Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sunday Selections #225

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.


Like River I usually run with a theme. This week I would like to share a very scary morning.


My youngest brother and his wife have to find a new home because of asbestos contamination.  The good news?  They found one they think is suitable.  The bad news?  It was up for auction yesterday - when they were in another State for medical treatment.  The scary bit?  'Will you bid on it for us?  I don't want to be on the phone with you while the auction is going on because it will be toooo stressful!'

'Why thank you brother.  I wouldn't want you to go through any stress.'  Nice to be trusted, but a HUGE responsibility.  The real estate agent was unimpressed with his cowardice and told him that he really should be on the phone while the auction was underway.  I expect she thought he would increase his maximum bid.  She was wrong. 

So yesterday morning bright and early we headed across town.  It was a chilly start to the day, but bright and sunny.






The house isn't to my taste (lots of very small rooms), but it doesn't need to be.  I did like the wheelbarrow full of pansies though.

Heart in mouth, and knees knocking I started bidding.  And yes, the brother (stressed out to the max) was on the phone.  There were two other bidders and at one stage it was on its third and final call on my bid.  I put in a valiant effort - but failed when the other bidders got their 'auction legs'.  $43,000 over the upper limit I had been given it was sold (I believe it was grossly overpriced).  The nearest unsucessful bidder burst into tears.   Oh dear.

Better luck next time brother mine.  And hopefully you will be in town to do your own bidding.



121 comments:

  1. OH MY! You did brother a HUGE favor that could have blown up in your face!

    Lucky you have no stress of you own, LOL!




    ( '>
    /))
    //""

    ALOHA from Honolulu,
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^=

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    1. Cloudia: I am glad it is over. And even more glad that my life is stress-free!?!

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  2. Yeah, that was a favor above and beyond! I couldn't have done it. At least he gave you a maximum and you knew when to quit.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: I wouldn't have done it without a maximum figure. I couldn't have done it.

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  3. It's stressful enough having to do one's own bidding, let alone doing on behalf of someone else - brother or no brother! Boy! I empathise, EC.

    I've only attended one auction when Randall (ex) and I went to purchase our first little cottage in Toowong back in the mid-70s. I hated it..the auction...not the cottage. I was a nervous wreck. We missed out on the cottage but we did purchase the one next door to it -bother were identical. I wrote a post or two about it in my blog.

    Use the coming week to de-stress! I hope it treats you and the Skinny One kindly. Cuddles to your rascals. Take good care. :)

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    1. Lee: They are stressful. And such random events. I am pretty certain that the losing bidder who wept had gone over her limit before she stopped. Emotion and such a big purchase are an uncomfortable mix.
      I hope you and Remy and Shama have a great week.

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    2. My typo...I meant to type "both", not "bother"; I imagine you figured that out, though. :)

      Randall attended further auctions, but I always bowed out in going along with him. They were/are just not my thing at all.

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  4. Well it wasn't meant to be I guess, sorry for your brother and his family though. I attended one auction and I bid on a shovel and Gary said I over bid and got a pig in a poke as the handle had been replaced with a PVC one, it's still good after 30 years. ha.

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    1. Linda Starr: I have been to lots of auctions over the years. Sometimes fun to watch. And your shovel sounds like a winner. Thirty years on it has certainly paid for itself.

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  5. Where the heck were you when I got assigned sisters? Can't imagine the degree of trust and attachment you demonstrated here occurring in the family I came from. My compliments and admiration.

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    1. Geo.: I still feel a little bit bad that I couldn't get it for them. Not meant to be. The brother in question's wife says that our family is dysfunctional. She is probably right, but we function when we need to.

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    2. every family is dysfunctional, you just have to be close enough to see it

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    3. kylie: You are very, very right. And sometimes it is too scary to look.

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    4. Have you ever seen the old Gary Larson cartoon about functional families. It is a huge convention hall with a big banner "Functional Family Conference" You look out at thousands of chairs and see about 5 small families. We all have some dysfunction, some are just a little more dysfunctional than others. I would say if you answered the call to do an auction bid there is a good bit of function in the family!

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    5. Anne in the kitchen: Sometimes. When the chips are down. Mind you the brothers refuse to talk to each other directly and I am the communication medium. Which IS dsysfunctional. I love Gary Larson and have a fridge magnet which says the only normal people are those you don't know very well.

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  6. You are a good sister. :-)

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  7. Wow! That would be scary! They must have really liked the house!

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    1. Teresa Hennes: It was scary. Very. They did like the house, but fortunately didn't love it.

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  8. What an interesting adventure. Of course you didn't get it, thereby saving yourself future stress over your brother's ownership thereof. Meaning, you were not meant to have it, on many levels. Only if the hammer fell on a deal at half the price would you have been a hero, and that only if your brother had done total due diligence. So, now you have another story in your repertoire, this time the house the universe kept from us.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: I suspect you are right. If the house had been knocked down to me I would have felt guilt every time they pointed out another imperfection. And I could see a few...

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  9. I can't imagine bidding for a house that is not my own. I can't imagine bidding on a house if it was my own. Stressful to the max. You are a veery good sister. I hope he appreciates you :)

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    1. DeniseinVA: Estate agents here like the auction route. I think they are stressful to the max too. I have sold a home at auction, but never bought one. This brother and I share a sense of humour and get on very well.

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    2. That's so nice to hear, I always wish I had a brother.

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    3. DeniseinVA: I would have liked a sister. Never satisfied are we?

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  10. I must echo what the previous commenters have said: it was asking an awful lot of you, but you stepped up and did your best. I wonder why it was so overpriced? There will be other homes, and hopefully Brother will be doing the hard task of bidding. :-)

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    1. DJan: Part of the reason the houses are overprices at the moment is the supply and demand question. There are a lot of people in my brother's situation. There houses will be demolished soon(ish) and they need somewhere to go. And yes, I hope he does his own bidding next time.

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  11. You did your best and that's what counts. I love the wheelbarrow, too. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A Cuban in London: I did all I could, but my less logical self is sorry that my best wasn't good enough.

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  12. At least your brother gave you a firm figure. Auctions can be a great experience for the winning bidder or a vendor who sells above what they hoped to get, but for most people they are one of the most horrible experiences they will go through in life. We've bought and sold at auctions and bought and sold not at auction and not at auction is by far the nicest way to do things.

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    1. Andrew: I insisted on that firm figure. Without it I wasn't going to play. I haven't bought a house at auction (two cars though) and don't want to if I can avoid it. My mother's home was sold at auction after she died and that was not a pleasant experience at all. Despite getting a good price for it.

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  13. Whoa. When I read stories like this I'm glad (once again) to be an only child! :-) The home purchase crucible is challenging enough when you're going through it for yourself, never mind by proxy on behalf of someone who runs for cover and leaves you standing there! Bet they didn't even have medical tests. Bet they made it all up. LOL You're a good sister. Your bro, on the other hand, is a wuss. ;-)

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    1. Laloofah: It was a scary morning. The medical issues were real (his wife had surgery) but he is a wuss too. In some ways it is probably easier to bid for someone else (not your money) but it is a very big responsibility.

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  14. As Andrew said above about your brother giving you a firm number to which to stick. Auctions make my heart jump in my throat. You are one very nice sister, I hope your brother realizes that!

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    1. Susan Kane: My heart was pounding and my knees were knocking. Not my preferred Saturday morning by a long shot. I think (I hope) he would do the same for me. And he is my favourite brother.

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  15. Oh dear EC ~ the things we do for family huh?

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    1. carolincairns: And the things that family (and only family) feels they can ask of us...

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  16. Oooooh no. I can't imagine how stressful this would have been for you! Sounds like it was not meant to be - good luck to your brother finding another house! (You are a good sister, by the way!)

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    1. Susan F.: It was very stressful. As it would have been for them if they had been in town - and was anyway.

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  17. He definitely needs to be in town for the next one! I certainly wouldn't want to buy a house that way, even for myself. The pressure! I'm glad you survived the ordeal with your marbles still in your head... or did you leave them with Jazz n Jewel for safekeeping? ;)

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    1. River Fairchild: Jazz n Jewel claimed the marbles in my head a loooong time ago. I think they are under pieces of furniture here along with rather a lot of cat fur and some other trifles.

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  18. Goddam Blogger -- I just wrote a *long* comment that it dumped. The essence was I hope it was a blessing in disguise, and that when the next opportunity arises you won't have to have anything to do with the transaction!

    And I hope that stunningly high bid is not going to become the new normal for property values around there. It's so predatory and macabre, with so many people in that horrible situation. Ugh.

    But you went beyond the call of sisterly duty. I can't imagine taking on that heavy a responsibility for *anyone* else!

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    1. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): Have you noticed that it is long and well thought out comments (which you can't recreate) that blogger refuses to post? Hiss and...
      I hope the price doesn't set a precedent. And fear it will. There are going to be lots of families actively looking to move soon.

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  19. That was very nice of you to do that. Auction bidding will always go to the highest bidder. I crossed two places off my list (we're trying to move too) because they were court ordered sales and the court wants the MOST money they can garner. It's too stressful is right! I am so tired of this real estate way of life (when one is either buying or selling or both)

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    1. D.G. Hudson: Good luck with your move. A stressful enough time without auction anxiety to add to the mix. I understand it is one of life's major stressors, and I believe it.

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  20. Auctions are made for a higher than warranted sale and much buyer's regret. It operates on the herd mentality of winning. The house is just a by-product. I found asbestos in my old home just as asbestos was the fear of the moment. What did I do? I removed it MYSELF with a knife, a spackling knife, and garbage bags. I KNEW that it would cause no harm UNLESS it got disturbed. And I was disturbed enough to get in there and DISTURB it big time. Another piece of wisdom? I wasn't even wearing a mask. 30 years later, I'm still here. *cough*

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    1. lotta joy: I agree with you about auctions. When it was nearly knocked down to me it was already obviously over the reserve. Over $40,000 later it was sold.
      The brother and his wife have no choice about their home. The local council has essentially condemned it - and a lot of others. Loose-fill asbestos was used to insulate them many years ago. When the owners leave the houses will be razed, and the owners have no choice.

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  21. For someone with their usual amount of stress (much more than many other couples) you got burdened with a whole heap more and you ran with it. You never fail to amaze me EC and, although you would have been disappointed not to secure the house for your brother and his wife, it may have been just as well as auctions do bring out that competitive streak in people. Hopefully he will find a house up for normal sale and get it at a proper price.
    Again, my hat off to you for your resilience under pressure.
    I wonder is Canberra the only city where blow in asbestos was used as insulation? I've not heard of this happening anywhere else which, of course, means nothing.

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    1. Mimsie: I think he is better off without this house - and is certainly better off not buying it at the price it went for. Many houses here are auctioned now - which I think is all about greed.
      The Mr Fluffy asbestos debacle has also affected some houses in Sydney and in Queanbeyan.

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  22. Auctions are alaways stressful if you are bidding for anything. The adrenline ruh is something else even it is only for a chair, let aloone a house!! He should have asked the austioneer to bid for him and be n the phone. yes only families could ask someone to do this for them. You did well. Have a more restful week!!

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    1. Margaret Adamson: It would have been in the auctioneer's interest to push the price up since he is attached to the real estate agency holding the sale. I believe you can hire agents - but family are so much cheaper. And yes, a more restful week sounds good.

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  23. $43,000 over the upper limit!
    This is one reason why I will never buy at auction. Even if I win lotto. I only look at houses For Sale with a listed price. I know there are extra things to be paid on top of the price and when an auction gets out of hand those costs can break the bank.

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    1. River: It went for $43,000 over my brother's upper limit and given that it was past the seller's reserve before that they did very well. It finally went for about $60,000 more than the real estate agent's estimate. Scary.

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  24. Your brother owes you one. I do hope they find a house, though. Around here, there is a sheriff's auction every couple of months. There are so many abandoned or foreclosed upon houses, two on this block alone (dead Jack's house). Now they are being auctioned off, but there are so many and some are in terrible shape. You have to do the title search yourself before the auction to see that there are no liens on the property. Sometimes there is a minimum bid, usually set by the bank that owns the mortgage. Sometimes there is no minimum bid.

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    1. Strayer: We have bank foreclosure auctions here too. And the bank wants its pound of flesh. If the house doesn't fetch the amount owing then the person whose house was repossessed is still liable for the difference. Fortunately they can't go on the market without any liens being made clear.
      I have already told the brother that he owes me. Now I have to think what I will collect...

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  25. I can't imagine how stressful the home auction process is if you have somehow emotionally attached yourself to a house and really want it. We have either fixed price or offers over. With offers over, it generally goes to sealed bids once multiple offers are accepted. I suppose that's not a million miles from your auction process, but less on site stress.

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    1. Craig: Even our 'fixed price' homes are negotiable. Here in my city auctions are the preferred option at the moment - by the sellers and the real estate agencies. Greed. I think I prefer your system.

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  26. Poor bro, but it wasn't quite right, I don't like the 'auction', best not too.

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    1. Bob Bushell: I don't like them either. Scary. And some people benefit - at other people's expense.

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    2. Yeah, that's true, the b*******s.

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  27. Oh my, what a lot of pressure to put you under (not like you don't have other things going on), I hope your brother finds some other suitable housing soon without the stress of an auction.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: I hope so too, but there are a lot of people in similar positions also looking.

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  28. That sounds very stressful! I am sorry you had to do that for your brother and then he didn't get the house- which sounds like it was definitely sold for more than it was worth. I hope he can do his own bidding next time and you can stay home and relax. :)

    Pretty flowers though!
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS: I liked the pansies too. A small plus to a stressful morning.

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  29. That sounds like something I'd hate to do. I'm sorry he didn't get the house, but I'm sure there's just a better one (wth larger rooms) in store for them. You are so kind to help him out.

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    1. Myrna R.: I hope he does find another soon. Bigger, and better - and cheaper.

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  30. I'm no expert on this, but I've heard those auctions are VERY difficult to win. I did, however, know someone who flipped houses and had success at them. His trick was to go on the days with the worst weather--rain, snow, etc. The auction would take place anyway and he'd have little to no competition.

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    1. Stephanie Faris: I have seen that technique used at other options but don't think it applies as much for house auctions. Who buys a house on a whim? I don't know anyone with the money to do that.

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  31. Oh wow, I wouldn't have been able to handle that kind of stress. I hope they find a nice place at a reasonably normal price, soon.

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    1. Terri @ Colouring Outside the Lines: I hope so too. Fingers, toes, eyes crossed.

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  32. Never realized that is where that expression comes from....to do your own bidding. Powerful picture that paints. Glad you aren't responsible for his purchase! Geesh, what a stressor. Wishing you a large, spacious breeziness to your days, friend:) You're a good sister:)
    -Jennifer

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    1. Jennifer Richardson: Until you reminded me, I hadn't thought it through either. Thank you. And a spacious breeziness sounds wonderful. Thank you again.

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  33. Ahh. We are about to embark on the journey of house hunting. As stressful as it would be to bid in person, I can only imagine it would be more so on the phone! Hopefully your brother is bringing you something nice, yummy, pretty as a 'thank you' present.. and that he finds the perfect home and lets you relax while he does so :D

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    1. Raquel Somatra: I hadn't even thought of a thank you present - and doubt he has. I hope your hunting goes smoothly...

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  34. Hi Sue,

    What a predicament to be placed in. I don't think I could do what you did for your brother. I bid thee good day, so to speak.

    Gary

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    1. klahanie: I am glad I did it for him, sorry I failed, and hope never to have to do it again. Lovely to see you here - and I hope the fatigue is lifting. I really hope it is.

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  35. Oh dear all that stress and no potato.
    Merle.......

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    1. Merlesworld: Someone got the potato, just not us. And we were less stressed than the couple who just missed out. They obviously really, really wanted it.

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  36. Oh, wow ... I would be on pins and needles too. And yes, the ONLY way to do this would be to have a firm upper limit on your brother's bid.

    I have only been to two auctions in my life - the first one, I bid on - and won (if "won" is the right word) - a 1960's hi-fi cabinet that had been converted to a storage cabinet with shelving. When I got it home I discovered that mothballs had been used in it, and the smell just will not go away. Since I have sensitivities to many things, including moth balls, this is not good. It is in our basement, waiting for the day when I figure out what to do with it. The second auction was in a small community centre and when they presented the fourth or fifth in a lineup of rusted, bottomless enamel pans and I saw them selling for obscene amounts, I swore never to go to another!

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    1. jenny_o: Without that upper limit, I couldn't have played. Still scary though.
      I have been to quite a lot of auctions over the years, and have been amazed at the amounts people will pay for what could charitably be described as crap when auction fever strikes. Moth balls are something I can't cope with either - I think it is the camphor in them. We have a camphor chest which remains firmly closed. I have no idea what himself put in it, and it will never get used again...

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  37. What lovely photos, and best wishes!

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  38. Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am probably not back for long but hope to do some catching up.Always love coming here to see your beautiful photos.

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    1. Grannie Annie: I am always happy to see a post from you, and hope that you get your surgery soon and can start to feel much, much better.

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  39. Blooming Nora, I'd have hated doing that!! Well done that woman, I hope he appreciates you (I'm guessing he does very much). The view alone would have me dying to live there. Oh for such views from my bedroom window.

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    1. All Consuming: I did hate doing it. And hated failing - even though it was out of my control. That hill is lovely isn't it? Kangaroos live there, and it is a spectacular (and challenging) walk.

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  40. Yeah, that doesn't sound like fun. Glad it's over!

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    1. mshatch: Not fun at all. Over till the next time, when hopefully he will be in town.

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  41. I hope your bro knows what an amazing sister you are. That's a huge favor to do for anyone. And someone burst into tears for saving well over $43,000? That's a bit dramatic. I'd be jumping for joy.

    Have a good week, EC.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: The unsuccessful bidder was obviously emotionally invested in the home. I suspect she had been bidding over her top limit for a while, and it is probably a blessing that she didn't win. Still hard though.

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  42. Looks like a cute little place with a nice view. Sorry your bro didn't get it!

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    1. Karen: There will be others. Soon I hope.

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  43. OK, I had to laugh: 'The real estate agent was unimpressed with his cowardice.'

    When the right house comes up, your brother will get it, and he will looooove it. Tell him that :-)

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    1. neena maiya: I was surprised he told me that the real estate agent wasn't happy with him. And yes, there will be other houses, one of which will be right for them.

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  44. You gave it your best shot! Little brothers - I think the older siblings always step in to help them out. Well, I hope so - I am a youngest brother!

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    1. Nick Wilford: I am sad that my best shot missed though. I am the youngest in the family too. The youngest of my brothers is eight years older. Sibling support is a two way street. I think. I hope.

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  45. Oh dear, how scary and such a huge responsibility for you! I feel bad for the other bidder bursting in tears, oh my. It's probably just as well I always say if it's meant to be...then it shall be! Good luck to your brother in finding the right place.

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    1. Karen S.: Buying a home is such an emotional decision for so many of us, to be forced to do it in public seems cruel.

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  46. Buying a home is stressful! So sorry to hear about their contamination problems.

    Those pansies are gorgeous though!

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    1. ladyfi: I loved the pansies. I thought they were a really nice touch. House buying is stressful. I don't want to go down that path again anytime soon.

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  47. I supposed there will a better place to bid next time:)
    Nice pictures though!

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    1. Joy: Welcome and thank you. It is a nice area, and yes, there will be other houses. Which he can bid for himself.

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  48. I went to an auction and bought George Washington's axe, the one with which he chopped down the cherry tree and confessed to his father "I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down the cherry tree." and I consider myself very fortunate to have paid only five hundred dollars for it. The bidding slowed down somehwat when the auctioneer mentioned that it had had seven new handles and three new heads. I will treasure it forever..

    Nothing in the preceding paragraph is true except possibly what George Washington said to his father.

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    1. rhymeswithplague: I suspect many auctions are like that. I can remember seeing someone pay a very large sum of money for a third hand carpet sweeper.

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  49. --You're an awesome sister!! xxx

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    1. My Inner Chick: Debatable. Some days...

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  50. I think it was awfully nice of you to do that for him - so sorry you didn't get to be the successful bidder!

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    1. Lynn: It needed doing, and it is probably good for me to step outside my comfort zone. And yes, it was a sadness that their house hunt has to continue.

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  51. The housing market is brutal now.....hope it gets better. You were brave!

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    1. Kim @ Stuff could...: I didn't feel brave. My heart was in my mouth and I am sure my knees were knocking together.

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  52. I say your brother owes you big time, no matter what.
    My husband and I once went to a house auction, it was crazy and we didn't bid very much; being there as "outsiders" it was quite interesting. Not my way to purchase a home though. Kudos to you that you did your brother this huge favor. Next time he has to be around!

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    1. Carola Bartz: Sadly on the same day at the same time a house near us was also up for auction. From the outside I thought it looked a much nice home. No bids. Auction would not be my prefered way to buy a home either, but it is getting increasingly common here. And yes, the brother can do his own bidding next time.

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  53. Oh family...interesting how some things never change at least in my family!

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    1. Donna@Gardens Eye View: They don't change in mind either. Not the good - or the less so.

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  54. What a treasure you are, EC! You have a lucky brother. I think the very format of auctions brings forth enormous stress to most people, maybe all people, and I hope that your brother finds a nice house with a nice sale price and can pull off the deal all on his own.

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    1. Carol: I am pretty certain that auctioneers and real estate agents are the only ones that really like them. Very stressful indeed. If I can possibly manage it I will never bid at another house auction...

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  55. That would be stressful and I would likely refuse. Also the housing market in this town is crazy!

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    1. Geoffrey Dunn: I would have liked to refuse. You are right about the crazy housing market - and with 1000 or so Mr Fluffy houses about to be razed it isn't going to get any better.

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  56. OY! Bidding on a house at auction isn't something I would relish, but bidding on a house for someone ELSE? No thanks. You're a better sister than I.

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    1. Susan: If they didn't 'have to' leave their current home before it is razed I wouldn't have done it either.

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