I ranted a bit in…

I ranted a bit in Scalzi's blog about marriage yesterday, starting at comment 130. You might find it interesting, although I came to the discussion so late that I'm not sure anyone else is still reading.

We met with a realtor yesterday, and the news is not so promising; it really does seem to be a very slow market in our condo's price range right now. We're still going to try listing, but it's tough. Lots of folks would need a jumbo loan to afford our place, which banks are pretty reluctant to give, I gather? I also think we're unlikely to be someone's first home, given the price -- which means they'd need to sell their own place first, before the bank would give them a mortgage for our place, adding another hurdle to the process. Complicated. We'll see how it goes. Still haven't quite decided which realtor we're going with either -- friend's husband, or one of the strangers offering a slightly lower commission? It sort of feels weird not going with the friend's husband, who seems very competent and energetic/enthusiastic, but it's hard to judge whether their skills alone are actually worth the higher commission. Argh. There's no central place where realtors (or even just Chicago realtors) get rated, is there?

Finished the living room yesterday (aside from moving out a few pieces of furniture), which took longer than I'd hoped. But Kevin's done with his grading now, so with any luck, we can power through the de-clutter in the next week. I want to garden, but it's cool and super-windy today -- the wind actually woke me, over and over, in the early morning. Probably better to wait to garden until tomorrow; the rest of the week is supposed to be gorgeous, in fact. So instead, put my head down and try to power through the tedious parts of packing today, to the extent Kavi allows it, packing up spare pots and the like. I'd feel really satisfied if I actually got through the first floor today, but I'm not sure how plausible that is, especially with the pantry to do. Anyone want some ready-made pad thai sauce that we'll probably never use?

Once I have a more substantial pile of give-away stuff, I think I might invite folks over to a) take away things, and b) help us get the furniture and boxes into storage. Maybe an evening mid-week? Next Saturday is Kavi's birthday party, so that's my tentative goal -- get this all done before the party, so that we can relax and enjoy the festivities, and then on Sunday, the realtors can come and take their photos. Classes start for the 4-week summer semester the day after that, and I'd really like to be done with this project before that, so I can concentrate on teaching and the run-up to the Kriti festival. We'll see how it goes.

I also have revisions to do for AP, after talking with Bob. But I think that needs to be its own separate post. More later.

I hope you guys aren't entirely bored by all the household stuff. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually cares about our mysterious oversupply of tupperware lids, or my happy pruning of the overgrown bamboo in our living room (god, it looks so much better now). Would you rather I just talked about writing all the time?

Yesterday's creamy ruffled tulips were looking a bit sad this morning, but after changing the water, stripping off the outer leaves, and giving them a fresh diagonal cut along the bottoms of the stems, they're much happier:

3 thoughts on “I ranted a bit in…”

  1. If the friend’s husband is actually making a living as a realtor, I would go with him. Knowing you personally may well make him more conscientious in marketing your condo. And you so often get what you pay for.

  2. David’s comment reminds me of one of my pet topics lately: it seems to me that a lot of people, in looking at financial costs and benefits for something, fail to take into account emotional costs and benefits.

    So to the general question of whether it’s worthwhile to pay a little extra money to have more happiness, confidence, security, and/or sense of well-being as part of a business situation, then I say absolutely yes, assuming you (generic you) can afford that extra money.

    For example, working with someone you trust and like takes away a huge amount of the stress that often goes along with business transactions, which imo can be worth a fair bit of money (again if one can afford that money). And to extend what David said, someone who likes you personally may not only be more conscientious but also be a stronger advocate for you. They have not only a financial interest but a personal interest in seeing you succeed.

    Of course, there’s a flip side of that: sometimes doing business with someone you know, especially a friend of a friend (or family of friend, or friend of relative), can result in all sorts of social problems, especially if the person you’re working with turns out not to be as good at their job as you had hoped.

    I’ve generally been pretty lucky in that regard, on the occasions when I’ve hired someone I know to do something. But I’ve seen other people sometimes (a) lose friendships over business transactions, and/or (b) end up dissatisfied with how the business transaction went (such as unhappy with their friend-of-the-family realtor’s inexperience or flakeyness).

    Which makes it hard to know in advance, imo, whether this sort of thing is a good idea or not. I would be inclined to say that the kind of benefits I’m talking about are usually there if it’s someone who knows and likes you and is at least reasonably good at their job (but as you noted, it can be hard to know ahead of time whether that last part is true); whereas someone who’s a friend of a friend but doesn’t know you personally, and/or someone whose level of experience or competence is unknown to you, may be less likely to result in those personal-ally and reduced-stress benefits.

    …It also helps, I think, if you have a recommendation from someone who’s done business with the person. For example, I first met my agent not only because he was a friend of Arthur’s family, but because Arthur and Pam had recommended him after he was their agent.

  3. Yes, keep writing about your life, including the stray Tupperware. Love the pictures of the flowers. I’ve been meaning to tell you, the flowers at the entrance to your building look so pretty. I tend to forget to tell you this by the time I get upstairs.

    It’s all forgotten when I begin to wonder how safe the elevator is in light of the last inspection being so long ago. And then I wonder if perhaps they did inspect, but the form was not updated for some reason. But just this week, Jason told me he heard or read the Chicago elevator inspectors are so busy with all the new construction, they just don’t have the time to make it to the older buildings in a timely manner. By older, anything that has not just opened its doors. And that some places just remove the inspection certificate because it’s been so very long since the last inspection. See, my mind can wander so quickly.

    I just finished getting interviewed about you. She was very nice. You have many fans, my friend.

    And um…If no one else claims the pad thai sauce….

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