Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Simple Transaction

Like some happy accident,
Carmen, our 84-year-old neighbor, sold our guest house for us.
No realtor or complicated bank processes necessary~~
just a little Carmen karma.
+   +   +
Last August, Carmen's husband died, leaving her without transportation
 (she never learned to drive).
Social services ruled that she doesn't qualify for a special transport
 so that means she must walk a half-mile to catch a public bus and
carry home her own grocery bags.
She's not able to do that.

We (neighbors) pitch in to keep her going. 
Maggie's son mows her lawn whenever he can stop by,
Margaret takes her to the doctor,
 and I take her to the grocery store.
Anna, Anna's kids, and Amanda check on her regularly.

On one of our grocery-store jaunts,
I asked Carmen if she'd like to see my fix-and-flip house.
(In 2005, I'd fixed the house but couldn't flip it,
 thanks to the real estate bubble.
 Eventually, I took it off the market and turned it into
a guest house for winter tourists.)
Carmen loved the tour through the house, 
taking in all the details.

+   +  +

A month ago, I received a phone call from a woman
who'd heard I may be interested in selling my guest house.
 She asked if she and her husband could see it.
It seemed that Carmen, during one of her Amanda chats,
 learned that Amanda's parents were looking
 for a home in the neighborhood.
Carmen said she knew the PERFECT house.

Amanda's parents came for a look.
They'd recently sold their home and needed to vacate in a month.
 So far, they hadn't found a house they liked.
 But they LOVED this one!
 How much was I asking?
And could the furnishings be included?
Surprised, I said I'd like to get an appraisal before setting a price.
OK, they said.

A week later, I had my price and
two phone calls after that,
we penciled an agreement.
They would be paying with cash.
When I mentioned going to a lawyer to draw up the agreement,
they said all we needed was a title agency
 with the proper form. They had one in mind.
(They'd just been through the process while selling their home.)
The next day, we met at the title agency and started the transaction.
We already owned the deed so the title search was easy.
We also had the survey paper.
Inspections were completed to satisfaction
and we met for the closing.

When all the papers were signed, I turned to the closer.
"This was a simple transaction," I said.
"Yes, it was," she said. "We've been seeing more
 'real' buyers and sellers like you these days.
 No more short sales, foreclosures, and sobbing, disappointed people."

+   +   +

Because Carmen saved me a realtor's commission,
I arranged for my lawn maintenance company to cut her grass
while we're away for the summer.
Maggie's son is happy about that.
And I, owner of much less property, walk the earth more lightly.


Barefoot from Heaven said...

Oh great story my friend. To bad there isn't a lovely photo of your place. Well maybe next time.
Hugs and be light my friend

S. Etole said...

What a winning combination for all of you!

Beach House Living said...

A great story and it's nice to hear one.

rosaria said...

What a great arrangement for all concerned. Yes, it was simple and fit nicely with what each needed. I wish everything worked this way.

Jane said...

Wonderful story! I love how a "community" comes together to help one another. Isn't this the way it's supposed to be?


Wow. What a great story of neighbors helping each other. Were you sad at all to see your place sale? And all the furnishings stayed . . . no boxes to pack. Lovely.


mise said...

That's so uplifting, Becky, and everyone is happier at the end. Well done, you all.

Ron said...

Having been one of those "winter tourists", I am not at all surprised that your house sold. It is a delightful memory for us. Someone just needed to walk in and see it. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. Linda

Kaybe said...

Love looks like something... you & your neighbors. Lovely story.

Take good care,


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Perfecto!!! Meant to be!! Love that you turned around and gave back, too!

Shellbelle said...

Yes indeed, Carmen karma was definitely working here and so was yours. What's that they say about no good deed goes unnoticed? How wonderful of the neighborhood looking out for one of their own. I love reading these kinds of stories, it just restores my faith in mankind. This is what the world needs more of! Kudos to all of you.

I will, however, miss the pics of your guest home, especially at Christmas with that Florida tree! I still think about that, it was the best tree evah!!!

Gosh, you don't even have to figure out what to do with all the furnishings since your not there now, what a win-win this was.

Hugs to you sweet friend for taking care of Carmen's lawn maintenance.

And more hugs, just cause I love ya!!!

Love of the Sea said...

Love this story. Everyone made out in the end!!

Leslie said...

What a great story! I love the way you all helped each other out...

Brian Miller said...

nice...amazing when you truly care for others how that in turn usually happens to you...nice.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

This was such a pleasure to read. Something sweet that turned out sweet. We had an elderly neighbor for years. My boys did her lawn and small chores.

The real estate deal sounds perfect. Took all the "crap" out of it. I hope the new couple will be most happy.

mermaid gallery said... is wonderful when everything comes together so nicely....your lawn cutting service will be much appreciated too...nice when everybody feels good about a deal...I hope we have the same kind of luck selling our home! congrats!

michelle said...

What a sweet story! It is so nice to hear friends and neighbors help each other out, we need more of this around here. :) Thank you for the wonderful story.

Nancy said...

What a beautiful picture of community being what it ought to be. I read a beautiful book some years ago, "Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders." It profiled a number of families and the way they cared for aging family members. The most successful ones were those who had access to a loving and supportive community. Sounds like you and your neighbors are all blessing Carmen in this way. This story just gave me chills.

Anonymous said...

A heart-warming story. Everyone gains when a community works together.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Dear Becky..
I love your story today.. perfect harmony with the universe!!! Love your quote.. 'walk the earth a little lighter' too.. brilliant..

You know it's wonderful to hear of the 'community' you have... sometimes that gets lost here in the burbs... the only community is busy bodies. hahaha

Ok.. Have a lovely day.. and I hope Carmen Karma continues to shine on you all.. ciao xxxx Julie

B. Meandering said...

Community can be created anywhere if we work at it---you've helped create a wonderful one that blesses you all.

I like your simple transaction. Ours was not simple and thus frustrating. We were 'nickle and dimed' by one bureaucratic red tape nonsense after another. There were two realtors, a banker, and a title company guy at our sale. We were quite happy but a bit disgruntled when it was over.

I'm so glad yours sold so simply.

Happy Weekend!

RuneE said...

Some old wise man said somenthing like this:"If you own more than two thingd, the things own you".

The good deeds you do don't own you, but YOU can own an infinety of them.

Dimple said...

Simple. I like that.
Two needs met in one arrangement, even better.
Caring for others is worthwhile.

emily wierenga said...

oh wow! so cool! bless, and in turn, be blessed. :) what a beautiful example of loving your neighbor. xo

Jeanne Klaver said...

Oh if only life could always be so uncomplicated! Congratulations! Neighbors helping neighbors restores my faith.

Joybird said...

Congrats Becky. So glad this went smoothly. How pleasant. Enjoy the new spring in your step. And I love how the neighborhood has rallied around Carmen. My 84 year old Grams just moved and I hope her new neighbors are as attentive and caring.

Jeanne said...

Loved this post Becky. What a wonderful friend you are and a blessing that Carmen sent people you way. Funny, this little world of ours. What goes around, comes spades:)

Best wishes....

Jeanne xxx

PS..I realised I had not sent you a postcard. Have you moved on from Florida? Can you let me know so I can get it to you? Thx...

Pooch Purple Reign said...

thats EXACTLY what i need right now ...a litle carmen karma :)
shes lucky to have you too !!
~laura xx

mimi said...

Becky... what a wonderful story... gives me hope that the real estate market is finally in recovery... and yay for you selling your guest house and yay for Carmen getting her lawn mowed all summer! I love to hear a story about people helping each other :)!

simpledaisy said...

What a fabulous post!!! Karma is so very real and more people should operate on that premise:) I am so happy that all worked out for everyone!