2012 - 2017 Travel Map

Get a Way to Florida


Today is our last day of our 2 week getaway to Florida.  We leave at an early 7:05AM and need to leave the resort at 4:30 in the morning!

The house sale is still under way.  Last Monday while we were traveling to Haulover Beach in Sunny Isles Beach, our Realtor called and said that the house inspection by the buyer was scheduled for the next day (Tuesday). We said great!

On A1A south to Haulover beach











Our Realtor knows we are away so he will open the house and stay with the inspector, buyer and the buyers Realtor.  We also scheduled the water test which we didn't know was our responsibility but I guess it is.   The buyer pays for everything else, why not the water test?  There is no news on the house inspection and it has been 10 days now.  We believe that is a good sign.

The septic and water test were done on Wednesday and after 2 days no news on that either.  We do not believe there are any issues but it would be nice to have that confirmed.  We are now sort of waiting for the proverbial "other shoe to fall" to see where we are with the inspections and the buyer with their loan commitment.  It feels good we are still moving, but.......you just never know until ya know.

We got sucked into a timeshare selling presentation for a breakfast buffet and a $200 hot stone massage for 2.  We have been to these "presentations" a few times now over the years and always hate them.  I think because we have a retirement plan now so we believed we were immune to the sales tactics.  Well we are immune but the torture is still really bad.  If you have never been to one of these you need to do it once just so you will know how these people work and DO NOT bring credit cards or a check book with you.

This timeshare presentation wasn't the worst I have been too but it was one of the longest at 3.5 hours!  The routines are always different but the idea is the same each time which is to make friends with you and then turn the friendship into a betrayal of the friendship if you don't buy.  This time we are given a guy who is really good at making a connection with you over 2 hours with the breakfast and looking at model condos.  After the leisurely breakfast and the model review we are some what rushed into a room with lots of people who are in a similar situation as us and given a "supervisor".  "Our friend" the sales guy tells the supervisor that we are very good people and have seen and know a good deal  now are ready to purchase.  The friend sales guy sits with us and the supervisor while the supervisor acts like they are doing us a favor because of the recommendation of the "friend salesman" and that if we don't follow along we will hurt the friend.  We did not bite on the bait but it is very pressuring.  Then, on our way out to get our gift, we are pulled aside by the "head" guy who looks to be part of the mafia.  He wants to know if the sales guy is any good and what we thought about him.  He then said, just between us, that he had some foreclosure properties in Orlando he would let us have for $5k if we acted now.  We didn't bite again and finally after 3.5 hours were free of them.  It really is an experience though as these people really know what they are doing.  The worst one of these was the first one I went to as I didn't know what was coming and they were more sneaky than usual.  You came in with your wife for a breakfast and a presentation on the resort we were staying at in a small banquet room with about 5 other couples.  They got you and every one else in the room to agree with them that this is a great resort and that you would want to come back especially if the price was right.  After about an hour and a half of this we realize that the presenters are talking to us only and that the other couples were part of the sales staff.  We are now the center of attention in the room.  We didn't bite then either, but it was an experience.


Patty making us sandwiches for the Beach.













We have had the best weather we have ever had in South Florida. Very low humidity in the 40-50% range with nearly no clouds except for the weekend when it rained.  That was OK for us as we changed resorts on Saturday and did routine stuff  like wash clothes and bought food.

Golf at the Bonaventure Country Club





































Most every day have been on the beach except for the day we golfed at the on site country club.  It could not have been a better day for golf.  At out 9am tee time it was 65f with bright sun and 40% humidity.  By the time we finished it was only 75f and still no real humidity.

Yesterday we got our well earned massages.  They were full body deep tissue with hot stones massages.  We never had them with the hot stones before.  It was just ok.  We have had much better massages in the islands and especially the last ones we had in the Dominican Republic.


The walkay to the beach















Next week my son and our 4 year old granddaughter fly out to NJ from Indiana for a few days.  The purpose is visit for sure but to also pick out household stuff he wants us to bring out to Indiana in a couple of weeks just before the house closing.  Everything else is going to a garage sale and charity next weekend.  We also open up the beach house we rent for the season.  This will be our last year there but we will be living there starting next week as we empty the house.


One last thing.  We had a visitor last night on our patio, a baby opossum!  Patty went out to get our collapsible cooler she was drying and out pops the opossum.  Patty thought it looked cute!



When the cooler was removed the opossum weaved into the chair back











That's it for now.  The next 2 weeks will be very exciting for us.
Stay tuned!

Here we go, "Free Falling"

Yesterday, Monday, Easter is over and we were a little bummed as we didn't have any house showing over the weekend as the Realtor said we would have.  We also didn't have a showing coming up either.  So we spent the morning as usual reading the paper, Facebook, and my favorite, reading the RV Dreams forum of new posts.  Besides the usual forum stuff about RV living, every week or so someone posts excitedly that their house just sold and they are moving fast into their new life.  I always feel excited for them and more anxious about selling our house.

On most days, and this is like most days, we get ready go for a walk of an hour to hour and a half around 2 in the afternoon.  Before the walk, we are looking over the flower gardens when I get a text from our Realtor that a buyer wants to look at the house from 4 - 5 this afternoon.  Ok that changed our plans a bit.  We went back inside to do our 45 minute staging routine.  Lite candles, sweep floors, wipe down counter tops, open all doors in the house, and then turn on all lights, then leave the house.

This time we went for a walk from 3:30 to just after 5:00 so we wouldn't be here for the showing.  When we got back we found our selves locked out of the house!  We left the house unlocked this time and didn't take a key.  The Realtor had locked the house after they left.  Most times we leave the house in the car and we have the garage door opener to get back in.  Not this time!  The good news was that in the Spring we open the windows a lot in the day time and one of the windows was on the ground level and was closed but not locked.  It took us a few minutes to get the screen off and then Patty climbed in to unlock the front door.

We opened the wine bar promptly when we got in the house as it was now well past wine o' clock of 5:00pm.  Now for the really good stuff!  Just as we started to think of starting dinner at 6pm, the Realtor who just showed the house was back at our door with the buyers.  Patty and I are in full adrenalin mode now. The family of 4 (parents and 2 middle school kids) wanted to look at the house again!  We let them in and excused our selves to the patio in the backyard.  We were so excited we couldn't even talk.  The Realtor came out after a bit and asked if we could answer some questions which we did.  This family so wants this house.  I was shocked at how excited they were.  The father told Patty outside that "this house is so mine".

Patty called our Realtor after they left to let him know that this family is very anxious to buy the house and to expect an offer.  The next morning we got the offer of 4% lower than our asking price!  We countered with an offer that was a little higher than splitting the difference between the asking price and the first offer.  They accepted our counter offer with is just 2% under the asking price.  They also are already approved for this loan and want to close on or before May 22.  Our original goal was to be out of the house in June with this exact price paid for the house!  We are looking at being ahead of our schedule. Still need to go through a house inspection and a bank appraisal though.

Now we have all of the real stuff to do before closing and we are in Florida for the next 2 weeks starting this Saturday.

More to come!

Awaiting the Spring Real Estate Buying Rush

Have not posted since not much is happening on the house selling front.  We had another potential buyer look at the house last Monday.  Our Realtor said that the person liked the house and they were shown other houses.  No other news from that :(.

Every one is telling us the same thing that the economy is picking up, interest rates are low, and so is our house price so buyers will be out in mass during the Spring.  We so far have not seen this.  We keep a close eye on the houses in our town that are for sale, when they were listed and which ones sold and when.  Right now there are 297 houses for sale in Hopatcong out of the 5,000 households (6%) with about half of that number being foreclosures and short sales.  That is the bad news.  The good news is that right now there are only 4 houses similar to ours within $35k of our price.  One is $34k lower and is a block away but is an advertised "fixer upper".  The other 3 are from $15 to $35k above our price.  From looking at these higher priced houses it looks to us that they are over priced which is good for us.

All of the stats tell us that we are priced right to sell.  However, since the beginning of the year there has only been 18 sales which is about 40% lower than last year at this time.  The sales have also been in the smaller sized houses.  It looks to us that there just is not enough buyers no matter the house price.  It's still very early in the buying season so we just wait and make the best of it.

With the good weather we have been working around the house.  Two weeks ago we had 6 yards of mulch delivered which, be the way, is around 5,000 lbs.  I shoveled it and dumped it while Patty spread it in the flower gardens around the house.  It took us 10 hours over 2 days to get it all in place.  I also re-seeded a bunch of bare spots in the yard with grass seed.  This week I will probably need to mow the yard.  I can hardly wait to mow as it will make the yard look even, grass the same height as the weeds :).  One of the good things about  Spring is that all of the houses in this area look better.  This area really is beautiful in all seasons except for the Winter season.

So here we are just waiting.............