September 25, 2010: Emily’s Birthday Party

Liesl was incredibly restless last night and since Dominica, Liesl, Oreo and I have to share a bed she keeps us from getting any sleep as well.  We could not sleep in this morning as I have a full day of work ahead of me at the office.  It’s Saturday but we have to make up for the last few days and no time to relax at all.

Dominica was up before Liesl and I and was out shopping with Francesca when we got up.  I went straight to work as soon as I awoke.  Lots to do today.  More than an average day at the office, in fact.

We got a call from our real estate agent this morning.  The seller and the broker had called her to apologize for getting emotional and arguing about the value of the house yesterday.  They claimed that they were prepared to negotiate but failed to provide a counter-offer so we aren’t inclined to even discuss the situation with them yet, if ever.

The real mistake on the seller’s part here is that he gave us the chance to step back, not be impulsive and think carefully about whether or not this house was really the best option for us.  Perhaps more importantly he stopped us from thinking about the house as being “ours” and made it into “the house we didn’t get” which is a major no-no in the world of sales.  One of the strongest selling points for any consumer product is getting the buyer thinking of the house, car or whatever as being “theirs” which invokes the “lost” reaction if they choose not to purchase.  Humans prefer what they already have over what they could have almost always.  People hate to give things up – even imaginary things.  We are just wired that way.  As a seller, he broke that connection and made it vastly easier for us to assess the house objectively.

And the decision was… that the house, while very nice, does not suit our needs very well.  It is sixty percent above the other house that we are considering and only marginally more functional.  And instead of being the least expensive house on the block it is the most.  Not a good investment.  And the smaller house is far better suited to being able to rent out in the future.  Just smarter all around even not taking the massive cost difference into consideration.

What we are thinking is that we want to add a small storage shed into the yard of the smaller house that we will be able to use in the long term alternative to having to rent storage units like we have been doing for the past year.  That isn’t all that expensive but it does add up over time.  When we were in Peekskill it was costing us $215 per month.  We have managed to use a smaller unit in Texas and are only paying $90 per month here but that is still quite expensive.  That is over one thousand dollars a year in the best case scenario.  If we could eliminate that not just in the short term but for many years to come that would practically pay for the house!  Well, not quite, but a good percentage at least.

I had a ton of work that needed my attention today.  Not a weekend day for me at all.  A full work day.  A full work day without even getting a chance to break for lunch,  in fact.  The last three days have been a blur of work.

Everyone went over to Joe and Britt’s new house while I was still working.  Emily’s birthday part is today, and why we are down in Texas, so they are doing a pool party over there.  It is very hot in Houston today.  Not like it has been in Dallas.  It is closing in on triple digits here whereas Dallas has been in the eighties for a while.  Very different.

It was pretty late in the day when I finally managed to head over to the party.  Most everyone was already pretty tired when I arrived.  Today is the first time that either Dominica or I have seen Joe and Britt’s new house.

I hung out for a while but then the girls really wanted someone to play with them in the pool so Emily talked me into getting into the pool and hanging out for several hours.  So I got some sun and exercise today.  It was probably best that I got into the pool because it was too warm to not be in the pool.

There has been a stomach bug going around down here in Houston.  We were hopeful that no one was going to get it thinking that it was possible that it might have run its course with Garrett, Clara and Francesca having already been sick some days ago.  But Madeline was the first to feel the impact at the party.  The bug comes on very quickly with very little warning.  Madeline had the bug by late afternoon.  By early evening Bennie was the next soldier down having to leave the party to go home sick.

It was pretty late when we broke up the pool party and headed back to the Grices’.  We got there and everyone watched Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam before everyone went to bed.

Dominica went out shopping today and bought an air mattress for Liesl to use when we are at the Grices’.  Liesl is used to sleeping in her own bed now and does not put up with sharing a bed with Dominica and I anymore.  She is getting so much older now!

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