Friday, September 21, 2007

The Waiting is Killing Me!

Today is the day that my old place that I bought in 2003 at the tender age of 24 is on the market to be sold. Right now realtors are walking thru it making notes, seeing they have clients that would want to purchase it. I had some work done on the place, you can see here :

I have butterflies in my stomach. I want to sell this place quickly and not have two mortgages looming over my head like black rain clouds. I did make financial arrangements to be able to carry two mortgages for a short, short while. My hope is that someone falls in love with it as I did 4 years ago ( it looks better now that it did 4 years ago) and wants to pay a fair price and move in quickly. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!!!

Here are a few pics of what it looked like when I bought it in 2003:

A little different....

Monday, September 17, 2007

Beware- Rants ahead!

As you have guess this blog will be dedicating more time to my house, sometimes not the most thrilling thing, but this is it baby! By the way, this is a long one.

I have a few pent up rants, be forewarned…..

Rant #1: A King Size Bed:

To go with my new grown up house, I thought it was time to get a grown up bed. The bed I had been sleeping in for the past 12 years was a full and well the cat and I needed more space. So The Specialist and I went bed shopping, it’s actually kind of fun. I even laid on a $20,000.00 (no, I didn’t add a zero) mattress. But the first mattress we laid on was my favorite, I was sold. I opted to get the Eastern King instead of the California King , the Eastern King is wider but about 4 inches shorter than the California King and since neither The Specialist or I are over 6’2” in height, wider seemed better. What I didn’t account for was the sheets, apparently us Californians are bias and only stock Cal. King sheets, with a few East King sheets thrown in sparingly to make it look like we are prejudice. But when all you want are white, over 400 thread count, Eastern King Sheets, you are asking too much. I went to every local store to find sheets for my new very awesome bed. By the time I hit Macy’s I was ready to throw the spoiled brat tantrum. Macy’s carries Eastern King Sheets, but only if you are willing give them your first born in return. I kid you not one (yes, one) fitted sheet was $80, so by the time you end up with the entire sheet set you are penniless. Now of course the smart thing would have been to order sheets online. But I am big on the sense of touch, I need to touch the sheets before I buy them, make sure I am not buying something that will give me a body scrub in the middle of the night, I can go to the spa for that. I did find a set of sheets that look nice, but from now on, I am ordering them online. It just doesn’t look right when I am stomping my foot or flailing on the ground in the middle of the store screaming “ But all I want are Eastern king sheets.”.

Rant #2: Neighbors

This isn’t about my new neighbors, so far I love them. Mind you I live in a 5 unit condo complex, there is no anonymity there. But I am referring to my old house, this past week it has been given a little face lift for resale value. The kitchen counters, cabinets, and carpets were all redone. New paint and crown molding where added. The workers had 7 days to do all of this. And I commend them, they did a lot of work in a short period of time even with the threat of cops being called on them. Yes, I just said cops, and no you won’t see them on the TV show. Before all the work started I consulted the condo management company to make sure I didn’t need their permission for the work, it turns out that I didn’t so I gave the green light to the realtor and designer. I get a call Friday night from the realtor letting me know that some of the work will be “delayed”, of course I was curious. Apparently a neighbor that I have never met in my four years of living there was taking it upon herself to throw a fit and threaten the cops on the workers because of the noise. Yes home improvement isn’t a quiet past time, but the workers were after 9 am and gone by like 7 pm in the evening, they weren’t breaking any noise pollution rules. But this woman was home sick and they were disrupting her. Gee whiz lady, I am surprised you didn’t drive down to the local Air Force base and ask them to stop all flights because you have the sniffles. How dare you trespass on my property without my approval and yell at my workers causing a delay in the work to my house. Go ahead and call the cops, I would love to have a chat with them as well. She continued to disrupt the work for three days even though she was given the realtors phone number in case she had any “concerns”. Oh course she didn’t call realtor because why would she speak with someone that might actually fight back. Sadly I wasn’t made aware of these intrusions until it was after the fact. I was dieing to give her a piece of my mind.

Rant #3: Sometimes it’s better to do it yourself:

The new place required a little painting and cleaning before I moved it. So painters were hired at the recommendation of my realtor as well as a house cleaner. I was so excited about not doing it myself. I am not the best painter or house cleaner, but even I have standards. I was disappointed to see that the painters did only an ok job, there was paint on the carpet, white paint freckles on my dark taupe bathroom wall and the outlets covers were painted over. I of course complained and some of these items were taken care of. Everything but the outlet covers. But it really pisses me off that a sub par job had been done on both the painting and the cleaning. I paid good money to have this done and when it isn’t done to what I expect, it’s irritating. Even with the cleaning, great you made my windows shine, awesome, thank you. But what about the cat hair bunnies under the lip of the stove FROM THE PREVIOUS CAT. Its little stuff like that. I could have cleaned myself and left the cat hair bunnies, at least I have only myself to blame. But I parted with money to have those left behind.

Ok that is it for now.

I Feel Like a Homeowner

I know this going to sound weird, but I finally feel like a homeowner. Yes, I feel like I am hemorrhaging money, but that isn’t why. I guess you need a little background. I bought my first condo in 2003, it was an apartment conversion and literally the best decision I had ever made. And on top of it, there were no repairs or upgrading that needed to be done. All the updating had been done by the previous owner, yay me. But this time around is a little different. But not a bad different, more of a “ I love this place”, it feels more like mine. I can’t say everything has been a complete joy, I am learning the situation of hard water. It clogs all water related appliances with calcium build up that looks like sand, like a hose was stuck in the ocean and I was sucking up my water supply from there. In the first week, the hoses on the washer needed to be replaced, the dishwasher was taken apart and all the pumps and gadgets cleaned, and more than once I have stared at my water heater wondering if a troll with a sledge hammer was trapped inside. Oh and I can’t forget the water line for the fridge and the water filter on the kitchen faucet. I hate hard water it is possibly causing me to get a water softener and replacing the water heater. It has yet to be determined. But it still makes this place feel real, like a real house with quirks and projects that need to be done. And seriously I am so lucky that The Specialist is a handyman Genius, there is no project he can’t do and on top of it he is very patient when I want to learn exactly what he is doing. I have always been happy to say I could hold my own and fix things, unless it involves spiders. But I literally throw up my hands and ask The Specialist ,what the problem is and how it is fixed. I have to be honest that some of these issues were a little unexpected, coming from a maintenance free house. But I enjoy them even though I may roll my eyes. I can safely say that I have the floor plan of Lowe’s ( like Home Depot) memorized and I am sure that the employees are going to start calling me by my first name. The hardest this for me is that I am not a patient person, I want it all done now, I don’t want boxes in the house anymore, I want to be able to park in my garage and my garden to look beautiful. Oh and I have a June Bug the size of a Walnut that floats around my Morning Glory in the morning- His name is George.

This past weekend was a busy one at house ( I have yet to come up with a name for the new place), the new bed was delivered ( I will go in to a tirade about King Size sheets in another post, and the Direct TV guy set up the TV. One of the big projects is replacing all the light switches, faceplates, and outlets in the house. The painters that I had come in painted over half of the outlet covers and the other half they removed the face plates but still managed to get paint on the light switches and plug holes. There is something to be said for just doing it yourself.

But the best part about all of it………………..It’s mine :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Move is over!!!!

So it’s done. I am in my new house. Of course with any major project , it wasn’t without its mishaps. I had rented a Uhaul to handle all my stuff. I had moved beyond the time I could pack everything I own in a truck or two. I mean I actually Own furniture now ( or have since 2003). I picked up The Specialist at 7 am to pick up the Uhaul ( oh and I can’t even begin to thank The Specialist enough, but I will go more in to that later) only to be told that the location I was instructed to pick up the truck didn’t have my reservation and I was suppose to go to the “other” location. The “other” location turned out to be a gas station that rents out one Uhaul truck. You read that right ONE. Oh and it turned out that they also didn’t have my reservation- You can imagine our combined anger and frustration, we had been trying to locate this Uhaul for over an hour at this point. The Specialist, being the genius he is, started calling other Uhaul locations to find a truck that wasn’t being used. We did manage to find one and get on our way.
We met my friends at my old place and started the removal of all my worldly possessions. The cat went to the groomers to get out of my hair for a few hours seeing as when he was locked in the bathroom he started to make the most un-natural sounds I have ever heard. My mom bless her took on that assignment – I needed to pack up the last minutes things.
With all most all the stuff packed, the Specialist asked me are you sure you have everything. I said I had, I mean I had been a complete space case for the last week, but that couldn’t mean that I hadn’t packed up all of my stuff. I hear from the deck, umm no you didn’t get everything, as I am yelling, yes I did. I walk out to my deck and I gasp remembering my storage closet hadn’t been emptied. Frustration wells up inside of me, I can’t believe I had forgotten, but again I have been a complete and utter space case for over a week. Seriously if my head hadn’t been attached I would have lost it. Then the running joke of the day, was “I found another closet”, I couldn’t help but laugh.
The move in the new place was less eventful and I was so happy. Now I walk thru the sea of boxes muttering to myself, tomorrow, tomorrow. But really it has to be done by Wednesday because my new refrigerator arrives. But back to the house.
After my wonderful friends helped move me in to my new place. The Specialist and I started working on a few projects:
1) The washing machine was broken. Being the Handyman GENIUS , The Specialist was able to fix it so that I could use my washer. The new part arrived Monday – but it works great without it. I just don’t dare open the washer during the spin cycle, at the risk of being attacked by my clothes.
2) The AWESOME new TV- right now all I am watching are DVD’s but Direct TV gets hooked up on Saturday.
3) The shower rod in my bathroom.
I am so so so grateful for The Specialist’s help, I couldn’t or even wouldn’t have known what to do about the washer and that shower rod requires four hands.

The list of projects is a little daunting right now but at least the painting is done and now I just need to attack the boxes.