Friday, March 28, 2008

Funny of the day

I found this quite hilarious.

Builder's warranty guy: "See, they put a nice big rock in that hole, that's a great idea. We actually recommend that our homeowners put in a splash rock to keep the ground from eroding."

Translation: MHI, Inc. recommends a ROCK to prevent erosion problems. Not gutters. Or anything else official. a ROCK. and it has an official name. "Splash Rock". I wonder if I could market those and make a killing citing MHI's recommendation.

And the best part is, the guy said this to a structural engineer. An EN-GIN-EER.

The light at the end of the tunnel called "homeseller's purgatory"

The almost says it all! Let's see, the last I updated, we had almost lost our contract because the buyer ran out of option time. Since then we extended the option to Monday the 31st so he could get a structural engineer to check the foundation and erosion issues. (I won't call them problems because they aren't). The engineer came this morning and he told me his report will say there is nothing wrong with our foundation. Big sigh of relief there. I'm not sure what he is going to say about the erosion thing. He will either recommend a gutter in a certain location, or a retaining wall. The buyer wants a retaining wall, but maybe if the engineer says a gutter will do it he'll let it go. Either way, I'm pretty confident the sale will go through now that the foundation is known to be good. We have a couple of minor things to fix and then it should be smooth sailin' from there on out.

This retaining wall thing has been a thorn in our sides since we moved into this house. Problem is that it should have been there before they built the house, and now the builder can't (or won't) justify the expense to do it retroactively. They would have to take down the fences, and then put them back up into the wall, which would be a pain in the rear. Then there's the whole issue of building up the slope and putting in the wall. It would have been a lot easier if they had done it when there wasn't a house in their way... but what can you do..

In other moving news, our original rent house in Tyler turned out to have fleas, and rather than mess with treating them and/or living with them, we backed out of that house and went on the search for another. I thought it was a hopeless cause, and then a house popped up and we (read: Pam) jumped on it. Greg saw it yesterday and loves it even more than the first one. In fact he wondered why we liked the first one so much. This one is huge and cheap AND the pwner is nice AND there's no management company to hassle with.

It's great! SO, as of this minute, we are still moving the 5th! I have a lot to do!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Disaster Averted!

The scare we had seems to have been settled for now. It all depends on what a structural engineer has to say about our foundation, which should be nothing! We extended the option period to the 31st, so I am still a bundle of nerves until then. I should be taking my mind off it by packing!

I hear a two-year-old in the distance... calling, "Lellow Bah!!" I promised Caleb he could play with the orange and blue bouncy ball after his nap. He remembered!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter 2008

Our Family

Look at Carly's goofy smile!

Easter Baby

Egg Head

Rocks look kinda like eggs...

The Cool Kid


We had a little scare last night.. the buyer terminated the contract citing some foundation problem that doesn't exist. He misunderstood the inspection report, but it does look like we are going to have to put in an expensive retaining wall. Where we are going to get the money for that, I have no idea.... The builder should put in the wall, but we have already been turned down by them twice before, and it has been a constant battle. Two different inspecors have told us we needed one, and still they say it's "borderline" so they won't do it. Jerks! We will fight them to the end on this, because it has made our house almost unsaleable. Really, there isn't much of a problem with washing there, but it is a steep slope. We are lucky that our house doesn't have foundation problems - there are lots in the neighborhood that already do.

Our agent convinced the buyer to extend the option period, and he wants to get an engineer out to take a look at the slope. We are going to try to get Plantation to build the wall anyway, as a sign of good faith. His main concern is the foundation, because he thought the minor cracks in the corners were not normal, but they are really just paint cracks, and the inspetor said they are not unusual, which I take to mean normal wear and tear.

Keep praying for this to go through. I'm getting a little anxious now.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March Madness

It's March, and around here, there is madness. We have decided to move April 5th ( a mere 2.5 weeks from today) so there is much to be done. I hate this part of moving, because it's too early to do the major stuff, but we can live in a house with no decorations, etc., and eat weird combinations of food from the pantry to get it thinner. It's just awkward all around living like this. It's like hurry up and wait. Or the opposite really, which makes me even more crazy. Wait, Wait, Wait, then Hurry hurry pack pack pack load and go! Greg called around for truck prices today, I can't believe it is already time to do that! The inspector for the sale is coming tomorrow morning, so we are hoping he doesn't find anything we need to fix, or that it is minor.

We filled out our brackets tonight for our annual competition. It's a fun and silly thing we do, but for all the time and hype we spend on it, neither of us can ever remember who won the year before.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Our new house

We found a house in Tyler. Well, technically, Greg's parents found the house for us. I haven't actually seen the house myself, but Greg says it is perfect. I agree from what pictures I've seen. Can't wait to get there and see it! The very best part is it's 4 bedrooms! So we will have a guest room/office/craft room with a door that closes. It will be packed full to the brim, but easily hidden behind that handy door. =)

So our tentative plan is to move April 5th, then our closing on the Keller house is sometime a couple weeks later, but no later than the 25th. It already looks like an early close is going to happen though.

Here is a picture of the front of the house. Look at all the TREES!!! Hallelujah!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We have an official contract!!

Our really cool and very good agent just left with our contract, signed by both parties! We are set for a closing on April 25th (or before if the buyers can swing it)!!! Had an appraisal done today, the buyers are going to send an inspector within 14 days, and then it's full steam ahead to dumping this place.

As happy as we are, of course I am feeling a bit sad too, since I designed this house. Well not so much designed as picked out ALL the colors and fixtures and appliances. So basically, yeah, I designed this place. Both of our babies were born here and we have made a lot of friends on this street.

So as we are now breathing a sigh of financial relief we are also realizing that this abstract event with no forseeable execution date is actually happening...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Snow. In March. In Texas.

crazy huh? And they are saying what about global warming? Poppycock!

We got a good 4-5 inches of the pure white stuff, the perfect consistency for making snowballs! Unfortunately Caleb hated the snow, probably was pretty freaky, everything covered in bright white. He takes a while to get used to major sensory events like that. Nonetheless, I bundled him up for a few pictures to prove the authenticity of the 4 inch claim... and here they are:

The front yard:


Videos from the back yard:

HUGE snowflakes!!

I dropped him and ran so I could get a picture before he caught up with me. Should have known he would just stand there are cry.

I saved the best for last:


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

We got two offers

I am not joking either! We have one offer in the works for the house, and then this morning our agent calls to say he got another one.. the second isn't as good as the first (thank goodness; I really don't want to play that game) but it's still mighty ironic that we would get two offers at the same time after more than a year with nothing at all. At least we can trust now that God's timing won't be ignored! We will have to end up paying a little money to get out of it, but we always knew we would, and the people we are working with seem to be good people that won't flake on us. We are now waiting for them to get their prequal letter, sign some papers, and the rest. We are leary to really feel good about this, especially until we sign something, but our agent is not going to let them walk away. If all goes well, we should be out of here in 4-6 weeks!! It is nice to finally see an end point. Greg is in Tyler today and tomorrow and is going to look at a few rent houses in his free time. I am just glad to be at that point finally. I honestly don't care what we live in (ok I care a little) as long as Greg gets to come home every day! He is going to look at a 1940s house today and the lady said the ceilings are 7 foot. That is LOW. I think Greg will feel claustrophobic in a house that short. But this situation will be temporary for a couple of years, so we can definitely deal with a less-than-perfect place.

Our goal is to save money for a few years before we buy again. We are just so over this home-owning thing... two shaky experiences in a row (our own stupidity to blame) but we are just ready to take a break from all the responsibilities and taxes that come with it. We are going to try to start practicing Dave Ramsey's money principles, and in a few years be a cash-only family. (Dave teaches to pay cash for everything, never incur debt except a mortgage, and live well below your means. Basically, save your money before you buy things, and never take out loans or lines of credit.)

Well, that's the situation. Keep praying that it works out! We are going to keep the house listing "active" for a few more days just in case someone walk in with a 210k offer, but my days of cleaning in a frenzied rush are soon to be over!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Camo party pics

Caleb's birthday party was yesterday and he had a blast. We had soooooo many people in the house, and most of them were tall people. Caleb had three little friends, and my cousins got to come too, so there was plenty of representation by the short variety. It's a good thing it was 80 degrees out because we ended up opening gifts outside. You try getting a two-year-old inside who wants to be outside. Even presents couldn't convince him, so out we went. It was a beautiful day! The favorite activity of the party was throwing balloons over the fence into the neighbor's yard, with playing in Caleb's new tent coming in a close second.

The coolest camo cake ever:

doing what two-year-olds do best:

the cake is on fire!

this juice box is the cause of a disaster later:

Bi Tooooo (translation: big truuuuuuck)

Purple balloon! (two of Caleb's favorite words... sounds like "poopoo boor")

Yellow Balloon! (on the other side of the fence.)

The birthday boy

Carly thinks this party is boring.