Eclectic Eccentricity

The assorted ramblings of Aunty Bertha - west coast socialist

Monday, February 27, 2006

Moving day dost approacheth

It will be a very quick post today. The movers come on Wednesday morning to travel all of our belongings the whopping 8 blocks between here and there.

There have been some annoying developments in the continuing saga of the home buyers from hell.

Three days prior to the deadline for subject removal, they asked me to cover half of the cost of replacing the roof. While admittedly, the roof will need replacement soon, it did its job well during all the rain we have had in the last few months. Not a leak to be found. These are people who have clearly spent hundreds of dollars on consultation fees with various contractors and professionals including their "designer"(they had total of about 8 of them along for the inspection) intend to fix the house up and flip it at a pretty profit which potentially includes building 2 rooms in the attic. An endeavor that requires the roof being removed regardless of its state.

My reaction - Bite me. On second thoughts -- sure, I'll pay half if they agree to repay me the cost of the roof with interest equallying the percentage of profit they make on the house.

I just have to wonder about people who go to the USA to take courses on how to make money buying and selling real estate and then buy a house from a single mum with the sole purpose of making a bundle and then try and screw her out of a few thousand dollars more.

Well, needless to say, I told these people to go spit in the wind (twice - can you believe they came back and asked a second time?) and then I told my realtor that I would run away from the deal at the first opening they give me. Bottom line - they blinked and we close on Wednesday.

Don't play chicken over money with a single mum who has 4 kids to support.

It's time to go eat dinner and get packing. I have a very busy couple of days.

Great Aunty B.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


With the craziness on the political front along with the craziness at work and in my personal life, I have only had enough time to post the odd comment on other blogs rather than update my own.

The house sold. Not quite what I wanted to come away with, but pretty close. I am just waiting for the subjects to come off. The inspection was on Thursday, so I would hope the subjects will come off soon. They have to be off by this coming Friday. We close on March 1st and possession is March 2. I didn't exactly leave myself a lot of time to find new digs....

The house sold last Friday night. I spent Saturday looking for somewhere to live and felt totally disheartened because there was very little available to rent that is pet friendly. I woke up Sunday morning to a new ad for a house about 8 blocks from me that was perfect and available for March 1. I called, went to see it and by Tuesday after work, I had signed a one year lease.


Everyone in the family seems happy with the new living space. It is closer to youngest son's girlfriend. It is closer to oldest sons' best friends (also twins - bird of a feather, I guess). It is closer to work for me. Youngest child's only concern was whether it had a fireplace. I was happy to report to her that it does.

I guess some things are just meant to be.


I have discovered that 14 year old sons dislike their mothers dancing to their music. This has become a particularly effective way to have the music turned down, or switched from speakers to headphones. Dance like your 14 year old is watching.

I am a little concerned that my 14 year old is listening to Flock of Seagulls. I wonder if he has ever seen a picture of the band.

I read that a successful parent is one whose children become adults that can pay for their own therapy (I can't remember who said this, so if you know who it was, please let me know so I can give appropriate credit). I REALLY hope that I am a successful parent. Otherwise, I could have a number of expensive years ahead.

Friday, February 03, 2006


After checking with both the Vancouver Animal Control and the SPCA, my doggie is still missing. This afternoon will be spent wandering the neighbourhood and putting up signs.

In the meantime, the offer finally came in and has been countered. We shall see if we can make this one work.

All in all, I am a very sad and stressed Aunty today.


on the happy news front - my dear sweet doggie showed up at the pound this afternoon and he is now home, safe and sound.

On the frustrating news front - there is no news about my counter offer. While I will give them the benefit of the doubt that yesterday's fiasco wasn't some kind of game, if they keep me waiting too close to the deadline, I will walk away.

Tune in next time when Great Aunty Bertha will say.... something.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

I am going to be a great WHAT?

I love my niece. Really I do, but did she have to do this to me? After all I have done for her. I am too young. Really. None of my siblings will become great before they are 40 (they are all well beyond).

I am going to be a great aunt. In that case, I guess I should start signing myself as GAB. Well, I am rather verbose, so I suppose it fits.

I figured out that at this rate, I have the potential to become a great, great, great aunt before I die. Perhapse even a 4th great if I get really old and the nieces and nephews have 'em really young.

When I think of great aunts, I think of my elderly relatives with grey hair and breasts that they could trip over. After 4 kids, I certainly won't pass any pencil test or win any perky boob contests, but I don't think they are at the point of becoming scarves just yet. The hair doesn't quite make it either. Fortunately, it is that great colour that doesn't really show the grey until it is covering most of one's head.

Maybe I don't feel quite so old. I guess this means that I could be a COOL great aunt and practice for being a COOL grandma. Spoil them rotten, sugar them up and send then home.

This could be very fun.

Great Aunty Bertha.

Note to home buyers - Motivated != desparate or stupid

After much thought, I put my house up for sale a few weeks ago. I have learned that people are very fucking weird and thoughtless when they go through your house.

There are the people who have to have seen my dog (he is really fucking big and friendly and impossible to miss) and yet they leave my gates wide open and then we have to go and search for said dog.

Then there was yesterday's incident - somebody flipped breaker switches on my electrical panel causing my computer to ungracefully shutdown and the clock on my stove to require resetting.

Then there was the person who put in the objectionally low offer and after much negotiating, we were still too far apart and the deal fell through ( I got fed up with his dicking around). Apparently, he told his realtor that he felt duped because he had been told I was motivated. I can only guess he took that to mean I was Desperate or Stupid.

There is another offer coming in this evening. We shall see. I have to wonder if it is from the idiots that flipped my breaker switches. Oh well, if it is for enough money, they can flip all the switches they like. I do hate waiting though. Patience is not one of my virtues.

It looks like I am going to have to figure out somewhere new to live. This ought to be interesting.

So, if you are going to go house hunting, have some respect.

  • Just because a house is for sale, that doesn't give you permission to be obnoxious. It is still someone's home.
  • Don't put in an offer 25K less than the identical house up the road sold for.
  • Don't try to justify your offensively low offer by comparing it to the property assessment - especially if it is the one from last year. Property assessments are nowhere near in line with market value.
  • Don't try to tell someone that the drain tiles will need doing immediately when it has been raining solid for 40 days and there is not the faintest sign of water in the basement.
  • Don't use the age of the furnace as a reason to lowball - that ancient furnace (while it may not necessarily be super-efficient) will likely run for as long again as it is old.
  • If you are a single guy who is looking to rent out the entire basement, renovate the house yourself and then flip it at a tidy profit in a couple of years, definitely don't try to lowball the single mother with 4 kids. She needs every penny she can get for the house.
  • Don't preface your offer with justifications for it. Cut to the chase. There are only two things the seller is interested in - how much and when? Who gives a shit why?
  • Cut to your bottom line fast. If the seller comes back at you with the same counter offer twice or more, then chances are they are stuck there - either get really close to it or move on. 10k below it isn't going to do it.
Next time I get a ridiculously low offer, I am going to counter it by the same amount above my original asking price as the person offered below it.


The offer never did come in; however, when I got home (very late because I had a class after work) my dog was missing - gate left open... again. He is still, and I can't talk to anyone at the pound until 8:30. Argh!