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Old 05-12-2016, 09:08 AM   #1
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Saying Goodbye to a House

Nothing cooking related. Just feeling a little wistful.

As part of our divorce settlement, which is now in the final stages, ex-Mrs-K and myself mutually agreed to sell our house of almost exactly 15 years. Sad, in part because of the divorce itself, but also because there were so many wonderful memories tied to that piece of property. We raised a smart and beautiful daughter there. We had awesome neighbors. We entertained with friends.

We nurtured that house. It was a blank slate when we moved into it - literally. All the walls were a stark white, and I'm not talking about sort-of-white colors like "eggshell" or "bisque." They were PURE white. It didn't take long to make it ours, though. Within three weeks of moving in, every room had a fresh coat of color.

In the last couple years, I enjoyed looking out at the 30-foot mature trees in the backyard and thinking how I planted all those trees as skinny little saplings. Over the years we added a brick patio and a gorgeous redwood privacy fence. I bartered my tech services to have the work done, so it didn't cost us much of anything. It goes without saying that I will also miss my grapevines. That yard was my tiny little piece of paradise.

We put it on the market on May 4th. When the real estate broker asked what we wanted for it, I purposely threw out a figure that even I thought was too high. It was almost $100K more than we paid for it in 2001, and about $30K more than any of our neighbors had sold their houses for. But I work in the real estate industry and had a good feeling about the price I was asking. Ex-Mrs K just gave me one of those you've-got-to-be-kidding sort of looks, but went along with it. The broker even said "That might be a little high."

Turns out it wasn't. Within 4 days, someone offered us CASH for the house. As buyers tend to do, they low-balled us a little - about $5K under our asking price. I countered and said I would meet them halfway. The buyer agreed.

Obviously, the buyer saw the same thing my wife and I had seen in the house. I'm happy to let them have it, and because they were willing to pay close to what I was asking, I feel like they really wanted it badly and will be good owners.

Now I'm planning for the future. I'm almost 56 now. I don't know if I'll ever get married again, so I'm not looking for a big house. I would really like to buy a fixer-upper sitting on a good-sized parcel of land. A little more of a rural setting would also be nice, but not too far from the things the city has to offer.

And I've been entertaining the thought of starting a winery in the next few years. I have no desire to give up my day job at this point. But we'll see what happens down the road.

So goodbye to my old house and on to a new chapter in my life.


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Old 05-12-2016, 09:57 AM   #2
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Steve, it is sad to have to experience transitions like this. Hang on to your happy memories.

Your plans sound exciting. A new home to make your own. Keep an open mind about new relationships. You can find happiness in unexpected places. I did.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Keep an open mind about new relationships. You can find happiness in unexpected places. I did.
Sage advice, Andy. Seems like the best relationships I've had always began at times when I wasn't looking for them.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:39 AM   #4
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Steve K, I'm saddened whenever any couple parts ways for whatever the reason(s), but I wish both you and the now-X-Mrs. K (and your smart and beautiful daughter) all the best.
Life is a series of challenges and each of them are lessons that we learn from.
Oh, and I just LOVE that backyard oasis you created. Now go out and make more memories in a new paradise.
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:08 PM   #5
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Aw, hope everything works out for you. I have been divorced for 16 years, and I have to say I have never been happier. Give yourself a year or too before doing anything too radical.
I just haven't been the same
since that house fell on my sister.
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:19 PM   #6
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Reading how much you had done to the place and how long you have been there, it is totally understandable how you feel. I was touched by you saying that the yard was your tiny piece of paradise..... Is there a capacity to have another grapevine where you will move to - perhaps on a smaller scale? Take a cutting?

Whilst closure can take a while to fully set in (an accident meant I had to draw an end to cycling... for 40 years; I sometimes still get wistful when I see others cycling so freely), there is the exciting opportunity for you to start afresh - as you say, a new chapter.

I wish you well in your new hope and would just say try and remain open to possibilities - to quote a line from one of my songs "misty windows won't let you see if someone is waiting to come in".

Good luck!
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt" (Charles M. Shulz)
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:21 PM   #7
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A poignant story, Steve. What a tough thing to go through. I'm glad you got your price for your lovely house, and that the new owners will love it.

When I sold Mom's house, where I spent most of my childhood, I was so pleased that it was bought by a young family who would love it as much as my family did.
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:35 PM   #8
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Not an easy transition with so many good memories, but congratulations on such a quick sale of your home. That back yard is beautiful!
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Old 05-12-2016, 01:20 PM   #9
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Best wishes Steve, for an easy transition to this new chapter in your life. When one door closes another opens, and I have no doubt you'll find another piece of paradise to call your own.

When all was said and done, I'm so glad you walked away with the feeling that the new owners will love their new home as you did. 25 years ago my mom and dad built this house that I now own and if I ever have to sell, that would be VERY important to me.

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure you'll be so glad to get out of the apartment and back to some real cookin' and grillin' again.
Grandchildren fill the space in your heart you never knew was empty.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:45 PM   #10
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Best of luck to you Steve in whatever your future holds.

Keep the memories because that's all we really ever end up with.

Remember that a house is only a possession.

Yeah we attach much significance to it but it really isn't anything more then that.

What's the saying? Home is where the heart is.

It's a house and no longer a home.

The folks I'm working for at the moment have 5 houses.
I honestly don't believe they can call any of them home.

That being said from the pic it looked like a nice place.

Go for looking for less urban.

IMHO you won't be sorry.

I'll enclose a pic of what I see from my front door.
I don't miss seeing people and the other day I had a wild turkey hen clucking about not 10 feet away for about 20 minutes. Shame it's only Tom season or it would have been on the table.
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