Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We Getting Money Over Here

In the words of the hopefully mortal Young Jeezy, '"we gettin' money over here, what it do Pimpin'?"

Here's what it do, Pimpin':

It also does this:

And finally, it makes us do this:

As you can see, I picked up three checks yesterday for a total of over 45 grand. After I pay back a few people who loaned me some stater money, I'll have a little over 30 grand for the next place. Pretty sweet.

One thing I forgot to mention: the lawyer, who's name appears on those checks, and who handled the closing, looked a lot like Bob Ross (minus beard and plus glasses). I tried to get a picture with him yesterday, when I picked up the checks, but his assistant said he was busy. Lame-O.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Check 1, 2

Good news. I pick up checks for tens of thousands of dollars today. That's kind of great.

The closing went pretty smoothly on Friday. I signed a bunch of stuff. I also signed a bunch of stuff for my mom, as she was a co-signor on the loan. In order to make sure that she didn't have to drive to RI to sign everything, she mailed in a Power of Attorney form to the buyer's lawyer. That meant that ever place in the documentation that she would have signed, I had to sign the following:

Judith Topham by Ryan Topham her Attorney In Fact

I found that weird.

In any event, I signed everything and the checks (one to me, one to my mom, but really both to me) will be waiting at the lawyers office this afternoon.

In other news, we didn't make it out to look at potential sophomore slumps (second flip properties) on Saturday, as we spent the day unpacking and organizing the mess that was our crappy, tiny apartment. Oh well. We both have the entirety of next week off, so there's still time...

Also apartment related? Some great new neighbors. When watching some TV last night, Amanda's ears perked up a bit and she bounded toward the apparent noise. I was talking to my parents on the phone at the time, so I couldn't investigate/eavesdrop/spy along with her. When I was finished on the phone, I came back into the living room to have Amanda immediately relate to me what she had heard. Here are the pertinent points:

There is a three person family sharing a wall with us. An adult male, and adult female and a tween-aged male.

Apparently, the adult female is an alcoholic, as Amanda overheard the adult male address her as such.

Apparently, the adult female is either jobless, or not advanced enough in her career for the adult male's liking. This was inferred from Amanda overhearing the following (please note that this is very vulgar. I have used the usual censorship method, but it's still very gross): "Why don't you make yourself useful and go suck a homeless man's seaword. Do somethin' for a effword change."

Holy smokes. This might get interesting.

Over the course of the evening, we got to hear a lot of yelling, a lot of door slamming, and the following snippets, all from the much louder/more talkative adult male:

"You're not even a human being no more. You're a effword drunk."

"Ain't nobody lower than a effword drunk."

"You were totally embarrassin' last night at the party. I bet everyone else at the party had a great effword time. Not you though. You probly don't even remember it."

After having his manhood called into question - "I ain't never had a problem with bein' impotent in all my life. What do you expect? I come home to a effword drunk smelling like booze. Essword."

The above, along with a bunch more, was screamed over the course of a few hours last night. I am hoping to get some more of this over the coming months, as it was fairly entertaining. I heard a few domestic squabbles in my time in Philadelphia (a woman screaming at someone over the phone for forgetting hot dog rolls, for instance), but nothing this close to where I live (about 3 feet away). I may have to rename this blog...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Son of a Beeword Update

I got a call today, from Ghost Inspector (meaning he's like a ghost, in that he's hard to find, not that he inspects them), and he said he had court yesterday and couldn't make it to the house. Not quite the apology I was looking for (no apology at all). No explanation as to why it took him until 1:30 the next day to call me back, but whatever...

In the call, he said he would meet me at the house at 2:30 for the inspection. I agreed and got to the house around 2:20. I started doing a little cleaning up, packed the car with a few more things and then waited. Each passing minute brought one more Standard Infuriation Unit of Measurement. After an extra 20 Standard Infuriation Units (he was 20 minutes late, duh), he walked up the driveway and rang the doorbell. I opened the door and did not say one word to him. He went down stairs, took three pictures and passed the house.

After passing the house, I said my first words to him during his visit, asking him to immediately call the buyer's lawyer. I handed over the number. He said this:

"OK. I'm going to go back to the office and sign all of the paperwork. Then I'll fax it over to the lawyers office. I'll do that for you."

You'll do that for me? Really? Gee. That's great. You can't stop doing me favors.

Upon hearing that, I registered a few more SIUs, but managed to keep my composure. I didn't thank him, and he let himself out. I then called John McCann, Realtor and let him know everything had passed.

I got back to work and emailed the buyer's lawyer to let them know that they should be expecting a call and/or fax.

They received it. Closing is tomorrow at 3:30pm.

Effwording A.

Son of a Beeword

My apologies for all of he near vulgarity the past two days. But geeword deeword if it isn't appropriate.

As outlined yesterday, the inspector never showed up at the house. He also didn't call me back. I posited last night that maybe he'll show up today and lie to me, saying he had me down for 10:30 on Thursday. I called his office twice this morning with no luck. I left a few voice mails and headed to the house. He did not show up. Again. Still no call.

I got back to work and immediately gave City Hall another call. This time, I asked for the inspector's boss. Of course he wasn't there either. I left a voice mail with him and have yet to hear back.

I called, once again, during lunch and this time pleaded with the receptionist lady who answers the phone. I asked if there was any way to contact him. She said I could leave a voice mail. I asked if he had a cell phone that anyone in the office can reach him with. She said he doesn't have a cell phone (which is obviously a lie). I asked if there was anyone in the office who had any way to get in touch with him. She asked me if I wanted to leave a voice mail. I politely declined and asked when she expected him back in the office. She said sometime between 3:30 and 4. I thanked her (no I didn't) and will call again at 3:30. Effword.

I'd like to reiterate that the closing on the house is tomorrow. He told me on Monday about things that needed to be fixed, that had not been mentioned by him, or any other inspector, prior to Monday. I got the work done, and paid extra for it, due to time constraints, on Tuesday. He has blown me off since. I absolutely must have this inspector look at my stupid house by 4:30 today if there is any real chance of closing tomorrow.

Also, I'd like to note that during his last (third) inspection, while he was pointing things out, he was acting like he was doing me a favor by only making me do these two things. What a complete deeword.

I know it's been well documented throughout the history of local government that those in local government are generally terrible at their jobs. They are dispassionate, unreliable and ineffective (among many other unsavory adjectives). Providence City Inspector of Structures Scott Mooney is doing nothing to quell those adjectives.


In other news, the movers came and went yesterday and we are almost completely moved into our tiny apartment. It is not only a very small apartment (700 square feet or so), but it is very crappy. It was built in the 1970s and has no problem proving it. I generally have no problem living anywhere (ask Dan about our various college apartments), and I am sure that I will settle in nicely to this new apartment. That said, looking around the place last night, I got a little bit depressed. Here's why:

We've gone from this Living Room:

To this (note the great windows. That moisture is between the two panes of glass. It's not going anywhere):

We've gone from this bedroom:

To this (again, note the great window):

And we've gone from this kitchen:

To this:

You've just seen the entirety of the apartment (bathroom excluded). 2300 square feet to this is quite the adjustment.

I'm sure once everything is organized and put away, it will be a serviceable place to live. Right now, however, it is a touch depressing.

Also, the heat never turns off. It was, literally, 85 degrees in there last night. The heat is set on 55. We slept with the window open.

*generate your own swear word here*

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mother Effword

So. Fantastic Al Medina shows up yesterday and does all of the work by noon. I went home and checked on it, seeing that everything was done.

See? Here's the duct that connects to the out of doors:

Here's the missing Oil Tank Wall:

And here's the gorgeous exhaust port sutck to the house:


Today? I head to the house, expecting the inspector to show up. I am 15 minutes early. I wait for another one hour and fifteen minutes. No inspector. I can't get a hold of him. I may kill him.

On the bright side, Judy came through with signing away Power of Attorney, so she doesn't have to show up at closing.

Mother effword.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lien On Me.

That title is terrible. My apologies.

So. I got a call from John McCann, Realtor yesterday letting me know that the house can't be sold yet. Sweet. He told me that the city still has a lien on the house because of 'basement issues'. I was delighted...

I gave the city inspectors office a call this morning and arranged to meet with an inspector at the house around noon. That wasn't so bad, since I was meeting the pest sprayer fellow there as well. I rolled up the driveway and let the inspector in. We walked into the basement, he pantsed (this looks terrible, but I assume that how it's spelled) me, asked me to close my eyes and got to work.

He decided that instead of clearing the house, as his office had done on two separate occasions, he was going to make me angry. He told me to tear down yet another wall (I already tore down one) down there and told me I needed to vent the bathroom. The first thing isn't a big deal; it's a pain the the bottom, but not too bad. The second thing is terrible.

Here's the first thing:

Not a big deal. Just cut out the wall that is currently enclosing the oil tank. He said that you need three feet around it to service the tank, so the doorway wall needs to go.

The second thing, as noted above, is terrible. Not only was there no mention of the problem in the 75 thousand inspections, but no one, not one worker, inspector or otherwise, had ever even looked at it. Here's the problem:

In the bathroom, there is a shower. Since there's a shower, there is also an exhaust fan. That exhaust fan is connected to a little bit of ducting. That ducting currently leads to nowhere. See?

This is an obvious code violation. You can't have an exhaust fan just kind of dumping out to nowhere. The inspectors solution? More code violations! Here's what I have to do to pass inspection:

1. Break out some bricks in the basement (seen below.)

2. Cut through the houses firewall system (bad. code violation)
3. Cut through the exterior of the house
4. Install an exterior vent
5. Connect the current ducting to the vent

Step number 2 there is illegal. Also illegal? Putting a vent to the exterior within three feet of a window. The nearest window? 4 inches away. They just make this crap up as they go. Ugh.

I gave the sterling Al Medina, General Contractor a call and he came over to take a look. He'll fix it all up tomorrow for $300. The inspector is scheduled to come back on Wednesday to probably bend me over again. Hooray.

On an unrelated front, that crazy woman featured last Friday never showed up. I was both disappointed and relieved. Amanda was only relieved, as she is scared. Here's the nice, unsolicited email I got from her:

Received December 11th at 9:50pm:

I had every intention of going there for 5 but there was an emergency with my brother whom is at a hospital in Boston, that is where I was at 5. I know ur going to have a hard time believing being you thought I was a hoax to begin with. again I apologize but Family before furniture..... if you would allow me to still view ur items I would love to. But that is 100% ur decision. Monday at 5 is good u mentioned in a previous email. sincerly sorry Christina...

There's still a glimmer of hope that she will show up tonight.

In yet other news, the movers are scheduled to show up on Wednesday, I have been calling all over the place to switch/cancel utilities and other crap, and the pest guy finished up today. As long as the inspector gives me the passing grade he owes me, we're still closing on Friday.

Friday, December 11, 2009


It's been a long time since I've written. Not much has happened.

We had that aforementioned moving sale and made about $1500 that day. All of the repairs are finished up and the exterminator will spray the basement on Monday. Ho hum.

In the last few weeks, we've posted all kinds of stuff on Craigslist for sale. Everything that we didn't sell at the moving sale is basically up on Craigslist. It's a lot of stuff, and thus, has generated a lot of interest. While I haven't had many hilarious emails from foreign people (like in my last post), I am currently involved in a very good email string. I am going to post is, verbatim, for your (and my) reading pleasure. I am really enjoying it, and hopefully it will go on for a few more days.

Please note that, towards the end, I come of as kind of a deeword. Which is fine, as I can be kind of a deeword. I was attempting to draw out the conversation as far as possible. I could have shown some restraint, to be sure, but it was, and remains, a little too surreal to not pursue.

Initial email:

Thursday, December 10th at 1:18am:

I am a 32 yr old medically disabled female(liver) fresh out of a 7 yr relationship trying to start all over again on my own on a fixed income NOT EASY!!!Please call 774-955-8068 christina call any anytime or text or email thanks and God Bless !? I WANTED TO KNOW IF THERE WAS ANYTHING I COULD LOOK AT???WHERE ARE U LOCATED I WOULD LOVE TO TAKE A LOOK AND MAYBE NEGOTIATE SOME PRICES..... I HOPE U GET BACK TO ME 774-955-8068 CHRISTINA I'M DISABLED SO I DON'T WORK SO I CAN WORK AROUND UR SCHEDULE TO VIEW... THANKS FOR UR TIME I DONT NEED BIG FURNITUREALTHOUGH I NEED CHAIR TO GO WITH MY COUCH

My response, December 10th at 7:42am:

Hi Christina,

The chairs are already sold, so unfortunately, I have no chairs to offer (other than an office chair). As for the rest of the stuff, I will be available today and tomorrow after 5pm. If you can make it either day, it would be great.


December 10th at 10:29am:


December 10th at 10:43am:

Hi Christina,

During work hours, email is the best way to get in contact with me.

I'm on River Ave in Providence.

The Craigslist post is updated with what is still available, so you can check that out to see what's left:


Tomorrow will work for me if you can't make it this evening.


December 10th at 12:00pm:

well cosidering my circumstances I would only be able to buy the less expensive items: the Karby rug ur asking 10-ikea pillows ur asking 2 each-ikea vasesur asking 2 each and then it states "and lots more) like what???

December 10th at 12:10pm:

I've got DVDs, a few rugs, some records, vases, candles, candle trays/holders, pillows, twin bedding, artwork and probably some more stuff that I'm forgetting about.

December 10th at 12:58pm:


December 10th at 1:03pm:

Everything is negotiable.

December 10th at 2:15pm:


December 10th at 3:45pm:

I get the message. I understand that you're not rolling in money. That's fine. If you make an offer on something and I deem it too low, then we won't have a deal. I am pretty flexible though, as we have to move in a few weeks, so who knows.

If you can come by after 5pm today or tomorrow, it would work.


December 11th at 10:25am:


December 11th at 10:27am:

As I emailed before, after 5 today would work. After 5 on Monday would work as well.

December 11th at 10:36am:


December 11th at 10:40am:

5 o'clock today is fine.

439 River Ave in Providence.

December 11th at 10:41am:


December 11th at 10:44am:

I'm not angry, I'm just starting to think that this may be some sort of joke.

If, in fact, it's not, River Ave is off of Smith Street.


December 11th at 10:48am:


December 11th at 10:56am:

I'm not implying anything, but apparently you're inferring something. I'm merely stating that the writing style and the constant use of all caps is a little fishy. Strangely, the beginning of the initial email is not in all caps, and leads me to believe that it is used over and over to start many email correspondences. After that leading explicative paragraph, you resorted to all caps, and have used them ever since, thus furthering my suspicions.

Also, the constant implication that you're poor isn't socially normal. I understood from the initial email that you have short funds. I have no problem with that and have been willing to negotiate from the beginning. There is no real need to bring it up (and other aspects of your 'life story') over and over to a complete stranger.

That said, if you're actually interested in purchasing anything, I am willing to show you around today at 5.


December 11th at 11:07am:

I JUST NOT 5 MINUTES AGO WENT THROUGH THIS WITH A WOMEN ON CRAIGS LIST SHE THOUGHT I WAS YELLING AT HER BECAUSE OF WRITING IN CAPS. THAT SURELY WAS NOT THE CASE. AND ABOUT " MY LIFE STORY" I DONT THINK I HAVE BROUGHT IT UP OVER AND OVER IF I DID I APOLOGIZE, I'M UNDER ALOT OF STRESS SO IF SOMETHING SEEMS TO COME ACROSS NEGATIVE TO YOU THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT FOR. OH AND AS OF NOW no more caps.. again i apologize.. i didnt even realize i started off writing to you in lower case and then ended up in upper case letters.. i apologize. i'm 100% genuine i am interested in your furniture I am not poor but do have limited funds ie: a budget, if u would still allow me to view the furniture i would love to do so if not I understand

December 11th at 11:23am:

As stated previously, if you show up today at 5pm, you can take a look around.

While I understand that your circumstances, and thus, budget may be difficult, they don't much matter in the 'buying things from Craigslist' scheme of things, at least as far as I am concerned. If I have items that you'd like to buy, and we can agree on a price, they're yours. If not, no big deal.

I apologize if I seem to be furthering this line of emails with my seemingly dismissive and terse responses, but again, the mentioned circumstances are yours alone. They have little to do with the matter at hand.

See you at five.



That's where we stand as of now. I hope to keep getting great, all caps, or even lowercase emails from this crazy person, as I am really enjoying this.

And for the record, I am not sorry (as written in my last email) for furthering the email string. I am doing my best to keep it going for both my own, and hopefully your amusement.

Further bulletins as events warrant.


The following was sent at 11:17 this morning. You'll note that it was sent before I even replied the last time:

It was not a reply, but a separate email. This is the subject line of the email:

please reply i'm not using caps anymore it gets me in trouble I didnt realise it came off as if I were upset or angry.. i apologize

And here is the email's body:

please if u feel as if i'm phisy or phony then we can forget the meeting at 5 im not on craigslist speaking to people feeling the need to explain myself or at that matter make me feel like crap....


This was was sent in response to my last email. It was sent at 11:32am.

The old subject line of the email string, up until this reponse, was 'Moving'. Here is the new one:

lesson learned

And here is the body of the email:

I learned never to write in caps and 2- i learned to keep my business to me, it shouldnt be mentioned and is noones business.. I apologize.. See you at 5. I will say I'm quite ashamed of myself I didn't know that was how I was portraying things

*Updated Stream of Consciousness Commentary*

What? Is this as great as I think it is? Is this person serious? Have I been corresponding with an actual, legitimate retard? I don't think so. Who would date a retard for 7 years? Another retard? Would a retard actually break up with anyone, knowing that their prospects aren't so great?

Is it an elderly woman? If so, should I feel like a jerk?

Is it, as I suspect, a ruse? Does this person just pick out people to email for fun? Is this a little game or something? If so, did I win? I feel like I won, at least a little, because I am deriving so much pleasure from it.

If this woman is serious, how is she still alive? How has she not fallen down into a ditch or something? Who would date this person for 7 years? A convict? Did he break up with her immediately upon release?

Did she really write what she learned? Who could possibly write something like that? Am I supposed to feel like I taught her something? Was it meant to make me feel bad? I realize that I can come off as condesending, what with my enormous words and all (*sarcasm alert*), but really?

Jayword. So many questions. I really hope she shows up tonight at 5.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Minority Report

So, as I mentioned this week, we're having a moving sale this Saturday. We're selling all kinds of stuff. I put some of that stuff up on Craigslist. I've gotten a ton of responses and questions over the past few days. These are my two favorites (these are actual emails from actual people).


for how match you selling for the ps3 and Ninetendo DS


I like this one because of the obvious language butchering, but also the lack of punctuation and capitalization. Richie went out of his (or her) way to capitalize the Nintendo and the DS, but didn't bother with the obvious start of the sentence.


hi what time good for you tomorron an interesig for book case call me *phone number omitted*

Again, no punctuation or capitalization, plus a disregard for spelling and it's super fun to try to say. Go ahead. Say it out loud. It's very fun. Interestig.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All Done.

Just kidding.

There's still a lot left to do.

Over the weekend, I got on that stupid horrifying extension ladder and found that there is, in fact, flashing all the way around the house. That inspector is an idiot. On the bright side, I didn't have to spend four hours peeling shingles back and hammering sheet metal in underneath them.

Home inspection wise, the only thing left to do is get the basement sprayed with chemicals. Hooray.

On the moving front, we secured a residence to move to. It is going to be terrible. We are going from a 2300 square foot house that has been completely rehabilitated, to an outdated 700 square foot one bedroom apartment in a complex. We decided to go there and rough it for awhile for three reasons:

1. It's about half a mile from my job.
2. They will not penalize us if we break the one year lease if it is to move into a house.
3. It's super cheap.

All of those factors make the generally crappy confines a little more tolerable.

Also being done this week? Selling our house full of stuff. I put up a bunch of stuff on Craigslist (here, here, here and here) and we're having a Moving Sale on Saturday morning (here). Basically, we're going to invite a bunch of strangers to traipse around our house and haggle with us. It is going to be an intense four hours or so. Hopefully, we'll be getting a bunch of money for all of our crap.

Once the sale is over, we'll try to sell the rest of the crap via Craigslist and get ready to move to a terrible apartment that barely has enough room for me to lie down comfortably. It's going to be an interesting few weeks, as we're pretty booked up every weekend (Thanksgiving in NJ and NH (11/25-11/29), weekend flight to somewhere (12/4-12/6), get keys to crappy apartment and family Xxxmas party (12/11-12/13), close on the house (12/18), Xxxmas in NH and NJ (12/24-12/31), New Years Eve (Duh).

I may die in the next few months.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veteran's Day

I have not, nor will I ever fight in a war. Even if our government decides to institute the draft again, I'm now far too old to be of any use. And even if we were in such a huge crisis that I am not too old to be drafted, I'm sure I would be dishonorably discharged after a few days of sarcasm and poor push-up form.

That aside, yesterday was Veteran's Day. That brought with it the ultra rare day off in the middle of the week. It was a little weird, sure, but days that I don't have to go and sit in a cubicle and stare at a computer screen all day are welcomed. With the day off, I planned on doing some of the things pointed out by the buyer (fix the garage door, add flashing to the roof, patch up the garage roof).

After a trip to The Home Depot in the ghetto, I arrived back at the house with some garage door parts, some roofing nails, tin snips and some flashing. I got to work on the roof of the garage and managed to patch it up with the shingles that the previous owner left behind (thanks Haiti) in about an hour and a half, then fixed the tricky garage door in about an hour. After that, it was time to get to work on the roof of the house.

A little background - I have a healthy fear of extension ladders. I cannot explain it. I am not afraid of heights. I have never fallen off of a ladder (I was stung by five or so bees when lifting one, but that doesn't matter here). I don't even know anyone who has fallen off of a ladder. I just hate them a lot. I am not crippled by fear, as I've cleaned out gutters and painted some trim, but it is an uncomfortable experience for me to be sure.

Yesterday was a relatively windy day, as the weather was changing from fairly warm, to getting colder. That wind, along with the aforementioned disdain for work on a ladder, made me decide to scrap my high-wire act for the day. I am such a sissy. It's incredible.

I will now hope for some better weather (read: less windy) this weekend and finish up. If it is again too windy to stifle my uneasiness, I will give Crazy Jeff Doors a call and ask if he can get it done.

Once finished, all that's left is calling an exterminator to spray a few gallons of toxic chemicals around the basement. Hooray.

Monday, November 9, 2009


It's fall. I live in New England. I'm sure you've heard by now that the fall in New England means crazy leaf colors. What it means to those of us who live here is indeed crazy leaf colors, coupled with the inevitable result of changing leaves: fallen leaves.

As a kid, I never liked yard work. I avoided it if possible. Luckily, I lived in an apartment, and thus, no yard work needed for most of my childhood. I was only really exposed to the terrors of rakes when cleaning up my little league field, my grandparents' yard (to jump into leaf piles) or watching cartoon characters step on them.

That all changed when my parents bought a house on seven acres of former Tree Farm. It's as if they were trying to make up for lost time or something. That purchase, along with my burgeoning adolescence, and thus, distaste for all tasks handed down to me, led to my current anti-yard work stance. I'm sure my father's constant over the shoulder management style had something to do with it as well (this is a tangent that would take far too long to describe adequately).

This brings us to the present: there are four or five mature, and generally welcomed trees overhanging my back yard. The majority of trees here are shedding more and more leaves with every wind gust. The trees overhanging the yard are no exception:

This is the result of four or five trees continually leaking. This image is a little misleading, as by the garage, there is no visible grass, or even asphalt:


On Saturday, I spent the morning raking and mowing. While raking, I counted each leaf. 16 trillion; all of them on our property. Three or so hours later, and the driveway was cleared, for the most part, and the yard was kind of cleared (I half assed this by raking up and removing the big piles, then just mowing over the rest, hoping to catch as many as possible in the mower bag).

In other news, we did a few drive by's of potential properties and apartment rentals. Nothing major.

Also, Amanda's little sister and her boyfriend showed up to watch a movie, eat some food and play some Rock Band. As a result, nothing was finished, or started, house-wise after I put the rake away on Saturday morning. Luckily, we have Wednesday off for Veteran's Day, so I'll get cracking on the roof stuff then.

Lastly, I just noticed that this is the hundredth post. That seems significant considering our love for the deka system.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Not much went on this week. I agreed to fix everything they pointed out (officially) and started the search for the next dump.

As reported earlier, the buyers requested some pest control spray. I didn't see anything on the home inspection that led me to believe there was a pest problem. That's because the buyer had a separate pest inspection done. I got those results, and they apparently showed some sort of pest had been in the basement at some point in this house's long history. Because of that, I have to get the basement sprayed down. Yippee.

I hope to see some houses this weekend, as well as look at apartments to live in once we're kicked out of the house.

Also, we'll probably play Rock Band.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Inspection Report

So. I got the home inspection report yesterday evening. Along with it came requests from the buyer. Essentially, based upon the home inspection that they had done, they either want me to fix things they point out before they purchase, or they want a credit in the price. Generally speaking, me fixing things will cost less than the credits they will want in the sale.

Below, I'll outline precisely what they want fixed, in their words, and will attach a portion of the inspection to give you a sense of why they want those things changed.

1. The front portion of the dormer has no flashing and the inspector wasn't 100% on the rear portion, but was fairly confident that there was no flashing there either. Evaluation and installation of proper flashing around dormer to prevent water leakage from penetrating the structure was highly recommended by inspector. Buyers are requesting that this be addressed and proper flashing be installed.

2. Two issues with garage- a) The rear portion of the garage roof has a fairly large section of exposed rotted wood with roofing shingles no longer in place. Buyers are requesting that all damaged wood boards be replaced and shingles installed in the damaged areas. b) The left hand door on the garage is off track and very difficult (inspector couldn't close at all) to close. Buyers are requesting that this issue be resolved, so that the garage door opens and closes properly.

Here are the sections of the inspection report that mentions these issues:

*Aside alert*

I really think that crappy red arrows I make in Photoshop are hilarious. They make me laugh consistently. I'm the worst.

*Aside over*

3. Termite treatment by licensed pest inspection company prior to closing. There was evidence of termite in the basement. Exact location will be detailed in report which I will send over as soon as I have it.

Here's the section of the inspection report that mentions this issue:

Wait. There is nothing in the inspection report that outlines or even mentions termites. Sweet.

I have no problem fixing the relatively minor, and hopefully inexpensive Roofing issues. Those are not a big deal. paying for a termite treatment however, for seemingly no reason? I probably won't do that.

That said, John is going to go back to the seller and find out what the hubbub is about.

Lastly, I'm going to a Celtics game tonight. Hopefully, they are as good as this one and this one.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Round Two (and Three?)

No real news to speak of. I'm still waiting on the buyer's requests from the inspection (I should get that info today), and I applied for pre-approval of the next mortgage. I have yet to hear back about that, which would normally be troubling, but I asked for a lot. Here's what I asked for, after furnishing all of my pertinent money information:

Pre-approval amount for an FHA 203(k) loan

Pre-approval amount for a regular FHA loan

Pre-approval amount for a conventional loan

I hope to hear back about each of these things this week. Also, these requests didn't include a co-signor (my mom co-signed the first one), so this may be only the first round of pre-approval requests.

While it may seem dumb to ask for all of these things, I assure you that it has been thought through (though I cannot give any assurance that it is not dumb). While it would be easier to get the same loan I was granted for my current address and go from there, that may not end up being the best strategy. It's complicated (not really, but I'm generally an idiot), and I may lose people because I'm not a good writer, but here's why:

The plan is to get into a multi-family (3-4 units) as soon as possible after closing on the sale of my current house. In order to do that, based upon the months and months it took to close on the house I live in now, the dwelling probably can't be a foreclosure. Since it may not be a foreclosure, I may not need the vast amounts of money it takes to rehab the place. The profits garnered from the sale of my current house may cover the expenses. If that's the case, I may not need the 203k loan (as it will give me funding needed to rehab). Again, if that's the case, a conventional or FHA loan will suffice.

If a conventional or FHA loan do suffice, then that may leave the door open for Round Three of this endeavour by allowing me to apply for an FHA loan to cover the costs of rehabbing a multi-family dwelling that has been foreclosed upon. The FHA doesn't generally like folks using their 203(k) program for house flipping (so please do not tell them about this blog), so I wouldn't be approved for one if I applied shortly after purchasing the aforementioned non-foreclosed upon multi-family place.

In short, and hopefully more succinctly, here's the rough plan:

Buy a multi-family with three or four units ASAP with a conventional or FHA mortgage.

Shortly before or after purchasing the first one, make an offer on a foreclosed three to four unit multi-family dwelling.

While waiting for the foreclosed upon multi-family place to close, rehab the first purchase, using profits from my current home's sale.

Once the foreclosed upon place finally closes, and is in my possession, the first place should hopefully be finished up, and either rented out, or put on the market for sale (or both).

Put the first place on the market and work on the second place, hopefully using funds from the FHA's 203k program.

What are the chances that this plan actually works? I'd say terrible. There will, more than likely, be some issues with the mortgages and some sort of restrictions on what I can buy with what mortgage and on and on. One thing is for sure however, Amanda and I are probably going to be landlords in the future. That's kind of terrifying, more for our future tenants that for us, but still...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quick Update

The house was inspected yesterday. No word yet on how it went. Hopefully, everything went well and we won't have to spend more money fixing this place.

Secondly, I had a preliminary discussion with a lender to get my second huge home loan started. Multi-family this time around? More on this as it develops.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Purchase and Sales. Church.

So this week, we sold a house (in theory). Another big step was taken, as I received a signed Purchase and Sales agreement (the contract between buyer and seller) from the buyer, and we signed off on it. Closing will be on December 18th and that will be that. I'm mildly excited about it, only because it's so far in the future until we get paid.

Also, the home inspection will be on Monday. Once that's done, we'll get the big "SOLD" addition to the For Sale sign on my lawn and my neighbors can marvel at how quickly this place went.

Also, it's time to start looking for the next place. I have no idea how that will work, but it should be interesting to find out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Turns of Event

I feel like, and am probably wrong grammatically, the title of this post should be correct if you're talking about one event taking turns, rather than the turn of many events (more popular/widely accepted 'turn of events'). Whatever. At any rate, here's what went down yesterday:

I countered the initial offer of $230k around noon. I figured that the buyer wanted to end up on $240k. I wanted to take no less than 241K. My counter was $245,900.

An hour or two later, a new offer was relayed to me at $238k. My immediate counter-offer was $242,900.

An hour after that, another call from Realtor John McCann brought yet another offer at $240,500. So close.

I countered with my final offer of $241k around 3pm.

One last call from John on my way home from work brought news of an accepted offer. The Purchase and Sales paperwork will be completed tonight around 5pm and I'll sign it, provided everything looks OK. Sixty days thereafter, right before Christmas I think, we'll close and I'll have a big check that will be doled out to various parties, leaving me with a smaller, but still relatively substantial sum of money.

Back to this post's title. One of my biggest problems with people is their general inability to pluralize a select few words/titles. The most common one I can think of right now is the plural form of Attorney General. If you have a big group of them, it's Attorneys General, rather than Attorney Generals. The reason for this is obvious, it's a group of lawyers, rather than a group of high ranking Army officials, but lazy people still get it wrong.

The one that gets me most often, as I deal with it at work all the time, is the plural form of Statement of Work. If you have more than one of them, they are a pile of Statements of Work, not Statement of Works (that's still a single document, chronicling the many works to be done). One fellow here at work constantly gets it wrong and it bugs me. I am a snob.

Stupid grammar rules aside, in my limited experience, it is very easy to sell a house.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bonus Post!*

*Read below this post for today's actual post.  This is only supplementary.

I just visited zillow.com to start the process of looking for a new place to flip, and came across this homepage:

My house is featured on it for people searching in or around Providence. Kind of sweet.

Lastly, I hope that fellow who relies on his credit to stay in business means 'I rely on a fiscally responsible and financially healthy amount of credit to stay in business...'

Weekend Work and Last Night's Visit

This looks longer than it is. It's long to be sure, but there are a lot of spaces between the listed items below.

As I stated yesterday, I busted my ass over the weekend to get the house ready for the Open House. Amanda was in NJ visiting her family, so I had a lot to do. I took Friday off and worked until 11pm. I got up at 7am on Saturday, and worked pretty much straight through to 1am on Sunday morning. I then got up at 6am on Sunday and worked until 11:32 am for the Open House that started at 11:30. I have never worked so hard in my entire life.

Here's a rundown of what was done:

Figured out correct square footage (measured entire house, arithmetic). In a nice surprise, it's about 2300 square feet now.

Hung 5 doors (three closet, one basement, one Living Room, 2 of 5 were about 75 pounds each).

Yard Work (raked/mowed lawn, raked plant beds, laid new mulch to said beds, swept driveway, weeded plant beds, washed fence, swept walkways).

Garage (organized, swept)

Finished the shower (sealed tile & caulked) in the Master Suite (Dan's Room).

Finished the ceiling in said shower (joint compound x2, sanded x2, coughed x27, painted).

Cleaned Master Bathroom (scraped shower of excess grout, removed all tools, scoured toilet/sink, scrubbed scuff marks on floor, swept/vacuumed/mopped floor).

Finished little attic door thing (trimmed it out, fabricated door, installed door).

Cleaned Master Closet (organized, swept, mopped).

Cleaned Master (Dan's) Bedroom (removed all tools/garbage, dusted, swept/mopped floors).

Cleaned Landing (dusted, swept/mopped floors).

Finished Huge Second Floor Bedroom (touched-up paint on ceiling, tidied up, dusted, vacuumed carpet)

Cleaned Office (dusted, organized, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Arty Fart Room (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Kid's (we don't have kids) Room (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned First Floor Bathroom (scoured shower/sink/toilet, applied new caulking to shower, dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Hallway (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Mud Room (removed paint on floor, dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Foyer (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Living Room (put away all non-essential TV peripherals (Wii, ps3), dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Dining Room (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Kitchen (scoured counter tops, bleached and scoured white sink, organized, scraped/swept/mopped floors, cleaned/polished all appliances).

Staged Entire House (set dining table, downloaded classical music, cropped images to display on the TV, lit fire, lit candles throughout the house, purchased and cut 7 bouquets of flowers to display throughout the house, baked terrible cookies, made beds, sorted 7 bags of peanut M&Ms to fill jars in the kitchen, etc).

That folks, is what it takes to have an Open House. If you don't do that stuff, you're either lazy, or have run out of time. Even though I worked for that long, I still ran out of time. The basement is still a relative mess and I was placing the last of the cookies on the cooling rack when the first two groups of people showed up.

Overall however, the Open House was a success. Eight or so groups came to walk through the place in the one and a half hour event, and all liked the place.

If you've made it this far, you'll get to read about the good news; as I mentioned yesterday, one woman wanted to come back and see the place again last night. She came by with her husband (I think) and made an offer around 7:30. Her offer was $230k with 20% down and a 60 day close. Very solid. I countered this morning at $245,900 and will most definitely get a counter offer soon.

Also, I have asked that Realtor John McCann contact the folks who came to the Open House and let them know that there is 'significant interest' in the property (he can't say there's an offer in, which is lame). Hopefully, that will drum up some more interest and possibly get a second bidder. If not, I'm sure that the woman and I will reach a solid compromise and I'll sell this house this week and close in December.

Apparently, it's very easy to sell a house. What's the big deal?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Before and After

I am too tired to detail what went on over the weekend. It was a lot. I will write about it sometime this week though, I promise. In short, it was a lot of work to get the house ready for the Open House on Sunday. I got it all done (for the most part) and the Open House was a relative success. Some folks will be coming back to see the place again tonight, so that's a good sign.

Much easier for me than writing about it all? Pictures. Some before. Some after. Some combos.




Mud Room:

Living Room:

Dining Room:



Kid's Bedroom (we don't have kids):

Art/Sewing Room:





Huge Second Floor Bedroom:

Master (Dan's) Bedroom:

Master Closet:

Master Bathroom:

Yard and Garage: