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My apologies to the web readers, who usually get this column a month early. I have been busy selling our house, buying another one, and moving stuff from the old place to the new.
Selling a house is like selling a motorcycle. Put an ad in the Newsletter. Wait until someone makes you an insultingly low offer. Finally sell the thing for a ridiculously low price. As many surveys have shown, nobody has ever sold a motorcycle for what it was really worth.
The first day our house was on the market, a few tire-kickers came to see it. We should have put "No Dreamers!" in our listing like the Harley guys always do.
I was concerned when it didn?t sell that day. Did we price it too high? Maybe we should have included the lawnmower and snowblower in the asking price?
The next morning we had several urgent messages on our answering machine. We had an insultingly low offer. Our realtor wanted us to counter but I said to just tell them it wasn't enough. Cheapskates.
Anyway, we didn't have anyplace to move if we sold the place. We had overlooked that detail in our rush to get the hell out of the neighborhood.
Then the buyers came back with the full asking price. Shit! I knew we should have asked for more. They got the place for a ridiculously low price.
We were suddenly homeless. I thought about getting a shopping cart and moving into the city. It was, after all, where we wanted to live. We could store the bike out at Country Rode until spring.
Margaret didn't go for it. So we started looking for a condo. No maintenance. Smaller. In the city. Inexpensive. East Avenue. Corn Hill. South Wedge. Nothing. We were getting desperate. We even considered the suburbs.
Then we found a place on Park Avenue. It needs work. We paid too much. The motorcycle and one car easily fit in the garage. There were people on the street. Not just your occasional dog walker. People. We ate at the outdoor cafes just a few steps away. We browsed in the shops. We sat in the coffeehouse and talked. The rose garden our living room looks into is peaceful and quiet.
We are grateful and hope everyone has as happy a Holiday Season as ours. Remember this is the end of the 20th Century and the start of a new millennium. Party!
— Copyright © 2000 by Notch Miyake.