Because I was busy all day yesterday with a customer.
Because I was busy all day yesterday with a customer.
So, after touring some houses, sifting through many online, and getting pre-approved for a mortgage, I'm beginning to come to a conclusion…
Maybe condo life isn't so bad after all?
Sure, I'm still miffed about chunks of it. Like the HOA's and noisy neighbors and somewhat restrictive rules.
But with every house I look at I find myself saying things like "it isn't as light as my condo" or "the ceilings aren't as high" or "there's no dining table space" or "the layout is really choppy".
And location is an issue.
Most of the homes I'm looking at are smaller. And older. And the nicer ones always seem to be in sketchy neighborhoods. And the fixer uppers are in the nice areas.
I do not want a fixer upper.
Worst of all, the only home I've found so far that I've 70% liked was more than I really was looking to spend. AND it wasn't without issues.
Ugh. What a hassle.
Remember a few months back I dropped my iPhone and shattered the screen. And then I got the screen replaced so that I could wait to get the next gen phone.
And my phone worked fine. Well, mostly fine.
But for the past week or so, I've started having more and more issues. Mostly with the screen not responding to tough. But then sometimes it would also start typing random characters/emojis in my text Windows.
iShit you not.
And then today when I was trying to upload my Aquatennial fireworks videos to YouTube (so I could post them here for you guys) my phone got stuck in an upload loop. Unfortunately I didn't catch it until I had burnt through 5 gigs in my 3 gig data plan.
That fucking iCocksucker.
So now I'm wondering if I go get an older iPhone model (like a 6s–I have a 6), or do I get the 7? Or do I switch to a Pixel or Galaxy S8?
Regardless, I don't think my phone will last until the new iPhones arrive.
On Wednesday this week I saw a few homes (like 7). All were close to each other in the north of Minneapolis.
NoMi (as north minneapolis is called) is what we like to call a "transitional" area. It has pockets of definite "hood" but then some really nice areas.
Older homes. Good bargains. Small, well-kept yards. Things like that. But it's kind of hard to judge the area in if its on he rise– or decline.
Anyway, let's just say I learned a great deal about what types of houses and areas I want to look at. (Read as: 5 of the houses were pure shite).
One home was really quite nice. And it was on Queen Street (how fitting!). But the back of the house butted up to an alley– and across the alley were apartments.
Which is also right where Trulia marked an increase in the criminal activity in the area.
The other home that I looked at was unfortunately under contract already. The house is pretty much a "me" property in spades. Mid-century modern/southwestern. Stucco. Weird corner lot. Original kitchen. Tile floors. Built in moulded cement shelving. Fireplace. Kitch-galore.
It's small, but I'm not looking for too much space. But no real dining space. Ceiling height in bedroom areas is lower and storage is at a premium as there is no basement.
But I still like it.
It's also in a pretty nice, well established neighborhood. With a short driveway to shovel. Manicured yard. Fenced in patio area.
But– it would also need some work. Carpet in living room needs to go. Tile floors in bedroom could go too, but that could be a royal pain. And bathroom needs an overhaul at some point. (I would keep he kitchen but add a backspash). And paint– my god, paint.
While it does have a new roof and new HVAC, it needs some window work. And there are probably other issues as well
I guess it's good that it's already under contract. It's probably more than I want to sign up for.
But a boy can dream can't he?
PS- looking at some of the shit offerings sort of made me appreciate my condo more. So there's that.
This weekend my dad celebrates his 75th birthday by throwing himself a party. There was beer and wine and BBQ. He invited his friends and family– some came from Atlanta and DC. And even my mom was invited- and they’ve been divorced since 1988!
It was a damn fine birthday party.
But it was also a going away party- although we didn’t really talk about that.
Dad’s cancer is basically terminal at this point. He’s on chemo, but we aren’t sure how much more time he’ll have. But certainly not another birthday. Or maybe even Christmas.
One of the things dad did before the party was to set out all his Christmas stuff (Christmas in July, you know) and asked that the guests take anything they might fancy. And if they thought of him when they put it up at Christmas, well, that would be nice.
There was also a memory book, where my dad’s girlfriend asked people to jot down a favorite memory or two of my father.
I think the memory book is more for me– for later. But we didn’t talk about that either.
Mostly the atmosphere was pretty upbeat and jovial– there were only momentary lapses into tears. Like when my ex step brother and my cousin Tony’s wife were in the den at “the book” and Dawn (the wife) was basically sobbing because she didn’t want to write in the goddamn fucking book.
For her, writing a memory was acknowledgment that it was really happening. And that made her indescribably sad.
I managed to be fairly stoic until the party guests started singing “Happy Birthday”.
I’m glad I wasn’t in the room because I couldn’t sing. Dawn was there and we hugged and rode out the song.
I had good talks with relatives. Chatted with JJ (my ex step brother). My mom had a good time and my parents were so nice to each other.
It was like stepping into bizarro world.
The best part was that everyone who was supposed to be there- was there. And everyone, either tacitly or verbally, offered help in some form or other. Some continue to help my father daily. Some will help when the time comes. And some told me to call them anytime, anywhere.
And what did Mr Rogers say to do in times of crisis?
Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.
I covet things.
Yes, I know that’s really anti-Buddhist teachings (and Christian, and most other religious belief systems) but it happens. And it’s usually bizarre things that I think are cool.
Like my friend Andrew’s messenger bag.
He has this small messenger bag (a murse, really) that he got in Canada decades ago. It’s a Team Canada Roots bag, and it’s totes super cute!
Every time I see it I think, “Damn, I want that!” Of course they’re impossible to find now.
The other day it suddenly popped into my head, so I hopped on eBay to look (as I am wont to do).
I did not find it.
But I did however, find this instead:
I just had to have it. So I got it. For a whopping 25 bucks!
It’s a Roots team Canada bag from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics! Tres cool, no? And it will be perfect for trips where I want to appear as anything but American!
The police did get a warrant to search the perp’s apartment. Where they found various bike tools and bike components.
And Lo! Some of mine were among them!
The sergeant in charge of my case sent me some pics and asked if any of the components looked familiar. Hellz yeah, they did!
Along with a list of the components still missing– including my saddle. (Sad face).
The good news is that I will get at least some of my original components back. And I also know for sure that the guy they caught is the guy responsible for stealing my shit.
Maybe I’ll get lucky and the police find some more of my shit.
I blame HGTV.
Whenever I can’t find anything of interest to watch on TV (which is almost every day during the summer) I turn to HGTV to veg out. Which then gets me thinking of homes.
Which gets me thinking about moving.
Which I don’t really want to do. Or do I?
I have continually maintained that I will never go back to a single family dwelling. I hate yardwork. And shoveling snow. And roof maintenance. And hvac maintenance.
Condo living has freed me from all that.
And I do love my condo. The high ceilings. The southern exposure. The balcony. The open floor plan. The LOCATION.
But recently condo living has been wearing a bit thin.
Two of my neighbors have dogs now. Yappy. Yappy. Fucking. Dogs. One barked for 3 hours solid the other night– a high pitched yip. That continued until about 11pm.
And then there was the garage break in where my bike was ravaged.
And the ever increasing HOA dues, yet we have no amenities to speak of.
And the fact that my mortgage interest rate is fairly high as I bought at the height of the housing crisis when loans for condos were fairly difficult to come by. And I haven’t been able to refi because there are a million hoops to jump through to refi a condo.
And the feeling that my liberties are being curtailed by the homeowners association.
So– all of this compounds to the point where I am looking on Zillow and Realtor.com to “just see what options might be out there”.
There are options. Small, craftsman bungalow options that I love the look of. In neighborhoods that aren’t bad.
Pros are that since I bought at the bottom of the market, my place has REALLY gained in value. And a single family home would probably lower my mortgage payment and I’d save the HOA fees. And I’d gain privacy.
Cons are I’d lose my bike riding proximity to work. And I’d have to assume yard work and home maintenance. And shoveling!
Plus, how do I time selling a condo while buying another home? Is this a headache I want?
This is making my tummy oogy.