Tuesday, June 16, 2009

inspection update

You never want to hear your inspector say, "Well, I wasn't expecting THAT. That's interesting..."

The inspection went well. I knew the house would have some issues, but in other areas, I was pleasantly surprised. I'll list more bad than good, but that's just because I'm ranking projects in order of importance in my mind for repairs. I plan to do most of the repairs myself.

  • The roof is nearing the end of its useful life. Solution: New roof. It's a small house, so it will be a small project. DIY
  • The windows are original, single-pane. But the frames don't show any sign of water damage, and there's only 7 or 8 windows in the house. DIY
  • The furnace is older. The seller is giving me a one-year warranty, which will cover any issues until next summer, but then I will need to think about replacing it. I'm hoping that the Weatherization program will do that for me.
  • The yard has some elevated spots that drain toward the house. Solution: Re-grade the yard to slope away from the house. DIY if I can get a friend with the proper equipment to help me. I'm not regrading the yard with a shovel.
  • There could always be more insulation. I've got about 8" of blown-in vermiculite in the attic. I could get someone to put more up there. The foundation is insulated on the outside, but I can crawl under the house and hang more insulation down there.
  • The shower and tub are funky. There's only one knob, and the tub is small. I plan to rip out the tub, possibly push the wall back, and tile it as a shower only. DIY
  • Some of the plumbing is the original steel pipes. At some point I'll want to replace that. DIY
  • The plumbing vent stack opens into the attic. There's a roof vent right above it, but it doesn't actually go through the roof. The seller should fix this before we close.

  • The foundation is in great shape. No cracks or settling. It's solidly built on concrete blocks, and the garage is on a concrete slab.
  • The wiring is really good. It's been upgraded since the house was built and it was done properly. I need one GFCI outlet in the kitchen.
  • The electrical supply to the garage was done properly and is buried wire. The heating system for the garage is also in good shape.
  • The roof may need help, but the rafters looked good from inside the attic.
  • No signs of mold in the house.

All in all, the inspector pronounced it a good little house. Next up: Bringing the bank a ton of paperwork.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Just got back from the home inspection. All went reasonably well. I will write more when I get back from burlesque rehearsal.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

moving along

I got the disclosures today. Nothing really surprising there, except I'd really like to know the age of the roof. I signed off on them and left them at my realtor's office, along with the balance of my earnest money. I've been having money taken out of my bank account since I got a raise last year, so most of my money has been locked away in an online banks. Therefore it takes me a few days to access my money.

I also decided that since I bought a 2-bedroom house, I should definitely consider a roommate. Sure, the extra space would be nice, but so would the contribution to the mortgage, you know? To that effect, I contacted someone on Craigslist who was moving up and looking for a place. Hey, that's how I found Celine and Bob! She seems pretty compatible thus far, so it looks like I will get a roommate about 2 weeks after I move in. Brilliant! I've only spotted two potential disadvantages:
  • She has a cat. Named Nebel. Pronounced like Maybelle. My cat is Nibbles. These are very similar names. The cats will get confused.
  • She likes to bake. I already bake at least once a week. I predict massive weight gains.

I realize that I have only posted pictures of the back bedroom. Fortunately I copied a picture off the realtor's site and can now show you the front bedroom.
At this point, I think I will take this room. It has some very obvious disadvantages: it has the smallest closet (oh! my wardrobe!) and it is on the street side of the house (the other room is on the backyard). But it also has the eastern windows (hello, morning sun!) and is right next to the bathroom. Plus, I can't lie, I like the trim on the walls.

The inspection is on Monday. My fingers are crossed.

house #2

I was supposed to look at houses # 2 + 3 today. Alas, the realtor chose to send her assistant instead, who didn't know anything about house #3. So we looked at house #2, which, as it turns out, is actually a triplex, not a duplex. So I wouldn't qualify under AHFC for a loan. And while the upstairs unit was super cute with its new laminate floors and atomic a-go-go kitchen, the other two units were less than adorable.

I did take a bunch of pictures, and would post them for you except I had to go to my AHFC home-buyers class tonight. And while I was there, my realtor called. And THEY ACCEPTED MY OFFER!!!!!!

*gasp* *wheeze* (breathe, Mary, breathe)

Barring anything hideous showing up during the inspection, house #1 is mine.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I am impulsive and commitment-phobic. I should not be getting a mortgage.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

House 1 floorplans

I made some (very) rough floorplans of house #1. Totally, absolutely not to any sort of scale.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

House #1

Front of house

What's not to love? This one came on the market today. It's the first house I've actually viewed. I don't want to fall prey to the "fall in love with the first house you see" cliche, but, well, I love it.

  • About 1 mile from work
  • Small house
  • Good-size kitchen
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Heated garage
  • Big trees
  • Washer and dryer convey
  • Arctic entry
  • Wood floors (original, not laminate)
  • Built ins in dining area
  • New hot water heater installed 10/08
  • Small deck out back

  • Forced air heat
  • Old single pane windows
  • Older appliances
  • Bedroom closets are small
  • Bathtub is oddly small and needs repairs
  • Priced about $25K over the assessed value
  • Unknown age of furnace
  • Deck needs some work - a few rotten boards, needs staining
  • Not good defensively in case of zombie apocalypse

I know a lot of it may be typical real estate agent spin, but this house hit the market today. I was the first person to view it, another person was coming by after me, and another viewing was set up for Monday.

I'm going to call on Monday to get more accurate information on fuel consumption. I want to know how many gallons were used in the winter. But I'm also trying to go to the bank for a mortgage approval on Monday and to meet with a realtor to represent me. I think I'm going to put an offer in. I'd be willing to pay very close to their asking price, but I'm going to try for lower.

Dammit, I fell in love with the first house!

Front of house

Arctic entry

Living room

Built-in storage in dining area



Tongue and groove ceiling

Laundry area

Back bedroom

Back bedroom closet

Hallway to bathroom and front bedroom


Back yard

Back yard

Driveway and garage