As you read in the last stanza of this epic story, we’d gotten rid of just about everything we could in the Mineola house, and now the next big task was selling the house!
We’d lived and raised 3 kids in a house that was built in 1928. It was old, and needed some work, and we assumed it would go the way of other old houses on our street…demolition or gutting! I was really concerned about the how and why of selling the house, but once people heard that we were moving, we kept getting “keep me in mind” messages about the house. By late summer of 2017, Susie had a list of 4 people that were interested in buying our house! Who knew!! When the first person dropped out because of financial reasons, Susie called the second person who’d messaged her. This was a teacher that Susie used to call in when she arranged the substitutes at Hampton Street School, and she was still very interested in the house. She knew the house and the location because her cousin lived right across the street from us.
Susie set up an appointment late one afternoon for her family to come look at the place. She came with her husband, two kids and her father. They wandered from the attic to the basement, all around the property, and through the garage. About a month earlier, we’d worked out a price with our Lawyer Glenn, when he told us our original asking price was way too low. Susie had shared our price with the prospective buyer, and after the tour, we told them to go home and talk it over, and if they were really interested, make us an offer. They called us that night, made a slightly lower counter offer, we agreed, and like that, we’d sold our house!
We felt good about the fact that a house that had been good to us, was going to go on and be part of another family’s life. We probably could have asked more, and had the house on the market for months, but in the end we decided on a price that was good for us, and still left some money on the table so the new buyers could start to make our home their home. The house sold quickly, we didn’t have to pay a real estate agent a commission because we used none, we got the price we wanted, and after all our expenses, we were able to replace the money we’d taken from my 401K. We figured it was a win win for all!
So now, it was real. The house had a buyer, we had a closing date, and now we really needed to empty out the house. We gave whatever we could of our furniture to friends and family, took what little we could to Ocean City, and called the guy we’d had recommended to us to clean out the house. He showed up one morning, we handed over $3000 in cash, and before we we left for Ocean City, he told us he’d found needy families for our furniture. That made Susie feel better!
The next time we saw the house was early on the afternoon of November 9, 2017. That day, we drove back to Mineola, and after stopping at McDonald’s in Carle Place, had our
last meal in our old house. It was very strange to walk around a now totally empty house, that in just a few hours wouldn’t be ours anymore. After eating, we cleaned up, threw our camp chairs in the car, and drove to the lawyer’s office on Mineola Blvd. Within an hour, we no longer owned 40 Fairfield Avenue, and walked out with a handful of checks, which we quickly deposited in the TD Bank in Garden City, before returning to Ocean City and our one and only home!
A couple of days later, we went to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission office in Egg Harbor Township. We turned in our NY Driver’s Licenses and got NJ Driver’s Licenses, we got NJ License Plates for the Sonata (the Mustang already had them), and even registered to vote! In every way we could think of, we were now New Jersey Residents, and 854 Pennlyn Place was our one and only home!
We’ve been back to Long Island a number of times, since that November day when we sold the house, and of course, there’s no way we can go without driving down Fairfield Avenue. We’re happy to report that the new owners are well on their way to turning our old house, into their new house. We are excited to see what they are doing, and looking forward to the tour we’ve been promised when the work is completed.
Early work to the latest progress..so happy to see it live on!
Since that fateful day in November, Susie and I have survived our first winter at the shore. Sure, we’d been here before, but for just brief glimpses of what winter in Ocean City is like. What we’ve discovered is that we love the small town Ocean City turns into in the winter. We love the ability to go across town on any street you like, rather than our summer MO of only crossing town on streets with traffic lights. We love going to places like Ready’s or the Varsity for breakfast, and having staff know the customers. We love the quiet of our street, but also seeing the many folks who call Pennlyn Place their full time home. We did discover that it did snow a lot more this winter than it seemed to in the past, and that even though we gave away our gas snow blower, we might need something here, so we got a battery powered snow blower to supplement our shovels.
We celebrated our first Thanksgiving at the house, and had Susie’s sister and her family join us. Although we’d always done Christmas decorating at the house, we did an extensive D’Elia Family Christmas this year, with our family tree and ornaments, and white lights all around the outside of the house, as we’d done in Mineola. We were joined by Krissi and Mike and even Kenny and Chris came from the West Coast! All the D’Elia Family traditions were in force, from the kids putting their special ornaments on the tree while decorating, to Lobsters, Italian sandwiches and Cold Duck on Christmas Eve, to stockings Christmas morning! It was a very successful transition of the holidays from Long Island to Ocean City!
As we had done the two years before, late January found us heading south to Florida, for what is fast becoming a Susie and Frank in retirement tradition! We love car trips and we traveled down the west coast, came across the Tamiami Trail, went down to Key West, spent 5 great days with my cousins Jeanne and Walt, and ended our stay at DisneyWorld. It was wonderful to have a 3 plus week visit to summer, but when it was over, it was also great to get back to our home!
As spring came to the Mid Atlantic States, we enjoyed the longer days and the increasing temperatures. There was work to be done in and around the house, but knowing that we’d be the only ones to enjoy it, and not renters, made it fun to do! Summer came, and so did friends and family, and the activity level in Ocean City ramped up. While we do enjoy the quiet of the off season, there is a lot more energy in the town during the summer, and although we could do without a few of the summer renters, it is wonderful to see all the happy families that love our now hometown!
So that’s our tale. We now call a place that I first went to when I was 5 in 1955, took Susie to in 1980, a place we both loved, and a house in a location we dearly love, our home. It’s a story about family and friends that are like family, about making choices for your future, and about making decisions that pay off in the end. It’s also the story of a house that we’d lived in for 31 years, that was a great place to raise our three kids, go on to another life. It wasn’t demolished, but rather a new family is making it their own, and it’s life, and memories of happy times will continue! Yes, we could have sold it a lot sooner, could have spent less money carrying it for a year plus, could have realized our grand Tag Sale plan wasn’t going to fly, but in the end, we got what we needed, left a little on the table for the new owners, and started life in our “new” home that we loved.
Our dream was to have a house in Ocean City, and to not only have that dream come true, but to have it come true as successfully as we now have, well, we figure we must have done something right along the way! It’s a story with a very happy ending about living out your life, living your dream! What could be better!