Thursday, August 27, 2009

Its Finally Here...The Other Thing!

Yeah, so I'm back from the beach. And yeah it was great. Sand. Waves. Sun. Great!

But today is THE DAY!! At 4:00 this afternoon, I will close on my house. By 6:00 tonight I will be a HOMEOWNER!!! (imagine fireworks and Sousa march here).

I went to the bank to get a cashier's check for the closing costs this morning. That was a little scary - completely emptying your bank account and then holding a check for every cent you have in your hands? Yeah, scary. But, the bank teller was very sweet, and said "Honey, that's the best money you'll ever spend - don't worry." Thanks, Cindy.

Some friends are gathering at the new place this evening for a little bubbly to christen it, and then we're off to more thoroughly celebrate at our usual happy hour place. You know, because I don't have chairs yet. Or anything else.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Its Finally Here!

Well, folks, I'm off to Emerald Isle tomorrow morning, bright and early! I still have to pack, do laundry, wash dishes, bake a batch of cookies and locate my beach towel, but otherwise I'm all set. When I get back, it'll be time to go to closing on my house and start moving in, so lots of excitement on the horizon. Until then, I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dog Days

So, if its possible, its even hotter here today than yesterday. There's an actual heat advisory. So, I rescued my buddy Sasha and brought her to work for the day. She's peed on the office carpet twice already, despite the fact that we've made 5 trips to the grassy area behind our building. Being an outdoor dog, I guess she just doesn't get this house training thing. Luckily, the office carpet is tefloned to the max and is covering a concret sub-floor, so clean-up was easy. Anyway, another co-worker also brought his dog in today, and Sasha and Joby are having a blast just roaming the hallway! At the moment, Sasha is taking a break while Joby goes out for a walk. Clearly, she's exhausted, as you can see above.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I know all of my Southerner friends are probably sick and tired of hearing me complain about the heat, but alas I am a Yankee and I was NOT made for this kind of weather. It is currently a little after 11:00 in the morning, and according to its already 84 degrees outside. Now, granted, we have been blessed with a fairly bearable summer thus far, and today is really the first day that would qualify as "blistering" (we're on our way up to 98 degrees, with a heat index of 105, what with the lovely humidity), but I still feel like a sweaty, gooey mess AND I DO NOT LIKE IT. Its days like this when I really, truly miss Pittsburgh. When I see the weather map on TV and there's a beautiful shade of green over southwestern PA, and there's an angry crimson red color over this area of the country.

My landlord left for the beach this morning, leaving behind the much-ignored Sasha the dog (pictured above in happier, snowier times). I've already run outside about 5 times to check on her and make sure her water bowls are full. I also rubbed her head down with an ice cube a little while ago - she loved it! I guess me and Sasha are going to have a long week of heat-survival ahead of us. I just keep telling myself that in T-minus 6 days, I'll be on the beach enjoying a cool breeze and catching some waves. Until then I'll be staring at the clock watching each and every humid second tick by.
P.S. I just noticed that this is my 100th post! I really should have come up with something better for such a milestone, but this is all I got...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back on the Road Again

Halleilujah!!! The parents came through and have agreed to bail my butt out in closing on my house!!! Yippeee!!! The champagne party on August 27th is back on! I will admit that it wasn't the greatest moment of my life, having to tell my parents that I wasn't going to be able to do this whole house buying thing on my own afterall, but I guess we all have to learn when to ask for help, right? Anyway, now that I'm over the awkward part, I'm mostly just relieved!

With all the craziness surrounding the house, I almost completely forgot that in just one short week I'll be headed off to vacation in Emerald Isle, NC! This year, the fam has rented a house with air conditioning. We learned our lesson last year. I can't wait!!! Normally, I would have spent several weeks prepping for vacation - collecting the various toiletries, bathing suits, flip flops, etc. that are necessary for the beach and trying to squeeze them into a tiny suitcase, attempting to get at least some semblance of a tan before going out in the blazing sun, whipping up batches of cookies as my contribution to the family's food supply for the week. Well, this year I've fallen completely behind schedule and now I only have a week to get myself beach-ready!

Oh well, its a fun thing to work towards...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Screeching to a Grinding Halt

So, I've hit a roadblock on my way to homeownership. The last hurtle I had to overcome took place earlier this week - the appraisal. Normally, this step is really just a formality required by your lender to verify that you're not paying an outlandish sum of money for a worthless shack in a demilitarized zone. The assumption is that the seller had his house appraised prior to putting it on the market and he's not asking for too much more than its value. So, I had no worries about the appraisal - I completely forgot it was to take place on Monday. I forgot about it until Suzy called me Tuesday afternoon with some bad news.

Yeah, the house was appraised for a HUGE amount less than what I had agreed to pay for it. My lender immediately rejected my loan application, and I was left wondering what the hell just happened?? There are a few ways such a situation can be worked out: 1) the seller can just lower the price of the house to the appraised value, and we all continue on our merry way, 2) the seller can lower the price of the house, but refuse to pay any incentives like closing costs or inspection repairs, 3) the seller refuses to lower the price and I can either walk away or find enough money to make up the difference between my loan amount and the asking price. Well, #1 was extremely unlikely, and #3 would result in me walking away because I don't have that kind of money just sitting around. Luckily, on Wednesday morning the seller decided to go with #2 - good news and bad news. The overall cost of the house is now less (yay for lower mortgage payments and property taxes!) but I have to come up with the cash to cover the closing costs and repairs.

So, that's where we are now - looking for money. I have a feeling a really awkward call to the parents is in my near future...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Loans and Inspections

Well, the road towards homeownership comtinues! Last week, I had two big hurtles to get through - the inspection, and my loan signing. I was far more worried about the inspection than the loan signing, but as it turned out it should have been the other way around! The inspection was done by a really nice guy named Bob whoexplained everything in extreme detail. The house is mostly in pretty good shape. The few bigger issues are going to be covered by the seller (well, I hope so - I found out for sure later this coming week), and the other stuff all seems to be things that I can learn to do myself (Bob seemed to think so, anyway). So, check off the inspection - done!

Then we moved on to the loan signing. It was originally scheduled for last Wednesday, but it was delayed due to a tornado warning in our area. That should have been my first clue that this was not going to be a fun experience. I mean, it all turned out okay in the end, but watching a seemingly endless stream of paperwork pass in front of you, most of which might as well be complete gibberish for all the sense it makes, showing exactly how much money you're going to be giving up - well its terrifying to say the least. There was a moment when I honestly thought I might have a panic attack. "Wait! Wait! I was wrong - there's no way I can afford a house! Can we just forget about this??" That's what I felt like saying. But, the last thing they do is show you all the money going in to the deal from the seller and from the FHA, and suddenly things look a lot better! I'm still pretty much committing myself to 30 years of donating most of my paycheck to the cause, but at least now I'm getting something out of it - unlike renting, where I got nothing out of it. That's what I keep telling myself anyway...

So, I now have my closing date: August 27th. By the end of that day I should have the keys to the house in my hand and I can pop some champagne in my new living room!