My parents' house sold last night! After frantic faxing back and forth between my mom and the realtor, everything was signed, initialed, and dated, with escrow opening today. Turns out the guy who made an offer a while back (which we countered and he then declined) looked around some more and found he couldn't do better elsewhere, so he decided to accept our counter offer after all. Of course, this is very good news. Selling the house is what we've been waiting for and hoping for. I will be postponing my cross country drive so that I can travel with my family--a virtual caravan, with me in my car, my mom in the Taurus, and my dad in the truck hauling the fifth wheel! Add to that two cats and three dogs, and geez, it'll be quite an experience!
But for now I must concentrate on how I will move my stuff. Yesterday, before all this happened, I spoke with two moving companies, one of which gave an over-the-phone estimate of about $2,000-3,000, while the other is coming over tomorrow to do an in-home estimate. The third possibility is PODS (Portable On Demand Storage). PODS will deliver a large container directly to your house; you fill it, then they come pick it up and take it to storage or move it to your destination. I wanted to use PODS from the beginning, but couldn't--living in an apartment building, there is no place to put the POD (except on the street!) for several days while I load it. But now, since I'll be moving with my parents, I have the option of renting a U-haul, taking my stuff up to Santa Clarita, and loading it into a POD that has been deposited in their driveway. Kind of a lot of work, but PODS are a little more cost effective than professional movers.
PODS charge a flat rate, regardless of weight and cubic feet, unlike professional moving companies. This means I can take more with me without paying more to move it. For instance, I was going to sell my two TV's, because they will cost about $60 each to move. With a POD, I can just add them to the load and not bother with selling the old and buying the new. However, I will be responsible for packing them securely enough that they are not damaged, AND I will be responsible for getting them to and from the POD. TV's are heavy! And they're not the heaviest of my furniture, either! So professional movers, who will do all the heavy lifting for me, and load my stuff properly, might end up being the better way to go after all. I must decide soon, because regardless of when we leave for NC (probably around October 1), I do have to vacate my apartment in twelve days!
Yes, October 1! That's less than a month away! Somehow, escrow for the sale of my parents' house will be less than 30 days. In fact, it's scheduled to close on September 29, which is frighteningly soon. This leaves little time to fly back to NC and pick out a new house to buy. So now my parents are talking about putting their stuff in storage and living in a furnished apartment for a month or so, until they find just the right new house. Prudent, I suppose, not to rush into such a large purchase. But it would be so much nicer to arrive in NC to a real home. Well, we will see what happens. Clearly things can change on a dime right now, which is definitely testing my ability to go with the flow. I guess you just have to trust that everything will work out okay in the end!
P.S. I am aware, with much chagrin, that it can seem self-involved to blog about the trials and tribulations involved in moving when others have suffered, and continue to suffer, unthinkable horrors. Those affected by Katrina remain in my thoughts...