Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This that and the other

The realtor emailed me the photo's yesterday. They turned out really nice (of course the editing helps haha!). I was at work and opened the first one, which was of our living room, and was like "wow! that's my house?" haha! Then my boss looked at a few of them with me and wanted to see our yard pictures. She was like "omg - that is amazing!". So, ya, pretty proud of our yard :)  Too bad they couldn't edit out our junkyard neighbor! Grrr....  oh speaking of the neighbors - there was an arrest made last week at the renters house - a felon with warrants was there and 4 cop cars came, found him and arrested him. Supposedly (and I say this ever so lightly) slumlandord is using that to get rid of the renters. He told DH early this week that he was just waiting for their rent check at the end of the month and then he was giving them 3 days notice to vacate. Said he talked to his attorney who said he can use that they were harboring a fugitive to kick them out with 3 days notice. We'll see. Like I said, not holding my breathe at all, but if they do move out we'll happily wave goodbye and good riddance to them.

Yesterday my boss told me she told the company owner (our upper management folks are also small part owners of the company, so she has a lot of weight in the decisions she makes) that she had given me the ok to work 100% remote, as I was moving out of state. She hoped he was ok with that and he said "I'm totally ok with it - she is amazing........and tell her I'm jealous". That sure made me feel good to hear that.  We are on track with our sales goal, so if we can keep it up 2 more months, we will have our mid year bonus payout in June.

We had a massage therapist as a treat at work yesterday. I haven't had a massage in years and that little 10-15 minute chair massage felt amazing. This morning I had a chiropractor appointment, so I'm feeling pretty well adjusted now.

This coming Saturday is my girls night with my 4 best high school friends. We are staying at a nice hotel/lodge about a 40 minute drive from my house. I'm so looking forward to it and we've been planning it for months. It kind of stinks that it will cost $20 to park there for the night though! Geez - you'd think for the price we are paying for the 2 rooms, they'd include parking.  Oh well, I'm just glad I can afford it and it's not a hardship on my budget to finally give myself a little treat. Anytime prior to several years ago, this would have been a real stretch for me and I probably wouldn't have even been able to do it. Plus, I got that $150 cash bonus at work a few weeks ago, so that's what I'm putting it toward.

There are no other major expenses we should have to put towards our house, other than it looks like we might have to get a lawyer to get rid of this lien that didn't get taken care of during our bankruptcy. Bank of America at first acted like no, problem, we'll remove this. We show it written off with the bankruptcy. We keep following up with them about every 5-7 days and now are just getting the run around. Referring us to another collection agency, that again says they aren't pursuing it because of the bankruptcy, but they aren't the ones who put the lien on, BofA did, and BofA has to be the one to remove it. Our realtor said she knows of a good property attorney, so might have to pay to have that done. I have no desire to give our bankruptcy attorney (who should have taken care of this in the first place) any more of my money, to have her take care of it. Talking with her again, a couple of weeks ago, reminded me of how much I disliked her.  It will get resolved one way or the other, just a pain dealing with it and getting the run around.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A bit of a delay today

The realtor and photographer were supposed to be here at 1pm. It's been raining the past few days and the grass has been growing like crazy and today was the first day DH could mow it, though it's still pretty wet. Took him a lot longer to sweep up wet clippings....then the realtor calls and says the photographer had the appt as 4:30, so now they aren't coming until then.  It wasn't supposed to rain today, but now it says rain at 4pm....but it keeps changing every half hour or so. Now the sun is out again.

I don't think I can get my house much cleaner, but yet I still walk around and see stuff to clean or straighten up or move to a different spot. I'm sure it will look fine in pictures. Would it pass some OCD white glove test? Nope, but it's dusted, vacuumed, mopped, etc. Yesterday I finished filling in a few flower pots at the back french doors, so all that is done. I had two pots on each side of the door and a hanging pot from the small covered area.

I worked from home today, thinking I'd need to be here at 1pm. Oh well, gave me a little more time to straighten up this morning. Mostly I just put things in drawers (I have a dresser of empty drawers in DD's bedroom) that seemed cluttery around the house. - mostly from my office/desk - hah! I'm not a neat worker.

Our garbage can outside is completely full, because DH has been getting rid of stuff as he goes through the shop and shed. My inside, under the kitchen sink, garbage is full, so instead of throwing out our leftover meatloaf dinner from last last (because when I save it we never eat it) making it fit in the garbage and having it smell today, I wrapped it up and put it in the fridge. I just made DH and I some nice cold meatloaf sandwiches :) I also pulled out and finished up some leftover sliced watermelon. I have a feeling when we live in our new home we will eat more leftovers, because it won't be convenient to run to the store whenever I feel like it. There is a small grocery (and hardware combined!) store in town about 10 miles from where our home will be, but the main shopping (like Target and Walmart) will be a 40 min drive away. My plan is to make that trip every 2 weeks, on the days I only work half day Fridays. I'll have to get good at stocking up for 2 weeks or more. Good thing I'll have a nice big pantry.

Guess I'd better get used to having this place look spotless, as much as possible. Gosh I hope it sells quick, just for that reason LOL. It might get old trying to be that clean and neat after a couple of months :/ I guess it'll be really good practice for when we have our nice new house. I'll be in the routine of daily ocd cleaning by then, right? ;)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Need more weekend

We are having the photos of our home done tomorrow and the listing will go live Wednesday or Thursday. I took some things to Goodwill yesterday morning. The main thing I got rid of, hogging up space in our house, was an old student sized desk. DD had a twin sized comforter (in the plastic bag they come in) under her bed and she doesn't want it anymore, so I took that too, as well as a bag of stuff I had been adding to in my closet.

We took off all the window screens, many of them getting old and ratty looking. DH washed the outside windows and I did the inside. Oh my! what a difference to look out the (bottom) portion of the windows and just see clear glass. Looks so much better (not to mention they are clean now, haha). We bought DH the pallet jack he's been wanting. Making it much easier for him to move the stuff around the garage (and when it will be time to load to move). He has put all the crates he's packed so far on pallets and shrink wrapped. All nice and organized. To make the overfilled garage/shop look a little less crowded, we have moved my car out to park in front of the garage. He was then able to put our old t-bird, that has been literally stuffed in the back corner, sideways, to where my car parked and then put the pallets back in that corner. It has made it all look a little less crowded.

The foreclosed house that has been being fixed up (ie flipped) just went on the market, for $400k. There is an open house today. They fixed it up pretty nice, which is a big help to this neighborhood, that's for sure. They bought it 2 months ago for $240k. I know they pretty much had to re-do the entire insides, because of all the druggies/homeless damage that was done to it. They painted the outside and fixed up the yard. Most of all the flooring and walls got ruined because they left water running inside and it flooded and no one there. I'm not sure how, but the guy on the other side realized something was wrong and discovered the water on, but of course it had ruined everything and the bank didn't do anything, just let it sit there and continue to rot for another couple of years.

DD and her BF got the new car. They did get a good deal on it and she got a decent trade in on her broken car (the dealer is in a small town nearby and a good family friend of BF's). It's a super nice car, completely loaded, and very grown up (a 4 door sedan). It's a 2014, but still brand new. It was their decision, it's not costing me anything and hey, I get to save a little money by dropping her car off my insurance. I gave her all my advice on it before, the decisions she makes are up to her. And it's certainly not my place to tell her BF what to do with his money.

She had a phone interview, for a job, on Friday. She had been emailing with the company's HR guy a few times the past couple of months. He's also an alumni from her school and had just hired a winter graduate from their school. Another job just opened up last week and she emailed him about it. She graduates in 7 weeks, plus with classes only 2 days a week, she could work 2-3 days a week to start.  Right after she got an email from the dept. head, wanting to do the phone interview the next day. She thought it went well (there were 2 on the phone doing the interview) and at the end had asked what their time frame is for letting her know more, and he said she was their first interview, so it might be awhile. Then 2 hours later he emailed back and wants her to come in for an in-person interview in 2 weeks! She is so excited. Plus, the company is right next door to where her BF works, so would be super convenient for car pooling.

On tap today - just more house cleaning.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lots of doing lately

The days are going by so quickly now, with so much to do. I feel like it's one email after another, between the realtors on both ends, our mortgage broker, the builder and the guy drafting up the plans (though DH is handling those, but I still have to make decisions with him).

We spent the weekend installing a new set of french doors in the family room and fixing the floor in front of the doors. It was a retrofit type of door, but DH still had to do some work on taking out some part of the old frame (darn!), probably because this is a mfg home and at least back when ours was built, not much was standard. The floor had gotten damaged when some water leaked in the bad doors. DH cut out the bad floor part and replaced with new plywood, cut out the carpet in front of the door and put in a nice little entryway of laminate. I think it turned out nice, as the room is paneled with similar colored oak wainscotting and it all ties in. All in all we had to put about $750 into this project.

The guy (set up through the builder) that is doing up our set of plans is a retired guy that does this as extra income. He does up one set of full plans. He is quick too! The builder met with him last week with DH's drawings, DH spent about on hour with him on the phone Saturday morning and by Monday morning he had emailed a first draft of the plans, including some 3-D photos, that really give us a feel of what a few of the main rooms look like inside. Very cool. Best of all, he only charges $750. He made a couple of small changes that we like better, then we made a couple of small changes, but other than that, I don't see us making much more.

We are scheduled for photos on our home to be done on Monday and the listing starting Wed or Thursday. The realtor is doing a dual listing. One, at a higher price, to the builders network (she said there are a 112 builders it will go out to) and then a regular listing, to sell as is.

In other news DD's car took a crap. She's been hoping it lasted just a couple more months, until she graduates and gets a job soon, and then she could buy a new car. She's put quite a bit of money into the engine already the past couple of years and just does not want to put more into it. She was going to buy a new car in a couple of months anyway, because once she starts working she will (pretty much no matter where you live around here) will have a commute and needs something reliable and good gas mileage. I guess she and her BF (who has been living with her in her apartment, since he got transferred to a job nearer her) have decided he will buy the new car and once she is working, she will get the financing for it, so it's all in her name and her credit. I did have a long discussion with her on it being a smarter plan to get a car she will be able to afford, just on her salary and not on her BF's salary. I also emphasized not financing it for more than 5 years at the most (as she mentioned the 6-7 year financing BF is going to do). I don't think I was too successful in getting my point across. It appears they are looking at a car that is more than I think she should be spending for a first new car and it appears that they are looking at their incomes (when she has hers) as a combined income, which will be at least $110,000 a year. She is looking for a job in the city he works and hopefully they will be able to commute together. They are also considering just staying at her apartment in college town (about an hours commute from where her BF works) as it's a nice little apartment and the rent is only $720 a month. I just gave her my .02 cents, based on experiences, and the decisions, at this point are up to her.

My mom was in a small parking lot picking up some pizza and a guy backed into the corner of her car. Apparently she was so frazzled by it, she only got his name and phone number (and I think the name of his insurance company). Then she got home and couldn't read the last name he wrote down. When she called me the next day to ask what she should do, because I guess she tried to call (I don't really know, she's so hard to talk to, as she jumps around in her conversations). I asked her well, did you get his license plate #? No.  Did you get his driver's license #? No. They didn't want to wait hours for the cops to show up. But then she says "I could tell he had been drinking, I could smell it on his breath". OMG, so you let him get back in his car and drive away? I didn't say this to her, but that's what went through my mind. If she had called and told the cops she got hit AND the guy appears to have been drinking, I'm sure they would have come right away.

Friday, April 15, 2016

This day just keeps getting better

In addition to the sellers signing off this afternoon on the offer (my realtor texted me it was completed) the awesome realtor we met with yesterday just called. When she was here she mentioned she was really interested in double checking into the zoning, because her initial checking indicated it was zoned where 5 homes could be put on this acre and a quarter. She checked into it further today and was excited to call and tell me about.  The guy that lives in front of us has 2 duplexes on his property. We also have crackerbox housing developments starting to surround us, within just acres of our lot now. She is really thinking a developer or someone that might want to put in some duplexes might want this property (it really is prime location). She thinks this marketing option is something definitely worth checking into more and at least trying to sell that way, if that is the case. She is going to talk to an engineer friend on Monday, show him our layout and see if he could draw out where additional homes or duplexes would go (also for marketing purposes). Then she made me fall out of my chair.............she said she thinks if we could sell it that way we could get $450,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG! THAT would be freaking amazing! So, then I asked her, what do you think it can sell for, just as is, if a developer doesn't want it, and she said around $300,000.......and that is awesome too. Way better than the $250,000 we were told last October. We'd be happy with $275,000. Either way - both numbers were very good news to us. But if we could get $450,000 we be literally in heaven.

I think this is finally our year for good things to come our way.

Offer accepted

We put our offer in for the property yesterday afternoon. This morning they contacted our realtor and countered (we assumed they would). They countered for $3,000 more than what we offered. We expected them to counter $5,000 more (the mid point between their asking price and our offer), so we actually came out $2,000 ahead of what we anticipated. LOL. Works for us! We signed the revised offer and then our realtor sent it back to them to sign. Well, realtor just called. Sellers (who weren't using a realtor) decided to have a realtor look it over (the people that live on the lot next door had told us one of the lady's brother was a realtor in town, so most likely they contacted him) and he wanted to make two minor changes, that really didn't make any difference, according to our realtor. One was that we split costs of any transfer fees related to the water. Well, there is no water/well, so our realtor said it's a moot point. We said, sure change it. So he revised it again and we re-signed it and now waiting for them to sign, hopefully this final offer.

Once they sign it I have to send $1000 earnest money to a title company. I also just had to send $375 to the drafter guy who is doing up our set of plans. That's a 50% deposit, so it was more than the builder said, he thought it would be like $500 total, but we also have a separate shop plans needing drawn up. Hopefully there isn't a lot more that I need to do out of pocket after this. DH also wants to repair the floor in front of our family room french doors and put in new french doors. I have priced those out at Lowes, and for what appears to be pretty much the same kind as we currently have, is $400.  I do have a Lowe's credit card, too, so I plan to put it on that. I don't want to totally drain my savings, unless I have to. The drafter took PayPal, so I paid him that way, using my papal credit account, which gave me 6 months no interest. Hopefully, our place will be sold before that and then I can use our proceeds from the sale to pay these selling/purchasing costs.

Snooty realtor came back this morning. She wasn't quite as snobby, but pretty much. DH said she just seems kind of creepy to him. She did a bunch of comps - as near as she could. There really aren't many places with this acreage and this close in to everything. Everything around us is housing developments where the houses are 5 feet apart and little postage stamp sized lots.  Then she just kind of left all the different comp amounts hanging there (the low was $70,000 lower than her high) and never gave us her opinion on what we should list at. I thought that was really strange, so I said "well, what is your opinion on what we should list at?" and she was still kind of vague, but pretty much said she thinks we'd be ok asking towards the higher end.

I'm really looking forward to meeting again with the one who came yesterday. She will be here on Monday afternoon. She's already sent me links to photo examples of the photographer she uses. Of the 3 realtors we've "interviewed", she's the one who actually acts like she wants to sell our place, acts like she wants the job. She even has a little positive quote as a tagline on her emails. I just like her whole attitude.

Here's another weird thing that came up in all this process. My mortgage broker told me a week or so ago that we should have the inspection done now, before we list. She had a guy call me, and it was like $450.  DH and I talked and just decided that we'd wait and the inspection can be done when we have a buyer make an offer. None of the realtors said this needed to be done first. The realtor from yesterday even mentioned that usually the buyer picks the inspector, because it might not seem as impartial if the seller is picking their own. Makes sense to me, plus in my research it appears that this is usually a buyer paid cost anyway! We could have forked out this money and a buyer could have said, no - we want our own inspection done. I'm really glad we didn't have it done.

Snacks anyone?

Does anyone else have this problem in their house - where the kitchen is full of stuff to eat, but the residents complain there is nothing to eat?! I have that issue with my DH about snacks. Most evenings he wants a snack and inevitably what I have on hand he doesn't want. I usually have several different chips available, a couple kind of cookies, and ice cream. There are also granola bars, popcorn, peanuts, pudding snacks, etc - none of which he likes. I usually buy some donut holes, but those don't last long. So, what is left to get to have on hand?! I need some ideas. The past month I got lucky with a box of corndogs I bought, but now he's tired of those. If I buy fruit or veggies, most of it ends up spoiling.