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Spinning Plates: Listing My House, Hurricane Ida Damage, and a Wedding

We have all been there before. I’m talking about those times in life when we set so many projects or life events in motion, and the universe decides to put them all at an impasse at the same time. And what is that old saying? Do they come in threes? Let me tell you about my experience with listing (and closing on) my home, managing damage in my new home, and managing an international wedding during a global pandemic. Buckle up, and dont worry. This has a happy ending.

First of all, I could not be more fortunate to have the significant other that I have. My wife truly challenges me and pushes me to be a better version of myself every single day. Shana is a remarkable woman who is brilliant, highly competitive, caring, gorgeous, and perhaps most importantly, she loves my dog as if he were her own. I could not ask for more. When she pitched the idea to me to have an international wedding during these crazy times, I knew she had it under control. Ravello, Italy became our destination, and the uncertain process of planning began.

With both of us owning our own homes, it was time to consolidate. After much deliberation, we decided it made the most sense for us to both live in her house in Metairie. That left me with two options: either find a tenant for my property in Lakeview or sell it. With the market the way it is, I would be remiss to search for tenants. It was time to sell.

First, I needed to prepare the property to list. Though it was a relatively new home, regular wear and tear had set in, and some issues needed to be addressed. The exterior needed to be pressure washed, landscaping needed some revitalizing, walls needed touch-ups, etc. In fact, I was able to prepare most of the house myself. For more tips on preparing your home for a listing, check out The Level Up with GNO realty Podcast Ep 4 - Listing a Property.

Next, I needed to come up with an initial listing price. In the current market, I advise my clients to price their properties to get foot traffic. If potential buyers see how many other people are interested in a listing, the offers tend to come quickly and with favorable terms. Fortunately, I followed my own advice and within 48 hours we had a bidding war on our hands with multiple over asking offers. We went under contract almost immediately.

The inspection period went off without a snag. I really have to give a shoutout to Morse Construction, my builder, who did phenomenal work, and the inspector echoed that sentiment. In fact, after Category 4 Hurricane Ida parked over New Orleans, the home took very minimal cosmetic damage. I can not recommend them enough.

Shana and my home in Metairie was a different story. We took some roof damage and much of the house needed to be gutted. Movers and the remediation team came in quickly, and thus began a whirlwind of packing and demolition. Decisions needed to be made quickly. It was an endless stream of questions and bad news.

"Do you want us to pack this?"

"This wall needs to come out."

"Take everything you need out of this room today."

This was roughly 6 weeks from our wedding. Shana could not get in touch with the tailor to see if her dress was safe, we had to take a trip to the Italian consulate in Houston to make sure our paperwork was in order, contractors needed to be lined up to mediate the damage and begin the rebuild, we had to pack up half of our home, find a place to live, we had our day jobs, etc. Long story short, we were stressed.

Fortunately, the inspection process on the Lakeview property went off without a hitch. Yet, Ida had done some cosmetic damage, and getting contractors out to do minor repairs proved challenging. Like many other New Orleans area residents, I got quite familiar with a chainsaw. After a combination of repairs and repair credits were negotiated, we were able to close with only a minimal delay from the storm.

Shana and I kept telling each other we just needed to "get on that plane". That meant making sure everything was in order from closing on the Lakeview property, travel arrangements, wedding attire, negative COVID tests, vaccine verification, and self quarantining to avoid the dreaded breakthrough case. However, after what seemed like an endless scavenger hunt, we made it onto the plane and were headed to Ravello, Italy!

The wedding was amazing. To be completely forthcoming, I had almost nothing to do with the preparation. That was all my better half. I always tell people "when she sets a binder to something, watch out". She really made the entire trip special, and it reminded me how beautiful something can be when you take it on with your whole heart. It was an amazing experience with a few family and friends (who also endured the same challenges of making such a journey) that we could not be more grateful for.

The reason I am telling such a long-winded story is to say "I've been there". I know how crazy life can get with trying to manage family, career, money, emergencies, etc. It's important to have professionals you can trust to alleviate and mitigate those stressors. That's the type of real estate agent I strive to be.

There are a lot of choices out there. Put me in your corner, and hire the team at GNO Realty for your home buying and selling needs.

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