Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spike in readers....

I've noticed in the past month or so that I've had a spike in non local readers. Most of this I think is do to the fact I wrote a blog called Wedding Gift Calculator. If you Google it our blog is the 4th website listed. How, I have NO idea. It's just interesting. Most people I guess view that page and move on.

I have a handful repeat readers. They are mostly friends since my tracker to the right labels them as either Orange Park or Jacksonville. What's left of those who remain are non local friends and family.

Then there are a few non-local, non friends that read the blog.

I wonder about you. I really do. I start to notice if the same state or country pop's up. I usually ask myself the following, "Do I know anyone currently living in Timbuktu?" that question is usually followed by this one "Daniel do you know anyone living in Timbuktu?"

It makes me wonder who these faces belong to, that sometime live the apposite ends of the world from me, that find little ole me so interesting that they came back for more. For those of you who blog, do you ever wonder why a non-friend read's your blog? Do you ever wonder why they keep reading your blog?

It's a interesting time we live in. People I don't even know....know me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home Buying Update 7/30

Man that time blew buy. We are about 8 days out from owning our first home. We got all of the needed paperwork together. There was some drama that I wish didn't have to take place with our Lender. But we're moving forward. It's to late in the game to do anything about them now. We're just going to keep moving forward. After we close they'll sell our mortgage and we will be done with them. I'm looking forward to that day.

So at this moment our mortgage is getting finalized and either yesterday or this morning it was sent to the USDA for final approval. We have closing set up for next Friday at 9am. The woman we're working with at the lending company doesn't feel anything bad will occur in the next 8 days. Daniel and I are stressed that something will come up and are praying that the next few days fly by.

I'm trying not to get excited about the house yet. It's hard since we're so close. I'm having to tell myself we're not done yet. I won't fully believe everything until we're at the closing table and we sign everything and they hand us the keys. Then Daniel and I have plans to race over to the new house and just stand in our new home. We're going to start painting right away and move things in that we'll need. We want to get moved in asap.

We've been asked a couple of times about house warming gifts. To even be asked shows how much we're loved and blessed with thoughtful family and friends. We don't really know what we'll need until we get moved in. If you're looking for things here's some ideas....Home Depot gift cards so Daniel can get his man buying started. Our wedding registry is still active at Target. I don't recommend getting anything until Friday of next week.

We are hopefully going to send out cards reflecting the new address. So after we close start looking for those in the mail.

Big girls are getting love too.....

So I am three level's of happy because big girls are starting to make it into the main stream. There are two shows that I'm just crazy over. First being More to Love with started last night on Fox. It's a dating show for women who aren't rail thin. They are more woman like. They have hips and curves. They are not plastic, they don't have implants, they are more like every day normal women. I understand how those girls feel as they talk about how they struggle with their weight about how they are always the fat friend, the guys best friend. That used to be me. I used to be like that. I understand their feelings. Needless to say I have my favorite and I will be watching the show.

Second show is Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime. It's about a thin model who dies and comes back in a plus sized Lawyer. It's cute and funny and available on the Lifetime website if you want to check it out. I'm currently waiting for it to buffer so I can watch episode 3.

Now anyone who know's me know's I HATE tv. It's a mindless box that sucks your I guess now I'll be losing some IQ points because these shows rock.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I hate laundry and other random rambings.

I hate doing laundry. Have you ever noticed how many steps are involved in doing it? First you have to find and collect your clothes. Second you have to load the washer and start it. Next you have to wait that to wash. Then you have to load the dryer. Once the clothes are finally dry you have to fold them and put them away.

That is a lot of steps man.

It isn't like you can skip it.

In other news....I want to take a trip to Italy. I'm currently reading Playing for Pizza by John Grisham. It's about an ex NFL quarterback who goes to Parma Italy to play for their team the Panthers. It's about him adjusting his lifestyle by learning about Italian food, driving small Fiat's and learning the language. Reading this makes me want to take my wife on a trip to Italy. It doesn't hurt that she was born there.

That all folks.....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Do you have a One Upper Friend?

Do you have that friend that no matter what you do they have to "one up" you? You know that friend who after hearing that you're buying a house has to reply "oh well, we're....." The one-upper is typically a person who feels that they always need to enforce their awesomeness (which is self perceived) on others for no apparent reason. They crave approval, expecting people to envy them, and nothing will slow their nauseating self-congratulations like ambivalence.

Do you have that "friend?"

A well in Africa

Oakleaf Christian Fellowship is going to be raising money to build a well in Africa. I don't know all the details but I know that at the church in a sanctuary they have one of those tall glass water jugs and they are trying to fill it.

So if you want to give any spare change you can drop it off at the church.

I'm actively seeking ways I can personally get involved in raising change for the well. Our good friend Gary just returned from Kenya and told us about how important clean water is for people. How life changing it is for the people in a village.

I just want to help anyway I raise money anyway I can....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Home decor the big three....

So since Daniel and I are getting a new house we are looking around for things.

We are on the look out for :

1) Dresser. Daniel needs to get a new dresser. He has a tall one (which like I've said before is taller than me. I can't even reach into the top drawer. It also is two pieces so I'm afraid that one day our kids will hit it and it will fall on them.) and now I want a long one. I found a buffet at the Salvation Army over by my parents for $100. It's not a dresser but I think it would work really well for our needs. Erin reminded us about the goodness of craiglist...I'll look some more but I think people are over thinking how wonderful their stuff is because some stuff is over priced.

2) Dinning room table. We want a drop leaf table since we don't have a formal dinning room in the new house and we hardly use our dinner table now other than when we have company over. I found one at IKEA. I like this one since it also has storage with it....Daniel's not a fan. He likes this one. Any thoughts?

3) Paint color. We are still trying to decide what color we want for our downstairs. We are going to paint both the kitchen and the greatroom. I'm really into a nice yellow. If your curious as to the color I want it's Valspar's Homestead Resort Tea Room Yellow. Daniel's parents are giving us paint for the downstairs as a house warming present. We were thinking of Oatlands Spring Kiss for our bedroom. They are Historic Colors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Those are our big three for the house right now...

Friday, July 24, 2009

House buying update 7/24

Not really anything to update.....the survey is done so they are getting everything together and will be sending it to our lender so that they(the lender) can send it on to the USDA for final approval.

All together this should take 2 weeks. Which means in 2 weeks we shall be home owners.

We're going to wait until Tues to lock in our interest rates, so every one can pray on that, that would be great.

I just want to say that Daniel and I are so very blessed with amazing parents. My parents are blessing us with new pots and pans, knifes and a futon for the guest bedroom. Daniel's parents are blessing us with paint and painting tools. We're so happy because those are things that we really needed but were going to have to wait to get until after we got our first time home buyer tax credit.

I'm actively looking for a new long dresser for Daniel, he has a tall one but it's two pieces and very tall(taller than me). So I want to get a long one so we can also use it for our stereo and some wedding photo's.

The biggest thing to me right now is our guest bathroom downstairs. It's a little half bath and I'm trying to decide how I want to decorate it. I'm in LOVE with Fleur de lis....and I'm thinking about doing that bathroom in it. Or just doing the bathroom in New Orleans period. I love new I donno.....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This weekend....

So this was a nice weekend for us.

On Saturday we took Daniel's parents and his sister Beth along with her two kids to see the house. They hadn't been there so it was nice to show them the house. They love the lake and the walking trail behind it. We spent the rest of the day with them. We ended up taking a nap over there as is our custom. Their house is the "sleepy house".

Then today we cleaned out my closet and our bedroom and our bathroom. Nothing sexier than a man vacuuming under the bed. Then we met good friends the Durbin's for dinner and a walk about around Walmart where Gary and Daniel spend a hour in electronics looking at the movies. Jennifer and I walked over to the baby department and then over to pj's.

You know you're an old married couple when double date turns into dinner and a Walmart.....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Home Buying Update 7/15

Yesterday we had our home inspection. Overall it went well. Nothing bad or any huge problems. Only normal maintenance that needs to be done on a house that's been empty for a while. Change filters, clean etc. We got the formal report today so we have a list of things that we can fix on our own.

I got to spend about an hour in the house with my parents. It was nice since it wasn't hot like the last time we were there since the electricity was on. I sat down on the floor and got a better feel for the house. I was trying to decide on paint colors. We want to get the down stairs painted and our bedroom done before we move our things in.

Well today we got our estimated closing date. It's August 7th. Woohoo....everyone has been asking us when we move. It's been tough trying to explain the whole process. If you watch HGTV they make it seem like oh you sign a contract you move in the next week that that isn't the case. It's normally 30 days. So right now we are 23 days away from being done. I can't wait.

We got our appraisal back so now it's just survey & pest report then on to USDA.

Here's a photo of the townhouse.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Home buying update 7/13

Today is an easy day in terms of worry. I'm cleaning our apartment, throwing away junk that we don't need. It will hopefully make the move easier.

Daniel and I are talking over hiring a moving company. The pro's are that it's easier. We wont be the one's moving furniture down stairs from the apartment or upstairs to the townhouse. I can handle the move during the week, cutting down on the time spent between the two places. We're gonna have to pay for utilities between the two until we're moved. I could also do the move during the week freeing up more time for Daniel. The con's are cost. I've been looking around and the cheapest I've found is $75/hour. We're thinking total it would be max 3 hours. I don't know if I want to spend money on that when we need things for the house.

My parents came over today to shoot the breeze. I laid all the paint samples out on the ground and showed my Mom the one's we are most interested in. We're thinking about doing the living room and the kitchen in one color, I'm thinking it will make the room look larger and will match the stuff we already own. Daniel is ready for color after living with white walls as a renter. The other rooms we want to do are the master bed room in a nice light green. The master bath we want to do is a pale blue, almost a Tiffany blue. The rest of the rooms we want to paint but we have to see how much money we have on hand. The other things we want to buy are curtains. I've never bought curtains so that's gonna be a mother daughter trip.

Our appraisal was done over the weekend so we should know about that soon. Then we do the survey and finally send the whole thing the the USDA. Hopefully they will sign off on things and have it back to us.

I'm hoping we get closed and signed into the house sometime the first full week of August. Either way things are gonna happen fast.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Now that we have the house and the loan Daniel and I are are going through the house room by room and throwing away things that we don't need. Just trying to lighten the load for the move. We have in our contract to be closed by 30 days. The seller wants everything done ASAP so it could be sooner. That seems crazy. We could be in our first place in less then a month. I'm excited and happy. It's also gonna be sad. I'm gonna miss this apartment. It is the first place I've ever lived in outside of my parents house. I'm gonna miss the first house I lived in as a married woman.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Home buying update 7/09 part 2

We just heard back from Lender 1 that the loan was approved. Now we just have the appraisal and then USDA needs to sign off on the loan and then we set up a closing date.

After this week and all the stuff we've had to do to get into the house I'm just speechless. As Daniel told me I sat there asking him if he was joking. I sat here and thought this is a funny joke and I'm not happy.

Daniel said no he wasn't joking.

We are almost one step closer to getting our home.

Daniel asked me knowing what I know now would I do this again, I told him I'll let him know when we have the keys.

Home buying update 7/09

So we are still in a holding pattern with Lender 1. I called over there and she was trying to tell me that they are fighting for us. That it's not them it's the USDA. That everything thing looks good on their end and they need to just make sure that USDA wont refused it.

That got me thinking......Lender 1 wants to blame the USDA. So what did I do....I called the USDA. I called the local Rural Development office and spoke with someone. He said that THEIR guidelines say 2 years after bankruptcy if your score is below 620. Since Daniel's credit is higher he said that the date of the bankruptcy is "irrelevant." And he asked me who I was working with, I told him and he said "Can I be honest with you, I'd get another lender."


Why do people do this? This has been the worst week of my life and for what? A lender who is dragging this out for no reason. A part of me want to get another lender and say ha. You lost out on a great couple, a couple who would sell everything they own to make sure they could pay their bills.

You could have helped us but you didn't.


It's 1:20am, my head is throbbing and I'm trying to keep myself from being sick. Daniel is across the apartment sleeping. Not wanting to wake him with my tossing and turning I came in here. My mind refuses to sleep. Every time I close my eyes I see the video Daniel took of "our house". I see myself, along with my parents looking out the back window to the lake as Daniel pans around the kitchen. In the days after wining the house I'd watched that video thinking of where to put our coffee pot.

That seems so long ago. I was so happy then. I had images of Christmas parties, of walk babies and waving at neighbors in my mind. Now those images wont leave me alone.

Last update had us being happy of the prospect at another lender giving us a chance with another loan. That changed about 6 hours ago. See Daniel signed up for a credit monitoring program so we could be sure no fraud could happen to him while we were trying for the mortgage. We he got an email saying his credit rating had changed. We logged on and there was some bill that we had disputed a month ago showing up again. We called them and found out it was for a bill for movies that Daniel never order, that were never shipped to him and he never received. We were helpless but to pay it. It will be listed as paid by Friday but it may take 30 days to report. With that one little thing it lowered his credit that we are now worried will make him unable to apply for the new loan.

We can't win for losing. These last few days have been so hard on us. I want to keep my spirits up but I just can't anymore. I haven't been able to sleep really well. I know Daniel hasn't either.

I just don't know what else we can do. We just need a chance. We just need one break.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Home buying update 7/08 part 2

Here's the update as of right now. Daniel called over to Florida Unemployment to see if they had any records from him filing for unemployment. After being on hold for 30 mins he got through. Unfortunately they didn't. The guy helping him was shocked to find out why he needed that, he'd never heard of that from any bank before.

So we contacted our processor who said she'd get with our underwriter to see if they could move on without it.

Meanwhile we contacted our buyer agent and told her what was going on. She in turn contacted her lenders on our behalf and we found one that is promising. Lender 2 feels pretty confident that she can get us into a mortgage.

We waited until the end of today to see what lender 1 said. As of right now they don't know. So in the morning Daniel is going to call Lender 2 and get the ball rolling on the mortgage ap with them.

Daniel feels good about everything. He thinks it's going to go through and everything will be fine. Since I've gotten my hopes up before so many times only to have them dashed, I don't care what anyone says to us until I get the email saying the mortgage was approved and we have a closing date.

Home buying update 7/08

So I'm going to lay it all out on the line. Daniel will be mad but I have to write about it. I'm numb and I have no tears left anymore.

We have a problem with our mortgage. Here's the whole story:

In April 2002 Daniel was laid off from Sprint PCS after working for them for 6 years. His whole call center was closed. In total they laid off 522 people and it was so large that Sprint was required by Federal law to notify The city of Jacksonville.

Since he had been there for 6 years he was vested with the company. When he was let go he received severance and a small pension check.

After he was let go he was unable to find work and ended up filing for bankruptcy. Since then he's had steady employment.

Fast forward to now, we are trying for our first mortgage. The underwriter is asking for proof that he was laid off. We have nothing since it's been 7 years. We contacted Sprint who has all of their work verification through a third party. That company has him listed as retired. Listing him as retired means he left voluntarily. It lists where he worked. We contacted Sprint and they only show that he cashed his pension check (wouldn't you if you were out of work).

We went back and found news articles from that time that show that Sprint closed the center and laid everyone off. In the article it says the time and the address for the center which matches the address that Sprint says my husband "retired" from.

We heard back from Sprint PCS today and they said they don't have any records from that time and there is nothing they can do.

We sent that to our underwriter. Daniel hopes that since they see that we tired every avenue to prove it then maybe just maybe they will take that. Our mortgage depends on that decision. We should know for sure in an hour.

I don't think they will take it and we will be without a mortgage.

When I found out I curled up in a ball and cried on the floor of our apartment.

Monday, July 6, 2009

House buying update 7/06

The bank excepted our offer. We have a contract. We beat the other buyer by 1k. The bank isn't even going to go back and ask them if they want to counter or anything. Just signed our offer and sent it back to us.

I'm soooooo excited. I've been on pins and needles all day.

Now things are going to fly. We going to have the inspection done in the next couple of days. Then the banks appraisal on the house. All together we are hoping for a 30 day close. That works out great since we have to be out of our apartment by the end of next month.

Today has been a very long and stressful day. I think I aged a full three years. I'm just happy that we're one step closer to owning our place.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

House buying update 7/05

I'm a bundle of nerves. We got an email from our agent and this being 4th of July weekend worked in our favor since we will only have one other person competing against us. It seems like that person revisited their offer amount and put in a new higher/different offer.

We should get word sometime tomorrow.

Tonight and tomorrow will be the worst. I feel like we're competing for a prize and we don't know if we won.

Anyone who knows me knows I have a hard time handling the unknown. I don't like being in situations that I can't control somewhat. I dislike Christmas because I hate surprises. I rarely do things unless I know I'm gonna get what I want. So this weekend was really bad. It put a lot of stress on us as a couple.

Daniel has taken on a zen like quality and has decided he's not going to let it get to him. Good for him. That's not me.

I also deal in worst case scenario's so my mind is already thinking we didn't get the house. I don't want to be disappointed anymore.

So hopefully we'll get the house.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

House Update 7/04

So we heard yesterday afternoon that since there are two offers on the plan C house that the listing agents were told to go back to their buyers and have them get their(buyers) best and highest offer and that they would submit them on Sunday night and we would have an answer by Monday. They estimate closing by August 6th.

We went back and reviewed our original offer and raised it. It's higher than the asking price but since we were already going to pay that amount on the plan B house it's not that bad.

So that's great. I'm just worried that the other person could be an investor and have limitless money and we get priced out of the house. Or that today or tomorrow someone else with more money could come along and put in a third offer.

So if we end up getting the plan C house we have to get our binder back from the plan B house. We don't think that's going to be a problem. They could make it one but we don't feel that they will. It's just something else to worry about.

We heard back from our Mortgage Originator and we got the mortgage approved but with some strings. The first was we needed to provide our apartment information so they could confirm somethings. We got that to them asap. The other one makes me scared. They need to verify some information from 5 years ago. We don't think we have anyway to prove it since it's from an old job of Daniel's. I know the reason's why but I'm worried what will happen if we give it to them.

Last night I was telling Daniel that it feels like we are at the base of the Appalachians trying to move out West. So we have to climb over the Appalachians AND the Rockies.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Home Buying Update 7/03

So we ended up looking a three houses today. My parents came with me and it was nice that I could see my Mom getting excited that her little girl was getting a house.

The first house which I'm going to call plan C is a foreclosure so that should close faster. It's really nice. Smaller than the plan B house by 15 sq ft. It doesn't have a formal dining room but a bigger kitchen, it backs to a lake and has a HUGE master suite. I love the shower in this place. Out of the 3 houses that I've fallen in love with this is the best. It has a little computer nook so it opens up a whole room for more uses. Now if we get this room I may be able to talk Daniel into making the spare room into a guest room. We'll see.

What's great is that it's about 10k cheaper than the orignal house. BUT there is a problem, even though it came on the market 2 days ago it already has an offer on it. We all think it's an investor since we were the first people to view the house. So who would buy the house without looking at it?

We also looked at 2 other houses but nothing worked like this one. So we are putting in an offer and crossing our fingers that we will have the winning offer. God I'm praying so.

So since the plan B house will take over 60 days for an approval( and we gave them a drop dead time frame of 60) we will get our binder back.

Buying a house in this market in this area is so hard. All the cheaper houses have multiple offers on them by families, and the more pricier houses have multiple offers on them from investors.

You have to be on your toes every day, you blink and houses have multiple offers on them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Home buying update 7/01

So we found out this morning that most of the houses in the area that we like are with Suntrust.

There are two others that we are going to view on Friday.

One had a sell fall through but the agent kept the sell going with Suntrust so she's about 30 days in with the bank. This place and the house we have an offer with are identical.

Then there is another house that is the same subdivision. It's the same size but it doesn't have a formal dinning room, but it has a bigger kitchen. No information on this place yet, but it's listed in the MLS as a bank approved short sale with "QUICK CLOSING ANTICIPATED-"

These two houses are officially coined plan C.