Friday, August 24, 2012

We're Buying a House

That's right. The secret I've been talking about is us buying our first house. I've been afraid to tell too many people and end up having us not get it. Well.... We are under contract for this beauty!!!! From now on I'm going to refer to her as the Pearl. I have two reasons for this. One she is on Pearl Street and two even though she is a bit rough and ugly on the surface I feel there is something beautiful inside, just like an oyster. We just have to take the time to polish her and make the home she can really be.

She isn't the most updated of homes. Yes, there is wood paneling and pink bathroom tile but hey that just means more projects for my to blog about and that is part of the reason why we are getting such a good deal. Of course those projects are going to be slow going since the house will be monopolizing most of our money.

The Pearl was built in 1882 and has 2-3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. There are 7 rooms total not counting the bathrooms. There are something like 8 closets in this house. For such an old house that is pretty amazing. The kitchen has so many cabinets, I'm not even sure we have enough stuff to fill them. Plus there is a big kitchen pantry cabinet. Another fabulous feature... The Laundry Room is on the first floor!!! The basement is made up of two rooms and is unfinished. One room has a work bench, some cabinets and a sink - All great for blog projects. The other room has the oil tank and a couple cabinets.
First Floor Rooms: Living Room, Dining Room, Office, Kitchen and Laundry Room/Full Bathroom.
Second Floor Rooms: 2 Bedrooms, another Bedroom or Family Room and Half Bath
Outside we have a 1 car detached garage and what the listing calls a shed. We are pretty sure that the shed was used as a chicken coop. We also have this beautiful brick fireplace/grill. I can just see some chairs set up around it and a nice fire going on a perfect Summer night.

The Pearl is a Fannie Mae Foreclosure and had been only on the market for like a week when we looked at it and made our first offer back on July 26th. I figured we would negotiate and offer and be able to have the inspector go through during that week we were on vacation. SO NOT THE CASE!

We went back and forth several times but were unable to reach an agreement. Part of the problem is we started quite low and it was new to the market. Fannie Mae has what they call their First Look program, which is where only Owner Occupants can bid on the house during the first 15 days that the property is listed. Well, Fannie Mae was reluctant to come so far down even though we were the only people who had shown any interest in the property. They seemed to believe that they would be able to sell it for more once the bidding was opened to investors who might want to buy the property and flip it. I thought this was unlikely because the amount of work an investor would need to do to this house in order to flip it would completely eat up their profits. So on August 3rd both the Fannie Mae and us said, "Hey these are our final offers." Neither of us liked the other's offer. So we decided to walk away. I stalked the house (yes my husband calls me a house stalker) for 2 weeks and our realtor reached out to their's to see if there had been any interest, especially now that it was open to investors. Nope nothing! So, on August 16th, the listing's 1 month mark, we resubmitted and offer lower than our final offer from the first set of negotiations. No response prior to the weekend, but I decided to go online on Sunday and look at the listing, I told you I'm a house stalker, and found out that Fannie Mae had dropped the price on the property by $13,000. The new list price was still higher than any of our offers. But were surprised they had dropped the price and not yet responded to our offer. Our realtor and their's figured we would have and answer on Monday. And we did. But not until like 5:30 pm. They countered with the same offer we had made as our final offer before, except they sweetened the deal by agreeing to close off the door to no where.

You see there is a door on the back of the house on the second floor that has a small deck but no railing or stairs. We have no need for the door and it is a major safety issue so something would have to be done prior to closing because the bank won't allow it. Fannie Mae has agreed to remove the door and close it off.

So needless to say we accepted their counter, signed the papers and now our next step is Inspection! Hopefully, the inspector doesn't find any major issues because we don't have extra money for major repairs and the bank won't fix anything unless we add the cost onto the purchase price. The only thing we are thinking might need to be done is the furnace. It is old and Andrew is pretty sure there was a crack across the top and a piece of metal missing. I'm a little worried about the roof because I've seen some spots that look kind of rough on the garage and the enclosed porch.

So I'll keep you guys updated. I'm expecting to have our inspection this coming week. We have a 10 day window once both us and Fannie Mae has signed the papers to do the inspection or we are in breach of the contract. We are also going to have my mom's contractor go through it so he and point out things too and give us an idea how much they will cost to fix/update when we have the money.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Lighthouse and Pumpkins

Sometimes things can just be so frustrating. I really want to share with you all what has been going on in our life but I'm so afraid of jinxing things. I've had things that I've really wanted to go a certain way in the past and I went around telling everybody about it. But then big surprise things didn't work out. So this time I'm keeping it a secret.

In other news, I finally got our desktop computer set up while we were on vacation and have loaded Creative Suite 3 to it. Yes, I know it isn't the most up-to-date version of Adobe CS but it was free. I can always buy the upgrade package. Not cheap by any means but $600 for an upgrade is a whole lot cheaper than the $1,800 for buying it brand new. For those who might not know what Adobe CS is, it is the best program for a Graphic Artist. Mine is the Design Standard version which includes Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Photoshop is one of the best programs for editing photos and can also be used to design ads. InDesign is a page layout program that is great for creating mutli-page files. Examples: Newsletters, Magazines and even proposals. The program I am least familiar with is Illustrator. I've used it to edit PDFs but you can't do that on every PDF. It only works on files that aren't locked. One of the main uses that I know of for Illustrator is creating logos. Illustrator can create vector art. What is the benefit of vector art? If you try making a logo in Photoshop and save it as a jpeg, you will only be able to resize the file so much before the image gets blurry and pixelated. With vector art you can blow the image up huge and not have to worry. I think that covers most of that without getting too technical.

While on vacation we decided to visit Block Island, RI. This is our second trip there. We went last year and rented bikes so we could visit the Southern lighthouse. However, after that exhausting trip we were too tired to head up to the Northern Light. So the plan this year was to visit Northern Light. Luckily, my Mother-in-Law and her boyfriend got a voucher for a 2 hour 2 person moped rental that they weren't going to use. We took pictures of us on the moped separately but I rode behind Andrew.


After making the trip on the moped I'm glad we had that instead of bikes. It was quite a ride and I don't think we could have handled pedalling all the way on bikes.

This is the view from the parking lot looking at Northern Light and the path we needed to walk.

The moped was a blast! The walk from the parking lot to the Northern Light was exhausting. It was all through sand and took probably a half hour one way. But it was so worth it.

Northern Light on Block Island

Front of Northern Light

Andrew & I - That's right my man has long arms and can take awesome photos of us!

On the ferry trip home, one of the water jets on the boat sucked up the buoy of a lobster pot and we were stuck for 20 minutes or so while we waited for them to clear the jet. But we didn't mind too much because we were watching the Olympics instead.

Then last weekend, Andrew and I decided to make a trip to HomeGoods to see what they had on Clearance for bedroom sheets. Why HomeGoods well that is where we got some of our other sheet sets came from. They were Andrew's before we moved in together. Something some of you may not know is Andrew's first job was at HomeGoods. He worked there for 5 years. Well while we were there I decided to take a few pictures of things I liked and wished we could have bought.

Beautiful Gray Cake Stand

I almost bought this cake stand. It was only $12.99. It was so pretty but I decided not to. Then I found these adorable pumpkins. The white crackle finish one was $12.99 and the ORB (Oil Rubbed Bronze) one was only like $9. Again I really wanted them but decided to pass. I loved how the leaf and stem on the white pumpkin matched the second one. The only thing that would have made it better was if the ORB'ed pumpkin was smaller than the white one.

The following pictures were from a HomeGoods trip a few months ago. I just never got around to downloading them off my phone.

I love almost anything with Giraffes. I considered buying this cute statue but I didn't like how the heads were made of plastic and just kind of stuck on there.

Who doesn't love a giant ceramic horse head that looks like the knight from a chess set? This guy was at least a foot tall, if not bigger.

And lastly, this cabinet was just gorgeous. The wood was nice and dark and looked slightly aged. Of course it would be way more than any shopping budget that we would ever have. I also like the trunks in front of it with burlap like material on them and leather handles.

Oh and half of the post had no pictures because blogger wouldn't load my files anymore for some reason. I tried following the troubleshooting suggestions but that didn't work so I switched browsers. I started writing this post in Internet Explorer because that was the only browser on our new desktop. But I prefer Google Chrome or FireFox, so I downloaded Chrome and now it works fine. Stupid Internet Explorer.

Anybody else take a great trip lately? Or maybe you have done some window shopping too.