Wednesday, July 30

Something I Haven't Done Since College...

...and I'm not talking about that...



...Or that either.  Get your minds out of the gutters. 

I'm getting a roommate.  

My friend Jamie and I have decided that we both should be saving some money so she'll be moving in with me in September.  And hopefully this means that after we go through all the work of moving her in and storing a bunch of stuff, I'll end up finding a townhouse and we'll get to do it all over, three months later.  

I never thought that I'd be getting a roommate.  I always thought that the next person I would live with would be a boyfriend.  But I also never thought that I'd meet someone, my age, living in Owatonna and becomes such good friends so fast.  

In the words of our friend Derik, "This is going to be interesting."

So for the next month I'll be cleaning out my second bedroom and clearing it of my computer junk/lia sophia junk/scrapbooking junk/and just plain junk that I don't want to/can't get rid of.

Wednesday, July 23

My Favorite Things.2

I love getting lia sophia orders in the mail.  I especially love when its a show order.

That means at least one box filled with little blue boxes of 
beautiful things gets delivered to my door.

I get to divide them up and take a peek at what people ordered.  I tend to see lots of jewelry that I think I must have.  


Every now and again I can't resist and there is something that I think is missing from my ever-growing jewelry collection.

Like these earrings, small silver hoops and slightly larger matte gold hoops.

I needed them, right?

I'm glad you agree with me.

My favorite thing this week, lia sophia deliveries.

Tuesday, July 22

No Houses For Me

I looked at a couple more houses with My Wonderful Realtor yesterday.  I'll just say that anything in my price range isn't going to be livable.  The house I was talking about in my post last week?  Yeah, turns out there is something wrong with it.  From the walls in the basement that were caving in and spilling dirt onto the floor, to the ceiling that was peeling and crumbling away from the attic.  That place needed some work.  It had potential...10 years ago.  

I think from here on out our focus will be back on townhouses.

Friday, July 18

Just Call Me a Hippy

Part of my reluctancy to buying a house is the dreaded yard work.  The mowing, and gardening, and weeding in the summer. (I've done enough weeding in my dating life.)  Then there is the snow-blowing and shoveling in the winter.  

In my continued search for a place to live I ran across a 2 bedroom 1 bath small house thats just a few blocks down from where I live now.  The outside didn't look too bad, and it was actually pretty cute.  Price?  59,900  "What's wrong with it?" was my first thought.    I drove by it, usually you get a good feel (or most often than not, a bad feel) from a simple drive by.  Once again, pretty cute.  The front bushes were a little over grown, but nothing a little pruning wouldn't take care of (here we start with the yard work).  

So with a few emails to My Wonderful Realtor, I discover that its a foreclosure but the only pictures of the inside she could find were from 2004 so we don't really know what kind of condition the inside is in.  It looks like they did some remodeling of the kitchen in '04 though. But really, for 59,900 its worth taking a look at.  

Now to get back to the yard work, crap, I'll have to buy a lawnmower.  And more importantly I'll have to learn how to use a lawnmower.  Thats right, I, TheSingleSister have never mowed a lawn in my life.  

So I sit here this Friday morning eating my bagel, pondering the lawn mowing dilemma.  

Then it dawns on me.  

Go old school with a manual push mower.  

After a quick search I see there are plenty of models out there ranging in price from $100-$200.  Certainly less expensive than a gas powered mower.  Added benefit, its green.  I'll be getting a workout, getting a tan, and saving the earth one push at a time.  

Just call me a hippy.

Now only if they made something like that to replace a snow-blower...

Oh yeah, its called a shovel.  

Tuesday, July 15

My Weekend Part 1

Saturday morning I had another date with The Good Weed.  After the stress and anxiety about the first date with a guy goes away I get a irrational fear that the second date is going to fail, or the chemistry that was there on the first date wasn't going to be there on the second date.  And really, its not a completely irrational fear, its happened before.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about.  Things went really well on our second date.  He was already coming into town to do some Cabela's shopping so I tagged along and then we went out to eat before he had to leave town.  

We have another date tonight.  He plays on a couple of softball teams and had games Tuesday and Wednesday nights, so I'm heading over to Rochester after work to watch his game.  

All I'm going to say about this guy is that things seem to be going really well.  If I say anymore I'm afraid I'll jinx it (another irrational fear).

Townhouse Update

I have decided to walk away from this townhouse deal.  Something that people kept telling me is, don't buy it unless you are in love with the place.  For the right price, I could turn this townhouse into a place I could love.  But 83,500 (plus 5,000 closing costs) isn't the right price.  The more I thought about it the more I realized that this place would just need too much work to make it into a place that i could love to own.  And work = money.

So my search for the perfect townhouse continues and hopefully some more will go on the market soon.  

Really soon.

Monday, July 14

My Weekend Part 2

This last Satruday was the first time in probably 6 years that I went camping.  A friend of mine, Derik, had a camping party out at his parents hobby farm in Mankato.  It was so much fun.  Jamie had to work till 9 so we didn't get out there till probably around 11, but we still had a blast.  There is a stream that runs through his parents property with an awesome waterfall right by our camping site (aka - cow pasture).  We did a little late night swimming in the pool that is built up at the base of the falls, had a HUGE bonfire, made S'mores, and attempted to drive a 4 wheeler for the first time - ever.  That was a pretty pathetic site.   I should have had someone video tape it.  

Even though I grew up in the country I don't claim to be a country girl.  While I don't mind getting dirty and I do enjoy camping (as long as there is a toilet), I didn't grow up driving 4 wheelers and snowmobiles, going hunting or fishing (except for that one summer my dad and I took up fishing).  But I realized how much of a city girl I have turned into when I kept hearing a noise and thought it was a cell phone vibrating.  Turns out it was a cow mooing in the distance.

I had to laugh at myself because I grew up surrounded by forest, fields, and cow pastures.  You would think the sound of a cow mooing would be second nature to me and I would be able to recognize it anywhere, especially on a farm.  Apparently not.  But I didn't feel too bad when Derik mentioned 10 min later that he thought it was a cell phone vibrating as well, and he grew up on that farm.  

But this city girl had a blast camping and decided that I need to do it more often.  Only next time I won't go swimming at 2:30 in the morning so I don't freeze to death all night. 

Here is a picture of the waterfall during the day.
The creek was really low, usually its at least a foot or two deeper than it is here.
With the sandy bottom, its the perfect place to swim.

After breakfast on Sunday we watched Derik's parents separate calves on their horses.
I kind of felt like I was watching Pioneer Woman.  
Except it was a hobby farm and not a major cattle ranch, and there were no calf nuts to be found anywhere.
I had a blast this weekend and decided I need to pester Derik to do more camping parties at his parents farm.  I apologize for the lack of pictures and the bad quality of the ones I do have.  I did bring my camera, but forgot to check the battery life so after a few pictures Saturday night, they were dead.  The ones I did get were from my cell phone.  

Thursday, July 10

.....and Back Again

Got another text from My Wonderful Realtor.  Turns out the seller isn't able to go down to 80,000 after all.  They are still stuck at 83,500.

I don't know why I'm reluctant to pay 3,500 more for this place.  

Probably because I keep thinking of everything that I would want to eventually do to it to get it how I want it.  

Flooring
Cupboards
Appliances
Paint
More Paint
Finish the basement
More Pain

It all adds up.

Back....and.....Forth.....Back.....and.....Forth

I feel like I'm watching a tennis match, and I'm the ball.  

After offering 80,000 as my final offer on the townhouse the seller came back saying they could go down to 83,000.  Looks like the need to get it off their hands after all.

So now at this point on the roommate half of things, Jamie is getting approached about the possibility of moving up to manage the Burnsville store in the same company that she works for now.  So here I sit, can I do this on my own for the next 6 months ? (in 6 months I'll have a loan paid off that and at that point I know I'll be able to do it on my own)  I decide to walk away for the moment and give it a few weeks to see what happens with Jamie's career.  If in these next two weeks someone else comes and grabs it I'm okay with that.  I inform My Wonderful Realtor that I have decided to walk away give it some time to decide how much I can afford on my own right now at this moment.  

So that was yesterday afternoon.  Guess what My Wonderful Realtor texts me this morning?  The seller wants to know if I'll still do 80,000 if they seller can pull that off.  

Ha!  I knew they wanted to get rid of this place after all.

Now going back to Jamie, she has committed to living with me for the first 3 months and she'll commute if she gets this job.  So that gets me thinking...maybe I can do this.  I told My Wonderful Realtor that I'll give it the day to think about and look at my finances again and I'll get back to her.

So now thats where I sit at 10:15 on a Thursday morning.  Am I really going to do this? 

The butterflies are back.  

Wednesday, July 9

My Favorite Things

I've decided to start a weekly section on my blog featuring My Favorite Things (MFT).  Mostly this will just give me something to blog about every week.  It'll also give me an outlet to talk about those random things in my life that make me happy; from feeding the geese to my favorite shirt.

This weeks MFT is a great first date.  I've been weeding through the guys on PlentyOfFish.  And thats just what it feels like, weeding.  After a short online conversation with a guy you have to try and figure out if he wants a real relationship or if he's just looking for the girl of the night.  And just like weeding, you try to eliminate the bad ones while sparing the good ones.  Once in a while you get it wrong and toss the good ones and leave a few bad ones.  

But I think I've found a good one, and we decided to meet for a date in Rochester last night. (I love being an adult, I can go out on a school night if I want to.)

We meet for dinner and when we were eating he decided that afterwards he was going to show me one of his favorite things to do in Rochester.  I had no idea what this could be, and I was a little frightened since I know he likes to sky dive.  

Turns out that I had nothing to be afraid of.  Well I guess if I had a fear of geese, I would.  We picked up a cheap bag of puffed wheat cereal and went to the park to feed the geese.  It was surprisingly fun.  Not exactly a first date norm, but who said normal was fun?  

We had dozens of geese flocking to us to get fed.  Once again, all I had to take video with was my lousy cell phone. I should really fix that if I keep taking videos to put on my blog.


video

So, great first dates and feeding the geese are now added to the list of My Favorite Things.

P.S. Don't wear sandals when feeding geese.

Tuesday, July 8

The Townhouse Hunt

So as I mentioned before Thursday was quite the day of house hunting.  

We didn't look at too many places.  My Wonderful Realtor set up 4 showings; the three townhouses, and one house that was in my price range.  When it came to thinking about buying a house I would get this panicked look on my face and start to hyperventilate a bit so we decided to just look at the one house just as a comparison.  

So we start at the two townhouses that didn't look too promising.  One had been on the market for over 600 days listing at $65,000.  We only took a few steps in, discovered there was someone there that scared the crap out of us, and told him we would come back in half an hour.  The second one was in the same complex of townhouses and listed at $85,000.  It was nice enough, newer appliances, Pergo floor in the kitchen/dinning room.  I kind of liked the layout.  But the bedrooms were "garden level" aka in the basement.  My first apartment in Owatonna was like that and I vowed to never live in a place that was half underground again.

So we left, deciding that if I didn't like the $85,000 placedefiantly wasn't going to like the $65,000 place since it was the same layout.

Onto the third townhouse, the one I've had my eye on for a little over a week.  They were asking $92,900, a little steep compared to what my friend paid for hers last year.  It was a nice layout, kitchen and living room with a door to the patio on the main level, two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second level, and an unfinished basement with washer and dryer.  At first look, it wasn't something that i feel in love with.  But knowing what my friend's looks like, I knew I could make it something I would fall in love with.  Some paint, new kitchen floor, eventually new appliances, things here and there to make it my own.

So with all of that in mind we went to look at the house.  It was an older house that they were asking $95,000 for.  Great open floor plan, but overall it was just too run down.  It would need too much work, the bedrooms were small, and the basement smelt as damp as a swamp.  Nope.  Defiantly not for me.

So thinking about the work I would want/need to eventually do to the townhouse we decided to offer $20,000 under asking price.  I know thats pretty low, but that place needed some work.  And knowing what my friend paid for hers with a completely finished basement, and remodeled kitchen, we knew this townhouse wasn't worth what they are asking.  

So we made the offer, and waited, and waited, and waited.

I finally heard back yesterday.  Want to guess how much they countered with?

After closing costs they only went down to $90,000!

WTF

So I pretty much decided that the most I would be willing to pay is $80,000 for that townhouse.  My Wonderful Realtor was going to talk to the Sellers Realtor and see what they have to say.  I haven't heard yet what they are going to say about that, but I doubt they will accept it.  

So I guess I'll keep looking, waiting for another townhouse to go on the market in my price range.  

But I guess there is still hope for this one.

So thats my story of my first day in real-estate hell, I mean, in the real-estate world.  

5th of July

Finally, I'm able to post my 4th of July video.  Blogger was being a pain yesterday and failing whenever I would try and post it.  

But anyways.  My 4th of July was actually pretty quiet.  After the excitement of house hunting on Thursday (more on that later) I just wanted to relax on Friday so thats what I did.  Having a pounding headache all day also contributed to wanting to stay home.  I was able to sit on my balcony and watch the Owatonna fireworks, that was enough excitement for me. 

Saturday was a coworkers annual 4th of July party.  Her husband and his friend always go big and get the good fireworks from Wisconsin and put on quite the show.  

So here is a little video of the 4th of July firework display at  my friend's house.  

I'll go ahead now and apologize for the lousy quality.  All I had was my cell phone camera to take quick video snippets.  Then the other night I discovered a computer program that came with my Mac that let me put video clips, titles, and music all into one movie.  I had a bit of fun with it, as you can see. 

video
  

Wednesday, July 2

One Step Closer

The search for Mr. Right has now changed to the search for The Perfect Townhouse.

This Single Sister was approved for a mortgage.  

Now starts the house hunting and it starts tomorrow.  Eek!

But my options are limited in this town.  There are only 3 townhouses for sale in my price range and 2 of the 3 look pretty sketchy.  

We'll see how tomorrow goes and if I'm any closer to making a final decision on my housing future.  

Small Town USA

Ok, Samantha is right.  I live in podunk.

I just got hit up to buy a raffle ticket.  Wanna know what I could win!?!  

"Half of a hog and rifles!" 

Work on your sales pitch kid: do I look like I want half of a hog or some rifles?

True, these were only 2 of the wonderful 52 possible prizes.  But really?  To open your sales pitch with, "You could win half a hog or some rifles!"  Thats not going to get me excited about winning.