Staging our Home Step 2 :: The Pre-Listing Inspection

Mac, from The BrickKicker came by this weekend.

Before he started his inspection, I asked him if I could follow him around, 
take pictures, and blog about it.
(Everything that happens around here is subject to be blogged about.)
He was accommodating and didn't act annoyed at all
by the chick with the Canon stalking him.

We plan on listing our home early summer 2013.
To read more about our 2011 goals for staging and selling our house, click here.

Our first step to staging was to re-finance our home.
Which we did.
This inspection was our second step.

What are the benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection?

  • It minimizes the time a house spends on the market by providing proof of the home’s condition.
  • Gives prospective buyers assurance that their future home has been inspected by a professional.
  • Allows you time to correct problems at your own budget and time table. 
  • It promotes a sense of trust with your buyers.
  • Real estate professionals can better determine the fair listing price based on the true physical condition of the home.
  • It follows the principle: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Wouldn't you want a home you're considering buying to be in excellent condition, instead of finding "surprises" later?

So, BrickKicker Mac not only kicked the bricks,
he climbed on the roof using his neato adjustable ladder.

While on our roof, he discovered that our metal chimney crown 
doesn't slope away from the center, which will cause rust and leakage.

While outside, he checked out our HVAC units which we were sure 
would need to be replaced because they are 10 years old.

However, Mac told us that the typical life expectancy for HVACs is 15-20 years, 
and to replace them simply because they "look" 10 years old isn't necessary, 
at the time of selling, they just need to be in proper working order.

He poked around in the attic, where he observed something distressing.

The water heater "flue pipe" 
(which carries the EXTREMELY HOT natural gases that heat our water
and goes up through the house and out the roof)
came detached and the pipe had fallen back inside our attic!
The end of the pipe was aimed toward our inner roof.

The wood is charred and black where the end of the pipe had been.

Mac said that if it were any closer to the wood roof, 
it would have caught fire!


(Mac put the pipe back in its proper location, while he was inspecting it! 
How nice of him!)

(We store all our empty boxes for gadgets and gizmos up here a.k.a. kindling.)

Out in the garage, he fired up the water heater.

Mac checked out the house's wiring in the fuse box which he said,
"was done by a lazy electrician."
There are multiple "neutral wires" per screw, 
and there should only be one wire per screw.

While in the basement, Mac and my hubby, Mark, have a serous talk 
about Radon (hence Mark's wide-eyed glare).

46% of all basements test high for Radon.

What is Radon and why should we care?

Radon is a radioactive gas that is found in homes all over the United States.
It comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground,  into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Your home can trap radon inside.
Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It's important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.

Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. 

 More info on Radon in a home:

Mac observed minor rot in a few areas (1"). Not bad for a 10-year old deck.
We use Cabot Stain, in the color Red Oak. Cabot is rated the best by Consumer Reports.

While Mac searched for my secret chocolate stash to no avail 
made sure all the hinges worked, he gave us some advice about our appliances 
and the keeping or replacing of them when we sell.
While I had originally though we ought to change all the appliances to stainless steel,
he told us that our appliances are well-kept and don't need to be changed.
In fact, it would be a waste of money to replace them, 
and our kitchen fit the look of the rest of the house and our neighborhood.

So, while I thought we should change out all the appliances to stainless steel,
we don't think we will now.
We will get a new dishwasher, but that's all.

Our report from Mac (which we got back the very next day!) 
didn't contain any major issues,
and now we have a list to work from.
He gave us peace of mind to know what does and doesn't need to be done.
We are relieved because, a few things that we thought were major issues really weren't.
We will be saving some money NOT buying some high ticket appliances.
It was a good day.

Mac was in our home for 4 hours answering questions and sharing his knowledge with us.

Thank you, Mac.

(Love a man that takes his shoes off before traipsing through your house!)

My hubby, Mark, gets the repair list and I get the decor list...
Off we go...

Follow Me on Pinterest

Sunday Serenity

Each Sunday, I will feature a picture taken by one of my daughters, 
and some words of faith, hope and love given by our Father:

But godliness 
with contentment 
great gain.

For we brought nothing into the world, 
and we can take nothing out of it. 

But if we have 
we will be content with that.

1 Timothy 6:6-8


Follow Me on Pinterest

Can I be Trusted?

As I was spending time in the book of Jonah this morning,
I knew I was to go read Proverbs 31, too.

So, I did.
Verse 11 stopped me in its tracks.

Her husband can trust her, 
and she will greatly enrich his life.

My husband should trust me.
Trust ME.

Wow. It's something I never really pondered very often.
I mean, we HAVE been married 22 years,
I have never cheated on him.
We have 2 daughters,
I make sure that they are dropped off/picked up at school every day.

I am not always the best cook, the most prompt laundry lady,
or even the nicest person (especially if I'm PMSing),
but I'm here when someone needs a hug or a smile.

I guess I can be trusted.

I mean, I am home every day, and I don't go out partying with my girlfriends, 
I don't smoke or get drunk.
I go to church, sing with the praise band, read my Bible, pray for Mark every day.
I try to keep the house presentable.
Somewhat. Usually.

I am cordial to his relatives, 
accommodating to his friends.

I even send goodies along to work with him 
so the other guys at the office know that he has a sweet wife.

Yeah, but...really,
Do I waste time on the internet and Face Book
when I should be doing something that Mark asked me to do, again?

Do I anticipate my family's needs and have their clothes, toilet paper, 
and good food on hand when they need it?

Instead of making sure dinner is ready,
am I at a friend's house helping her by moving furniture around?

Do I lie or embellish the truth when he asks me 
how much I spent on something
and I'd rather not tell him?

Do I use the last morsel of the food money 
for the week to buy a tchotchke for the house?

Am I budgeting the paycheck, he works very hard for,
on things he would approve of?

When that not-necessarily-handsome, but overly-attentive guy
at the gym smiles and chats with me, do I give him cause to think
I'm not committed to my own marriage?

After he's walked away, do I give that guy a second thought?

Even if Mark and I are not getting along that day?

When my daughters and I are the only ones in the house:

~am I the same penitent woman then, 
as when I am nodding in humbled agreement with the sermon at church?

~is my management of our home worth imitating?

~are they being taught commendable womanly traits?

~am I honoring their father with words of devotion and appreciation?

The second half of Proverbs 31:11 says, if I am trustworthy,
I will greatly enrich his life.

Enrich   -verb
1. to supply with riches, wealth, abundant or valuable possessions, etc.
2. to supply with abundance of anything desirable.
3. to add greater value or significance to.
4. to adorn or decorate.
5. to make finer in quality, as by supplying desirable elements or ingredients.

Lord, I want to supply my husband with abundance.

I desire to add value to his life.
Let my life be a decoration for his soul.
Use me to supply the missing elements in my husband's heart.

Make me trustworthy.

For more encouragement, come meet other home makers at the party at
Raising Homemakers.

Antique, Vintage and Family Heirloom Linens

I am so very excited today!
Why? My friend Susan is here!
She and I LOVE linens!

Susan has a much more extensive collection than I do, 
much more knowledge, and much passion for vintage handiworks.
She collects, restores and sells linens like I do,
so I asked her to please come to my place and share with us about linens.
Thank you for all the work you put into this post, Susan!

I wonder how many of us have certain patterns, textures and styles in common?

Well, enough talking, go ahead Susan:


What a pleasure to spend today with you here at Goodbye, House! Hello, Home!  
Leslie, thanks for the opportunity to share with your readers while your wrist is healing ...

Leslie loves linens -- and so do I -- 
so we thought it would be fun to talk about something many of us have:  family linens.  
What about you?  Do you have only a single treasured hankie or doily ... 
or did you inherit trunks full of family pieces?  
Perhaps, like me, you’re somewhere in between.

Today at My Place to Yours, I’m posting about some of my personal family pieces. 
I hope you’ll stop by there, too.  But for now, let’s talk about family linens ... in general.

Because I’ve bought and sold vintage linens for years, 
I’ve seen the linen collections of many families. 
Do any of these look like your family’s treasures?

Some pieces are bright and colorful ... fun and festive ...

Others are softly colored ... elegant ... meticulously worked by hand on the finest of linen.

Some pieces are delicately detailed -- like this child’s pillow sham ...

If you’re lucky, they’ll “talk” to you -- and give clues to their past!  
This doily and hankie were found as shown ... 
in a small plastic bag with a handwritten note on a piece of tape.  It reads:
1.  Square doily given to me on my birth, 4/6/43 - found in my old pink ceramic cradle.
2.  Handkerchief given to us by Signe & Arthur in Sweden.

Or how about this ...
Val - Here’s a sheet and pair of pillow cases from the auction where I got so many (?) things. 
The sheet is a little short. (Ellen ironed them for you.)

Wouldn’t you just love to know who “Signe & Arthur” ... and Val ... and Ellen were?  
I certainly would!

Sometimes, if you know what estate something came from, 
you can make a good guess about a piece’s previous owner ...

Other times, the clues are a bit more limited ...

If you discover linens with clues in your family’s collection,
it can be exciting to think about their past -- perhaps even research it.
Family linens always make me feel connected to ancestors who came before me --
even those I never met. How I wish I knew more of the stories ...

More often than not, however, the linens I see are from families about which I know nothing. 
I can only wonder ...

Did the family have ties to “the South?”

Perhaps ties to Asia ... 
Was this silk piece brought to the U.S. by a military man returning home from duty overseas?  
A missionary family perhaps?

No clues ... but I love that they appear to have been enjoyed!

On the other hand, when I come across vintage linens with original tags 
-- or in their original boxes -- I feel conflicted.  As a seller, part of me says, “Yea!”  
After all, something in its original condition means it’s more collectible ... and brings more profit!

But quite honestly, there’s also a little piece of my heart that breaks 
when I find beauties that were packed away for a “someday” that never came ...

I think the linens that break a little bigger piece of my heart are the ones like this pair of pillowcases.  Someone created these with the most beautiful handwork 
... tiny stitches on fine linen ... but they were never enjoyed.
How do I know?  
Because the sizing is still on the fabric and the pattern marks are still visible ... 
They’ve never been washed. 
They were painstakingly created then carefully folded and put away ... for “someday.”  
Yet again ... the “someday” that never came.

If you call me “sentimental,” you’ll be right.  
I absolutely love buying vintage linens at auction 
(read more about that favorite pastime in a guest post I did HERE), 
but I’ll admit that it isn’t always easy, especially when I’m attending an auction 
where vintage linens from several estates are being sold. 
As I look through the boxes, I’m sometimes overcome with emotion.  
Some of the linens -- once upon a time -- were obviously cherished 
and lovingly cared for by their owners. 
Neatly folded, some even have clues:  
little notes pinned to them saying who made the piece 
... who it belonged to ... on what special occasion it was received. 
How did they get to an auction -- where their stories are now only “best guesses?” 
Why is there no family who wants them?

Other pieces, once-beautiful works of art, 
were neglected and unappreciated by their most recent owners. 
Heaped unfolded into boxes, stains and lack of care are obvious.  
That makes me sad ...

Leslie and I have something else in common.  
About herself, she says, “most of all I love turning ugly and abandoned things 
into beautiful and useful ones, for this is what Jesus' love has done for me!”  

That’s how I feel when working with vintage linens. 
Restoring them when possible ... reinventing them when they no longer achieve their original intent. 
Giving them another chance ... to be appreciated, enjoyed, and part of someone’s family.  
All of these pieces were given up on.  
(You can read about the bedspread restoration HERE.)

If you have family treasures that are packed away, I hope you’ll consider pulling them out, cleaning them up, and getting them back into circulation!  
My all-time favorite linen cleaner is available HERE in my Etsy shop.  
If you have “how-to” questions, just email me!

So now you know:  
My name is Susan, and I rescue abandoned linens.  
I lovingly restore them-- then list them in My Place to Yours at Etsy. 
If you want to start (or add to) a family linen collection, 
I hope you’ll stop by and see the treasures I’m offering. 
If you see something in this post that you like, just let me know; it’s probably available. 
Likewise, if you’re looking for something in particular, just ask; I just might have it in my stash!

You can be sure of one thing:  
New-to-you pieces (wherever you find them) may not have originated in your family, 
but you can be their newest caretaker ... making your own memories 
... and sharing them with future generations.  
That’s what I’m doing with mine. 
Stop by My Place to Yours and I’ll show you ...


Follow Me on Pinterest

© 2016. All Rights Reserved. | Blog Design By Simply Klassic Design