September 11, 2010: House Hunting Begins

We got up this morning pretty late.  Liesl was the first one up and she just hung out on her own and watched Go Diego, Go for a while before Dominica, Oreo and I got up.  We did our best to sleep in for a little while.

Pretty much as soon as we got up this morning we walked Oreo and then packed into the car and ran to McDonald’s for breakfast and then headed out to drive around looking at houses (from the outside) and neighbourhoods to see what we could find that we would be interested in looking at more.  We have been running the numbers and buying a house looks like it will be quite a bit less expensive than renting saving us a hundred dollars a month or possibly even more.  The fact that we have to maintain a storage unit at around ninety dollars a month and do without so much of our stuff all of the time really makes us want to have a house again.

We spent several hours driving all over.  We saw lots of different areas, checked out local businesses, looked up houses we had found online, made note of houses that we found while driving and did a lot of good decision making.  We learned tons today and think that we are armed with enough knowledge to begin a pretty good house search process.

In some ways, we are loathe to buy another house.  The last two purchases were followed almost immediately by needing to relocate making the purchase seem pretty silly.  But on the other hand, both purchases, in the long run, worked out pretty well.  Our first house in Geneseo ended up being a great financial investment with us gaining a little equity during our four years of owning it and having taken a capital gain on it in total selling it for quite a bit more than we had originally paid.

The house in Peekskill, while we have only now owned it for just two years, is looking like it will be a good financial decision as we have made it through the hardest stretch and now have renters in it.  It is not yet a good financial decision but we can see that, in time, we will have that house actually be a profit center on its own justifying that buying decision as well.

So when we look at the big picture and how much our current renting is costing us and how much we are in need of a house (more space, eliminate storage unit, real office space, guest space, no more multi-story stairs for our blind dog, a yard in which Liesl can play) it makes us think that getting a house when we are done with this rental period makes a lot of sense.  The only real downside is that I will no longer be walking distance to work but will have to commute and that will make coming home for lunch much, much harder and I will see Liesl less.  But hopefully it means a better overall life.  It also means that Dominica will be able to take Oreo out on her own instead of needing to have me around to do that and Liesl will get to spend a lot of time outside which she needs.

While we were out we found Swiss Donuts on Story which was great.  They have the best donuts that we have found in Irving thus far.  I think that we will be stopping back out there again.  It turns out that Dominica had never had a sourdough donut before!

After we spent several hours looking for houses we decided to go to Best Buy to see if they had the fourth generation iPod Touch.  We started talking about it last night and were thinking that if we got an iPod Touch for Liesl instead of an in-car DVD system that it would be much more useful, less expensive and used in a much greater variety of circumstances.  So we went to buy one but found out that they are and always are sold out of them.  I guess just ordering one online from the Apple Store makes the most sense.  We figured that we would just wait until the next paycheck arrives for that then.

We came home and plunked down in the living room.  We watched Liesl’s shows for a little bit but she was getting tired and soon went down for a long afternoon nap.

While she was asleep we attempted to watch District 9 but that movie was so awful that we had to turn it off.  Dominica’s Parenting Magazine had recommended it as a movie that women would like for the moral message and that men would like for the action.  Obviously they took some cash to say that.  This movie was low budget and shot mimicking The Office which is silly and flippant as it is.  Then the subject matter is racism, murder, brutality and genocide and shut with quite a bit of unnecessary gore.  The movie was completely not child friendly, was not entertaining and was too intense for Dominica and too gross for me.  I’m sure had we finished it that there would be some message but we weren’t going to sit through two hours of that crap to find out what it was.  This is a definite “avoid” movie.

We spent the evening just hanging out and watching some television as a family.  That is commercial free, on-demand Netflix and not real television, of course.  We don’t actually have any form of traditional television.

This evening there was a major issue at work and I ended up having to work for several hours trying to get a server back online.  That was rather crappy.  Dominica and Liesl had to go into Liesl’s bedroom to play because Liesl really wanted to sit with me which was not working as I had to work right then.

Dominica was not feeling very well tonight and went to bed pretty early.  I was not tired at all so I stayed up and watched movies that Dominica was not interested in while I worked on writing documentation.  I stayed up way too late but I got a lot done too so not all bad.

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