Oh Hi

Oct. 18th, 2010 04:31 pm
av8rmike: 10 HOME; 20 SWEET; 30 GOTO 10 (home sweet goto)
Once again I fail at keeping journals and such updated. I'm surprised I haven't been taken off everyone's Friends/Reading list by now, but in case anyone was concerned, I'm still alive. Some updates:

Two weeks ago a giant moving truck showed up and dropped off a zillion boxes with all of Jamie's stuff. We're still sorting through all of that.

Last Tuesday we flew out to Madison, picked up some beer and coffee, then spent the next two days driving back here. It was a pretty uneventful trip, although we did get to see a massive wind farm near Lafayette, IN. Speaking of which, it felt like a tour of Midwest college towns in a way: Madison, WI (UW), Lafayette, IN (Purdue), Columbus, OH (THE OH State), and Morgantown, WV (WVU). The last one featured lunch at Sandwich U, a business that definitely knows its clientele and eating habits. Just check out that menu; I dare you not to gag.

I'm also feeling like quite the accomplished home-owner. So far I've changed a deadbolt lock, a shower head, the furnace filter and thermostat; mowed my 6'-square patch of grass, fretted over a wasp's nest, and cursed out the previous owners more times than I can count.
av8rmike: Optimus Prime on Obama poster; text: "Change into a truck" (change)
There's been so much going on in the last few days, I've hardly had time to log in and check my Friends page, let alone write an actual update. So, if I've missed anyone getting married or buried or any other life changes, feel free to comment. Where to begin?
  • We had the house walk-through and closed on Wednesday, kicking off four days of constant freak-out.

  • Thursday was lots of packing, because Friday the movers were showing up. The move itself went smoothly and quickly, which happens when you hire pros. Of course, the move butting up against Yom Kippur didn't help for getting stuff done on Friday night and Saturday.

  • My office is also in the middle of moving to a new location, which also occurred Friday. Thankfully, a professional crew was handling that as well, meaning I was only responsible for packing my office. Of course, it hasn't been all smooth sailing, as my keycard didn't work, my desk chair was missing, and I still have to arrange the furniture properly.

  • Speaking of the office, I don't like the new building itself because it's like a giant Faraday cage. I can barely pick up any radio stations.

  • I'm grateful that Jamie's been here to help with things and to keep me calm because it's been very stressful for both of us. My mom came in yesterday afternoon to help with organizing and unpacking. Yesterday, they completely unpacked the kitchen stuff, which is a big help. We haven't gone to a grocery store in days, so there's very little to cook anyway.

  • The other reason my mom is in town is because I'm playing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra tonight. OK, so it's not a "real" gig, it's just a reprise of what they are calling the "Rusty Musicians" concert, where regular Joe amateurs can have the opportunity to play a few pieces with the professionals. Right now I'm too worn out to be overly excited, but I'll be prepared for it.

  • Oh yeah, Support. I should probably check in there, too.

I'm sure I've forgotten lots of stuff, but that's a lot of update there.
av8rmike: 10 HOME; 20 SWEET; 30 GOTO 10 (home sweet goto)
(Yes, it's been a while. 'Scuse me, I've been a little busy.)

It occurred to me while driving to work on Friday that I would only have to make that drive two more times. I've done it every day for the last six years, so the commute is so ingrained I barely think about it any more. It's because two things are happening simultaneously: tomorrow we close on the house and move in on Friday, and on Friday my office is moving from its home of the last 25 years to a shiny new facility built specifically for us. Well, the building was there before, but the interior is all new. We took a tour of the building yesterday and I got to see my window-less office. I can't decide if it will be an improvement over what I have now.

I also just came from the bank to get my cashier's check for the down payment and closing costs. There's something about holding a check for that much money that makes things seem more all the more real.
av8rmike: Photo of pile of Korean money (money)
If you ever feel the need to practice your signature, I recommend buying a house, especially the mortgage application. 60+ pages, only about 10 of which are actual things to fill out; the rest is acknowledging that things have been disclosed to you.

On the positive side, though, the inspection yesterday went very well. The roof is asphalt/tar and needs touching up soon, but that's probably the most urgent thing. I may even be able to talk the sellers into covering it. Now I just have to worry about cleaning and packing up my apartment.
av8rmike: Optimus Prime on Obama poster; text: "Change into a truck" (change)
I have not been doing a good job keeping the journals, FB, and everyone updated. For those not also following Jamie's feeds, we've put in an offer on another house, which has been accepted. We're just waiting for the ratified contract to schedule an inspection. Amusingly, this place is just a block away from the previous house, and apart from having less square footage, it is so much nicer that we fell in love with it right away.

And yes, we're in complete "freak out" mode now. =O
av8rmike: 10 HOME; 20 SWEET; 30 GOTO 10 (home sweet goto)
After putting in an offer on a house, going back and forth with the seller over crap about closing assistance and his profit margin, the seller has finally decided that he's going to rent the house instead. To a couple who supposedly are going to buy after a year of renting and despite "going through bankruptcy" still managed to put a $5,000 deposit on the place. The realtor and both of my finance guys think something doesn't add up here. I wonder if the couple isn't just friends of the owner to whom he made some kind of promise and the actual marketing of the house was just for show. Also, it supposedly needs a new roof. 9_9

It's a little disappointing, but it also wasn't a place we were really in love with, so not that much is lost in the deal.

Also, had a pretty good birthday yesterday. We went with my dad & stepmother to a barbecue place in Bowie that we'd never been before. For a few different reasons, I doubt we'll be going back there.
av8rmike: Photo of pile of Korean money (money)
The seller is some kind of investor trying to flip the house, so basically wants more money. I'm not going to spend the rest of the weekend agonizing over it, though.

Updates!

Aug. 6th, 2009 01:02 pm
av8rmike: Penny Arcade Jesus, text: Wooooo/What can I say? Jesus is fucking metal (metal)
When it rains, it pours: First, to explain all the squeeeeeing and "OMGOMGOMG", this happened. Then it made Carrie sick.

I awoke to find *both* my cable and Internet connection out at home. They said there were no other reports of outages and Sunday was the next available time a technician could come out. I'm assuming that it's bigger than just me and will be resolved before then, but in case I'm not around chat in the evenings, that's why. (Or I suppose I could look for some place that offers wi-fi.)

Then I came into work to find LJ down (DW still up, fortunately). There are reports Twitter and other sites are down as well (Apparently a DDoS attack.)

A project with a short turnaround time got dumped on my lap, so I won't have as much time to kill for the next few days.

My Realtor is starting to put pressure on to make an offer if there's a house we like. I admit I'm starting to have second thoughts about the whole thing.
av8rmike: Alton Brown with megaphone (AB-rant)
Can I throttle the next person who says to me, "it's such a great time to buy [a house] now! You're in such a good position!"?
According to the Baltimore Sun, I actually make less than the "typical household" in the metro area (although they're not specific whether they're referring to single or dual incomes). $250,000 seems to be just barely affordable for me, and what is actually on the market in that price range is either "nice house, crappy neighborhood" or "needs minor work". The latter is, of course, realtor-speak for "shithole".

On the plus side, we looked at three places on Saturday we would consider living in, although the one that was the most beautiful was also a condo with some pretty hefty C/C and HOA fees. We also saw a house where the owners had literally thousands of dollars' worth of LEGO Star Wars kits, computers, movies, and a projector and screen. We didn't want to buy their house, but I wonder if we could become their friends?
av8rmike: Futurama's Bender in Jeffries tube, text: I'm done reconfoobling the energymotron (energymotron)
I haven't talked about this much (or anything else over the last few weeks), but I've been looking at houses to buy. More specifically, Jamie has been here for the last three weeks and we've been looking at houses together. We have looked in four separate Baltimore neighborhoods and will be looking in a fifth tomorrow morning.

So far, all we've found out is that 1) there aren't a lot of houses to buy in our current neighborhood that aren't condos, and 2) there are a lot of nice, completely refurbished houses all over the city, but many are in neighborhoods that are either inconvenient for me or are kind of sketchy at certain hours. We don't really relish the idea of living in the suburbs yet, because we like living in an area where we can walk to so many places (stores, restaurants, concert venues, etc.). Hell, I hardly know if I can even afford the down payment or monthly payments that would be required.

We were this close (-> <-) to putting a deposit down on an as-yet unbuilt townhouse in an as-yet unbuilt sub-division on the edge of the city. Then we went home and did a little investigation of the homebuilder and found all kinds of reports ranging from cost-cutting on the materials to shoddy building practices to mold/mildew problems to lengthy contracts if you accept financing from the builder. After all that, we dumped their brochures in the recycling bin and never looked back.

One other thing is for sure: for two people who are both LiveJournal users, we could have been keeping better track of what we liked and disliked about each property. We've learned that after seeing 3-4 in a day, they all start to run together in your head.

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av8rmike: Futurama's Bender in Jeffries tube, text: I'm done reconfoobling the energymotron (Default)
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