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Dad’s House #2 is Under Contract!!!


For long-time readers, you know that my Dad was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia in August 2015. By November 2015 we’d moved him out of his first home (in Utah) and down to his second home (in Texas) to be closer to family.

By February it was already apparent that he really shouldn’t be living independently. In March, we moved him into an independent living facility. It still allows him a bit of freedom and independence, but now all of his basic needs are being met (e.g., they serve 3 meals a day, they have staff that cleans residents’ apartments, etc.)

Meanwhile, we set to work on trying to fix up and sell his homes.

Home #1 sold almost immediately! We received multiple offers the first day it was on the market. All went smoothly and it was like a dream! That sale was complete in August.

Home #2 took longer to “fix up”. It’s been on the market for 3 months with very little action and it’s stood in stark contrast to the ease of selling home #1. Finally (finally!) we received an offer in early December…..for nearly $50k below our asking price. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement.

We grappled with negotiations. We aren’t huge fans of our realtor (we actually came THIS.CLOSE to firing him. Like, I literally sent an email saying “I need to speak with you – please give me a call.” I never received a call until 3 days later, when the realtor was calling with an offer. So we stuck it out just for the sake of closing this transaction.)

In the end, my mom (also a realtor – but we didn’t ask her to do the listing for this property due to the fact that it’s our father’s property and they had a messy divorce. To honor our father’s wishes we went with someone different) ended up doing ALL the work. She ran all the comparables, gave us advice, guided us with our counter offers, and – in the end – we signed a contract that was only $20k below our original asking price (and still quite fair for both parties involved).

Now I hold my breath and wait as the inspections are done. We’re currently set to close in January. This is a BIG deal to me because I have been the person to physically handle all of my father’s finances since August 2015. It has been a big burden to be responsible for 3 households (our own + my dad’s 2 houses). Not to mention I live out-of-state of either property. I’ve handled all the bill pay for utilities, mortgages, I’ve scheduled all the landscaping (and payment), all the repairs (and payment), etc. etc. etc. I CANNOT WAIT until I’m back down to only dealing with ONE home (our own).

At the same time, it’s a bit scary. We’ve sold off all our father’s assets. All of his earthly earnings are now sitting in different funds, being managed solely by me. (yikes! talk about pressure!)

The goal, obviously, is for his assets to last the rest of his lifetime. He’s not wealthy (in my opinion), but he does have a solid asset base that, if we are careful, should last the remainder of his life (fingers-crossed!!!)

I’ve already met with one financial advisor but decided not to go with the company after not liking the advice I was receiving. I was planning to meet with another advisor over the winter holidays, but given the imminent sale of this home I’m thinking it might be better to wait and meet after the return from this home has been liquified. So I’ll probably set something up for the mid-January timeframe. It’s interesting to be dealing with two such different financial planes. My own financial plane, characterized by loads of DEBT and working on strategies to reduce that debt. Compared to my Dad’s financial plane, which is all about investment strategies and ways to maximize available assets. I’m hoping to pick up a thing or two, as these lessons should be helpful to me down the road once our own debt mess is cleaned up.

At any rate – that’s all for today. The point of this post was just to share my excitement to FINALY be under contract! Let’s all hold our breath and cross our fingers and pray we get to closing day without any major set-backs. It would be a Christmas miracle! ; )


  • Reply Sarah |

    Do you need an investment advisor or could you just talk to someone at Schwab or Vanguard? I don’t want you to spend too much on fees.

  • Reply Constance |

    Congratulations on the pending sale. I know I sure breathed a sigh of relief when my dad’s stuff was finally liquidated, and I didn’t have to worry about his money lasting, he had already passed. I second the Schwab, Vanguard idea. Or if you’re eligible, USAA. They have managed accounts or self-directed and lots of free info and advice on their website. If anyone in your family is military, or your dad was military, you can join.
    Good luck for a prosperous, peaceful new year.

  • Reply Jean |

    Great news on getting the house under contract. I’m sure it’s a huge relief. My mom bought a new house after my dad passed away, and the old house is sitting empty (kind of) because it’s not fully cleaned out yet. I told her on Christmas that if she hadn’t used it in 4 months, she probably didn’t need it, and most of what’s left at the old house could probably go to Goodwill (or the trash!). It’s been a long process…

    I’m sorry you had so many problems with the realtor – I’m sure you will be glad to be done with them, and are probably a bit aggravated that they’re getting a commission check when your mom did the bulk of the work. Thank goodness your mom was willing to help.

    I need to consolidate some old 401(k)s so I’m interested to see what direction you take with your dad’s investments. Not an easy decision.

    Happy New Year to you – look how far you’ve come in 2016!

    • Reply Ashley |

      I can imagine there is a lot of hurt or sadness for your mom associated with getting rid of the house but I agree with you that it’s probably for the best for it to be cleaned out and sold (as opposed to sitting empty).
      I do wish my Mom was receiving the commission check herself, but she’ll actually be getting a portion of it. I made sure to let the realtor know of my dissatisfaction (and that my mom was doing his job, etc.) and he volunteered to give her a cut. Not as good as if she had the whole thing, but it makes it a tad bit better to know she’ll get a little bit off of her time and work into the deal.

So, what do you think ?