Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Owning a house is dirty work


I think my pictures will get increasingly disturbing, haha. My task for tonight was to rip up all the carpet and padding from the master bedroom. Alex and I tried sleeping here last night unsuccessfully. Alex ended up going back to the apartment around 3:30am. I think I finally fell asleep at 4:30 and woke up at 6:30 for work. Neither of us got any sleep. Alex's asthma was just bothering him too much. He suspects it's the carpets so I decided it best to just rip up the bedroom and put down hardwood ASAP. We'll see if this helps...

And some progress shots...



Cutting up the carpet is no problem with a really sharp ulfa-knife, which I just so happen to have so that part was a breeze! Then I had to haul it to the garage and rip up the padding.

Lastly was to remove the staples in the plywood but that proved much more difficult and my hands were rubbed raw from the carpeting so I decided to call it quits for the night.


I'm here at the house by myself tonight...it's really lonely and I hope Alex can join me here soon :-/ It's tough being away from him at nights.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spackle, it's what's for dinner


So I may have gotten a bit involved tonight...well, the Caps game started at 7 but the cable guy was still here at the house trying to get it all hooked up. We saw him drive away but stuff wasn't working so we figured he'd be back. This was at 7:45. Well, he never came back so we power-cycled everything and it all seemed to work. I guess this guy is in the business of not saying goodbye? It was bizarre. Anyway, Alex got to finish the game and the Caps won! And I got busy stripping wallpaper. I had no intentions but when I tugged on a piece and it gave way, I kept going.


And going! And soon I realized they would come off in entire strips!! This almost never happens with wallpaper: I was so excited!


So I removed the medicine cabinet on the wall and continued to strip. Wallpaper, that is ;-)


Before I knew it, I was done and the bathroom is now wallpaper free! But then I realized they simply used wallpaper to cover up the nasty drywall work underneath it. Seriously...they must have spackled and then given up...no sanding, nothing. So I re-spackled and I can sand tomorrow...then paint! Woohoo!

Belated

I know I haven't posted in forever! This weekend was so crazy and because we're living between the house and the apartment, I don't exactly have access to my home computer and photos. Everything is divided up and we have no internet access. But the cable guy is coming today to the new house to hook it up so that's good.

I'm so thrilled with all we got done this weekend and I can't wait to get even more done! Alex and I are going to try sleeping there tonight for the first time. We feel that we've gotten the place pretty clean and it may actually be habitable for Alex now, woohoo!

I hope to have a picture tonight but I can't promise anything!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Geez


It has been an incredibly long process but Alex and I finally have our house! We fought long and hard for this place and I'm so glad we did. Our weekend has been incredibly busy (hence no updates). We've just been working non stop since Thursday night. I got the garage cleaned out and organized. The main level of the house is almost entirely painted. It took us a good solid day to prep (strip wallpaper, patch holes, etc). We also had a good bit of plumbing work to take care of. My parents have been such troopers throughout this whole process. They never blink an eye when I even suggest that we need help with something. They are truly fantastic like that!

I have several photos of the house but won't be putting them in this entry. Most of the are on Facebook if you want to check them out. The transformation of the house so far is pretty incredible. It is finally starting to feel like ours!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wow


I was ridiculously busy today! I had a lot of work orders at work and everybody actually responded and said they were free today (rare) but what really made my day crazy was all the house stuff. I was told that we wouldn't be able to simply bring a cashier's check to closing and that we needed to wire the money directly to the settlement company today. Well, that's fine and well but we hadn't received the HUD-1 which gives the breakdown of exactly what we owe. All we have is an estimate. Our agent gave us a pretty good estimate plus a little more to give us some wiggle-room. So at this point, it's 2:30.

I call the bank to see if I can wire the money over the phone. Apparently not so I've got to go into the branch and do it in person. Fine, whatever. So I head out at 2:40 and make it to the bank at 2:56. "Oh, well, this will have to go through tomorrow. We stop doing wire transfers at 3pm, sorry." Ok, freak out a little bit. I look at my watch and point out there's still a few minutes and she says she doesn't want to rush it and make any mistakes. I sigh and ask her what time it will transfer tomorrow and she eases my worries by telling me it will be transferred in the morning. When she prints everything out and hands it to me to double check, she calls the wire transfer lady (I guess) and asks if she can take care of it for me today. Thank goodness they took pity on me and transferred it right then! I was so relieved! It's just one more thing to cross off the list

Then there was setting up our reservation for a rental truck on Saturday, ensuring utilities were transferred to our name so we have power and water when we move in, getting the HOA fees paid (UGH), making sure all documents are in order for closing tomorrow, etc etc. It was just such a crazy day but I think I made it through pretty well.

And tomorrow is the big day! We have the walk-through at 3pm and then closing at 4pm. I'm kind of glad I don't have to worry about carrying around a big check for tomorrow.

Anyway, the next few days are going to be INSANE so if I don't post, I'm sorry!

PS, don't you think I look like a racoon or bandit in this photo? haha, it's makes me laugh

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boxes everywhere


Our apartment is full of boxes! I am lucky I work with computers and clients who are constantly getting new computers because they all give me their boxes! Yay for me because that means I don't have to buy boxes or hunt them down. These computer boxes are great. Closing is in 2 days, yikes!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pink


Today was so rainy and gross. I love spring but always forget about all the rain that accompanies it. All the flowers look gorgeous with little droplets of water on them though! I wish I could carry my camera with me at work but it would just be too cumbersome.

Don't they look like paper? So delicate and fragile :-) Beautiful


You almost can't tell this is on a mirror. These are definitely my favorite of the different cherry blossom trees. The blooms are so big and colorful

Sunday, April 19, 2009

??


This weekend was pretty lazy. Alex and I figure our weekends will be crazy from here on out so we might as well enjoy relaxing on our last weekend. We close on Thursday at 4pm so we're really stoked about that!

We also have tons of friends coming into town this upcoming weekend so that'll be really fun too!

I promise I'll do a better update tomorrow

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yikes


Sorry for the delay in updating! The past few days have been crazy. Alex and I went to the first game of the hockey playoffs. The Caps played the Rangers and unfortunately we lost.

We have also been having to do some more work on the house...hmm, working on a house we don't quite own yet...

It's ok, you can call us crazy: I do

This would be us bring the carpet in through the basement window...that's a 15ft long carpet. Extremely heavy! We are fortunate that the current homeowners said we could have it. What happened is the appraisal was done and we were told we needed to finish the basement (YIKES) and paint the front porch (wtf?). So, we buckled down and got it done... This is what $100 and some determination can do


Before and After of the basement...at least part of it...











This would be Alex starting the scraping...it was very early in the morning too.


We did our best to match the color from a photo we had. I don't think we did such a good job. It's definitely a pink eraser color! Whatever, the guy didn't say it had to be a specific color, just that it had to be painted


And here's when we finished. Alex even partially mowed the lawn for good measure. If you've seen the property in person, you'd understand how big of a change all this is.

We are still on schedule to close next Thursday...a week from today. We are crossing our fingers!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pretzely


Alex's manager just got back from Disney World and brought back dark chocolate covered pretzels! They are killer! I'm not a huge fan of chocolate covered pretzels but because they were dark chocolate, they are much better!

Don't they look delicious?!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Nerf, baby


Alex and I reverted to our childlike ways last week and purchased this beauty: a 2009 Magnum Xtreme Dual Action X-Fire (we may have made that name up...). We both grew up playing with Nerf guns and had to pick this up when we saw it was $10! I think the hamsters have suffered the most with Alex using their aquariums for target practice. Not 10 minutes after we bought it did we lose a dart. We have yet to find it...I'm sure we'll find it when we're moving out.

Speaking of moving out...we've got 10 days! I still can't believe it.

Oh, and if you get a chance, you should see "Observe and Report" with Seth Rogan. It's a great movie!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fun


I am kicking this packing thing into high gear! We have SO much stuff and I just don't have enough boxes or newspaper to pack it all up. It's a bit overwhelming. So again, I must skip a photo of myself and just post a random one.

Alex and I were in Home Depot today when we decided to pick up a few paint samples of some colors we have been thinking we'd like to try. These are 4 colors we absolutely loved! The samples are great little 8oz cans and they are only $4 a pop! Not bad to make sure you love a color as much on the wall as you did on the paper. I am so excited to try these colors :-)

I think the orange is my favorite...it's called Apple Crisp. What do you guys think?

Happy Easter!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Breakfast


I don't have a whole lot of time today to post a picture but I've been meaning to share this for a long time. There's this awesome restaurant called Chutzpah right by our apartment. We usually go there for their killer breakfast but all other meals are great too! Alex and I will sometimes walk there for breakfast on the weekends. We will definitely miss this when we move. I definitely recommend this place!!

I am busy packing today and getting everything ready for our move. There is also a lot of financial stuff we need to get in line so I've been pretty busy. Alex and I are talking about having a separate blog for our house when we move in so we can share our progress and work we do on it. We are less than 2 weeks away :-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yummy


If you are a big fan of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, you must try the Loaded Cookie Dough ice cream! It is phenomenal! I made an ice cream run tonight and had to get this stuff. Since I first discovered it a few years ago, it's impossible to eat any other kind.

Anyway, things are progressing well with the house! We are 2 weeks away from closing and getting the keys to our house! We are so excited :-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

For real this time...


Well, it's for certain now...we will be closing on the 24th. Our loan officer and real estate agent have assured us it will happen! This is awesome news! I actually started packing up some stuff tonight...just little things ;-)

It's hard to believe all this actually worked out. We have less than 3 weeks before we close, which is amazing.

We were super busy today after work meeting with our loan officer to finalize paperwork so I didn't have time for a photo. Instead, I stole a clip-art photo...I know, it's lame

Monday, April 6, 2009

Good news!


Alex introduced me to this game that's called Fluxx. We picked up a copy yesterday at our local nerd shop. We got the Zombie edition and played it a lot last night. He wanted to pick up the regular copy so we went back over there tonight and got it. It's a really great game! I will probably make you play it if you come over anytime soon ;-)

And on to the good news! Alex and I got final approval on the house! Despite the delays and doubt, we finally got the OK. So now we get to move forward with closing, which should be April 24th. It'll be a push but I think we can make it.

We are absolutely ecstatic!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blossoms!


What a wonderful weekend it's turned out to be! Friday was so crappy but this weather just put me in such a good mood. Alex and I headed into DC yesterday for the cherry blossom festival. We left around noon but actually ended up just killing some time at his parents' house because there was a ridiculously long line out the doors into the parking lot at the metro! Apparently the whole world was heading down there. So we actually got down there around 2pm and knocked around all day. We got dinner and drinks at La Tasca and then met Adam and Catherine at RFD for more drinks! All in all, it was a great day! And today is just as beautiful. I climbed this great cherry tree right outside our apartment so Alex could snap the photo above :-)


We checked out the WWII memorial of course. The last time I saw it was when it first opened. It's still cool to see. We also hit up some museums


And this little pup got a ride!!


This picture would have been much better had there not be 50 people in front of me. Oh well


And here's the lovely guy who accompanied me to the festival. I know he wasn't too psyched to brave the crowds but we ended up having a great day! And the best part is that he wasn't working!



I hope everyone else had a great weekend! Tomorrow we will know for sure how this house BS will end. We were going to see some houses today but the one I wanted to see was already under contract...bummer.

Friday, April 3, 2009

sigh


Today was a pretty crappy day. Got some bad news from my agent about the house...not totally condemning but bad enough that we are actively looking at other houses in anticipation this won't work out. I am really bummed. We have yet to come across a house we have liked as much as this one and it feels like we just got jerked around for 3 months. I won't go into detail about what happened because it's very complicated but we will know for sure on Monday if we will be backing out of the contract or not. It's very frustrating and I can't believe the way things have turned.

Alex will be late tonight so I'm drowning my frustration in a bottle of wine...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Task Force


My dad is a home inspector and has been for the past 30 years. I have been going on home inspections with him since I was 3 years old. He remembers this time well as he would pack his briefcase with his necessaries and I would pack mine with my necessaries (IE: stuffed animals). Well, over the years, I've learned a thing or two about houses and what to look for so when a friend asked for suggestions, I was happy to help!

So for those of you who are also considering buying a house or condo, check out my list before you buy!

1. Before going in the house, look at the roof from the street and note what kind of condition it's in. If the shingles are warped or several are missing, it's a good indication you'll need a new roof. Usually this is a big ticket item as it can cost up to or over $10k depending on the materials.

2. Look at the condition of the wood on the exterior (such as trim). Does any of it look rotted out? Not such a huge expense but can be a pain to replace if there's a lot of it.

3. When you walk in the house, look at the ceilings for water damage. If there are stains, it's likely a bathroom is leaking or has leaked in the past. These repairs can get costly. If you find some, be sure to ask the homeowner about it.

4. Note pets in the house, or the smell of pets. If there are pets, it's likely the carpeting has been "targeted" and can get really moldy under the carpet pad if not taken care of. Can get really nasty!

5. When looking at equipment, check the water heater for signs of heat damage (burns above the access panel at the bottom) as this can be indicative of problems. Also, check the age. usually the manufacture date is in the serial number or sometimes you will simply find a manufacture date written on it. Water heaters typically last 12-15 years.

6. Check under all sinks for leaks. You can run them just to make sure they all work and that water pressure is good but checking for warped wood in the cabinets is more important.

7. Check the house for settling. You can see how much a house has moved by noting doors that don't close right (they rub or are out of level with the door frame). Also check the house foundation outside to make sure you don't see any major step cracks (looks like steps, naturally).

8. Tap on bathroom tiles with your knuckles in the shower to listen for water damage. A tub/shower with no water damage will sound solid; a shower that has issues will sound hollow and the tiles may be loose.

9. If the house has carpeting and you like hardwood, pull up a corner of the carpet to see if hardwood has been covered up. Sometimes you find a nice surprise like that!

10. The absolute BEST time to look at a house is when it's pouring down rain, or if it's been raining for several days. This will let you see if the basement leaks (usually due to a misplaced downspout) or the roof. This can also be caused by poor grading (how the soil slopes toward the house).


A random deviation from my usual posts but I figured it's a good time to post it.

Yay for tomorrow being Friday!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My FAV!


I discovered the best place EVER tonight! Actually, I discovered it about a month ago but it wasn't open at the time. What is it you might ask? Cupcakes Actually! Yeah, that's the name! How fun is that?!

Well, seeing as it was my first "experience", I asked the lady to give me "the tour". To be honest, she had me at "flourless chocolate cupcake". HELLLLOOOOO! But I let her finish anyway. They come in these cute little blue boxes with individual cupcake compartments :-) Very cute!


Ok, so she got me with the red velvet cake with cream cheese icing too...




Forgive me, for I have sinned...






So, I only tried the chocolate one tonight and it was pretty awesome! Less brownie than I expected but I think that's because they used dark chocolate more than milk chocolate. I actually prefer dark over milk any day but when it comes to brownies, I don't take kindly to messing with the milk chocolate flavor. Don't get me wrong, it was still awesome!

I'm definitely looking forward to trying the red velvet cake one. I know Alex will too ;-)

I will try to stay away from this place as best I can...1. because I can't imagine they're using anything low fat in these (nor should they!) and 2. they are a bit overpriced. And by a bit, I mean a lot. These puppies will set you back $3.75 a pop! I realize they're "gourmet" cupcakes but c'mon, they are JUST cupcakes (ha, listen to me!). Yet, I still paid it!

If you have a sweet tooth, I would definitely recommend it! Not for your average sweet toother...you gotta really love sugar!