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moving list

May 28th, 2017 at 10:26 am

This is the first time we are moving into a place and having a list of things we have and want to buy. Usually we move in and make do with what we have. I guess because this feels more permanent, and we have money we are making a list of items we want.

We are buying the king size bed we've wanted for 10+ years but never gotten. Just the mattress, we have to figure out the frame later. Also a tv and grill are on the list. 2 years when we moved we didn't have any income so it didn't make sense to spend money when we had none coming in.

We are also replacing the kids beds. They are both in queens and we want to move them to smaller beds and get them desks. For now the DK1 will get a twin bunk bed and the DK2 will keep twin until we figure out our guest room situation. So we are able to sell/recycle two queen size beds. The truth is one is our old bed which we handed down when we bought a foam mattress. The other a friend gave us and so we didn't pay for it.

Right now we are looking at $1150 for a king size purple mattress for us. Two twin mattresses for the bunk bed.

We also need stools for our island. But since I can't recall if it's extra tall or regular counter height i'll buy them asap when we move in.

We also shopped playsets but they are so expensive that DH instead wants to try and buy a used one on craigslist because it appears that many people just try to get rid of it after their kids outgrow it. So though we budgeted $2000 we're going to see if instead we can spend $500 and get something better quality.

Interestingly we bought a lawn mower and seeder from our sellers. We were driving by their house yesterday and they were having a garage sale. DH and I were going to drive by when he sees the lawn mower. He stops and hops out and offers them money because hey we need it. So for $25 we got a mower and seeder.

As far as packing? Right now we are starting to sell and purge what we don't need. I think more than packing selling and getting rid of stuff we don't need will probably help more in the long run. We have quite a few items we are looking at and will start selling or donating.

change in plans

May 25th, 2017 at 11:49 pm

Interesting change in plans. We are no longer closing on June 9th instead we negotiated a closing of June 7th. In return we got possession of the house June 24th instead of June 30th. This all came about on Tuesday. It's been a crazy few days. It actually worked out greatly in our favor.

I won't tell our realtor this she'll be pissed and honestly I don't think she's working in our best interest. But heck it's not her money and not her house. I sucked it up and worked with her mortgage guy but only by forcing him to match our deal with capital one.

Our landlord was very accepting and is allowing us to get out of our lease June 30th. Fantastic. We are out a month early. Today I showed the house to a woman and her daughter who are very interested and turns out renting another property managed by my property manager. They are being kicked out of their rental because their landlord is selling. Our PM turned them onto our house so it appears to be a match made in heaven. I hope she gets it.

Anyway we save $1200 because we were going to move over fourth of July and keep our rental until July 15th. Being out by June 30th saves us enough to makes the hassle worth it.

I got an estimate of $1100 to pay movers, and $1100 extra for them to pack. So $2200 to pay full service movers. Instead however my DH and I are leaning to the hourly company we used when we moved 2 years ago. They charge $79/hr for packing and $95/hr for moving.

I think that 11 hours of moving is more than enough. So I'm leaning toward that. Especially since we also have a 22 hour budget to have them pack up the house as well. I'm not sure how it'll work out and we could afford the full service. But I'm a little nervous about timing the packing plus moving.

penny wise, pound foolish

May 21st, 2017 at 08:44 am

So we're moving out of our place. I negotiated moving out 2 weeks early and not losing our deposit. Saving us $1200. Our plan is to have it cleaned July 1st. Then move in a mix of us and movers July 2nd-5th. Then be out by the 5th and let our property manager clean and the new tenants in by the 15th. 10 days should be enough to have it cleaned and repaired. The property manager agreed and I agreed to show the house as needed.

Now I had friends who were interested in the place. They are a family of 5 with a parent staying with them so 6 people. They live 5 minutes from me in a townhouse complex where they rent a 2 bed/1 bath townhouse with 1 car garage for $2275/month. Their lease is up end of May. They can resign for $2275 (it was $2200) or they can pay month to month for $2775. The lease breakage is 3 months or $6825 if they break their lease. I told the mom (my friend) she's better off going month to month because the $500 works out cheaper than signing a lease. They are house hunting and the realtor told them they are likely to be able to buy in November/December when there is less people looking.

However I don't think they are in a position to buy since they were approved for less than the mom hoped. She initially thought they'd get approved for $600k. But the bank told them $450k. This puts a big damper on their house hunt. She said they don't have more than $30-35k to put down and she needed help selling her jewlery to get more. I told her don't sell her jewelry. But that will bring in $10k for closing costs she thinks. I have no idea how selling jewelry works except I feel like you don't get much.

They have a house from where they moved that they could sell and it would help with the downpayment. Currently it's rented out. I told her that would really help them with the downpayment and minimize risk in buying. She said they have to think about it. They want to try to be "rich" by being landlords.

Anyway I told my property manager about them and gave them his contact info. They offered him $2275 a month to rent. I slapped my head. Seriously? Less than I'm paying they thought was a good idea? It was ridiculous and he said he didn't get back to them. They asked me to inquire if he had gotten the email and that's when he told me what they offered. I told him just tell them no. It wasn't feasible.

Oh well. Since he has 8 offers now for showings on Tuesday 4-6 pm I guess we'll be fine. It's for $2500/month and I am guessing that it'll be taken on Tuesday. So we are set to save money.

As for my friends? They lost out on renting a bigger house for $125/month more. Maybe $125/month is a lot but at the same time they would have had space for 6 people better than in a 2 bedroom townhouse. It's cheaper than a 3 bedroom townhouse in their complex which was $2500/month. Sometimes people are penny wise, pound foolish. In trying to score a deal and be cheap they lost out I think on a better house and a better flexible rental agreement. I sent them a copy of mine so they could read it for lease breakage. Oh well. Say La Vie.

my neighbors are jerks

July 16th, 2016 at 07:09 pm

Did I mention what's been going on? Remember the incidents earlier in the year about the bullying? The hitting and drawing on my DK1? The luck we had about switching classes. Anyway before the end of the year I turned in a request that they are not in class together. Nor my DK1 is any class with any neighbors.

So a reason we also looked at moving out of our rental was the neighbor situation. Anyway recently we got a note from saying "you suck DK1." We also were left weird rock piles on the door. Until the note we said nothing and then my DH went next door and explained to the parents the situation. We did not show this to DK1, we asked if DK did it and she said no.

The parents said they don't talk that way. They didn't let them out of the sight. The truth is I caught them this week leaving notes again at the door. I am not sure what to do now. By caught I mean I opened the door and the kids were standing in front of our house and ran.

So now what to do? Make situation worse and confront them? Or just realize my neighbors are assholes and that there is nothing to be said or done before they realize their kids are being jerks because they are allowing it? Is it wrong to feel like we should move? I hate feeling trapped in the house and constantly on the kids so nothing happens?

golden handcuffs and renting

July 6th, 2016 at 08:08 am

This weekend we hung out with my BIL staying at his apartment. He's 36 and never bought his own place. Partially because he's not had a down payment and partially because he's never been sure he wanted to stay put. Truth is his first 2 years working there were layoffs at his company and he wasn't sure if he would stay. He feels secure now but not happy.

So buying a place for a job he isn't in love with doesn't make sense. We've told him if he's unhappy and thinks he'll find a new job or career don't buy. But at the same time he feels he's flushing money down the toilet. And he feels he can't leave his job, he's got some security through a large salary. He's in the middle of being handcuffed to his salary. Honestly if he buys a condo I think he'll be even more handcuffed.

And yes he has been renting his apartment for 4 years and rent keeps escalating. It was $1600, then $1750, then $1900, and now it's $2100/month for a 1 bedroom. But buying means he's committed to the area he doesn't love. It means he needs a big EF in case he loses his job and if he gets a new job and it's not easily commutable he has to sell and move.

SA thread was discussing whether you hate your job. I think if you do you should figure out how to change it or your career. Sometimes it's just the job and sometimes it's the career. And it's hard to leave the job if it's so lucrative for your family/self. It's hard if it's convenient. But you can make a plan and change I think.

What do you think about being handcuffed to a job?

2 offers are coming

June 21st, 2016 at 09:56 pm

OMG this is it. Two job offers are coming in. I am crossing my fingers that they are good. I think so. At least DH is happy with the potential employers. This is a huge deal. Before the 1 year mark the bet we paid is looking to payout. An income again. Potentially moving locally.

Looking over the benefits we are losing some of the 401k match before it was 3% matched at 200% = 6% of salary. Now it's 50% match of 7% so 3.5% of salary and about the same price for slightly worse medical benefits to be expected because we had premium medical care before. Also slightly less vacation 21 days a year versus the 26 days year DH got.

Do you think it's worth moving for a shorter commute into another neighborhood and paying $1000 more a month for a slightly larger house? And testing out another area? Or should we try to buy? Or just be content renting?

My phone died on Sunday so I've been using the free Nokia phones we got last year when we switched to T Mobile. Going to look into replacement by warranty.

maybe we're renters

April 19th, 2016 at 06:13 pm

I know we were hoping to buy and settle in but more and more the signs I think are pointing to renting long term. Maybe even moving into another bigger rental. What brought this on?

Well my neighbors with the 4 bd/2.5, 2000 sq ft home sold today for $712.5k. That makes it $313/sq ft, highest in the area and a record. My neighbors next door in July 2015 same exact layout, same size 4 bd/2.5 ba, 2000 sq ft home bought for $570k. So in 8 months (they bought the 1st weekend of March) the house went up $142.5k in 8 months or 25% in 8 months. The annualized return is 37.5% so the house should be worth in July $783k if the prices keep rising on track.

But I wonder what sort of people participate in a bidding war and end up paying $80k over asking price. Do they have any regrets? Was that always the plan and were they planning on spending more? Did they realize they were setting a new bar for price/sq ft? Do they even care?

But I'm concerned. We left an expensive area for an area that is still cheaper but I'm wondering if in 1-2 years will be just as expensive? We sold around $400/sq ft and but that seemed to be the cap in the sense that it's going up maybe 3-5% a year. Not going 37.5%/year.

So right now I'm not sure it's a sustainable market. Maybe I'm wrong and it's time to buy before it goes up another 40%. But if it goes up another 40% then this "entry" level home will be $1 million.


getting into the groove

April 11th, 2016 at 09:35 am

We had a nice weekend and I had a great Saturday night dinner out. With other moms I'd meet and started to develop friendships with. I mentioned how hard it was, that I was enjoying the area but making friends wasn't easy. And people are very nice but friendship takes time and effort.

I previously mentioned a few weeks ago I felt after months of seeing a couple of moms weekly for group speech therapy I finally felt it clicking. The same thing now. Went out to dinner with a few friends and I felt I could breathe. I was like "wow this is really feeling like home, I can do this."

On Sunday we went to a classmates birthday party and I'd meet a lot of the parents. One mom in particular started to spill everything out to me. She too moved here in July just because. They didn't like where they were living and her husband is a contractor so he works 100% from home. They decided to try it here and she hates it. They are considering moving again this summer to another state (texas).

Since like us they had to pay for their move she said her husband wanted to give it another year. But they both weren't in love with the area. And her son was in kindergarten and she wondered how it would hurt to move again so soon or move after 2 years?

I told her do it. If she wasn't happy here then move. Without a job or family (they are both foreigners no family anywhere in the US) then find somewhere they fit in. I told her it was "okay" to hate it here. I wasn't going to tell her to give it time. I told her I wasn't going to tell her it would get easier. I also told her if that's how she felt it's okay. Not everywhere is perfect for everyone and you make mistakes. She asked me if I loved it? I said yes but it's different for us. We chose to move where we are consciously with many factors involved.

She said she felt so guilty because when she brought it up to others how hard it was they kept saying give it another year. Give it more time she'd learn to like it. I was the first person to say move on and it's okay to hate it.

I didn't tell her but everyone said that to me where we used to live. People all the time would tell me I'd grow to like it. I should make the best of it. Not one person believe me when I said we were going to leave. They thought "oh you've been here 10 years and you haven't left. You're just complaining." I wish someone had been supportive and told me it's okay to hate it. It was okay to be counting the days.

Truth is that sometimes people do need a change. And hearing someone is unhappy in a new area the answer isn't to tell them "give it more time, or you'll adjust." Sometimes it's just giving them the words that it's okay to feel how you feel. That it's okay to hate it.

I was sad in missing our friends after we left. But I never looked back or regret leaving where we moved from. I never in 10 years felt like it was home. It never was. It was a temporary place holder in life. My DH would never go back and we'll never leave the west coast again period. I certainly won't and if he choose a job over us then he can go solo but I know he won't. He's already been recruited by multiple companies and refused to talk to them. We're home and we're happy and the kids are getting settled. I'm making friends and my DH I think is happier since I'm just happier and more relaxed. But the truth is he missed home (very close to where we are) and he didn't know it till he saw it again.

Why would we leave? Now we're those people who could tell others to give it chance. But I won't. Instead I know what it feels like to have people pat you on the hand and say "give it time." Instead I say "it's okay it's not for everyone. You aren't a bad person for hating it. If moving back or elsewhere makes you happier do it."

I hope this mom finds a place to call home that makes her family happy. I know my nephew also living in the area is counting the months until Fall 2017 when he leaves for his MBA program. He hates it and is sucking it up because switching jobs and moving for 18 months doesn't make sense. But he hates it here and I can't blame him. I just hope he can survive 18 more months.

happy easter and odds and ends

March 25th, 2016 at 09:31 pm

I haven't done my easter baskets or stuffed eggs and it's friday night. UGGH. But Happy Easter! We are doing an egg hunt and easter basket first ever at our house. We've gone to a friend's house to easter egg hunt but never in our own yard. We are also having my nephew over for prime rib roast. So nice we are doing our own thing with family. Makes it feel so homey. We're doing our own tradition. Before it was just us and people did their own family thing or it's sunday night. Now we have our own family thing.

This week it also started to click. I went to a friend's house for lunch on Wednesday and while chatting and kids playing it clicked. I felt like I was fitting in and making friends. I mentioned that it's a struggle to make new friends as we move and get older. That I can't expect friendships to sprout up overnight. Well with these women we've been seeing each other weekly since September with our kids in group speech every Wednesday. And here we are March and I felt comfortable and a click.

I feel like we are getting into a groove. Plus it helps spring is gorgeous. Did I mention how pretty and sunny it is? Did I mention how the days are suddenly longer and the sun doesn't seem to go down until 7 pm? That getting out is amazing?

I still pinch myself it's a dream. That a year ago yes I was stuck in seasonal depression mode. I had it every winter. And yes the days were shorter in January here. But at the same time my steps were lighter without snow and shoveling. My hands, head, and neck were warmer without gloves, hat, and scarf. I am wearing short sleeves already.

It's just a very nice time of year and I can't wait for summer. I know I shouldn't gush over just the scenery, and for everyone who says moving is hard, it is. But it does get easier and better. And sometimes just looking at the positives makes it easier. FWIW, where I was I made LOTS of great friends who made life bearable. But every year I could feel the seasons pulling me down.

Does moving hurt kids?

February 12th, 2016 at 09:39 am

Does moving hurt kids? Am I not giving my kids to make friends from kindergarten for life? I don't know. But right now I'd say no. The move for us has been good. Our DK2 won't remember where we lived and I can tell our DK1 has only vague memories of specific things that may not really stick.

Is it worth trying to stay put now that we've moved? That means buying a house in the same district. No. We moved and are renting to know the area. Where we are is good but we're not convinced this is the right area for us. The schools are good but the commuting isn't perfect. We knew that when we rented but areas we looked at didn't have anything available. And who knows what might be available when we start to look to buy.

We're not even sure we'll buy this year or rent another year We aren't even sure we'll stay put in this area, perhaps in 4 months a job offer too good to pass up will come along and we'll move again. That will likely mean renting another year and then buying.

Every step in this process we've explained to the kids what we are doing and why. Our DK1 understands we are renting this is not our house and we may not stay in the area. DK1 understands Dad is not working but trying to get a job. DK1 understands why we moved and is happy. Loves the area, misses snow but then was excited to see it when we visited the grandparents and went snowboarding.

I think that military families who move every 3 years probably have a better grasp of moving. I meet a lot of people who are terrified of uprooting their kids even within the same city. Once kindergarten has started they only want to find a house within the district. They feel it'd be too disruptive. People who just moved to the area feel constrained to buy once they've rented and pressured to buy within a year.

I think kids are more flexible than adults. I think it's us as adults that feel this pressure to "settle" down and give our kids what we perceive as stability. We also feel stressed over making new friends and having to develop new relationships.

Have you found it hard to move? I found it super easy without kids. I moved a lot. With kids it's more work but I haven't worried about uprooting the kids. I feel like we're on this adventure to find the place we belong together. It'll all click and we'll be happy. Have you moved often? Was it difficult?