Almost sold

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It’s been exactly 3 weeks since we accepted the offer on the house. The financing contingency was removed last week, which means that the sale is going through. However, escrow closes on Aug 6th and our realtor says that things can still change until then. So we are trying to be cautious but at this point we are quite confident of everything going smoothly – or we are at least hoping it will. Since the house has sold much faster than we expected and we could receive our US citizenship within the next couple of months, we’ve now decided to leave for India in October itself instead of waiting until Jan 2010. YIPPEE!!! I’m soooo delighted. Madhu, the financial undertaker of the family, put some numbers in a spreadsheet and found that financially we are stable enough to start the trip as soon as possible … there was no real reason to stay longer.

So now our target is to try and be in Mumbai before Diwali (Oct 18th) this year. Once the contingency was removed, we realized that we had just about 2 weeks to find an apartment, sell the stuff in our house and move. So we had to move really fast…

Apartment

The apartment selection was based on 3 criteria – Must allow big dogs, Must allow short-term (3-month) lease and Must be within walking distance to Caltrain station. The first 2 criteria were for obvious reasons and their compliance was mandatory. The 3rd condition was mainly because we intended to sell the BMW sometime soon and if our home was within walking distance of the train station, then Madhu wouldn’t need a car to commute. We were a little flexible on this condition, because first of all the BMW hadn’t sold yet – who knows how long it could take to sell. Secondly, since my job had more flexible timings, I could easily pick and drop Madhu when required. The only problem was my dance class – once Shree returns on Aug 22nd, I hope to start lessons at least 3 times a week. And if they are during weekdays then Madhu would be left on his own. We could still probably manage one way or the other, but living close to a Caltrain station would be most comfortable. Once I started apt hunting, I suddenly realized that not all apartments allow big dogs and short-term leases and that very few that offer these are close to Caltrain. Moreover, the 4th unsaid condition was the apt should not be an old dump but should be an upgraded or newer complex. And to add to that, we did not want to spendmore than $2000 per monthonrent. So this left me with very few apartments to choose from. At one point, we decided to give up on trying to be close to caltrain and just stick to the Rivermark area – this would keep us close to friends andalsokeep us comfortable in an area we are very closely familiar with. But eventually, I found Park Place, which allowed dogs, short-term lease, was within walking distance of the Mountain View Caltrain Station, was upgraded in 2004 (although its a 20 year old complex) and offered a 1-bed apt for $2050 (close to my budget). The complex and apt is not as nice as the newer ones in Rivermark, but is good enough for a 3-month stay. The rent is also exorbitant for such an older property, but we are paying for the location; not only is it close to Caltrain station, it is also right off of Castro St, which is downtown Mountain View. So that makes all the fantastic restaurants andshopswithin walking distance of our complex, which is quite nice. Plus there’s a nice park where we can walk Shayna everyday. So without wasting too much time, I signed up for it last weekend. We will get the keys on Aug 3rd, which gives us about 3 days to move everything.

Selling Stuff

For some reason, we had assumed that selling our stuff thru craigslist will be a breeze – one because we have really good quality stuff in great condition, two because we think we have really good taste in decor and furnishings and three because a lot of people today rely on craigslist to find decent deals. Well, we still think that we have good quality stuff and good taste but what we didn’t account for is that people searching craigslist for deals are actually looking for GREAT (read CHEAP) deals and not exactly willing to pay what Madhu and I think the value of something should be. Garage saleSo over the past 10 days we have managed to sell some of the smaller items in our list like small rugs, small home decor items like masks, candle-stands, cushions, etc.. But the big ticket items (read EXPENSIVE) like our hand-knotted Kashmiri carpets, master bedroom set, living & dining room furniture, Z Gallerie paintings are all yet to sell. We may have priced them too high … We’ve emptied almost all our closets and cabinets and displayed everything in the garage or in the kitchen for sale. Last weekend we had hoped to have a garage sale of sorts but Madhu got busy at work and we weren’t sure if I would be able to manage the crowds without help. Yesterday, after work, about 6 families came home to see the stuff, almost at the same time, andthatitself got me breathless. Garage sale - pic 1Anyway, this weekend Madhu should be relatively free – so we hope to have a garage sale then. We also plan to slash the prices of our furniture in order to attract more buyers. We really want to try and sell as much as we can before we move. We could always put the un-sold stuff in storage but then it’ll get far more difficult to arrange for a buyer to see the stuff once we put it there. So the more we sell now, the better…

The Move

I have yet to arrange for movers for next week’s move. The problem is that I’m not sure how much stuff we’ll need to carry – it’ll all depend on how much we manage to sell. But I think of all the things that have been going on over the past month, moving to the apt should be least stressful. So I think we should be able to manage that without too many problems. Now settling down into a 700 sq.ft space as opposed to a 2300 sq.ft home is a completely different ball-game!  That might need some getting-used-to.

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