Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kickin' the Tires

The Frog & PenguINN, front porch
This blog, The Frog & PenguINN, is named after what our home on the VA eastern shore. It's the one in the blog header too and is neither an inn or a B&B. 

Readers of this blog may know we've been trying to sell this home for several years. The F&P has a blog site, which I created a few years ago to showcase it. 

We've relocated to NH, but haven't neglected the house. In winter, a  contractor checks it. In summer, a lawn care contractor maintains the grounds.We return several times a year to check on it, stay there and visit neighbors and friends. 

We've been asked (many times) why we removed from a warm to colder state and from a
house to apt living. There are several reasons: Family is a main reason; grandkids and other relatives are in New England. More leisure time is another. 

After years of yard work and house projects, we wanted time to kick-back, travel and enjoy ourselves (even more). Among the benefits of apt living is no home maintenance. If anything breaks down, we notify the on-site management office. Usually, repairs are completed quicker than waiting for a contractor, and we don't even have to stay home.
House rear and back patio
It's been suggested that we rent the house and it was a rental before we bought it. However, renters are not always good housekeepers. It needed repainting and updating, which we did as part of "making it our own." If rented, there's no property management companies in the area. We've heard horror stories from others who rented and later regretted it. Keeping the house "as is" gives us a place to stay and the VA eastern shore, is really quite a nice place. We're hoping that potential homeowners can see that too!

Our house is located in Onley, VA. pop. about 500, with a full-time police department, mayor and council, volunteer fire department and within 5-8 minutes of a "Super" Walmart, YMCA, supermarket, and newly-opened regional hospital. Annual taxes (city and county) are below $1200. There's no water or sewer bills, taxes include weekly garbage pickup. The next town over has restaurants, a dock, specialty shops, and a single-screen movie theater, open weekends. 

So WHY hasn't it sold ?
We wish we knew. It's small-town living that's for sure. Despite nearby amenities, the closest "large" shopping areas (think malls and big box stores) are 90 minutes away in either Virginia Beach, VA or Salisbury, MD. On the VA shore, the distance to anywhere is described as "being down the road."

We're had a couple of "close calls." Last summer, we had a signed contract and thought it would be sold, only to have the buyer default a week before closing. We were given the initial deposit, but would rather have had it sold. Just this week, we had an offer so far below the asking price that our sides ached from laughing. It was that ridiculous with a $100 deposit (no kidding). We turned that "offer" down with no regrets.

Which brings me, finally, to the title of this post — what's a tire-kicker?
Bear with me here, because it does relate. According to an online site: "tire kicker is someone who's going to ask, and ask and ask, with very little chance of ever paying for or buying something. A tire kicker is a low-baller, a time waster and someone to avoid, if at all possible."

In our house-selling case, it refers to folks who will look and come back and even tell a realtor they are "interested" and then go silent. Our realtor has another name for these folks, which is much less kinder. 

What does it have to do with tires?
In the early 20th century, automobile tires were made of thin rubber and often of poor quality. A prospective buyer might kick them to check the thickness or to see if they would deflate and delay a journey. 

It's been said that some folks kick tires before buying a car. It's not an accurate test of the car's quality, but may work as part of the "inspection" process. Some feel that if nothing happens to the car after its doors are slammed and tires kicked, then it's a good deal.

According to an online article, engineers at tire-maker Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron, Ohio had some ideas too:
  • Years ago, when autos and horses shared the road, it was an easy way for horse riders to get manure off their shoes. 
  • Truck drivers carried a tire billy tool, resembling a billy club, and struck the tire to see whether it had enough air.
  • It dates to the early days of trucking. With so many tires on one axle, a tire could look inflated but be flat as the other tires were holding it up. So, drivers would kick all the tires to determine if one had a flat.
  • When cars used balloon tires, customers knew tires could go flat. They would kick the tires to ensure that they could at least drive off the lot.
And, my favorite, "It reduced the number of lawsuits from slapping the salesmen instead." While I'm unsure whether any of these are entirely true, they were entertaining.

Meanwhile, we're buried a couple of statues of St. Joseph in the yard, front and back. We previously bought one and NH friends gave us another, so we figured the "more the merrier" and at least we're covered "front and back" (sorry, no more puns).

Maybe St. Joseph will be able to help the house find its new owners. We pray that it's soon. For anyone unfamiliar with this house sellers "tradition" of burying this statue in the yard, check this site. There is a procedure to follow including the prayers, and we did as instructed.. 

Now you know about tire-kickers and the side job of St. Joseph. 

By the way, if you know of anyone looking to relocate to a small southern town where the "living is easy and slow" let us know. We have just the house!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful house! I am familiar with the Maryland Eastern shore but not Virginia's. When my son and his wife lived there (the MD one) I enjoyed visiting and also the restaurants there. My house in Delaware had 2 offers the first week. But this house in Pennsylvania....many of them take 2 to 3 years to sell. So all areas are different. (We just know if we ever want to move from here, we have to give ourselves a lot of time!) Well the selling market will be at its prime time now so maybe you will get a buyer! And I mean a good buyer, one that won't fall through! Andrea

Sandra said...

it is a beautiful home and surprised it is still on the market. at least you have a place to go if you get tired of snow and ice.

Doris said...

Such a beautiful property and obviously it's well taken care of. Hopefully a [serious] buyer will discover it soon!!

Emma Springfield said...

I thought your house sold last year. You have put so much time, money, and love into it. I cannot imagine someone not jumping at the opportunity to own it.

Anvilcloud said...

Nice update; I have been wondering about this place from time to time. I'm good with St Jo as long as he doesn't get the credit after making you wait for so long. ;)

Connie said...

Oh my goodness. It's been a long wait for you, hasn't it. I hope you find a buyer who follows through very soon. Interesting explanations for the term, tire-kickers.

NCmountainwoman said...

I love your Frog and Penguin. I do hope some wonderful family will come along and buy it.

William Kendall said...

It is a pretty house. I've heard the expression before, but not its meaning.

Michelle said...

Selling a house is quite a job. Sorry that you have had such trouble with the process. This house looks beautiful.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks, everyone we appreciate your comments and especially the compliments about our VA house. We are hoping that this summer will be the year that new owners will also discover its charm and the lovely small town in which it's located.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I can't believe that your beautiful home hasn't been snapped up yet. Maybe it's the job factor and a good drive to them. Here's hoping that you'll get the right buyer very soon!

Valerie said...

It looks to be a beautiful house and you would think one that sold quickly and easily. Interesting to read about the tyre-kickers.

Anonymous said...

It's such a beautiful house. I hope it sells soon.

Mildred said...

I hope that this summer will bring a serious offer and that your pretty VA home will make someone a new house!

Linda said...

I like the Eastern Shore but I don't think I'd want to live there. It's just too remote! And for working people, there aren't many opportunities. Nice place to visit in the summer though.

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