Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's going on?

Well let's see...Loyce's last post was in February. Our lives have changed a bit since then.

We sold a house!
We bought a house!
We had a bunch of stuff fall apart on the new house!

Okay, that last one is a bit of an exaggeration. But regardless, it's been an exciting few months.

In February and March, we decided that we would like to look at our options for newer, larger houses since we both have rather...expensive tastes. We had a realtor come by the house and tell us what she thought we could get for it; we were basically told "you'd definitely lose money selling this house." We chatted with some friends that had recently moved and got a few recommendations on realtors, movers, that sort of thing, and had the new realtors come look at the house. They thought we could probably sell the home for ~$13k higher than the previous realtor had thought! So, we thought we'd give it a shot.

A "stager" came in to tell us what needed to change in order to make our home the most appealing it could be. She gave us a long list of stuff to move, remove, and change. We complied, doing as much as we thought was reasonable (including renting a storage facility for our furniture that we apparently had way too much of) and got the house all ready to sell. We put the house up for sale on a Tuesday and Loyce was basically unable to stay home for the remainder of the week because of all the showings. That was a stressful week. However, Saturday came, we had multiple showings on top of each other all day long, and we wound up with 3 offers! We accepted one and moved on to put an offer on our new dream house.

This house had been on the market for 6+ months. We figured we'd give a reasonable offer, haggle over it, and be able to buy the house no problem. The realtor selling the house then came back and informed us that she had received a second offer. How fortuitous for the seller! Being suspicious of the timing, we talked with our realtor to see if the seller was possibly bluffing to get us to raise our bid. Our realtor informed us that if she was, that was a very dangerous game since many buyers will simply refuse to enter any sort of bidding war and just back out. Loyce and I had our hearts set on the house, though, so we came back with an offer much closer to the asking price. It was accepted an hour later. Wow, they sure did resolve that "other offer" situation quickly!

Then came time for inspections, repairs, and packing. That all went as painfully as you'd expect. The inspection on our house was not too surprising given that it was a 30ish-year-old home, but the buyer was reasonable and only wanted a handful of items repaired. We complied fully and spent more than I wanted to to fix stuff up. But hey, they were buying for the price we asked, so that was great. Inspection on the house we were buying went very well (as expected; it was a 2-year-old home).

So we packed, we repaired, we inspected, and then it came time to sign. Closing was smooth and painless. Almost too painless. Even our realtor was a bit suspicious at how everything just sort of fell into place (financing, appraisals, inspections, et al). But alas, we signed all the papers and were only homeless for about a half-hour while we ate lunch in Frisco.

This is getting long. Sorry about that.

Moving went very smoothly. The movers did an amazing job and were very fast. My pool table is now in a room that fits it very well, so that's cool. Loyce worked tirelessly to get us unpacked until neither of us could stand sweating or moving boxes around any more.

Day one, our first smoke detector battery went out. This would have been no big deal except that the one that went out was up in the middle of a very tall wall. I got to do my best Spider-Man impression and sit on a ledge while changing the battery. (So it turns out that in new houses, the smoke detectors are networked somehow such that putting too much pressure on one and putting it in 'test' mode puts all of them in 'test' mode. This may be surprising to hear, but they're loud. Yeah, I know. Shocker.)

Then we had our alarm company come out to setup the new house's alarm (we were under a contract and had to keep using them). I was assured by several people that the new alarm did not need any additional parts to be hooked up under our existing service. The installer disagreed and we ended up paying $100 which I hated, but we totally got snazzy new key fobs for arming and disarming the alarm, so that was cool. I called to make sure our online "" account had been updated for the new house and was told "oh wait, you had an account? Yeah, that won't work with what we just installed in your house." Great. So someone came back out to fix that. Except that he gets there and says, "oh, the company told me you had one keypad..." and just looks at me. "Well...we have two, so..." was my reply to his blank stare. Problem number one. "Oh, you had key fobs for the old system? Yeah, those won't work any more." was problem number two. We JUST got the key fobs a few days prior. Lovely. So that's ongoing.

The upstairs A/C also stopped working at some point in the first week. Aisley sleeps up there, but at least summer hasn't showed up in full swing just yet. It took ~4 days for the A/C company to schedule everything and come out multiple times to fix it; fortunately we weren't charged thanks to the warranty.

Of course multiple light bulbs started dying once we moved in because that's just how things go.

We're being hounded by an exterminator guy because evidently it's very "Stepford" in our new neighborhood and that's who everyone uses. We have to figure out whether to switch to him or stick with our existing, already-paid-for service. We need somebody to give these hornets in our backyard the what-for!

A sprinkler head in the front yard decided it didn't want to live in the ground any more and I found it this morning detached, sitting in the yard. Home warranties apparently don't cover sprinkler systems, just FYI.

And then the internet service. Holy cow, the internet service. AT&T is absolutely my least favorite giant company. They somehow have our neighborhood on lockdown and no other provider can come in and offer service. I thought that was against FCC rules, but apparently the HOA found some loophole involving not allowing certain people on their land. I could write a whole entry on the AT&T situation, but suffice to say that I went from a 30-/5-mbit, un-metered connection to an 18-/3-mbit, 250gb-a-month connection. I was promised a free install, I didn't get that (even after multiple very long phone calls to fix the situation). I was promised a faster connection than I got. And their modem/router is garbage and not very friendly to bypass. Yes this is a very first-world problem, but it's 2012 and we shouldn't be getting slower, capped internet connections. Last I checked, Loyce's phone can download faster over the air, through space than our new home connection can through a cable that carries light.

The kicker? It's an AT&T-serviced phone. Awesome.

Anyway, with all that negativity out of the way: our new house is awesome! It's beautiful, it's huge, and we absolutely love it. Call us sometime and let us have you over for dinner or something. Maybe we can all watch a movie in the media room.

Or play Smash Brothers. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.

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