Sunday, December 30, 2007

Another Offer

Remember that house I was talking about earlier today? Well right now, 6:41 p.m. EST, our realtor is here at our house with us and we are signing an offer on it. This will be our fourth offer in two months. Which means - in case you haven't been following - we've made three offers on three different properties, gone through one home inspection and still don't have a new home. I have to wonder why it's so difficult? We (C and I) figured selling our house would be the problem, not buying a new one. But in a real estate market like we have right now there are so many choices and so many great buys.

This house, like the last one, is also in foreclosure and bank owned, but (unlike the last one) it's only three-years-old. So really, there is nothing wrong with it. A pipe did burst over the winter before the home was winterized but that has been fixed and even if it wasn't, C isn't afraid of anything like that. It has a gorgeous kitchen, a very large square-shape dining room (which will be perfect for my dream round over sized round dining room table, a front to back living room with fireplace, front to back master (so we can upgrade from our queen-size bed to a queen, two full baths, hardwood floors, etc... It's great! And it's SUPER CHEAP! I only hope it's not too good to be true! Cross your fingers folks!

Hear We Go Again

Well our driveway fears prevailed and very early Friday morning C and I walked away from the house. It's funny - all the work that needed to be done to it was nothing over the fact we'd need hiking boots to get up the driveway. What's even funnier - though not really - was that several hours after we walked away from our offer we found out the house failed the radon test. Talk about karma!

We figured we were back to the drawing board - again! This would be three offers now, one home inspection and still no place to call home.

Then something unbelievable happened.

When we started this journey many, many, many months ago it all began when we found this yellow split gambrel cape - it was a "short sale" and was at a decent price. We tried to look at it but our realtor didn't have the key from the seller agent and the garage code didn't work so we simply couldn't get in. At the time it seemed like a score. The house was only three-years-old and ready for occupancy. Then before we could get a chance to get into it and have a good look - it was off the market, then pending and then disappeared from all our lists.

Well lo and behold our surprise when it came back on the market Friday night as a foreclosure super cheap. Remember - it's still a (practically) brand new house and you can't beat the price even if you paid full asking.

So we are again at a point where we are planning on making an offer. Cross your fingers folks and bear with me for some more ups and downs - lets hope with this one we come out on top!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

When is a Driveway Too Steep?

So we love the house - the open floor plan etc.. But we discovered over the past few days and even more so yesterday during our home inspection that the driveway is very steep and has a high pitch. (didn't notice it too much before because it was covered in snow) If it was a steep driveway that leveled off at the top that would be fine, but it doesn't. It isn't flat and level until you pull into the garage. As far as snow and ice are concerned we know what we have to do - keep it clear to the pavement and make sure it's treated. But is this going to be a problem in our day to day activities? Is living in a house with a steep driveway an issue? Do any of you have a driveway like this? I need to hear what you have to say. Thanks in advance and I'll have more later.

Basically the only thing that is keeping us from signing the purchase and sale (which we have to do some time today) is our ambivalence about the driveway - the one thing we really can't fix.

Friday, December 21, 2007

We Have a Home

We have a home - well not officially, we haven't signed anything yet, but our offer was accepted last week in the middle of the Nana crisis and our home inspection is scheduled for the day after Christmas. It's so surreal. With everything going on and the holidays only days away, I haven't even had a moment to be excited about it. But the short version is our offer was accepted and assuming all goes well with the home inspection C and I will have a home for the New Year!

What is Wrong with People?

I know you don't always get the best care all the time. And I know hospitals are understaffed and overwhelmed, even more so in the winter months with accidents and people slipping and falling, etc.. But the care my grandmother got yesterday (during the day - by the end of the day we were better) still has me seething!

My poor grandmother fell yesterday morning in her bedroom trying to put on her shoes and called me just as I was pulling into my parking spot at work (after it took me an hour and a half to get here in the snow). Any of you folks who live in New England are well aware we've had more snow in December than we have in the past 37 years and it just keeps on coming, yet no one knows how to drive in it. But that's a story for another day.

I left work, drove home, called the ambulance from when I was almost there so we all showed up at the same time. I didn't want to take a chance and try to get her up even though she said she was fine - just wanted to be on the side of caution. She was taken to a local hospital for X-rays, etc.. and they said it would be a while. So I decided to go back to work for a few hours so I could get some stuff done.

Around noon I call to check on her and they tell me she has to come home, she didn't break anything and frankly they need the bed. So much for having some compassion for an elderly woman who fell and yes, may not have broken anything, but is certainly very bruised all over. They tell me they are going to send her home in an ambulance and I'm telling them they have to wait because she doesn't have a key and I need to get home first. Would you believe it was a fight? I just don't get it. And mind you I told them at the hospital SEVERAL times that she lives alone and there's no one to take care of her there.

So the EMT's bring her back home in the afternoon - with all the snow it was better to go this route because there was no way I, alone, could safely get her up the walkway. And they have to help get her into her chair - as she wanted to sit in the sunroom. As they are leaving I'm asking if she's really ok to be home - because it didn't seem that way AT ALL. They were like yeah, she walked, and I'm like ok.

After a short while Nana wants to get up and go upstairs can't blame her and I had to convince her there was no way for her to get upstairs last night. But then I discovered she couldn't get up. She couldn't get out of the chair on her own and I couldn't get her up either. She tried. I tried. It just wasn't fair to her. I was so mad. That hospital NEVER should have sent her home.

How can the people in the medical profession not have compassion for someone like my grandmother? Granted I understand that if she goes in and nothing is broken they deem her "ok." And I also understand they probably see their fair share of elderly people in and out for falls and breaks. But when someone goes in there with her and is very concerned and lets them know that she will need help shouldn't they listen? Shouldn't they be sure there is someone at home who can take care of her, assist her in the transition - even if nothing is technically broken. I'm beside myself with anger toward these individuals, I must say.

So I call her doctor and explain the situation and that we have a problem because she can't get up and we can't get her out of the chair. He's going to call me back.

In the meantime the hospital calls to tell me her file of life was left behind -shocking - and that they are putting it in the mail and to look for it today. Great. I ask to speak to the nurse I was dealing with earlier in the day and tell her what's happening and she's like but she walked, she was fine. I don't doubt she did some type of walking, mind you - so I asked her how she could walk if she can't get up. And she was like "oh as long as you have two people to get her up she's fine - one under each arm." I was like are you kidding me! You sent a 98-year-old woman home from the hospital and she can't even get out of her own chair? It's not like she has people home all day everyday to help get her up! I can't believe the complete gross incompetence on their part.

The doctor then calls me back, does some really quick work and after going back and forth with me for an hour he gets her the last bed at a rehab down the street, we just have to get her there. Which I explain if she can't stand up and I can't help her up how am I going to get her in the car? He makes some more calls, calls me back and gets me medical transport, so I call again and sure enough I get the same fire dept. crew and EMTs from the morning. Anyway, we get her up there and they're good. She was admitted and the place was great. They had her in a bed and had dinner in front of her in 10 minutes and then her doctor met us up there. Talked to us and her and ordered a bunch of tests for this morning. Oh and he also told me he spoke to the emergency room doctor and gave him a piece of him mind.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Third Time's the Charm?

Yes, something was brewing last week, yet (again) we are still without a new home. We made an offer on a house – a really great offer (only $9K under asking price) frankly a tremendous offer in this market, but it was rejected. No counter offer, no negotiations, nothing. The seller flat out wants full asking price or bust. Good luck to her.

But it did make me realize something. I really didn’t want to live in a town so far north – although it was a decision the two of us agreed to a while back. I tried to like the idea, tried to picture myself raising a family and growing old there but it’s just not for me. It’s a bit too far off the beaten path and while yes, having a larger lot and home with tons of room is something that can lead to a better quality of life, isn’t that quality also impacted by how far you have to drive on a daily basis to get to where you need to be? I think so.

So last night C and I headed out to look at some properties in a neighboring town to where we are now. Not so far north and VERY centrally located. (We’ve actually looked here before and we are familiar with the area). And believe it or not – we found ourselves a winner.

Now I don’t want to get too ahead of myself for fear of jinxing us again, but we put an offer on it this afternoon. It was originally a half a million dollar house, now in foreclosure and right in our price range.

I’ll keep you all posted if you all keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Somethings Brewin'

Don't want to say too much right now (but promise to give you more later). But we made an offer on a house last night. I haven't been able to talk to C all day as he's working, so I'm not sure where we are at with it, but I can tell you it was a good offer on a house across the street from the first one we made an offer on. (the one that fell through). Tim, you'll be happy, it's the one you told me to go with way back when!

More to come tomorrow!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Still Searching

I owe you all a post. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA lately, between the marathon house hunting (which is still continuing – I think now we’ve looked at nearly 80 houses) and getting ready for Christmas I’ve simply been too tired at night to type.

As you can assume, we still don’t have a new home and frankly we’re both getting a little antsy. Man it’s hard. Plus with the market tanking around us – every day something new is coming up and the prices are getting better by the day so it's hard not to want to hold out and see what comes up tomorrow.

C is actually looking at a great house tonight in our range which is about $90K under its original asking price. I have to work so he’s going on his own – we have to do it this way because at that price, in the community we really want to live in, someone will be snatching that up very soon.

So keep your fingers crossed – I really hoped we’d be in a new house by Christmas. It’s my absolute favorite time of the year. I love nothing better than decorating for the holidays, carefully choosing those special gifts (which is so much easier with the ability to do the majority of it online) and wrapping everything while enjoying a fantastic bottle of wine and listening to my holiday music playlist on my iPod (a gift from two Christmas’ ago). But this year it’s bittersweet. All my decorations are in storage and we really don’t have the space for the tree with all our boxes of what we needed for our temporary stay at my grandmother’s. I’m hoping to get myself into the spirit a bit tomorrow night wrapping my gifts and listening to music, but not being able to admire my tree - which every year is covered in antique ornaments passed down to me from my great aunt who passed away many years ago (she was my favorite) - is going to be hard. So while this year will be a bittersweet holiday, I at least know there is something to look forward to in the New Year – setting up our new home (wherever that will be).

Have a great weekend everyone!