shadesofmauve: (Default)
My little brother is off to school! YAY! Folks dropped him off in Ellensburg yesterday, and Saturday night we had a going-away dinner at the Olympic Club in Centralia, where we had a blast playing pool. Reasonable games for everyone (bearing in mind that both Doozer and I are total n00bs), and then an EPIC GAME OF FAIL for Andrew and I. Apparently a single game of 8-ball is not supposed to take more than an hour. Who knew?

It wasn't that we couldn't get any balls in. It's that they kept coming out! Everything but the 8 had been in at least twice. Mom and Dad were very patient, and Erik only suggested I intentionally sink the 8 and Please-End-this-Misery once.

Brad and I had a lovely ride Friday, and he showed me how to clean my drive-train Sunday evening. Result: Sparkly clean drive-train! Woo!

In appartment-vs-house news, I finally finished chipping the old paint off of the bedroom register cover, sprayed it white, and reinstalled it. It only took me a year, and now I fix it right before I move (I've my eye on that deposit). I suppose living in my folks' project for years has made me blind to things like gaping holes in the walls with register covers leaning next to 'em.

Acting kind of like I'm moving even though I'm still waiting for the appraisal...*twitch*

In art, all the dinosaurs are stuck down, and I painted a soccer ball on a squashed partial-sphere, which is ridiculously tricky. Erik read quite a bit to keep me going, and we're now only two or three Points-of-View away from the end of A Game of Thrones. The next book is already borrowed and waiting for us.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
Until this afternoon, my knowledge of crawl-spaces was limited to the grimy point of entry; dirty little hatches from which swearing emerged, followed eventually by my father.

Citing his already vast experience, my father declined to see the underside of my house-to-be. "I've been in more crawlspaces than I can count, and the nastiest places in Oregon State University. Have fun!" He then set about to some serious relaxation, with two plastic yard chairs pulled up under the maple tree, and binoculars in case an interesting bird flew by.

The inspector was surprised and a bit pleased that I was planning on following him under the house. He helped strap on the Darth Vader face respirator, and I tested it.

"Bill."
*heavy breaths*
"You are my father."

"Yup. Have fun!"

I emulated the inspector's slithering under the house technique. The "crawl" in this crawl-space is a marine crawl. I sympathize with gastropods. I am in touch with our brothers the snakes. I am now convinced that plumbers who work in 18 inch crawlspace deserve their exorbitant fees. Aside from the filth, I didn't actually find it that bad -- I'm reasonably compact and maneuverable -- but I wouldn't want to turn my face up to the insulation and work. Maybe with goggles.

The underside of the house looked just fine, and if I ever have the opportunity to go caving, I know I'll be able to face small chutes without a qualm. "What, it's just thousands of ton of rock over me? Not insulation dust? Let's party!"

There were a few issues with the house, but nothing too nasty. I have some negotiating to do around the giant water-damaged spot in the living room floor. We think someone spilled rather a lot of water, then they finished the floor without letting it dry, then covered it with a throw rug. It definitely didn't come up from underneath. We pulled the rug off to help it dry off, and we'll ask about what happened there. Water balloon fight? Kiddy-pool for a home birth*? Localized internal weather system?


*I always thought home-birth sounded painful. I mean, babies heads are big enough - have you seen the size of the average American HOME? Holy SHIT, passing one of those can not be pretty!
shadesofmauve: (garden)
I know Homestreet will sell my loan, but I have to hand it to 'em...I've heard so many horror stories about poorly explained deals or scary loan officers, and Charlie-the-bank-lady has been FANTASTIC. She's been right on the ball explaining any little questions, replies to e-mails within the hour, often within 30 minutes, and has been willing to walk me through every step of the math and general economic factors that go into payments, rates, and the whole financing process. If you know how my mind works, you know I like LOTS of background data -- basically I want to be able to build the entire end product from scratch, or get there by first principles - and she's been amazingly patient at providing that. Yay Charlie!

Anyway, Charlie-the bank-lady gave me a gardening book (not the edition linked) when I went in to make formal application and lock my 5% rate. It's really a sweet thing to do (I saw the pile, so I know she gives one to everyone who signs a loan...I wonder if the condo-buyers get one on containers?). It's a cool book, and if the absolute worst happens, and I pour money in to this and then an foreclosed on years down the road, it will be the single most amazingly expensive book I'll ever own.

All this has me thinking about gardening, especially garden planning. I've done some shit garden design in the past, and this time, damn it, I'm going to do it right. I won't let myself buy stuff on a whim before I have a plan. Garden design, like almost all other art, needs to be painted in broad strokes FIRST. I have the opportunity to make something beautiful, and I do NOT want to screw it up.

I do want a to-scale plan of the current yard and where all the trees are, though. Oh, for a 100' tape measure!
shadesofmauve: (Default)
Formal loan application had no suprises except for a 1/2% drop in interest rates. The extensive loan-shopping and over-zealous spread-sheet comparison I did early on has paid off, and I'm feeling very businesslike about the paperwork and finances.

I'm resisting the urge to yell "SEE?! I'm a BIG girl!" because I suspect that might damage my suave and experienced image.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
I'd sighted a few, and fired at two, and finally I SHOT ONE! It might yet elude me, but it's staggering around and I'm in a good position to bag it.

If you prefer your metaphors to have dying animals that are a little less empathetic, then I've had my line in the water for awhile with two bites that came to nothing, and now I've actually set the hook.

There's still time for it to wriggle free, but the owner of the place on Tumwater Hill has accepted my offer.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
The house-hunt continues. Marle (agent) and I went around all over Oly today, and saw lots of possibilities to sleep on but nothing that stood out from the crowd. Here's a rundown of their habitats and points, in order of sighting.

West Side
Brawne
Remarkable feature: LIVE, SLEEPING, SMOKING INHABITANT. I, uh, discovered this parasite when I looked in the second bedroom. We were wondering why it reeked of fresh cigarette smoke...now we know.
Pros: Great Location, cute street, close to co-op.
Cons: Smoke reeks. No back-yard (OK side yards). High price (for me) for only 2 bedrooms.

Cushing
Remarkable feature: Upstairs hand-painted with disney characters. Entire house interior either bright blue or bright yellow.
Pros: Close to many bus-lines, stores, etc. Upstairs bedroom has perfect little office-area outside by stairs. Great big garage with wire/water, and whole yard has been planted edibly. Cheap!
Cons: Only one block off two busy streets. Place is FILTHY -- must be painted totally before move-in. Probably needs at least two windows replaced. Insulation & heating situation are questionable.

Tumwater Hill
6th
Remarkable feature: None. This house is boring in every way. I do kind of like the plate they were using as a display prop, though.
Pros: Move-in-ready, 3 bedroom. Wood floors, nice back yard.
Cons: Rambler = boring. House the elderly might live in. Currently a bit out of my price range.

Eastside

State
Remarkable feature: It's one of those odd 1920s bungalows where they TOTALLY neglected to use the space in the upper-half story, so what could be a 3 bedroom house is only a 2 bedroom. No stairs, just a pull-down ladder.
Pros: Basement, nice back yard, cute, GREAT kitchen space.
Cons: State is pretty busy, even right there, so the front yard and room are loud. Comparatively small living room. Basement leaks.

South Bay
Remarkable feature: Teeny-tiny little ADU in back with a people inside! We did not catch a glimpse of the inhabitant.
Pros: Teeny-tiny ADU in the back, rented. Looks nice inside (only peered through windows), price is reasonable.
Cons: South Bay Drive is LOUD. LOUD LOUD LOUD. If the yard was in back, it'd be a possibility, but all the yard is in front, so there's no way I could live there. This is the one house that is definitely crossed off the list.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
Erik and I went to the Ren Faire up near Puyallup today. We spent far too much money (and we looked fab). Yes, Derryck, I finally bought one! BWHAHAHHAAAAA.

When I was in a dressing room being laced up, my lacer was a girl of about my height...my hair color...and my hair length. Her skirt happened to be about the same color as mine, bodice likewise. It was...eerie. Erik swears that after seeing this he wasn't thinking about anything, no, nothing interesting, and if I wanted to know what exactly he wasn't thinking about, he has a list.

I finally bought him the scian dubh I've promised him -- a really nice handmade one.

We didn't last more than a few hours, mostly because the new location has lanes of big, ankle turning gravel (who the hell has 2" and 3" gravel?), which wore me out really fast. My bad ankles and I survived by leaning heavily on Erik's arm. As we were leaving it finally got to be too much, and he swooped me up and marched out of the faire, to loud calls of "Abduction! Abduction!" (He grinned and replied "I got one!" to anyone who looked at all surprised).

Oh, and in obviously less important news, this morning I made an offer on a house, and I'm currently in the process of negotiating.

Also, Decaf is 'helping' me type, which mostly means kneading through my too-thin PJs. Occasionally she sits on my lap and puts her front paws on the desk. Adorable, yet awkward!
shadesofmauve: (Default)
On Monday, I made an offer on a lovely old house that reminded me of not one but two of my much-missed great grandmothers.

Tuesday morning, someone else made an offer.

The other offer was prettier.

I'm still the backup, but it's most likely back to the drawing board, and goodbye to the 1919 house under mature trees, who's virtues are so unfortuantley covered up wtih shag carpet and golden vinyl.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
I figured it out! I understand about that house now.

There were two main facts I didn't put together when I was there.

1. Unusually obnoxious air freshener, presumably for covering unusually obnoxious odor.

2. Abnormally thick wall between closet and bedroom, more than twice the thickness of the other walls (including exterior, which might have been 2x4).

Clearly, they hid the bodies in the wall, plastered over them, and are covering up the reek of putrescence!

If you don't hear from me again, they've found and silenced me.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
Unfortunatley, after you cut the old and infirm from the herd, you might not want to eat live in them.

Looked at a house yesterday that I'd had hopes for based on price/sqft/neighborhood. It had a great garage, but that was the best thing about it. It had been added to twice by mysterious builder(s) whom my father described as "imaginative", i.e., making it up as they go along.

You can tell by the interesting topography of the floor. Old houses often settle on their foundation. Old houses that are basically in three parts, some of which don't have foundation*, settle like a soufle after you've done a raindance in the kitchen.

I'm keeping it on my to-watch list, not because I have any desire to take on that kind of project, but because the price it sells for eventually will be informative.

I find realtors very awkward, by the way. I wish they'd hand me the keys and wait in the car. I usually bring my Dad with me, and he knows more about a house within five minutes of walking around it than the agent ever does. Some of the time even I do.

This realtor commented that we were "more adventurous than most buyers", which was code for "willing to get dirty." I don't think I'll ever really get the whole mainstream method of house shopping, where you look at paint and carpet and where the TV will go. I can repaint and tear up carpet and I don't give a shit about the TV, but I do want to know how the foundation is built. Why wait for the inspection to tell you if you can find out NOW?

For the record, I know that foundation structure problems like the ones at this house are fixable, but it'd have to be a nicer house before I considered it. If it had even a partial basement to work in leveling the floor wouldn't be so bad, but digging out, jacking, and repouring in a two foot crawlspace takes someone crazier than I.

*No, not even post and pier. Not built on slab. Just kinda stacked on (possibly untreated) lumber. With a little line of concrete poured around the outside. WTF?
shadesofmauve: (Default)
I've been indecisive about my long-ish-term plans for awhile now, but luckily the economy crashed and made many of my decisions for me, so now I'm looking at becoming a member of the Propertied Class. Had a meeting about FHA loans this morning, one at Oly Fed last week, and I'm keeping my eye on a number of hovels little houses I might just barely be able to afford.

I'd have to have my parents cosign for a conventional loan, but apparently the feds are happy with loaning the same amount to me, despite my thirty-hour work week and small income. Notice to Federal Government: this could be part of your problem. Seriously, if I wasn't planning on housemates (which they don't take into account), there is no way I'd be able to make the payments they think I can.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
My work situation is iffy. Freelancing has dried up in the last few months. Not a time to be contemplating major purchases, unless...unless, perhaps, that purchase is a house, who's market value is tanking and interest rates are low.

Yes, my dear friends and compatriots, I aspire to raise myself to the Landed Class.

I'm intensely interested in two places on Tumwater hill, and vaguely intrigued by a smaller one downtown. I would have to have the bother of taking tenants, of course ([livejournal.com profile] madalchemist and [livejournal.com profile] notyourroommate, you'd be up for that, right?), whom I might in my generosity allow to sharecrop my land and raise their small amounts of livestock. And by livestock, I mean Islington, Michelle's rabbit.

Yes, I seek a spot among the landed gentry.

After all, with that and a penis, I could vote in 1800.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
Time: 1:11
Weather: Cloudy, high chance of wet.

Peter, I think I may have found it.

On Jefferson, across from the post office, one of a row of places. Bedrooms on the upper story, living areas below.

Pros:
10 minutes walk to Otto's bakery and/or transit station, five minute walk to the Fishbowl
Two living areas - ie, plenty of room for computer/drawing desks and bookshelves
an under-stair closet that would fit my bike
a kinda purple door
not hot on kitties, but he'll allow them with special written agreement, and get this - carpet replacement etc. just comes out of your security deposit, there's no extra pet deposit.

Cons:
Washer and Dryer hookups - no washer'n'dryer.
Jefferson is a fairly busy street, and the master bedroom looks out on it - I didn't think it was too loud, but you should know.
Limited outdoor area - little fenced in patio (big enough for a blarg)!
Master bedroom is bigger, tons of storage, bathroom - in other words, we'll both become drama queens trying to divy rooms, and then one of us will sulk and we'll hate each other for ever! 'Cause that's SO us.


FTP problems, so y'all get pics later.

[livejournal.com profile] westrider, this is very promising, so I'm going to call and wake you up.

I hope I didn't spring into this whole apartment hunt thing too soon...we were planning on march or april.

oops.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
This journal is being temporarily repurposed into a house-search log, to aid [livejournal.com profile] westrider and I in securing a new living situation. [livejournal.com profile] westrider, I expect your comments. [livejournal.com profile] madalchemist, when three-bedroom options are considered, your input is also considered. The rest of you, heckele and comment all you want, because I'll find it amusing.

Yesterday I visited a duplex near the Capitol campus in Olympia.


The upper part of this building.

Pros:
Allows cats
three bedrooms
ten/fifteen minute walk to the fishbowl (pub)
RIGHT next to the DASH - Oly's new free weekday downtown bus that makes a loop every 12 minutes.
Nice, approachable landlord who does maintenance himself.
in-house washer'n'dryer.
nice big kitchen.
70's burnt orange contact paper
70's blush colored bath tub

Cons:
Totally funky-shit floorplan - the third bedrooom has a kitchen-type sink and an outside door.
70's burnt orange contact paper
70's blush colored bath tub
smallish windows

Price: $875/month, renter pays all utilities.

more pictures )

I'll post a floorplan sketch to this space later. For now, off to potential dwelling reconaissance number 2!

Oh, and Peter, if you don't want me doing this publicly for some reason, let me know.

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