July 26, 2009

A Day Off

Since we've officially been granted an extension on our option period, we've met with every possible contractor and inspector and our Realtor has helped us to come up with a list of requests, we decided to take yesterday off from caring about the house. We got all dolled up and went to see Tori Amos at the Long Center. It's my first time going to the Long Center and I must say it was beautiful. We had great seats for a spectacular performance and the view of down town from the terrace was incredible. After a wonderful show we went to Kerby Lane south for queso and a sandwich. Quite the perfect date night.

And now we go back to waiting for a response from the seller on our requests (demands?).

July 22, 2009

Inside Out

I can now say I've seen the inside of a sewer pipe. Specifically a sewer pipe that contains a big fat root from the lovely tree in the front yard. I've also seen an ancient roof with hail damage and rotten plywood. And last but not least, I've seen exactly what an exterior electrical panel should not look like. We knew there was a problem when 4 consecutive people (2 building inspectors and 2 licensed master electricians) took the cover off, cocked their head to one side, stared for about 5 minutes before shaking their heads and saying "what the HELL did this guy do?!". The only good news...no termites!

Now for negotiations. If seller-man won't at least bring the electrical work up to code and replace the roof (or give us back the money to do it ourselves) then this house may not be ours after all. I mean really, who wants to buy a fire trap with a leaky roof and a clogged toilet? All the cosmetic stuff is amazing...new wood floors, tile and carpet, new cabinets and appliances, new light and plumbing fixtures. But what good does that do it when it's charred and soggy. Very little, I'd say.

July 20, 2009

Learning Curve

We had our official home inspection Sunday morning. It was nerve racking waiting to see what all is wrong. This was also the time everyone came to check out the house. At one point D's dad and the inspector were up on the roof bouncing up and down while my mom wandered around measuring things. My dear friend Amanda came by with her son, Ronan - who's almost 2. He inspected the big sticks in the back yard and made sure to check all the doors for us (don't worry, they work). Amanda's dad is a building inspector and he provided a 3rd (4th? 5th?) opinion for us along with an idea of what work needs to be done. Fortunately, it's a pretty solid little house it just has some electrical issues and could really stand to have a new roof due to past hail damage.

On Tuesday we'll have a hydro-static plumbing test and termite inspection as well as meet with a roofing company and an electrician to get bids on the work that needs to be done. I feel lik
e I'm learning so much through this process, but it's still really overwhelming. I don't want to miss a single step and end up with a really expensive problem. I'm beyond excited about starting completely fresh with D in a house where we'll hopefully live for a long long time.

How about a half-bath today?

July 17, 2009


So after a full week of pulling our hair out we have a contract. Not a full house yet, just a contract...but at least that's something. Inspections are schedule for this weekend and hopefully in 30 days - give or take - we'll have a real live house of our very own.

Now to tease with another, though slightly less obscure, picture. Enjoy...

July 13, 2009

Tick Tick Tock

So we're a whole 50 hours away from our offer and we still have no word from the seller. Our Realtor called on rant-mode about how unacceptable it is to hold an offer this long with no response and that she was going to call and demand a response immediately. Here! Here! Of course that was 3 hours ago. So much for immediate.

This process definitely helps me understand why people by new homes. You sit down and negotiate the features of your house like a new car. There's no one waiting to outbid you and no seller holding out for the best offer. But we want an old house. With trees and a story and neighbors who've been there 40 years. Silly us for being so picky.

picture: Flickr squared circles - clocks

July 11, 2009

Fingers Crossed

Alright World, please keep your proverbial fingers crossed. We just submitted an offer on a fantastically wonderful little house. Out of pure superstition there will be no pictures until we know more. In the mean time...enjoy the back yard in all it's ginormous glory.

July 9, 2009

Nap Time

Zipper was spayed last week and we were told to keep her calm for about a week after surgery. Has anyone ever tried keeping calm a kitten who is thoroughly convinced that she is, in fact, a grown dog? She plays non-stop with our dog, Betsy, she cries at the door when Betsy goes outside and eats dog food (!?) when Betsy eats. Maybe we'll make youtube fame if she ever decides to start barking. When she does decide to sleep, however, she's awfully cute and cuddly.

picture: D napping with Zipper

July 8, 2009

How do people do this?

That would be the question D and I have been asking each other these past few weeks. How do people juggle demanding jobs, plan a wedding, buy a house and not kill each other? D's work has gotten particularly hectic lately and we're four months away from our big day. Oh and every single other person within a 30 mile radius of Austin, TX is trying to buy their first home and we all have the same budget. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that we're in a position to buy a home especially while interest rates are so low, but this process is making me crazy.

Every single home we drive by or go into (pictured above) has something majorly wrong with it or someone beats us to the punch and snatches it up before we have a chance to put in an offer. In case anyone's wondering, all of the above houses have some or all of the following problems:
  • It's already under contract.
  • Someone outbid us.
  • It's in a really scary neighborhood.
  • The surrounding houses are in trashy awful disrepair.
  • The foundation is heaving, sloping, cracking or otherwise sinking into the earth (most common problem).
  • It's too small.
  • It has no yard.
  • It has aluminum wiring.
  • It requires more work than we can afford to do.
  • It's downwind from a landfill.
  • It was built during the eighties.
  • It's in a subdivision that reminds us both of Children of the Corn.
  • It's in a subdivision where there are no trees taller than the houses.
What I'm having the most difficult time with is all the emotional ups and downs. Our Realtor tells us to sit in a house we like and imagine ourselves there....to see if we fit. So we do that. We drive by to see if we like the neighborhood, we look at the pictures over and over to imagine where our furniture will be. We imagine family dinners and where the Christmas tree would go. Then we go in the house and find that it's slowly sliding downhill and we have to scratch it off our list and mourn the loss of this theoretically perfect home. Rinse and repeat. Our realtor insists that it's just a waiting game and the perfect house is still out there, just waiting to go on the market...but we're starting to feel a little beat up by this process and we're taking it out on each other. How do people do this?