House Repairs and Indian Slums

Week before last, I had the broken ceiling joist above the garage repaired. In the process, pieces of sheet rock broke off, leaving gaping holes and cracks in the garage ceiling. So, today, I have guys in to replace the broken pieces of sheet rock, then tape and bed and texture over the repairs. While they’re here, they will repair some bad spots in the sheet rock inside the house as well. But first, they are repairing another broken joist. The sheet rock guys discovered the break as they were setting about ripping out a broken piece of sheet rock. Fortunately, I was able to run out to buy a two by eight when they found the additional break; it was an easy fix, I’m glad to say.

These repairs constitute just the beginning of our efforts to get the house in prime condition to sell. Yesterday and the day before, I got quotes on refinishing the counter tops of the vanities in the guest bath and half bath and the top of the bar in the family room. Some of the other repairs/renewals will include:

  1. Finishing the job of painting the bar in the family room;
  2. Tearing out and replacing the tile in the guest bath;
  3. Repainting the guest bath;
  4. Repainting the garage;
  5. Doing touch-up painting in the master bedroom, dining room, guest bath, family room, and living room;
  6. Replacing the faucets in the guest bath and half bath;
  7. Painting or staining the fence;
  8. Replacing door hardware in various places;
  9. Caulking, patching mortar, and other minor cosmetic fixes all around;
  10. Finishing the “rock borders” around the beds in the front yard; and
  11. Everything else that’s not on the list but must be done.

Despite recommendations to the contrary from a couple of realtors, we will not put in granite countertops in the kitchen…unless we discover there are no buyers at prices we think are reasonable.

The realtors tell us the market is exceptionally “hot” now in our neighborhood, due in part to the schools and the school district in the area in which we live.  We’d like to take advantage of the “hotness,” but we don’t want to move so fast we find ourselves living on the street.  But we may have to rent an apartment, either in Dallas or where we move after we leave here, depending on how fast we get the house on the market, how fast it sells, and how quickly the buyers want/can arrange for closing.

And then?

Well, we have to sell a LOT of stuff.  I talked to someone yesterday who does estate sales; we may have someone like her come in and help us get rid of much of our stuff.  We’re into simplifying.  We don’t want or need all the crap we’ve accumulated over the years.  It was nice for a while, but it’s become burdensome.  We want quality, not quantity.  Less space, fewer knickknacks, not so much furniture.  And that may be a good thing, because where we’re apt to go the price of housing may require us to downsize, considerably.

Well, we’re still looking hard at Oregon and Washington, but I’m having second thoughts about living on the coast where summertime highs only average around 65 degrees.  But maybe I could live with that.  Or maybe a little inland, close to the coast, but far enough inland that summer highs average a little closer to 80.   Time will tell.

Let’s see, what else is new?  Well, I’m reading a book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a gripping account of the real horrors of everyday life in Annawadi, a slum in the shadow of the Mumbai airport.   It’s a beautifully told but painful story of a young man, who recycles the garbage rich people throw away, and his family and friends and co-inhabitants of horrid slum.  It’s not a book I would recommend as a way to cheerfully while away a week at the beach, but I do recommend it as a way to shock oneself into a deep appreciation of what one has and a profound sense of empathy for people who have much, much less.  I have read less than half the book; I hate putting it down, but I have to, what with the house sale on our minds.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to House Repairs and Indian Slums

  1. Bev says:

    Definitely worth a look. If you go to the area, do visit Crescent City too. Visit the redwoods nearby at Jedidiah Smith State Park. Go to the estuary of the Smith River. There are some wonderful beaches between Brookings and Gold Beach. Nice book store in Gold Beach. Go to the Brookings Library to see the samurai sword in the display case. quite a story. Look it up online if interested. the nearby Chetco and Winchuk Rivers, and the Rogue River up near Gold Beach are all nice – and Otter Point near Gold Beach. If by chance you are RVing it, check out Harris Beach State Park just outside Brookings – nice park for RVers. I’ve spent a lot of time along that section of southern Oregon coast and particularly around Crescent City down to around Garberville, California in the Del Norte and Humboldt Redwoods. Just love it around there. Of course, then there is Bisbee – which is a wonderful town in so many ways! (-:

  2. Thanks very much, Bev. I have not looked at Brookings yet, but after reading your comments, I read quite a lot about the place. It will be added to our places to visit! I think I could like the place, too.

  3. Bev says:

    It’s good to get your place fixed up regardless of the reason. The spring and summer before Don was diagnosed with cancer, I started fixing up the house and outbuildings with the intention of selling. Little did I know that there would soon be a reason for selling, so I’m glad I had a head start on things.
    Have you looked at Brookings, Oregon? As you know, I have travelled a good deal over the years. in all my travels in the U.S., Brookings stands out as one of the nicest towns. The climate is particularly nice there as Oregon climate goes if living near the ocean is a factor. access to good produce. Close to the redwoods. Clean, beautiful rivers nearby. The people seem nice there. Quite a retiree community. Nice library. I like Crescent City in northern California as well – the two towns are not too far apart. Only downside to both is that they are in tsunami zones if you are down near the water. also, they may be too far away from urban centers for you. To me, such a thing wouldn’t matter. Anyhow, take a look at the weather in Brookings. Actually, I like the southern part of the Oregon Coast quite a bit – from about Newport south to Brookings. – Yachats, Florence, Port Orford. amazing scenery, just enough tourist biz that there are good restaurants, etc… some of those towns and cities have good hospitals if that matters. Not sure about property prices, but some may be a lot lower than Dallas. I’ve come to the conclusion that smallish towns with a good seasonal tourist industry are great places to reside as you get all the perks the tourists want (good markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops) without having to put up with all the annoying crap of living in a busy city.

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