Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beginning the "Great Pack"

My Everlasting SoulMate somehow got picked to head up the move. Mostly, this was because I have my hands full working, coordinating the metric butt-load of paperwork for the new house, and hassling negotiating with the current owners about things we want fixed. To be fair, I am working on my office a bit at a time...but progress is slow.

I did get my act together (mostly) for the recent "e-cycle" event. For those that don't know, that is when one of these technology recycling companies comes to your area and (for a small fee) will take all your old electronic devices off your hands. Then they take them, strip them down, sort the pieces into different types of materials, then crush the crap out of them and reclaim all the useful compounds. Very ecologically responsible. And, in my case, now I don't have to move all that stuff! I took several old servers, monitors, workstations, a broken VCR and several other old bits and pieces. Don't worry fellow geeks...I still have plenty of good stuff left. [grin]

The ESM has been hard at work, packing the rest of the house. She's got quite far in the short time she's been working on it. There is still a ways to go yet, but there certainly are a lot of sealed boxes cropping up and an ever decreasing amount of our stuff visible.

We decided that the days of offering beer and pizza to our friends in exchange for the use of their muscles to move, were over. So, we're going to break down and hire professional movers to come do the heavy lifting. I still plan to move our computer, audio, video and kitchen-type breakables myself. Frankly, I just don't trust anyone but myself to move my 42" LCD, my workstation or any of the rest. Then, if I screw up and damage something, I can only beat my own head against the wall. Everyone else's noggin' is safe.

Looks like we only have a few more hurdles to get over before the closing date looms. Our seller resolution list is mostly done, and the few things that are left are either in the works to be done, or they have decided they won't do. I'm a little disappointed about the couple of items they decided were too much, but our real estate agent tells me that's the way these things go right now. I can do nothing but accept that as the truth, kick some sand around in frustration and then move on.

I just want everyone to know I just found out I am psychic. You want to know how I found out? I was following the Rockies game on the computer tonight, and when the top of the ninth came around and they were down 4-0, I had my moment of clarity. Barmes was on first with one out, after being hit by a pitch. Here comes Spilborghs to the plate, and I said to the screen, "I bet he grounds into a double-play." Sure enough, on a 3-2 pitch he grounds into the DP! Things just haven't went their way in NY this trip. I hope they can turn their mojo around tomorrow.

Nighty-night y'all. Sundown, out--

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Little Closer

Home ownership is looking somewhat more likely this week, despite a few setbacks.

The home inspection turned up a rather serious issue that we have been going back and forth with the sellers over. Looks like today, for the first time, there may be light at the end of the tunnel that is NOT a train. I'll know more probably next week on the issue.

On the home front, my Everlasting SoulMate and I have been going through the arduous process of sorting through five-plus years of detritus we've collected in the house we're renting. This is of course in preparation to move it to another location. Actually, we don't WANT to move it all, so with a heavy hand and at times a heavy heart, we are creating three piles. One to keep, one for donations to various worthy charities, and one for the stuff that is not even worth donating. I am still at a loss as to why that third pile is as large as it is. If it wasn't such good stuff in the first place, why did we end up keeping it?!? I wish I could find a way to curb my pack-rat tendencies, but I haven't been able to do that in more than forty years...what hope do I have now? Anyway, packing is progressing slowly but steadily. In about three years, I am confident we will be ready to move. :-) I'm kidding, it will only take two and a half years.

I am still shaking my head that someone is actually willing to say they will lend us over $200,000 to buy a house. I never thought that day would come, especially sitting in college classes, racking up student loan debt faster than I could learn all the stuff they were trying in vain to teach me. Of course, I thought I'd be a bachelor the rest of my life at that point too...and look how that turned out! :-) Hi, hon!

We've been doing some wishful thinking and planning out a few changes for the place. Little things like new colors for a few rooms, new light fixtures, and demo-ing the basement. Somehow that third one just doesn't seem as small as the other two, does it? Doesn't to me, for sure. But, looks like it will need to be done. When you buy a thirty-plus year old house, and the original owner probably finished the basement in a weekend the first week they owned the house, it's bound to have a few issues. And boy, does THIS one have issues! I think they started on the beers a little bit before they were done.

However, all the back-breaking work of undoing the current basement does have it's upside...I have tentative approval from the boss (my ESM) to finally build something I've been dreaming about for a long time. My very own home theater! I know, I know...we still have to get to closing before that dream can even hope to be fulfilled. I am also very aware that this will be one of those work-in-progress things for a couple of years, only moving forward when I can afford to. But, that isn't stopping me from doing a little online "window shopping."

In other news...there is no other news. "NEW HOUSE" is blazoned across the entire virtual sky in my mind and imagination in huge, bold, fiery letters, with no way for anything else to really grab any attention. Which is a shame, as I would really like to spend more time with the CitiesXL beta. Maybe I can sneak away from packing this weekend and take a little gaming break. Oops, I think I just let that cat out of the bag. Drat.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You're going to do WHAT???

I’ve been a bit preoccupied lately…as I’m sure you’ve noticed.

In my defense, we are in the process of buying a house.

This is a doubly big step for me, as I have never actually owned a home yet. And, I technically still won’t for thirty years, but I will be PAYING on a mortgage for a home rather than renting. This is somewhat new territory.

I’ve been waiting for several years now to think about buying. I knew the housing market was due for a “correction.” Just wasn’t prepared for how big a correction it took! But, I’m sure there are very few out there that would deny that now is a very good time to buy, if you are in a position to do so. We are, interestingly enough. Wouldn't have expected to hear myself say that ten years ago. However, it would not have been possible without a lot of hard work, and the great care that my Everlasting SoulMate has taken with our finances. She's done a lot for us. Thank you hon!

We’re doing the whole FHA, first-time-buyer thing, which makes down payments and such easier. We’ve also got the sellers to agree to pay closing costs, which cuts down on the cash we have to bring to closing. Don’t get me wrong…we’ll be bringing a substantial amount of money to the deal; however it won’t break our bank or our budget.

As you can surmise, we had an offer accepted. That’s a big step, and wasn’t without a few days of drama. We lost one house to a better offer, and almost lost this one to a cash offer. But, with hard work, perseverance, and an insane amount of luck, we won out!

Our victory dance was short lived, as we began to realize how long the journey through the minefield of inspections, paperwork, etc. leading up to closing was.

We just did the inspection, which went about as well as expected on a thirty-plus year old house. There are some issues, but none of them are show-stoppers yet. We’ll see how the negotiating goes with the seller on fixing the issues that need attention.

I cannot say enough about how important our agent and our lender have been through this process. If I could offer one piece of advice to another first-timer, it would be this: Find yourself a great agent and a great lender before you find a great house. They have helped us SO much I can’t even begin to put a price on it.

We’re hoping to close sometime in late August, get moved and be in place before September 1st. We’ll see how close we get to that goal.