First Time Homebuyers

October 26, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

So it’s official, WE’RE HOMEOWNERS!

It’s been a very long, ongoing process, but we’re now officially moved into the new house. If you click on the photo below it will take you to my Flickr set where you can see all of the photos (just click on the We bought a House (set) link on the right hand side). Be forewarned there are 30 some odd photos.  

our very first house!

We only looked at three houses total and we just knew this house was the one for us. The house is about 1500 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It’s a tri-level with a very unique floor plan. When you walk in the front door there are two stair cases, one goes upstairs to the living room, dining room, and kitchen and the other goes downstairs to the two extra bedrooms and bathroom. When you walk upstairs toward the living room, if you turn right (instead of turning left to go to the living room) you come to another set of stairs that leads into the master bedroom.

When we first looked at the house the realtor pointed out that some people may not like the floor plan because once you have children their bedrooms are downstairs, to which I replied, “That’s what baby monitors are for.” Not to mention, when babies are first born they usually sleep in your room for the first few months.

I digress. The entire house has been completely remodeled and updated inside, so in essence it’s like we bought a brand new house. I just LOVE the big picture window in the living room. (Sorry about the crappy photo, I “borrowed” them from the listing site and they’re pretty bad quality and horrible lighting.)

living room

And the kitchen has SOOOO much counter and cupboard space compared to the rental we were living in.

TONS of counter space

The tub in the master bathroom is WAY bigger than the one in our rental, now J and I can actually fit comfortably together. Something tells me that our nightly baths are about to last much longer than they have in the past.

There are so many things we love about the house; the biggest one is the price tag. We ended up paying $169,900 for it, can you believe that?! When we originally looked at the place, our realtor said that for our price range that she hasn’t seen anything as nice as this house. She was definitely right because the other houses we looked at in our price range needed at least $40,000-50,000 in updates and repairs.

Our loan program is pretty awesome, it’s 100% financing so we didn’t have to put anything down. The seller’s paid our closing costs and we even got our earnest money back. So the only part we had to pay for was the home inspection which was only $300. We bought a house for an entire $300!! Crazy right?

Side note-we have the best realtor in the world! She had this AMAZING sign custom made as a housewarming gift for us, how freaking cute is it? I absolutely ADORE it. (She also took me to dinner and a play on her. We’ve since become great friends and I can’t wait to hang out with her more.)

our custom fish sign our realtor gave us, LOVE IT!

We slowly moved our stuff to the new house one room at a time. Since J and I have different days off it made it a little hard, but on Sunday we moved almost everything into the new house and we scrubbed the rental from top to bottom. We have a few last finishing touches to take care of. The carpet guy comes on Thursday and J is going to spend that day cleaning out the garage and mowing the lawn. Then we have the walkthrough with our landlord on Saturday and after that we’re officially done with the world of renting!!! Thank God!

Now it’s on to unpacking, organizing, and spending the next few months painting and decorating. Wish us luck!

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Kat's Brody Blue

October 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This is Brody…

6/17/08 - 5 months old

I’ve been meaning to post about him for some time now because…well…he’s my baby, my sidekick, and a major source of laughter and enjoyment in our house. As I was just typing that sentence he decided to climb cross the bed and stand on my chest, as if he knew I was writing about him.

This is Brody at 3 weeks old.  That was on 2/6/2008 (the day before my birthday).

2/6/08 -  3 weeks oldbaby Brody

I’ll have to tell the story behind how we got Brody in another post, it’s a sad story, but everything happens for a reason.

Baby Brody, snuggling with dad.

snugglin' w/ dad

He likes to lay in this position all of the time. (He snuggles in behind your knees while you’re laying on the couch and then rests his head, staring at you and eventually falling asleep.)

layin' on mom

Is this not the cutest dog EVER?!?!

silly smileposin' in the grassloungin' in the shade

We take him wherever we go. He LOVES to go camping with us. I especially love the one where the shutter on my camera freaked out and it almost looks as if he’s staring at it, I couldn’t have even planned that, that’s one of those photos that just magically happens.

1st time campingI see it!waitin' for dadexploring w/ mom

Last Christmas we went to J’s grandma’s for the day. Brody thought the whole process of opening presents was the oddest thing in the world. He sat in awe, trying to figure out what was going on. He also found the Christmas tree fascinating.

watching' in aweChristmas tree

He also sits on his butt from time to time, especially when you have something he wants. It’s hard not to smile or laugh when he does it, it’s just too cute. But of course, in the true nature of a dachshund he won’t do it when you tell/ask him to.

give me your foodbooty sittin'

I’ll frequently find him snuggled up to J and in the oddest positions.  

lovin' dad

He’s so incredibly snuggly. If you’ve ever had a dachshund or even had a friend that did, you’d know that they love to burrow and snuggle. It’s part of their nature, believe it or not they were bred to hunt badgers and weasels, so they like to dig and make tunnels, as well as liking to sleep in small confined spaces.

silly Boosnuggled upsnuggly Boo

Did I mention that I walked him in a weenie parade? Only a few weeks after we arrived in Alaska, I walked Brody in the local, annual parade. There’s a section of the parade called none other than Weenies on Parade. Don’t believe me? Take a look.

Weenies on Paradeparade girls

You can also check out Weenies on Parade.

Brody likes long walks on the beach…

searchingponderingbeach day

No, but seriously, he does love the beach. He even met a girl weenie dog that day.

We rarely ever call him Brody. He has so many nicknames it’s ridiculous. Some of which include Boo, Ja-Boo (just like it sounds), Monkey Moo, Monkey Man, Stinky, Stinky Boo, and the list goes on and on.

Brody never ceases to make us laugh. Dachshunds are characters, each one so different. The more you laugh the more they try to do crazy things to make you laugh. Whenever I’m having a bad day or when I’m upset about something, he always seems to know and knows just how to cheer me up or console me. I know it sounds silly since he’s a dog, but I’m a firm believer in the fact that pets are part of the family too. He’s my baby, my buddy, my shadow, and my companion. Besides, who couldn’t love a face like this…

chillin'

PS – The title of this blog is actually Brody’s full registered name (in case you were wondering).

"Finally Being Home"

October 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Since moving to Alaska, we’ve had so much going on that it’s hard for me to find time to blog. I miss it dearly and wish I could do it more. This next month I’ll have quite a bit more time to blog, so you may be seeing more of me.

My job is going great, my boss is amazing. Here’s how amazing he is: if I locked in a start date before July 1st, even if it was June 30th, I would get all of these extra benefits. The benefits include 5 vacation days, 4 sick days, and 1 personal day. If I had started on July 1st or later I would’ve forfeited those benefits until the next calendar year. You might have read in my previous post that we arrived on June 29th around 10:30pm. The next afternoon, my boss had me come in and sign some paperwork just so we could have my official starting date as June 30th. I was only in the office for 15 minutes or so, we logged in that I worked 2 hours that day, and I was on my way. Keep in mind that this was the very first time he had ever met me face to face. How great is he? In January I’ll get 10 vacation days, 8 sick days, and 1 personal day (and the same each year, then after every 5 years I get an additional 5 vacation days added on).

My boss also gives me 2.5 hours of overtime on my timecard every week and sends me home early almost every day. Not to mention he invited J and me to their open house, where there was extremely yummy food and a bunch of tasty beers from the local breweries. Is there a better boss? I think not.

PS – He has the cutest French bulldog named none other than Gretzky of course (in case you didn’t guess it already, he’s a hockey nut, which is EXTREMELY common here in Alaska, I’m guessing because we’re close to Canada maybe? Canadians are hockey fanatics!). Gretzky immediately took a liking to J and me when we went to the open house last weekend. He jumped right up into our laps. He grunts and snorts like a pug, he’s very silly. I can’t wait to get him together with Brody. Look at him, isn’t he cute?

GretzkyLet me in!

(my boss sent me these photos from his iPhone)

On another note, since we’ve moved here a lot of new, exciting things have been going on. Through a random series of events, I decided to call a mortgage lady in town that a friend referred me to. I spoke with her for 30 minutes or so and by the end of the call we were pre-qualified for a loan!! Let me explain, when we lived in CA, we pre-qualified for a loan, but it was only for $100k; which in CA $100k pretty much gets you a single wide trailer in a mobile home park.

Long story short, WE’RE BUYING A HOUSE!! (yes I felt the need to yell because well…WE’RE BUYING A HOUSE!!) You can’t tell I’m excited or anything can you? It’s going to be so nice to finally have a house of our own. I’m so excited to be able to paint, decorate, and make it our very own. We’ve lived in 4 different houses within the last year. (sidenote-I’m so not looking forward to moving for the 4TH TIME IN A YEAR!!) Each house we lived at never truly felt like home because I never made the attempt to decorate, hang pictures, and just generally make it ours. So needless to say, I’m looking forward to “finally being home”.

Have you ever heard of the book The Brain in Love by Dr. Daniel Amen? I saw his PBS special a few weeks ago and he said that studies have found that wives of men in the military (who move constantly) go through a state of depression each time they move. He said that their depression seemed to lift after they had made new friends and put together their homes via decorating. I can definitely see where his theory is coming from. After moving 4 times in the past year, I’m definitely ready to set up our new house and be able to take a step back and look at all we’ve accomplished.

We have a house all picked out, our offer was accepted, and our official closing date is October 23rd, but we’re hopefully going to close sooner. The sellers want to close ASAP and our loan ladies have been saying probably a week or two early. I almost didn’t want to post a blog about it yet (for fear of jinxing the entire thing), but I’m just too damn excited to keep this bottled up anymore.

Did I mention we’ll get the $8,000 tax rebate for buying a house this year? Heck yes! Our plan is to use the money to pay down our debts and then we’ll be that much close to being able to afford a wedding, woohoo!! It’s all coming together for us and I can’t even describe to you the feeling.

Tune in for a blog with photos of the new house. I already have them, but I’m holding off until we close and everything is finalized. The suspense is killing you isn’t it? 😉

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