Saturday, June 25, 2022

Long Goodbyes And Signs


It isn't easy to announce that you are leaving when you have 3 months before leaving a job that you've had for almost 3 decades.  Heck, it's hard to tell family that you plan to leave the area after 5 decades as well.  I let just a few people know early on.  The timing was odd as a co-worker had recently passed away, another was announcing his retirement and one out fighting cancer.  And (on the family side) I mentioned my brother moving back to town which was giving my mother the idea that all her family was now going to be close again.  We decided in early April to move and I was more forthcoming about it by the end of May and June was openly talking about it.  There was a wide range of shock as I was never someone that mentioned wanting to leave the Las Vegas valley.

Long goodbyes are tough.  If you are at a party and an hour in you walk around mentioning that you are going to leave and then you are still there hours later, those people you told spend those hours thinking every time they see you "he's leaving soon" and may start wondering why you are still there.  That was the last thing I wanted.  I actually had someone tell me how hard it was to see me because they knew that I was soon not going to be there.  Life is weird like that.

So it suprised me when I walked around the corner during work and saw someone writing on something.  It seems that my friend Tony talked to another friend Don about painting a Raider logo on a framed canvas and my co-workers were writing farewell notes on it.  I don't think I've ever been emotionally hit like that at work.  I love the crew that I work with and it may be the hardest part of leaving.  So, I slyly took a picture of it and put it aside for now.  I know that I'll be staring at it often once I move.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Overlooked But Not Underappreciated

 Remember that house hunting marathon I mentioned?  Well, we had our top 2 that we were interested in and at this point we agreed to deals but something was wrong with both.  I think those are big learning experiences as long as we apply them appropriately in the future.  So, there was this other house but something seemed off about it.  I think we shut down our open minds when Kerry found something that I would optimisticly call carpet glue coming up the baseboards in one room.  By then we thought we had 2 good contenders and shut off all thought about it.  But, we refreshed our minds with photos and decided to move forward on this little home (ok, it's 200 sq. ft. bigger inside and a 4,000 sq. ft bigger lot than our Henderson house.)

Situated in the small town of Nolanville, this 4 bedroom and 2 bath home, to me, is a perfect blank slate.  There is nothing that direly needs repair but a lot of areas we can make improvements and where we can put our own personal touch.  There were some minor issues that we need to work on but nothing that is immediate like a possible fire hazard.  I would definitely have to get used to yard work again.  Our fingers are crossed on this one.  We have started the process here and it looks like we may close just after our escrow with our Henderson house ends.

I said there might be some upside to our dalliances with those 3 other homes we were involved in.  This was among the group we went house to house viewing last month.  The Zillow listing on it might have kept it on the market longer than it should have been.  There were photos mixed in that didn't belong to the home and as the main photo of the house (which should be the one I posted here) was instead a photo of the back of the house.  So, when going through homes it looked odd as there was no garage, driveway or noticable front door.  The brain doesn't want to process odd when thinking "home."  We were able to offer $4,000 less as it was still sitting on the market and we saved some more by timing it with the other closing.

As of today, we are under 4 weeks from moving so we decided on renting an AirBNB for a month.  Our reasoning is that, if we don't secure a home in time, we have a place to rest our heads.  It also gives us time to do work and slowly move our things in.  The math also works out as we were looking at several motels and the lowest we found was $99 a night average even if booked for a whole month.  Then there is a $30 per dog daily fee added on...and we aren't going to go without them.  So $159 per night is pretty hefty and for that $99 we got a whole house which allows us to treat our helpers.  Kerry's twin sister Kelly and nephew Jake are coming to help us move.  A friend of Kelly's is going to join us for a bit once we get to town as well.

Friday, June 10, 2022

This Little Indian...

 Thankfully, both of those offers were accepted for the top houses we saw on the trip.  We pulled the other offer a few days into the process and went forward with a house on Cherokee Dr. in nearby Harker Heights.  It financially fit, was a good amount of square footage, Kerry liked the backyard, I liked the sun room and we both liked the kitchen.  So we paid for an inspection and I started adding it to my resumes I was sending out.

Once we got the inspection back, there were quite a few items that needed work but most important was the electrical system.  The breaker box was recalled decades ago, was overloaded, several outlets were missing grounding, reverse polarity or not working.  For someone that works from home, that would be a big problem.  So we got an estimate back and sent that along with our counteroffer.  It was going to cost close to $8,000 to replace and move the breaker box (which was in a hazarous spot close to clothing in a closet), rewire and ground all the outlets (several GFCIs were missing.)  They came back with a $1,000 price drop and said that was the estimate they got.

So we had to consider if we were overquoted, are we getting a quote on his side from a friend who isn't going to be fixing everything needed, are the issues beyond the electrical going to add that much more to the price and what if there are more things that we don't know about yet.  I should probably mention one issue specifically, the sun room.

I really want an area that we could put our workout equipment and, as you can see from the photo, you could watch the sun rise as you hit the treadmill or weights in the morning.  Maybe we could even sit down and have coffee and watch the news a little afterward.  But, being optimistic, there are a few holes in the windows in the room from small rocks?  Or maybe BB's?  There are also few outlets, little insulation and, if this is included in the square footage, it makes the interior even smaller than we thought.

With so many variables and what seemed light an offensive counter-offer, this Chippewa withdrew from Cherokee.  It cost us for the expedited estimates and the inspection but it was worth it.  We learned a lot and we will be using the same inspection company again.  But I think that this was meant to be as, if we had gone through with the purchase, it would have cost us more to get a bridge loan until we sell the Henderson home.

Monday, June 06, 2022

Tangled Woods And Timber

That first choice really did speak to us.  There was something about the inside of the home that was warm and...ok, I think Kerry liked the barn door to one of the rooms.  But it was a big house with a big split-level backyard.  It was on a street called Tanglewood and there are a ton of trees.

Love the stone work on the outside and it really is nice.  So, a few days into the process, Kerry and I pulled that offer.  There was something that stood out and worried us.  It was that split-level backyard.  The area is split by use of a retaining wall that was held up by railroad ties (usually soaked in creosote.)


So, the thing that keeps the wood from rotting is also considered an environmental hazard.  If we were to get a bobcat back there to rebuild, the removal of damaged railroad ties might become an issue.  See the wood brace that is in the middle of the screen?  It means the owners were worried about it collapsing and I can't imagine how much the work would be and costs to remove and dispose of the wood would be.  So...we still have our second option which was really nice as well.