Tag Archives: hope

Selling 100 Kimberly

True to form, there have been and are to come a lot of big changes in my life. To prepare for such, I decided to sell my house, wanting to minimize expenses and increase flexibility. I was motivated by fear that the home selling process could take a while. Standard could be three to six months. Long-term could be a year or more.

100 Kimberly Dr LivingAlmost as soon as I moved into that house in Travelers Rest, I knew it was farther out in the country than I wanted to be. I thrive on activity and wished to be closer to downtown right away. It was a home and property too great for me alone and also not where I wanted to settle down.

But I was there and needed to make the most of it. To avoid the huge immediate headaches of selling, moving and paying any capital gains tax, I had to wait. Besides, it was a lovely place – hardwood floors, wood-burning fireplace, stainless steel appliances, custom open plan, tons of storage, tremendous outdoor spaces, etc.

Once I passed the two-year safety mark, however, for my sanity and purse, I veered toward putting the house on the market. Thinking I should start the potentially drawn out process, I went ahead and listed. A bit to my chagrin, I used a realtor, whose time could be devoted to the sale. I did negotiate a five percent max commission, so that eased the pain of payout. Her company also had the key element of 10-plus online listing tools that I couldn’t readily access.

100 Kimberly Dr KitchenI prepped by cleaning the house from top to bottom, literally using a cobweb brush in every ceiling corner and scrubbing the baseboards. All the rooms had finally been filled with furniture and wall décor. I hired a lawn maintenance man to keep the grass and leaves at bay and improve curb appeal. We enlisted a professional photographer to really capture the beauty of the house. (No doubt photos sell!)

The house went on the market September 22. The first showing was booked about five minutes later, after a buyer who’d been looking for that exact style home in that exact area saw an automatic email notification come through. Okay. Prospects coming at 4 p.m. I must rush home to stage!

That I did – Swiffer floors, fluff pillows, spray room freshener, place flowers, dim ambience lighting. The kicker was the handouts presentation on the bar, complete with a Home Highlights list, personal Letter from the Owner and Duke Energy Efficiency Report. And if they needed another touch, just grab a mint from the treats bowl.

100 Kimberly Dr move prepHardwork paid off. Within 24 hours, we had an offer. And in another day, we had a signed contract. I got my asking price and made a profit after only two years of ownership. The buyers were the cutest little family to fill that home with love, growth and happiness, a young couple with a seven-month-old half-Asian baby girl. Don’t worry about anyone’s savvy here. This was the best outcome that could have been expected. One day on the market – better yet the best outcome ever.

My entire life, I have only heard horror stories about people selling houses. Take a lesson here. If you pick a wonderful home and thoughtfully take care of it, some buyer down the road will recognize that. Kind of crazy though… I thought I had months to plan my next move.

Still Alice

I recently finished a book about a woman who’s diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and her struggle to hang on to whatever she can of herself throughout the process, hence the title Still Alice. The novel by Lisa Genova portrays Alice Howland, a 50 year-old renowned psychology professor at Harvard University who begins to notice strange occurrences in her daily routine – not recalling words mid-thought, forgetting class times and what that day’s lecture topic should be in a series and becoming disoriented a few blocks from home and not knowing how to get back home.

Still Alice book coverAlice has always been a superior mentalist, making scientific breakthroughs and setting admirable precedents in her field. She knows this behavior is anything but normal, and after wading through a lot of denial, she final seeks help. Many tests and sleepless nights later, she discovers that she has Alzheimer’s and that her whole world is about to change drastically.

She worries about her family. How will they cope with this illness? Will her husband have to sacrifice his life-long work and passion to support her? Will she eventually not recognize her daughters and son? Was this gene abnormality passed on to her children? Will anyone have the patience?

She worries about her career. How can she possibly teach cognitive psychology and linguistics without being able to tap into those well-earned mental resources anymore? How long until her students and superiors notice? What will she be if not Alice The Brilliant Professor?

She worries about societal stigma. Why is this prognosis so difficult to bring herself to explain? Will she be able to keep up in everyday conversations and activities? Will people shy away from her with a polite nod and grin as to not offend? Will she simply be ignored because that’s easier?

Alice finds that all her worst fears are true. She grapples to preserve her memories – her mother’s Christmas bread pudding recipe, her youngest daughter’s first name – and her reasoning skills – what day is it, what is that thing called. But dementia cannot be reversed and can hardly be halted.  When her brain ceases to function naturally, when her mental synapses stop firing, the cells die, and it’s like fumbling in a maze to find ideas, knowing that the information is there yet not being able to reach it. That is the mild condition, until she loses control of motor abilities like walking or chewing.

You know this story is about a woman with a severely degenerative disease. You know you’re going to be saddened and confused as it progresses, as you see her desperate in an attempt to preserve even the little things that make Alice Alice.

I couldn’t have gotten a full breadth of Alzheimer’s from a fiction novel, but it made me thoughtfully consider the minutia that I take for granted and understand possibly the most about the mind and how it affects a soul that I ever discerned.

In a lecture to an Alzheimer’s related audience, Alice says, “There’s no peace in being unsure of everything all the time.” I dog-eared this page and took a moment. Of course, her’s has to be one of the worst fates to overcome an individual, and this puts a lot in perspective for the reader. The most triumphant ending is that Alice does find a way to accept her new reality and steer with love, letting raw emotions prevail in times of trial. And that’s a powerful message.