Friday, June 29, 2007

Casey Serin Follow-Up

First and foremost, I would like to thank Schnapps from , and Akubi from for mentioning my Casey post on their websites. I would also like to thank NoDebtWhatSoEver at for creating and maintaining CaseyPedia and once again Akubi for posting the page. I can't tell you how much I appreciated that you guys thought so highly of my thoughts on Snowflake that you felt it necessary to make mention of it elsewhere. I would also like to give a quick shout out to Sprezzatura from for being one of the first people to read my blog, continue coming back for more, and linking me to her sight well before there was ever any mention of Fliptard here.

Casey Serin isn't going to be a regular topic here, in fact it appears the way things are heading, Casey won't be a regular topic anywhere for a lot longer. His blog has become so boring I have just started scanning the posts. At least the comments USED to be fun but even those make me a bit ill since it is no longer "organic". In my opinion, IAFF jumped the shark about the time he held his first beg-a-thon and has been going downhill ever since.

I have posted links to several of the websites that mention or are devoted to the Casey Phenomena to the left, the most prominent being Exurban Nation at where Rob Dawg reigns supreme at getting the newest and best dirt on everything Casey tries to keep from us haterz.

Thanks again, for everyone's interest and support. I will now be returning to my regularly scheduled boring remodeling posts.

Have a good one everyone!

P.S. If I forgot or missed mentioning my thanks to anyone that has linked to me PLEASE send me an email so I can rectify it immediately. Thanks again!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Casey Serin: An Off-Blog Topic Post

I know the focus of this blog is about my adventures into home ownership/ remodeling but since being let go from my job I have actually taken the time to get somewhat caught up on the Serin Saga. I promise a return to the normal boring posts of my own little saga but I would like to give my opinion of this whole mess.

Am I a hater? You betcha. Casey has been totally unrepentant in the fact that he has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars, committed numerous counts of fraud, and worst of all, he has lied to, taken advantage of, and willfully destroyed the credit, dreams, and trust of the one person he VOWED to protect and cherish, all the while telling the entire world of it. Unfortunately those are only the grossest examples of his sordid story. Do I even have to go into the fact that he taints and abuses anyone that actually tries to help him out? Not to mention the fact that he has humiliated and dragged his entire family through the muck of semi-notoriety, and actually thought so little of his own mother that he dragged her into his sea of debt.

When I first found out about young snowflake through the USA Today article back in September, I admit I felt sorry for him and his situation. I thought that he had been brainwashed by the dregs of society, those infomercial, money grubbing, scam artists that take advantage of naive people hoping to get rich overnight and call themselves gurus. As time went by I began to shake my head at his obvious refusal to face reality and eventually began to despise his callous behavior towards his finances, family, and morality. However, as more information has been discovered about young Serin it becomes more and more obvious that he has had origins of becoming a scam artist himself since he was a teen-ager.

Opinions seem to differ greatly at the intelligence of Fliptard. He has screwed up everything he touches. I remember someone on Exurban Nation once referred to Casey as having the fecal touch vs the Midas touch. While I had a good laugh at this reference, it did seem to fit. At the same time, I admit, from the beginning, it has crossed my mind numerous times that there is just no way all this is real, it has to be an elaborate scam. Then Casey would blog about how he had screwed up yet another opportunity to help himself out of his situation and I would waffle back to the idea that Forrest Gump was a mental giant next to Casey Serin.

It's easy to get caught up in the drama of the day to day or week to week spiral into the gradual descent deeper insane situations, improbable relationships, and what has become the constant trolling that has become the IAFF blog. All though, I have been out of the loop somewhat over the last 2 months because of our house and my loser w-2 job and got out of the habit of following every little post about Murse Boy. I have only been scanning the threads for the most pertinent nuggets of information. Since losing my job this last week I have been taking the time to get caught up on the story.

I think Casey is more intelligent that a lot give him credit. I think Casey studied the gurus and their "success" stories and decided he could be like them. I think he went into the house buying orgy with the idea that if it worked and he flipped them great, wonderful. If he didn't and lost them, wow, what a great story.

How many of the so called gurus actually have walked the walk and talked the talk of what they feed to the masses? How many of them are rich not because of all the "hard" work to get where they are but because of their own charisma, charm, and the frenzy of the millions of people that dream of getting something for nothing, becoming rich over night without doing the work to get it?

I know a lot of people disagree with me, and I admit it is even hard for me to swallow but after thinking over everything that has come to surface about Casey Serin, it just seems more than probable that this whole thing is an elaborate scam to be the next guru. I also believe that part of the reason that more people refuse to even entertain the idea that Casey is pulling off one of the biggest scams ever is because everything he does (or in Casey's case doesn't do) and blogs about can only be explained by the fact that only a moron of stupendous proportions could make the decisions that Casey has. He is such a moron that we all sit back and marvel that his brain has enough function to allow him to breathe in and out so we couldn't POSSIBLY be fooled by someone with such a mental incapacity. YET how many people that have actually had occasion to be in the same proximity as Casey marveled at how charming, intelligent, and coherent he is? Pink's song Stupid Girls keeps coming to mind. How much easier is it to play stupid than intelligent?

Just think about it. If you follow everything about Casey that the haterz have found out through their own due diligence about Casey's background and largely ignore anything that Fliptard has blogged about you can almost see the chain of events that has him on the brink of being the next guru. The practice blog, the research on having a successful blog, being a media whore to get his blog ratings up, now the book and selling the blog?

Do I think that Casey is some genius that has followed a flawless scam? No, he has too big of an ego, he tips his hand a little too often. We all know he dreams of being a guru because he has blogged about it but no one really believes he can do it because he is such an imbecile. I think he is closer to reaching his goal that we are all giving him credit for. Personally, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out that the REAL book, home study courses, and seminars won't have a thing to do with foreclosure but in fact about building and monetizing a highly successful blog.

However, in closing, I don't believe for one second that if I am right about any of this, that it justifies or excuses any of the pain he has caused his family, the crimes that he has committed or the total lack of common decency, morals or ethics just to accomplish his goal.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Quick Update

I am really sorry I haven't posted anything new in so long. Losing my job totally took the wind out of my sails. I have been so down about it I haven't done much of anything the last week. I really need to get out of this funk and get back to being productive.

I don't think I am going to try to get another job anytime soon though for a couple of reasons. First, I HATE looking for a job. With no formal education beyond high school and a 12 year lapse in a w-2 job situation no one will even give me a chance. It's so discouraging that I had given up after over a year of searching and nothing to show for it when this opportunity had come up. Well, I could get a job. I could go out today and come home with a job but I don't want to flip burgers or welcome people to Wal-Mart. I can type really well, I have a lot of customer service experience, a great phone voice, am very professional, and I learn really quickly. I may not be an expert at excel but I was learning it fairly quickly. I know MS Word and how to get around the Internet. I can file, copy, and scan with the best of them. Surely there is SOMETHING I can get a job doing.

I really don't NEED a job but I really enjoyed being out of the house and around other people again. It was really nice to have something in my life that wasn't about what to fix for dinner or where the kids need to be dropped off for whatever school thing they have going on.

I am really scared to get out there and start looking again though. I got rejected so much last year that I just don't know if I can handle it again.

The other reason is that I got my daughter's grades in the mail last Thursday and it looks like I am spending my summer tutoring her. She was a straight A student at her previous school but ever since we moved into this school district 2 years ago she has been struggling. So I went and got several workbooks and she and I have been spending 3 hours a day going over Science, US History/ Government, Algebra, and Language Arts.

Next year she is starting 9th grade and if she is going to have any hope of getting scholarships for college she is going to have to go into the new school year prepared. I don't think she is very happy about it but I hope she will be thinking me for it in 4 years.

Anyway, house stuff, not much to say. Hubby has been working on unpacking his hobby room. He collects comic books, action figures, hot wheels and who knows what all else. He hasn't had a room of his own to set all of his stuff out in since he was in the Air Force and that was 7 years ago. It was so fun watching him unpack stuff that he has forgotten he even had! LOL

I did finally get the main bathroom all painted. I think it looks really nice. I can't wait to get the ceramic tile laid but I am still anxious about taking that project on.

Then my step-dad came over Sat. and helped cut and nail the baseboards for my daughters room and she and I spent the day moving her from the guest bedroom into her room finally.

I hate not having our good computer so that I can upload pics of all the progress to the blog. I am working on a solution.

Other house news, my aunt is wanting to throw us a house warming party next month. I don't know the etiquette or even how a house warming party works. I have never even attended one before. She wanted me to register for gifts at places like Linen's and Things or Bed Bath & Beyond but I know a lot of the people I would invite to something like this would be more comfortable, budget-wise, at Wal-mart. So I compromised and registered online at I was able to add stuff to the registry that I actually would like to have for as little as $2.99 but also the online oriental furniture store that I have just fallen in love with sells through and I was able to add all the things that I am dying to have for my formal living room to the registry as well.

I still don't know if it's even right to register for a house warming party but if it's not at least I have a good birthday/Christmas list going for my mom and mother-in-law for the next couple of years. LOL

Anyone know what the etiquette for house warming parties is? I always kind of thought the new home owner threw the party but my aunt wants to throw it for us. Honestly, I wouldn't have even thought of a house warming party if she hadn't brought it up. I really don't even care about gifts, I mostly just want to show off how much work we have put into the place so far. What I really would like to do is take my mom's camera with all the pics of the house from the moment we closed to today over and get them developed and organize them into an album for people to look at. Is that horrible? I am just so proud of all we have gotten accomplished in the last 6 weeks.

Wow, I didn't think I had much to blog about but I guess I did. Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Home Depot Update & Firing

I was so upset Saturday. Hubby went to rehook up the plumbing under the sink where the jerk had worked and he had torn up all the plumbing. He had even cracked one of the pipes in half!

Hubby is NOT a fighter. He hates to make waves or stand up for himself. Me on the other hand, I take awhile to get there but once you piss me off, watch out!

So J. just went out and got the parts to fix the sink without really letting me know what was going on. When he got back and I saw he had all these new plumbing pipes I asked him what that was for and he told me.

Wow! I saw red! So not only did this guy come into my home and be extremely rude and intimidating but he also tore up the plumbing! I immediately took the receipt from my husband along with all the paperwork, torn up pipes,and the receipt from the counter top job and went up to Home Depot.

I demanded to see the manager. Not an assistant manager, the store manager. After calmly but firmly explaining the situation to him and showing him my evidence he apologized and told me that he would call the company first thing Monday morning and get back to me by noon.

Well, I worked yesterday and forgot to give him my work number but when I got home there were 2 messages from him apologizing all over the place and asking me to please call him back at my earliest convenience. I tried to call him back but he had already left for the day.

First thing this morning he called me back and after apologizing yet again he informed me that this guy would never be working for Home Depot again and that to make up for the inconvenience he had gotten an estimate from a plumber about how much he would charge for fixing the sink and asked if a $300 refund would cover the damages. Since J. had fixed it on Saturday for a total of $60, I told him that would be fine.

So I have to say that I am pleased with the way things turned out. Minus the cost of fixing the bathroom plumbing it ended up costing us $160 for our new counter tops.

However, that good news was dampened quite a bit by the fact that this morning my boss called me up to inform me that he just wasn't generating enough new business to justify paying my paycheck any longer and that he had to let me go. Ok, I knew this was coming because he has been hinting at it for awhile, but why couldn't he have told me in person? To just call me up and tell me that he is letting me go?

So I went over and turned in my keys and filled in the other woman that works there on everything I had been working on and picked up my final check. He was really nice and I could tell he was feeling horrible about letting me go.

I have been really depressed today. It was sheer luck that I got that job at all and even if he gives me a great recommendation like he said he would, will it be enough to get me another office job when I only worked for him for 2 months?

Anyway, I am still really upset so I won't bring everyone else down with it. Tomorrow is a new day, right?

Friday, June 8, 2007

UPDATE: New Bathroom Counter Tops, Very Bad Service

I am so angry right now I can't even enjoy my new bathroom counter tops. The guy that came out and did the measurement and pre-inspection was awesome! He was friendly, patient with my seemingly endless questions, and thorough.

The guys that just installed my counter tops on the other hand.... Rude, impatient, and awful.

They came in and barely even muttered a hello, grunted directions to their work areas, and got right to work. Ok so they weren't big talkers no big deal, right? Then they continually left the front door standing wide open. I asked politely if they could close the door behind them since it is 90 degrees here today and the one guy actually rolled his eyes at me and just kept going.

So I leave them alone until they had been here about an hour and then go back and ask them if they would like anything to drink. The one guy in my main bathroom just shakes his head no and goes back to work, the other one in my daughter's bathroom grunts "nope" and turns his back on me.

All right, fine so I just go on about my business until they come to me and inform me that they are done. The one really rude guy shoves the sign-off paper in my face says to check everything off so they can go. I ask if I can at least look the work over first and he freaking rolls his eyes again and holds his arm out in the "after you" gesture.

I go back and look over the main bathroom. It looks pretty good. I am really happy with that one and I tell them what a wonderful job they did. The guy that did the work in there actually smiled and said thanks to that.

We go across the hall into my daughter's room and the sink is laying in the middle of the floor. I'm like, whats this? and the really rude guy mumbles something about how he had to take the rim off to make the hole the right size. I say, "Ok no problem but can you put it back in for me?" He sighs heavily and says, "if you want" I say, "Yeah, I would really appreciate it."

So I start filling out the form checking things off and he is just standing there. So I leave the one about all faucets, sinks, ect. have been reinstalled and tell him I will check that one and sign after he puts the sink back in.

He stomps over grabs up the sink, puts the seal back over it and slams it into the counter. At this point I just really want him out of my home so I signed the damn paper and he snatched from my hand, turned around and stalked out of the room. A few seconds later my front door slams.

What the hell? Is this supposed to be service? The guys that came over Tues. to install my daughter's bedroom carpet could barely speak English but they were friendly and courteous and invited me to thoroughly inspect their work before even presenting me with paperwork to sign. I couldn't have been happier with them and that doesn't even include the wonderful job they did.

After the counter top guys left I took a chance to really look things over and once again I was really pleased with my main bathroom. However, my daughter's bathroom counter top is a mess. He didn't caulk the sink back in, he tore several chunks out of the front of her counter and it's pretty beat up looking now, and he didn't even take the time to clean up the counter top from the caulk, glue or what ever it is he used to install it.

I immediately called the number on the work sheet that he gave me and filed a complaint. The woman I talked to said that she would tell her supervisor and get back to me.

After I got off the phone with her I came in and started blogging out my anger, doesn't seem to have helped much though. I am still waiting to hear back. I will fill everyone in once I do.

Am I over-reacting? Is it wrong to expect good customer service from workmen? I am asking because this is only my second experience with it and maybe I am making a big deal out of nothing.

UPDATE: Well, the company that did the install, never did get back to me this afternoon like they promised. Since I never heard back from them I called Home Depot. Unfortunately, I didn't get any satisfaction there either. They said they would check into it and would get back to me by Tues. evening.

I'm sorry but that is just not good enough. I have spent well over $3000 at Home Depot in the last month and had planned on spending a lot more before we get done with our remodel. I have been very pleased with my experience with them until today. It's very frustrating that they are being so cavalier about the way I was treated. I don't really know what to do about it at this point though.

I am not normally one to pitch a fit, but the way I was treated over this is just not acceptable. I guess the only recourse I have is to discontinue my patronage to Home Depot (which I really hate to do) and tell anyone I come across about my poor experience.

It's not as if I am expecting a refund or anything like that, just an honest apology and assurances that the men who behaved this way will at least be talked to about their terrible customer service.

I wonder if my husband had been here if they would have behaved that way?

Anyway I need to go but I just wanted to give a quick update of the situation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Garage is Flooded

My son woke me up this morning to tell me that someone was washing clothes in our garage. When I went to check it out I found that the hot water hose to the washer had burst and had been spraying water all over our garage, God only knows how long.

EVERYTHING was soaked. Luckily, my hubby had gotten a lot of the garage cleaned out last Friday but still there was all of our holiday decorations, some of my kitchen stuff I had been procrastinating getting put away, but worst of all, all of our memento stuff from his and my childhoods has ben drenched.

We thought those boxes would be safe from anything short of a tornado since we put them on the far wall and on the top of the 4 box high stack..... Uh No. When the hose burst it shot in a fan shape clear across the garage. Drenching those boxes first.

I don't know what condition all of my childhood memory stuff is in since I had to get ready and go to work. Hubby was off today though and he was working on drying everything out and salvaging what he can.

I don't know how long the water leak lasted but there were at least 2 inches of standing water in the garage when we got to it.

I shouldn't have come into work today. All I can think about is the mess at home. Well, better log off for now my boss' daughters stopped by.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Moved In....FINALLY!

Well, we are finally all moved in. We finished up with the storage last Monday and turned in the keys to the apartment on Wednesday. Today the cable guy came and got us back into the 21st century.

We still don't have the good computer fixed but we do still have our crappy old one so at least I can still surf and blog. Just no pics. I am thinking of uploading them to my computer at work though and doing a blog entry on my lunch break. Hopefully my boss will be ok with that.

We also got the carpet in my daughter's room installed today. Home Depot rocks! We got such a great deal on it, the installers did a wonderful job, and the Depot even sent over someone after it was done to check over the quality of the work and to see if we were satisfied.

Friday we are getting the counter tops in the main bathroom and my daughter's bath installed. I can't wait. We are just doing Wilsonart laminate counter tops in there but the update is going to be huge.

Also I picked up the floor tile from Home Depot the other day. I love it but I am really scared about installing it myself. I got a book on installing ceramic tile and I plan to research it thoroughly on the net now that we have access to it again. I was hoping hubby would cut the tiles for me when we rent the wet saw but he says that he is really afraid of ruining it so I think I will ask my uncle. He says he has experience with ceramic tile. Anyone that has experience with doing bathroom ceramic floor tile, any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. I am going to start with my daughter's bathroom since no one is ever in there except her and her friends and I won't feel so badly if it doesn't go well.

Luckily, we still have a lot of unpacking left to do so I don't have to feel guilty about putting off the tile project for awhile until I feel more prepared to take it on.

Oh, my son has already become great friends with a couple of boys at the end of the cul-de-sac and Sunday their parents came by to meet me. They were just wonderful! So far every neighbor we have met has been just great. They also seem to think their landlord might be interested in buying the cabinets in my 2nd kitchen.

I really wanted to try and use them in my main kitchen to enlarge it but I am thinking that I really like having the breakfast nook and don't know if I want to give up the space just to have an enormous kitchen. Plus there is real pressure on me to get the 2nd kitchen gutted ASAP and turned into a media room since my hubby has taken over the formal dining room as a media room. I REALLY want my formal dining room back.

Ok I have to get off of here and finish going through all my kitchen stuff. I stored a lot of it in storage the last couple of years and I have to decide what I am going to keep and what can be donated to the local women's shelter.

Speaking of which, if you ever have household items, clothing, or bedding the local women's shelters are thrilled for any donations. A lot of times battered women and their children are lucky to get away with nothing more than the clothes on their backs so they need anything they can get.

All right, I am signing off for the day, but now that we are moved in I hope my posts get back to being updated on a more regular basis. Have a great day all!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Power Surges, Packing, & Moving

I am really sorry I haven't posted in so long. Friday before last our apartment got hit with a major power surge and even though we had a power surge protector on our computer it still got zapped and now we don't have a computer until we can have it fixed (hopefully).

Other than that things have been extremely busy. The paint party went fairly well. We didn't get nearly as much accomplished as I had hoped but any help was greatly appreciated. I just can't thank my family enough for all their help and support.

Last week Hubby and I were busy packing and moving what we could. Then Saturday all the guys in my family came over and helped us move. We got the storage completely done but still have about 3 trips worth of stuff in the apartment. We hope to finish it today.

I have so many pics to put up but unfortunately the computer I am using to post this doesn't have a place to put in the memory card cause it's pretty old.

There are some problems we are encountering. First, we can't get the oven to work at all. We can get the pilot lit but the oven won't heat up at all. We knew it was old and would need replaced. We just didn't realize it would be right away. What I don't understand is that both the home inspector and the VA Inspector signed off on it as working. I guess we should have personally made sure it was in working condition but unfortunately we trusted the inspectors to do that for us.

Then, we got our fridge out of storage and it is not cooling correctly. The fridge is only cooling to 55 and the freezer is only getting down to 30. Luckily, my mom has an extra one that she is going to let us borrow until we get a new one or this one fixed.

The cook top stove won't keep the pilot lit so I have to light each burner as I want to use it. Which I can live with until we can get another one but all this appliance trouble is really depressing.

So it looks like buying furniture or continuing with the remodel is going to be put on hold while we use our extra income (overtime from hubby and my paychecks) to replace or fix appliances. Not fun stuff, like new furniture and floors, but I am grateful we have the resources to earn the money to get this taken care of (even if it is from loser w-2 jobs), lol hopefully by the end of July.

On another happier subject, my aunt told me she is working with my ex-sister-in-law to throw my family and I a house warming party the first Sat. in June. I'm really excited because I have never even attended a house warming party. LOL I'm not really sure what to expect. I do love the idea of inviting all of my family, friends, and new neighbors over to see our new home.

Well, I have to get over to the apartment to finish up but I just had to take time out to update the blog. I don't know if anyone even cares or not but I do like to have a record of how everything is going with the house saga so I can always look back on it. I just wish I had the time and now the computer to keep up with it better.

Anyway, if there is anyone out there reading this, have a great day and thanks for taking the time to share my life with me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Way Too Busy

I am so sorry I haven't blogged in almost a week. Things have been crazy busy with me trying to get the house whipped into shape for the paint party this Saturday. I have finished painting the ceilings, got the walls washed, spackled and sanded, got the living room and dining room primed, and as a Mother's Day gift to myself I splurged by wasting time painting my living room. I still have to do the trim in the living room though.

Tomorrow and Friday I will be working on taking all the trim off the walls and the doors off the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms so it can all be painted Saturday. I will also be finishing up the priming in the 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, breakfast nook, and kitchen.

Something really wonderful happened. I stopped by the casino by our house Saturday night on my way back to the apartment from putting in a 15 hour day at the house and ended up winning $2000 soooo I immediately went over to Home Depot and set up to have the floors in the main bathroom, T.'s bathroom, T.'s bedroom, and the hallway done.

They came out this morning to measure the areas. Now I am just waiting for them to order my flooring and then we can set up a date to have it installed. In the bathrooms I am having ceramic tile put down called Asian Black. T. picked out a basic beige carpet for her room so we are going to get rid of the ugly chocolate brown shag carpet. YEA! And in the hallway I am having the carpet taken out because it is different than the carpet in the bedrooms and I hate the way it looks going from one kind of carpet into another kind so I got laminate flooring called Manchurian walnut to go in the hall. Because of the $99 flat fee for installation I am getting it all done for $1100

Oh and I am also having the bathroom vanities redone. It only cost $400 to do both the main bath and T.'s bath. They are going to be done in Wilsonart laminate called canyon black, a huge improvement over the swirly green and white 60's laminate that is on it now.

The other $500 we are saving for the taxes on the winnings. I took pics of the rooms to show what they look like before the work we are having done and then I will do after pics once we have them painted, floors installed and the vanity tops done in the bathrooms.

So next on the agenda is a new wall oven, counter top stove, counter tops, and flooring in the kitchen. I have been pricing it and it looks like we are looking at about $5000 for the kitchen remodel so that might happen a little at a time as we have money saved. After we get moved in J. is going to start saving his overtime money for house remodel. My paycheck is going for furniture.

Oh also it looks like my aunt is going to give us her foosball table as a house warming gift. So we will actually have something to go into the game room! Well, we are going to be using the game room as a family room until we get the money and opportunity to tear out the second kitchen.

I have so much more to tell but I have to leave to go to T.'s spring concert. Have a good evening all!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Picture's Of My Progress

I have been promising pictures of my progress so here they are:

First some pics of the difference between what the kitchen looked like before a good scrubbing and after. We just couldn't
believe how huge just washing things down
would be.

This was the color of the front door and this is the color of it now. Still needs one more coat of paint but it's been too rainy to try and get that last coat on. Oh yeah, and the ugly statue in the first pic is gone as well.

And lastly here is a pic showing part of the Dining Room Ceiling painted and part of it not. I have done the Living Room, Dining Room, Hallway, T.'s Room, and her 3/4 Bath so far. Today I think I might actually get the ceilings finished. I only have the Main
Bathroom, Breakfast Nook, and Kitchen left. The rest of the
house was done recently and looks pretty good.

After the ceilings I still have the rest of the house to scrub down, wallpaper to remove, and walls to prime, all before the 19th. I have the colors picked out for the front part of the house and the gameroom. I will try to get them in a post soon.
We are still undecided on what to do with a portion of the back of the house so I am not going to stress over it. As long as we can get the front done we could live there and do the back as we have time or figure out what it is we want to do.
Oh and J. made an exact floor plan so when I go to work tomorrow I will scan it in and post it here as well.
I gotta get going, I didn't get home until 12:30 last night and it's already 9a.m. I have to get more accomplished today. Yesterday between errands that I have been putting off, the insurance lady coming by to take pics, and my mom coercing me into a 2 hour detour to Garden Ridge I didn't get nearly as much done as I needed to. I did get my bamboo blinds for the living room though and a lot of great ideas for living room accents.
Ok have a good day all!

Monday, May 7, 2007

New Furniture!

Wow! This was very unexpected.
My mom and I went over to Furniture Factory Outlet this
evening after work and I found this sofa and loveseat that I just fell in love with for our living room. We are pretty broke right now with the house and imminent move so I was really just window shopping. I was shocked when my mom whipped out her checkbook. As soon as we get moved in and settled I am going to start making payments to her to pay it off, whether she wants me too or not. I could never accept such a huge gift, even from my mother but I am overwhelmed by her generosity.

I am hoping to go to at least 3 days a week and there have been hints at going full time from my boss after we get moved in Memorial Day weekend so we will be able to pay her back by July. I just can't believe that I finally have new furniture! We have always had hand me downs until now. At first it was because we were young and dead broke but then it just seemed pointless with small children. Now that the kids are older I have been thinking about it for the last year or so but we have been putting our money aside to fix up the truck so it's more dependable and buying this house. I was starting to wonder if the kids were going to have to be grown and out of the house before I would finally get my furniture. LOL

The only thing is I have to pick out new colors for my paint now since the green I had picked out will not look good with that shade of red. But that's ok, I haven't bought it yet and I still have until the 19th before we have the paint party.

Well I better go for now so I can join in the Casey/Galina speculation over at EN.
Have a good evening all! I will bring home the camera tomorrow with all the pics of the progress I have made on the house so far and get them in a post.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

What A Productive Day!

Wow! I got so much done today. Especially with my mother-in-law coming in to town to help. It was so wonderful. I feel like Casey when he manages to get in a wheat grass shot, starbucks, AND a nap all in one day! LOL

First, my mother-in-law got there about 9 a.m. this morning and she immediately started helping me prep the other rooms while I started in the dining room getting the ceiling primed. That paint sprayer is amazing! If you have to paint a ceiling, especially a textured one, definitely get a paint sprayer! As she finished prepping a room I would get in there to prime it. together we got the dining room, T.'s room, her bathroom, and my son's bedroom primed and ready to be painted Tuesday when I am off work next.

Then she got started scrubbing down my main kitchen. Oh my God! There was at least 20 years of grime in there. I thought the cabinets and walls were antique white but it turns out they were actually white. Yuck!!

After I got done with the ceilings I think the paint sprayer was starting to overheat so I cleaned it out really good and got started scrubbing the walls in the living room.

It also appeared to be open house day at the house as we had 3 family members all stop by to see the house. The overwhelming opinion seems to be how much potential is in the house. First my sister-in-law, the one I visited yesterday, stopped by with her family. Then my dad stopped by and lastly my cousin had taken the kids to see Spiderman 3 so she took the opportunity to drop them off over at the house so she could get a look.

I also got the opportunity to meet my neighbors to my right and in front of us. They all seem really wonderful. My next door neighbor has the most adorable daughter about the same age as my son.

Things are really looking up! My mother-in-law is coming back next Saturday and it looks like I have at least 7 people in my family that are going to come over on the 19th for the paint party. I took pictures today but darn if I didn't forget the camera at the house. I will have to post them Tuesday evening after I get back from the house.

I have more to talk about but we are having a terrible storm here and I am afraid we are going to lose power soon since the lights have flickered a couple of times.

Have a good evening everyone!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Stressed Out But Things Are Looking Up

The last couple of days have been so frustrating. I am so new to everything that I am finding out quickly how very little I know about anything. I keep making stupid mistakes that's costing us time and money and I am completely overwhelmed by all the work to be done in such a short amount of time.

You would think painting ceilings would be a no brainer but it's much more time consuming than I thought it would be, much more difficult physically than painting walls and extremely messy. My step-dad brought over his paint sprayer and that is going to help incredibly. I finally got to use it last night and got the living room and front hall done in about an hour. I am going to get a mask and goggles though before I go at it again. I was choking on paint and blinking out paint eye boogies all night.

Yesterday my sister-in-law asked me to watch my niece which really cut down on what I could get accomplished at the house. I shouldn't have agreed because I am still not sure if I am going to get everything ready for the paint party on the 19th but she was desperate and I just couldn't leave her in a lurch.

Then I had the bright idea of having T. help me out last night, she is almost 14 after all. I thought she could help me tape trim, put down drop clothes, and wash walls to get ready to paint. Unfortunately my mommy sense didn't tingle (probably out of exhaustion) when she wanted a friend to come help out. BIG MISTAKE! She was goofing off with the friend and dropped a full can of paint, spilling it all over the driveway, then proceeded to track paint all over the house because she stepped in it. She was doing the think where she pretended to listen but wasn't hearing a thing I said so I ended up sending her off to the local mini mall just to get her out of my line of sight before I got really nasty with her. She Isn't a bad kid at all, just a teenager. Teenagers can be such a joy but at the same time they can be total pains.

I went outside and had a good cry over it all and decided that wasn't helping anything so I bucked up and headed back into the house to roll up my proverbial sleeves and get back to work. That's when I finally got to use the paint sprayer and everything started kinda smoothing out a bit. J. went over this morning after work and removed all the ceiling fan blades so I can just trash bag and tape over the ceiling fans so I don't get paint all over them when I go back over. That was also a hold up on me getting started on the other rooms.

I decided to take today off to go up to see my other sister-in-law. She majored in interior design and I have always loved what she has done with her homes so I went to go over paint schemes, and flooring and counter top options. Still house related but at least it was a lot less stressful and let me rest my poor muscles and emotions. We got a lot accomplished. She helped me so much, I don't know what I would have done with out her advice. I really think the house is going to look fantastic once we get it painted.

I know we aren't going to have the money to do the counters or floors for awhile but I really wanted to have some idea of what I was going to do before painting so I won't have to repaint later.

Money is yet another thing stressing me out. There just isn't enough of it. We weren't planning on buying a house right now so just before this whole house thing came up we dumped our savings into fixing up the truck we bought from my mom so we would have a couple of dependable vehicles. Then all the money we spent closing on the house and now we have to pay to get all the utilities on so I can work over there, buy paint, paint supplies, cleaning stuff, new trim, and who knows what else. This whole thing is a just huge money drain and I am not not sure where it is going to all come from. I think I will try to have a yard sale to get make some money next weekend and I can always go pawn my wedding jewelry (all though, I will only do that if we get really desperate). It's times like this I wish we had cultivated at least a little bit of credit.

We weren't very responsible with our credit when we were younger so to remedy the situation we just haven't used ANY credit in almost 11 years. We have no credit cards, and we buy our cars with cash so we haven't had to worry about being irresponsible. Unfortunately, there are negatives to this in that we have nothing positive on our credit so it caused a few problems with getting the house loan approved. We were thinking about applying for a Lowe's card or getting furniture on credit to help build up our credit (less chance of getting in trouble that way since we can't just go get a withdrawal here or stop off there for dinner with that kind of credit). I do think we have grown up a lot since then and would be more responsible but it's scary to us, being in debt for any amount and we don't even know if we would be approved for anything due to lack of credit.

And to top it all off, I miss my husband desperately. He is working almost everyday to get more money and I haven't seen him in almost a month. We finally got to spend last Sunday together because he wanted to be well rested for the closing but it's really hard to not have him to talk to and decompress every day. I am the decision maker in our family but I still like to talk things over with him beforehand. We haven't had time to talk about finances, the kids, what is going on with the house, anything but it's more than that, I just miss him.

I know things are going to get better, money can be made if your willing to work for it, we will get moved into the house and J. won't have to work so much, and the stress level will go down. For now though I am just going to have to suck it up and get through it. J.'s mom is coming over tomorrow to help out and that will be huge. She is so wonderful to us, I don't know what I would do without our family.

Anyway if anyone has been wondering, that's why I haven't posted in a couple of days. Hopefully I will be more on top of the blog this week and have some before and after pics of the ceilings to put up as well as pics of the front door I got painted. Oh, the boy statue is gone now and I did get some of the spackling done as well as the final coat on the front door.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Ugh! Painting Ceilings Sucks!

I went over today to start painting the ceilings. Wow, what a fiasco that was! I am so tired I really just want to go to bed but I really want to post today's activities while it's fresh on my mind (though I doubt i will ever forget today! lol) My step-dad was going to let me borrow his paint sprayer since the ceilings are that blown crap but it turned out that his wasn't intended for use with latex paint so off to Wal-Mart I went.

I found one of those rollers that supposedly dispenses paint so you don't have to constantly reapply paint. Big mistake! I ended up throwing it on my front porch in frustration only to have to clean up the paint mess I made by doing so. Do NOT get one of those things! I ended up with paint gushing out all over myself. LOL

I don't know what I was thinking but I didn't get a backup roller and extension for just in case so I was stuck with the little half sized one that I got to go around the light fixtures. I should have just gone back over and gotten them though even though I looked like a painted idiot. Vanity ended up costing me a lot of time and extremely sore arms. In the end I got half of the living room primed.

Well, my mom just called and she went out and bought one of the paint sprayers that is for use with latex paint so hopefully Friday will go much better....but just to be on the safe side I am hitting Wal-Mart tomorrow on my lunch break.

One thing I did accomplish though was getting the front door primed and ready to be painted Friday. I was hoping to paint it today but it was rainy all day and the moisture in the air made the primer slow to dry. I also went through the house and did a detailed inventory of everything that needs to be done, then went around removing nails from the walls. 94 nails in all. What the heck did they need so many nails for?

I didn't get the ugly boy statue off the back deck yet. I did get a chance during a break in the rain to look it over and it's not attached, just really heavy and covered with bugs and little spider corpses, so when I go back I am taking my rubber gloves and that eyesore will be taken care of.

After spending the day at the house I am really getting excited. I think just by getting the ceilings and walls painted and getting the carpets cleaned the house is going to look 1000% better.

I really need to buy a digital camera tomorrow so I don't have to borrow my mom's all the time. I wanted to take pictures today of what little I did get accomplished but didn't have a camera. I also need to find a better way to post pictures on the blog. Yesterday was a pain having to make 3 posts to get enough of them on here to give people an idea of what the before status of the house is.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Even More Pics

Pics: 1) Guest bedroom
2) Main bathroom
3) Back Bathroom
4) Daughters Bathroom
5) Back Deck

More Pics

More Pics:
1) Son's bedroom
2) 2nd Kitchen
3)J.'s Hobby room
4) Daughter's
5) Our bedroom

We Closed!! Also Pics Of The House!

We closed on the house today at noon. Of course the seller's realtor was really late and we ended up waiting on him but who cares (or as Casey would say, "it's all good"). We only have 30 years to go and we own a house! Yippee!! LOL

Ok pics. I am still getting the hang of this so bear with me. Thanks to sprezzatura by the way for explaining how to get them on the blog. I think I am going to have to do this in 2 posts but the first 5 pics are:
1) Front of house
2) Living room and formal dining area
3) Main kitchen
4) Breakfast nook and main kitchen
5) Game room

See next post for more pics.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Looks Like No Close Today After All

Natalie just called back. The VA Appraiser is being a pain. It's not that the work wasn't done to the house to meet standards. He just doesn't like the way it was done. Natalie is on the phone with him now fighting it out and will call me back. I will update this post as I get news.

LOL looks like we will get that extra month before our payments start after all. I am trying not to be super disappointed or worried. I hate being in limbo like this.

I just got off the phone with my realtor and the 3 things that kept us from closing today are just insane! Only 1 of them is even relevant. There was a place on the front porch soffit that needed a small repair, the sellers repaired it but didn't repaint it. Ok I understand that one, but then he claimed that the smoke detectors they put in didn't work. My realtor tested them 3 times in 30 minutes and they worked every time. Then they had to enclose and raise a water heater, again no problem except today he didn't care for the way they hung the door. They hung it for easy access and he thought it should be hung to be more asthetically pleasing. ARGH!But supposedly we are back on to close first thing in the morning so we will see. Next time I will wait to get excited until after we have keys in hand. LOL

Will We Close Today?

Sorry no new posts for awhile. Things have been pretty crazy around here. My aunt/best friend got married this weekend and I was really busy with that, especially since both my kids were part of the wedding party.

We are set to close at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon but it's still a toss up whether it will happen today or not. Personally I hope we don't close today. Mat said if we close tomorrow that means we will have to bring a bit of money to close to cover interest but our first payment won't be until July. If we close today our first payment is in June. We would really like the extra month to get a few things done to the house.

I am waiting to hear from Natalie on whether the work got done Saturday, the VA inspector got over this morning to sign off on the work and if they got the title situation taken care of. Sure seems like a lot to have done before 4:00 today.

I have to admit though, I am getting really excited. I haven't been able to even sit down for long. I just can't believe all the good things that have come our way lately. First the house came out of no where and then my job (which is going wonderfully by the way, I start 3 days a week next week). I am so grateful for all the wonderful people in our lives that have helped us to get here and are continuing to be so wonderful to us.

My sister-in-law majored in interior design and I have always been so impressed with her sense of style. I talked to her yesterday and we are going to get together this weekend to go over paint swatches, counter top colors, and flooring options.

I want to try to make some decisions about what we are doing with the house, especially before the 19th. We are going to have a paint party/BB-Q that Saturday. So many people have offered to help us paint I am just overwhelmed. I think we are going to have a total of 7 people there to help with it.

I am going to borrow my mom's camera and take pictures of the house before we do anything to it and try to post them here on the blog (gotta figure out how to do that first though lol). Then as we get things done I will add pictures to show the work or additions.

A few things I know we are going to do as finances allow are: 1) Gutting the 2nd kitchen and making it into a media room 2) Take out a non-load bearing wall in the main kitchen and (hopefully) use the counters out of the 2nd kitchen to have the kitchen encompass the breakfast nook, get new counter tops for the kitchen, new flooring. Then paint and get hardware so the kitchen matches. 3) Get rid of the ugly chocolate shag carpeting in my daughter's room and put regular carpet to match the rest of the house. 4) Get rid of the carpet in 2 of the bathrooms and put down tile. 5) Get rid of the carpet in the hallways and put down the same kind of laminate flooring we plan to use in the kitchen. 6) Buy furniture.

Some things we have decided to do as far as decor are: 1) I have always loved Asian decor so I have decided to do the living and dining areas with it. I found the furniture I want yesterday I will try and post pics of it to get opinions. 2) J. is a huge Seahawks fan so we are going to do the Game room in Seahawks colors. (which actually works out since there is blue carpeting in there. He is going to paint the bottom of the walls Seahawk's gray with a wainscoting? strip of Seahawk's green and the top is going to be Seahawk's blue. 3) T. our daughter wanted her room to be hot pink and hot orange but thank god she has decided against it and is going to go with lavender instead so she can decorate with dragons and fairies.

Well, I better close so I can be ready if Natalie calls and says we are closing today but before I do there was one additional thing I would like to address. Any income made from this blog will go directly into the house remodel. I will keep receipts and post them here on the blog so expenditures will be verified.......

Oh Yea! Natialie just called and everything has come back except the official paperwork from the VA inspector so it looks like we are closing today! Be back later tonight to fill you all in!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

6 Days to Close?

Well, where to start? I guess with the latest on the Inspector/Contractor situation. Eddie still hasn't gotten the bond situation taken care of but not because of lack of trying. However, as much as we like him and want him to be the one to do the work we are running out of time here. Our close date is only 6 days away, including today, so we are going to have to go a different route. Natalie is meeting with another guy this morning and if his estimate is anywhere comparable to Eddie's then we are going with him.

One wonderful thing happened yesterday. Mat called to let us know that we have final approval on the loan pending final VA approval. So at least that is one more thing on our part that is out of the way.

He also wanted to know if we were switching insurance or not to the cheaper quote he got us from his insurance guy. We definitely want to switch the house insurance but we just got through switching and paying for 6 months of car insurance with our current carrier. I am concerned that it would be rude to just up and change everything on the guy less than 3 weeks after we have been with them.

Natalie also discussed title insurance with us. So I guess we need another $600 at closing for that. We didn't really understand what it was or how it worked but after a quick google search I totally understand why we need it, not that it's an option since it is required with any mortgage purchase. I think I will try and shop around for a better price though since Oklahoma doesn't have set regulations on the premiums we might be able to get a better deal.

Well, that's about all the news on the house until later today but there is some news on my job. Valerie, the other lady that works for Tim on the days that I am off came in last Friday and talked to Tim about possibly going from 3 days a week to 2. I think though that Tim got the impression that she might be quitting soon to stay home with her baby and he asked me on Monday if I would be willing to go to full time sooner. I just can't until June when we are all moved into the house.

J. and my mother don't seem to understand why I can't just get things done on the house in my time off. I haven't been a part of the work force for a very long time I need to gradually work my way to a full time position besides the fact that I have got to scrub down the new house, paint the ceilings and walls of the new house, get the carpets cleaned, pack, move, scrub down the apartment, and unpack. And that's just all of the major things I have to do. It doesn't even include small things like setting up or switching over utilities, shopping for paint, finding boxes, ect.

Tim was great about the fact that I have so much going on next month that I just can not go to full time until June. J. and my mother on the other hand seem to think I have super powers or something and can just do it all no problem. Sorry, I know my limits and I am already going to be overwhelmed, I am not going to try and do everything in the evenings and weekends.

I am really excited about the idea that I may get to go to full time a lot sooner than I thought. That is going to be great! Extra money for the remodeling projects and new furniture. First remodeling job I really want to do is take out a small non-load bearing wall separating the first kitchen from the breakfast nook and enlarge the kitchen by using the breakfast nook area. I think as long as we are careful we can use the cabinets from the 2nd kitchen to do the job. Of course we will have to paint all of them to match and get matching hardware but that will save us a lot of money if we can just reuse them. Then we will just need new counter tops and flooring tabletop stove and double oven. I would love to go with a more expensive counter top but I think for now we are going to go with Wilsonart laminate. As far as the flooring, I do want to go with laminate flooring in the kitchen and hallway areas.

As soon as we close I will go over and take before pictures of the house to put up here on the blog and I will continue to post pictures as we do work or add furniture to the house. After we close the blog will become about our experience into remodeling and turning the house into our home.

I know this post has been pretty random but that's what happens when I get up at 4:30 a.m. LOL Hopefully my next post will be more concentrated. Have a good day!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Inspector Update

Ok I just got off the phone with Natalie. The problem isn't that Eddie isn't licenced. He had a situation with getting his Workman's comp and liability insurance straightened out. He sent in the payment as of the end of March but never got the appropriate paperwork back to show that he is in fact bonded.

Apparently he just hasn't taken the time to get everything worked out yet. Natalie talked to her realtor friend that recommended him and she said that she has used Eddie for over 10 years and nothing like this has ever happened. She also said that he does the best work she has ever seen and she wouldn't eve begin to know who else to recommend.

So he is supposed to go first thing Monday morning and get this straightened out. If he doesn't then Natalie and, surprisingly, the seller's realtor has already called around to get it set up to use someone else. The only problem with that is, that we will have to go back and redo the codicil in the contract for the work to say that the new contractor is doing the work instead of Eddie which means we may not get the work even started until Wed at the soonest. Hopefully, Eddie can get this bonded issue worked out so we can just move forward with him.

I actually do understand where the sellers are coming from with this. I can't really go into any details to protect their privacy but they have been through absolute hell and after what they went through I can totally understand why they would want to take every precaution to ensure they are covering their butts on everything.

To be honest, I think the fact that we know the sellers has made this thing much more difficult than if we didn't. J. works with them everyday. Both the husband and his wife, while friends, are still his bosses which makes it hard. But even worse is knowing their situation. Anyone that knew what happened there would be a total bastard if they didn't have complete sympathy and compassion for what they are going through.

In fact, that's the main reason I have only complained about their realtor here. They have just been through so much I don't feel good about adding to their problems. This causes problems though, because I just don't see how we are going to get everything done for an April 30th close date. I think it will be at least a week later.

I am also worried about the VA Appraiser. He informed Natalie that the work on the house has to be done no later than May 2nd. He is leaving town on May 4th for something like 3 weeks. We could request another Appraiser to come out and review the work to sign off on it but that's a really bad idea as a new Appraiser might be even more picky than this one has been and come up with another list of things that just HAVE to be taken care of that in reality don't.

LOL I have to admit, when this thing is over, it would take ALOT for me to go through this again. The stress is just incredible. At times I wonder if it is really worth it but then I think of the house and how happy we are going to be there. The fact that we will be working, finally, towards owning a home of our own, that we can paint the walls hot pink if we want to (and unfortunately my daughter does *bleh*), and how much fun its going to be to do the remodel and make the house into what we want it to be.

Well, have a great day! I am going to go hang out at EN and IAFF to take my mind off what I can't help so maybe I will see you there!

Inspector Update

Sorry double posted somehow.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What Next?

Well supposedly now the reason the sellers won't sign off on the deal so we can get this done and close on time is because they found out that our guy that was going to do the repairs isn't licenced which I don't understand. Natalie is trying to get this mess straightened out right now, hopefully it was a misunderstanding on the sellers part and not Natalie's mistake.

We have been relying heavily on Natalie's expertise as she has been doing this for well over 20 years and came heavily recommended. I just can't believe that something like this slipped by her which makes me think with all the procrastinations, screw ups, and stupid mistakes the sellers realtor has made since day one of this deal that this is yet another stalling tactic.

Ok I understand that there is a situation with the title that they have to address but the house is going to be foreclosed on if they don't sell it soon. What are they doing with all these delays and backpedals? We want the house, we love the house, we are busting our asses to accommodate them because their situation is so horrible but this is ridiculous. How the heck did Casey manage to buy 8 in so short a time? We can't even swing one it seems.

All right, end rant, hopefully there will be better news to report within the next couple of hours but if the sellers are right and our guy does not have the appropriate licencing then we really are going to be down to the wire on getting everything done in time for closing. To be honest I am worried that we won't be able to get it done.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

$825 More Out Of Pocket

The seller finally sent back the paperwork today but I don't know how I feel about this new development. On top of us raising the sales price on the house $600 to help with the repairs the VA is requiring they wanted $825 more in earnest money in addition to the $500 we already put down. The estimate for the repairs is $1325.

To make matters worse, the way their realtor worded the new codicil to the contract is that if for ANY reason we don't close on the 30th we lose all of our earnest money. Well Natalie wasn't about to let that go so we countered yet again saying that if we can't close on the 30th because it is the buyers (our) fault we lose the earnest money. Which once again leaves us waiting on their realtor but we just couldn't chance losing everything considering the penchant for procrastinating that their realtor has.

The other strange thing is that even though the seller will be paying for the repairs they are leaving it to us to hire the guy to get the work done. Natalie loves this though because she has already got everything set up and ready to go the second we get the papers back from the seller. The guy that's doing the work (Eddie) is the same one that did our inspections. Eddie also did the new cost estimate for the work required by the VA and he said that he can get in there and get this done with his men in 2 days. He said that if we can get the go ahead by Saturday that he will be there Sunday and have it finished by Monday evening.

We are crossing our fingers that their realtor doesn't drag his feet for once and gets the sellers in there tomorrow while they are off work to get this taken care of. As it is everything is going to be close because even if Eddie and his guys get it done by Monday we will still have to get the VA Appraiser back out by the end of next week to approve the work and sign off on it.

I think I am going to call Natalie in the morning and see what kind of time line we are looking at here and what is left on our end to do after we get the VA back out. If there is anything else I am worried we just won't get it all done in time.

I can't wait until this thing is done. I am not used to being so stressed and worried. I swear I am not normally this negative, in fact I am usually very positive. LOL Speaking of positive, on a positive note, I have lost almost 10 pounds in the last 3 weeks because of the stress and I can definitely stand to lose it! *wink*

Well, hopefully I will have another post early tomorrow thrilled about the fact that the sellers actually did something in a timely manner for once. Here's keeping my fingers crossed until tomorrow!

Have a good evening all!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Are We Making A Mistake?

We love the house, it is easily within our price range, and is in the school district we want our children to grow up in. However, since I discovered the fact that we were on the edge of a housing crisis the like our country has never seen back in September when I stumbled on the Casey Serin story in USA Today I have been concerned about buying a home.

We aren't investors. We aren't out to get rich out of the deal. We just want a place of our own to raise our kids in and to be honest a place to call our own.

I don't claim to be an expert on the housing bubble, in fact I probably just know enough to be dangerous LOL but what I do know is enough to scare the hell out of me. J. thinks my concerns are ridiculous. He feels like Oklahoma escaped the bubble for the most part (all though I doubt he's ever delved more into it than what USA Today has to say about it) and that I am worried over nothing.

He says his job is stable, our loan is within our price range, and that it is way past time we bought a home. Well, I truly hope he's right but I can't quite quell the fears that we could be making a terrible mistake. He does have a great job with incredible stability (people only leave when they retire for the most part), we have gone over the numbers on how much house we can afford so many times he gets pretty irritated if I even bring up going over them again, and he is 35 and I am 33 so we really do need to buy if we are going to. If we didn't pay any extra on the loan (we are planning on making at the very least 2 extra payments a year) that means this thing won't be paid off until J. retires so he does have a point.

Of course all this is probably moot considering how deep we are into the purchase but I thought I would share my concerns here and see if anyone has any thoughts on the subject of buying right now.

So any advice? Am I overreacting? Or are my fears valid?

Va Appraisal Requirements Update

I talked to Natalie this morning. The seller's realtor finally called her this morning on her way to work. He said that the sellers thought everything sounded fine but that they would be in tomorrow afternoon to look everything over and sign the addendum.

She also asked him if the sellers would be adverse to using the guy we used for our inspections and the updated cost estimate to do the work. He said that's fine so she went ahead and called Eddie (our inspector) and he said once he has the ok to get in there, they can have everything done in about 2 days.

Natalie did say that she is starting to have some concerns that we may not be able to close on the 30th. We have to get the repairs finished and the VA Appraiser back out to approve them in 12 days. I don't think this would be an issue except for waiting around to get the ok from the seller's realtor.

There is also an issue with the title that the sellers have to take care of before we can close. Thankfully though, we have a codicil in the contract stating that any delays in closing on the seller's behalf that it would be their responsibility to pay any interest or fees.

I just now thought of something, could it be a delay tactic on the seller's Realtors part to give them more time on sorting out the title that is causing him to take days and now over a week to handle any issue that comes up? The reason I say this is that when we have had an issue we get the information to him that day, usually within hours of discovery. Yet every step of the way the sale has been held up by the seller's realtor. Not the seller, their realtor, because once he does inform them of whats going on they are pretty timely in responding to the situation.

I just don't understand how it could possibly take over a week to make a phone call informing the seller's that there was a problem with the VA Appraisal. He told Natalie that he finally called them about this yesterday evening. The only reason the sellers aren't coming in today to look over and sign the addendum is because they are working (they work 12 hour shifts) and their realtor will be home for the day by the time they get off work.

Natalie keeps telling us that this realtor just does things differently than she does but it is irritating that we keep getting held up because of this. I wonder if the sellers are aware of whats going on? And if so, I wonder how they feel about it?

How would you feel if it took a week for your realtor to make a simple phone call to inform you about the VA Appraisal? How would you deal with it if you were the seller? What about if you were in our place as the buyers? Is there anything we can do since he is not our agent?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What A Day!

Well, first off the news about the house. I talked to Natalie today and she still hadn't heard anything from the seller's realtor but we did discuss the details of the addendum to the contract, the updated estimate, and the letter from the VA Appraiser approving the removal of the rear hot water heater and installation of a tankless one in more depth than we did on Friday.

With the mortgage company's approval we raised the offer on the house to the VA's Appraisal amount from $119,900 to $120,500 to offset the sellers out of pocket expenses for the repairs. This is only going to raise our monthly payment by about $3, which isn't any big deal (especially since we are getting such a great rate on our home insurance).

The new more realistic estimate is still higher than it needs to be (for instance, they are estimating it costing $50 for 2 smoke alarms) but at $1325 its still ridiculously lower than what the VA estimated. Hopefully the new estimate won't freak out the sellers like the old one would have.

The good news is that as long as the sellers agree to go ahead with the necessary repairs and the final cost stays within the range of the estimate we will still be able to close without bringing any money to the table because our earnest money and appraisal fee will cover what the extra $600 from the sale price doesn't.

I am keeping my fingers crossed because we would really like to use the money we have saved to work on the house before we move in. If we have to come to closing with cash it won't be the end of the world though. We just save up again and do things slowly.

Now that I have updated everyone about the house, I have to say all my fears about starting work today were completely unfounded. Tim is a wonderful, patient, kind boss, the work is really easy to get the hang of, and I honestly think I am going to love it once I get settled in.

We got to go over my position, pay and potential growth in the company more thoroughly. Yes, I am only starting out at $8 an hour for 2 days a week but I think Tim is hoping to have me up to full time by the end of summer as well as sending me to class to get my license to give insurance quotes before that.

One of my main responsibilities will be to help increase his business by calling his current clients and inquiring as to whether they would be interested in upgrading their insurance. For every customer that decides to upgrade (add auto to their homeowners for instance) he is going to give me a bonus on my check. If anyone comes to him as a new customer and says that I referred them I will also get a bonus.

He also informed me that once I get up to 30 hours a week or more he will help me start investing in a 401k and will match my contribution up to 3%. The idea of actually having a retirement plan on myself is so foreign to me. I am so used to worrying about whether or not J.'s 401k is going to be enough to support us at retirement age it never occurred to me that I might be in a position that will allow me to contribute to our golden years.

The whole day just flew by and it felt so great to just be out in the world again. I don't even remember the last time I got to spend time outside of the home with other adults where kids weren't the main topic of conversation! LOL

So even though we still haven't heard which way the sellers are leaning I still feel incredible about my day. I hope you all had one as wonderful as mine!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

News I Didn't Get To Mention

First off, still no news from Natalie about whether or not the Seller's agent has spoken to them about the VA Appraisal.

We are really having a problem with the Seller's agent. I have never seen anything like this. When we sent him the original offer he blew off telling the seller's he had even received it until the next evening because he was too busy showing the house to other people. Why would he do that? He had an offer on the table, if the sellers accepted it (which they did, other than a minor counter offer) wasn't he just wasting his time?

Mat called him on Tuesday to let him know that the VA Appraisal results were in and to discuss them with him. He ended up having to explain what a VA Appraisal is! Then when Natalie called him back the next day to find out what the sellers had to say he informed her that he was too busy to get with them about this and he would "try" to get to it tomorrow.

She has been trying really hard to give him the benefit of a doubt and not bad mouth him but I can tell it's getting harder for her to keep her personal thoughts of him to herself. She thought that maybe he just didn't want to take bad news to the sellers until he had all of the information in front of him (i.e. the VA Appraisal report, the new more realistic cost estimate, and the permission paper from the VA showing that it was ok to switch to a tankless (not flameless as I thought LOL) hot water heater vs enclosing the current one, and the new raised offer to help cover the costs with the codicil that we will cover any closing costs at closing that they have to dip into to cover the repairs). However, she sent him that information Friday afternoon and still no word.

I just don't understand why a realtor would behave this way. If anyone out there reading this has any ideas please feel free to post or email me with your thoughts because J. and I are really confused by this.

On a lighter note, another item I didn't get to discuss due to the extreme length of my first 2 posts is the fact that I got a job last Wednesday. My Step-dad went in to pay his insurance and his insurance agent/nephews father-in-law was telling him how much he needed to hire someone to help out around there. I was mentioned and before I knew it I had an interview with him Wed. morning and a job by noon.

Tim (my new boss) seems like a wonderful man to work for. At first anyway, the hours are perfect. I will be working Mondays and Thursdays from 8:30 - 5:30, starts out at $8 an hour. I know it probably doesn't sound so great but right now while I have to take care of so much for the house and later getting the house ready to move into, then moving 2 days a week is perfect. The pay, well I would have been overjoyed with it 3 weeks ago as I have been having a terrible time even getting an interview with anyplace other than minimum wage because I have been out of the job market for so long and have little experience and no higher education to draw on. I have to be honest though, after talking to my friend about the income potential from doing daycare again, $400 a month is a little difficult to swallow.

I know, I know I feel horrible because on the one hand I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to FINALLY be getting out of the house again after 12 years of being housebound with the kids but I guess what really bothers me is that I feel so strongly that I do have talents that are not being realized by taking this job and J. is perfectly happy to let me settle for a job that may or may not ever increase in hours or pay with no benefits, when I could be contributing so much more to our family.

I think I am also really scared. I haven't been outside the home to work in so long, what if I screw it up? What if I really am unmarketable? What if I can't ever make a job in the real world work again because I have been out of the loop so long? Tim seems like an awesome guy and he is willing to give me a shot that no one else has. What if I let him down?

Wow I just went back and reread that, I don't want to end the post on such a downer so here is a joke to lighten things up that my realtor told me to end our call yesterday on a high note:

Three women were sitting in a hot tub naked, two in their mid twenties and one in her late forties. One of the young women started ringing so she lifted her hand to her ear and started talking into it. When she finished she looked at the other two women and said, "microchip cell phone, had it implanted last week." A few minutes later the other young woman tapped her ear and they started hearing music, at the other women's blank looks she said, "Ipod microchip, I got it just yesterday." Finally feeling left out the older woman excused herself to the restroom and came back a few minutes later with a piece of toilet paper hanging down. The two young ladies brought it too her attention and she said, "would you look at that I am getting a fax!"

Ok bad joke but it did make me feel better after Natalie told it to me so maybe it will make you feel better too.

Have a good one guys!