Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reason #234343908471...

...for wanting a house:

I can't stand apartment living anymore. I've spent the last 5 years sharing walls with strangers who don't seem to realize that there is someone living on the other side of the plaster and paint and drywall. Despite everything that goes into building a wall or a ceiling/floor, the ones here are very thin and our neighbors also don't seem to realize that as they play their music or video games past 11 at night. I wish that I could go back in time 3 years and tell my past-self to make sure to rent the apartment on the top floor, not the one on the 2nd where I've got neighbors above, below, and to the side of me. Right now I am supposed to be sleeping (fortunately L was able to fall asleep before the neighbors got home), and have a potentially difficult sub job ahead of me in the morning, but it looks like I'll be running on fumes and coffee to make it through the day.


Keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes well on Monday, and that we only have a couple more months of apartment life left.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Moving On

Here's a quick update on where we're at with the house hunt:

Last week, we went out with D and were only able to actually look at one house. Luckily for us, this house (which I will from now on call The Cottage) has nearly everything we're looking for in a house! There is a lot more living space with a half story upper level, 2 bedrooms on the main floor, and a finished basement and it has 3 bathrooms instead of just the 1 compared to the LYH, PLUS it's not a short sale (yay!). We were almost considering putting an offer in on it that night, but decided that the smart thing to do would be to sleep on it and at least look at a few more houses the next week. All through out the week, all L and I could do was talk about what we could do with the house and what we like about it compared to the LYH that we are starting to give up on. The LYH has definitely lost it's charm to us ever since we found out that it would be a ridiculous amount of time until we hear anything about it.

Today we went out again with D and were able to take a look at 3 more houses that we were fortunately able to cross off our list of possibilities (it makes the hunting process SO much easier!). One house had the residents there while we were looking due to some miscommunication on their listing agent's behalf, so it was awkward having the lady following us the whole time and not really giving us a chance to look on our own. Needless to say, we will not be putting an offer on that house. The other two houses we saw were okay, but they didn't top The Cottage, so it looks like we'll be meeting with D again to go see 2 more houses and then see The Cottage one more time and then we'll decide if we want to put an offer on it that night!

Wish us luck...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Farewell to my Fursister 8.12.1996-10.22.2009

My fursister, Moose passed away this morning at 1:02 am in the company of my dad at the ripe old age of 13 years, 2 months, and 10 days old.

I went home to do laundry at about 12 today, and Moose greeted me at the door as usual. She hobbled outside several times and ate her lunch and scarfed down a treat afterward. Just before 6pm, after running a few errands with my mom, and finishing my laundry I was getting ready to leave as I noticed Moose trying to get up the bottom 2 stairs to settle herself down on the landing. She was having a really hard time getting up those stairs. I lifted her up onto the landing and put a blanket on her (over the last year, Moose had gotten very thin and got cold easily). She seemed tired, so I sat with her for awhile. As I stayed near her, I could hear almost a thumping sound that was occurring as she was breathing. She also couldn't seem to get comfortable. I continued to pet her, and I tried to give her another treat, which she proceeded to spit out. That's when I knew that she wasn't her old self. She NEVER would spit out anything food related unless it was an unpeeled grape or a pretzel. After staying a bit longer, I had to go home, but not much later I got a call from my mom saying that she and my dad didn't think that she was going to last through the night.

I spent the next 6 hours periodically bursting into tears over the thought of loosing Moose. In my household, we were brought up with the mentality that Moose was our sister. She did everything and went everywhere with us. She always just wanted to be one of the girls and be where the people were. Loosing her is like loosing a sister. She always made sure that she showed us how much she loved us (Even after that one time up at our old cabin when I accidentally slammed her tail in the door- yet afterward she still came up to me, with her bloody tail wagging and licked my face).

My dad called me just after she passed on. I hadn't been able to sleep all night, so when I heard my phone go off, I knew what had happened. He was face to face with her when she went, so she wasn't alone. Getting that call from my dad was one of the most heartbreaking things that has ever happened to me. I'm pretty sure the last time I heard my dad cry or get choked up was when his mother died about 13 years ago, so to hear his voice cracking on the phone made it even harder for me to hold it together. L has been amazing this evening. Even though he has to be up for work in just a matter of hours, he woke up with me and comforted me until I was ready to make some phone calls.

Over the last couple of years, we've all felt like Moose was living on borrowed time. We were all hoping that she would choose to leave us on her own without us having to make the decision of whether or not we needed to bring her to the vet, and in the comfort of the only home she's ever known. While her joints were often stiff, her eyesight was going, she was partially deaf, and her hips were starting to get sore, she always had a healthy appetite and was still able to somehow steal bags of bread and treats off the table. Going home for dinner is going to be difficult- the first time at my parents house without Moose is going to have a dreadfully empty feeling to it.

I found a poem by an unknown author that made me feel a little bit better about the situation (though just burst into a new batch of tears rereading this):

When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see;
The sun will rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me.
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
Remembering how I'd lay my head
In your lap that special way.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too.

But when tomorrow starts without me.
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name
And petted me with her hand.
She said my place was ready,
In Heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.

But, as I turned to heel away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life I never thought
That I would have to die.
I had so much to live for,
So many sits and downs to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.

I thought about our lives together,
I know you must be sad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.

Remember how I'd nudge your hand,
And poke you with my nose?
The frisbee I would gladly chase,
The bad guy, I'd "bark and hold".

If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for awhile,
I'd wag my tail and kiss you,
Just so I could see you smile.

But, then I fully realized,
That this could never be;
For emptiness and memories
Will take the place of me.
And when I thought of treats and toys,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you and when I did,
My dog-heart filled with sorrow.

But then I walked through Heaven's gate,
And felt so much at home;
As God looked down and smiled at me,
From His beautiful golden throne.
He said, "This is eternity,
And now we welcome you,
Today your life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.

I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last;
For you see, each days's the same day,
There's no longing for the past.
Now you have been so faithful,
So trusting, loyal and true;
Though there were times you did things,
You knew you shouldn't do.

But good dogs are forgiven,
And now at last you're free;
So won't you sit here by my side,
And wait right here with me?"
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart.
For every time you think of me,
I'm right there, in your heart.

If you've got any good Moose stories/memories, feel free to post them in the comments.

I love you, Moose. You'll never be forgotten.

Friday, October 16, 2009

How to fall out of love?

Here's the most recent email that we have received from the listing agent representing the LYH:

At this time they just let us know that they will not review the package until she misses her November payment. Thanks. Sorry for the inconvenience.

You'd think that they would give us more information than that (i.e., what does this mean?! Are we wasting our time waiting for the bank to respond?). We put in an offer on Sept. 1st and this is the first real information we've gotten so far. I know that it's not the listing agent's fault that US Bank sucks balls when it comes to timeliness and communication, but you'd think that they could give us some sort of time line and answers to our questions. Since we haven't gotten any really good answers, I took to asking a public forum on The Nest what they made of this response. Unfortunately, most of the people who responded didn't have high hopes for us getting the LYH. Here are some of their comments help you have a better understanding of what this 1 1/2 sentence email might mean:

I'm sorry to say it doesn't sound promising. I'd get back to house hunting. The Nov. payment won't be due for almost 3 weeks (and that's if it's due on the 1st), and may not be deemed late/missed until 10-15 days after that. That's a month before they'll even review your offer. Unless you're exceedingly patient, and this is the only house around that might do, I'd move on. No reason to pull the offer in case it pans out, but I wouldn't hold my breath or expect anything.

It sounds to me like they might be giving the owner another month to try to get current (or at least make a payment). Nobody wins by having the house fall into foreclosure. The bank wants payments on the larger amount (owed on the house), not a house that they'd have to sell for less, so if the owner makes a payment, they'll probably back burner the SS idea for the time being.

i think you might just have to wait a while, and then it might not even go through. are you in the situation where you can just wait and wait? if so, be patient and keep your hopes up!

if you have to leave your current place soon, i would say move on....

wishful thinking though!

In this case, it sounds like it is not truly a short sale. Or at least one that was signed off on by the bank before they put the house on the market.

When we were looking, we heard several times that a house was a SS but when we pressed the agents (both our and the seller's) for more detail, turns out a sale for less than the amount owed had not yet been approved by the bank, so once we made our offer, we would have needed the bank to sign off on taking less than the amount owed then they would review our offer.

There were others that specifically said in the listing notes "bank approved short sale." We looked at several of those but they just weren't for us.

Personally, we decided that SS were too much hassle for us so we passed on them from that point on.

It sounds like they're not looking over it until November.

We put an offer on a SS in May. We finally heard this week that the mortgage was a FHA loan, so if the seller forecloses, the bank still gets the money from the mortgage insurance. Which is why they've been dragging it out. We walked away even though we love the house (after waiting 5 months!).

In this case, it sounds like the seller doesn't have the resources to sell for less than she owes, but she has been able to make her mortgage payments on time. In the eyes of a bank, a person who makes their payments isn't experiencing hardship, which is one of the main requirements for getting approval for a short sale. What the listing agent is really saying, is that the seller will have to intentionally miss her November payment in order for the bank to even look at her application. Even then, it could be months before anyone knows if a short sale has been approved.

If it were me, I would keep looking.

At this time, we have told D that we want to continue looking for houses again and keep our offer on the LYH until a.) we get a solid response from the bank, or b.) fall in love with another house. House-Hunting Mondays is starting up again this week, and hopefully D has been able to find some decent ones along with the ones that L and I want to go check out. I feel like we need to start putting the LYH out of our minds more and more and start allowing ourselves to fall in love with another house. It's going to be hard, but we're going to have to keep that in mind as we look at more houses this week and not continuously compare the house we're looking at to the LYH.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hello, my name is Ms. L...

We're still waiting to hear back from the bank, though we did get a response from the listing agent telling us that it could be up to another 12 weeks to get any sort of answer. Apparently US Bank is not known for its speediness... While we've decided to continue to wait it out, it's frustrating because we were told 6-9 weeks initially. If there's one thing that I really dislike, it is when people underestimate things to make it seem better than it really is! Bah, oh well. If it's meant to be, then the outcome will be a good one in the near future :-)

On a completely non-house related note, my teaching license FINALLY went through and I've been starting to sub this week. I was able to get jobs for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and they were all at the school I student taught at last winter/spring for the English Department. I feel like that made my first few sub jobs much less scary than I thought they were going to be, especially since I know how that school works and I know the majority of the English department staff. When I went back on Wednesday, the teacher, whom I had subbed for on Wednesday told me that his students didn't believe him that it was my first day subbing, so that made me feel pretty good about my subbing skills! The English Dept. Leader has also put me on their preferred sub list which will go to all the high schools in the district, so hopefully that means that I'll start getting more jobs and maybe even get into the schools 5 days/week. Now, not only have I had the chance to sub in English classrooms, but I have also done emergency subbing for a French and an ASL class during the prep period (which means I get paid more!). So far, I'm really liking being a sub.

This weekend is B's birthday, so we're off to Oktober Fest at Gasthof's tonight and the final Twins game at the Metrodome tomorrow. Happy birthday B!