Tuesday, May 26, 2009

3 Month Mark

Well it has now been a little over three months since we moved into our new home. Several have inquired, so I thought I would post an update on our life as happy homeowners.

So far, we really adore our neighborhood. We have a community e-mail chain, which is helpful for getting the word out on different events and issues. At the Easter Egg hunt the neighborhood organized, we met at least 6 other families who will have kids starting kindergarten next year along our daughter. There was even an impromptu block party this weekend which was very enjoyable.

To be fair, I am not sure if our neighborhood is that much more friendly, or if we are just more apt to participate and get to know the neighbors now that we own, compared to when we rented. In general we are rather outgoing. I crave human interaction, being couped up all by myself for my day job, so I am inclined to believe that former rather than the later.

As for our house itself, we have done our part to boost the economy. Pier 1 has been a big recipient of our funds, as we have purchased (okay, let's be honest, I have purchased) drapes and some decor. Surprisingly, I have not had the urge to paint just yet. Instead, I prefer to put my efforts into the yard for now. I am pretty new at gardening (except for the container garden we started last year), and have purchased some books on landscape design and irrigation systems. Speaking of the yard, we went to the home and garden show in Placerville last month. Our magnificent valley oak tree has had all the mistletoe trimmed out, and we spend lots of time watching the many critters that call it home.

The builder has been very responsive regarding our concerns and issues (they even patched the hole Mr. BT drilled in the wall when trying to install wiring).

As a planner, its been a huge mental relieve for me. No more, putting life on hold in case our offer goes through, no more wondering if we will have to move the kids out of their preschool or find a new doctor/dentist etc. if we moved a distance from the rental. These benefits are sometimes overshadowed by my concern that our neighborhood could be awash in foreclosures in the near future (homes in our development started selling in early 2006....these loans are just starting to go bad).

However, all in all, things are going well so far.

You can see the kids and I in the June edition of Sacramento Magazine. Speaking of the media, the NYT contacted me for their Sacramento housing story a couple weeks back. As much as I would love to do something important enough to land on the front page of the NYT, not sure buying a house should qualify =) I also don't think I have thick enough skin for national scrutiny.


patient renter said...

It's probably for the best. Though that NYT story set off a firestorm of bottom calling and national media interest, it was overwhelmingly torn about by most everyone else, including nearly all of the hundreds of comments to the article at the NYT site.

Buying Time said...

I seem to remember you mentioning all the hubbub on Lander's blog.

I am not really into the peak/bottom calling thing, so I try not to focus on it....I care more about affordable housing options for everyday families. I think peak/bottom is more important if you are an investor.

Husmanen said...

Thanks for the update. The times I have been to your 'hood' I have always been impressed by the neighborly feeling.

Once I was checking out a REO house (first left top of the court on right) and stopped to peek around and I spoke with some neighbors. Their description of the area is very much the same as yours. While we were talking about 10 kids seemed to file out of the houses and fill the court. Very nice.

I have a feeling this area will continue to attract this type of resident due to the location, topography, lot sizes and schools, even through difficult economic times.


PeonInChief said...

The best time to put in new plantings here is October, so you have plenty of time to plant the garden. Two things, though. Don't plant anything that might die in a frost until spring. And when you plant in October, don't expect spring-like growth. The plants will sit quietly through the winter, developing a good root system, preparing to pop in the spring.

Also I find that some deciduous shrubs are only semi-deciduous, which means that they spend the winter looking half-dead. Don't pull them out (yes, I've done that) until spring.

J said...

Hi Jennifer,

Congrats on your being featured in Sacramento Magazine. And thanks for sharing about your own experiences in being a new homeowner in this market.

M White said...

Hey, question, did you take off the mistletoe yourself or did you have it done? If the latter, could you tell me approximately how much it costed you?

Buying Time said...

M - We ended up gettting several quotes as they were several hundred dollars apart....(I call it the zip code premium...once they find out your zip code, the price doubles).

In the end we paid around $750 for it. The tree is gigantic, there was no way I would risk my husband attempting to do that.