The List of Lists

As promised, here is a list of everything [that I can currently think of] that needs to be done, and everything that I would like to do in the near future.
Need to do

  • Re-tile the upstairs bathroom. Currently a shower insert is poorly installed over 1970s green tile.
  • Replace the electrical panel. The current panel is a Federal Pacific breaker switch panel. While the inspector wouldn’t commit to specifics, he did mention that the panel has a two-digit fail rate (which I knew going into the purchase). In addition, the previous homeowner used a 16 gauge wire where there should be a 14 gauge, double-tapped two breakers, and has a 15A cable running to a 20A breaker. Overall just an electrical fire waiting to happen. This will be completed before I move myself and the dogs into the house.
  • Replace the siding. The condition of the siding is probably what got me this house. The siding is in such a state of disrepair that no buyer using an FHA, HUD, or VA loan could put in an offer. I had considered scraping and repainting; however, considering the condition, and since there may be lead-based paint (LBP), I decided to completely replace the siding.
  • Replace some windows. Eight of the ten windows in the house are single-pane aluminum framed windows. Of those eight windows: two are caulked shut, four don’t lock at all, one is cracked, and two were installed behind another single-pane aluminum framed window (double-pane?). Three of the permanently unlocked windows are at ground level and are large enough for a standard sized person to gain entry.
  • Remove the “dry bar.” Because old kitchen cabinetry glued to the wall is not a dry bar.
  • Paint. Paint all of the rooms. I am certain that the previous tenants loved their paint choices, but I do not.
Want to do
  • Install a front fence and replace the rear fence. The rear fence is currently a 3′ chain-link fence–I neither like the look nor am I confident that it is safe and secure for my dogs. I would also like to have a privacy fence in the back yard. For the front yard, I would like a 3′ to 4′ semi-solid fence with a gate to the entry. The front fence serves a more functional purpose: to prevent the boys from getting beyond my yard in the event that they run out of the door.
  • Design and build a dog room.
  • Replace the shower pan in the lower level bathroom.
  • Chop down the numerous juniper bushes along the front, side, and rear of the house.
  • Build a new step in the garage to replace the current death-step.
  • Replace the vanity lighting in both bathrooms.
  • Install cabinetry in the laundry room.

What an adventure!


Let’s Start Over

Today was closing day! And it felt like a holiday. A very strange, expensive holiday. I sat in the RE/MAX office between my two realtors (an odd set-up, but I felt important) and the notary, across from the sellers and their agent whom they had never met (evidently some interesting practices take place when working with ReDefy for low listing fees), and adjacent to my lender’s representative whom I had never met. I got lots of paperwork and more practice signing my middle name that I will ever need. After signing all of the documents I received a housewarming bag of goodies from the lending office and a nice card with giftcards from my realtors/
I finally got to meet the sellers, who I had been quietly belittling as lazy homeowners and “Joe DIY” who couldn’t repair anything properly. While some of the charges that I have mentally levied against them may still hold true, they did seem like very nice people, and I learned that they had rented the house out for the last year. I suppose that I can’t blame them for the choice in paint or the quality of the painting. They are a young couple with three children who had moved out to the country, and are hoping to buy a place after getting the $27000 profit that they made on this house. Today probably felt like a holiday to them also.
After work, Steve took me out for a celebratory dinner at McKenzie’s Chop Shop. A lot of work looms in the future, but I am excited to finally have a house to make my own.

Hello World

For quite some time I have considered jumping on the blogging bandwagon. Everyone seems to be doing it. I am sure that many of my reservations are the same as other new bloggers: do I have enough to say? Will the content be interesting? Will my posts be helpful for anyone? The answer–to all of these–is that I hope. I hope that, in this new chapter of my life, I will find enough projects and pastimes to fill my posts. I hope that someone stumbling around the Internet will find a post or two to be insightful or entertaining. I hope that someone out there will benefit from what are sure to be my numerous mishaps and experiences along the way.
This new chapter started at the beginning of this year, when I moved from California to Colorado for a job for which I had no practical experience other than a relevant degree. Despite a sizable paycut, I accepted the job because, well, dogs. My facebook posts, although scant, are dominated by my dogs. If I had started a blog in past years, it would be dedicated to my dogs, our hikes, our challenges, and our search for a better life. Now I have found that better life. For the first time since I left school I faced the opportunity of nights and weekends off and enough money–if barely–to make the best use of that time. So the dogs and I packed up and moved out East, away from California’s central coast and into the Rocky mountains.
At the inception of this blog, I am preparing to close on my first home–a dream that never would have been possible for me on the central coast. My house-to-be is quite the fixer, and I will publish a full list of projects shortly, but I hope that my chronicles will inspire people to leap into the insecure unknown in search of a better life, no matter what that unknown may be.