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Archive for November, 2008

Spend Spend Spend (on the new house)

November 24th, 2008 at 10:47 am

$800 in tools and supplies
$1162 for a scratch and dent LG Steamwasher (now with more scratches and dents, see below)
$899 for a gas stove w/ 5 burners and a convection oven
$700 for a queen bed set

Amazing how many things you find you need when you start trying to fix things up. Wait till we start adding in the repair bills.

The washer was fun. We have a narrow stair well. It was just not going to fit down there. So we did an impromptu deconstruction of the wood paneling and discovered another 3-5 inches of space. We managed to walk/drop it down the stairs, one step at a time since it still wouldn't fit with a dolly. We will see how well it survived the beating after the water gets turned on. (Oh yeah, did I mention the previous owners hadn't warned us that they had turned the water off after inspection, lovely.)

We will be taking the doors off our fridge to get it into the kitchen, not too bad since its designed for that so its easy. It is very bad that we have to do that for the old fridge though. Its full of mold and smells like it. Ugg. We also added a few new dents to the fridge thanks to it being awkwardly large. Ah well, at least its in, it was fairly cheap and what I wanted.

Discovered that the trim in the bedroom and library is horribly trashed, decided to fully replace it since we are going to be painting and patching anyways. Since the trim has been abused, its very easy to get off with a prybar but that is one more new expense. Ahh we always knew this place would nickel and dime us.

The weekend wasn't long enough. We had enough time to trash the place and no time to put it back together again. Too much shopping for things we needed, like a functioning stove and washer and the tools to fix the place up.

Friday after turkey day, we have the stove, the water guy, and the plumbing guy all coming so we are hoping to get more projects finished while we wait patiently for them. Feel free to laugh now.

We have the apartment until February. We are going to need it at this rate. So glad we gave ourselves enough time to accomplish things. We both have 3 extended weekends coming up during the holidays and DH has a full week of vacation to burn through in first quarter so we have time coming up in which to do the work.

I almost didn't get the house

November 20th, 2008 at 08:29 pm

but fortunately my realtor was willing to do whatever it takes to close such as begging her husband to get out of bed early this morning and go into the cold and cut bars of my windows.

Backing up a little, last night we got the all clear on the loan, 20 minutes later we were told we weren't going to be able to close until the security bars on the windows were removed. With a mere 5 days before the drop dead date, that wasn't good.

A flurry of phone calls and the sellers claim they will take care of the bars that night. I am in shock. These are the people who couldn't even sign the first contract on time. But hey, if they say they will....they didn't.

Realtor does a flurry of calls this morning, no one knows anything. She yanks her loving and very tolerant husband out of bed and has him accompany her to the house. The bars are still on. They begin work, more calls and emails ensue as people search desperately for the appraiser to confirm their removal and fortunately all is cleared with a mere 1 1/2 hours before closing.

All said and done, closing was the easiest and least stressful part of the day.

Both realtors saw the value of not trying to wait till the drop dead date. This is why I am always early and always prepare for potential complications. Life is less stressful if complications have time to be worked out.

Needless to say, we made sure to grab a thank you card and some gift certificates to a restaurant we know they go to alot. Funny part was, she had a card ready for us with a gift certificate to home depot. Smile She takes very good care of her clients.

My net worth is down 5k thanks to the purchase but its worth it to have a place of our own. Hurray!

Got the appraisal, closing tomorrow or Friday

November 19th, 2008 at 06:47 am

So we got the last of the all clears we needed from our mortgage company and now they are just rushing to have all the paperwork finished in time for the closing tomorrow. Because we are doing a short sale, it can take the short sale bank 24 hours to approve the closing. Grrr.

Hopefully we have their signature by this weekend so we can get started on the house. If not, we will have to wait until Monday to take possession (which basically means not till Thursday which is our first day off next week and is also Thanksgiving Day).

But at least its on track to close.

We have decided that before moving in, we want to paint the living room, hire a plumber for the plumbing issues, install a new gas stove and our new frig, correct the switch hot and neutral wires on 50% of our outlets and clean the place up a bit.

Don't even ask how much we plan on spending at Lowe's, we have a variety of tools that we don't currently own that we will need almost immediately. At least the holidays are coming up so we have a lot of mandatory time off in which to work on the house.

Received a raise and waiting patiently for the appraisal

November 14th, 2008 at 07:59 am

Yeah, I know you all know I am lying about the patient part. But that's okay, I shouldn't have to wait long.

The raise on the other hand is about 10.6% of my old salary so its very nice.
I was basically told I was invaluable and that they wanted to make sure I was happy here because they didn't want me to ever leave which was even nicer.

Normally all raises would go to savings but since we are going to max out the DH's 401(k), this will probably only go into short term savings (EF/house improvements fund).

So new house budget since our numbers are now more known except for utilities.

Savings1 $25
Roth IRA $150
Student Loan $193.6
Electric $120
Water & Sewer $70
Cable $62
Phone (2) $70
Groceries $300
Miscellaneous $800
PITI $1320
EF/HIF $1000

Our new loan disclosures show that both the upfront mortgage premium and the monthly pmi went significantly down thanks to it being a 15 year instead of a 30 year and that some of the closing costs were less as well.

After moving I also suspect that our miscellaneous category will go down since we won't be eating out as much. The convenience of 10 restaurants less than a block away is simply a terrible influence on us.

Very expensive weekend.

November 10th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

$330 for the home inspection
$99 for the sewer pipe inspection
$217 for clothes at one store
$76 for clothes for husband
$100 for clothes at another store
$64 for makeup
$36 for jewelry
$200 for curtains and curtain rods
$89 for groceries (including some Thanksgiving items)
$40 for books (cheap trip in my household)
$100 for out to eat meals

Youch. On the clothes, well, it was overdue and I only tend to buy in batches because I hate clothes shopping. Most of the items were very much on sale or it would have cost alot more. Jewelry, makeup and books have no excuse. As I don't traditionally wear any makeup, the makeup is an experiment. Everything else was a planned expense.

In the past, I have spent a lot more money on clothes because I didn't hit sales and would wait till I was desperate for clothes. I think I am improving on that but I still really hate to spend money on clothes.

I did have to force my husband to get 2 shirts he wanted because he seems to think its a crime for him to spend money on himself (this is the guy who waited until all his shirts had holes in the elbows before buying new dress shirts for work). So we went back to get them the next day while I still had a 20% discount on them (actually got 40% off thanks to a layaway special which was nice.)

Also, this was a 3 day weekend thanks to the home inspection. Blah, maybe I am becoming more of a saver than a spender, I really didn't enjoy parting with that much money and in the past I wouldn't have blinked an eye. What's especially weird is that I spent much less than I have in the past and it fits in the budget but it still gives me palpitations. I think part of that though is the fact that we will be spending so much on the house very soon.

Speaking of which, the inspection went well, we will have to spend less than we thought we would but we do need a new stove. The old one doesn't really work. I see the scratch and dent outlet center in our future.

I don't actually save up for Christmas

November 6th, 2008 at 02:03 pm

and I am guessing I am the only one here that doesn't from the blogs I have been reading. We just fit it into our usual budget and call it good. I guess we just don't feel the need for as many items under the tree as other people. While we will decorate and will wrap gifts, they tend to just be the little items we would have bought eventually anyways.

My big issue with saving up for Christmas is that the more money available for Christmas, the more money gets spent. For example, one year I managed to get DH to agree to only using the Christmas bonuse from my small firm. I thought it would cut the spending. I underestimated the generosity of my employer. It was a very merry Christmas.

The thing is, we just don't need to be getting all that stuff at once. I tend to appreciate items more one at a time than in one big pile where it may take you a month or two to use everything.

I guess that we allow ourselves so much spend money throughout our day to day life that its not that big of a deal to have lots of Christmas presents. Not that I mind, I am glad we can get items as we want them.

However, I am the person that has been told all my life that I am not allowed to buy anything after October or anything in the month before and during my birthday. I don't tend to have a lot of items I want and I have a tendency to buy them when I want them. Maybe I am just a party pooper...

That said, I love the holidays. I love decorating for them, cooking for them and getting together with people I love. I even like to watch the holiday specials. I have even put holiday decorations on my gift lists so that people could buy me a little something (since some people really love to buy people things).

Course I am known for buying people things whenever I see something they would like so maybe I just don't like being restricted to shopping for a specific holiday. Ah well, I always knew I was a little strange. :P

What an interesting week.

November 5th, 2008 at 10:43 am

This weekend we did a marathon window shopping session on house furniture. I suspect we will not be buying new furniture anytime soon because we are too picky and couldn't find anything we liked. :P I do eventually want a new or new to me couch that is more comfortable than our current one but I didn't see any winners.

We did pick up some items on our to buy list at Linen N Things close out sale. I really hope they are still around when we go to buy drapes and curtain rods but I doubt it. They are starting to look picked over.

Had my credit card freak out about my usage. No surprise that they didn't like me buying a frig but it was a surprise that they took a week to finally decline my card and never called me (I called them and they took care of it in about 10 minutes). First time I have had a card that didn't call me before declining when they suspected was fraud (did have one credit card that called me on every major purchase, sometimes while I was at the store, lol).

Monday of this week, all the inspections had to be rescheduled because the sellers decided they wanted to set up everything at the time we were supposed to be inspecting and we had to harass the mortgage company because they forgot that we wanted a 15 year mortgage instead of a 30 year mortgage. Better to have all this happen now rather than later.

This Friday we have the inspections so it should be quite the experience. After that, we get to call the mortgage company and get the appraisal in progress and then its just up to them to finish off the underwriting.