Horrors of buying and selling a house

A house is just a shell, remarks one of the characters in the new thriller "Cold Creek Manor."

Or so I'd like to think.

When my husband and I put our modest abode up for sale last month, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We went into the situation wide-eyed and excited. Our open house was kind of like a party - only we couldn't be there. After several weeks, our upbeat attitude turned into sleepless nights. Waiting for an offer was the hardest thing we had to go through.

But after seeing "Cold Creek Manor," my problems aren't nearly as bad as I thought. Sharon Stone and Dennis Quaid leave big-city life for their dream house in the country. The only problem is, the former owner is still in town and he wants his manor back.

Fall is a pretty hot housing market, so it's appropriate that Hollywood is releasing several movies with brick and mortar in starring roles.

In "Duplex," Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller move into a duplex, but want to get rid of the old woman living in the other apartment so they can expand their dream house. In December, Ben Kingsley stars in "The House of Sand and Fog" as a man who hopes to get rich by buying a foreclosed house at an auction. The former owner has other ideas.

At least no one is chasing after us (or putting rattlesnakes in our bed - à la "Cold Creek Manor"). But sometimes it feels that way. Now that we have accepted an offer, we are going through the inspection stage. Apparently, there are 6,000 inspectors in Massachusetts and the buyer happened to find one that could be nicknamed "Sgt. Enforcer." A house is just a shell, right? I have to keep reminding myself of that.

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