7 Oct 1 Comment Tamara Changes


Ramon and I spent the last two days meeting with real estate agents to sell our house in Oakland. It was so strange to look at the house we spent several years lovingly renovating, searching for just the right furniture for each space, through the critical eyes of a real estate agent. Of course they are trying to look at it from a buyer’s perspective, but still, we love our little house, and everyone who visits it loves it too, so it was discomfiting to look at it so critically.

But of course we knew there were a few cosmetic improvements we needed to make, such as replacing the countertops in the kitchen and getting rid of the 1970s-era disco mirrors in the bathroom.  All in all, though, in spite of the critical eyes, it doesn’t seem like we will have to do too many improvements to be able to sell it for quite a bit more than we put it into it. We are very fortunate that Temescal is a particularly hot neighborhood to buy in right now.

But man, it was grueling. I scheduled agents two hours apart and each meeting took up the entire time, with only a few minutes to take a breath in between.  And on top of it, it was our ten-year anniversary and we spent it meeting with real estate agents and cleaning our house for the next renters.  We were so emotionally and physically drained from it all that we left Oakland in the afternoon to drive the 2+ hours back home with absolutely no plans to go out to dinner or do anything at all for our anniversary. It just seemed like too much.

But when we were about 20 minutes from Reverie, we got a call from the arriving renters that the lockbox code wasn’t working.  They couldn’t get in.  What???  We called a friend in Oakland with a key but couldn’t reach him, so we dropped Otto off at home, jumped in the car, and drove BACK to Oakland.  This time it was evening rush hour as we drove through Sacramento, so the drive wasn’t quite as easy as it had been in the afternoon.

To say we were unhappy and very tired at this point is an understatement. But what were we to do? We couldn’t leave the renters stranded on the sidewalk.

They were absolutely gracious and understanding about the whole thing, even though they had to wait nearly three hours to get into the house and had been on a plane since 1am.  When we arrived Ramon confirmed that indeed, the lockbox wasn’t working (we had our doubts since more often than you would think people can’t seem to figure it out) and we let them in.  We had seen the outbound traffic on the way in to Oakland and realized there was no point in sitting there for two hours, so we decided to go out to dinner for our anniversary after all.  At that point Ramon tried the lockbox again and IT WORKED!


So it seemed like the universe was trying to tell us two things on this day:


  1. Are you crazy? You can’t let your 10-year anniversary go by without doing something to celebrate. But it knew the only way we were going to do something is if we were forced to do it, so drastic measures had to be taken.
  2. Don’t be sad you are selling your house – see what a headache it is? It is the right decision.


We went out to dinner and had a really lovely time, then drove 2 easy hours home without traffic.  Even though we spent an extra five hours in the car, we were grateful that we were forced to learn a few lessons on this day, since clearly we needed them.