Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Going once..

I posted before that I am looking to see if someone else would like to take over running the Under 30 Honor Roll and Festival of Under 30 Finances as I don't have the time to develop it into something better - if anyone's interested, please let me know!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bah, oh well

So we went to take a look at this house.. and I must say, I was a little taken aback. While I was fully prepared for the cracked kitchen tile and lumpy, painted-over siding, I was not prepared for the several joists in the basement holding up the central floor beam, nor for the fact that all the floors are sloped and a little spongy. Least of all was I prepared for the ladder made of 2x4's that is the method for getting into the attic (which is actually finished quite nicely and is, by the reports of Boyfriend, the nicest room in the house - I was too scared to go up the ladder since it leaned backwards somewhat.)

So just from our initial trip 'round the house, we decided this was not for us. I had been prepared to put $30,000 into this house, but not $60,000 or $70,000 - especially with the damp basement and potential house-sliding-into-one-corner problems. I had been under the impression that the house had been a rental for a few years, but apparently it had been rented out for TWENTY - and it really looks it. There are lots of repairs (like the 2x4 ladder) that look like a cheap, quick, not-particularly-durable solution to a problem. The roof similarly looked like it had been put on by an amateur with cheap materials - it wasn't evenly spaced, and we found part of a shingle on the ground. It's too bad because the backyard was pretty great for this area (yes, you really can buy a house on 1/50th of an acre) and it might be a nice house, if I had $70k. The real deal breaker though were the upstairs bedrooms, which are all quite small, and only one has a normal sized closet. One had a closet literally ten inches deep, and the third had no closet at all. So I backed away from this house - maybe in another few years. :)

So now I'm looking at places to rent, since I do want a bigger place. I found a place that looks great on paper, but I want to talk to the landlord and see what experience they have since I get the impression it's just some guy who owns a house and felt like renting it out. From the county auditor's site, I found that it sold in 2005 (presumably to this guy or someone he works for) for $228,000 - and you can do the math that the rent of $1200 is not going to cover that mortgage. So who knows what the deal is there. I also have my eye on a few other nice places, so hopefully they don't get rented out before I make the final call! My lease is up August 15th so that's a bit early for around here (most things are Sept to Sept) so I'm hoping to get someplace for August 1st, so we have two weeks to move.

In other news, CashDuck is quite busy now and I have added another person to my crew. :) At this point she's mostly helping me catch up on tasks that have been long neglected, and taking only a little workload off of me and my other crew member. Ah, such is business.. it grows faster than I can manage to hire people to take work off me. But things are going quite well. My wonderful ducklings raised $350 for breast cancer research with this month's promotion so I'm pretty pleased with that too! I am pretty much ducking when I am not eating, sleeping, or at work though. Yesterday, I took an hour to relax, which I am not good at, and watched some TV.

In other news, I fear that between my work and CashDuck and attempting to have a real life, I do not have time to administer the Under 30 Honor Roll and I'm not doing it proper justice. So for any fellow Honor Roll members, if you are interested in taking over the Honor Roll and making it the best it can be, drop me an email.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


OK, so I know I keep seesawing back and forth on this issue of should I buy a house. I had thought about it but eventually decided that I couldn't afford anything that was in the area that I wanted and had the amenities I wanted (like not sharing a damn wall with a neighbor) so I started looking at renting a larger place instead. Today we even went to see a potential new place to rent which was pretty nice.

Well, I got home from that tour and visited the Craigslist ads as I always do, and then for a lark went on the Prudential page that I use to look up local properties. And..

There is a great house for sale. It is a wee bit more than I wanted to pay, but I can afford it on my salary, not counting any CashDuck money or contribution from Boyfriend. It needs work, but I do have money coming in that I can use (plus if I put a nice downpayment down, I can take it back out as home equity in the short term.) It used to be a rental, so all the guts work, it just isn't terribly pretty. Very nice big backyard (which is pretty rare for the area) and a big deck. Plus, it is empty right now, which is important because I only have three months (approximately) to get this done. Boyfriend doesn't have intensive classes during the summer, so he'd be able to oversee the work a little bit, and my mom is retiring in June and really wants to help out too.

So.. I put in a request to see the house tomorrow, and for a quote from a mortgage broker (an Upfront Mortgage Broker, thanks Searchlight Crusade!) and maybe we can get this puppy going. Although it is a bit higher priced than I would like, it's going to be the only thing we can get a mortgage for in this area - and I'm pretty much guaranteed to get back all the money I put into it when we sell as all the other houses in the area are at least $50k more, and most are pretty nice houses.

As my mom said, you were meant for this house! But then, as I said, I just have to make sure no one else is meant for it too. :) Definitely be updates on this soon.

Edit: I just pulled my credit reports and scores, I have a 697 (???) at Experian, but a 749 from Equifax and a 740 from TransUnion. So I feel pretty damn good about that.