Home Sweet Home

We have the keys.  The deed is recorded and the loan is funded. 

In my temporary insanity, I did not take the day off tomorrow (Friday).  What was I thinking?!  I want to be moving.  I want to be packing to get the hell out of here.  I want to be making progress towards Monday, when the movers come and shift us the big 5 minute transition from moldy, run-down rental to lovely, remodeled home.

Yeah.  I was REALLY thinking when I set that one up.  But tomorrow I won’t be waiting for news that the loan has funded or that we’re getting the keys.  We have the keys now and it’s ours – officially!

So I will go in and I will work my hardest to get things done before I leave at 5pm.  Midday, I’ll take my friend over to see the house and I’ll smile as I show off all the things that I really love about the place.  It’ll be fine because all the hard work paid off and I’m done.  Every little fret…  the tracking of my credit scores… the endless calls to the student loan servicers and the consolidation folks… the denial for first one debt consolidation loan and then the approval on the second.  It has all been worth the work.

My boys will have a home to grow up in.  We’ll have a mortgage payment that is ridiculously low (below rent for the size of home) for the entire life of the loan.  In fact, if all goes as I suspect, we’ll end up being able to pay it off in 2/3’s the time and retire without a house payment.  Plus we’ll have space for grandkids to come visit us.  I should point out that my kids are 9 and 5, so I’ve got a ways to go for that one.  Let’s get them through college first!

The hard work facing us now?  Get the rest of the rental packed up, clean it, and get the yard ready to go.  Then survive the month until they get it rented out again and we’re free.  I have little to no faith that they will return any portion of our security/cleaning deposit.  I have decided that I need to let it go and simply be surprised if anything good comes out of it.

Nothing else matters at this point, except to get my family into our beautiful new (to us) home.

I like the seller too.  He talked to us about the property tonight AND gave us a couple referrals for the landscaper and concrete/excavator that he uses.  We need a sprinkler system (we have irrigation water that is mind-bogglingly cheap) and sod, plus we need a patio poured.  I’ll be talking to them to get quotes; however, we may not be able to move forward with the project until next spring.  It all depends upon the cost.  It just doesn’t make sense to put in all the sod and then have to dig up a portion to do the patio.

To clarify, the yard is dirt, gravel and weeds, although the seller had the weeds chopped down (which we greatly appreciate).  Part of why we got the house for such a good price was because the yard was a wreck.  We’re going to change that and I actually appreciate that the seller didn’t do it.  This way we can make the yard into our space, designed around our family’s needs.

So what is the plan for the yard?

1.  Patio – either 10×10 or 12×12 (I lean to the latter for long-term investment, but budget may require us to go with the former).

2. Automatic sprinklers in front and back of house, plus sod in a portion of the yard and a cleared garden space in the rest.

3.  Low water plantings in the hottest sections and low-maintenance/weed resistant plantings that will bully the weeds into not growing, while adding some much needed greenery.

4.  Trees.  We need more trees on our 5th of an acre lot.  We have a couple but the hottest side of the house needs them.  This means getting things marked by utilities to prevent an issue both short and long term.

For now, I’ll talk to the contractors and get an idea of the cost for this project and discuss phasing it, if necessary.  I absolutely will not install an automatic sprinkler system on my own.  My honey and I have certain areas of skills and mechanical/physical adeptness does not fall into that skillset.

I’d like it done right. 

But sod, on the other hand.  Well, yeah, if necessary I can do that.  But depending upon the cost breakdown, it might not even be cost-effective for us to do it ourselves. 

As for my veggie/fruit garden, that will be in stages and it will be in raised boxes.  I may be able to put the boxes right in on top of the gravel that is already there, which will keep the gravel pathways.  Not sure… I have to look into it.  With the right plantings, I might be able to create a little oasis where I can sit and check out my garden (with the boys, of course).  I’d better start getting acclimated to the heat.  (bah)

It should be noted that we’ll have very little furniture.  I expect to become adept at cruising Craigslist and yard sales, looking for needed items.

And ShopKo is having a 40% off sale on window coverings, so until we can afford to spend more on those, we’ll at least have something to tide us over. 

In the meantime, I’ll keep looking at ways to trim our budget.  With irrigation water being so cheap (annual cost is $25 per year), it doesn’t make sense to NOT have a food garden.  The rest will be tabled, if the cost is too high, and I’ll keep looking for ways to make it happen when the time is right. 

That’s the thing about it being OUR home.  We have a lot of time to be patient.

signing off for some much needed rest,


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