A Roller Coaster Week

We wound up going to Tennessee last week, and wow, what a roller coaster! My husband and I are real estate investors, and the day before we left, an apartment building came on the market that was just what we’ve been looking for. It was located in a great neighborhood and made fantastic money. We drove straight there when we arrived in Knoxville, and met up with our commercial Realtor. The building met our expectations. Retirement, here I come!

Except that it wasn’t to be. We have a building here in Ohio under sale contract right now, and need to close on it before we can complete a purchase. The next day, we were outbid by someone who not only offered more money, but did not have a sale contingency. Disappointing, but we figure it was not the right property for us after all.

But even bigger news came to me in an email last week. There is an 18-acre parcel across the street from our house that was being cleared when we were looking to buy. Wondering what they planned to do, we looked up who owned it. They lived just a street over, so we went to talk to them.

The owner’s wife was one of the nicest people you could meet, and told us they planned to donate the land to the city for a park. So with that assurance, we bought our property.

But last week, the owner’s wife emailed us and told us he’s now planning to develop it for a commercial purpose, and offered to meet with us. We’re trying to keep an open mind, but let’s just say we’re not thrilled, to say the least.

Neither are any of the other neighbors. Our next-door neighbor who’s been taking pictures for us rounded up a bunch, and we met to discuss it. The property is currently zoned low-density residential, and he would need to get it changed to commercial. The neighbors hope they can prevent that.

We met with the owner and his wife the next day. A consummate businessman, he projected nothing but confidence, and did all he could to assure us it wouldn’t be bothersome. While he presented it as a done deal, it’s actually not. After our meeting, we felt a little better on some aspects of the project, but not on others, and the more we think and talk about it, the less we like it. The owner is very well-connected and influential, so I can see the zoning request going either way. Major wait and see!

The house, OTOH, is coming along nicely. Roofers were working when we arrived, and we also spoke to the plumbers and HVAC contractor.

We saw this when we came up the driveway, then swung around:


Inside, looking out the back of the house, and toward the front:


The front left corner with no windows is where the kitchen will go.

This will be my writing (and day job work) office:

That window on the side wall is wrong – it’s supposed to be shorter, like the one beside the patio door, because there will be built-ins along that whole wall. The builder assured us it would be fixed, along with a bathroom window that has the same issue.

This is the deck off our bedroom:

It really does not do the view justice AT ALL. Those mountains appear much closer, more like this:

Even that does not do it justice.


What I’ve Been Reading: Still working on the same novel. It’s good, but it’s long — and with all that’s been going on this last week, I’m doing well to get in a chapter before bed. In nonfiction, I’ve been focusing on a Dean Wesley Smith workshop: The Future – Refresh and Renew.


What I’ve Been Writing: I’m considering this week one of those where I “fail to success.” Meaning, I did not meet my goal, but in trying, I got more written than I otherwise would. My goal was to write at least 750 words/day, for five days, for a total of 3750 words. I ended up getting four days in for a total of 2677. I had two things working against my goal: the trip to TN, during which there was only one day where I had any time to write whatsoever, we were in so many meetings and seeing so many people. All good, just not for the writing. The other issue is that I’m coming up to the climactic scene, which is always the hardest to write (and therefore, goes slower).

So for this week, I’m going to shoot for the same thing: 750 words/day, for five days a week. I don’t think there’s a lot going on this week, so it’s much more attainable than it would have been last week.

What about you–had any excitement lately? Hopefully no rude awakenings like mine! And how have you been doing with whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

14 Responses to \

  1. Well dang. I hate when things like that come up. You’re expecting (hoping) for one thing and something completely opposite happens. Talk about raining on a perfectly good parade. I hope it all works out well for you. Who knows, maybe the developer across the street will build an apartment building that you can buy as your investment property. No?

    Anyway, I hope this week is better. Good things come to those who wait.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  2. That’s an eventful week! It was kind of the wife to let you know that the plans had changed. Knowing before the zoning change gives a good opportunity to fight if you want to. I hope things work out for you!

  3. LOL Patricia – I actually thought about that for the apartment, but I don’t want to live that close to our tenants! Thanks for your good wishes!

  4. Shannon, she is a super sweet person and everyone in the neighborhood loves her. I got the impression that she was not totally keen on the project herself, so let’s hope. And thanks!

  5. Oh… wow! Quite the burst of things to process and then reprocess. I think I’d be a little peeved to suddenly have all my hopes for a new home scattered and jumbled like that too. Granted, it is their land, so you can’t blame them for the choice they make for their own needs and comfort, but yeah… definitely unsettling.

    A little over 2K in new story (especially on one of the more challenging scenes) is nothing to sneeze at. Kudos!

  6. Thanks, Sheila!

    Eden, “unsettling” is a great word for what’s going on in my new neighborhood. The good thing is we’ve met a lot of our neighbors now, and they’re all super nice people. Just wish we’d met them under different circumstances. And thanks!

  7. I think you did a great job getting in that much writing with a trip to Tennessee in the mix. Boo to the guy with the property across the street. I think I’d be asking why the change of plans–if he’s in dire straights, that’s one thing(tho I’d still not like it), but if this was a fake out so he could get community support, I’d be really pissed.

    I also had a mixed bag of results this week. I didn’t meet my word quota for the week but I decided I needed to cut 5600 words. So I spent a lot of time fixing the rift.

    Then we had the snow storm. Ten Inches of snow. My son and grandson came over and did most of the snow removal, but it was still three hours out of a Saturday that I could have been writing.

    All said and done, I came within 500 words of my goal for the week, so I’m counting it a win.

  8. Lynette, I’d consider your week definitely “failing to success!” Glad you’re getting the words in, despite the snowstorm (we got it today here in OH). The owner of the property across the street is definitely not in dire straits – he’s in his 80’s and thinks this business is the way to leave a legacy. Hopefully he’ll see that it’s not the way to go.

  9. You were consistent this week which is as important as meeting your goals. 2K+ is a nice amount of words.

    The house is looking great. I hope everything else falls into place soon.

    Have a productive week!

  10. No excitement, thank goodness. Life is starting to get back to normal. I was struggling with my writing and realized my exercise routine was to blame for that. So now I get up and write THEN exercise. It worked great this morning. Hope to keep it up in the long run. I really want to finish this book (and I don’t want to stop the exercises)!!!

    It was so great seeing you on Saturday, too. You’ll have to let me know what day you’re free for lunch so I can get my cup holder back. 😀

  11. The photos of the house are gorgeous. I know you will love it there, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the development across the street will somehow be a park!