Before Photos of my Dining Room

Filed Under ( , , , ) by Joe Somebody on Monday, February 28, 2011

Finally some pictures are going to get posted.  It came to be last minute. Other wise I would of had some pictures with all the wall paper still up. These will still make a good before and after down the road. My lender Stonegate Mortgage wanted me to keep track of my renovations as well. I think she just wants to use what I did as a sales pitch for other future home owners. My Realtor thinks the same thing.

This is the west wall of the Dining Room. I decided that I did not like the wall paper. It made the dining room feel more dated. I think a nice coat of primer and paint will go a long way. I will be replacing that light with a nice ceiling fan with built in lights. Being a larger room, that will help with the air flow.
 Here is the sliding glass door against the South wall. Other than the tracks needed to be clean, its a great door. I did purchase some vertical blinds for it. As you can see it gets very bright.
This is the North wall. It looks like thought about painting it before they put up the wall paper. I think they made a poor choice. Both in that paint they were thinking about and the wall paper that they chose. Of course someone may think that about me when I choose the colors for the house.
 Just thought I would take a picture of the ceiling to give you guys and gals an idea of the height of the room. This is why I really want to get a fan in here. Push that warm air back down. Considering its snowy out side, you can understand why I want it. I do plan to paint the ceiling. Most likely a shade of white.
Finally got all the wall paper off. As you can see, its not that great. At least I don't think so. Someone may think this is absolutely beautiful. Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Luckily they all came down in single strips without tearing or even applying water to the walls to loosen up the glue. Made clean up easy.
 The floors are really nice in here. I will spend a lot of time just trying not to scratch them. I do have a large area rug that I will lay down to help. Just need to get an under mat for it so it doesn't scratch the floor if it slides.
Here is the South opening to the Sun Room and fireplace. Not much will change with it. Just a new coat of paint. The exposure is really making that room a lot brighter than it really is at the moment. It still nice to have so much natural light coming in.
This is the easy wall of the Dining room. Not a fan of the shade of burgundy they chose. It just makes the room feel so much smaller. I will go with a much lighter paint. Make the room feel bigger and more open. Dark paint makes it feel like you are hiding things.

I will try and do much better with documenting everything with photos. This way not only Stonegate but I will also have an easier time referencing what I am talking about.

UPDATE: I have not painted anything. These colors are original from when I moved in.

Building Equity in my Home

Filed Under ( , , , ) by Joe Somebody on Sunday, February 27, 2011

I had my Realtor come over. He doesn't like my fridge. He thinks its way to big for the size of the kitchen. I agree to an extent but I'm not going to leave the refrigerator to the next owners. They can have everything else.

We did go over some great ideas of what to do with the place. He wants me to keep my focus on the top floor. Dont do anything to the down stairs. No matter what I do it will always be a man cave and man caves do nothing for the resell value of a home. No walk out to boot. I agree with him. Ill just put my home theater down there.

We decided that the best idea for the kitchen is to take the dimensions and go to home depot. They will take the dimension and render my drawings of the designs that I come up with or they can do it for you. I think this will save a lot of time, plus I wont have to pay for custom cabinets. They will all be stock cabinets. And after removing one of my base cabinets. I don't it would be that hard to put new ones up myself. Few screws and your done. Oh and a nice level. That way things are square. All the appliances will be stainless to match the fridge.

We moved on to the living/dining room. Going to go with lighter paints. While the sun room connected to the dining room can go a couple shades darker since it has so much natural light. The trim will stay white. Going to replace the lighting in the dining room with a nice ceiling fan that has built in lighting. Since the room is so big and has vaulted ceilings, this will help with ventilation.

Then comes the bathrooms. The two bathrooms are connected by a bathtub. Its also know as a hollywood bath. Not sure who came up with that name. The guest part of the bathroom will be painted. A new faucet and vanity will be installed. Toilet will stay. Just clean it up and put a new seat on it. The master part of the bath will need a new mirror. New faucet and vanity also needed. Huge mirror to go across the vanity. Both will need tile and trim. Now the center part (the actual bath). This room is going to be converted to a giant shower room with two heads and seating area. I think this will be huge selling point. My Realtor thought the same thing. And this was my idea. I felt great about that.

Still trying to get some photos together. Just so you know I am talking about a real home and not a fictional one.

My IMAX Home Theater

Filed Under ( , , , , ) by Joe Somebody on Saturday, February 26, 2011

I know most people think that I am crazy but I really enjoy my movies. I want that true theater experience. This has brought to building my own IMAX quality home theater. This is not cheap to do. Im only a fraction of the way through the process.

Im building a 7.2 IMAX surround. Right now the only part I have complete is the .2, which is the stero sub sonic frequencies. AKA sub-woofers. I have two custom built boxes. Each is 11+ cfs. Each one houses a CV 18" 4DVC Stroker. They are being powered by a QSC Powerlight 236 (3600w RMS). So my bass end is killer.

I only use pro grade equipment that I purchase off ebay. I get more DB for my money that way.
I am still working out what surrounds to use. Right now the system is just ran in stereo. I have a pair of Yamaha NS-10S's as my left and right. I need to switch these out soon before I damage them. They are very hard to replace parts. They are meant for my home studio.

One of these days I will get around to taking pictures of everything like I said I would in numerous other blog post. That way you will have a better sense of what I am doing.

Deciding on the Fridge

Filed Under ( , , , ) by Joe Somebody on Friday, February 25, 2011

I went out last night to purchase a fridge. I am so glad I didnt. I can home and measured the two entrances to my kitchen. Both have a width of 31". Im really contemplating tearing down one section of the wall so I can fit the refrigerator that I want. I plan on take the wall down anyway. Just wasnt planning on doing it so soon.
My one worry is that if the wall goes down. Then I must do some additional work right away. Notably the floor. I either have to tile or cover it with something. I just dont want to do something stupid.

At the same time I can save myself all the frustration just by buying a small fridge. Then I just have to hope it has enough room on the inside.

After looking over the counter space. It doesnt look like it will take much to remove the counter. This will give me the clearance I need to install the fridge I want. Plus this fridge with doors off will come in at 29 3/4" inch. This will allow me to get through my kitchen doors.

Oh and I am choosing Samsung. They are going to give me over $625 off the fridge. I am going to get RF266AERS. Its stainless steel and has every feature that I wanted. I think its a good purchase.

Time Warner Cable is a Joke

Filed Under ( , , ) by Joe Somebody on Thursday, February 24, 2011

I really with I could go with someone else. The problem is that they have a good product and the price is not that bad as long as you stay within a contract with them. Month to Month, they are to expensive. Now you are thinking, "But you say all these good things about them." Its call customer service. They have let me down every time.

My current complaint with them is that they want to charge me to transfer my service. Its not much. $19.99 to move me. The cost does not matter to me. Its the fact that they do not need to do anything. I can plug the modem in myself. I know the house previously had Time Warner cable. If it never did then I could understand about them coming out.

They were first suppose to coming out on the day that I moved. Problem was that I called the day before. I specifically asked about them calling me before they head out. I was told that I would be called 30 minutes before they arrive. Saturday comes and they call me when they are waiting at my door. Problem is that I am still at my old apartment moving. They would only wait 10 minutes. They would not wait 15 minutes. I was furious at this point. I asked to register a complaint. They transferred me to customer service. They were not help. They didnt even care about what happened. They just told me that the other person must have told me wrong. The kicker was that they didnt even register me as calling. So they didnt even believe me. I asked for a fax number so I could send them my call history. They shut up a little bit about that but still pressed that I was told wrong.

I then asked to speak with the cancelation department. Now Im finally presented with a person that cares that I am a customer. They are actually trying to fix the problem and make me happy. I told them all I want is my service transferred and for it to not cost me anything. They said they would waive the transfer fee. I said fine. Book me an appointment.

Appointment was made for monday. It came and went and it was installed. Now it stops working tuesday night. They cant get out to see me until friday after 5. I'm livid. Now I am trying to get discounted those days of service. Still have not found that resolution but I will not give up.

Making a home yours

Filed Under ( , ) by Joe Somebody on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sounds easy but it is not. I just moved in and I'm already having to buy stuff. Blinds (Both verticle and horizantal), Refrigerator, Washer, Dryer, Mop, Broom, vacuum, and crap I dont even know about yet. I know these are all one time purchases but it still adds up.

All these things will make it feel more me. It will be my expression in visual form. Hopefully it looks good. I still plan on taking some before photos. That way I can get them up here to everyone can see them. Im waiting for my cable internet to get fixed again. Its not working. Not very pleased about that.

One thing that I struggle with when it comes to buying things is that I want to make sure that I am buying the best. I want to know it will last me. I dont want to see something die over the next couple years when Im doing my renovating. This is also the reason why I am getting extended warranty on a couple items. Namely the fridge, washer, and dryer. Those are my only real big expenses. The other big expense has been the blinds. Two inch blinds are not cheap. Blew me away when I went to home depot to look at them. Cheapest one was $32.00 USD and of Course I needed the $38.00 USD and above. I went with the white ones. I want my place to have a bright interior and I felt the wood color would have been to much. Plus with wood floors. I think it would have been to much.

Tonight is the night that I am going to get a refrigerator. It looks like its going to be a GE unless something extrodenary happeneds. Honestly I will only buy it I feel its the right decision. I want to know I will be happy with it. Its the most expensive purchase I have planned in the next 12 months. I will either edit this post or make another post of what I decide on tonight.

I plan on going to Nebraska Furniture Mart. I'll bring my phone with me so I can search the local stores (Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes). Nebraska Furniture Mart will be any local stores price by 10%. Thats a win win for me.

Apartment Living Almost Gone

Filed Under ( , ) by Joe Somebody on Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Working on getting the apartment whipped back into shape. It really wont take much as I was a good tenant. Its still more work that I thought it was going to be. Need to scrub down pretty much everything, vacuum the floors, clean the bathrooms, and anything else that might look dirty. If they ding me for the leak in the ceiling and it ruining the floor I will be pissed. They have known about the leak for over a month and have chosen to do nothing about it since I was moving out. I have had a bucket catching the water while I was there but after leaving it has had nothing to catch it.

Of course once I have the old apartment clean, I have to do the same with the house. Ive already positioned boxes and put some items away so I can do the bedroom and living room first. Never cleaned hardwood floors before. It should be interesting.

Ive already decided that the extra bed room in the basement is going to be a storage room. Mostly filled with boxes at the moment. This came in real handy when I had empty boxes everywhere. Now I have a place to break them down and be put away.

Still have not purchased a refrigerator. Time is ticking. It will be Wednesday before I am back out to purchase one. No matter what I NEED to get it purchased. I have a fridge full of food that needs to be transferred to the house or it will spoil or get thrown out. I don't like to waste  money and this would be a huge set back.

I plan on putting off the purchase of the washer and dryer for one week. Just because I have so much going on. I will go to a laundry mat to get my clothes washed. Some people really don't like them but they don't bother me. I can do any amount of laundry in two hours. No matter how many loads I have to do. I bet none of you with a single washer and dryer can say that. 

Long weekend with great plans ahead

Filed Under ( , , , ) by Joe Somebody on Monday, February 21, 2011

I got to spend the entire weekend in my new home. It was very cereale. Everything I looked at or touched was mine. I no longer had to worry about someone else saying I cant do something (at least with the inside of the house, HOA controls some aspects of the outside). Overall I was very happy.

Most of my stuff is still in boxes. Most of it will stay that way until I finish painting. I will be setting up time with my realtor to go over ideas for the house. That way I don't make any mistakes that could hurt the resale of the house. I know one thing he is really going to try and talk me out of, that's the removal of the popcorn ceiling. I hate it. I want to scrape it down. I know its a personal thing and I know it wont bring any more value to the house. I just hate looking at it.

Another item I think he is going to shoot down is changing all the wall outlets to the GFCI and using new oil rubbed bronze face plates. Including all wall plates (light switch, ect) with the same kind. I think that would give a very nice finished look to the walls after painting everything. If I do all that then ill replace the door handles and bathroom fixers with matching finishes. I think it would be a good selling point. But I don't know.

I know he really wants me to renovate the kitchen and I agree entirely. That project will have to wait though. My first bid for it came in around 12k. I think ill end up doing it myself. Do it in sections. I also plan to get a home equity line of credit. A HELOC is basically a credit card that is equal to a percentage of the equity in your home. Since I bought a foreclosure, I have about 30k in instant equity. So I will have a good limit to work with. You also get a fixed rate with them. Low 5-6%. Beats a 22% APR any day of the week.

I manage to pay off all my credit cards before I purchased my home. Dave Ramsey showed me the way. Double up on the smallest and when that one is paid off, take what you were paying on it and apply it to another one. Keep compounding until everything is payed off. Im currently working on my car and student loan. I was hoping to get my car paid off before I found a house. But I know I got a good deal and it will be worth it in the long run.

Moving out of the Vault

Filed Under ( , , , ) by Joe Somebody on Sunday, February 20, 2011

Today is moving day. It reminds me of the character from Fallout. He is finally venturing out into the Wasteland (fallout fan here). In my case, im going into home ownership and all the responsibilities that it brings.

Looks like all but one person will make it this morning. Not to shabby I think. Three guys can get this done. Its only a two bedroom apartment with very little furniture and the drive is not that far at all.

To give you an idea of what I have to move.

Big items:
Queen Bed
King Bed
King Bed Rails
Chester Drawers
Coffee Table
Dining Room Table
Dining Room Chairs
One Area Rug
Home Theater Subs (Pictures soon)

Getting rid of:
Couch (Possibly)
Computer Desk

And of course plenty of boxes. I was able to get everything packed Friday night. I want today to go as smooth and painless as possible. The pain being the two flights of stairs from my apartment.

So as you can see. I really don't own that much stuff. If we get done in three hours, that would be awesome. The only way that would not happens is if we hit the beer a little to hard. With this crowd I wouldn't be surprised either. Good news is that I will have a box truck with a lift gate for two 30 packs. That's a deal that would be pretty hard to beat.

I think once we get everything moved. I'll order some pizza for everyone. That the least that I could do for helping me out. Pizza and Beer. I think that would make for a good afternoon. Plus my lender said it would be a good idea to make pizza my first meal in the home. She said it would be the best pizza I ever eat, since I will be eating it in my own home. I think she will be right. I'll even splurge and get some from the local pizza shop that is awesome.

I'll spend most of the night unpacking. Hopefully no one plans to have a party at my house. My friend had the idea of throwing one to break in the neighbors, Not the house. That thought scared me. Don't want to piss off the neighbors to soon. Im already worried that my home theater will be to loud (slowly building an IMAX audio experience). I'll do something after I finish painting. That's all I really want to do right away with the house.

Hopefully Sunday I can just relax and enjoy the day. I will need to go out and pick out a fridge. Ugh. I hate spending money. It was hard enough handing over the down payment Thursday.

Transferring utilities and starting new ones

Filed Under ( , , , , , ) by Joe Somebody on Saturday, February 19, 2011

When I first moved out and into my first apartment. I had a lot to learn but utilities wasn't one of them. All of my utilities was included in my rent. It was pretty awesome to only have to worry about one bill every month. Not to long after that I started renting a home. It included utilities and internet to boot. It wasn't until I moved back to an apartment that I finally had to spend money on a utility. It was electricity.

My first couple bills were over $120 USD. That caught me off guard. Some error must have occurred in accounting. Sadly no. I quickly learned to buy efficient bulbs and how to turn off lights and electronics. They did offer me what they call average billing. Doing research into that show that its a total rip off. DON'T do it. You will pay more for your electric.

Now on ward to today. I had to call Gas and Water to start new utilities with them. Electricity just needed a form filled out with the Date of the move. By far the easiest of the three.

After calling up the Gas company. I was floored on how rude the person was to me. It was like I was inconveniencing him. Plus they wanted to charge me a deposit unless I could provide a reference or do auto draft of my bill. I chose the auto draft because I didn't want to deal with getting a reference from someone. I have a feeling I will not like the gas company. If need be the only thing in the house that uses gas is the water heater. I'll go electric even if it cost more.

Now comes the Water company...

What a gem! They were so awesome to deal with over the phone. I even mentioned how displeased I was with the Gas company. I gave her several compliments. If you treat people right, good things will happen.

I also took the time to get my Internet transferred to the new address. They are charging me a transfer fee. I think that is a bunch of bull. I don't even need someone to come out. I can do it myself. They said they have to do something. Im going to watch this guy and see what he does. If he doesn't do anything, Im calling to complain.

Also updated the address on my Netflix. That was by far the easiest. I didn't have to talk to anybody.

There we go. I now have three utilities transferred or started in my name. Owning a house just got that more expensive. Im sure I will have more month bills soon enough.

The Day After

Filed Under ( , , ) by Joe Somebody on Friday, February 18, 2011

I woke up today stairing at the ceiling of my apartment. Got up and went to the bathroom. As I was brushing my teeth it hit. Tomorrow i'll be moving into my new home. A house that I can call mine. I just kind of paused in the mirror thinking about that. Today is a good day.

Finished eating breakfast and started looking around the apartment. I still have some packing that I need to get done before Saturday. I have my buddies coming over to help me move and one is bringing a box truck.

When I first planned on moving. I called up my buddy and told him how I was renting a truck. Told him if I can get three people together, the move could be done in 2 hours (I dont have much). He asked how much the truck was. Its $45+Miles if less than 3 hours or 69+Miles if it takes longer. It was a long silence. "Hello?" I said. "Yeah...Tell you what..Buy me a 30 pack and i'll borrow the 16 foot box truck from work." Now thats a deal. Also a good friend. What he doesnt know is that I picked up two 30 packs. He did have one stipulation. "Have your stuff packed. Were movers, not packers."

I will spend most of the night making sure I have everything packed. I will also mark what I plan to throw away. No reason to pack what you dont need or want anyway.

I know work today will feel very long. All I will be thinking about is my home. I want to get settled in as soon as possible. I still need to meet my neigbors. Hopefully they are cool.

I also have to take time this weekend to figure out what I am going to do about a refrigerator. Thanks for all the recommendations. I will let you all know what I choose.

I have access to my fridge at the apartment tell the end of the month. After that I will be done with it and them. Which also reminds me. I need to get this place spotless so I can get my deposit back from them. They better not screw me on something either. I could use that money towards appliances.

Closing Day or End of Days?

Filed Under ( , , , , , ) by Joe Somebody on Thursday, February 17, 2011

I cant sleep. Today is the day I go see the Lender and the Title company. I must admit, I did not sleep well last night. I will be taking on an enormous amount of debt. Luckily my Realtor will also be there. He was been awesome through this entire process. He has helped me in so many ways. Always there to guide me and make the right decision.

I really don't know what to expect. All I know is that I will be signing A LOT of papers. Each of them protecting the Lender. I think about two are in my favor. Of course I know loop holes are built into them so the lender can still screw me. Of course, that's only if I default and go into foreclosure. Which I don't plan on doing. Knock on wood nothing happens. I see this as being a very sound investment. Im buying about 30k under the appraised value and if the market turns for the better I will see that number go up even more.

I plan to be in the house a minimum of two years. I will only sell for 40k profit after all selling expenses. After that the process will start all over again but with a bigger cushion to rehab the house with. Possibly even flip the home if the price is right.

The other option is to rent the home. That's something I have a lot to learn about. Probably wont even focus on it much for at least a year.

Back to what's at hand. Closing. I still need to go to the bank and get a cashiers check (yes, I don't have a checkbook. what's the point? That's what a debit card is for.). After that I will be making the trip this afternoon.

Heart is racing. What a day.

Having the right Realtor can make or break you.

Filed Under ( , ) by Joe Somebody on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Realtor has been really awesome to me. The biggest thing that he has done for me, was finally getting me to view the home as an investment. I was way to personal when I was first going into these homes. He showed me how to look at the house from a different perspective. Once I had the mindset of a business and not of my dream home. I was finally able to decide.

Another thing that he taught me was the "spread". This is just what it sounds like. Just like placing bets in a game. You look at the spread. Take the price of the foreclosure minus the appraised value minus and home improvements. What is left is the spread. This is what you have the potential to make when you go to sell the house.

My goal was to have at least a 20k spread. I can up with that number because I want to sell any house I buy in two years. I want to make about 10k a year sitting in the house. This is actually hard to do. But in a foreclosed house, you can have instant equity because you are buying it way under value. Some people also call this flipping. I dont consider it flipping because flipping is usually done much quicker. Sometimes within a couple months.

But sitting in the house for two years also has one very unique benefit. Any profit that I make off the house is Tax Free. Thats one thing I government has done right. If I sell before the 24 month mark. I owe taxes on all off the profit. That could get into the thousands really quick.

This is why flipping is such a fast paced job. They want to get there money back as soon as possible. The longer they are in the house. The less money they will make. Because there cashflow is tied up in a property.

Whats a good brand of fridge?

Filed Under ( , ) by Joe Somebody on Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I have spent a long time looking at appliances. My first thought was to buy all new appliances. Get it all done in one fell swoop. I quickly decided that this would be a bad move. I would lose most of my savings doing this and probably charge of a credit card or two. Dave Ramsey would not be happy. This time I will listen to him.

I plan to only buy a refrigerator, washer, and dryer. I will pay cash for the washer and dryer and charge the fridge on a zero interest card or take advantage a zero interest promotion that the store is putting on. I will just make sure that I pay it off before the interest kicks in. I call this free money. Just dont miss a payment or make one late. They make you pay all of the back interest.

The refrigerator will be a stainless french door. Either a GE, Whirlpool, Maytag, or LG. Im leaning towards GE and Maytag.

I do have one issue with Maytag. Ive been told that they have changed over the past couple years. Apparently they have closed down a lot of US factories and have moved overseas. So the quality may have gone down.

I like the looks of most of the GE refrigerators. They are a little more expensive but I think its worth it. The model is GFSS6KEXSS. The reviews have been really good. Plus it has 25 cu. ft. of space. A nice size fridge in my book.

The Maytag model that I am looking at is MFD2562VEM. I could not find any reviews on it but most of my friends have said that Maytag is a good brand.

I have not settled on any LG or Whirlpool models. I am still looking. As of yet I still have not made a definate choice on what model I want to purchase.

Choosing my Lender

Filed Under ( , , , , ) by Joe Somebody on Monday, February 14, 2011

Ive been through several different lending firms and services. The first was LendingTree. What a waste of time. I had lenders from all over the country trying to sell me their services. Sure I could have chosen the guy in Main or Colorado but guess what, I'll never meat this person. Getting a mortgage is a huge commitment. I want to know the person that I am dealing with. See their offices. Know that they are going to be there next week. And most of all, know that they are not going to sell off my loan to someone else. I want to deal with one person and one person only.

I wanted to go with a 30 year Renovation Loan. Also know as a FHA 203K or Homepath Renovation Loan. These can have several others names as well. These are just the two that I researched. As they allow me to put down as little as 3% of the total loan. Unlike a Conventional that is 20%. Of course Dave Ramsey would not approve. He wants you to put 100% down and pay cash. In my reality that is not possible. Houses are the cheapest they have ever been. By the time I save the amount, they will have already gone back up.

Ive looked at the Loan Amortization Schedule (breaks out your entire loan in detail). I will end up paying for the house twice over if I stick with the entire 30 year term. Of course this is why I plan to pay it off early.

The first lender I went with was Wells Fargo. The guy was real nice. Told me all kinds of things. Approved me for over 220K. I was thrilled. This was to easy. Then we started to get into the fine print. Ohh what a rip off this was. I felt like I was being hit with a professional scam artist. They were pushing to roll all the closing cost into the loan. That way I am only out of pocket the down payment for the house. Their closing cost was some of the highest that I looked at. No wonder they were trying to make it sound like a great thing. I am so happy I did not go with them.

I ended up going with a smaller lender called Stonegate Mortgage. They have been around for a long time so I knew they were not going to disappear. They also had the best terms and the closing cost was not as much as others. They were certainly not the cheapest but they treated me fair. Minus one issue. I had to pay for the appraisal guy to go back out to look at some repairs. I thought that was a total rip off since I already paid him $450. Asking $150 was a little outrageous for 10 minutes of work. I'll get into more of that later. Still trying to get the story current.

It was a simple process getting approved. Of course I didn't like it. They ask for a lot of private items. I understand why they want it. Helps them reduce mortgage fraud. But it still hurt. Just so you know, by the end of the process they will know everything about you. The term signing away your soul really hits home with a lender.

Everyone cant be trusted

Filed Under ( , , ) by Joe Somebody on Sunday, February 13, 2011

I thought it might be a good idea to give some back story.

I have been house hunting for the past 4 months. My price range has always been 60-90k USD. I was approved for 185k. I chose the lower amount so I would not be house poor (own a house but all your money goes toward it, no money for anything else). As you know, this isn't going to buy you much. This alone made finding a house a real challenge. Almost every home home that I looked at was either to small or in a really bad area. So this is what pushed me to look at foreclosures and HUD properties. All move in ready properties were out of my budget. I also wanted instant equity in the house. So going with a bank owned property seemed like the only smart thing to do.

I was not having much luck with the houses that my Realtor was finding. I took it on my own to do my own research. Turns out my realtor was missing a lot of properties. I would venture to say the houses he was showing me were not in my best of interest. They were more in his. This lead me to find a new realtor.

After doing some asking around, a very good friend of mines father recommended me one. He was in the mortgage industry for 20 years, so I trusted him. This was by far one of the best decisions I made. Having someone that I could consult and trust made me feel a lot better.

Now the first Realtor sent me about 6 houses to check out. I chose 2 of those to go look at. Now comes the new realtor. I had over 30 houses to sort through. I was blown away. We still had not discussed in detail what I was looking for so I was able to narrow the search pretty fast. We were setup to look at 10 houses that weekend. I was actually excited. Most of these houses were foreclosures and HUD properties. My requirements were simple (1200+SQF. 2BR, 2BTH, 1 Car Garage).

After our first outing. I realized that any foreclosure that I choose will need some moderate work to be done. I find it amazing how people will just trash there house. I don't know if they lived like this or if they trashed it once they knew they were going to loose their home to the bank. Either way its sad. Ive walked up to some amazing homes, only to go inside and see that everything was ripped a part. You can tell when something is blatant and not age or an accident.

A venture into the Wasteland

Filed Under ( , , ) by Joe Somebody on Saturday, February 12, 2011

In my mind, this is me traveling through a post apocalyptic world. Even though it has not happened yet.

I will be taking possession of my first house in the middle of February. It is a scary thought taking on so much  debt. Ive been a huge follower of Dave Ramsey and his show. I could easily thank him for providing me the knowledge to pay off my credit cards. If it wasnt for him, I would not be having this conversation.

Over the course of the next couple years I would like to document the process of being a first time home buyer. I have no idea what to expect. You will hear about all of my trials and tribulations. As well as any successes I have. You will learn the same things I learn. If I learn how to tile. You will learn how to tile. If I plan to buy something. I will become an expert in what I plan to purchase. You too will become one as well.

As the day, weeks, and months go on. Hopefully I can look back and enjoy my blood, sweat, and tears.

Here is a list of things I already plan on doing.

Purchase Appliances (Refrigerator, Washer, Dryer)
Tile Kitchen Floor
Install New Cabinets
Tile Bathroom Walls
Tile Bathroom Floors
Repair Damaged Walls
Paint Interior Walls
Install New Doors
Add Light Control Panel (Control lights via iPhone4)
Install Digital Door Locks
Install New Garage Door Opener

This is just some of the few things that I can think. I will be sure to get an extensive list put together as well as before photos. This way I will be able to look back at what I moved into and get even more joy of seeing what has become of my work.

Still working on getting all my stuff together. I dont own much, but it still takes forever to get packed. As of now I have a room dedicated to boxes and my bed. Still need to get the bathrooms and kitchen packed. Everything else can just go into a big miscellaneous box.

I dont think i'll have time to venture outside today. The weather is crap so I dont think I will be missing much.

I need to take sometime today and start making a list of refrigerators. I need to figure out what style, finish, size that I will need. Its the only real emergency item that I need to purchase for my new home. It is furnished with all of the other appliances, minus a washer and dryer. Those I can live without since I can go to the local mat to wash my clothes.

Im pretty sure I will go with a french door. I like the idea of having a full open top fridge. Plus I dont keep very many frozen items. Just chicken and maybe some steak or goat (Yes, goat). Google it. Its probably the best meat you can eat. Even better than chicken. Its just a tad expensive but still cheaper than some cuts of beef.

If you know of some model fridges that you like let me know.