Monday, November 15, 2010

Surreal estate

So the next Iron Chef is going to be another white man. What a refreshing change of pace. Sigh. There goes my interest in the outcome of the final battle.


The grandmother has landed! My mother is here, that is, or I should say that she's in a nice hotel. The only way she can get into our house is to go in through the walk-out basement, which only has a doorsill. She can get up out of her electric wheelchair and pivot around to get into her manual wheelchair with the heavy support of her aide. Thank goodness we have a finished basement, is all I can say, since she's never seen the main floor of our house.

I found a nice-looking house for rent on Craigslist tonight, and while we haven't formally said that we're looking yet, we decided to look at it this week. If we took it, we would have to give up hope of moving to the Northwest, but since nothing had opened up there in the first round of hiring and promotions, we may have to wait a while for the possibility of a transfer to appear. The neighborhood this house is in is a nice second choice, since it's a lovely neighborhood with a great elementary school which is right on the edge of the city and therefore a lot closer to all of the things we like to do in the suburbs. And I'm starting to feel like I would happily gnaw my left hand off if only I could have some actual closet space.

Anyway, the way this connects to my mother is that from what I saw on Google Streetview, the house would only have a couple steps to go up, which would make getting my mother in a relative walk in the park, so to speak. Since there have been at least eight steep steps to get into both of the houses we've lived in here so far, it would be a nice change of pace.

Speaking of my mother and houses, she has finally sold her house, my childhood home, a mere two and a half years after moving to her condo. The amount of time it took her to get the house cleaned out completely and actually get it on the market was actually beneficial to me, since it gave me quite a while to get used to the idea of it being sold. I'm pretty much over it now. Between the addition that was put on after my mother's accident and the loss of the gigantic cherry tree that had been outside my bedroom, it was already significantly changed from the house I grew up in, and after two years, I was more than ready for it to just get sold already.

It only took two days and she got more than her asking price, which even in this housing market isn't surprising. It's a ranch house of the type with three bedrooms on one end of the house, living room, dining room and kitchen in the middle, and laundry room and family room at the end behind the garage. After my mother's accident, an addition was built behind the family room and laundry room, since there was no hope of making the main bath accessible. One lovely aspect of Michigan car insurance is that the insurance company is required to pay for everything associated with a car accident, including $80,000 of modifications to a house. So our modifications were done right - a ramp inside the garage so there's a covered ramp, a fully accessible bedroom and bathroom and a door out of the new bedroom leading onto a deck with a ramp leading to a sidewalk that goes around the house. What this adds up to is the perfect mother-in-law apartment for a family with an elderly infirm parent or two who will have a large bedroom with a bit of privacy and even its own sitting room in the form of the family room. Since it's so horrendously expensive to make a house even partially accessible (did I mention the $80,000 ours cost?), the only shocking part is that there wasn't a bidding war.

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