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Preparing to Sell the House

Last year Gwen and I tried an experiment of living in our fifth wheel for seven months at a local resort. Gwen worked at the resort while I continued to commute to my job in Medford, Oregon. The experiment was to learn how we liked living for long periods of time in such a small space. We liked it and have committed to the resort for another season. Our house sat empty for that seven months. This year we have decided to make a few repairs to our home and put the house on the market to sell. That will leave us in our fifth wheel year around. Of course, we want to reinvest in real estate and are considering several RV spaces in popular resorts as an investment. If you happen to know of a good resort somewhere where RV sites are available, I'd sure like to hear from you.
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One of the repairs is to replace the kitchen countertops. Our home was built in 1976 and probably has the original countertop. I've removed the old top to prepare for the arrival of the top with a more modern look. We will also be replacing the kitchen sink at the same time. Old Kitchen Counter Tops Removed
New countertops are installed
The new countertop is installed and waiting for the new sink. Guess who is visiting again this three day weekend? Courtney and Dustin have arrived this evening from Klamath Falls. They will be spending the weekend but going back home before the President's Day holiday.
Bicycle Touring Panniers For Sale
February 17, 2006: If we are leaving our house, we must begin getting rid of all our stuff. One of the methods to do that is to use eBay. The Overland Equipment bicycle pannier and Bruce Gordon tubular steel rack are currently listed at eBay. The auction does not end until Sunday night and the bidding has already gone to $72+. I bought these panniers in 1989 and have had good use of them. I hate the idea that I may not do any more bicycle touring but I doubt that it will be anytime soon so it is time to begin getting rid of the equipment. In 1989, the bags and rack were more than $300 because they are top quality which is obvious since they are still in great condition. I'm glad that the bidders recognize the quality of these brand names.
Sink Installed Faucet Installed
February 18, 2006: Today was a day to continue getting the house ready to sell. We installed the sink and faucet on the new countertop. This one is cast iron and enamel, very heavy and very attractive. A nice deep tub on the left with a smaller tub on the right.
Electrical wiring February 19, 2006: One of the repairs we are making to the house is to replace the heating and air conditioning system. Actually, the house has no air conditioning so after we are done, it will have the most modern central air conditioning. This house was built in 1976 with radiant heat in the ceiling. It works slowly and needs lots of electricity, our electric bill can reach $180+ if we use it exclusively to heat the house. The radiant heat in the living room has stopped working so we are replacing the heating system with a natural gas, forced air, 93% efficient furnace. We got 8 bids and asked each one to quote without the electrical connections needed. House wiring is one of my hobbies. I've wired a 2,000 square foot office and two bedroom house from the meter connection. The furnace needs a 20 amp, 110 volt circuit while the air conditioning compressor needs a 30 amp, 220 volt circuit. There was plenty of room for two more breakers in the electrical box so it was a "piece" of cake to wire two new circuits with Courtney's help.
February 20, 2006, President's Day holiday: a great day to rework the floor of the master bathroom. The old cove linoleum must go. It might be the floor that was installed when the house was built in 1976. It is actually in pretty good shape but really dates the house and is pretty ugly. It was installed glued up the wall about 4 inches. This is difficult to remove without causing damage to the sheet rock. The wood corner molding under the linoleum must also be removed. Once removed, backer board must be put onto the floor to prepare for ceramic tile. Gwen and I actually bought Removing 30 year old linoleum
Placing ceramic tile the ceramic tile about a year ago but we have not had the chance to install it. It is a dark blue tile with light blue specks. This is a medium size bathroom, about 53 square feet so it is a lot of tile for us to lay. The white specks in the photo are 1/4 inch spacers to keep the tile at the same distance from each other. We had 1-1/2 - 25lb bags of thin-set which turned out to be just enough to cover the floor, no extra. There was a blue toilet to match the blue enamel-over-steel sinks. We are replacing both with white fixtures. We are also replacing the light fixture so this will be an all new bathroom.
February 23, 2006: Still selling off the "farm" on eBay. In this case, it is an ant farm. Of course we have no room for an ant farm in our trailer. We already have Morgan and Annie, don't want any more pets. The panniers sold well, I got more than $91 for them but so far, no bids on the ant farm. Well, if it doesn't sell, I suppose we could try giving it to a kindergarten class. Ant Farm For Sale
Grouting the tile February 25, 2006: Today is the day to finish the tile in the master bath. Gwen chose a "soft gray" grout for this dark blue tile. This is not my favorite job and took about an hour longer than I had estimated but the finished job looks good. This room is almost finished. It only needs new sinks and a new toilet.
February 26, 2006: This job of remodel of the master bath will be finished today. Now that the new tile floor has been installed, it's time to install a new toilet. Reading instructions for installing the toilet
Old blue sinks must be removed The ugly blue enamel over steel sinks must be removed but the faucets are new and will be reused. This is an enamel over steel sink
Out with the blues! The only blue sinks and toilet are discarded to the front yard for now. Get rid of the blue!
New sinks are installed New sinks are installed using the pewter faucets.
Finally, this job is complete. The new toilet and sinks are installed and the new ceramic tile floor looks and feels great. The simulated oak floor trim accents the room and covers the rough parts of the wall where the cove edges of the linoleum came up the wall. The room has an over-all richness that it did not have before the remodel and no longer looks like a 1976 designed bathroom. The new toilet and tile are installed
The new heating system takes up the attic
February 27, 2006: Our 1976 home was built with radiant heat in the ceiling. Apparently the heat worked fairly well until recently when it stopped working in the living room. The house was not built with air conditioning. I installed a whole-house fan which works fairly well here in southern Oregon unless it does not cool off at night which happens about 5 nights of the summer. It does take a lot of planning and management and new Oregonians don't seem to understand how to make one work to cool off a house. Since the heat in the living room failed, we decided to eliminate a real negative for the house by install in a natural gas forced air furnace and central air conditioning system. The one we chose is 93% efficient, first class and a real selling point for the house. We got 8 companies to give us bids. The high bid was about $8,300 while the low bid was about $5,800. It wasn't really "apples and apples" but we picked the Bryant system which was $6,100. The thing that was amazing to me was how long we and the other home owners have put up with a second rate heating system and no air conditioning when for only $6,100 we now have a home that will be comfortable in any weather. The new forced air furnace
Time to sell
March 3, 2006: Our home went on the market about two days ago. We have not listed with an agent but "for sale by owner" in the newspaper and at Part of our advertising is to create a Webpage of our own. So our newspaper ad gives a brief description as well as asking the reader to view: You'll see our selling strategy if you visit our Webpage.
Two trips to the dump today March 4, 2006: Today was clean up day, now that the house is on the market. I took two full pickup loads to the dump today. The first cost $24.75 while the second was only $9. The reason for the difference was that the lady spotted some metal items that could go into the recycle bin, she said if I would recycle, she'd only charge $9. Behind the two garbage cans is the blue toilet. I tried to give it away at but no one wanted it. I also tried to give away the cross-country skis but no-one wanted them either.
March 5, 2006: It's a bit rainy but we still had to get our sign out to the road. Let's see, is there a fine for tacking a sign to a public pole? I hope not. So now we have an ad in the newspaper which will run for a month, we have an ad and a small Webpage at, we have our own Webpage at: , and finally a sign at the turn off to our street. We've actually had a couple of phone calls but no visitors yet. Today a caller said he would come by the house in a couple of hours but never showed. That was just fine because it got us moving to try to "stage" the house the way Roger does on HGTV. It really looked good so I walked around the house taking pictures. Tomorrow the carpet cleaner will be here at 9am to clean the house and fifth wheel carpets. For Sale by Owner
Pressure wash the house March 11, 2006: Our house has not been cleaned on the outside for six years. I rented a pressure washer to wash the cobwebs, dust and moss from various parts of the house. I have never used a pressure washer before this day. It worked well for dust, dirt and moss but not so well for cobwebs. Those sticky little cobwebs were harder to release their sticky hold on the house. But I was able to get about 90% of them off the house and that's pretty good for six years worth of cobwebs. The pressure washer did an excellent job of cleaning the concrete. The concrete had 30 years of dirt and stain. Holding the wand within 4 inches of the concrete took nearly everything off the concrete including drops of dried paint from different paint projects. This was a 2,000 PSI pressure washer.
View from the inside Pressure wash the patio
Natural Gas pipe is too high above the floor March 12, 2006: One of the improvements I did to this house was to have natural gas brought to the house when it wasn't here before we bought it. We now have a natural gas furnace which was installed nearly a month ago but for the first year we had natural gas, we
only had a natural gas cooking stove in the kitchen. I did all the plumbing for the natural gas line. Room for the pipe under the stove
Remove the 2 x 4 to lower the pipe Unfortunately, I installed the gas valve and pipe too high in the kitchen so the stove sticks out from the wall about 4 inches. You can see, if I lower the pipe and valve, there is enough room at the bottom of the stove for the pipe and valve
then the stove will fit against the wall. This will require my crawling into an 18 inch crawl space under the house. NOT my favorite place to be but I've spent lots of time under the house with telephone wire, TV cable wire and natural gas pipe. In the photo above you can see the pipe rests on a 2 x 4, I installed for the purpose of supporting the pipe. If I remove the 2 x 4, the pipe will drop to the floor, exactly where I would like it to be. It was easy to remove because I secured the board with only one nail. With the support gone, the pipe and valve drop to floor level. I reconnected the flex pipe, turned on the gas and pushed the stove into it's space. Hurray! The stove hits the wall. I told Gwen to stand by while I turned on the gas at the meter. If she heard a hiss, I suggested she strike a match for light to see where the hiss was coming from. I don't think she approved of my humor. When I learned she did not know how to turn off the gas at the meter, I took her outside to show her how it was done. That's something everyone should know. Stove touches the wall
Nikon Film Camera on eBay March 13, 2006: Today I am continuing with liquidating old equipment on eBay. I've listed two film cameras which I've owned for at least 15 years. I haven't actually used either of these in at least seven years because I switched to digital seven years ago. The camera at left is a Nikon with a variety of lenses. I'm also selling a medium format film camera I have had for a very long time. It is a Yashica Mat 124 to make 2.25 x 2.25 inch negatives. I wish I had more time to put more things onto eBay, I have much to get rid of ... it's only about 5 weeks to the move back to Howard Prairie Lake Resort.
March 17, 2006: This caught my eye in the master bathroom window. The rhododendron outside the window is leaning against the frosted glass. As a photographer, you know this is "back-lit" so the colors you see are not quite true. The branches of the rhododendron are almost a silhouette. And the curtain is pure white, but the backlit effect makes it look dark. These are new curtains in the window to make the house more appealing to the women who might tour through. roddy peeking in
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