Thursday, July 28, 2011

The New House

It's been a week since we moved into our new house. We started this process the last week in February by putting our old house up for sale. The old house was perfect when it was just Ian, Grace, and I, but with the addition of Aven and all the stuff that comes with a baby we decided that it was time to move up.

After three months on the market we were feeling frustrated- showing after showing with no offers. The first week in June we finally got an offer. It was less money than we wanted sell for, but this is a tough market with a capital 'T', so we took it. The day after we signed the contract I went house hunting with our AMAZING real estate agent, Dana Conway. We looked at a total of eight houses. I had a favorite, but as luck would have it when we took Ian to see the house later that day he couldn't stand up straight in the basement. After that we went to see a house that I liked on a street I was iffy on. Ian helped me see the house and street in a new light and we made an offer. I had no idea what we were in for. The sale of our house was smooth sailing, the buy of our new house was anything but.

The seller missed every single deadline put in front of him and fought us tooth and nail on every detail. It also didn't help that this was the first real estate deal that the seller's agent had ever done on her own. We asked for a huge tree encroaching on the foundation to be removed and he wouldn't have anything to do with it, so our agent and his agent offered money at signing from their own commissions to pay for it. The house tested high on radon and the seller wasn't convinced that the E.P.A. knows what it's talking about- (there's no evidence that radon causes lung cancer!). He refused to pay for a mitigation system to be put in. At that point we learned that hardball is the only game this guy knows how to play, so we played back- and won! We threatened to walk away and all the sudden money started falling out of him. We ended up with 96% of the money we were asking for to complete necessary repairs- not too bad. The trouble didn't end there. Because the house is a flip our lender requested a 2nd appraisal which slowed things down by about a week. We weren't totally sure we were moving into this house until the very morning we moved in due to all of the complications and the hard-hardheadedness of the seller (his agent ended up quitting on him a few days before the sale was complete).

Now that the process is done I am so relieved and I can't imagine ever wanting to sell or buy a house again. Through the whole thing our real estate agent was our rock. I can't imagine why anyone would ever want to do a "for sale by owner" because our agent earned every dollar she was paid (even though she kept insisting that all the problems we were encountering were pretty standard) . We're settling in quite nicely. Most of the house is unpacked and we need to make a trek to Ikea for bookshelves and few other odds and ends. Hopefully I'll be posting pictures of our lovely new home in the next couple weeks.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

San Diego Highlights (Aven's Perspective)

Recently I went on a trip with my family to a magical place called San Diego. It was full of animals and fish, and sand, and water. I'm not sugar-coating it when I say that it was a toddler's fantasy. Here are some of my favorite parts:

Not only did my mom and dad come on this trip, Grandma Malecker and . . .

. . . Auntie Em got to come too!

We went to the San Diego Zoo three times, but didn't get to see everything because it's so big. It was the coolest place ever!

We also went to Sea World. I love fish and water, so it was pretty awesome.

The last place we went with animals was the Wild Animal park. I got to see lots of my two favorite animals: elephants and giraffes.

My favorite non-animal place was called the beach. I loved playing in the sand and I eventually got brave enough to put my feet in the fast moving water.

This is what I looked like in the car at the end of every afternoon. I took all of my naps in the car, but I didn't mind because I always had Teddy.

Mom and Dad even let me stay up late one night to see the sunset on the beach.

On grandma's last day in San Diego we got to go on a HUGE boat called an 'Aircraft Carrier' that was covered in airplanes and helicopters. I even got to sit in a cockpit with mom.

I told you it was covered in airplanes! Here we are with Grandma's good friend Mike. I was pretty shy with Mike at first, but after awhile I worked up the courage to make eye contact.

Before we got on the plane to go home we got to ride on the Balboa Park miniature Railroad, which was yet another super-cool and fun activity on my magical toddler vacation.

Mom and Dad sure know how to make a 2-year-old's dreams come true!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Packing Insanity

We're moving in less than a week. We've packed everything that we don't need and have tried to contain the boxes to one room as much as possible. It's gotten to the point that I want to spend as little time as possible in the house because when I'm in here I feel crazy. I can't wait for the unpacking- I actually really enjoy that stage of moving. Here's hoping that everything goes smoothly from here on out.