Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bumps In The Road

So, our bid was accepted on the house. Now we have to sell ours. The real fun has begun!

Went to sign the mortgage application for the new house. Found out interest rates have been steadily rising for the past several weeks. An increase in our monthly payment.
As my hand seemed to have a mind of its own, it hesitated—for just a few seconds before IT—signed MY name on the official mortgage papers. "We can still back out if it doesn't feel right." Comforting words from Rob as he watched my hand. "It's not me—it's my hand," I was thinking. "I don't want to back out, do you?"
My hand signed. And signed. And signed again.

Called the insurance agent to confirm the lower home owners rate listed on our mortgage application. Moving outside the city is sure to lower the rate. It ain't necessarily so. Although the overall value of the new house is lower than that of the current one, our rate will somehow go up. A LOT. All this because of a minor claim to have our kitchen walls repaired. The insurance company pays out $2000 grand and our rates are rediculously raised. Why do we have insurance again?

Tuesday night-
Wicked thunderstorms, complete with downed trees and canceled flights. It also brought to the current house clogged downspouts and a wet kitchen. Not the kinds of things homeowners like to experience, particularly when there is a "for sale" sign in the front yard.

Receive an inspector's report saying the septic system in the new house needs to be repaired or replaced. A permit is needed to repair. The township is giving the current owners a hard time. The owners would rather not have to pay for an entirely new system. Don't blame them.

The open house for the current residence is scheduled for eleven days from today. The porch still has to be repaired and the tiles in one of the bathrooms have to be replaced. Haven't heard from our contractor. Oh, and we have to keep the house looking like we're neat and clean people.

With all of them bumps in the road (we've just begun the process, there will be many, many more bumps), I still believe this is the right thing to do. And I am still excited. We will have our zero energy house.
I think my hives have gone away.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Deed Is Done

I couldn't figure out why I have been breaking out in hives for the past two weeks. That occassionally happens when I'm under real stress, but I've been feeling very excited by this new chapter. "Could it be because your entire life is being upheaved?" Rob asked. Ohhh, right ... that is whats happening, isn't it? Underneath the outward excitement is the shear panic of changing a relatively settled family life. Made worse by highly acidic food/drink, that would do it. Damn! No wine or tomato sauce for weeks. So much for comfort consumables

Contracts have been signed, money has been exchanged. The reality is setting in. We're moving.
From three stories to one. City life (sort of) to the burbs (sort of). Public sewage to septic tanks. Slightly annoying commute to a possible real pain in the ass one. Still, its all very exciting. We're that much closer to going off the grid. And having a master suite is pretty cool too.


Friday, June 1, 2007

Somehow someway - a word from the husband

So of course i promised my wife anything if she would get excited about this new house. giving up a victorian house in one of the "best" philly neighborhoods is a big request. She wanted to pick all the finishes for the kitchen, but within 1 day i was already testing her patience on the choice of the counter top - granite. we eventually found a terrazo product that has a high performance/recycled content. we also are looking into a company called Citilogs for our cabinents. I assure my wife that they will match excatly the beautiful and cost effective Ikea cabinenets that she selected.

I know, I know, i need to step back and give her some control...maybe in a week or two...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Away We Go!

We spent several hours last night frantically cleaning/decluttering the Victorian before the realtor's caravan came to see if it was worthy of our asking price. With a few little items we need to address ( broken floor boards on the porch is never good for curb appeal), we past muster and the house goes on the market!

In between cleaning breaks we also managed to do the paperwork for the offer on the new house. Years ago, when we lived in another hundre year old Victorian, I made a movie poster for Rob titled "Mr. Fleming Builds His Eco Dream House." Even then there was the idea that we'd have a super-energy efficient dwelling. If our offer is accepted, Mr. Fleming may get to have his dream house after all.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Holy #@%^! What are we doing?!

So, we want to be off the grid. But converting a hundred year old three story victorian was not an option. Rob has always wanted to build his own house (he's an architect, that's what they do). Of course, with a mortgage and two small kids, camping out on an empty lot wasn't going to go over too well with the grandparents.

"Lets live in a two bedroom shack! Two bedrooms and the necessities are all we need while we construct the zero energy addition. " The sparkle in his eye was too great to ignore. This boy was serious.

Hmm ... moving from a five bedroom victorian to a two bedroom "shack." As a city girl who grew up in a seven bedroom victorian, I'm kinda thinkin' no. But living in a ZEH that Rob created was something we have talked about for years. A hunting I went to find a structure that fit the shack idea, and one that wouldn't make me insane for lack of elbow room.