Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Side (Junk) Yard Cleanup

The previous owners were kind enough to leave behind a bunch of their junk in the side yard/walkway.  I cleaned up as much of it as I had room for in the garbage can.

My fingers are included in this picture not because I am a rube, but to block the blinding sun.  Also, that small puddle is not a pee stain, just water that dribbled out from the hose when I was coiling it (my urine puddle is off camera).

We're In!

We have moved in but we are currently without internet. Many project posts are on the way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shutter Door Removal

This is the doorway that leads from the kitchen to the hallway, and those are the very dated shutter style doors it is currently equipped with.  Here is another angle:
It should also be pointed out there is a light switch behind the door on the left.  Good planning.
Chrissy and I don't feel a door is really necessary here, especially not these doors, so I removed them.

It now seems a little plain, but I think it's better.  I am still trying to decide if I like it.

Any thoughts from the readers on how to handle this doorway?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Switch One's the Light?

Before...and After, pretty much
The hall bathroom had the world's worst switch setup.  The switch closest to the door operated the vent fan, while the one further in turned on the light.  Every time we walked into the bathroom we would inevitably flick on the fan by accident, followed by a couple swear words and then switch off the fan and turn on the light.

The solution was incredibly easy to implement; pop off the plate, swap switch positions and reinstall the plate.  Most satisfying project ever.

Here is a sweet in progress shot:
 I only electrocuted myself four times.

This Project is the Sh!t


It figures my first solo project would involve the toilet.
I think the pictures speak for themselves.  I took the jankey crooked flush handle and straightened it as much as possible.  The one interesting aspect of this project is that the nut that holds the handle on uses a reverse thread.  Incredible.

 After. So classy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The longest day

To start this off, we agreed in our initial contract that keys would be given 2 days after the close of escrow in order for the current residents to move out. Our house was vacated early though, so the days weren't needed right?

Patience is a virtue my friends. However, this is a virtue I lack and to be completely honest so does my husband. We closed escrow on Monday the 10th. We recorded on the 11th and when you might ask did we get keys? Not until the 12th despite it being vacant and we were absolutely dying. Impatient #1 and I called our Realtor, the amazing MistyDawn about 500 times. Thankfully she didn’t bat an eye and handled the listing agent like a champ to finally acquire the keys. Side note, if you have a counter offer stating keys will be handed over 2 days after the close of escrow then tell those people Hell No. They don't need the two days, you will want your keys, and it is on  your dime at that point. So, stick with the standard 30 days and keys surrendered after recording. Finally the on the evening of the 12th MistyDawn called and informed us she had keys and we could meet her at the house. I made her jingle the keys just to make sure she actually had them. I’m serious.

When we showed up MistyDawn was waiting for us. She had unlocked the house and prepped a champagne toast area and turned on the lights for us. Andy carried me through the threshold very proper like:

Finally in OUR home! Have we moved in yet? Not entirely. Have we slept there? No. But we have keys and slowly we are taking our stuff over and dropping it off. You see, moving in real life is nothing like moving in the movies (obviously? I didn't think so). Before you move in, you have to clean the whole house and there is mystery dust and sticky stuff that frightens you. Even though our house appeared very clean, it wasn’t. The kitchen had a film of grease on everything and all other surfaces were covered in a layer of dust/fine dirt. Oh, and a bath mat was stuck to the floor in the master bathroom. Ew, more on that later. We are saving larger projects for later after we have been in the house for a little while, that way we know what we need or would like to do.

Anyway, we have a few minor projects underway already so be prepared for more blogs. 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Welcome to the Circus

The Pekemas are moving to the circus!

This really wouldn't be a surprise to most, given how absurd we can both be. But, as you have probably noticed this is just our house tented for termites.  We closed escrow yesterday, recorded today and will have keys tomorrow.

The actual circus, aka the worst part of home buying, is escrow. It is all hurry up and wait. And heaven help you if you are the cause for delay. Basically everyone else can take their time except the buyer. You find out you need to send in docs and they basically needed to be sent in yesterday. Then you find out your “cash to close” total, and you have 2 days or less to actually have the cash available in the escrow account. For a conventional loan, that is 20% of the purchase price plus all of the escrow fees and other miscellaneous fees. I’m serious. So for the average responsible adult, most of your assets are in stocks, bonds etc. earning their keep! If you are the person who keeps ALL of your cash in a checking account then you probably aren't buying a house. So, the substantial portion of your savings that are not liquid, need time to be sold and become available for withdrawal. This almost screwed us. Thankfully my Hubarooski is a champ and handled things like a boss. In other words, he took care of it all. Yay for me. Now that we are at the end of this torture I have advice to shell out.

1. After your offer is accepted and inspection is done, start the process of liquidating assets as necessary and be prepared to transfer those funds to escrow in a seconds notice.

2. Be prepared to take long lunches, or leave early to sign hundreds of documents or drop off original documents.

3. Make sure you work with people you trust and respect. They are integral in this process going smoothly. We worked with  a fantastic broker and real estate agent. Without them, we would not have closed on time and the seller would be bending us over (worse than they are). 

Side note: We used a mortgage broker, it seems to have made the process much easier to wrap our brains around, they were able to tell us exactly what we would need to do through the whole process and what to expect. They also took my calls every time. First time homebuyer? Yes, you will call ALL the time. It is invaluable to have someone not only take your call but thoroughly answer your questions too. It really put us at ease through the whole process. Plus, they knew exactly what to rush and who to rush to make it all go accordingly.

OK, now that you are all well prepped to purchase a home I’ll tell you about the one we just bought!

Here are the standard details that have been requested, the stats if you will:

4 bedrooms
2 full bathrooms
Big yard
Built 1978 (read as: needs updating)
And, the moment you have all been waiting for…our new home.

If you noticed, we need to work on the roof a little. OK, we flat out need a new roof. But hey, it’s ours! Plus the inspector said the roof was in pretty decent shape, no leaks. So, just ugly.

We move this weekend; interior pictures and backyard shots coming soon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Has Hell Frozen Over?

I'm beginning to fear the apocalypse is nigh (and I'm not talking about carmageddon).

The DMV just sent me a refund check.  As in money.

First they seemingly ignore the $582 in fees I should owe, then they process my title in record time, and now they have refunded more than half the money I paid to get my title.  Who, or what, is this new organization and what have they done with the DMV I know and loathe?

I hope this doesn't turn out to be foreshadowing, but I have a bad feeling I will be met with some unwelcome surprises when I go to actually register the bike, since for now I only got the title and filed for planned non-operation.  We shall see.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Title Time

In what feels like the fastest act ever performed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, my title has arrived, along with my certificate for planned non-operation.  Somewhere an angel is getting it's wings.

Now that I officially own the bike, I have one fewer excuse for not beginning work.  The final one is rapidly being resolved--we are scheduled to close escrow on our new house on the 11th, and I will finally have room of my own to work in.  After we move in, it will be time to buckle down and attack this thing.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Inspiration 2

I really like the seat on this bike.  Interesting fact:  this bike is based on the predecessor to my Yamaha cruiser (at right).

Looks like I can buy that seat here:

Cafe Racer BMW R100
I like the badge on this bike.  BMW M colors, which I'm considering using for my bike.
Looks like I can buy them here:
and here
Info here:

Custom BMW R80 police bike
I think these mirrors are pretty cool.

2000 Harley Sportster 1200
Very interesting exhaust.  I might do something like this.

Monoshock conversion on another boxer bike, a Goldwing.  The exhaust looks pretty good too.

Triumph Tiger custom
I like the exhaust on this bike.

BMW R75/5
I really like the speedo/tach built into the headlight, not to mention the mirror.  Sweet.  It seems to be a stock BMW part from the /5 series, which is cool.

Kawasaki W650 by Deus
This exhaust it clean.

Confederate Hellcat
This exhaust is very interesting.

I'm starting to get inspired.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

House Hunt

Ok, I can put it off no further.

I must get in front of this before I wake up 30 years in the future. Time has a way of slipping away and monumental events such as weddings, buying houses, and babies have a way of just making it go faster.
So, without further delay, we are buying a house and this is the story.

It has been an arduous few months; let me tell you, buying a home is not for the weak of heart.  We found an amazing house and while it needed a ton of work, we loved it. We put in an offer and waited, and waited, and then when we couldn’t wait any more, we waited more. I thought that was the most stressful part of home buying but I was mistaken (more on that later). Our offer was finally countered with “send your highest and final.” We were screwed. We offered the asking price and in the end it was rejected. Not meant to be, but we were convinced that we would never find a better house, and therefore would never own a home.

Here is the house that broke our spirits:

Looking back, it seems as though two different houses were mashed together. The garage has a completely different style; is this a new trend? I hope not.

Fast forward a few more months to current day, we are mere days from closing escrow on our dream house. Our actual dream house, not the one we thought we loved, but the real one. For many people, most of the houses you look at, you fall in love with. For me, this was the case but for the amazing man I call Hubs, not so much.  Out of dozens he liked exactly 2 houses; he can be very particular. Somehow the stars aligned, we offered, they countered, we countered etc. that went on for what seemed like an eternity until finally, we opened escrow.

Here is my point, houses are fun and exciting. It is easy to get caught up in the granite countert-ops and fancy appliances, unless you are my Hubs, and those things don't amuse you. Don't do it people, stay strong. Find a house that has a good location, close to work so you won't have a horrible commute of death. Next make sure it has plenty of room to grow, like I said before buying a house is stressful it isn't something you will want to do again in a year. Finally just see if you can picture yourself there in 5 or 10 years, yes? Good. Everything else is gravy, especially because you are going to want to remodel and make it your own anyway.

Once I have more experience in the escrow department and we have keys in hand you will get to hear all about the actual most stressful part of home buying. Plus photos. So many photos.