Friday, August 27, 2010

Four More Days

The last of the inspections was this morning. We passed the building inspection with only a few changes and repairs to be made. Some are from the new laws in effect now that were not there when we bought the house. Others are just from wear and tear. The best thing is, there was nothing major that needed to be done. Now we wait until Tuesday, when the contract becomes binding. Then it's time to PARTY!!!! Beware Belize, the Chows are on their way!!!

The Inspections Have Gone Well...So Far

It has been a busy week, getting the house ready for the inspections and the appraisal. I know this will soon be behind us, but it sure is a pain right now. We passed the termite inspection, with only a couple of spot treatments and repairs and the appraisal came in at the price we needed. So two of the three inspections are done, with the building inspection due today at 10AM. This is our last hurdle, then we can really begin to get ready for our move to Belize.

We are working with a shipping company to move our household goods to Belize, but as of right now, they will deliver and pickup a container to our house in Camarillo but will only ship it as far as the Belize border. From there we will have to find transportation from the border to Consejo. Not sure if that's the way we want to go. We still have a few more options.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Going... Going...GONE...We've SOLD our Home!!!

After only 12 days on the market, we've sold our home! Now we begin the process of moving out of the country. Yard sales, freight forwarders, banking, bills, the list just goes on and on. But with Mischelle's help, we can tackle anything. Our official closing date is......September 24th. Hopefully that will be the date that we pack up the truck with the dogs and head to Belize. If all goes well, we should arrive in Belize sometime between October 1st and October 5th. We plan on taking our time in the States, then crossing over into Mexico and making that part of the trip in 3 days. The dream has finally come true. Well, almost. We still need to pass the home inspection, pass the termite inspection and the 14 days in which they can cancel the sale for reasons found in the inspections. I don't think we'll have problem, except for the termites. Just too many of them around here. Most of the houses are tented when they are sold. Maybe we'll be the exception. Yah, right. And now we need to find a container and a shipper. The fun has just begun!

Almost There

Our house has now been on the market for 12 days. We've had over twenty showings, five have come back for second viewings and one has come back four times. There has been quite a bit of interest in our home and we've had four offers already. We have focused on two of them as the most promising and are now in the process of going back and forth with counter offers. We may, in fact, take one of the offers today if everything works out.

It's so stressing trying to keep the house in immaculate condition while we are living in it. And on top of that, we have Mischelle's mother staying with us and our neice, who is on leave from the Army, came down from Washington state to visit us for a few days. I'm ready for this to be over so we can get back into a normal routine.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Good Start to Selling Our Home

Now that the weekend has passed, our house has been on the market for 4 days and we've had 7 viewings with three more scheduled for today. Three of those have come back for a second visit and we have two offers on the table. We have countered the two offers and are waiting to see what the rest of the week will bring. It was a slow weekend here because the Ventura County Fair opened this weekend and the Point Magu Naval Air Base had an air show with the Thunderbirds performing.

With the dog incident behind us, we need to get a container soon, so we can start packing our household goods. Both offers want a 30 day escrow, so things could happen fast. There are so many things to do and 30 days seems like an awfully short time to get everything done. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Baby Girl's In Trouble

The viewing of our home creates a small problem with the dogs around. We need to keep them out of the way when the house is being viewed. Luckily, our neighbors across the street are more than happy to accommodate us and the dogs, while we wait for our home to be shown. On average, it takes around 40 minutes per showing. But when there has been a couple of back to back showings, it may take a couple of hours before we can go back home.

Most of the time, we all sit on our neighbor's front porch, watching the people go in and out, and wonder what they are thinking. Then afterwards, going back home, we're giving the dogs only limited access to the house, until we are sure there are going to be no more showings that day. But this new routine has put tremendous stress on my female dog, Coral. We got both her and Timber over ten years ago, and as they both approach 11 years old, their age is a factor in both their lives. Timber has severe arthritis, but the medication we are using has brought him welcome relief from the pain and has actually made him feel better and more like his old self. He runs and plays, and once again become the social butterfly he once was.

Coral, on the other hand, is more of a home body. She would rather spend the day lounging on the bed, keeping Mischelle company. She doesn't like change and has her own little routine.

But with the changes going on around the house and the changes in her routine, she was not a happy camper. But Mischelle and I didn't think too much about it. She had the other dogs to keep her company and she was in a place she knew, at our neighbors, during the time of the showings.

The trouble started around 11:30PM. Mischelle was hearing strange noises outside and Timber was using an unusual bark that seemed to indicate trouble rather than just mice or possums. As Mischelle went outside, she found Coral in a full seizure, drooling profusely, jaws locked, legs stiff, eyes rolled back and twitching violently. As Mischelle yelled for me, I came running, having no idea of what to expect. I had been the first contact when someone, at a job I was at, went into a full seizure. But I know what to do there. Roll them on their side, make sure the airway is clear and clear the area of any obstacles and call 911. But what do you do when it's your dog?

I had told Mischelle when we were looking for our first dogs, "No Black Dogs". I didn't want the dark, shedding fur all over the house. But, of course, the first dog she fell in love with was a big, black fur ball, that we eventually named Coral, after the unique black coral found in the ocean.

Mischelle may have picked her out, but she was to be my little girl (a spoiled one at that). And here was my girl, going through a violent seizure. What do I do? As I held her, I tried to pry open her jaws (DO NOT DO THIS) to make sure she had a clear airway. Only later did I find out, that is not the thing to do. In that state, the dog may bite anything or anyone. So I held on to her, speaking softly and reassuring her that I was there. At that point, I was afraid she was going to die in my arms. All I could do was hold her close and offer a soothing voice.

After about 2 minutes she started to come around. At first, the seizure had caused temporary blindness, but you could see in her eyes that she was beginning to recover. It's so strange, but at some point, they come out of the fog of the seizure, look around and almost seem to ask " what's everyone doing hanging over me?". This was the first time I had encountered a dog seizure, so I went online to find out what to do. I didn't really want to try and load Coral up in the car and drive her 20 miles to the emergency pet hospital, take her into a bright room and leave her with people she didn't know. It would just add to her stress.

So, after going online ( and reading about canine seizures, I found out that they are not that uncommon and there's not much you can do while they are happening, so you just need to let the seizure run its' course. It's kind of an electrical storm in the brain sometimes related to stress. Bingo. She had "tonic clonic" and fit the description to a "T". We had noticed the early stages a few hours before but thought she was just hot and thought nothing of it. But after reading about the seizures, I found out excessive drooling is one of the first signs of a seizure.

After that, we decided not to take her to the emergency room and wait until morning to see our regular vet, Dr. Heath, that she knows well. But just before our trip to the vet, she went through another mild seizure, so we waited for an hour or so before we brought her in. Finally, we got her to the vet. I'm glad we waited because Coral was calm and Dr. Heath was very reassuring. He gave her a shot of Valium to calm her down and break the cycle of seizures. We needed to watch her for the next 24 hours to see if the seizures returned. It's been almost 24 hours now, and she is back to her normal self. What a relief.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Couple of Nibbles?

Our house officially went on the market on Thursday. It started with what is called a caravan. That is a day of the week, usually a Thursday between 9 and 2, when all the local Realtors tour the houses that have come on the market that week. We had 17 realty agents stop by and two of them came back for showings later that afternoon. Both of them brought their clients back for a second viewing and out of the five agents that have brought their clients to view our house over the last couple of days, three have come back for a second viewing. Hopefully that is a good sign. And weekend is still ahead.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It Finally Happened

After a couple of months of remodeling, we have finally completed the tasks and are moving on to the next stage. This is where it gets scary. We just put our home, here in Camarillo, on the market.

Our house could sell at any time and the escrow could be as short as 30 days. That means, we would be outta here as soon as mid-September. Are we ready? I just don't know. But I guess we'll have to be.

With the interest rates at record lows, you would think that there would be lots of buyers in the market, especially with homes selling at the lowest prices in years. But the banks are holding their money and lending has become quite tight. Lending does happen, if you can jump through a few hoops, so hopefully our real estate company will make sure everyone is pre-qualified. The realtor is having all the local real estate agents here tomorrow for an open house, so Mischelle has been busy getting the place ready.

I'm really hoping our home goes quickly. We're in a good location and the old real estate adage is, location, location, location. So if you know anybody that wants to move to California, I have a place for you.