>As 2009 Comes to a Close (part one)…

>I can’t help but look back at the kind of year it’s been.  I’d say a good one!  I’ll try to briefly recap each month, maybe include a few pictures.

January:  Nothing too exciting happened, except that we decided to start looking for a house to buy.  We met with Greg our Real estate agent, and looked at a few houses.  One house we looked at we had put an offer on it, but our offer got rejected by the bank… here’s why I loved the house:

Now when we drive by the house, we tell people it’s our “Almost House”!

February: Ruthe turned one on February 9th!  It was an amazing first year with her, and we had her birthday party at my inlaw’s house.  And in one year, she went from looking like this:

To this:

Nothing changed too much, except that her hair grew in lighter, she got bigger and got teeth.  I love her nose.. it’s so cute and reminds me of a button mushroom, which looks like this:

See what I mean!?

Ruthie’s first birthday marked the last party we’ll ever have at my inlaws’ because five days before her birthday, we found our house! We saw the house on February 4th and fell in love.  The seller had the house listed for $175k, and the next day we put in an offer of $165k and the seller pays closing, and he countered with $167k and he’ll pay closing.  We got a FANTASTIC DEAL!  We had our house inspection on February 11th, and that went well.  Here’s my favorite picture from the inspection:

I’m such a spider monkey sometimes.  Zoe of course was screaming on the ground thinking I was going to get hurt or something.

March: The appraisal was done on the house on March 3rd, and our house was appraised at $175k.  We signed closing papers on March 12th, changed the locks on March 13th by Jeff’s dad who’s a locksmith.. and good thing we did!  The locks on the back door did not work properly and the measurements were off, so the door didn’t really even shut properly.  Then we moved in on March 14th!

April:  Nothing much happened in April, except Easter.  Zoe and I did color Easter eggs, and that’s something that’ll become a tradition I think.

Here’s a digital layout I did for Easter.  Cute eh?  The Easter Bunny left behind baskets for the girls by their bedroom doors.

May:  Again, nothing too exciting happened, except for the first Mother’s Day ever, Jeff cooked me Mother’s Day breakfast!  It was quite nice, and we even got an extra yolk in one of our eggs!

I think it’s a bit creepy knowing that the egg, if it was allowed to hatch would have had conjoined twin chicks.. or something like that.

June:  That was a month of crazy stuff… on June 8th, I suffered a corneal scratch.  I knew as soon as Ruthie’s nail came up and hit me in the eye it was NOT a poke.  Jeff initially did not want to take me to the doctor, but when he came home from work that day, my one eyed squinty glare at him forced him to cave in.  We found out that in fact, there WAS something more than just a poke, and that I couldn’t just ‘walk it off’.  I ended up getting put on loratab for the pain, plus antibiotic drops as well as local drops for pain control.  My eye ended up swelling up badly enough that the rest of the top layer of my cornea sloughed off.  Eventually it healed, and now my eye’s back to normal.

Well, that’s it for now… I’ll post the later half of the year later, as well as post pictures from Zoe’s birthday and Christmas!


Farm Life in the ‘Burbs

>Okay, I do have to admit, I’ve done some ‘farmin’ in my time since buying our house.  I did have a garden that overall was successful this past year.  But I never expected to have to skin my own dinner!

We bought a bone-in pork roast last week, and Jeff said that’s what he wanted for dinner tonight.  So like the good wife that I am, I went up in the kitchen to start dinner, and I noticed that it had quite a bit of fat, so I decided before putting in the roast pan to trim some of the fat off.. we try to eat healthy around here!  I noticed that there was quite a bit of what I thought was fat on the bottom of the roast, and so I picked it up to trim off the fat.. and it wasn’t fat but SKIN!

Now, I do have to have to admit, I’m not ignorant enough to assume the grocery stores get the meat all cutely packaged and ready for consumers.  I know they get their meat products pretty much the same way it comes out of the slaughterhouse.. and in this case I’m sure they get the whole side of pig with the skin on it and then their butchers divide the meat up, skin it, debone it.. etc.. except this time they forgot to skin the pig.

To be quite honest, I’m not sure how I”m supposed to react here.  I’m a bit grossed out because it looks like people skin, but at the same time, I’m quite… adventurous and I’m up for doing pretty much anything that other people would NOT do under any circumstances as long as it’s not going to land me in jail.  But on the other hand, someone at the grocery store did NOT do their job properly and we PAID for this… and meat isn’t exactly cheap so there’s half a pound of what should have been meat thrown in the trash.  Granted though, we did waste some money on the bone.. but we knew it was bone in roast so that’s not a big deal.

Of course, I’m sure that I could have cooked it up into cracklins or chicharones, but we don’t have enough oil to fry that up.  And I don’t have the know-how either.  And on the other hand, I’m a bit thrilled because now I can say that I’ve skinned a pig.

Or at least a portion of it.


Just An Update

>I haven’t blogged about anything significant in a while, so I figured now would be a good time to sit down and do so!

Last month, around the 12th or so, we noticed we had some leakage in our laundry room.  Not knowing what it was, we tried to figure out the source of the leaking and after a week discovered it was the water heater.  What shocked us was that the water heater was only 7 years old, and when I went poking around to find the source of the leak, I discovered that there was a patch job where it had previously leaked.  At that point we knew that it was going to get replaced.  So we called a company in and for $1,000 we got a brand new water heater, an anodized rod put in the water heater to reduce mineral buildup and we also paid to extend our warranty to 11 years instead of the usual 5 or 6.  We also had to pay for the plumber to redo the duct work because it was done very improperly and was a major code violation!  So at least we’ve got a brand new water heater that’s up to code.

Then after months of waiting and having to refile our amended return, we received our First Time Home Buyer tax credit on the 8th of this month!  After going out to dinner to celebrate, we tackled the major expense that we knew about when we bought our house; replacing our furnace.  After calling around and researching and having estimates done, we finally picked a company to replace the furnace AND they also insulated the attic, which is great!  Unfortunately, due to unforeseen situations, we were not able to get our furnace last Monday as scheduled, but we’ll be getting it installed tomorrow.. I hope!  We’re very excited and happy to know that we’ll finally be getting our clunker furnace replaced and taken out and having an energy efficient one put in.  And based on the gentleman that came and did the bid, he said because our current furnace is so old, and because of all the energy rebates we’ll be receiving from not only the federal government, but our gas company, we’ll be seeing a return in the next 5 years.. and that’s something I like to hear!  Of course, with a new furnace we’ll need a duct cleaning, which won’t be done until after we get the furnace installed and when we get a referral from the HVAC company.  I’m very excited about the furnace because I know we won’t freeze AND go broke this winter, and because the biggest expense will be out of the way and we’ll most likely never have to replace the furnace as long as we own the house; and we plan on being here for a VERY long time.

Everyone’s been doing great too!  Jeff’s been working and doing his thing at work, and has recently made a ton of breakthroughs with work, and has recently made strides that have resulted in making his job much easier.  I just had my 24th birthday on Friday, and we celebrated by going to Lonestar Steakhouse for dinner.. nothing says grownup date like eating at a place that you don’t get a toy with your meal!  And then today -well yesterday seeing how it’s after midnight now- marked mine and Jeff’s 6 year anniversary as a couple.. and what a crazy, but fantastic 6 years it’s been!  I am constantly amazed and have felt blessed many times over because of him.  If I have to name his one redeeming quality, it would have to be his capacity of forgiveness and understanding.. I guess I just named two!  He’s helped me through so much, and I KNOW I would not be the person that I am today without him.

Speaking of Jeff and I, I can’t go without mentioning our two daughters!  Without US, THEY wouldn’t be here!  Zoe’s going through a stage right now that testing our patience and and nerves!  Last month, she decided that everytime she made a trip to the toilet, she would bomb the toilet with tons of TP, sometimes using the entire roll.  It was driving us up the wall, and we finally came up with a solution; we got a cheap wooden spoon, and triple bagged some grocery bags, and had her scoop the TP out of the toilet using the spoon.  She did NOT like that at all, and has not done it since then, which is a great thing.  And just for the record, we were tolerating it, but the final straw was when she did it in our downstairs bathroom and it resulted in a main sewer line clog and we had flooding all over the bathroom floor and all over the hallway carpet.  I think it was an unorthodox method, but at the same time, she needs to realize that in life there’s consequences for every action, and that there will be repercussions for those actions and sometimes it’s gross and not very fun.  However, she stepped out of this habit and has now started regressing with her potty training, something she’s done so well for the last 6 months.  However, I know this is normal, and eventually she’ll get through it, we just have to be patient and work through it!  One of her recent hobbies.. well it’s been a hoby of hers for a while, but has recently started taking off is photography!  She loves to set up these little scenarios and take pictures; her favorite place is her closet.

These are some of the pictures she’s taken.

Zoe’s also been growing VERY well, she’s about 40-41 inches tall, and weighs in around the same in pounds, and she’s actually about to hit another growth spurt we think, since she’s starting to chub up a little, which usually happens before she starts growing again.  It’s a bit unnerving to realize my almost 4 year old is only EIGHTEEN inches shorter than me!  She’s also been slowly learning how to write her letters, but it’s something that we need to work on more.  She knows how to write A, C, D, E, M, O, R, T, Y and Z, so we need to work on the other 17 letters of the alphabet.  And of course, here are some recent pictures of her.

These are some of her self portraits she’s done!  I think they showcase her personality perfectly.

And of course, we can’t forget little Ruthie!  Don’t get me wrong when I say this, but I feel exceptionally blessed with her as our daughter.  She’s always been behind in terms of her milestones being met, and her size, but she just has such a wonderful demeanor and she’s got a zest for live that Zoe never really had.  She doesn’t talk much, but she still is able to communicate her point across and is able to tell us her wants and needs.  And of course she’s just so patient and rolls with whatever is tossed her way, because let’s face it; Zoe kind of bosses her around like the bigger sister she is!  And for the most part, Ruthie just takes it as it comes; however she’s got a streak in her where she will get spunky right back.  She’s also got an amazing sense of humor and finds simple joys in doing silly things like running around us in circles and saying hi every time she gets to our left or right side, or she likes to pull up our shirts and stick her finger in our belly buttons and runs off laughing.  One of the first words she started saying coherently after the monosyllabic stuff was ‘tickle’!  She’ll come up to us and start saying ‘tickle-tickle’ with a big grin on her face and start tickling herself, so you’ll know she’s ready for some tickles!  She’s learning fast now though, and is in the early stages of her vocabulary explosion that kids tend to get when they are around 18-20 months.  She does know some sentences, like “I all done!”, “I a good.” and “I don’t know.” and “I want …” which usually ends in a mumble because she’s still learning how to talk.  She did learn milk which is good!  She’s kind of a picky eater, but we’ve discovered she LOVES anything with rice and a sauce; which is usually coconut milk and curry since we love Eastern Indian curry in this family!  She also likes noodles of any kind, and her favorite fruits to eat are bananas and tomatoes.  You read that right, she LOVES tomatoes!  We’ve been getting tomatoes finally in our garden, and she loves to polish off the smaller ones we’ve been getting.  We’re still trying to introduce her to other things, and her palate has been expanding to eat other things; however she’s NOWHERE near where Zoe is with her palate.  And of course, I need to add some pictures of Ruthie as well!

These I think show how she’s so inquisitive and yet she’s got a certain sassy spunk about her.  Zoe took the first one, and I took the second one.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the update.. and thanks for reading through all of it, it’s a LONG one!

It Could Have Ended Badly….

>So, tonight for dinner we had a beans and rice with tomatoes and sausage dish.. it’s great because you can cook it in one pot.. although I use my rice cooker to make sure the rice cooks without scorching the beans.  Anyway, the best way to cook the sausage we decided was to grill it; we’ve done the dish a few times before and we do it with the grill everytime.. works GREAT!  It really brings out the smoky flavor in the sausage.

Anyways, Jeff doesn’t like cleaning the grill, and I guess there was a bit of grease on it.  So after he finished cooking the sausage, he decided to ‘burn the grease off’ and just left the grill on while he came inside to cut up the sausage.  BTW, our grill is propane fueled, but we buy the little canisters since they are cheaper than the huge ones.  Our friend Cooper shows up -his wife Ngaire and daughter Azzie were already here since I watch Azzie on Mondays and Fridays and Jeff brings Ngaire home with him from work since they both work at eBay- and walks in and says in a converstational tone “You know your grill is on fire right?”

Jeff responded with, “Yeah, I know, I left it on.”  And Cooper said “It’s actually on fire.”  So we go outside to see what he’s talking about.. and lo and behold.. the whole right side was engulfed in flames.  Jeff thought turning it off would solve the problem.. but it didn’t. 

Instead, the flames got larger.  So then I started getting a bit worried and said, “Jeff go get the fire extiguisher.”   He responded with “No, it’ll go down on it’s own eventually.”  And I said,  “No, Jeff go get the fire extinguisher, it’s not going down.”  So then he says “Fine!” in this.. tone of his so we go inside to get the fire extinguisher and while I cleaned up the mess I made in pulling the tab off -it went flying and hit the food and almost knocked all of our sausage on the floor- Jeff was able to quickly put it out.

Alas, we had a casualty.  The part where you cook the food on MELTED.  I guess it’s made out of aluminum or something because under normal circumstances, it should not have done that.

Jeff’s famous last words?  “Well, we know now that trying to burn off grease doesn’t work.”

I swear, Jeff’s got more redneck in him than I do!


Being in Pain Just Sucks

>So, today started just like any other Monday, until 11:30 when Ruthie scratched my eye.  That’s right, she didn’t poke or jab my eye but scratched it.  And let me tell you the pain was horrible!  I thought she scratched my cornea, but I wasn’t sure.  Until I was able to stand light long enough to look at my eye, and over my iris and pupil there seemed to be a ripple in the reflection.. my eye essentially looked like there was a ‘chip’ in it so to speak, like a chipped round glass marble.  I was able to convince Jeff to take me to the doctor, which was an adventure in itself.

At first I tried to get ahold of an MD eye doctor, but unfortunately they were booked until the end of the month.  That wasn’t going to cut it, so I was able to get ahold of an OD at an eyeglasses place, but they flat out said they were unable to do anything for me.  The receptionist was nice enough to call an MD, and they said they’d be able to squeeze me in.  It’s kind of lame that they couldn’t see me when I called myself, but they were able to see me after the receptionist called.

So we get to the Doctor’s office, and Dr. R literally took a look at my eye and confirmed that in fact, I did have a corneal scratch, and that Ruthie got me; his exact words were “Wow, she got you really good.”  He gave me two different eyedrops; one is an antibiotic, and the other one was eyedrops for pain.  And to protect my cornea from even more damage, they put in a contact.  And I have to say, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be!  It feels a bit strange, but that’s probably being contributed from the fact that my eye’s got an injury.. I’m gonna have to think about doing the switch over to contacts, or at the very least part time.

I know I’m going to be alright now, but I can’t help but admit there was a feeling of panic.  Being hearing impaired for the most part does not bother me.  I’ve dealt with it my entire life, and I’ve adapted and I’ve accepted it as me being me.  I don’t resent the fact that my hearing is not whole; in fact I think it’s shaped and molded me into the person that I am now.  However, I can’t say it doesn’t leave me feeling vulerable, and in the time my eye was scratched and had to use a cold compress to help with the pain, and not being able to see as well as I normally do; well as well as I can see being nearsighted like I am, I have to admit to the underlying panic I felt not being able to see normally.  I rely so much on my eyes and sense of smell, touch -not so much taste-  and also my intuition to get around and about in life, and to have my eye temporarily out of commission, it really scared me.

I know I’m going to be fine now.. hopefully eye rest also known as sleeping will help out, and I just have to keep at it with my eye drops.

On other news, I’m happy to report my garden is really blooming and coming along nicely!  We’ve been getting a lot of rain thanks to el niño, which is really helping out the growth.  I can’t wait to partake the fruits of my labor.  And of course, I’m going to share 🙂

Living The House

Home Sweet Home!

>Well, it’s been a week now since we’ve been in our new house and can I say I LOVE being a home owner?  We moved last Saturday, and while we still have a TON of stuff to move and clean at the apartment, it’s been great!  We didn’t get help for moving until 1:00pm, but my BIL Devin (he’s married to Jeff’s sister Melissa) did us a massively huge favor and dropped off his dolly so we could use it to move our appliances in and out of the house, and then Andy, Tim and Luke -he also brought his wife and stepkids- showed up (in that order and they are Jeff’s brothers) helped us take the heavy stuff out to the moving truck and then moved the stuff into the house.  It’s so amazing that moving stuff out of the truck is WAY faster than putting stuff in!

We still aren’t quite completely moved in aside from the obvious fact that we don’t everything that we own here, but we’re planning to make a trip -or two- to the apartment this week to clear it out and clean it up.  What’s awesome is that I was very worried about having to go out and buy a garden hose and lawn mower and other essentials for yardkeeping, but we lucked out and the previous owner left that stuff… and BONUS for me is that there’s even extra base cabinets outside in the shed!  FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC because on of the larger minor expenses I was expecting to have to pay out was a desk and storage space for my crafting stuff in my crafting room, and I was planning on spending about $300 or so doing that; instead all I have to do now is borrow a stud finder, get a length of countertop from IKEA for $80 bucks and some 2×2 and drill some holes and I’ll have a workspace to run the entire length of one wall!  We went to IKEA this weekend to buy some stuff, but we’re planning to make a second trip after the apartment is completely cleaned out and whatnot to go and get a dining room table and the countertop along with laundry baskets and other random stuff, since none of it would fit in our car especially because I need a 9 foot countertop!

I will post pictures of our home, but I need to wash the couch covers and just really organize and put shelves up and everything.  I gotta say, it’s quite interesting being a home owner, and it’s taken a few days, but it’s become a home and not a weird random house.

Living The House

Less Than a Week to Go!

>Well, we sign the closing papers for our house in FIVE days, and then we move next Saturday!  I’m super excited, but also kind of nervous and anxious.  Last Monday, we got our interest rate locked in at 5.25%, so now we know how much our mortgage payments will be, which is great because we’ll be able to plan our budget out and whatnot.  The appraisal was also this past week and our house was given a value of $175,000!  Our agent was surprised it got appraised for that, and actually said to me “I’m shocked to be quite honest, I didn’t think it was going to appraise for that much.”  Well then!  And I’ve got some more pictures too, since the appraiser took pictures, and we got them in the appraisal report.

 Here’s the red bathroom, the one that’s down in the basement!  I was initially thinking ‘red is a weird color for a bathroom, but the more i think about it, the more I really like it!  We’ve got the perfect picture to hang over the toilet, but we need to get it laminated so the paper doesn’t warp and ripple from people taking showers in there.  I also love the orientation of the shower, it’s really awesome.

 Here is the carport and driveway, and that door leads into the kitchen.  That yellow thing on the roof is the swampcooler that’s been winterized; that is to say covered so there’s no leaking issues from melting snow and whatnot; an issue we had at our last apartment.
Here’s the back patio!  The driveway carport actually continues into the patio.  This picture was actually taken to show the ‘chipped’ paint on the wooden fencing you see there in the lower right corner, but it’s a great picture of the patio area.  One thing we do not know is if we get to keep the picnic bench or not, but I really hope we do, because that would be AWESOME!  and that shed back there isn’t really a storage shed, but it houses the sprinkler system we are so lucky to get!
In case you were wondering why there’s a picture of the ‘chipped’ paint is because we’re getting an FHA loan, and they have strict requirements; and one of them is with paint.  Since the house was built before 1974, all chipped paint has to be taken care of.  I’m willing to bet this paint is alot newer than 1974, but because of the rules, it has to be painted.  It’s all good though.  There’s also another ‘problematic’ area on the other side of the fence behind the shed, I’m sure that was caused by the sprinkler water wearing the paint off based on the picture I saw.

Everything has been taken care of except for internet coverage.  We’re not sure yet if we’re gonna contiune to use our current provider or if we’re going to go with another provider and see if we can get a better deal for internet.  The electricity is due to go into our name on next Friday or Saturday, and the gas will be switched to our name on Monday.  When I had called the gas company to transfer coverage, the lady on the phone informed me that the current owner had called in to have it shut off completely, which is actually BAD because the weather can dip down low and then there’s the risk of bursting pipes or whatever.  Besides, having it switched over is going to be $8, but if it were turned off and then turned back on, it would be $15.  I’m all about saving money, even if it is just $7!

It’s so close!  I’m EXCITED!

Living The House

House Pictures!

>Today was our inspection and aside from a few minor issues, it went well!  And I managed to ge a few good pictures of the upstairs of the house.  Unfortunately, one of the guys that live there was home, so I wasn’t able to get pictures of the downstairs.

These are the bedrooms that we’ll be sleeping in, all upstairs.  The green room will be our room, since it’s the largest, the white room will be Zoe’s room, and then the blue room will be Ruthie’s.  The room is REALLY dark as you can see, and I actually had to adjust the levels in photoshop because all you could see was the window and that’s it.  I guess the light coming into the bedroom is why the flash didn’t go off.  They are decent sized bedrooms, since the bed in the white room is a queen size.

Here is the front room and upstairs bathroom.  I took the picture of the front room from the hallway leading back to the bedroom and bathroom.  It’s a decent sized front room, but we currently have no plans on actually using it as a living space, Jeff wants to put down a huge track to race cars… we’ll see about that, however that bay window is GREAT, especially for a Christmas tree.  And the bathroom has been updated and painted the same neutral tan as the front room.  The floors match the tile on the wall… I htink it’s the same tile but I’m not sure.  And while I’m a HUGE fan of our Spongebob Squarepants shower curtain.. I have to say I’m a really big fan of that dark red shower curtain.

Here’s the kitchen from three different angles.  The first picture is from the same spot (but me turned slightly) that I took the picture of the front room from.  You can see the door frame on the left side of the picture, that’s the back door that leads out to the carport and the back side of the house.  I took the next two pictures in the corner you see to the right of the window in the first picture.  Again, it’s got updated cabinets, counter tops and flooring, with the same tile that’s in the bathroom.  Oh and in the second picture, on the right that’s the stairwell that leads to the basement.  The walls of the basement are painted in the exact same color as the living room, upstairs bathroom and front room.. very boring but it really does work.  And the countertops aren’t granite even though they look like it; they are just regular laminate countertops made to look like granite, which I love.

And these two pictures were taken outside obviously!  This is the backyard, the carport is to the left.. you can sort of see the back corner where the dish is at.  We’re planning to fence it in, since we have discussed getting a dog, however I want a fence up first before we get a dog for very obvious reasons.  And the last picture is of me on the roof!  There’s some soft spots on the roof, and I went up with the inspector to see where they are at.  There’s not a lot of soft spots, and the roof did pass inspection; however based on the information I gave my dad and based on what I saw up there, the subroofing was done with 1/4 inch plywood when they should have used 1/2 inch plywood.  I was nervous about the pitch of the roof and it having leaking issues with the shingles, however my dad also confirmed that its 3-12 pitch, which is the lowest pitch allowable with shingles without having issues with leaking.  The roof has about 5-10 years left on it, so we’re gonna have to make plans on replacing the roof in the next few years.

I’m really sad I was unable to get more pictures of the rest of the house, but since the guy was home, I didn’t want to be the weirdo with a camera.  Of course, those pictures will eventually come, don’t worry!

Living The House

We Got a House!

>Well, that is to say we’ve put in an offer and it was accepted! We’re just waiting on the home inspection which is Wednesday, and I’m pretty sure that’s going to go well so I’m not worried about that at all!

Anyway, about the house. It’s in Sandy, on the EAST side of State street! It’s 2,016 square feet, with a completed basement, it has 5 bedrooms (3 upstairs, 2 in the basement), 1 and 3/4 bath and has a one car carport, but has enough space to park 3 more cars in the driveway. BTW, in case you are wondering, a 3/4 bath has a sink, toilet and just a shower instead of a bathtub with a showerhead, the 3/4 bath is the one in the basement. The kitchen, and bathrooms have been updated with new countertops, flooring and cabinetry, and everything has a fresh coat of paint. Also it has hardwood floors in the front room, kitchen and hallway upstairs, and the rest of the house -with the exception of half the laundry room that I suspect was a bedroom at one point- has full carpet which is plushy and soft. We’ve planned on the bedrooms that are upstairs being the sleeping quarters and the largest bedroom downstairs is going to become a guest room and the smaller bedroom downstairs -also the smallest bedroom in the whole house- will become my CRAFT room! That’s right I will have a WHOLE ROOM devoted to my crafting, something I’m very excited about!

Since the laundry room is so large, I think what we’re going to eventually do is put another wall up, and then put a door in there and use that as the food storage room. We’re waiting to see what happens with that home buyer credit thing that I last blogged about because it MAY double to $15,000 before we start stocking up on food storage and putting walls up. And we’re also planning on putting up a fence to completely fence in the back yard.

The best part is that the seller was asking $174,900 and we were able to talk them into accepting $167,000 AND have them pay closing as well, so we’re STOKED! I don’t have any personal pictures of the house, that’ll be done on Wednesday when we go back for the inspection, however here’s a picture of the front of the house.

I know it’s kind of small, but it’s not my picture, it’s the one from the real estate listing. And I’m not a fan of those weird window baskets so they’re gonna go as soon as I can figure out how they come off. I LOVE the bay window, however since we plan to use the basement as our main gathering and family room, it’s going to remain empty, and we’ll probably just use it as a gathering spot for parties and stuff.
We had initally wanted another house, however that one didn’t work out and I’m glad it didn’t. It was a bigger house, however it was also on a massively busy street -we’re talking 4 lanes- and it didn’t have any appliances other than the dishwasher. This house I know is the RIGHT house for us, and I feel so blessed knowing that on March 12th provided there’s no major issues that come up that it’s gonna be OURS!
Living The House

Shhh, We’re Hunting a Wascally House…

>Well, we’re offically looking to buy our first home!  We’ve got a realtor and we’re signing papers with a mortgage broker on Saturday to get our pre-approval letter so we can start putting down serious offers.  In fact we looked at our first house yesterday however the house was not in an ideal condition for us to buy.  The roof had started leaking and created water damage, and the landlord seemed like the type who wasn’t caring enough about the condition enough to ask the tenants to not smoke in the house.  It was going into forclosure, which is why we went to look.  We were interested in another house but since we couldn’t go see inside yet, we did decide to at least drive by it to see the outside of it.  And good thing we did beacuse there was a busted out window so who knows how long that was broken, and there was a couch upside down on the front lawn and there was someone driving across the front lawn in their pickup truck.  Needless to say, we’re not going to see that house.  We’re going to see a few houses tomorrow; hopefully one of them is in great shape!  They are all within our price range, so hopefully one of them is the one!  One looks promising; it’s alot of house -over 2,000 square feet- and their asking only $150,000.  It’s in a very good neighborhood, so I’m sure there’s probably already bids on it, so hopefully we can get in and put a bid in as well.

One thing though we’ve been tossing around is if we should apply for the $7,500 tax credit that’s for first time home buyers.  Basically it’s more like a interest free loan you can apply for by filling out a form with your taxes and in addition to your regular federal and state return, you will also recieve an additional $7,500.  And you pay it back by the IRS witholding $500 from your federal tax return for 15 years.  There’s of course alot of stipulations involved such as income limitations, you have to have bought your house within a specific time period, and if you sell your house within a certain time and you make a profit, they can legally claim the money back out of your profit… a whole bunch of stuff but for most people, it’s actually worth it.  I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty details here because I’m not a financial guru or whatever and I don’t actually blog for a living, but here’s a link directly that gives all the information about it

The biggest hurdle for us is that we NEED our tax return so we can use it as a down payment on our house, so we can’t really wait around for the papers to be signed to get the money because the form does require you to give the address of the home you’re buying or have bought.  We could file our taxes, and then amend it later, but unless our house needs work we don’t plan on doing it.  The house we looked at yesterday would have been an ideal home for it; however between the water damage and the roof and the fact the family that lives in the house are all heavy smokers, it’s too much work and Jeff’s not handy around the house so it would have been a money sink and not an investment.

I’m not saying that everyone who reads this should go for it; however if you feel that in your personal situation that it will reduce stress and improve your house overall, go for it.  But be sure to talk to a financial person or an accountant before you do it because on the surface it may seem like a good idea but when you put it on paper it won’t work out.

Anyway, wish us luck on our house hunting!