Over the last few weeks, the whole family has been involved in different aspects of house sale preparation. There is no certainty that a house sale will happen, but some separation scenarios could force the sale. So we prepare anyway. I don’t think it portends a particular decision, just the reality that in the U.S. market, most people make a housing shift in the summer-time than any other time of the year. With a 10-week summer school break, it’s an ideal time for individuals and families to take that inspiring job in another county/state and uproot everyone without also wrecking school results. So I need it to be possible.
I have had various contractors visit to give me ideas and estimates on things that would add more value than the costs they incur, or are now essential prerequisites to a sale given the housing market conditions in the USA. Wednesday evening was a 2-hour negotiation. Sales people assume I’m in rich McLean and able to spend whatever they ask for. But I’m not that kind of rich. So I negotiate. This particular undertaking I am considering is a major one. Headline price was north of $21K. My initial round of negotiations got a tentative deal for $16K. The more senior manager came back on Wednesday for another try. Before he left, I had a commitment no more than $12.5K for a streamlined variation on the original project, provided I was willing to be flexible on the start date. I actually love doing these negotiations. Give a little, take a little. Look for the optimization or mutually-beneficial contract change that gives the company organizational flexibility without risk to the engineering success.
The 30′ x 13′ (9m x 4m) recreation room in the basement has been the dumping ground for paperwork from the various companies I’ve owned in different countries, craft work by the kids when they were smaller, and sundry other detritus from staying in one place for 10 years. This is a long way to being cleared up. Other rooms, like the basement laundry (about 2/3 the size of the rec. room) have been rigorously inspected for non-essential ‘stuff’ and my ongoing document scanning effort has been stepped up a notch.
Sometimes it’s nice to take a mess and clean it up. But my heart misses some beats when I come across old greetings cards (birthdays, Xmas, Valentine’s) and realize that I might not get any like this again from my wife. (I can’t say Soon-To-Be-Ex because this remains unclear). In moments like this, I can’t put the difficult situation I am in to the back of my mind, and that hurts.