Tag Archives: house

My brain is fried

I spent most of the day researching mortgage rates, filling out forms online, talking to various ‘mortgage specialists’ and getting most of an application done with the company I think we’ll end up getting our loan with.  Within there I also completed and mailed out Mother’s Day cards for my grandmas (I hope they get there on time!) and went to Costco, primarily for milk.  Imagine my dismay when they were out of organic milk.  Well, they weren’t out.  But they have apparently arranged their refrigerated stock such that when they’ve run out of organic milk by 2:30 in the afternoon, they have no way to replenish the stock until the store closes.  Nice.  Oh, Lane and I also planted some flower seeds in the ‘garden’ here, just to see if we can get them to grow into the lush little flowers promised on the outside of the seed packet.  I am skeptical.

I have shifted into parenting survival mode.  This mortgage application stuff is not my cuppa tea.

Luckily I had the forethought to buy a couple slices of pizza at Costco before we left.  Lane and I shared one for lunch when we got home (yeah, lunch at 3:30… but we had a late breakfast and a snack around 1:00).  Then I just shared the second one, cold, with the kids.  And not even cut up nicely… I ripped off a piece for Jake and he walked around noshing on it, and Lane got the remains of the piece after I was done eating off of it.  I’m such an awesome mom some days.

Hopefully after a little while of not thinking about rates and points and origination fees and title searches and bank statements I can regain my brain.  Fingers crossed!

Movin’ on up

I am pretty sure I’d mentioned our interest in buying the house next door to our in-laws, but let me summarize anyway, to refresh or inform any newbies.

Two weeks after we moved up here and into our apartment, the house next door to my in-laws went on the market.  At first we were both apprehensive about the idea of living right next door to the in-laws, but after a while the idea grew on us.  The only problem was that the house was just a little out of our price range, even with the help from Frank’s parents on the table.

The people who are selling the house next door are family friends; Frank was best friends with their son growing up.  Frank broke his ankle in their backyard, the son was a groomsman in our wedding, and the parents attended.  They are nice people.  Unfortunately, they are selling the house because they are divorcing… one of those situations where they’d just grown apart, it seems.  The kids convinced them to get divorced sort of thing.

Frank called the dad, whose name is Mark, and talked about the house.  They came to an agreement of sorts, months back, that while the house was a little too expensive for us, they would still give us the opportunity to match any offer that came their way.

Thing is, though, there have been no offers.  So they lowered the price.  And there were still no offers.  So they lowered their price again.

Gotta love today’s real estate market.

Then came today.  And they got an offer for $515,000 – $35,000 below their current asking price.  Mark called Frank and basically said that rather than haggle with this other guy, could Frank offer him $520,000 for the house and we’d call it a day?  Well, he could, and we are.  It’s not official yet, but soon we will have an official offer in and then, hopefully soon, be under contract for the house.  Probably closing within 60 days.

Can you say yay?  I can!  Yay!!!

Yay!

Yay!

Yay!

The cool thing is, too, that because they’re selling the house because of a divorce, they left a lot of the furniture behind because they both moved into smaller places.  They’re going to give us whatever is still in the house.  None of it is super new, but it’s certainly in good condition and useable if we want to use it.  A master bedroom set, a couple other twin beds that were their kids’, a treadmill, and a big leather sectional in the family room.  I’m also hoping beyond hope they left their dining room set, because it is AWFUL.  I mean, horrendously, cheesily AWFUL.  First, there is a hutch that is like peach-colored either formica or some sort of veneer – I haven’t gotten close enough to it to really inspect it.  But the table set is the coup de gras.  It is a glass table top on a similar-material-to-the-hutch pedestal.  And the chairs.  Oh, the chairs.  They are acrylic.  Clear, perfectly see-through acrylic.  Their whole dining room is just ultra-hip from 1982.  It looks like the kind of thing that would have been in a Vanilla Ice video or something, because he would want to look refined and elegant and rich but didn’t want to appear dowdy.  The set is totally the fishizzle.  Or something.   I just want the stuff because it’s so bad it’s awesome.  I will offer photographic evidence if I get the opportunity.

No room at the inn

We’re currently living as transients.  In October, we sold our nice, roomy, on-over-an-acre house, I quit my promising career to become a stay-at-home mom, and we moved to a very small apartment in another state.

We moved to another state because we were bribed, quite frankly.  It all started before Jake was born.  I was still all into my career, not pregnant with Jake yet but I think we were trying, and a couple different really good positions came up in my company, that both offered great learning opportunities for me and the possibility of permanent part-time work, but they were both at another location, a state away.  Frank and I had some serious talks about moving so I could pursue them.  And, I mentioned it in passing to my in-laws.  My mother in-law lamented that we already lived so far away (over an hour by car) and this would make us even farther.  Couldn’t we consider moving closer to them?  And, in a rare display of subtle manipulation on my part, I answered, “Honestly, we would truly love to live near you guys.  But real estate there is even more expensive than it is here, and if we move again, it will be so that I can work part-time, or maybe even not at all after we have another baby or two.”

And the next day, something happened, exactly as I thought it might when I opened the door to the possibility.  My in-laws offered to help us buy a house in their town.  We wholeheartedly accepted.  Their town has one of the better, sought-after school districts in the state.  Plus my in-laws, 95% of the time, are really nice, thoughtful, helpful, funny people.  I can live near them without losing my sanity.  And once we entered parenthood, we were honestly sad that we didn’t live near any family.

As we’d planned this major event, my mother in-law kept wishing aloud that the house next door to them would go on the market.  This house currently belongs to a family that my husband is friendly with; their son was a year younger than him, and Frank and he spent countless hours of their youth together.  Frank broke his leg playing football in their backyard; the son was a groomsman at our wedding, though he and Frank are not exactly stellar at staying in touch.  So the MIL kept hoping they would sell their house, because wouldn’t it be just PERFECT if we could live RIGHT NEXT DOOR?!?!

And I smiled and nodded, and agreed, sure, it would be great.  The house wasn’t on the market, so I entertained her with some feigned enthusiasm.

So, October 1, we move into town, into our tiny interim apartment while we get used to living in the area and start househunting (and also just making sure we aren’t making a huge mistake).  And not two weeks later… oh you guessed it, that house next door went on the market.

I had some serious soul-searching to do.  Would it really be great – even tolerable – to live next door to my in-laws?  Sure, they really are great people 95% of the time, but we’ve certainly had our moments.  Once they took Lane in a car without a car seat (though I can guarantee you it will never happen again).  They are opinionated to a fault, especially my mother in-law.  MIL also, I swear, goes out of her way to disagree with me on things.  Though through this, one redeeming quality has surfaced – my father in-law is often quite quick to come to my defense and side with me (which makes me giddy beyond belief when it happens).   But again, they have their good qualities — kind and caring, generous, helpful, fun-loving and adventurous.  They are really good with their grandkids, especially as Lane has gotten bigger and Jake is just the mellowest baby in the world (and it doesn’t hurt that he loves his grandpa more than almost anything in the world).

So, with the consensus between Frank and I that we are OK living next door to them, we have started pursuing the house.  Since we know the owners well, and they seem to just adore Frank, right now we’re all exploring the possibility of buying the house outside the realtor process.  The house is just a little out of our price range at its current listing price (even with the help we’re getting from the in-laws), but without a 6% realtor commission in the mix, they can take a lower offer from us without really taking a loss, and for that house we’re willing to take on just a slightly higher mortgage than we would otherwise.  It might mean we can’t make an offer until June, but I think we can live with that.  We might also see about renting the house before buying it, since it will soon be vacant.  (They are selling because the parents are getting a divorce.  What a shocker!  None of us predicted that.  But according to the son, it is an excellent move for them; they apparently were just going through the motions for the last, like, 10 years or so.  Their kids were encouraging them to divorce, even.)

The whole thing is exciting and nerve-wracking and fun and scary and oodles of other emotions all at once.  And importantly too, it’s a great house.  I can definitely picture myself living there… and I want to live there!  Now we just have to make it happen.

Stuff that annoys me

I just feel like generally venting and bitching, sorry to subject you to it but I gotta get it out.

Stuff that annoys me:

  1. The person who called my cell phone at 8:30 a.m. and didn’t leave a message.  Then they call at 9:03 and don’t leave a message.  (I just googled the phone number and it was the newspaper I just subscribed to.  WTF?  They are one step closer to getting that subscription canceled and I didn’t get even get a damn newspaper yet.)
  2. How our landlord parks his car.  OK, it’s certainly not annoying enough to complain to him about, but we share a two-car-wide driveway.  He parks WAY TOO CLOSE to our side of the driveway most times.
  3. The price of housing in the greater tri-state area.
  4. Websites that play music as soon as the page opens.
  5. Liver, and my mother in-law’s penchant for putting it into soup.
  6. Our apartment.  It’s too small and I want a house! Now!  Luckily we’re making strides toward that, and may be out of here by March or April.  Even if it means living next door to my in-laws!  Luckily that will also fix #2.  🙂