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I spent lunch at the cult de sac with Brian and his family. Our realtor called warning that she was heading our way with a prospective buyer so we quickly mopped, dusted, stuffed stuff under the beds, threw covers over abandoned pajamas and headed out the door.

Of course our house looks great these days, to the naive, and so the woman who perused it wants it if her husband agrees. She'll be back with him in tow this weekend. Thankfully I'll be out of town and unable to participate in the mopping, dusting, stuffing of stuff under beds, throwing of covers over abandoned pajamas and heading out the door to eat Sonic in Brian's front yard again. Too bad.

I say it looks good to the naive because only someone without a clue, or someone extremely optimistic about the living habits of a family of five, would truly believe this place is so meticulously groomed at all times. In reality the Cheeto stains were only recently painstakingly concealed with a fresh coat of paint, covering only the bottom three feet of every wall. The deck was only recently completely stained and before then sat for more than a year only two-thirds washed in the chocolate colored pain-in-the butt stuff. (I hate staining.)

And the coffee tables and end tables, glass of course for making the place look bigger, were added by our realtor. Along with a thin layer of cheap mulch in the flower beds and a few strategically placed scented candles and a cookbook on the kitchen island - opened to some fancy chicken spinach tartar something-or-nother - that says "Me cook fancy meals. We have it together. Move here and you will too."

She calls it "staging." Some would call it "lying" or, at best, "faking."

She also added plants, pillows, throws, lamps, a fountain, books and nick knacks (I asked if we should add any paddy whacks. Not amused. You'd think for this kind of money she could fake a smile too.)

So the place looks amazing. Amazing enough to give me second thoughts about selling it before I left for El Salvador. I came back though and added a few things myself. And started looking for our next home. I'm partial to a place over in Brian's cult de sac. Got to go in it. Looks great. Smells great. They have two kids but they seem to have it together...and they cook a lot.


Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

Holy Snot Shaun you're house is HUGE!! Geez I'm a dreamer. I always do that with Huge Rock Stars always imagine them having much much smaller homes than they really have. I thought you lived in something like the small nice little homes around Freedom Square in Downtown Franklin..boy was I wrong!

Blogger GrovesFan said...

I agree! What a house! I know it will like seem a big adjustment in the beginning, but your hearts are in the right place.

You're doing just the opposite that we did a year ago. For eight years in England, we lived in a 35 year old house that was just under 1000sq. ft. with 4 kids and a cat, we were CROWDED! It was a three bedroom home, which meant that our three girls shared a 11'x10' room (bunk beds are great!) while our teenage son had his own room (9'x8'). We had two bathrooms, technically. The "Master ensuite" was all of 6'x3'. The sink was big enough to wash one hand at a time and the shower was 24" square (a tough one to pull of during the end stages of pregnancy!)

The one thing we made sure of when we returned to the States was that we'd have more room! Because the Lord is awesome and the housing market was booming when we left, we sold the house for 2.5 times what we paid for it and the exchange rate was .25 cents on the dollar higher.

We were able to return here and get a home that had room enough for my husband to work on the 1938 Ford truck he's restoring with our son, a shed for the very necessary snow blower and Scout camping equipment, and enough bedrooms so that we don't have to stack the children to put them to bed at night (actually, the younger two are still stacked).

However, it is not any easier to keep clean and I don't do it anymore often. The upside is, there a now closets to stuff things in, a laundry room with a door and a shower that is bigger than our trash can!

The very big downside is that the mortgage is also 2 times bigger, we now pay outrageous property taxes (US Military are exempt in the UK), and our income dropped by $30,000 tax free dollars per year. Big adjustments to make to say the least.

God's still awesome though, so we're slowly adjusting.


Anonymous lc said...

wow. pretty house. mine looks pretty similar to the suburbian houses. ah the joyz of life huh?:)

Blogger Shaun Groves said...

It's big. Not as big as the pictures may make it appear though. I was shocked when I saw the pictures. Wow - I thought - why haven't we been doing more gymnastics in this place? Or hosting conventions? GMA Week perhaps.

The den is 16X16 but it looks like it rivals an olympic sized swimming pool in the picture taken with a big ole lens of some kind - I believe it's called the man-that's-freakin-huge lens. Realtors everywhere have one of these. Standard equipment now. Just one of the many tools used to lure folks in.


Blogger Shaun Groves said...

mustard packet pelter, those houses in downtown franklin cost twice what my house did. Size doesn't matter as much as location, and I'm not in the city.

Good dream though. We looked there actually. Nice places.


Blogger Kathryn said...

your house cleans up really well!!! its lovely. I'm sure you'll sell in no time.

I admire your downsizing!!! who knows, you might end up in a little one like mine?! i love my house. . its modest but its full of personality and love and its our starter home . . . our babies grew into children and now adults here, all their birthday parties were here, they played in their backyard fort here, splashed in their kiddie pool here. . their growth notches and dates/names are on the bathroom door post. . our grandchildren love to come here, our friends, our family. . . and it will be our 'finisher' home too! Sure we could go into massive debt in order to go bigger and better. . . to what end? we live within our means and we are content. simple. good. grateful to God.

your 'cult de sac' reference is funny! tweaking the phrase reminds me of one of my long time co-workers whose oldest daughter used to say "cuddle sac". . . that was so adorable!

Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

Honest Shaun I see just that inside of your house and I think geeze he's rich! I suppose that it's my thoughts that all famous folk no matter how much they make all want to just keep things simple like at the most a small nice 2 story brick home with a small front porch and backyard. My first time driving around some parts of Nashville and Franklin I was goin' "Holy Cow who would wanna waste money on some place as huge as THAT?!" Course this is me and I live in a very small town and live in a small house which I think is just right.
Let me try and paint a picture for you of where I live....
Small 1 story yellow house, medium sized front porch. Through the front door is the living room the dinning room and the kitchen, very large room and it's the center of the house.
3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms. Laundry room 1 bathroom and 2 bedrooms (one room is mine) are in the hallway area connected to the kitchen and living room. The other bathroom is connected to my mom's and dad's bedroom. Then we have the newly made but not quite finished addition my dad built...all by himself. It will give us a den/family room, an office, and a storage room. If you walk out the back door of the addition you're standing on a small nicely stained porch looking out at a trampoline decaying with age, a shead falling apart, a small red barn (dad built it too)a white dog house and my dog Hunter barking his head off. After that it's just woods. I live in the middle of the woods and I love it!

Anonymous anna said...

wow i never really got why people wanted to live away from the city. the citys fun. there is so much to do and you never get bored of life, its like an adventure everyday. and plus having tgif, applebees,mcd,bk, and wendys as neighbors really help especially if you know them:). so remind me again of why someone would like to live in what i call seclusion?

Blogger Paula said...

I had never lived in anything with more than one level until I moved to sydney, and now I live in a tiny townhouse.

Growing up though, we lived in 4 houses in 22 years...my favourite house was HUGE - 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, formal & informal lounge & dining, a "family room" (ie den), even sun rooms and sewing rooms...there was an aivery out the back, fruit trees and a six car garage. But then the recession hit and we had to sell.

The house my family live in now has 360 degree views of the harbour and the hills, has a large open plan lounge, dining and kitchen, with three bedrooms, and 1 bathroom. Yes, that's right - 1 bathroom.

But it has a huge backyard, shed, and orchard. The grass is dead, but then that's because we're not allowed to water it, and haven't been for the past 5 years.

Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

I lived in Nashville for a few months and really liked it. But there's really nothing like getting to stand still outside and look up and actually SEE stars. Or the clearest of clear blue skies. Birds, animals, trees, life all around that is quite and only speaks in hushed whispers. The warm breezes of a chilled spring morning....Okay enough from the poetic side of me. I love the country because I'm a country girl plain and simple.


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