Well goodness gracious me and golly gosh. What a crazy whirlwind of a week it's been and no mistake. I'm still struggling to take everything in and my mind is one horrendous jumble of things I need to think about and things I really don't want to think about but have to deal with pronto.
In case you didn't see my Facebook post earlier in the week, Nawtypoo Cottage found a new owner on the very first day of listing - I think it actually took nine hours from the 'For Sale' sign going up that morning to the Sale and Purchase agreement being signed that night. Whilst we still have another ten days until the sale goes unconditional, the moving date is exactly one month away so we have no time to waste. Not long at all, is it! No wonder I'm panicking. But I'm also very, very happy.
No doubt some of you are thinking 'Call yourself a Simple Saver? Why didn't you sell it yourself and save on commission?' Several reasons. As I already explained previously, left up to me I would have never got around to listing the property. It would never have been ready in my eyes. Saying that, there is only one agent I would have ever trusted Nawtypoo with and that was the lady who sold her to me. She also sold our previous home. I trust her implicitly and I knew she would both look after me and find the right owner for my beloved little house. We have been through a lot together and I don't just consider her an agent but also a dear friend. She also REALLY knows her stuff. Again, left up to me, I would never have been happy to list until I had painted every wall, fitted out the entire place with new curtains, restained all the timber - the list would have never ended. In the end all it needed was a visit from Nancy who simply said 'mow the lawn, waterblast the outside and paint the kitchen ceiling and you'll be good to go'. She was right, the difference was amazing.
Not that we didn't have our fair share of trials and tribulations getting there however! Gareth and I worked tirelessly for three days straight from dawn til dusk, cleaning every inch of the house. Whilst it was knackering it was also really rewarding to see how well we worked together as a team. I don't know what I would have done without him. We even learned how to fix holes in walls (which was necessary after recently acquiring a free couch for Ali's room and accidentally sticking one of its feet through the wall trying to manouevre it through the door). A quick YouTube tutorial soon had Gareth gibbing and plastering like a pro!
Although the painting of the ceiling didn't go QUITE so smoothly. We did find not having a vehicle a bit of a challenge at times when it came to cleaning up and getting the things that we needed quickly. Discovering too late that Ali had disposed of the paint roller, we had no choice but to use the brand new 'speed brush' pad to do the job. It wasn't really intended for ceilings but it was all we had and couldn't afford to lose an hour walking to Bunnings to get another roller. For Gareth it was his first time painting and he wasn't enjoying it one bit. For starters the speed brush was proving hopelessly unsuitable and the paint was going on much too thick, resulting in a far from smooth finish. However he also didn't notice until too late that despite putting dust sheets all over the floor, the paint was dripping all over them and he in turn was treading it through the dustsheets and all over the carpet. Can you imagine the horror on both our faces upon lifting the sheet and discovering splodge after splodge of white paint all over the deep charcoal carpet?!
Gareth called a cab and made a mercy dash to Bunnings to pick up a new roller whilst I rang Nancy in a panic and she called out a carpet cleaner. Quick as a flash he came around and had a good old chuckle at our mishap! Not only did he manage to make the carpet as good as new again, he also gave Gareth a painting lesson, helped us to fix the ceiling, left us a spare paint roller he had in the car AND didn't charge us for ANYTHING, not even the carpet!
It was people like him in the end who really made the stress of those few days not only bearable but really heartwarming and although there was a lot of swearing from both me and Gareth along the way, we both felt truly blessed to know and meet such kind and awesome souls. After spending several months cooking in the dark and picking that the new owner would probably prefer lighting in the kitchen, I gave up on the bigger companies who had never returned my phone calls and instead rang a retired electrician who had been one of my favourite customers from my bartending days. He came around the following morning, just as he said he would, and it cost me just $35 to repair three lights. I dread to think how much the bigger companies would have charged me but I imagine it would have cost a lot more than that!
We could hardly believe it, we never dreamed we would make the Wednesday morning deadline in time but by Tuesday night as we looked around in satisfaction we realised, we had actually done it! We were so exhausted we were almost falling asleep where we stood (to the extent that at one stage I actually began painting the kitchen wall instead of the ceiling until Gareth asked nicely what the hell I was doing) but we had DONE it and it was looking fab. All that remained was to run the vacuum cleaner around first thing in the morning and we would be ready for all the agents to parade through at 9am.
Which was fine in theory, until I went to turn on the vacuum cleaner that morning and discovered it was completely stuffed. There was no saving it and with less than an hour until the house was due to open we were in a horrendous panic. After three days of everyone traipsing through the house the floors were in a heck of a state, no way could we let anyone through looking like that! There was nothing else we could do but SOS for a taxi again and Gareth made another dash in to Bunnings for a new vacuum cleaner. Thank goodness for staff discount! Before we knew it the job was done, the house was finally finished and the two of us took a deep breath, locked the door behind us and left Nawtypoo Cottage in the capable hands of our agent.
The rest as they say, is history. A lot of people passed through the doors of our little home that day but one of them loved Nawtypoo just as much as I do. I knew the instant I met her that she was the one. The next month is going to be crazy. There is so much to sort out! We need to sort out a vehicle for us to live in. We need to sort out storage for the few things we want to keep. We need to sort out what the hell we are going to do with four cats. It breaks my heart but I can't see how they are all going to be able to come with us. Even putting them in a cattery isn't an option at $560 a week for all of them! I really need to do something about that. It's the only thing which really takes the shine off things for me. We will miss them dreadfully.
My biggest concern is helping Ali to find a new home. He wants to stay in Whangamata, where his job and his friends are - but there are absolutely no rentals available in this town and hasn't been in longer than any of us can remember. He would love to flat with some of his mates but they all still live at home. You can imagine the guilt that I feel, not being able to provide the same for him. I just hope we can find him something soon, where he will feel comfortable and happy. He's a very responsible young chap. Well trained and domesticated and a capable cook. Loves really good coffee, hardly ever touches alcohol and if I say so myself has excellent taste in music. When I know he's going to be OK and has a roof over his head, then I can finally allow myself to be excited. He's been my right hand man for so long, it's going to be pretty weird without him. But I hope it will be the making of him too. It's been a hellishly rough few years. Something good surely has to come out of all this!