Monday, April 10, 2017

2017 January - April

Jan 1 – April 12, 2017:  We have been lax in updating our Blog since the end of November 2016. Sorry!
 
Mary's House in Apopka FL, listed at $263,900Even before Christmas and the New Year we have been busy with preparing for listing Mary’s house for sale, determining what she wanted to keep, what she wanted to give to friends, what she wanted to give to charity, etc.; then taking what she wanted to keep to a 10’x10’ storage room; then cleaning the house and finally interviewing and selecting the best Realtor to market and sell the house.

Now at the beginning of April we are finally at that point, and apparently we chose the right and best Realtor for the job, who not only took the listing but also evaluated the house a little higher than we estimated and then staged the house prior to listing it. If you are not familiar with “staging” it implies taking a house as it is (either fully furnished, partially furnished or completely devoid of any furniture such as Mary’s house was after we emptied it) and either removing, adding or re-arranging some furniture if too cluttered, empty of lacking in what style would appeal to the majority of ‘Buyers’ in today’s market, to maximize interest and perception of value. Believe it or not there is actually a certification for Realtors who study this field. Our chosen Realtor, Michelle Chase is one such Realtor, who not only staged the house after we emptied it of all furniture, but also prepared a pre-market interest in preparation of the formal listing, taking photos including a Virtual Tour, presenting it on Zillow.com and other websites. By the time the listing was officially presented on MLS, there was already a lot of interest, over 300 hits and 40 saves, which translated in several showings and an offer at full 100% listing price with no contingencies by the 2nd day. Now, with a working contract in hand and an expected closing date of “by May 15th 2017” we are planning on staying here until closing and then heading north to the Fleetwood (Factory) Service facility in Decatur IN, as we have an appointment there to fix several issues with our coach which are still under warranty.
 
During this time period, one day we passed by our friends Rick and Trish’s house and noticed that they had another motor home at their house. As we approached it we noticed that it looked remarkably similar to our own… another Fleetwood Discovery; and upon getting to it noticed that the window configuration also was just like ours. As we walked to it OMG!! It is even the exact same model as ours… a ‘40E’.  In talking to them we found out that Mary’s friends John and Chris Petri also bought another (even bigger) motor home… a Providence 42. As the outsider, coming from The Villages, Bill finds all this very hilarious, as these folks all live in a subdivision which does not allow a motor home to be parked in front of their house for longer than 4 HOURS a day. Even funnier is that Chris Petri is not really into RV’ing, enjoying her house too much.  Maybe John will convince her otherwise once she gets out and shows her that she can still have her house and hundreds of glorious different sunrises and sunsets with spectacular views and travel opportunities.
Well, our plans are now to get ready for our summer travel up north and west this summer as we missed so much last summer due to all the problems with the previous coach (Thor Challenger 37LX). Next Winter we MAY be back to Florida, but it is still too early to tell. Stay tuned to our Blog as we will know more around September-October 2017. That was the purpose of selling the house: 1) Minimizing expenses (to $0) while we are not even there, 2) Not having to worry about it as we did during Hurricane Matthew, while being unable to do anything about it, 3) Maximizing income by putting that money to work in investments, and 4) being free to either return to FL for the winter, or NOT, free to winter anywhere else, like Arizona or Texas where there are no ”high-season” limits on camping.
Our biggest event was camping at Wekiva Falls RV Resort near Sorrento FL. We were there between January 20 and April 1 (over 2 months in the same place… woohoo!)  Wekiva Falls was a run-down park until recently when the new owners have done an amazing job restoring it to a really great place to camp with lots of activities, a great and very accommodating staff and very friendly fellow campers where we made several good new friends. During that time we were visited by our friends George and Anita Gideon, and Rick and Tricia Monroe. Among the many new friends we have made are such critters as Ollie (a miniature Schnauzer puppy), son of Eddie and Nita Collins, and ‘Gopher’ the tortoise that Bill befriended.
Here are some photos from this period
The Garage Sale  preparing to empty the house... 





 
 At Wekiva Falls RV Resort in Sorrento FL

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


This (above) was a scary scene from our bedroom window in the AM. The two kids (from that trailer ) without sign of any parents driving the golf cart and coming within feet of our coach. Some people just should not have children if they cannot teach them how to behave or be responsible enough to keep an eye on them. 
 
Our critter friends and their human parents....
   


 
 


Don't know why this photo refuses to remain right-side up but it showed such as good view of 'Ollie' (our new Miniature Schnauzer puppy friend) and in the background is his Mom, Nita Collins from South Carolina, that we just had to keep it in.
 
 
And a hawk that often came by for a look at us funny people.
 
 
Then, back in Thousand Trails Orlando, near Clermont and Four Corners FL, here's Bill charming a Gopher Tortoise which later ate from his hand. See you on our next blog POST, where the photos will hopefully cooperate more.
 
  Happy Trails!!

 

 



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