Friday, August 29, 2008

Livin' it up on the West Coast...

Y'all (I'm sure that's not even allowed over here seeing as the glory that is sweet tea escapes these people), see that pretty mountain view pic a couple posts down? Well, provided all the inspections go smoothly, that view will be what I see from my living room.

Last night, NS and I put in an offer, a substantially low ball offer, mind you, on the house that boasts that view. We were countered, we countered back, and then we were re-countered...with a "bottom line" price. Because we knew that, while the bottom line price was within our budget, we didn't truly believe the price was good for the condition the house is currently in, we told our realtor to give us a few hours to discuss it and said we'd call her back.

We give it a few minutes of thoughtful conversation before deciding that this is still a deal for this house, knowing that we can do some inexpensive rehabilitation to build substantial value and equity, whereas any other house we'd get wouldn't be worth much more in a few years than what we pay for it now.

Maybe two hours later, before we've gotten back to her on our decision, another call comes from our realtor to let us know the sellers have agreed to accept our last offer amount so long as they are not expected to complete any work orders that may come from the inspection. Seeing as we weren't really planning to continue the purchase if any big work orders came up and didn't want to wait for any small things to be fixed by the seller since they'd done some shotty work in the house already, we yelled, "Score!" And, then, we danced the happy, not-going-to-be-homeless-anymore jig, told the boys we were going to live in the bee* house, but without the bees, and called our parents. So, um, through some hesitation and procrastination, we got what we wanted all along, which is a potentially awesome house on nearly two acres of land in a good neighborhood for $35,000 less than the most recent list price (dropped for the umpteenth time since it went on the market 450+ days ago) and probably $50,000 less than the tax assessed value. We are, apparently, master negotiators; take note...hesitate, procrastinate, win.

Of course, I have lots more to blog about, namely a 4,000+ mile drive with all the stops interspersed, but since my iPhone travel notes got unintentionally erased tonight, I just can't begin all that right now...devastation and grief over the loss of my surely brilliant yet meandering thoughts might begin to describe my feelings from this evening. Look forward to the chronicles of our adventures in the coming weeks; it was an exhausting blast.

* We call it the "bee" house because in two visits, with a grand total of less than 10 minutes outside, we got stung four times collectively, twice for NS and once each for J and me. Good times, indeed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Truckin' along...

So much for my lofty ambition to post updates on my travels each day, huh? It's hard to get motivated to drag in the computer and power cord each night after a full day of new adventures and relentless pavement rolling, though.

Well, I'm currently somewhere in South Dakota, drivint south towards I-90 to head west for Rapid City. The sun has nearly disappeared to my right, and I have some driving observations I'll post some time later, like when I'm not hurling a couple tons of metal at 70 mph towards a stop sign that appeared in the middle of nowhere on a damn near deserted highway in The Great Plains.

We are making progress in reaching our destination and have little to no incidents to report, save for one tire blowout, not mine, and my uncanny knack for getting lost within half a mile of where I'm going while using two navigational assistants, my 5 year-old car's GPS as well as the iPhone. I know you're all envious of my directionally challenged abilities;>

More to come...stay tuned.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Skipping out...

shhh...the view we hope might be oursWe're down to the last week of life in Virginia. Next Tuesday, we load up two vehicles with two adults, two preschoolers, an infant, an old dog, and a giant puppy and then take to the road for a 3,000+ mile adventure that ends with Washington.

I'm excited; NS is counting down the few remaining days that seem to be passing slower than the days before; M and J are aware of the plans but don't have the ability to really grasp the abstract concepts of a two-week long road trip to our new home that will place us much farther away from grandma and school and 100+ temperatures and heat indexes. They think the journey to "new house" will take a couple days...or that we're leaving in a couple days. Maybe a little of both of those ideas is floating in their brains.

We're not physically ready for this move yet, though. We finally started putting some time into getting ready yesterday. We folded the thousands of loads of clean laundry that had been scattered in every which place we could find in the house. I may be slightly, but just slightly, exaggerating that. I hate folding laundry. I think hate may be too weak a word to describe my loathing actually. I will wash everything, taking care to read labels and change settings and pre-treat stains, and then happily transfer it to the dryer or to an acceptable air-drying location, but I will then promptly put it all into a basket and let that basket sit until there's nothing worth taking out of it anymore. I not only despise the folding task, I dread putting the stuff away, too. This chore is the reason I would like maid service. That and to have clean bathrooms. One man (although, really way better than most men) and two little boys...the ugghh-iness is off the charts a lot of the time. Anyway, so we've done part of one thing on my checklists of things to do before the movers arrive Friday to pack our belongings...wash all laundry and fold all clean laundry. At least I've got M and J's wardrobe set aside for the next couple weeks in addition to a week's worth of clothing for cooler weather should we encounter it.

Speaking of encounters, we're planning to take advantage of this excursion as much as possible with our limited timeframe, meaning whatever wonderful sites we can squeeze in during approximately 10 travel days plus a few days in the Midwest, we're going to do. A couple that are definitely on the list of places to visit are The Children's Museum in Indianapolis and Yellowstone National Park. I've got a couple other places in mind, like a Trainland in Iowa!, as does NS, but it will depend on how the trek is going to really figure out the best places to stop.

So, this time for an exceptionally good reason, my blogging will be slacking in the next few weeks, although I will aim to post updates on our progress each day we're driving...if for no other reason than to document that we have, in fact, made progress;>