People have been telling me about how hard it is to sell a house in the US, and I have been telling them it’s different in Switzerland. Well, it is different all right, but that doesn’t make it any easier to sell.
There is an extreme shortage of housing in the part of Switzerland where I live. You would think that a housing shortage would be advantageous to selling. Well, it should, but it was becoming too advantageous and the banks got scared so they hunkered down on the amount they will loan on a house, and now people need more cash down payment than before. Those who would have been able to buy a house at the price I’m selling a year ago, now have to come up with more money, and many at that economic level just don’t have the savings available.
So, yeah, the Realtors all tell me the price is right, but the banks don’t agree, so the potential buyers are offering low and sticking to it.
I came close to a sale, really close. I thought it was done.
A certain couple really wanted to buy this house. Let’s use an analogy of letters instead of numbers, ZZZ being the ideal price for the house, and lower letters being lower offers.
So, this particular couple had an architect come to evaluate costs of redoing the kitchen, the bathrooms, etc – all personal choice. The kitchen is not only fine, many people have commented on how much they liked it – but this couple felt they wanted a different style. They loved the layout of the home, just not the decor. So fine, I thought, they’re not deducting that from the sale price.
Wrong. They offered low, really low, like UUU. They wanted to end up with the same price after all their renovations. I refused, of course, and they eventually made two other offers and got offer to VVV. Still way too low, and I told the RealtorMiss this. Meanwhile other people, from other Realtors, were seeing the house. Some very interested, but couldn’t get the financing.
Over a period of about 6 weeks, RealtorMiss called me once a week, asking if I was willing to come down to VVV, or even counter offer something near it, like WWW. I said no. She told me they really really wanted the house. I said fine, let them make me a better offer.
So, around 10 days ago, she called me again and said, “They really want it and if you’ll accept an offer of WWW, they’re ready to take it to the notary and sign on the dotted line.” (She said all that in French, of course, not English, but that’s the translation.) 😉
I talked it over with a couple of other Realtors, and they said that with the banking situation as it is, WWW was a fair offer. They also felt I could get more, but it could take another 6 months to find someone. I talked it over with my daughters, and we all finally decided to go ahead and take the offer. Lower than we wanted, but at least we could move on.
The next day, I called and said, “Okay, I’ll sign for WWW.” She called me back and said, “Sorry, they won’t go above VVV.” Huh? What kind of game is this? I said no, of course. It had been an effort to accept the decided price, but to go even lower? I guess they thought that if they could whittle us down, that I’d be willing to go the extra bit to their price.
I never did like Roller-coasters anyway. I may not get that top price, but I’m not lowering it that low again.
Too bad for them. They’re not going to find a comparable house in this area for this price. Their loss.
And possibly my gain. The same day, someone told me about a new high-scale big-name International Private School that is currently under construction – within walking distance of my home! It will be opening next year in September. This is a school for the rich. Private, world-renowned, and very exclusive. So much so that the families with kids in this school would probably look at my home and laugh, too cheap. Most of them will be going for the Luxury Homes. But hey, there are employees, right? Teachers, administrators, etc. My home is just in the right price range for someone like that.
I told one of my Realtors who has International Sales and he is contacting the school to reach the committee that works to bring in the people who are moving here specifically for this school. So I am hoping that someone will be willing to buy my house. It may not be til next year in that case, and of course, if I get a good offer before that, I’ll take it, but this is the best chance of getting the price I want. So maybe it was a good thing that “the couple” tried too hard to bargain.
So I’d say things are looking up.
I have a lot of interests, things I enjoy doing, and of course, never enough time to do them all, but usually I manage to flit around from interest to interest, giving some of my energy here, then a bit there, and it all balances out. No problem, I live at my own rhythm and it works for me.
It may not be routine in the most common sense of the word, because there is no order to the rhythms of my interests. I can spend weeks in writer mode, a day in art mode, 10 days in organizing mode, then 5 days in communication mode, and back to 3 days writer mode and a month art mode, etc. No rhyme or reason to it, I just follow my muse where it takes me. In that way it is kind of like a routine in that it’s a pattern of living that works well for me.
However, every now and then, I get overloaded with outside stuff, interruptions in the flow, unexpected events like computer meltdowns or even expected events like doctor appointments and such. Plus trying to see my house and find an apartment, which takes my focus away from the flow and into territories that are unpredictable in their own way. Necessary disruptions, but disruptions nonetheless.
So what happens when these disruptions interrupt the flow of my living?
I shut down.
Yes, okay, not completely. I deal with the appointments, and even enjoy looking for apartments and I don’t really mind the visits of people coming to see the house, because each time brings hope that it’s the right time, though thus far it hasn’t been. I even like setting up computers and such, that kind of fits into my organizing mode, and so I don’t really see it as an interruption, but then again, it can’t be done in short spurts, I need about a day to focus on it and get it done.
The thing is, when I get . . . shifted into all these daily interruptions, I tend to put my main interests on hold. So in my free time, instead of coming in here and blogging and reading blogs and communicating, or opening up Photoshop or other art programs, I instead watch tv series online, play simple computer games, listen to audiobooks, and read Kindle books. All things I do enjoy doing. But at the same time, they are all things that are what I call receptive activities. They require no thinking on my part, no focus on what it happening here and now. They are pass-times, fun ways to pass the time while I’m waiting.
But… waiting for what? For my house to sell and for me to move and get settled into a new apartment? Well, yeah, kinda, that does pop into my mind a lot. I often find myself projecting into the future, thinking that once I get settled I can go back to my usual “routine” of going with the flow. I even tell myself that this current behavior is also going with the flow, because I actually do enjoy looking at apartments for sale, so if that takes time away from other activities, so be it.
So what does this have to do with the title on this page? Well, I was visiting my CPAPdoc yesterday and he was talking about exercise, getting out and walking in nature and breathing in fresh air, etc. I mumbled something like “I really should do that.” and he stopped me, and said, “No. If you say it that way, you’ll never do it. Should is a word that often creates resistance on a psychological level. Instead, say you would enjoy doing that. Look at whatever you’re saying should about and think of it as something you would enjoy doing.”
It was an eye opener for me. I’ve been telling myself “I should write more in my blog” and “I should get my new computer set up so I can do some artwork.” Even, “I should spend more time doing creative activities and less time watching tv shows.” And it has created an invisible wall between me and those activities. And it made me forget the flow. Because I’ve also been using “should not”. I shouldn’t watch so much tv. Why not? I enjoy watching series online or on dvd, and I enjoy reading and sometimes it’s nice to just veg out awhile. I also enjoy looking for apartments, and I enjoy setting up computers, I really do enjoy all of it.
But for many things I’ve been stuck in resistance mode, simply because I’ve been thinking in terms of should instead of enjoyment.
This morning, I thought about what the CPAPdoc said and I thought to myself, I would enjoy sharing that with the blogging community. So here I am, sharing it. And I really would enjoy getting my new computer set up, so that is what I will be doing today. And if I feel like doing something else, I’ll do something else. It’s really that simple.
And yes, there are things that can’t be put aside, like the house sale and apartment hunt, but again, I enjoy those things, but I have been looking at them as tasks that need to get done, and not as part of the flow, part of the adventure. Putting the enjoyment back into it will make all the difference.
So, where does that leave me? Back in the flow. Does that mean I’ll be writing more in here? I have no idea. I’ll write when I have something I would enjoy sharing, and I won’t when I don’t.
All in good time.
All with enjoyment.
Thank you, each of you who commented on my last Rambling post, and thank you to those bloggers out there who helped me feel better just through reading their blogs.
Synchronicity is a funny thing – when you really really need something, it comes to you. I needed to refocus, find my center, and so when I finally had a moment to just go to the WP panel and scan through the Blogs I Read, what a joy it was to find posts that seemed to speak directly to me and how I was feeling, reminding me that each moment is just a passage through life, some good, some bad, but all eventually balancing out.
Of course, getting a couple of good night’s sleep helped too. 😉
This weekend, I’m letting it all go. What does that mean? It means I’m going to simply live in the moment, not worry about apartments or packing or money. I know it will all work out, so I am allowing myself a few days to just trust in what I know.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of thought, worry, plans, decisions. Yes, as we move through life we do have to make decisions, choices, we do have to plan at least to a certain degree. But we also have to learn to trust that even if what we “plan” doesn’t pan out, it simply means that something else, something better, is on the horizon.
Last year, I found an announcement about some apartments being built near here, in a town that is dear to my heart because it’s the first place I lived in Switzerland. The precise location itself wasn’t perfect, it was across from the railway, which meant trains passing, but I liked the plans they showed, and the price was right, because it was to be purchased in advance, with a construction credit. It seemed too good to be true.
It was. The bank turned me down – mainly because of my income, which is disability payment and nothing else. It didn’t matter that once my house would have sold, I’d have enough to pay for 80% of the apartment, thus my loan would have been very low. They said they couldn’t count on that, as long as my house wasn’t sold. In addition, I’m supposed to get alimony from my ex, but they didn’t count that either, and rightly so, because I haven’t had an alimony payment in over two years due to his financial straits. Of course, they didn’t know that. And at the time my ex had been trying to get funding for a new business, so I thought I’d eventually get the alimony back. But they were right. That was money I couldn’t count on.
I was heartbroken. I drive by the construction site often, and have watched it going up – it will be ready in July. The layout of the apartment would have been just right for me. But perhaps, not the location across from the train. I’d lived near the trains before and I remember the roar of sound as they passed by. this apartment was about the same distance. It has since occurred to me that I really don’t want that kind of noise in my life. Wherever I move it will be someplace quiet.
The funny thing is, when I met the realtor who is handling the sale of my house, we also discussed what I was looking for in an apartment, and we discussed new v/s old, etc. He said a lot of the newer apartments going up are in less than ideal locations, simply because there is no place left to put them. (Switzerland is very small) And all of a sudden he mentioned the exact apartments I wanted to buy into, as an example of what I wouldn’t want. He said, “I can’t imagine you would want something like that, so close to the trains, would you?” And I smiled inwardly as i said, “No, of course not.”
Because it’s true. I don’t want to live in a noise polluted area. And I don’t think I fully realized it until he mentioned those exact apartments. Why those? I think it was a reminder to me that even our disappointments can sometimes be for the best.
I think I will try to remain open minded about my future apartment. I’ve been determined to stay in a particular area, hoping to remain equal distance between my daughters – but honestly, they are adults now, they have their lives, and they won’t be visiting me any more often if I’m close than if I’m far. (and far here means maybe an hour’s drive.)
Trust doesn’t come easy, but it can develop over the years. I’ve learned to trust in what I call rightness.
The right buyer, the right apartment for me, the right timing for it all. It will happen in rightness, because that is what my life has shown me these past 60 years. Everything happens in rightness.
-and so it is-
Blessings and rightness to each of you!