Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Highs and the Lows of selling Real Estate

Every sales job has it's peaks and valley or highs and lows. But I am here to tell you real estate has HUGE mountains and valleys. The first several months I wondered if I had made the right choice. I knocked on HUNDREDS of doors and spoke to dozens of people. Most were nice, some were not so nice.

Not one of those doors knocked on resulted in any business. I did win a few hundred dollars in a sales contest and a few thousand direct mail pieces to send out as I wish to.

Not that I have arranged for that as of yet.

At about the three month mark, things started to click and I got crazy busy and actually closed some business... I have sold four houses and closed two.

My third sold house was supposed to close last Thursday but didn't. We will see if the appraisal can be adjusted or if the builder will lower the price next week. My buyers are pretty upset as they were to be out of their rental this weekend.

Of course so am I. It sucks to not get paid when you think you will get a check.

But I still love it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I grew up swimming in Michigan Lakes

I learned to swim in a small lake that was filled with muck except where the very small beach was. It was west of Plymouth Michigan a small town west of Detroit. I think it was Millers Lake...

My dad took us to lakes often. We didn't have a pool or know too many people or neighbors with pools so we went the 'the lake' often. The names changed, Silver, Half Moon, Crystal, Chemung...but the experience was usually the same. Very cool (almost cold if you were swimming in June) water with minnows nipping at your toes, friends or siblings to play with and splash and a picnic lunch under the tree. Remember! Don't swim for 30 minutes after you eat!

My parents got me swimming by age five so there were no worries about me drowning.

Learning to swim in a much filled lake sure gets your feet off of the bottom and kicking and swimming!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


My dad died on Fathers Day after a battle with Cancer. He was 81. This photo was from about thirty years ago when he was about 51.

I didn't go up to Michigan to his bedside. I visited him last summer and saw him daily for over a week. That was my goodbye, last year when he was still independent and living his life.

We didn't have the closest relationship so this is hard.

I guess it's always hard.

Immediately following my parents divorce Dad moved in with my step-mom and her four kids and married her. I was 10, my brother was 8. The 'kids' as my brother and I have always called them were between 6 and 10 and were all very cute and blonde to boot. Dad never called me his princess again, or so my mom said I cried to her as a hurt and angry 11 year old.

First we saw him on Saturdays, then every other Saturday and by the time I was 15 it was just birthdays and Christmas.

Then there was a family estrangement over a piece of property that got sold that my brother and I had a share in when I was 17.

I didn't see him again until my mid twenties.

During my adulthood I tried to stay in touch but it was hard when I moved to Florida. At first he came down to Naples once per year for business and worked down there and I would try to get down there for a long weekend. That was the early nineties and I was still single and childless.

When I was newly married in about the year 2000,  Dad had a bad medical scare and I went up there and stayed by his bedside every day while he struggled out of a medically induced coma. He went home from the hospital after 3 weeks and was told not to smoke or drink anymore.

Despite the Cumadin he had been prescribed he went back to both drinking and smoking.

Since Jamie came to us in 2006 we visited him 3 times, first when she was 7 mos old; then again at three years old and last year when she was five.

All three times we had to 'visit him' in his bars he frequented. Last summer he had been recently diagnosed with cancer. And he had his daily routine down, First restaurant/bar at 11am for Eggs and Hashbrowns. (Same as I like.. Over Easy with Whole wheat toast) then on to the second place around 2 for a late lunch. Then on to the last place for dinner and drinks then home at 10 or so. We met him at the first and the last place for some conversation almost every day. Although we stayed at his house, I couldn't hang with him much at home as he chain-smoked and it bothers my well as Mike and Jamie's asthma. So we huddled together in the bedroom when he returned at night, all three of us and the dog.

Last summer I kind of knew it was our last visit, in fact I told my step mom and my cousin that it may be the last time I see my dad.

When he went into the hospital the end of May I considered going up there. But how? I am in the middle of trying to get my real estate career going. Mike teaches high school and starts his day there at 6:45 am. What would I do about Jamie? She was still in Kindergarten but I could have taken her out of school...But then what? Take Jamie to the hospital every day? Find someone up there for her to be with?

So I didn't go.

I thought I was OK with that decision. But then he died. On Fathers Day. I cried a little on Sunday.

I cried a lot more today.

I loved my Dad.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Group Camp at O'Leno

Watching the Mommy turtle lay her eggs\

Every year our church does an annual 'retreat' at O'Leno state park. The park has cabins and a group kitchen building where we prepare meals and clean up. There is electricity in the cabins but no AC and in Florida no AC is a huge sacrifice for me. (Luckily we go the end of April when it isn't too terribly hot yet...and I still bring three fans!)Although it's a retreat, there isn't too much in the way of Sprituality, it's more about communing with nature and fellowship with the rest of the folks. We do square dancing on Friday night, Childrens' time on Saturday morning (which equates to Parents Time out!) and then drifting down the Ichnetucknee river on Inner Tubes on Saturday afternoon, then a Group social event Saturday night and a service on Sunday morning before brunch.During our Sunday Service a large turtle made her way to a grassy knoll right near the river where we were having our outside service. She proceeded to lay her eggs as she must do every year in that same spot.How cool is that?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

No more upper teeth!

Jamie's last upper tooth went last night. We had our family portrait taken and then went to Bonos for dinner. Now that I have sold 3 houses and closed 2 I feel a little less stressed about money!

Anyway she said her tooth was getting in the way so I got it out of the way. Much blood but no tears later she was smiling for this picture and eating her barbeque sandwich.