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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

House Hunting

Today Gretchen had another followup visit with Dr. Rotondo, her orthopaedist. The news was good: her break is healing normally.  It has been 8 1/2 weeks since her fall, but it is a slow process.  Although she doesn't have to wear the boot all the time, she still wears it a lot because her foot hurts when she walks around without it for too long.

Since this accident, I have been serving as her personal chauffeur and gopher.  I haven't minded it at all since I have no life.  It gives me a sense of purpose, and I am happy to help.  A few days ago, she drove her car for the first time into Newburyport while wearing her boot.  With her typical candor, she admitted this to Dr. Rotondo, who was less than plussed (i.e., nonplussed).  He told her that if she were to run into a tree while driving with her boot on, to make sure to disavow getting his approval to do so.  (I suspect he might have had a flash vision of a malpractice suit in his future.)  He suggested that she wear the boot to the car, remove it while driving, and put it back on when she gets to where she is going.  We both agreed that sounded like good advice.  I don't know why neither of us had thought of that.  I guess that's the kind of good stuff they teach you in Medical School.

Gretchen also got fitted for an Ankle Stabilizing Orthotic (ASO) today, which can serve as a bridge between the boot and normal shoes.  This should make it easier for her to get around while the slow healing process takes its normal course. 

The house-hunting process has been dragging, so we typed up a letter to put in the mailbox of any house with curb appeal that looks like we might like to buy.  Using the mobile Zillow app on my iPhone, we can check out the basic information on each house of interest to see if it might fit our requirements.  We scoured our town of West Newbury, and found about a dozen prospects where we left the flyer.  We have actually gotten two responses so far.  One said they were not in the market now, but might be by next spring.  The other one just contacted us and said they might be willing to sell, so we have made a tentative appointment to go see their house on October 2.  Considering how few letters we have distributed, I think that has been a pretty good response rate.  We may expand our search to the neighboring towns over the next few weeks.

Our new landlord, Nancy, moved a lot of her stuff into the cottage last Saturday.  She remains firm that she doesn't want us to leave until we have found the right place.  She is also not planning to put her house up for sale until next spring, so there is a possibility that we could stay here over the winter.  We would have to negotiate a new rental agreement to stay beyond December at a more market-based rate if we haven't found a place by then, which is only fair.  In a way, it's nice not to have a lot of pressure to get everything done right away.  On the other hand, it's an easy excuse to procrastinate and be lazy about things we know we're going to have to do eventually.  Anyone who knows me knows that I never put things off until the last minute.  Next joke!

Thursday, I go back to the Farber to meet with my benign hematologist, Dr. Connors, to evaluate the effect of the iron pills I have been taking for my anemia.  Since my numbers looked really good at my last regular visit, I suspect it should be a good report.  I hope I can stop taking those iron pills 3 times a day.  Every time it becomes a wrestling match between the wrapper and me as I try to extricate the pill from its nearly impenetrable enclosure.  I don't think nuclear warheads are protected as carefully.

I'll give a report on my results, hopefully in a timely way.


  1. Have you found a house already? How did your succeeding house hunting sessions go? You’re right that this task could be pretty dreadful. I hope you’ll be able to find one before this year is over, that is if you haven’t alrady found one.

    Willard Evans @ Wow Homes

    1. HI Willard, I'm glad to report that our strategy of leaving flyers in mailboxes of houses that looked interesting to us worked! Of the 12 flyers we left, we had 2 positive responses. We just made an offer on one of them that was accepted, and we are waiting to sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement. From our experience, this isn't a bad way to try to find a new home.

  2. Well, that is a good strategy. At the very least, you don’t have to go to several places and negotiate with all the realtors individually. All the available options would just be left in your hands to decide. It absolutely applicable, especially when you're deciding between several houses in the listings.

    Naomi Walters @ Chicora

  3. I have never tried flyers, but my sister did and had a great result though not one that she expected. She drafted a flyer and posted it in lots of mailboxes in the area that she was hoping to find a property. She was contacted by somebody, who was looking for a house in the neighbourhood that she was living. What resulted was basically a house swap for money. Chance in a million, or what?

    Elton Rousseau @ Hancock And Partners