near as bad as having to walk through a disgusting, cluttered house. Stuff. Was. Everywhere. There was a little open path down the middle of each room that we had to follow, because there was nowhere else to walk. Things were piled up all around us, sometimes higher than our head. When we walked into one of the bathrooms, there were layers upon layers of used toothpaste tubes on the sink.  It was craziness.  I couldn't even imagine what the floors and walls looked like, considering they hadn't been seen in years.  Needless to say, they didn't buy it.

One day I showed a house to a couple, and we had a weird feeling when we pulled up. We had received prior approval for our appointment, which means the seller had notice and agreed to the time, but there was a car parked on the street, almost in front of the house. We thought maybe someone was home, but hoped it was just a neighbor's car. I knocked a few times before entering the house, but didn't hear anything inside. When we walked in, the furnishings were very scarce.  It seemed like it had been staged, with no one actually occupying the residence.  We made our way through the living room, dining room, kitchen, and garage, making comments here and there. There was a closed door at the back of the house, which we assumed led to an office or bedroom. My client opened the door and gasped and then immediately shut it. She turned to me and had the most horrified look on her face.  Someone was asleep in the bed in that room! We made a beeline for the front door and got the heck out of dodge.  I didn't have any interest in startling someone in their slumber. No sale! 

One of the funnest parts of the home-buying process is escorting my clients through their final walk-through. They get to spend a little while in the house they're about to call their own. They check that the sellers have made repairs, take some measurements and pictures, and start to plan how they're going to personalize it. It's typically a very exciting event, because the closing is just a day or two away. One such walk-through was going well, until my client set her purse down and accidentally knocked over the owner's glass swan figurine. They hadn't moved all of their stuff out of the house yet, and this guy paid the price.  It shattered and we were all horrified. It appeared to be a dish soap holder/dispenser, but we weren't sure just how monetarily or sentimentally valuable it was. That wasn't a fun phone call to make!  Luckily they still got the house.

When I got the showing instructions for a house I was going to show a client, I did a double take. They said, "Protection masks are made available, so please wear them to minimize sharing anything contagious." Oh jeez.  Not even sure what to think about that.  Was I at risk for catching something contagious, or was I putting someone else at risk??  Either way, I wasn't feeling very motivated to find out.

Last, but not least, I recently took a couple to look at a home that had been foreclosed upon.  We knew it would need some work, but the price was good, so we wanted to give it a fair shake. When we walked to the front door, it was ajar. We realized it had been kicked in, and wouldn't even close properly anymore. Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous about entering. Was the intruder still there?  They weren't, but we didn't spend long there. The house felt creepy. No sale!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dutch Turns Two!

It's not quite his birthday yet, but I wanted to share the pictures we had taken of Dutch in commemoration of the upcoming day.  I know every parent says this, but I can't believe it's been two years!  We are having such a blast with him lately.  He's smart, funny, silly, opinionated, and surprises us constantly.  Happy (early) birthday, my sweet boy!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A New Outlook

With all my back problems over the past year, working out has fallen to the wayside.  I have a hard enough time walking for long distances, let alone trying anything beyond that. As such, I gained about 7 pounds.  It really affected my self-esteem, not to mention my ability to fit into my clothes!  Gaining weight is kind of a vicious cycle.  You gain weight, which makes you feel bad about yourself, which makes you eat unhealthily, which makes you gain more weight.  A couple weeks ago, I finally decided I needed to change.  I contacted a friend who sells Advocare and bought the products necessary to complete the 10-day cleanse.  I wanted a clean slate and rules to follow to make me focus on my eating. I'm happy to say, it worked!  After the 10 days were up, I had lost 4 pounds.  Now, the weight loss is probably more related to the strict diet rules I followed, as opposed to the Advocare products, but I'm not going to knock the process!

I'm really happy I did it, because it helped open my eyes to just how poorly I was eating. I'm a lot more aware of what I'm putting into my body, and I'm making a conscious effort to make better decisions every day.  I haven't had a soda in more than 14 days, and I plan on keeping that up.  Water and flavored water (with low quantity of sucralose, not aspartame) are my drinks of choice now.  I used to crave something sweet almost every day, and that was just so detrimental to my health. Desserts and sweets are no longer a staple in my diet.  I've made a new rule that I can only have dessert once a week.  I had half a piece of cake the other day, and I felt really bad afterwards. It showed me that the enjoyment I think I get by eating it is just not worth the calories and sugar.  It was eye-opening, and I'm so glad I can realize that now.

I started riding the stationary bike last week.  It's something that my body can handle, without causing me too much pain, and I can do it any time of day.  I'm hoping this exercise, combined with my healthier eating, will continue the weight loss.  Wish me luck!