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.