We had a storm overnight, but it was mostly rain with just a short period of strong winds and thunder & lightning. The Escapees Raccoon Valley RV Park once again served its purpose, and we were somewhat eager to get the last leg of our travel to Louisville done. But that eagerness didn't turn into an early start.
Today would be a 206-mile drive, and we pulled out at a fairly usual time for us ..... around 11:00 a.m. In our travels over the last twelve years, our simple estimate of arrival times is based on an assumption that we will average 50 mph. It's surprisingly accurate.
On interstates we drive 55 - 65 mph, usually settling in around 62, but as we've mentioned many times, we prefer to stay away from the interstates. On the U.S. and state highways, our top speed may gust up to 60, but we're usually around 55, with speed zones of 35 - 45 mph in the small towns we pass through.
Our best fuel efficiency is at 55 mph and under. Depending on conditions (flat, hills, wind speed, wind direction, road conditions, etc.), we average 8.5 - 10.0 miles per gallon while towing.
After the quick hop onto I-75 north, we drove 100 miles on the interstate into Kentucky and exited at Mt. Vernon. After a short drive into town, we picked up U.S. 150, a lovely drive through the rolling hills and farmland of central Kentucky.
It was sort of a strange driving day, as it rained off and on. The clouds were sometimes dark and gray and then they would lighten and then the sun would come out and then it would change again. Our sunglasses were on and off as were the windshield wipers. The temperature hung around 50, and then would get up near 60 when the sun came out, and then it would drop again.
In Bardstown, we picked up KY 245 and made our way west to I-65. There we headed north for just a few miles to Shepherdsville and Grandma's RV Park. Grandma's isn't the most sophisticated place (Facebook page spells it "Gradma's") and it sits right on the interstate. We hate it, but there just aren't many choices in Louisville, and the monthly rate is good at $430 per month with full hook-ups and 50-amp included (rather than metered as it often is for monthly stays).
One weird thing they do is collect a "security deposit" that is refundable if you leave your site clean. But they rarely man the office in the mornings, so it's not always convenient to get your deposit back when you leave. When we were here last November, they were supposed to mail it to us but never did. The good news was their simple record-keeping worked and they found we were correct about that. So, we got credit on this stay.
We tried getting a monthly site at the KOA not too far away as it's in a better setting and about a mile off the interstate. We had to get on a waiting list for a monthly back in January and they still didn't have any openings. But, as we later found out, if a site would have opened up, they were going to require a background check (they do that on monthly and longer stays), and we would have to pay for it. Let's just say it was a good thing they didn't call us back.
We arrived right at 3:00 - our rule-of-thumb time estimate was correct again. We pulled into Site 25 and got set up. With a blustery wind, and the clouds, the 50-degree temperature felt like 40, so we quickly turned on our fireplace and electric heater and hunkered down.
Linda & I worked together to input the last of our March expenses, and I'm hoping I have time to get everything from the first quarter of this year posted.
The plan was to get to my Dad's house fairly early, but we had to take care of a couple administrative items that we have to do on the first of each month. And I decided it would be best to have a dedicated phone line for house inquiries.
So, we pulled out our AT&T GoPhone that we have on hand in the areas where there is an AT&T data signal but no Verizon signal. Unfortunately, we hadn't used it in so long, they had canceled our phone number. But we just went to the nearest AT&T store, got a new SIM card and phone number and were done in a few minutes. To their credit, it was probably the fastest I've ever been in and out of cell phone store.
After a stop at Lowe's to pick up "For Sale By Owner " signs and a couple of other items, we were on our way.
Technically, and legally, the house is owned by me. We helped my folks buy the house, and then we transferred the title to me back in 2006 when we were doing Medicaid planning for them. As far as we were all concerned, it was "their" house, but it was their only valuable asset, and we knew we might need to sell it someday to pay for their senior care.
Although it's been a dozen years, being a former real estate attorney here in Louisville helps me understand the market and know where to find information. We're getting the signs in the yard quickly as it's a high-traffic area, and we might just get lucky. We've got a lot of work to do on the inside, but if someone makes a reasonable offer in its current condition, we'll be happy to consider it.
Today was just a start. We went through files, pulling out documentation about improvements my parents did to the house like the new roof, new windows, new central air unit, etc. We'll need that information to help price the house and to increase its "tax basis". Based on the money they/we put into capital improvements, it doesn't look like we'll have any capital gains issues even if we sell it at top dollar. So, I don't have to consider our back-up plan of doing a Section 1031 Exchange to defer recognizing any gain on the sale. If anything, we'll probably have a loss on the sale (after improvements).
We threw away or shredded a lot of paper, and got owners manuals and documentation of improvements set aside for the new owners. We also found a few things that I want to keep as part of the family historical record.
My second cousins, Samantha and Brandy, came by. Brandy is in the market for a house or an apartment herself, so we gave her anything she wanted that might help get her started. They helped Linda put the signs up in the yard, while I confirmed a starting price, and gathered details to go in a sales flyer and our online ad.
After 6:00, we called it a day. Tomorrow, we'll be back for more discarding, organizing, and planning. For sure, we'll be ripping up the carpet to expose the beautiful hardwood floors underneath. And we'll be doing some painting. Fortunately, there are no major issues - just cosmetic.
We spent the rest of the evening with our friends Jeff & Stephanie. Stephanie made us a wonderful dinner, and Jeff and I watched the Final Four. It was a good way to ease into the weeks of work we have in front of us.