Thursday, August 21, 2003

A great relief

After a series of delays, my Huntsville house finally closed yesterday (cue parting clouds and music from the heavens).

My realtor had called me a few days earlier to suggest that I have one of my friends mow the lawn. However, the grass had not been cut for weeks, and Huntsville has been getting a lot of rain. Two weeks earlier, I'd trimmed a lot of the really bad spots with a weed eater, but overall, the grass was very high, and surely it had grown even more since. It was too high for a conventional lawn mower to make a single sweep without choking. Basically, I'd have to hire a professional crew with an industrial-strenth mower to do the job.

I was getting fed up with this deal. Every time there was a delay, it was costing me money. My mortgages were accruing interest, I was paying a utility bill for a house I wasn't living in, and I'm having to pay mortgage insurance on my Birmingham house while I own two properties. On top of this, now he wanted me to pay to have someone cut the grass. So I told him I wasn't going to do it. I told him that if they buyers were going to keep delaying, it was their fault that the grass had gotten so high (though I'm sure they had nothing to do with the delays), so if they wanted it cut, they could do it when they moved in. I also told him that if the lawn became an issue at closing, or if there were any further delays, that I was ready to pull out and find another buyer.

Apparently, this threat worked with my realtor. No doubt he didn't want his work in brokering the deal on my house to go to waste. So a day before closing, he cut the grass. I thanked him and acted impressed that he went out of his way to help, but for what he's getting paid, I think I deserved it.

It is a relief to not have to think about the Huntsville house anymore. Of course, now the next project shifts into high gear — selling Haven.

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