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Archive for May, 2016

Neighbor Question

May 20th, 2016 at 05:35 am

So ... last night DH and I were at our house checking out various things, measuring, etc.

I was in the kitchen finding the neat little built in's in the cupboards (pull out pot and pan rack!!, pull out dish towel rack!!) DH comes in from the yard and tells me that this blonde kid had just cut through our yard to his house from the neighbor's yard.

Our neighbors have a huge trampoline in their backyard. Last night they probably had at least 7 or 8 kids from middle school to early high school age using it.

Not even five minutes after DH tells me this, we are standing in the doorway from the kitchen area to the backyard, when blonde kid cuts through our yard again. He even had the wherewithal to apologize sheepishly.

Later, DH and I were standing on our driveway (getting pictures of Mama Robin and babies) and not once, but at least three times, various kids walked on our driveway to the front of the neighbors house. One even had the audacity to spit on our driveway.

From a liability issue alone, I think this is a huge problem. I'd really rather not have to use my homeowner's insurance this early on.

More so though is it is plain rude of them to be traipsing along our property. Especially when it's obvious we are home!

It's also an issue of privacy - we shouldn't have to wonder if someone is lurking in our backyard.

But ... the question is, how best to deal with it?

We plan on getting our privacy fence put up sooner than later (especially with realizing how free the neighbor kids seem to be with using our backyard as a pathway.) But until that can happen? And also the issue with the driveway - that won't go away with a fence.

We realize these people will probably be our neighbors for a long long time. We don' want to make enemies, but we also don't want to have our space invaded without our permission.

What would you all suggest?

Inside the House :)

May 17th, 2016 at 06:29 pm

Okay, so I went over to our house today after work. Not having a major sinus headache sure helped a lot!

I needed to take a picture of the water meter for our Realtor, and I also just wanted to spend some time absorbing the house and take some pictures!

One thing I figured out, was that the one closet which I had thought I'd use as a pantry (but would need some renovation to do so) wasn't my only option! The closet that is near the entry of the kitchen would work way better! I'll need to get some pull out shelving, etc., but it's going to make a fantastic pantry! The broom closet/small pantry will still be good for some of the larger items/cleaning supplies.

I also made my decision about which room would be my office and which one will be the bedroom. (The one with the hanging lamp is to be the bedroom. The other room is slightly larger, and will become my office/workout room/guest room.)

The room with the fireplace will be our living room, as well as the cat's playroom. We'll be putting their cat trees, along with lots of cat safe shelving on the walls and under the windows. I'll probably also put my electric keyboard in there.

The basement (which has its own kitchen and bathroom) will be mostly DHs "mancave." The workshop (where you can see the iBeams and sump pump) will be where fish and other animals abide, as well as where DH can work on his electronics. There is tons of storage space in the basement. Which DH will most likely fill with his home/car stereo collections easily.

(Upstairs is mostly "mine" to do with as I please.)

The previous homeowners who built the place definitely made some creative designs and "finishes" in the closets, etc. (As in, the closets aren't really truly finished. Still, they work.)

Some of the pictures may look a little weird due to my experimenting with the panoramic feature.

DH says he feels like the place is dated and needs some modernization. I'm not totally sure what he means - maybe the partition thing in the entryway? Could that somehow be updated to look more "modern"?

Officially, the house has two bedrooms and one bathroom. 1362 sq ft. Realistically it has three bedrooms, a family room, a living room, two kitchens, two bathrooms, a huge laundry room/area, and a workshop.

So ... here's a link to lots of pictures!
https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/nWK8NAX8sLwXKyVhCgyBjzAvN4YQITQyPBmzDUgT2El?v=grid&ref_=cd_ph_share_link_copy

Homeowners!

May 16th, 2016 at 06:52 pm

The deed is accomplished. The papers are signed. DH and I are now $112k in debt. Gulp.

In a way it was kind of anti-climatic. I was super tired from work and had a sinus headache brewing. Then I missed the entrance to the building and had to drive around the entire mall to get back to it. I made it to the office with a minute to spare - but offended DH because I didn't call him when I got there so we could go up together. Sigh.

We got our keys and went over to our house to drink some sparkling juice and see the repair work. Both of us were kind of upset with the other, so no teasingly carry over threshhold stuff. {we got over it}

Our realtor came by with an oversized key and took our picture. How to let him know we kind of think he was a real let down of a realtor?

Is it normal to feel more scared than joyful after signing the papers? That's how I felt sitting in our garage and thinking about what it meant - that it wasn't just a dream anymore. That we now are 100% responsible for a house and a garage and a yard ...

Maybe it's just my sinus headache...

Closing Monday! Murphy bed?

May 13th, 2016 at 05:28 pm

We will be closing on our house on Monday - after having gotten a second estimate and working things out with the sellers. Whew!

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Question - DH made the suggestion that I could use the closet in my office/workout room/guest room to put a Murphy bed in it. That way I wouldn't have to use space for a bed full time when we only will have guests once in a while.

I'm wondering if a dIY Murphy bed is possible? Then I could put the mirror on the backside of it? (I want a mirror to look at when I am working out.)

Anyone know?

Don't Count Your Chickens ... Le Sigh

May 13th, 2016 at 11:44 am

Well ... on the bright side. We got back from our honeymoon in Branson Wednesday night. Our time in Branson was wonderful. The condo we stayed in was beautiful - had a balcony we sat on looking out on the lake while eating a couple meals. We took in two shows - The Haygoods and Acrobats of Shanghai. Both were fantastic!

We also went to Silver Dollar City. That was okay .. We hadn't realized it would be quite so hilly, and DH was having trouble with that. He really tried to be a trooper. kind of felt like a waste of money for what we actually did there though.

Another waste of money was Inspiration Point tower. At least that was only $17 for the two of us. (Instead of $130 for Silver Dollar City.)

So ... Wednesday we are on our way to Springfield where we planned to stop at Fantastic Caverns on our way home. I send a text to Realtor asking about setting up our final walk through.

He calls me back. Bad news. During the freak tornado/huge rainstorm that hit the L town area on Monday, our house got water in the basement. The sellers weren't sure where it came from.

So ... we cancel our planned stops and race back to L town and to our house.

We talk to the sellers and see what they are doing to clean up the water (mostly just soaked carpet.) We decide that we don't know enough to make a decision, and ask to have a professional come out to give their opinion.

Thursday afternoon I get the phone call from Realtor telling me that the professional came out and looked (charged us $250) and discovered that the wall where they had cracks before (revealed during inspection, but not told to worry about too much, just to keep an eye on) was bowing. In fact, the person estimated 6 to 8 years before it collapsed.

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Prior to the professionals opinion the sellers had agreed to give us a $2k cash credit towards cleaning up/fixing the issue. Realtor (after professional's visit) estimated $10k to fix wall issue, and around $15k to fix wall and regrade yard/remove part of deck above problem area.

DH and I looked at all our money and what priorities we have, and thought we would set $8k aside now, and then save the rest and have it fixed in March.

Realtor calls me this morning about 10:30 with the written report/estimates. Just to fix the wall - $14k+. To regrade yard/remove deck/remove tree stump - $9100.

Realtor goes to sellers with numbers and they want two more estimates before discussing how much they'd be willing to do.

So, the end result is closing is put of til June 13.

DH and I are back on Zillow looking to see if there's anything else. To say that the pickings are slim, very slim, is an understatement.

I'd already given my 30 day notice .. my apartment is mostly packed at this point. I contacted my property manager and she told me she needs to start showing June 1. I'll need to have the boxes stacked as much as possible and have the place kept clean for showings. Ugh!

Moving in with DH is NOT something I want to contemplate. To say that he is living in an unacceptable place is to put it mildly. Partly why I'm so anxious to get us into a place of our own. (it's a long story as to why he's put up with it)

I called and canceled movers, and the new account orders for gas and electric and Internet. What a royal mess.

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Just talked to loan processor. He told me moving the closing to June 13 is just a pre-caution and that we could close sooner depending on when we get estimates and come up with a plan of action. (And of course based on what sellers are willing to do.)

This is SO frustrating.

Swagbucks CC, Roadtrip suggestions?

May 7th, 2016 at 08:40 am

I got a letter in the mail this week which made me very sad. As of June 8, the rewards card for Swagbucks will stop.

I'll probably go for the Citi cashback 2% card as a replacement - which in reality is a better deal. Although I'll look for good cash back cards first - as I have the feeling we'll have plenty of expenses the first few months in our home. Smile

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So ... this will be the first really long roadtrip DH and I will have taken together in the same vehicle. When I moved from NM, DH drove the truck and I drove my car.

The longest roadtrip we've been on was about 3 hours. This one is going to be around 6 or 7 hours one way.

Normally on a roadtrip I'd read or snooze or ... whatever (when not driving). That seems kind of rude when it's just two people though.

I found a few joke books on Amazon (free) and a book of good questions for couples to discuss together.

Beyond that .. the A to z game? Slug bug sighting? ????

Any suggestions of good books to read out loud? DH gets bored really easily

Keyless Doorknobs? Leaving on Sunday :)

May 6th, 2016 at 09:57 pm

The last few days I've been working on getting utilities set to switch over to the house. Today I called the water department and found out that the title insurance place had already put in an order for that to happen?

We are getting the basic Kinetic Internet/cable package. I'd prefer to go without the cable part, but DH really wants it, and since he's willing to go with the basic ... It'll only be maybe ten to fifteen dollars more a month than what I'm paying for just Internet right now.

I also got movers lined up for the 15th (which means I need to get my stuff packed PDQ!)

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DH and I are in discussion mode about possibly replacing the locks on the doors with keyless entry locks. I think since we need to rekey the doors anyway, why not spend just a little bit more and have their convenience? (i.e. you can set a temporary code for someone you need to let in, but might not want to have continual access, like a guest or a housekeeper.)

DH wants us to have a deadbolt on the front door for added security. I need to look into a solution for that ..

Anyone use keyless door locks? What are your experiences?

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We'll be heading to Branson on Sunday! We're planning on doing Silver Dollar City, one of the acrobat shows and then either the Haygood's or the Frankie Vallie show. We also may rent a boat - although the one we were thinking about is much bigger than DH had in mind (the one at the marinia by our hotel.) We may also take in a movie - possibly Captain America.

On our way home, we may be making a stop for DH's first chicken (as an adult at least - his family had lots of chickens as he grew up.) It's a bantam hen - he plans to keep it in the basement in an open cage til we get the chicken coop and privacy fence figured out. As long as I can't smell it ...

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Did you know that most auto insurance companies won't insure pizza delivery drivers? If they get into an accident while on the clock, the insurance will just not pay out anything, and then will drop the previously insured!

I found this out while working with S to find a home insurance quote. DH wasn't too happy with me insisting that he check to see if his employer carried the right kind of insurance to at least cover liability. But he did it anyway - even check with his insurance company ... (I waited with bated breath, hoping not to hear that he'd been dropped as soon as they heard "pizza delivery driver.")

The good news was ... his particular company does not have an exclusion. The bad news is ... most other companies do. He had them do a home insurance quote, and it came in higher than Geico's. So ... no can do with having all of our stuff on one policy. His insurance guy wants to see the home insurance quote I got - he couldn't figure out how we got it so low. ($713/yr.)

I'm just relieved to know that he's covered (only has liability.) I am thinking about looking into an umbrella policy, or see how it'd work to put stuff into a living trust - if that would protect our assets in case he got into an accident where someone got hurt (and he was at fault.)

Pizza delivery is one of the top dangerous jobs - right up there with construction workers, etc. DH is a very careful and defensive driver. But he also is on the road TONS of time ...

DMV, SS and the Bank! Oh My!

May 3rd, 2016 at 04:42 pm

Today I took off work at 3:00 and headed over to the Social Security office. That was over in about 35 minutes ... (The actual process took about 5.) I should have my new card in a few weeks. Big Grin

Then I rushed to the DMV. Got there about 4:05. Was out of there with my new license about 4:40. I'll change title/registration after we move. Smile

About 4:42 I got into the credit union. (Next door to each other almost!) Where I then changed my name on all my accounts there. DH needs to sign the new signature card for our joint account, and then that will be finished.

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I'm planning on calling various moving companies here to check on rates and availability for the 15th. Smile I am SO ready to be out of here! Even if that means I'll be paying rent for an empty apartment, I don't really care at this point.

I meant to pick up a tape gun and a sharpie today, but forgot. I'll do that tomorrow on my way home from Women's Ministry (we are meeting to finish making the flower pens for Mother's Day.) Then, I'm going to start packing.

I'm not going to be too worried about making sure I have *everything* packed by the 15th - just the vast majority. I also think I'll leave Internet service connected through the end of the pay cycle - that way if I'm here cleaning/packing later, I'll have access.

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How soon should I start calling utilities to tell them the date to change them into my name? Should I wait til we've been sent the closing cost document that tells us how much of a cashier's check we need? Or, can I do it sooner?

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I could barely sleep last night - mostly thanks to my allergies. That's with having taken a full load of meds. Melatonin, Allegra D 24hr, generic Nyquil, generic Flonase ... That's what I get I guess for two nights in a row of getting a bit more than 6 hours of good sleep! (Yes, I consider getting 6 hours a *good* night's rest. Mostly average 5 hrs ...) Had a massive sinus headache today too (again, with all the allergy meds in me ...)

Something's gotta give here soon. I don't want to be feeding my body all these chemicals daily forever ... especially seeing as though they seem to be not as effective.