Journal

Spring 2011

Thursday, June 23rd

It's been a busy few weeks. We had a great time camping with Eriq and Meg. It was cooler and rainier than we hoped, but we still managed to have some roaring campfires, eat s'mores, and bike along the Elroy-Sparta trail. I got a call the Thursday morning we were leaving from my mortgage company with the impression we were closing the next day. That finally got straightened out and closing was finally moved to the 20th.

Last Saturday we went up to Sarah's hometown for a birthday party for her youngest niece, who just turned 3. We also preemptively bought a new washer and dryer from Sears. Sunday we mostly took it easy since it was the last day to relax before the big project started.

Monday morning we did our walk-through. We had a fun time over the last couple weeks trying to get the tenants out of the house, which they finally deigned to do on Friday. We ate a diner breakfast, sat through closing waiting for the wire to come through, and finally got the go ahead and the keys. We went to the house and changed the locks before Sarah took me to work for the rest of the day.

Every night this week (except tonight) we're at the house working on cleaning it out. We're planning to move in the second half of July, so it's a bit of a rush. We've already tackled cockroaches, boarding up broken basement windows, pulling out carpeting and a particularly nasty kitchen cabinet. We have a big list of to-dos and we're making progress bit by bit. Saturday Dean is going to help me fix the toilets, since they aren't even attached to the floor and only one of them approaches working. Sunday we're going to my mom's to celebrate my birthday and my sister's. I'm a bit sore, but it's good to be finally working on it instead of just planning and waiting.

Tuesday, June 7th

It's been a busy few weeks. In addition to house craziness getting the inspection and all the documentation together, we've found time to have a photo day in Milwaukee, go camping in Spring Mill, do a bike wash day at Eriq's, and then there's the big news: We let everyone know that we're having a baby.

Sarah is due in late December. We're supposed to close on the house in the next week or so. This weekend we're going camping with Eriq and Meg and biking on the Sparta-Elroy trail.

Thursday, May 19th

We finally heard back on the house, and it's a go! More than that, the bank wants to close by June 12th, so we've got to move fast to get everything done in time. I lined up a lawyer, we found an inspector, and we started the process of signing and sending documents around. We need to get the signed agreement back so that our lender can get it approved because it's less than 30 days.

This past weekend we went to Holland, Michigan. We met Stephanie and Mike and saw the annual Tulip Festival, took a tour of the Dutch Windmill, and stayed in a nice bed and breakfast. It was rainy for most of the weekend, but we made the best of it. Sunday we stopped in Saugatuck and did some wine tasting, ate lunch, and then drove down to the Warren Dunes. We didn't stay long and headed home afterward. In spite of the weather we had a fun time.

Wednesday, May 11th

The weather has been getting warmer and nicer, though rain is still fairly common. All to be expected with Spring. We're still in limbo on whether we'll get this most recent house. It's a short sale, so while the owner has agreed to our price, the bank is still thinking about it. We should hear back in the next week or so. We also had a showing today, which is fairly exciting since it's only the second since we listed last summer. It supposedly went well, but so did the last one.

As planned, we went up to Stephanie and Mike's house and had a fun time. Saturday night we went to a nearby fish fry restaurant and Sunday we drove up to Lake Geneva, walked around and got some ice cream before heading home.

Meg came down last week and spent the night. She was in town for training so we went to dinner and had a nice evening. On Saturday we mostly stayed at home waiting for a package that never showed up. We watched The Return of the King, completing another viewing of the entire Lord of the Rings extended edition. Sunday was Mother's Day, so I went Indiana while Sarah went to Johnsburg. My sister Jessica was there, along with my mom and her new boyfriend Jim. We enjoyed some sunny weather and had a nice early dinner. This weekend we're going to Michigan with Mike and Stephanie. We'll stay at a bed and breakfast and visit the Tulip Festival in Holland.

Thursday, April 28th

It took a while to hear back about the house, and when we finally did the news wasn't good. Sei Youn's party was a lot of fun, Axis & Allies was indeed massive, and the weather has been cold and rainy for far too long.

Last weekend we did some more house scouting on Saturday and went to Sarah's sister's for dinner. We got to see the finished new floor that we had helped them start a few weeks ago, and it looks great. This week we went to see another couple of houses and put an offer in on one of them. We'll see how it goes. This one is in Logan Square, which isn't particularly close to where we are now, but it's a nice neighborhood. I took the train over there and I'd definitely prefer the commute time. We're back to waiting to hear back. Like the last one, this would be a ton of work if we got it.

We'll be spending this weekend up at Stephanie and Mike's. Hopefully we'll be able to help them get closer to being able to move into their house, but we'll also be having fun and hanging out.

Thursday, April 14th

It hasn't been too long since the last update, but I'll cover the events just the same. We put an offer on the house I mentioned previously, but we didn't get it. Unfortunately someone else wanted it and offered quite a bit more than we were prepared to pay. The following weekend we went up to Nicole and Rob's house and helped them tear apart their kitchen. They were putting in a new tile floor, which included putting in some new subfloor. We wound up taking out all of the cabinets so that we could get all of the old linoleum up. Then we discovered a sag in the floor and went into the crawl space. We found a cracked joist and used the "glue it and screw it" approach of adding an additional 2x8 to three of the joists. That shored up the floor wonderfully, but because of the extra effort we didn't get the floors finished that day.

Then another house came on the market that we liked that had an incredibly low price considering the area. We drove down and saw it right away and put an offer in within a couple days. We weren't the only ones though. Because of the multiple offers we were asked to put in a new "best" offer, which we did. Then they said there were ten total offers, seven of which were cash. They asked for our "final best" offer, which we gave on Tuesday. It's now Thursday evening and so far there's been no word. The offers have been "submitted to the bank" as it's bank-owned. We'll see how it goes.

If nothing else it gave us a whole new neighborhood to look into, since we'd gotten kind of discouraged by the lack of property where we had been looking. There's a lot more to look at, but it tends to wander into some sketchy territory as far as how nice the area is. Yesterday Sarah and I met up with Dean, James, Matt D, and Imran for a bourbon tasting at Delilah's and enjoyed some tasty Manbeque with it. We met one of Jim Beam's grandsons who shared some "White Dog" as well as some not-yet-released Knob Creek. It was a lot of fun, perhaps a bit too much for a week night.

Tomorrow I meet Steve for our "monthly" night out, Saturday Sei Youn is having a party at his new apartment, and Sunday is a massive Axis & Allies game at Matt B's in Waukesha. It promises to be a busy weekend, but a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll hear back about the house tomorrow.