Category Archives: Life in General

Weekend dog duty

This weekend we are taking care of Lucy and Ivy. Lucy is the Schnauzer next to Jack, and Ivy is the English Bulldog behind the gate. Ivy and Jack don’t get along so well inside the house, but they seem fine when walking next to each other outside. I thought she was just nipping at first, but after I checked Jack out and found a few holes in his skin it was the end of trying to get them to play nice together, since then we have kept them separated. We have decided that if we get another dog, its going to be 24 pounds or less for easy fight management.

Other than that Ivy is a easy dog to take care of.  When I take her out alone she just goes to the closest spot of grass or pine straw and does her business, then refuses to go anywhere else except back inside. She will go to her crate on command, and sleeps all the time. She snores pretty loud – Robyn insists it’s almost as loud as I snore. Even when she isn’t snoring she is always making loud breathing noises. Thanks to her lack of energy it hasn’t been hard to keep her separated, even when we let her out of the crate (which we try to do often) she just picks a spot on the floor and goes back to sleep.

So far this weekend we have had 2 dogs puke, and one dog pee and poop by accident on separate occasions. On top of that last night the storm knocked out power all night, so we had to break out the leftover candles from the wedding for light. In between taking the dogs out or cleaning up after them I’ve been grilling, cooking, and running errands.

Tomorrow we are going down to Sanford to pick up some box donations from my family. Soon it will be time to start trashing everything we don’t want to keep for our next move. I’m hoping to get rid of a lot of old computer parts, toys, and other stuff we have not even opened up since moving last time. Then we get to start packing!

 

House update

We just had our house inspection, which seemed to go fairly well. The termite inspector found nothing, which we had expected since the owner has a termite contract. However, the house inspector did find a few things for his report. Nothing too serious though, overall he declared it a very clean inspection.

Most of the things found were minor issues: The fence gates don’t latch properly, the garage door does not stop when it meets resistance, a bathroom fan is very noisy, and the floors upstairs creak a bit. Evidently the floors can easily be fixed with a well placed nail and the garage door just needs some tension thingy adjusted. The only big-ish thing they found was that the air conditioner needs some freon, which I hope is not a sign of impending failure. Hopefully everything will be fixed and in good order by August 15th… we are so eager to move in!

Well, that is about it for house news… not much to report really. With the house inspection done, all there is to do is wait to hear about the appraisal and repairs. I am not sure when we get to do our final walkthrough, I guess sometime just before closing.

Not much planned for this weekend… We will be taking care of two extra dogs. One from Wednesday-Sunday and the other Friday-Tuesday. Should be interesting with three dogs. We don’t plan on fighting crowds for fireworks or going to any parties, we are just going to sit home and try to relax a bit if possible. We don’t have much time left before we will have to start packing.

 

Is it Friday yet?

Over the weekend we decided to take a break from all of our errands and splurge a little… we went to see WALL-E and have a nice dinner out to celebrate all the new and good things going on in our lives at the moment. Of the CG movies I have seen recently, I think Kung Fu Panda was more fun… but WALL-E definitely wins on the cute factor.

I wish we had more time to relax over the weekend, because this week is a very hectic one! Sean started a new job, and I have been promoted to a project lead. So, Sean has been going through his orientation and dealing with the usual “new guy” issues at work. I have been scrambling to catch up on a project I haven’t touched in 7 months while at the same time supporting other projects as well. It is only Wednesday morning and it already feels like it should be Friday.

Our evenings have been busy too, running errands and doing house related things. Last night we met with the lender to officially fill out our loan paperwork… seeing those numbers kind of makes this whole buying a house thing a little more real and a little more scary. But we are ready to own a home, and we are prepared for the financial blow it will be in the beginning.

The hectic part of our week is far from over. Tonight we will have a quick dinner and then Travis is bringing his dog Ivy over. We will be taking care of her until Sunday. Ivy is an adorable english bulldog, I think it will be fun to have her around.

Then, tomorrow, we will have the house inspection. I don’t really like leaving work early at this time for it… with Sean being in his first week at a new job and me still trying to catch up on the new position. Plus it looks like pretty much the whole team will be out tomorrow anyway. Not much to be done about it though.

I look forward to seeing the house again, and getting some measurements so we can get an idea of what we want to do about furniture. We are so ready to be in the house already… I hope July passes quickly.

I am so glad Friday is a holiday. After this week we really will need a long weekend. The weekend should be interesting too, as we will have Marie’s dog Lucy as well. We will have a house full of dogs! I think it will be fun though, I hope they all get along. It just makes me wish we were already in our house so we had the yard for them.

 

Another twist!

Well, we were finally starting to get over the loss of the house with the great deck… finding solace in the fact that we would be getting a new house built to our specifications that was much larger, although we would have hardly any yard. We were even supposed to go to the new house site today at 4:30 to sign a contract and submit a deposit. We woke up early this morning and everything, coming to work at 7:30 so we could leave early.

But then, a bit before noon I heard the familiar new mail “ding!” of Mac’s Mail program. It was a one sentence e-mail from the agent that said to give him a call because he had just heard from the seller’s agent on the house we had put an offer on Sunday. Daring to hope, I gave him a call… the sellers weren’t happy with the closing date of the other offer. It turns out they were building a house, and it would not be ready until August.

Our lease is through the end of the year, so no problem there! We can wait as long as they want. That is the handy thing about having a roommate that plans on staying at the same complex… we get to just transfer both him and the lease over to another apartment.

While at work we rushed to fill out another offer form between meetings, and the agent came out to pick up the earnest check… after that we spent all day waiting anxiously for the phone to ring. The call finally came in around 6:30… we got it! We are now officially under contract on a house.

We are so excited! It looks like we are moving a lot sooner than expected. Any volunteers? :) We are scheduled to close August 15… so I guess we better start packing in July. I am not looking forward to that part. At least we should have a couple weeks of overlap on the apartment, it will make moving easier.

Yay! We’re buying a house!

 

House hunt over?

Today Sean and I both decided we were tired of looking for a house. So, we told agreed that we would look at three more houses and then make our decision. We set up the houses with our agent and then headed out after work.

We both liked first home we saw, but agreed that it was really not worth what they were asking for it. If it had been 20-25k less we probably would have put an offer on it… but it had a tiny kitchen and needed new carpet, plus the deck needed work.

After that we looked at two houses which actually turned out to be the same house with reversed floor plans. The first one we looked at was really nice, but at the top of our price range. It had an awesome back yard with a pool, but the kitchen was a little small and the master closet was too small for us. We still really loved it, and were very tempted to put an offer on it. The other house was not nearly as nice, and we immediately turned it down.

After turning down the last house we went back to the one with the awesome yard for another look. We sat around for a while debating it, and eventually told our agent we would think about it and let him know.

We then went to the incredibly convenient shopping center a few minutes from the house and discussed our options over some frozen custard. Eventually we came to the very difficult decision that the house was just not a good financial decision. Even though we could see ourselves happily living there for many years and the location was great, it would have been at the very top of our price range. Plus on top of the mortgage we would have eventually updated the kitchen and bathrooms, and the pool maintenance would have been one more added expense.

So, as our frozen custard turned into melted goop, we called the agent and told him we wanted to buy the new construction home we found on our first day of looking. We were very lucky because the house we liked was already being built… or at least planned. This means that we get to build a home for the same price as the one (already built) they are selling a couple doors down, maybe even less. And, we get to choose all of the fixtures and options in the home! They even agreed to move the garage over for us so we can have a little more yard. Luckily, we like all of the standard stuff… so we don’t have to spend tons of money on upgrades. We do get $10k worth of upgrades included though, which we will definitely be using for floors and counter tops.

We are anxious and excited. This is such a huge commitment, but we eager to own a home. We can’t wait to hear from the property manager and our agent tomorrow… we want to make the property officially ours. I wonder when we get to the fun part of picking out all of our options… I hope the next 5 months pass quickly!

Disclaimer: the house pictured above is not the elevation we have chosen for our home… while our house will have the same floor plan, the front will look more like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We choose house #20

I knew it would not be very long after we got back from the honeymoon before we would start looking for our first house. We really wanted to get a house years ago but decided to wait until we were married.

Ever watch the TV show “House Hunters”? It’s a real estate show that follows home buyers and their agents around, with a constant commentary about their price range, preferences, etc… The show will only cover three houses (but we are convinced nobody just looks at three houses) and at the end before the last commercial break they recap and ask, “Which house will the couple choose?” For the past two weekends Robyn and I have been joking and filling in with our own commentary. We choose house #20.

When you mention to family and friends that you’re looking for a house, there’re always ready with helpful advice. I’d like to think we’ve tried to keep the advice in mind while we were house hunting. This was our second weekend of looking at houses. After the 9th house, we found a place that both Robyn and I are in love with. It’s well under what we are qualified for, but has all the features we wanted except for a ping pong room. We are trying not to get too excited in case it does not come together. If it does fall though I’m certain there are more houses out there we would like just as much.

It’s a detached single family home off of Duraleigh Road, a little bit bigger than our current apartment. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 & 1/2 baths, 2 car garage, large deck, and beautiful fenced in back yard. The kitchen has all the upgrades we would have installed if we went with new construction, and the deck just rocks. It will be perfect for grilling out and entertaining.

We talked to our apartment office and they will let us transfer the lease to Wendell, who will have to pick his own apartment. Well, it’s time to get started on some paperwork.

 

6/16/08 Update:
8:30 There is another bid for the property. Joy…

9:30 We increased our bid, waiting to hear back. Doesn’t sound good. We’re sad.

11:30 Will they ever call us back?? We want to know!

12:30 Yup, we lost it. Oh well.

6/23/08 Update:

I should have added this in sooner… a few days ago they came back and said we got the house after all because of a conflict with the closing date the other buyers wanted. So, we are now under contract! We close August 15.

Avenue Q!

Today we bought tickets to see Avenue Q! We missed the Raleigh showing (in May) because of our honeymoon, so looks like we are headed to Charlotte in a few weeks. The tickets went on sale at 10am today, and by the time I realized it was after 11 most of the good seats were already gone. So we ended up choosing the Sunday show in order to get a decent seat. It is always good to get out of town, even if just for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to it! We have wanted to see Ave Q for years.

The only other exciting news to report is that we started our search for a house today. Our lease isn’t up until December though, so seems a little early to really look seriously. We haven’t decided if we should do new construction or a pre-existing home… if we go new construction it will take probably 4-6 months to build though. So, if that is what we choose to do it is better for us to find the home soon.

We looked at several different locations today, starting in Brier Creek. Since Brier Creek is pretty expensive we were pretty much limited to condos and town homes for new construction, which isn’t ideal, but we were willing to contemplate sacrificing a little in order to live in such a great area.

First, we looked at some new condos, which mercifully had all of the models in one building. That was good, considering we picked a frigging hot day (102!!) to look at houses. The first place we viewed was really nice, but we don’t think it suited us. We then checked out some other town homes, but didn’t care for them either.

After that we headed to Church Rd, off of 54. We were really looking for a neighborhood we had seen online, but the directions given weren’t very good so we first drove around looking at some different neighborhoods, stopping in at one that was very nice… but again not a good fit for us.

After exploring the area we doubled back and found the subdivision we had originally been looking for… or the construction entrance to it anyway. Turns out the main entrance is on Davis Dr, so I guess you could say we took the more adventurous route through the unfinished areas of the subdivision.

The sales lady on duty was very friendly, and much less annoying than the other sales people we dealt with today. We really appreciated the “no pressure” sales approach; unlike the other neighborhoods we visited today she did not tell us constantly about how wonderful every little thing was, nor did she tell us about how much better they were than everywhere else. She simply showed us what we asked for, and answered questions as we asked them.

She showed us four floorplans, leaving out two others because one was much larger than what we needed and she didn’t think I would like the kitchen in the other. The last one with the questionable kitchen was actually the model the sales office was located in, that will be important later in this story.

We had to trudge around in the miserable heat to see the different floorplans, but at least most of them had air conditioning. They didn’t really have models so much as finished houses that were up for sale. This was good to see because the models (with tons of upgrades and “designer features”) are usually not a good example for the price they show you in the pretty brochures.

We immediately fell in love with the first house we saw, so much so that we kept saying “no, we can not choose on the first day!” to each other. So, then we started trying to find faults with what we saw… but all we could really come up with was that the kitchen was a tad small.

The second house we saw just did not compare to the first. It was nice, but did not fit us. So, it was on to the third option. Sean fell in love with the third house from the start I think, more so than the first house. For me, I was torn. The first level was awesome, but I still thought the upstairs of the other was much better. After this third house we were left openly debating the pros and cons of both homes and thought we had a tough decision ahead of us.

From there it was on to the last floor plan, which we liked but agreed it was not for us. To try and solve our debate we then headed back to the first house for another look. After that we thought we had pretty much decided that House #3 was now at the top of our list.

Of course… then we got back to the sales office. And while the sales lady was drawing up some pamphlets and price lists for us we decided we would have a look around the model.

Why did we ever look at any of the others?? The model was perfect! Well, it might cost a little too much… we are still debating that part. But, besides that, we are in love! It is still way too early to make a final decision of course… it is only the first day of our search… but we are smitten. The kitchen was awesome, the bedrooms were perfect, and… the game room!! All of the houses there had a third floor which was basically just a large open area. The others seemed questionable about fitting a pong table because of the position of the stairs, but not this house! The stairs were in a different direction, which left a huge open area.

The only thing we did not like about this house was the lack of a yard… but I think this might be a problem with any new construction. It seems that they build houses as close together as fire code allows these days, which is about 12 feet. This means that if we fenced in the yard for Jack we would be limited to only fencing in one side yard. Depending on the lot this could create a small yard that might work for letting Jack run around a little, but we were hoping for a nice back yard and a deck.

Aside from the yard thing, this house is exactly what we were looking for… we are just debating on the price a bit. It is a little over what we had said we wanted to spend. So for now, the search continues. Although, I think this house has set a pretty high bar for everything we will look at from now on.

Update –

We learned several lessons at Avenue Q:

  1. Is there anyone here it doesn’t suck to be?
  2. If you were gay, it would be okay.
  3. Everyone’s a little bit racist.
  4. The Internet is for porn.
  5. When someone likes you, you get a mix tape.
  6. The more you ruv someone, the more you want to rill them.
  7. Schadenfreude – just look it up.