Thursday, February 22, 2007

Exorcizing My House

So one of the things you're supposed to do when you put your house on the market is called "staging" it. This means sprucing it up and toning it down in order to make a favorable first impression. Staging a house includes, among other things, cleaning it up and depersonalizing it. Experts recommend that sellers remove any items that could be too distracting, such as personal photos and collections, or offensive (anything pertaining to sex, politics, or religion) to prospective buyers.

Hoo boy, am I ever up the creek.

Naked Women!

Naked Men!

Ode to Excessive Cardio

Virgin of the Fireplace

Virgin Gives Birth to Little Buddha

Little Buddha Admires Big Venus

Venus de Milo Goes to the Mardi Gras

Bill Shakespeare Goes to the Mardi Gras

Bill Shakespeare Observes Ash Wednesday

Sheesh. Once I get rid of everything personal and/or potentially offensive, there won't be anything left except a mattress on the floor.


Blogger Ya Looblue said...

i'd totally keep Bill Goes to Mardi Gras up. i can't really put my finger on why...i just have a feeling about the kind of person you're going to be ok selling your house to...they'll appreciate something like that.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Christopher C. NC said...

I would recommend a trip to the nearest crafts store to buy a bunch of fig leaves. These can be strategically and artfully placed to save you from having to take everything down and live in staged bland.

A hidden motion detector near Our Virgin of the Fireplace that sets off a subtle soundtrack, "Full of Grace, Full of Grace" could attract droves of interest and potential buyers at an inflated price.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Alto2 said...

I love the art in your house. Someone out there will appreciate all those nekkid peepul! My fave is The Bard Avec Ash: really funny. It pains me to read that you're really going to sell the home that cradled you through your illness. I keep hoping that you'll come into a financial windfall and stay put.

12:57 AM  
Blogger citygrrrl said...

i keep telling her to declare bankruptcy, but does she listen? nooooooooo.

i also LOVE bill on ash wednesday, makes me want to run out and buy a bust of someone and do the same thing! i hated getting ashes as a kid. this would be a good way of going about it, i think.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

Grrrrl, I consulted an attorney several months agao and learned that under Louisiana law if I file bankruptcy they can still take my house, they just have to leave me $25K. I wieghed the situation and the various options, and selling it myself looks like the best possible tack at this point.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, I think what makes the house so gorgeous is all those colors (and all that you) all over the place. However, since you feel you must sell it, maybe the up-side will be that this process will help you separate from it more gently than selling it and having to clear out immediately. At least the pace of the separation will be in your control, and you'll be able to do it by degrees.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Velma said...

Having been through the whole "staging" process a few years ago, I can tell you that it is truly amazing the lack of imagination most people have. The inability to see past a wall color they dislike or furniture that is not to their taste seems to be a major sticking point for some people.

Think of it this way, though: the more you neutralize your home, the wider the range of buyers it will appeal to. The wider the range of buyers, the better chance you have of getting the best possible price. Perhaps you may even end up with a bidding war!

The best possible price means an extra couple thousand dollars in your pocket. Better than that, it means you did the best for yourself that you possibly could, and that gives you a little more peace of mind about the whole experience.

(We ended up renting a self-storage room and stashing a TON of crap, and ended up with an offer almost immediately!)

12:05 PM  
Blogger neighbor_nancy said...

I'm having a difficult time logging in with these messages - my apologies if you get this more than once!!

I am no lawyer, but I think what is meant is that all BUT $15,000 is exempt from seizure and sale. Please consult a better lawyer - I only did a google search, so what do I know?

Please just consider talking with another lawyer and blog that too!!!

All my best,

Neighbor_Nancy who would love to see you stay in your home...

6:38 PM  
Blogger neighbor_nancy said...

OOPS! I need to edit my post, as I misread it myself. I think it is even better than I'd thought! I'm going to cut and paste here:

(2) The homestead is exempt from seizure and sale under any writ, mandate, or process whatsoever, except as provided by Subsections C and D of this Section. This exemption extends to twenty-five thousand dollars in value of the homestead, except in the case of obligations arising directly as a result of a catastrophic or terminal illness or injury, in which case the exemption shall apply to the full value of the homestead based upon its value one year before such seizure.

Leave your stuff where it is until you talk with a GOOD lawyer, would you please?!?!?!


6:42 PM  
Blogger citygrrrl said...

yeah. what she said.

that is, unless you are ready to go

8:45 AM  
Blogger citygrrrl said...

could you phlueeeze get that skeleton out of your house? it is such bad feng shui!!

12:35 PM  
Blogger okie said...

Many Bankrupcy attorneys here will give first consultations free. Take advantage of the lawyers everytime you can and get plenty of free advice from the professionals. I am in Real Estate and sometimes staging definately helps the sale. Removing clutter and eliminating unnecessary furnishings will make the home appear larger and roomier. Most of the humerous items would not be offensive to most of the clients I sold homes to last year. My best advice is to remove some of the items you can do without and ask your realtor after each showing if any of the items were offensive to the prospects.
Good Luck

9:37 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Hi Liz,
I would be really sad to see you sell your gorgeous house (not to mention your gorgeous garden). If you do, perhaps it would help to view the staging process as a healing ritual. It could be like a symbolic cleaning of the slate, erasing the chalkboard in preparation for starting a new work of art (a new life) in a new place. Best of luck to you.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liz came through this horrendous disease intact, and that skeleton is just one reason. Her modus operandi has been fly in the face of fear. The Skeleton IS SO LIZ. It must stay.
I'd love to see you keep that home Liz, it's you in every way. However, your home would be wherever you make it, and I know you will land on your feet. Somehow, you knew this was going to happen. You bravely picked up, moved halfway across country alone, took up weight and strength training and you knew you'd be facing a formidible enemy. You did what you were to do. Who knows, perhaps you time in Louisiana or at least in the house is done. I love your attitude, and really, after facing down and killing the evil Brenda and her evil minions, nothing should scare you about having to move. As much as you have loved it, it's only a house. A freaking gorgeous house, but a thing.

12:32 PM  
Blogger WWDWdo? said...

If I saw that house, I'd move heaven and earth to buy it!

2:42 PM  
Blogger citygrrrl said...

nothing like a battle on your comments page. not to be obnoxious, but i am. being from the bronx and all i can’t help it. but miss lymphopo knows exactly what i am talking about with that skeleton. has nothing to do with flying in the face of fear, which our girl does in general. it’s who she is, it’s inherent.

i am talking feng shui, which deals with energy paths in our bodies and our surroundings. and symbols. put a picture of a single woman in your relationship corner and that’s what you’ll be. not as easy as that, but it’s a quick example. she has that damn skeleton in her wealth section. hello?

5:58 PM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

Actually, I believe Miss Catrina the skeleton is in my Helpful People section.

7:26 PM  
Blogger citygrrrl said...

well, it's snowing and sleeting here, so i having a great time chatting it up in the relative warmth of my computer screen.

i thought miss catrina was in the furthest corner to the right as you walked in. but then again, i may have visual amnesia.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Optimist said...

Hi Liz - after reading this last post about your island dreams, I feel a bit weird leaving this comment here. It sounds like you are ready to leave the house, and I don't want to complicate things or bring up negatives! It's just that today I asked a Louisiana lawyer friend of mine, who then asked a Louisiana lawyer friend of his, about your house, bills etc. and the following is what the 2nd lawyer has to say:

"La. does have a $25K homestead exemption for bankruptcy. They would sell the house, pay off the mortgage, and then, the first $25K leftover would go to the debtor, and the BR estate would get the remainder. So, one question is how much equity is in the house? If it’s 25K or more, then she would get to keep 25K and walk away from the debts.

But, if treatment is ongoing, this wouldn’t help her too much because then she would be on the hook for the next round of bills.

Another option might be a Chapter 13. She can assign a really low percentage (see what she could get away with), and then would have 3 to 5 years to pay off that percentage of the debt, and could keep the house. The rest of the debt would be wiped away. For this to work, she would have to have some kind of income, and could do this even if she were terminally ill.

Hope this helps. The facts you gave me were pretty scant and if anything they just raise more issues than can be answered!"

So- you probably already knew that stuff - but if you want to talk with him (he's in NOLA) I will be happy to give you his info.

Warmest Regards -

Bonnie in Houston

5:57 PM  
Blogger citygrrrl said...

oops, i meant furthest corner to the left. miss catrina, that is. not our political views.

8:10 PM  

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