: views from the Hill

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hazardous waste. Dump.

Chuck came over yesterday afternoon, right on schedule, and we discussed ... prices -- what prices homes had gone for, what homes currently on the market were priced, what prices people had asked and what prices they'd accepted.

The price he thinks we'd get for this tree lush flat acre, in one of the best school districts in California, nestled in the verdant foothills of the majestic (or so the real estate agents say) Santa Cruz Mountains, is more than I would've thought possible back before the boom/bust of the early part of this decade. The price Chuck thinks we'd get is far less than what his nibs is hoping for, based on a couple recent sales in the immediate neighborhood. We'll see who's guesstimate is right.

You live in a place for twenty-going-on-seven years and you develop an affection for it. I'm sad to think that whoever buys this place will probably scrape it, fill in the pool, put up an ersatz Il Lago Como villa with, perhaps, a basement home theatre and a new pool a bit further to the back of the property.

It'll be lovely I'm sure.

For his nibs, the tugs are, of course, even more painful. His dad built this place in the late forties and, except for a gap when he went off to university and then to grad school and then taught at university for four or five years or so, this place has been his home. That makes what? Fifty-five years minus a multi-year gap over a quarter century ago.

The three bedrooms and two baths upstairs were built with his own hands and a bit of help from a carpenter friend and the carpenter's painter brother. Sure he's attached to this place. I helped him lay a parquet floor on the second story back in our courting days. The house is part of me too.

Chuck asks again, "Are you sure?" He doesn't want to deal with seller's remorse when the offers come in.

We have the escrow in Dogpatch closing near the end of the month if all goes well. We have a week at Sierra Camp too. This year the older younger guy and his spouse will be joining us. June is pretty well shot, time-wise, for any intense house fixingup.

Plan is, as of yesterday, to start prepping Dale for sale starting the first week in July. We'll need to clear out the dreck and have everything ready to show. Plan is to have all inspections and reports complete and all paint touchups, yardwork and carpentry repairs finished by August 1, at which point we'll throw the house on the market and see who's interested.

Today, I hauled all the half-empty, half-full, almost-empty, almost-full cans of paint and varnish out of the shed out by the horse corral, out of the pool's pump house, out of the tool shed, out of the garage. I called and made an appointment tomorrow at 10:45A with the Hazardous Materials folks. Our younger son, my steady helper, will show up and turn in as much old paint as possible. Being as paint is considered a hazardous waste, we can't move more than fifty pounds at a whack in a single vehicle -- about eight fairly full cans.

We're going to need more than one drop-off appointment, obviously. Tomorrow, I'll tag along in a separate car, carrying another fifty pounds of old paint. Then we'll see how many more appointments we'll need before we'll have disposed (properly! legally!) of the cans of old paint that seem to accumulate as years go by.

The fix-up process to prepare Dale for sale really began when we started sorting through the piles of stuff from Casey's place and the stuff we brought out of Customs before it sold.

With the sorting and dumping of old paint scheduled for tomorrow, though, I really feel like the process is no longer a game and a bit of dreaming but is well and truly under way.

Oh, my.

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