Monday, September 28, 2009

Average Buyer 6 Month Update

It's now been a little over 6 months since we moved into our new place. There doesn't seem to be much to write about lately, so I thought I would post an update on our situation as I am in serious procrastination mode.

Job Front - Huge sigh of relief for me. It was just announced that the Federal government (Department of Transportation) renewed our contract . Barring any major unforeseen troubles ahead, in theory, this means I have job security for at least a year or two. Mr. BT works for a small company, so his situation is always somewhat precarious.

On the home front - In terms of landscaping our barren lot, we obtained all the proper permitting, and are now working on building a deck. I'm doing a terrible job keeping plants alive so far (this is nothing new, but for a while my track record was improving). I'm not sure if it is our backyard exposure (to the South), but even the herbs that flourished last year, didn't seem to take this time around. Perhaps it's because I used the leftover seeds from last year?

I still look at the MLS and Ziprealty, but primarily for backyard ideas. We are somewhat limited with what we can do, as our soil is incredibly rocky. It's a bit of a catch-22, in that I hate to spend a lot of money on plants if they are just going to die, but if I don't spend more money and buy a larger established plant, it is much more likely to die.....sigh.

I still haven't covered 7 windows with anything permanent (we have paper up). We hired a contractor to help pour the concrete deck pilings, so we decided to wait on some non-essential spending like window coverings.

The builder is putting the finishing touches on the last couple houses in our development. We have been really pleased with them, as they have been very responsive in terms of customer service/maintenance issues after we purchased.

As far as our neighborhood, I couldn't ask for better. People really seem to look out for each other. For example, one night I forgot to close my garage door, and the neighbors across the way called around 9pm to let me know it was open. In addition the neighborhood has an e-mail chain, that helps alert everyone to problems/issues, and community events.

Auto Front - We also bought a new family car at the end of June. The lease on our Subaru Forrester (the flower mobile as I fondly called it) was up this year, and we decided not to keep it. The Ford dealer offered 0% financing and some cash back. Feeling concerned about our economy, I wanted to buy from an American company, which was never really a factor in the past. This was a big purchase we had put off, because we didn't know what our budget was going to look like going forward. Once we purchased our house, we had a better idea of our expenses (i.e. if we had stretched to buy a home, we would have bought a more modest vehicle.)

Family Front - We experienced a terribly tragedy in July. The wife of Mr.BTs brother was killed in a motorcycle accident (she was in her 30s and had two kids from a previous marriage). This has motivated us to get on the ball regarding a will/trust and to make sure there are provisions to take care of our kids should something happen to both of us. I still get sick to my stomach every time I see a motorcycle on the freeway. I mention this as food for thought because, it has ramifications on how you record the title of your house.


PeonInChief said...

This has been a difficult year for experienced gardeners, so you shouldn't feel too bad. (Also you can expect to lose 10% of your plants even under the best of circumstances.) And I could be stripped of my Old Hippie credentials, but I never grow herbs from seed. I get little starts from the plant nursery. Growing most things from seed is unrewarding at best, and the little starts aren't that expensive. The exception is plants like clarkia and California poppy, both of which are likely to keel over dead if they're transplanted. And of course things like nasturtiums, which are black thumb-proof.

And I'm so sorry about your sister-in-law. So terrible.

Buying Time said...

Hopefully by springtime next year, we will have some nice garden beds started.

After your previous comment about Rosemary being difficult to start from seed, we went for the little start this year...and it has done much better than anything from seed. However I imagine we will keep trying from seed, since it is a good teaching/cycle of life kinda thing for the kids.

PeonInChief said...

Do nasturtiums for the cycle of life, and get starts for the other stuff.