Saturday, October 28, 2006

Too nervous for a title

3.5 hours until my exam. I'm trying not to be too nervous. Nerves do not help with the standardize test-taking. If all goes well today, I won't have to fork out another $250 in an attempt to get into grad school. I figure if I can't get a high enough score today, I shouldn't be attempting grad school anyway.

So tonight, I will get to socialize and not feel guilty that I am not studying. Tomorrow, I want to have a leisurely brunch, do a little shopping, do some cleaning around the house that I've been neglecting and finish up paperwork (voter's ballot, Escrow, mortgage).

Thank you, Jenn, for the message this morning :D

Inspection has been moved to Tuesday at 1pm. This weekend, we will be filling out as much paperwork as we can - I think the last thing that will need to get done for the homeowner's insurance ppwk is the appraisal. That really can't be done until the house is finished a bit more. Need to get that all set up before I can send back the Escrow ppwk. Our goal is to have everything done before we leave next Saturday so all we have to do is sign the closing paperwork when we get back from Prague.

Time to do some last-minute review of the math problems that give me anxiety!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Didn't get the memo

I really enjoy taking a bath once in awhile. However, I don't enjoy taking a bath in a tub with glass doors on it. No thanks, I say! So, when we went to go see our place on Monday, I remembered that I wanted to make sure they didn't put doors on the tub in the master bath. Unfortunately, I didn't remember to say something until after we got home. I called Dustin and left him a voicemail. He then called the seller, Chris, and left him a voicemail. Apparently, he didn't get the message.

I got a somewhat distressed call from Dustin yesterday afternoon informing me that they installed glass doors earlier that day. The seller requested that we take a look at it just to make sure that we didn't want them on the tub. We made a little trip to the house last night and verified that no, we do not want the doors. The silicone hadn't even set so it won't be hard for them to take them out.

We were really happy that we went to the place because 1) we got to meet the builder, and 2) we got to see our appliances. The builder's name is John and it was obvious he is very proud of the project. He took us around and showed us this and that and raved about the quality of the materials. He explained why the light fixture was off center in the guest bath and assured us it would be fixed before we moved in. We discussed putting in a soaking tub in the master bath in the future (my dream!) and the reason why he chose cherry wood for the floors and maple for the cabinets.

Our washer and dryer have been installed - front loading washer! I am so excited about this. Our refrigerator - side by side with an ice/water dispenser in the door! We are very happy with the quality of appliances.

The iffy news: John is not sure they'll be done enough for the inspection on Friday. He's going to give Dustin a call tonight to inform us of the status.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

House pictures

We showed up for inspection yesterday at 1pm to find that they weren't far enough along for us to have the inspection done. It's been rescheduled for Friday. I did snap a couple of pictures - it will be nice to see the progress. We were pleasantly surprised to find they built a little awning for the front of the place:

Our boss, Ralph, was in the neighborhood visiting a friend so he stopped by. He was very impressed with the cabinets:

Here's Tony & Dustin discussing things - this would be close to our eating area:

Our gas fireplace, slider door and big window. There are big windows throughout to let lots of light in:

Stairs going up to the top floor. The skylight is a nice touch:

Upstairs guest bedroom:

Master bedroom:

I'll take more pictures on Friday. We are very anxious to move in!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Just wanted to pop in and post a little something before I delve back into studying. It was tough at first, but things are coming back to me. I'm still disappointed how quickly I forget formulas - if I don't use it, I definitely lose it.

Tony made me lunch and dinner yesterday - I could totally get used to that! However, he doesn't know the concept of vegetables. I don't think he would eat vegetables at home if it wasn't for me. He'll eat them when we go out to dinner but doesn't think to prepare any when making a meal. I'll have to see about changing that habit since he'll likely be the one doing most of the cooking once I start grad school.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The fear of the GMAT

With taking a little break from studying to get married and stuff, I thought it would be easy for me to do a quick review of the math and I'd be back up to speed. This is not the case so far and it makes me worry. I really wish someone wrote a quick review instead of these monsterous books :( I'm also finding it increasingly difficult to stay focused in the evenings after work. I review the work, but just can't seem to concentrate enough to get it. Ugh. This weekend will be all about the studying - my test is next Saturday!

Our inspection was pushed back until Monday, so you'll have to wait for the pictures. The appliances are being installed tomorrow and I'm excited to see what they look like. I have been reassured daily that we made the right choice - there have been no new listings on the market that are even remotely appealing to me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Eeeeep! So, the seller counter offered our original offer with a $356k asking price and $1k in closing costs. We replied with $356k asking price and $5k in closing costs. He replied with $356k asking price and $3k in closing costs so we are going with it. Dustin will be faxing the paperwork over shortly for us to sign. SO EXCITING!!!!

We'll be having the inspection later this week - I'll be sure to take my camera and get pictures of the inside.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Prague Hotel

Here is the hotel we are staying at in Prague. Wheeeee! Thank you to Dad & Carolyn for scoping the place out while there and getting us a great rate!

Hotels in New York are freaking expensive! We may just go with a hostel if it will save us a good chunk of $$. Tony's on the task since he knows New York and has an idea of where we want to stay.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Let's try it again

We put up an offer on another place today. This one is a brand-new townhouse in the Mt. Baker/Columbia City/Rainier Valley/Genesee area. The area is going through a lot of changes (bluntly: Gentrification) and the location is prime. The pictures aren't much to look at since the places aren't even finished. However, I can say that it is the best laid-out townhouse we have viewed and it is really well-built.

We came across this place when we first started looking but didn't jump on it right away because we weren't really sure if we wanted to buy in that area and we were hoping that we could find a house. The last few weeks have been a great learning experience and it really helped us figure out what we want right now for our money. At first, we thought we'd want a smaller place where we could build a lot of equity quickly by making renovations and then sell it in 2 years. However, the houses that we were finding were at the top of our price range and we wouldn't have the money to do the necessary renovations within the next two years. We did see a condo this weekend that was well under our price range where we could easily renovate the place, but then we decided that we wanted someplace bigger. There was the one townhouse that we've had our eye on that is in the Central District, but it just didn't feel right. There were issues about the layout that we didn't like so we didn't make a move on it since it's at the top of our price range.

After much discussion and a second look, we knew this place was the best we could find for our money and in a location we'd be happy with. It's also large enough so we won't grow out of it anytime in the near future. And let me tell you, the place is swank.

Dustin presented the offer to the listing agent today who also happens to be the builder/developer. We are offering a lower amount than the asking price, so keep your fingers crossed that he agrees to our offer and there is no counter offer!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The call from Dustin

My phone rang at 10 AM on Sunday - it was Dustin. The seller pulled her house off the market. Apparently, she's done this before. The listing agent believes she needs the money but doesn't want to sell her house so she keeps changing her mind. Oh well - things like this happen. We'll keep our eye out to see if she relists it.

We are pondering putting up an offer on this place. The value will definitely increase in the very near future due to the location, but it has some quirks that we'd want to change. However, I told Tony that I don't want to pay more than $350k for it. I'm willing to go over our limit if it's a house, but not a townhouse.

Tuesday is the most popular day to list new properties. We're hoping to see something we really like this week!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fingers crossed, please!

So we're putting an offer up on a house - our agent is on his way over with the offer letter. An offer was already submitted to the owners but they sent it back so we still have a chance. If a bidding war starts, we'll likely have to bow out since the house is already above our price range. Per Jenn's request, here's a link to the place.

The price is a stretch for us, but it's doable if we watch our pennies. The updating we want to do to the house will definitely increase the value without costing us too much. Plus, it's a place that is large enough for us to stay in once our family starts to grow.

Keep your fingers crossed! I'm not allowing myself to get too excited yet.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A stumble

I was in the middle of printing a mail merge and my printer ran out of ink. D'oh! I decided to take this pause in work to post here because I can.

I must buckle down and start studying for the GMAT again. I scheduled my test for October 28th and making sure I take a print-out of my confirmation this time.

This week, our nights have been filled with TV Season Premeirs. Summer's over and it's time to start watching our TV shows again! We've added one (not sure what I think about watching more TV): Heroes. So, Monday is Heroes, Tuesday is Veronica Mars, Wednesday is Lost and Thursday is The Office. That 3.5 hours of entertainment a week - a.k.a. study breaks.

The gym I was going to during my lunches closed down :( My body is a'hurtin from the lack of exercise. I don't want to pay another sign-up fee and then our office move in 6 months. Ugh. Yes, i know there are other options to gyms for exercise. I could start taking walks during lunch or something. I've been so busy during my lunches that I forget to get up from my desk. Meh.

Julie's mom is arriving in Seattle today. She hasn't come for a visit in 7 years. We are having a big dinner at El Gaucho tomorrow night. It's a pricey steak place, but isn't so pricey for me since their non-meat stuff isn't too expensive.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

OK, so maybe the pictures do it justice

The place at the top of our list right now

House Hunt revisited

On Sunday, Dustin (our Realtor), came over at 1pm to whisk us away to view houses & condos for six hours. It was exhausting. There were a few that we could totally see ourselves in, but we've decided to wait a week before we make any decisions to see what else comes on the market. We also had a heart-to-heart last night about how much we really want to spend on our housing each month and it ruled out 2 of the contenders that were high-priced due to ideal location. The one that's at the top of our revised list is a cute townhouse on Beacon Hill. We've decided that we are going to buy bicicles when we move because it's likely that our home will not be within walking distance of anything and we'd prefer not to drive. I also made a Very Good Point that living away from the ease of going out to eat whenever we are hungry will definitely cut back on our expenses which is something we will have to do when we buy a house.

I would link to the place that we are eyeing, but the pictures do not do it justice.

This is a very exciting time and, unfortunately, it keeps me up at night. I lay down to do to sleep and I start thinking about owning our own place. *sigh*

Yesterday was our one-month lunaversary. Yay! We went out to 22 Doors to celebrate and try out their new menu. I made the mistake of ordering something without checking to see if it had meat in it. I didn't eat but a few bites and then I was going to eat something when we got home but then I totally forgot. Oops.