Unexpected Summer Project #3: Prepping Our Texas House For Sale

Just when my husband had taken a bunch of vacation days to try to work on hopefully finishing up our kitchen, he found out that something much more urgent had come up….

When my husband lived in Texas, he purchased a space of empty land, and built a house from scratch, for some of his family members to live in.  With the help of his dad, they spent weekends and vacation days building this house.  He put his heart into designing the house to be as energy efficient as possible, and did a really nice job with the design of the house.  There were a few cosmetic finishing touches that he never got around to finishing, but the house was finished enough for family members to rent out.

When he recently found out that the current tenants were vacating the premises, it came as quite a shock.  We figured that the place needed to be cleaned up, and those finishing touches needed to be completed.  We did not expect how much time it would take my husband to get the place ready for renting or selling.  Originally we planned that I would fly out there, do a bunch of the cleaning, yard work, and painting.  However right after everything happened, we realized that I was not medically able to fly for a little while.  In addition to that, I am not experienced or strong enough to handle tasks like finishing the skirting on the house, redoing the deck, and laying down paver stones for a walkway (tasks my husband had to tackle).

My poor husband had to end up taking much of his vacation time to work on cleaning up the house and finishing the projects needed on the outside of the house, all in the middle of Texas summer heat.  After that still wasn’t enough time, he had to fly back and forth so he could be at work during the week here in California, and out there in Texas on the weekend to work on the house.  I barely saw my husband for a month…it was a difficult time.

We were originally planning to find new tenants to rent the house.  However, managing a property in another state is quite a daunting task.  My husband works too much at his full time job to have to worry about flying out for a week at a time every year to clean up the house every time a tenant moves out.  I have some major changes coming up in my schedule that will not make it feasible for me to fly out to handle the clean up either.

As much as we love the house since he built it himself, we have decided to put the house on the market for sale.  Life is constantly throwing unexpected changes and challenges at us, and we decided simplification is best at this time.  Although it is unfortunately not the best time to put a house on the market for sale (especially now since school has started), we decided that for us, the benefits of simplifying our life outweighs any potential gain we might get from selling at a later date.  We are hoping for a relatively quick sale!

In case anyone is interested, here is the link for the house!  The kitchen and master bath make our current home seem so inferior, but they give me so much hope for what I have to look forward to! 🙂

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Patio #1 Updates!

I have been quite busy lately reworking everything in the main patio.  We realized that it was poor planning on our part to mix in the dwarf fruit trees with the flowers in the planters for watering purposes, and that it would be better for both if they were segregated into their own areas.

Since the planters have two levels, there are a few distinct zones now.  The upper level was already primarily roses, and we are leaving it like that (I added in some more flowers between the roses).  The upper level in the area closest to the house was originally overrun with weeds and ivy when we moved in.  We found some roses on sale that were too good of a deal to pass up, and those are placed up there, waiting for us to be ready to plant them.

The lower level by the fire pit now has just the dwarf almond tree, one of our 3 dwarf lemon trees, and a dwarf kumquat tree.  There is also a straggler artichoke that is waiting to be relocated, but I need my husband’s help with removing a large stump in the flower bed area where the artichoke will find its new home. 🙂

The lower level closer to the house is now completely dedicated to flowers.  I dug up and divided some of the shasta daisies.  They don’t look all that great at the moment, but I am hoping that they will be hardy enough to recover being divided  and replanted at a less than ideal time of year (ideally this should be done in early spring, but that wasn’t really an option since we were busy closing escrow at that time!).

When I was reorganizing all of the planter beds, I realized that there were a lot of hidden plants from previous owners!  There were tons of tiny little begonias planted behind and under the shasta daisies, away from sight.  I also found an asparagus fern which was very sad and droopy in nearly full sun.  I relocated the begonias and fern to my partial shade garden in the front, and they are so much happier!  I also found a large spider plant, which I happily divided into plantings for tons of hanging planters around the pergola.  Nothing like finding free plants that you didn’t know that you had!

I also finished out my decorating plan for this space…the theme of this patio is Texas Bohemian!  It is really inspired by a lot of the amazing funky boutiques my husband has taken me to all over Texas.  We have two patios, and decided to go with a “his and hers” decorating style for them.  Since this is the patio where the barbeque is located, this is “his” patio.  I made sure I didn’t use any pink in the decorating here. 🙂  My patio will be a little different…post coming soon!

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