The Mayonniase Is A Year Old

I've been avoiding the blogging lately. I'm still a little sad about the house situation. The truth is that I still hope we'll get it. In the days after we officially declined to pay too much for the house, every time the phone rang I hoped it was surprising good news. That hope is waning, but it's still there. It makes for a bit of disappointment everyday. I hate how hope can hurt sometimes. It's exhausting.

We were supposed to be moving in this weekend. Poo.

Since this is the first anniversary of Mayonnaise and since I began the story of us with a bit about toast, I thought it would be most fitting to add another.

Cody The Toast Pirate

We've discovered something new about our pup this past week. He's crazy-in-love with toast. He'll do anything for it or ignore anything for it. I was on another breakfast food jag this past week, toast with Brummel and Brown. As soon as the toast pops up from our shiny two slotter each morning, Cody pounces out of the bed. From the kitchen I can hear the initial thump of his body weight on the wood floor and subsequent trot down the hall towards the toaster.

He stands a little too close to me while I butter the toast, sometimes nudging me with his snout, tail wagging hopefully. He follows me to the computer for the morning e-mail check and no longer able to nudge me as he would like, he climbs on the chair.

Before the toast jag, Eddie and Cody usually got up together for the morning walk. As soon as the collar and leash jingled, nothing else existed for Cody but the walk. After he discovered the toast, Eddie has to come into the room I'm in and has to PICK UP THE DOG to remove him from the room housing the toast.

He's a smart dog. He learns fast. I'm convinced that if we stepped it up by putting a piece of chicken between two pieces of toast, that dog would learn to fly.


Know When To Walk Away, Know When To Run

A couple of posts ago I wrote about having lost 4 pesky, little pounds due to us trying to purchase our first home. Two more pounds have melted away in the process, one that has not worked out as we would have liked this time around.

We didn't get the house.

I suppose it's not that we didn't get the house as much as it is they wouldn't sell it to us for a fair, market price. I know there are two sides to every story, but as I don't know their side, here's mine:

Eddie and I LOVED the house. We still love the house. We WANTED to buy the house. We offered lots and lots of money for the house. The seller accepted our offer. (I was so confident that I bought a bath caddy online the next day...you know, for the dream bathroom I was going to own.) The game began.

The first step of any sane mortgage company selected by pre-qualified buyers when an offer has been made and accepted is to get the property appraised. The buyer shells out $350 dollars (or we did) for this particular service. While we were waiting for the appraisal to return, a formality at most as far as we were concerned, we didn't begin to pack. We started to accumulate MORE things, the aforementioned bath caddy, a rather large table for our new entry way, 2 chairs and a lamp (to go on said table) to name a few. I began shopping for curtains, garden furniture, a bath armoire and other odds and ends we NEEDED* (I tend to use this word interchangeably with WANTED or WANT*) immediately.

It was like Christmas and cake-for-breakfast, finding-the-perfect-skirt-on-sale-for-$23-right-next-to-the-perfect-shoes-in-your-size-for-$10, 72°F-and-sunny-all-day kind of time. All the time. Everyday we'd wake up and talk about the new house and what we'd do...in the new house. We'd go to bed talking about what it was going to be like to go to bed in the new house. I mapped out a new route to work (a faster one) from the new house, began to plan the guests we'd have for dinner in our new house, new house, new house, new house. We drove by the new house. Several times. I wanted to see what it was like at night, at 7:00, when the sun was beginning to go down, in the afternoon when people walk their dogs, and anytime on a Saturday. It was our new hobby. We took others down the street in our cars and in caravans of friends driving by to see the house. The traffic on our new street increased 10 fold in 2 weeks.

We were moving into our new house.

Then the appraisal comes in. It's $10,000 lower than our offer. Normally, a buyer would LOVE to see this happen. It means more negotiations with the result in their favor. Nope. Not us. We knew our seller wasn't keen on negotiations. We knew this wouldn't fly. He was firm.

Alrighty. So we consider briefly digging underneath the couch cushions and pulling out the ten grand we hide in there. It's chump change. Then we look lovingly at Cody and realize it's for his puppy college education. That's expensive. But we still want the house...So.

The seller says HE'LL get another appraisal because the one the mortgage company commissioned was FAR too low, an insult. He wants us to have the house so much that he also says if the second appraisal comes in higher than our offer, he'd honor it and we'd close. If it comes in lower than our offer, then he'd concede and we'd close. I figure it's a win-win. Let's pack.

And we wait.

Just so you know, when you're trying to buy a house, everything important will happen on Fridays at 4:30pm so you can agonize over the weekend. Want to guess when the second appraisal came back?

Friday, around 5:45pm:
ktm arrives home after an unusually traffic-ridden commute to a long-faced Eddie. She puts her heavy books down and asks, "What's with the face?"
Eddie realizes that he's got to tell his wife the worst news in a good while. He's known for the better part of an hour that she's going to cry, just pacing the house.
"The appraisal was the same. He's changed his mind and is not going to sell. He says he's just going to rent it for a couple of years."
He knew it would make her cry, but not in a puddle on the kitchen floor.
Yes, I cried. I cried for a while. Friday evening was fun. Saturday was down-right exciting. By Sunday we were resigned to the fact but understandably still disappointed. Then we get a call. It's Eddie's grandmother, who has been acting on our behalf through this process. He's called her and wants to speak with us. She gave us his number and we sat on it for a while.
We didn't want to re-open the wound. We discussed it and decided to stand firm. Our offer would be 100% of the appraised price, but no more. We were already paying closing costs and willing to overlook a few needed repairs. We couldn't let our love for the house cloud our judgment. We had to be able to walk away and we were.
Eddie reluctantly calls and gets bullied. He tells us we should have used another bank (to accept a bogus appraisal he submitted that was $8,000 higher) and insults our budget. (He doesn't have a college-age dog.) Bullying is the only card he has. Except for the one he plays last. He's going to put it back on the market tomorrow!
And he did.
So, we're out $350, some gas money and some tears. Not a bad deal considering we learned a lot for this first try. Eddie and I will buy a house. We're looking and we're ready. Look out.


That's A Good Question

"Celebrity Duets is on."



Butt Quest 3

We got some package of digital cable so we could get the HD channels a little over a month ago. There's this handy little feature that lets us flip through the channels (even the ones we don't get) at the bottom of the screen of the show we're watching. It's a whole new level of flipping for us and sometimes we even forget we have this new tech tool.

This evening, I was flipping very quickly past the channels that we don't get (there are more of those than the ones we do)when I hear, "Stop. Go Back!"

I must have missed a football game or something on one of those ESPNs.

"A little further."

He grabs the remote, just a little excited about what he'll show me when he's reached his destination.

"There it is."

There it was. We can see the names of the shows on the channels we can't get. I'm thinking we're gonna need to change that.

"Butt Quest 3?"

"Indeed. Not one. Or Two. But THREE."

"I guess they didn't find everything they needed to find in the first two."

I have to admit. I'm kind of curious.


Four Pounds Lighter

This morning I got on the scale and it read four whole pounds lighter. That's excellent, but I don't recommend the kind of diet I've tried. Worry, nausea, fear and fright. They work like a charm.

Eddie and I have been looking for a house now for over a year. We were leisurely looking at areas of town and types of houses we'd like just before hurricane Katrina. After the water drained and the dust settled from the storm, we could afford 23% less house in Baton Rouge than before August 29, 2005. Not fun. It's hard not to feel a little selfish about our situation when we know there are thousands of people with a plight far worse than ours.

With the market the way it is in Baton Rouge, there aren't many deals to be had for buyers. The ones that are out there aren't usually listed and require research, correctly placed friends or relatives and a little luck. Eddie and I had to have a little of each.

My father is a realtor. Eddie's grandmother is a realtor. They've both experienced an unparalleled boom in business, both selling and buying, since the storm. I've done research, driving through neighborhoods and constant checking of certain websites to find the house that could be OUR house.

This past Tuesday night, I was checking one of my usual real estate haunts on the web when the cutest little number popped up. It was about 10:00pm and I called Eddie over to the computer to see my find and share my excitement. He didn't have the energy for either, instead going directly to the bed after a long, busy, tiring day.

The next morning at work (Wednesday) I checked the website assuming it would already be sold. I called my father during my afternoon commute, wanting him to come with me as soon as possible to see the house if I could make an appointment. He had several commitments, so I decided to take a little detour and drive by the house, a little out of my way home. I stalked the house, driving slowly by in my car and fell in love with the cute, little neighborhood. I went directly home and called the seller for an appointment. When I asked for a time to view the home, I could hear other voices in the background.

"Yes ma'am. Are you the person who spoke with my wife earlier?"

"Uhhh... No."

"Well, feel free to come on by anyway, there are already several people wandering around looking. We've had an amazing response."

"O.k. Thanks. I'll see you in 15 minutes."

Crap. I knew it. There were already people over there. Vultures. I knew by the time I got there they would have an offer and just shut the door in our faces. We had to run.

When we arrived, there were no other perspective buyers. They didn't shut the door, they opened it wide with big smiles. We walked through the house not really consulting with each other or exchanging any looks. On the walk back to the car I looked at Eddie and we both took deep breaths.

"Someone's going to have to convince me it's a bad idea because I love it."

"Me too. What should we do?"

We both wanted it and knew it would go fast so we called the experts - our families. Eddie's grandmother (the one who just celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary) is still a full-time, successful realtor and a bulldog of a grandma who loves her grandchildren. She made an appointment for herself the very next day (Thursday) at noon. Meanwhile, I was on the phone with lenders trying to get good faith estimates and everything in order to leap into action when necessary.

The result of grandma's meeting with the seller was inconceivable. She made an offer on our behalf resulting in a verbal agreement with him to sign papers the next day (Friday). Eddie signed that next afternoon and after I got home from work we went over to the house to discuss a few last-minute details then I signed. My life away.

Worry over the amount of money we'd borrow, Nausea over paying that money back, Fear of making the wrong decision so quickly and Fright because everything happened so fast, we didn't have time to think about what we'd missed thinking about.

But it doesn't matter. In a little less than a month we should be closing on our new house (hoping NOTHING goes wrong) AND I've already lost those pesky four little pounds. I'm on my way to a slimmer me with all those beans and rice we'll be eating in the coming months.

Our House It's so worth it.
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