OK, our house is selling. Well, if you’re selling a house the next step is buying a house. So let’s buy a house. Now we were looking to move to southern Illinois, someplace near our son. As we started to put the North Aurora house up for sale we did make some ventures to the southern Illinois area. We also connected with Zillow to get updates on the real estate market. There was lots of information available, but without someone to help sort through it, it was a challenge. At one point we thought building a house would be easier. We called one of the ads on building homes, everything was sold out.

It was all very frustrating. We needed help in sorting it out. The realtor we were working with to sell our house, Alecia Lenertz, did some research on the southern Illinois area and suggested we work with Jane Stone. We trusted Alecia with selling our home in North Aurora, so it seemed reasonable to trust her research on someone to work with in southern Illinois. While I was in the Philippines at the beginning of February, Karen reached out to Jane and we set up a time to meet the weekend after I got back.

A little background

Now before I go further, a little background on what was happening. I was in Borongan, Philippines for two weeks at the beginning of February. Karen made the arrangement to meet with Jane. During the second week in the Philippines, I came down with a bug. Somehow I got some bad water. For a while, we weren’t sure I would be well enough to travel home. Luckily they figured out what I had and prescribed the correct antibiotic and I got home OK. It would take a while to go through the antibiotics, but I would be OK.

Karen picked me up at O’Hare and we got home around 2:00 am Sunday morning. I did get to the 10:30 am Mass St. Marys. I didn’t feel too bad the rest of the day. Monday I was up and back to the office for the day. Monday night we had Karen’s cousin Jerry’s wake. Then the funeral the next day. Little did I know that when I met Karen’s cousin’s wife Monday night at the wake, I would be exposed to covid-19. She didn’t come to the funeral because she wasn’t feeling well.

Why is all this important? Because on Friday we were meeting Jane for the first time. We had talked with Jane on the phone and she had sent listing information to us, but this was going to be our first chance to meet her and look at houses. We left our house around 9:00 am. It was a nice day, sunny and not very cold beginning in the middle of February. However, as we drove south on I-55 I could feel like I was running out of gas. The weird part was I had trouble focusing on driving.

I know when I’m getting tired

Now I’ve driven a lot and I know when I’m getting tired, but this was a different feeling. I was seeing, but my concentration on driving was falling to the wayside. As we came up to Dixie Truck stop I asked Karen to drive the rest of the way. I wasn’t going to make it. We used the washrooms and got a little bit to eat and headed out. I felt a little bit better not driving, but knew I was coming down with something.

Karen was able to drive the rest of the way to Jane’s office. I was feeling horrible. We went into her office and did some intros. I’m not sure what Jane thought. I just wanted to get to Scott and Nachole’s house and crash. We got to Scott and Nachole’s around 3:00 pm. I don’t remember much about the rest of the day. I think the conversation was about meeting Jane and the houses we would see during the weekend, but the way I felt, I didn’t care. Saturday morning came and I pretty much spent the day on their couch.

Sometime during the morning, someone found a covid-19 test kit and we were able to confirm I was positive for covid-19. Fortunately, Karen felt fine. She, Scott, Nachole, and Becca went out to look at houses. They didn’t see anything very exciting. One was mildly interesting, but not enough to consider. I really don’t remember much about Sunday. What was interesting was, no one seemed worried about being around me. The covid-19 distance guidelines were non-existent, ahhh, family.

Woman in Brown Coat Raising Her Hands

Monday I felt like I was returning to the land of the living. I was still fighting covid-19 but felt like I had my energy levels coming back. Karen had picked out a couple of houses to look at and we met Jane at the first house. I do remember looking at pictures of the house. The backyard had a six-foot stockade fence around the west half of the backyard and rocks around the east half of the backyard. The reason became clear when we pulled up to the house. There was a large drainage area next to the house that wrapped around the back. The rocks were there to keep the dirt from washing away. I’m sure the fence was meant to hide the rocks and drainage area.

Under rehab

It was clear the house was under rehab. That was a good point for us. We could see all the work to repair what looked like mold and water damage. I don’t know if the drainage area overflowed into the house or if it was just from rainwater not being directed away from the house, but this house was a mess. We all ran from it. From there we drove to another house in Collinsville. It was an older house and was roomy, but a little tired. It wasn’t a bad house, but not one I was ready to jump at.

So much for looking at houses on this trip. There would be several more trips before we found the home we would eventually buy, but that’s for another article. We would like to say we highly recommend Alecia Lenertz and Jane Stone. Alecia worked with us very closely to sell our house quickly and for more than I thought we could get for the house. Through her work, we came out with a very good sale process.

We can’t say enough about Jane. She worked with us to find the perfect home for us. The real estate market down by Scott Air Force base is crazy. Very little inventory. Houses were selling in minutes. Through Jane’s help, the house we bought was first seen on a video call while we were driving down to look at houses. We docu-signed the sales offer while driving between Bloomington and Springfield. Jane made sure the offer stayed alive to and through the closing. We couldn’t have done it without Janes’s help.

Alecia and Janes contact Information is listed below. Please reach out to them if you’re looking for good real estate agents

Alecia Lenertz                                                                    Jane Stone

(630) 639-2553                                                                  618-513-1556 

https://alecialenertz.fathomrealty.com/                       jane@ellerbrake.com

So ends another story

So ends another story of our moving and starting retirement. We hope you’ll continue to follow our blogs and articles as we continue to move into retirement. As we get into our new home, we’ll continue to report on what we find going on in southern Illinois.