Monday, June 26, 2006

Pics of the house


originally uploaded by SeattleYogi.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

We have a winner

Our bid was accepted on the Seward Park house!! If all goes well with the inspection on Wednesday, we close on the 19th and can move in on the 23rd. I'm really psyched--I think I got all my nerves out on the other houses. Of course part of my excitement might just be being done with the searching part of this process. I know some folks take months (years) to find the perfect house. But we really didn't need perfect, this is just our starter house. It's just the 2 of us, 1 cat and a lot of stuff. We already know we have to get rid of a lot of crap.

I think we're going to have a lot of fun with this house and where it's located. We've already checked out Columbia City and Seward Park and both are great. Yesterday we checked out the Kubota Gardens which is located further south. Only portions of it were of a typical Japanese style garden but it will still nice to wander through as it was very peaceful.

As yesterday was another beautiful day, a ton of people were riding their bikes on Seward Park Ave. I think this area is very popular with bikers, and I know the Seafair sprint-triathlon is coming up and is located in Seward Park. The seller of this house was away this weekend in Coeur d'Alene doing an Iron Man competition so I get the feeling this will be a great neighborhood for getting in shape.

The house is located a block off Rainier Avenue which can get sketchy. There is a used car place and a couple auto body shops just down the street. There is a cafe right on the corner, but it has those ugly bars on the windows. I will definitely miss Cloud City which is our current neighborhood coffee shop in Maple Leaf. I chatted with one lady who was out in her yard with her old dog Wally. She's lived there for 12 years, knows all the neighbors and really likes living there. She loves the multicultural aspect about living south. Says she'll go and visit friends in North Seattle and is shocked that most everyone is white. A friend told me yesterday that until 1968, you couldn't live north of the ship canal unless you were white. Isn't that crazy? That wasn't that long ago!

Well, my fingers are crossed that all goes well with the inspection. Wish us luck!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Just dance

A reminder not to take life so seriously.

D and I are heading to Reggae on the River in early August. I can't wait for the music, sun, camping, and the dancing!

I got my fair share of sun today with pink cheeks and shoulders as proof. We checked out a couple houses down south--Ranier Valley and Beacon Hill area. 1st one was cute, but had bouncy floors and saggy ceilings--not for $350K! 2nd one is a possibility, nice looking home with a decent sized lot, only a block off Ranier, but also just a block off Seward Way. Walked the Seward Park loop. What a nice park! Not as crowded as Greenlake, some old growth areas, a ton of boats out on Lake Washington, and beatiful views of downtown and Mt. Ranier. Can't believe I've never been there before. Had lunch in Columbia City, a really cute area of Ranier. We found out where the Farmer's Market is located and know we'll be back to check out other restaurants. Even if this house doesn't pan out, I really wouldn't mind if we focused our search to this area. Only a 20 minute bus commute for Darren, 45 minutes for me.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

House hunting sucks (okay maybe it's just getting shot down that sucks)

The roller coaster continues.

Bid #4 went in today, a nice place in Shoreline. We thought we were going to be able to get our bid in 1st, no bid date, no bidding war. Originally, the agent and seller were going to meet tonight to go over our bid. That meeting was delayed until tomorrow. Now our agent calls and said the selling agent was mistaken, the seller is having an open house this Sunday and doesn't want to look at offers until Monday. Supposedly the selling agent inherited this listing from someone else and didn't get all the info. I thought this was going to be the one, but my guess is the seller realized people were interested in her house and wanted more than listing. That or the selling agent was just lying to our agent. Guess being selfish is what real estate is all about.

To recap:
We started looking just over a month ago 5/21/06.

1st bid * Ridgecrest
*we were not the highest bidder
*Lesson is we need to be willing to bid higher over listing.

2nd bid * Bitter Lake
*we were not the highest bidder, 47K over listing and we were maybe 3rd or 4th in line. It was a fixer!
*Lesson is don't go for anything near waterfront as someone rich will bid a heck of a lot more to tear the house down and build new

3rd bid * Maple Leaf
*We were the highest bidder but they didn't choose us because we had an inspection clause
*Lesson is go with the pre-inspection

4th bid * Echo Lake (no actual access or view on this one)
*we'll see what the lesson is on this one.

We could still get the Shoreline place I guess. We get a pre-inspection lined up and deal with that tomorrow or Saturday and resubmit our bid on Monday. But then we're likely dealing with a bidding war and we didn't want to go much above listing on this place.

Maybe we just need to slow down. We wanted to tackle this process aggressively and we've been busy with on-line listings, drive-by's, and walk-thru's. Though there's a lot of expensive crap on the market, there are a lot of really nice places.

I think I need to go for a run to release some of this pent up stress (in general)and annoyance (at the seller and her agent). Then I'll come back to deal with a tired Darren (who will hopefully be in a better mood), a kitchen full of dirty dishes and dinner.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

love it

had a dream last night and i woke up laughing. i think the dream had something to do with cute furry animals. maybe the laughing wasn't as loud as i thought (you know when you're awake but not really awake?), but at the time, i was worried the outburst was going to wake up d. it didn't. we're both quite heavy sleepers. in another dream, mike and jason came to visit. haven't talked to them in a long time, but sending them birthday cards (gotta love the internet) yesterday must have popped them into my dreaming mind.

hate it

being in the middle. personality conflicts at work. one person happens to be your boss, the other is the director of the department. wish this was just like the old days and there could be a dual or something-get it over with and lets move on! stop holding grudges and don't assume people are doing things on purpose just to spite you and your project. and don't try to use your power to screw someone else over. can't we all just get along? :)

Monday, June 19, 2006


...for a house. My 1st house. Our 1st house. :) Not exactly a fun process. A given right? But Seattle's market is tough! It's not 1st come 1st serve, homes are going for much higher than listed, and there's not a ton of houses (in our price range at least) on the market. The listing agent will give a date that offers are accepted, which basically causes a bidding war. All the homes we have any interest in are either gone before we even get a chance to look at it or it's one that attracts other buyers. We've put in bids on 2 places and have been maybe 3rd in line. Even going $47K over listing! Gee, if only we had an extra $100K laying around we'd be golden. I swear we aren't that picky, we only want a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house with a bit of a yard. Okay maybe going for the house on Bitter Lake was pushing our luck, but come on, it was a fixer! Eh, it's only been a month, guess I shouldn't be complaining. But such the rollercoaster ride of emotions. I used to like rollercoasters.

Really, we're not just buying a home. This whole process has made D and I work on our future 'plans'. Can't we just plan to make a plan? Do we want kids? Maybe. Do we want a dog? Yes, as long as it can make do without much a yard. Do we want a fixer. Sure, bring it on. Can we make do with a big ass mortgage and a small home in the city. Yes, until we have a kid or one of us decides to go back to school. We've done the budgeting bit, and then budgeted and scrimped some more so that we can hopefully afford more house (not sqaure footage unfortunately, just price). And of course there's always the when do we get married question. Of course if that happens would we be able to afford a fun party and honeymoon? What's the point if we can't do that? :)