Friday, December 9, 2016

"New" House

It appears I completely forgot about my plan to blog about the home buying process.  Let me sum it up for you: it's l-o-o-o-o-o-ong. 

I am actually (very) happily settled into the new house.  We were able to move forward with the second house we had an accepted offer on.  The home inspector was only able to find one problem (the paint on the bulkhead door was chipped, and had to be repainted).  Once he got his second fee for doing the follow-up inspection, we were good to go!

We got the keys on April 15th, and Dad moved in right away.  He literally brought a small mat with him and slept on the floor in his upstairs apartment that night.  I'm not sure if it was more excitement over the new place, or excitement over not staying in our (very small) spare bedroom for four months.

We love the house - the cats are incredibly happy - they have tons of space - and huge many-windowed porches on the first and second floors - we have a huge back yard, that was already set up for a really large garden.  This year, our gardens were completely populated with seedlings people gave us, or old seeds Dad or I had from previous years.  We've already started planning out for next year.

The house itself is awesome - it was built in the late 1910s - early 1920s (I just can't remember which), and it's on an island!  A certain family member of mine told me that it's "not really an island," according to her, the fact that there is a bridge to our island means that it's not real - you have to take a boat to "real" islands.  I didn't comment on this incorrect assertion, as I like to keep the peace as much as possible, and since this has been a pretty wacky year, my silence seemed to be the right move.

I'm sure you've seen that I've updated the Netflix Christmas movie list for 2016 - I will do at least one more update before the big day.

Until then - try to enjoy a delicious moose mug of eggnog!
My Eggnog & My Tree

Monday, February 29, 2016

Moving On

Waaaaay back in January life was looking pretty grand.  We had found the house we wanted, made an offer, it was accepted, the mortgage was all set - we were looking at February 29th as closing day.

(Un?)Fortunately, the appraisal process threw a big ol' wrench in the whole thing.  It turned out the sellers had been less than honest about some aspects of the property - namely, that the "in-law suite" (with its giant bedroom, full bath, kitchen sink area, etc.) has not been used in 20 years, and so there actually isn't any heat or plumbing happening in a pretty big chunk of the house.

The mortgage broker gave it a big ol' "NOPE" on that, and we were sort of back to the drawing board.  Our Realtor approached the sellers with the opportunity to either take care of business, or accept a significantly lower offer, so we could include contracting out getting it taken care of.  No dice.

This led to a pretty darn bummed out me. 

However, like every story I ever tell, there is a silver lining.  The house we had decided on was actually the very first place we looked at.  It was perfect: it was inexpensive, and it had an entire separate suite for Dad, which were our only real requirements.  It turns out it doesn't technically have that suite, so off the list it goes.  I have noticed the property description on Zillow has changed to offering "potential" for a master/in-law suite, but the price hasn't changed.

Back to the drawing board we went!  We found an assortment of properties we wanted to check out, and sent the list to our Realtor; unfortunately, he wasn't able to schedule visits for 8 days, and by the time we got to check them out, only two of our 5 were still on the market (I had no idea real estate was such a fast moving business!). We found one more to check out, all the while slowly raising the max price we were willing to consider.  The three we looked at last Saturday were 100% dumpy slums.  Just trust me on this: they were super duper gross.  One had been my frontrunner, as it had a gorgeous and huge kitchen - all updated, beautifully painted, etc.  Unfortunately, that kitchen was what my lovely sister, Faith, referred to as "gilding the turd" - the house was literally falling apart - the floors were lumpy and bumpy because the foundation was so messed up, and we couldn't even check out the second floor apartment, because the stairs/balcony were falling off the side of the house.

We were looking at other options at home that night, and found what we both saw as *ZING* our dream house - late 1800s, huge, big yard, great neighborhood, etc.  We texted our guy right away - lo and behold, it had just gone under contract earlier that day, he still set us up an appointment to see it (which was good of him, as we were a bit sore over the fact that several properties had slipped through our fingers while he was eating sandwiches or something the previous week).  Luckily, the place wasn't as spectacular in person (I would like to write to my legislators to put a law in place that only allows photos that show a place in its actual condition be posted online).

I did mention one other spot we'd been looking at, and that we were really interested in checking it out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  So - fast forward to Monday, and I left work a bit early, Dad and Azi met me at the place, and it was perfect.  Not only was all the plumbing working - but the house is in fantastic condition, comes with all appliances, and even a warranty.  There are currently tenants in one part, but they are relatives of the sellers, so shouldn't be too much of an issue.

We walked through - imagined our lives there, etc. etc. etc.

Then, we went and looked at a place that had just come on the market, and, you guessed it, total dump! It is the kind of place that will be really amazing if someone with enough money can fix it up.  Gorgeous huge old house, with some buckets collecting water leaking through the upstairs kitchen sealing, and parts of the building appearing to want to fall off. 

We told our guy we wanted to make an offer on place number one, and he said he'd write it up and we could sign in the morning.  We were like "NOPE" - let's do this now.  So, we got our offer in, and by the next evening, the counter offers and counter counter offers were all finished, and we've officially got a contract in place.

I'm a big flabbergasted that it's still going to take a damn month and a half for the whole process, but, for now we've got the thumbs up on the mortgage (that was all settled on the previous house), and the sellers are happy.  It's time to start packing, and imagining what I'm going to paint over the wood paneling throughout my floor!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Never has the word "pending" excited me so much!  I was doing my daily stalking of the house we're hoping to buy on Zillow.  No big deal - except it IS a big deal!  It's gone from "for sale" to "this house has a pending offer."

Now, I know there are still loads of hoops to jump through, but, unless there is some crazy event that wreaks havoc on the property - I'm going to be a home owner in just over a month!

It's kind of cool - our projected closing date is February 29th.  We decided last night that we'll have to have a party every leap day (four years between parties should give me ample time to clean up and do all the baking for the next one) to celebrate our new house.

I need to do some online querying and find out when is the appropriate time to start crowing to everyone you know about your new house.  I know with pregnancy, you're supposed to wait until the second trimester, but I'm an impatient lass, and did not hold to that those eighteen years ago.

This is shaping up to be yet another wonderful day.  I think I must have known that when I put on my favorite butterfly earrings this morning.  They are adorable, and you should buy a pair.

For sale at

Monday, January 25, 2016


I'm in the midst of one of those pivotal moments in a person's life - when big changes are happening - working on buying a house!  We've met with the realtor, gone through a mortgage broker, made an offer, etc.  My take on all of it is that I feel like such a *grown up* - which is pretty incredible, when I consider the fact that I am thirty-six years old, and have officially been an adult for half of my life.

I am beyond excited about the house happening.  Of course, like all metaphorical chickens, I can't count it until it's hatched, but I feel pretty good.  That might just be my optimistic nature talking.

It's this whole adult concept that's throwing me for a bit of a loop.  I wonder if it's some "millennial" thing - where, despite the fact that I pay my bills, have had the same job for thirteen years, have raised another human being to the point that she is almost a legal adult, etc. etc., I still feel like I'm a twelve-year-old version of myself in a mid-thirties costume.  I've got my glasses, my cardigan and top that totally match (for real, they are a set), I'm wearing one of my four pairs of black 'office shoes' and my pants are wrinkled - due to a long standing belief that ironing is for losers, and people who make quilts (FYI - people who make quilts are NOT losers, I have counted myself among their ranks in the past).
Artist's Rendering of Me
Well world, get ready for grown up Jessy to come out and play!  I'm nervous at going "public" (read: posting it on facebook) about the house - and will most likely wait until we've actually got the keys in our hot little hands.  For now - the seller has verbally accepted our offer, and is signing paperwork with the realtor today. 

I'm planning on trying to document the whole process on here.  I will have to write up a big long explanation of the over two hour process of meeting with the mortgage broker, and the ridiculousness that meant we had to offer more than we wanted to because the amount of our mortgage was too SMALL for any lenders to consider us, but that's for another day.  Today, I will languish in the joy of being a REAL grown up.