Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fatal Flaw

This whole house hunting thing has been a lot of ups and downs for L and me recently (though we are almost absolutely sure that we have found a house that we could see ourselves growing old in- provided that we build a second bathroom at some point down the road). D told us from the start that there were going to be times when we were going to love the process and other times when we'll just hate looking for houses and want to quit. We've been out three times and have fallen in love three times (each time stronger than the last). While driving around this past Monday, we saw some okay houses, ones that we could live in but would have to put some work into them to make them our own, and D warned us that we were probably still just going to be in love with the new #1 from out previous outing. Just after saying that, we found the house! Though, Luke and I were wary because each house we start to love has some sort of fatal flaw (i.e., Number 1 had a shared driveway with the neighbors, Number 2 was a short sale with fuses- making it hard, if not impossible to insure).

We made sure that this house wasn't a short sale, and then we made our way around the house. Even though it only has 1 bathroom, there is more than enough space to eventually put in a second one. The living room and dining room are airy with very high ceilings and the kitchen reminds me of the one my parents have. Everything about the house seemed just perfect for us, and D even mentioned that it was great seeing how our faces lit up as soon as we walked in the living room. This was the first house that I did my excited squeal in! We continue searching for that fatal flaw that seems to keep following us, and sure enough, as soon as we looked at the electrical wiring, we noted that it was fuses instead of a circuit breaker. Ugh! Not a big issue though because it wasn't a short sale, so we could negotiate with the seller that they had to replace it for insurance reasons. We took a second walk through and walked out feeling like we had never felt about a house before. For the next 12 hours, that house was all we could think about.

The next afternoon, we were scheduled to go take a second look at the house, but before we could even make it to the car, we received an email from D telling us to check our voicemail and call him back. So, L checks his phone and comes in to tell me the bad news: The house IS a short sale. The lister apologized for not updating the MLS listing, and D said that they would talk with the seller to see what they could do (if anything) about the fuses. So now we're back at ground zero- an unobtainable house that we are madly, head-over-heels, in love with.

Now, a week or so ago (when we were interested in the 1st shortsale house), L had called his insurance guy to find out if we could get insured with fuses, and he said that if it had 100 amp fuses, that he would be comfortable insuring the house. Unfortunately, we had no idea what the amps of the fuses were in this house... until now! I decided to take a few moments and see if there was any other supplemental documents that might point out, one way or the other, the amps of the fuses, and upon looking at the Truth in Housing document, I found that the fuses are 100 amps! Now all we probably need to do is double check that we can get a loan for this amount and then put an offer into the bank.

So long story short, it's definitely been a rollercoaster so far, but I feel like there is much better chance of us getting the house now!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Passing the time

We went house hunting today, but I'm going to write more about it tomorrow... :-) So instead, I'm going to post a survey-thingy about myself to pass the time:

1. What time did you get up this morning? 9:45 am

2. How do you like your steak? Medium

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Inglourious Basterds (everyone should see this!)

4. What is your favorite TV show? Hell's Kitchen

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you? I love living in MN- I wouldn't want to leave my family and friends!

6. What did you have for breakfast? Coffee. I wasn't hungry this morning

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Italian

8. What foods do you dislike? Raw onions, pork

9. Favorite Place to Eat? currently, Chipotle

10. Favorite dressing? Creamy Basalmic

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? Ford Taurus

12. What are your favorite clothes? Jeans and a t-shirt

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Australia

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 full

15. Where would you want to retire? I would love to move to England or somewhere over in Europe

16. Favorite time of day? Evening

17. Where were you born? Minneapolis

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Hockey

19. Who do you think will not tag you back? Not doing this on FB, so this question doesn't count...

20. Person you expect to tag you back first? either does this one

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? or this one

22. Bird watcher? nope

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night

24. Do you have any pets? Lots of them: 8 degus, 2 Parakeets, 1 Rabbit, and 1 Guinea Pig

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? L & I are in the process of trying to find a house!

26. What did you want to be when you were little? a vet

27. What is your best childhood memory? the ones up at my old family cabin on Big Sandy

28. Are you a cat or dog person? I can never choose between the two!

29. Are you married? Yep! We got married on July 18th, 2009

30. Always wear your seat belt? Definitely

31. Been in a car accident? Nothing major

32. Any pet peeves? when people smack their gum. it's obnoxious!

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Black olives and mushrooms

34. Favorite Flower? I love stargazer lilies, but I'm on a rose kick right now

35. Favorite ice cream? Pavarotti from Sebastian Joes

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? I don't eat there often, but I really enjoy Sonic

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Never failed it

38. From whom did you get your last email? from D

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? target

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Not really

41. Like your job? Meh, I need a new one.

42. Broccoli? I like broccoli.

43. What was your favorite vacation? Definitely Aruba with L for our honemoon!

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? L, M, & B at Brasa in St. Paul

45. What are you listening to right now? some indie song

46. What is your favorite color? Red

47. How many tattoos do you have? just one of a turtle on my foot

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? ugh, stop with the FB questions!

49. What time did you finish this quiz? 10:59pm

50. Coffee Drinker? Yep! And I am slowly turning L into one- bwahahaha!

So, now you know just a little bit more about me :-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meet Darla

A few weeks ago, L rescued a guinea pig from a cinder block right outside of our apartment. We had the full intentions of finding her a new home or bringing her to the humane society. After none of our neighbors claimed her, and none of our friends wanted to add to their own collections of pets, we started to grow a little attached to her. Well, now it looks like she's found her permanent home with us after dropping $100+ on her at the Vet on Monday morning. She hadn't been walking too well and favoring her hind legs over the previous week, and we found out that her back feet were completely swollen. The vet put her on two medications (can't remember what exactly they're called, but they are tutti frutti and peanut butter flavored!), and we've been administering them to her twice daily. Until her vet visit, we've just been calling her numerous nicknames (i.e., Gimpy, Piggy, Piggles, Pig Face, ect.), and now that we've made an investment in her well-being, we've given her the name Darla.

Home is where the short sales aren't?

It's amazing how quickly you can go from being head-over-heels in love with one house to falling for another. We had a successful second run with D and we are now trying to figure out how to make this new #1 our home. There are a lot of things that we like more about the new #1 than the old #1 (especially the lower price!), but unfortunately we found that the house is a short sale. I have a hard time explaining what exactly a short sale is (it's not a forclosure, but the bank has a big say in what offer the seller can accept- I think...), but we think that we might be able to at least try to do everything in our power to live there. We've gotten the okay from the loan people, and now we're waiting to hear if L's insurance guy would insure the house with fuses instead of a circuit breaker. If all goes well, then we'll more than likely start the process of trying to purchase the home. One of the crappy things about short sale homes is that it can take a long time for it to all go through. You can make it almost all the way to the end of the ordeal, only to have the bank decide that they don't actually like your offer. It can take 2-4 months (possibly even longer) before one can close on it, and the price the seller has listed hasn't even been approved by the bank yet. Ugh.

At first, I was really upset and felt let down (even though there was no reason for me to be feeling like that yet- it's just a house, right?), but now that we've talked about it more I'm feeling a lot better about it. So what if we don't close in time to get the $8,000? As long as prices stay low, that would just be an added bonus, not a necessity (and L's convinced that they'll probably extend the program). Also, if we wait a bit longer, or if we go for the house that will take a few more months than we had originally expected to take to get the house, we'll have more $$ saved up, and we won't be completely broke and will hopefully still be able to afford groceries each month! Lastly, if it gets sold to people other than us, we know that there are more houses out there, and we'll find something that will make us just as happy.

I think we'll be going on outing #3 with D on Monday, and knowing our trend, we'll probably have a new new #1 by that evening!

The hunt continues...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The First Month

We haven't had too hard of a time adjusting to the married life, especially since nothing has changed in our relationship over the course of the 3 years we've lived together (not including the dorms) except that we now share the same last name. The name change process was unexpectedly easy: First I only spent about 20 minutes in the Ridgedale Service Center (which included me stopping for coffee before getting my number) to get my drivers license updated, and then I was actually a bit disappointed that my wait time at the Social Security Office was only 10 minutes long because I had planned on getting a large chunk of Harry Potter 7 read during that time. Looking back, the whole process of becoming KL was a breeze and only once did anyone ever ask to see my ID. One other perk of becoming Mrs. L is that I am now the proud holder of my very own Target discount card! So exciting :-)

Now that L and I don't have a big wedding to be planning for, we needed to be pushing our existant energy into something else that isn't kids (We're planning to wait at least 5 years before expanding the family past the furkids). We have started the process of looking for a house, and I cannot wait to finally have my own walls, and to not have people living under, above, and to the side of me. We also are excited to have a Rodent Room, where we can feel better about having all of our pets in one place where we'll be more able to let them run around for a bit each day. At our apartment, we have heating vents that our little degus are able to get into, so it's not the safest to have them running around, even if they are supervised. I'm sure that Dwight the rabbit will be more than thrilled to have more than 3 rooms that he can hop around to! L's sister told us about a friend of theirs who has a diaper that they put on their rabbit... we might need to look into that! While he never pees outside of his litter boxes, he hasn't quite mastered the art of pooping in the box 100% of the time.

We are working with L's cousin, D, who is a Realtor and we've had the chance to go out looking once so far (we'll be going out again on Monday), and had a successful first run. Unfortunately, we've kind of fallen in love with the first house we looked at, and we need to keep our emotions in check until we've at least seen a couple more handfuls of houses. The hunting part is hard since we aren't very familiar with the East St. Paul/East Metro area, so we've been having to guess at what areas are better than others. Hopefully D will be able to guide us a bit more in the right direction by taking us to some houses that we wouldn't have initially picked ourselves! Though, if over then next few weeks, we don't really find anything that we like as much as that first house, we might consider starting the process of making that house ours! It's just East of Lake Phalen, which would put us at about a 5 minute drive away from B and M's new house, and it's right near the BCA, so if any one is ever there to get fingerprinted or have a background check run on you, you'd totally be able to come hang out :-) I'll keep this updated as we continue to search for our first home!