Archive for the ‘home-owning’ Category

Don’t mess with my trash…

It was bound to happen.

A few weeks ago I forgot to set my trash bin out the night before pickup and decided, stupidly, to leave it out the rest of the weekend as to not forget for today’s run. Not a habit I plan to develop because I think it is very tacky to keep that thing out. It makes the neighborhood look bad.

Anywho, I still had a few bags left the next morning and trotted out in my nightgown (also tacky) and got ready to dump the rest of my stuff when behold! There were several black bags of trash (filled to the brim, mind you) that I knew darn well were not mine. On top of that, they were filled with yard waste which you all know is a no-no. It wasn’t even bulk week! I was reminded of that King of the Hill episode…the same thing happened to Hank, though I was only a tad tempted to dig through the bags of trash to ID my bin-stuffer.

Mad as Cain (or McCain for that matter), I looked around and tried to see who the culprit was…yes. In my nightgown. All I did was kind of look for evidence of who might have cut some branches down recently. And of course I could not figure it out.

What would you have done? I’m sure this won’t be the last time this happens and even if I put my trash out the same day, who is to say someone won’t add last minute junk to my bin?
I need advice as a new homeowner, missing her old apartment dumpster.

I know my quest for advice is a little late, because once I got dressed that morning, I went to my computer and got to work. I typed these words:

KEEP YOUR TRASH TO YOURSELF

THIS IS A FRIENDLY REMINDER

TO THROW YOUR TRASH IN YOUR OWN BINS.

IF YOURS IS FULL, DON’T WAIT TO THE

LAST MINUTE NEXT TIME…

I posted this note on every bin on my alley. Think the neighbors hate me yet?

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Gruesome discovery at home…

I posted this over at my work blog. But I just could not pass up posting it here. It’s not often you find a body part in your driveway…

Yesterday evening when I came home from work, I went outside to take in my garbage bins as I normally do on a Monday. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary other than the fact that the weather seemed to be shifting to the cooler side. First I took in the regular trash bin and then on my way back to get the recycle bin, I noticed something odd in my driveway, just outside of the garage door.

At first it looked to be one of those black sponge rollers. But it seemed moist, like clay or something so I took a stick and picked at it. But the more I moved it around, the more it seemed apparent that this was no sponge roller or piece of felt or mud or even doggie business. No this thing looked to have nostrils. And I was quite sure by the time I had rolled that thing halfway down the alley to get it off my drive that it was certainly a nose. Not sure what to do, I took two sticks like chopsticks and tried to pick it up. That took about 10 minutes as the floppy thing kept falling back on the ground. Finally I was able to move it near the creek by my house and I just stood there. Not sure what to do…

So I went upstairs and took a shower. Being that I’m supposed to be a journalist, my curiosity and need to “do the right thing” overcame me and I figured I should at least take photos of it. Of course by the time I was back in the alley, my neighbors were walking their dogs. I told them of my discovery (because I’m sure I was about to look really funny taking snapshots of mud and grass) and I kept reassuring them I wasn’t nuts. However when I tried to find it, I forgot where I hoisted the thing!
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Home-owning hazard no. 1

As a recent homeowner, I have more than my share of new responsibilities. One of which is my newly acquired landscape. I’m pretty much used to balcony gardens from my apartment renting days, which is basically just potted plants and wind-chimes. Now I have full on greenery that stretches farther than just a few steps and all the nuisances that comes with it. Namely: wildlife.

This morning I was watering the front yard and a flurry of dragonflies, bees, butterflies and dirt-dobbers were abound. I tried not to swat at bees of course, as a gardening friend of mine had warned me before so I just went along my merry way, watering and sweating up a storm. But at one point I saw/felt something scurry up my leg…

I squealed of course and jumped back. I did a little wiggle and shook my leg. I thought what had decided to set up camp in my pants had flown away because the next thing I saw was a bug (bee? wasp?) fly overhead. I was at ease thinking I no longer had a visitor in my jeans. But then I felt a scampering in a place I shall not disclosed.  I quickly ran into the house and dropped trough. Sure enough a little gecko scampering out and into the bathroom. Yes folks. A lizard was in my pants. I ran to find something to catch it with. My cat Tiger Lily seemed amused. She didn’t go after him though and just when I though she was at least going to swat at it, my little friend (I now shall call him Frankie) ran behind the sink cabinet.

I got a towel and closed the bathroom door. I put the towel in front of the door to block Frankie if he tried to get out. Then I waited about 45 minutes, grabbed Lily and we went hunting again. This time Frankie was on the wall and I knocked him down with a broom. Lily just stared at him as I tried to scoop him up into a container but alas, he ran back to his hiding place. He’s probably still there…

I talked to my friend and others who basically said having a little gecko in the house can be a good thing — they kill spiders and such. Plus (if Lily ever figures out to attack him) Frankie can be some good protein for my cat. So now we wait…and next time I water the yard, I will wear a long dress. Sure it may make it an easier route, but at least then if it happens again, I can shake Frankie off with one jump.

Holy s***! I bought a house…

Well actually a townhouse but it’s still the same really…responsibility and upkeep. I suppose the feeling I should be having here is excitement. And to many degrees, I do have that particular sentiment. But overall I am more to the point — numb. I can’t believe the grueling process is over. It started with hopes of receiving a forgivable loan from the City of Dallas. I may have a pretty fun job, but the pay isn’t that great.

 

 Well, I qualified for a program that allowed me to receive $10,000 from the City of Dallas if I:

A.) Found a home in Dallas, of course.

B.) Take homeowner classes.

C.) Live in the home at least 8 years.

It seemed perfect. But right in the middle of my offer to the townhouse I wanted, they pulled the funding. They now exclusively offer the funding, even at a better rate, for the homes that are in their system, which means I wouldn’t be able to just find a place — it had to be on the city’s list of homes they are trying to sell. I decided to give up.

Then in May my realtor calls me and tells me that the townhouse I wanted — the one I had originally put an offer down on — dropped $10,000. It just seemed meant, but not without a few hiccups. Namely the appraisal came in under the sales price and there were a few repairs that had to be taken care of such as a few breaker issues. And even after all that, I sat at the title company’s table of endless papers and began signing. Then my realtor points out a taxing discrepancy. Would it ever end?!

The next day I finally got the keys and my family and I went out to dinner to celebrate with my realtor. We had some crazy times together so I felt it only fitting to pay for our dinner. Confession: actually dad made me but I was gonna pay — promise! As well as the fact that I am sure I was very small potatoes in the scheme of clients for my realtor. After all the trouble we went through, all of his concerns and looking out for my best interest, I just don’t think his commission from it all is that spectacular but he’s quite a humble man. And anyone who could put up with my tastes and demands deserves more than a gold star. I mean I am really particular about what I call, and I think the industry calls, “wet areas.” That basically means I’m a stinker about kitchens and bathrooms. But considering my choices of price range, and my particulars about what I wanted, I think I did pretty good.

So here I am — outside of my very own place (please excuse my casual attire…not my normal look I assure you.)  Sure the neighborhood isn’t the Ritz but it’s a place that really suites me. And I’m happy to call it home. But all this means is I’ll be pretty preoccupied between medical appointments and cleaning/preparing the new place. Blogging will be a tough one in the next few weeks, but I’ll still try to make time to blather about.

I could get run over by a truck…

Be hit by a freak tornado. Suddenly lose my memory. Get kidnapped. But today is the day.

I’m supposedly closing on that townhouse I told you all about back in April but couldn’t get. If you need a refresher of what happened, read CHANGES up at the top of the page. I hesitated talking about my going after it again because I didn’t want to jinx it. I hope I haven’t done that by telling you before the keys are in my hot, little hands. I will divulge later.

So this is what it feels like to give up…

Being poor sucks. But what sucks more than being poor is when your expectations are squashed because of it. As you have been reading I was looking to buy a home. I will candidly confess that one of the major incentives (and almost the main reason) was because I was going to receive $10,000 of an 8-year forgivable loan from the city of Dallas. As of this week, right in the middle of my offer to the townhome I wanted to buy, they pull the funding for homes not in their network. Meaning that if I want to seek their assistance, I have to look into the properties on their list.

I am a girl of a certain taste. Does that make me high-maintenance? I could give a shit less. What it makes me is a girl who will not compromise. I want the option to pick where I want to live and the home I want to live in for the next 10 or so years. So what does this mean? It means I stay put, bitter in the rent race and clutching the Tuaca I said I was going to give up.

 I’m still in the middle of the offer but I doubt the owner, though a great guy, will want to accept it because it will be about $10,000 less than asking price. The blessing in all of this is that I will no longer be anchored. And maybe I’ll search out Alaska again one day.

 

Why the hell am I doing this?

I have been scarce here lately. I know I have. Some of you may already have a suspicion as to why — I’m home-shopping. But because I am in the journalism field, I don’t make enough money to make this sound even slightly exciting. Basically because I can’t afford the home I really want. I have to make exceptions, taper down my expectations and realize I may need to put work into one that I can afford. After chatting with friends and coworkers, there always seems to be an underlying opinion that I’m making a mistake.

I’ve heard one thing after another.

“You are single, why would you want to own a home?”

“Having a house is work.”

“Why now? Wait until you can afford the house you want.”

About that last one — I just have to say that I will be waiting a very long while to afford what I want and that means more and more money down the drain. The thing is no one can really know what it’s like for a person unless they live their life for a day. And the main thing I need to remember that it is ME who is making this decision and working on what’s best for my life. And if I want to ruin it with an almost move-in ready fixer-upper, then that’s what I’ll do — and with bottles of wine at arm’s length! So forgive me if I’m not all here. Though I was never all there in the first place.