Nov 25, 2008

It's Safe To Return To The Water

Finally! I left the house Tuesday morning at 8:45 a.m. to go swim since we had to be out of the house for the 9:00 a.m. inspection. The inspector and his crew showed up an hour early because they were told the house was vacant, but I asked him if he could come back at 9:00 a.m. peaking my head out the front door in my robe. Even though Roger was told the inspection would take two hours, I had a feeling it would be longer. So I took a book with me to the pool and decided to read for 30 minutes or so to pass the time while the temperature outside warmed up. I left the house and it was 42 degrees outside. When I got out of my car at 9:40 a.m. to swim, it was up to 49 degrees. I walked up to the edge of the pool and reached down to check out the temperature of the water and it felt warm. I was so excited. Plus the pool was practically empty. When I arrived only two people were swimming. I guess it's true, the cold weather scares everyone off. So I got undressed all the way to just my track pants so I could be covered until the last minute. It was so cold outside but felt so good when I got in the water. It was great. As more people arrived to swim they asked me how the water felt and I exclaimed, "Great!"

After swimming a mile and a quarter, I realized I had to get out of the pool. I didn't want to get out. It reminded me of the summer of 2003 in Wisconsin for the Mommaerts' family reunion. We went swimming in the lake of a family member's summer house and it was warmer in the water than outside. I didn't want to get out of the water. I'm a total wimp when it comes to the cold. But I managed to get out and shower at the pool so as to waste more time for the inspection. I drove home and they were still there. So I decided to grab a bite of lunch as I was starving already. Then I went to HEB to get my Thanksgiving groceries. Thank goodness I thought ahead and made a list of everything I needed just in case the inspection took longer. And that way I could get my groceries before the big Thanksgiving rush on Wednesday. The grocery store was crowded but I was glad to be done. As I was loading my groceries in my car I thought, "What if they are still not done when I go by the house?" What would I do with my cold stuff? I decided if they were still there, I would just open the garage door, sneak into the kitchen and put my cold stuff in the fridge and freezer, then drive away. But as I was driving up the hill to the house, I saw the inspector's white truck pull out of the driveway. It was 12:30 p.m., an hour and a half longer than we were told. But I wasn't surprised. I mean, if they turned on and checked every appliance, utility, outlet, etc, I didn't know how they'd finish in two hours. Plus they climb on the roof and in the attic. I knew it would take a while. Glad I was prepared. And I'm glad I was able to swim again. A few bicycle rides did not make up for two weeks of not swimming. I love swimming. And I'm so glad the water's warm again. Maybe I can make it at Stacy Pool for a few more weeks before it gets too cold for me. That or I'll have to toughen up. The appraisal on the house is tomorrow morning and then we should be done until the closing.

Nov 20, 2008


I have never loved drywall so much! I ran by the new house today and expected the brick work to be still in progress but that's it. I did not expect the entire house to already be drywalled. I guess when I drove by yesterday I didn't look inside well enough. I saw the usual stack of drywall in the garage and assumed they had not started yet. Turns out they started drywalling yesterday at noon and finished the entire house last night. Today they are taping and floating and will probably texture tomorrow. It's so exciting! It looks so different now. I took some pictures and posted them on Flickr to the right. Roger and I are going to stop by together here in a little bit before we head to the airport to pick up his cousin Cara and her husband Jared and their two year old Olivia. We hope the weather holds out for them to enjoy a sunny and warm weekend in Austin. They have been in winter for two months now up in Wisconsin and would love a break.

Nov 19, 2008


Yesterday we accepted the counter offer to our counter offer. It feels good to know we have sold our house and we don't have to worry about it anymore. We still have an inspection and appraisal but it's pretty much done. We will stay in the house a little past our closing in anticipation of the new house closing. It will make the move easier and we'll only have to move once. We have been extremely blessed with the offer and have to praise God for taking care of this process and blessing us all these years with a great home.

As for the new house, the exterior will be completely closed in by tomorrow. The brick installation began Tuesday. It looks really nice and is so exciting. The dry wall installation has not begun yet even though the insulation was replaced earlier in the week. We're disappointed about that. But it will all work out according to His will. We needed to know about when the house would be done so we could figure out how long to lease our house back and our construction manager told us we should be able to move in January 15th. Roger and I both feel that may be wishful thinking and with the holidays coming up and construction crews heading home for the holidays that may be pushed back a week. But we'll keep wishing.

Nov 17, 2008

An Offer We Did Refuse

We got an offer on the house today! I got it in my email, which was new. I had a chance to look it over and gave Holly a call so that she could look at it too. I thought it might be a tad low so Holly and I had a conference call with our agent. First I needed her to explain exactly what the bottom line was. The buyer wanted us to pay all the closing costs and that irked me. But we then found out that the buyer was using an FHA loan and there are some closing cost items that they are not allowed to pay for. I asked our agent for her opinion and she suggested we counter offer by increasing their initial offer by the total of the closing cost. That would give us a higher profit that we believe is fair for our house.

Another issue is that they want to close on Dec 17. Our new house will probably not be ready until Mid-January. We asked if they would entertain a lease-back to us or push the closing date out. We also will use our appliances as a bargaining chip. We were going to sell our washer, dryer and refrigerator but will convey them if everything works out okay.

We hope to hear something back tomorrow! It’s very exciting to be getting somewhere on this sale. We just need to see how things progress. I think this is the buyers first home because I looked his name up in our county’s appraisal roll and didn’t see his name there. And I did another search and he’s either 29 or 30 and apparently single.

If he is not able to change the closing date or do a lease-back, some friends from church have offered us the upstairs of their new house. We’d have to move out of the our house, have everything put in storage and then have it all picked up from storage in Jan and moved in to the new place. But the Army is covering the cost of our move, so we really don’t mind which way it goes. But we really would rather move just once.

More tomorrow!

And yeah – this is Roger… I’m back on the blogging bandwagon again baby!

Amazing Weekend

What an amazing weekend! My weekend started Friday morning. I rode my bike to meet a friend for coffee. We had a great hour meeting and wished we had more time but she had to go to work. Then I rode my bike over to the new house and then home. I rode a total of 16 miles. It was a great ride, tough but a lot of fun. There was one hill on my route that was a beast and kicked my butt, both ways. But I feel great for making it, with the help of pleading to the Lord. Seriously. Even though I only have a mountain bicycle, I am enjoying the rides and it's making me look forward to getting a road bike next year after we move. The rest of Friday was spent getting a much needed pedicure, going to a happy hour with Roger and some of his co-workers then spending the evening listening to jazz at home with my husband. It was a nice way to end a great day.

Saturday Roger and I left the house at 10:00 a.m. in order to be out of the house all day for anyone that wanted to come check out our house. We spent the day window shopping and researching future furniture purchases for the new house. It was a lot of fun. We went to around ten stores and finished at 7:15 p.m. before we met his family for dinner. It was a long day and totally worth the time and sore feet to see what else is out there. The bad part is now we have some hard decisions to make because we like so many pieces. The good part of the day was that a potential buyer came to see our house for his second and his real estate agent's third time. His agent said he loved our house so maybe we will get an offer soon. We'll see.

Sunday we spent most of the day getting some things done around the house and cutting Roger's hair before we went to church a little early since Roger was running the lyrics. Then we had friends over for dinner and we had a great time hanging out in the kitchen and eating delicious food grilled by Roger. It made me excited about our new house because it will be a better experience for hosting dinners since the kitchen, family room and dining room are open to each other and has a better layout than our current home.

We're very tired from our weekend, but it was great.

Nov 12, 2008

Adventurous Bike Ride

My normal Wednesday workout would have been a mile and a quarter swim at the pool, but since it's closed for maintenance, I went for a bike ride this morning. And I decided I would ride to the new house in order to have a destination and make my ride more enjoyable and it would allow me to check out any new progress since the pre-dry wall walk through yesterday morning.

I wasn't sure what I was in for, riding on major roads to the house. I have driven there plenty of times and have noticed where there isn't a shoulder in the road and where bike lanes end, but until you are actually on your bike riding it, you don't know what you will encounter. I was a little concerned about the major intersection at Slaughter Lane and Manchaca Road because of traffic. I decided I would decide how I would turn left from Slaughter onto Manchaca when I got to it and saw if traffic would be loose enough for me to venture across three lanes into the left turn pocket. Or if traffic was so dense I would have to take it like a pedestrian and go to the corner, press the cross walk button and use the cross walk to get onto Manchaca. Timing worked out perfectly that I was able to cross the three lanes at a lull in traffic and turn from the turn pocket at the left arrow signal. It went smoothly.

As I got closer to Frate Barker on Manchaca Road, I knew the shoulder would end soon and I wouldn't have much space. I wondered if traffic would be patient with me and safe around me. I didn't have any problems on Manchaca and when I turned onto Frate Barker a few vehicles straddled the line to pass me. It turned out to be an easy ride traffic wise. And it was a good little ride in terms of incline and decline so I got a pretty good workout. It was 3.87 miles to the new house according to the computer on my bike. My GPS watch said it was only 3.82 miles. I still don't understand why there's a difference between the bike computer and the GPS watch. It's very slight but you think they would be almost the same. I'm sure it has something to do with the bike calculates by the turns of the wheel and the GPS uses satellite. Either way it was a fun ride.

The ride back to the house was less adventurous with traffic since I didn't have to cross through the Manchaca Road-Slaughter Lane intersection but just turn right. So it was pretty safe returning to the house. There were some good inclines but I was able to handle them well with all the shifting practice I have had in the last few months of riding again. I'd have to say I have shifting down now. Makes me wish we would have road our bikes more in Northern Virginia where it was really hilly. Oh well, I'll just have to make up for lost time here in the Hill Country. My total ride was only 10.11 miles which is short in my book. But at least I got some exercise in and got out in the sunshine and fresh air. My heart rate got up there and stayed there for a while so I did get a little bit of a workout.

The rafters in the ceiling which were not nailed and some areas not plum, which my dad discovered yesterday at the walk through, were fixed. The electrical stuff wasn't done yet, but as I was riding away from the house the electrician's truck pulled up. So I'm sure they got those done this afternoon. The city inspection was supposed to happen yesterday afternoon along with the construction manager's framing punch list. Which means the dry wall should start being installed tomorrow but for sure by Friday. Yeah!

Nov 11, 2008

Pre-Dry Wall Walk Through Done

We had the pre-dry wall walk through at the new house this morning. I am so glad I asked my dad to come for it. He was super helpful and noticed things Roger and I would have never, ever, ever noticed. He found things that were very important and would affect other things eventually. It's always good to have an expert on your side in these situations. So after the few items that were addressed are fixed, the dry wall should start being installed probably by Friday. Our construction manager said they would most likely work through the weekend and finish on Monday. Then all the specialty trades will begin their work. It's very exciting. I had a great day with my dad. We tried out a restaurant for lunch around the corner from our new house to thank him for all his wisdom and knowledge and examing the house on our behalf. We all feel a lot more comfortable about everything concerning the construction of our new home.

Nov 10, 2008

No Pool For Two Weeks

Last week I decided I wanted to add an additional day of swimming to my workout each week because I want to swim farther and faster. Swimming is so much better for your joints and a better exercise in general than anything else. So this morning I went to the pool instead of race walking which was my usual Monday exercise, but I could not swim. Stacy pool is closed for two weeks for maintenance. Although I am bummed about not being able to swim for two weeks, it means that maybe the heat will be working in the pool when it opens back up. This also makes me realize once the nasty, rainy winter junk comes, I won't be able to swim at all at the pool because it's an outdoor pool and if the lifeguards can't see the bottom of the pool, they make everyone get out. So I guess I may need to start checking out the indoor pool situation again. I'm bummed about that because I'm cheap and I love not having to pay for any pool or gym. But now I know I can't do that year round. I think Roger and I are going to have to go check out the Buda YMCA. It's close, only 15 minutes from our current home and once we move it will be a little closer. And as we all know, YMCA's are cheaper than regular gyms. And the Buda YMCA is new, less than two years old, so it's really nice. I've heard it's got a great indoor pool and it's rarely crowded.

At least I was able to get cheap gas this morning on my drive home from the pool. I stopped at the Super Wal-mart at Southpark Meadows because gas was $1.95 a gallon for regular. I had a quarter of a tank but I had to jump on that. I didn't think I'd ever see gas under $2 again.

Nov 6, 2008

On The Market

Our house is officially on the market. Okay, it won't be listed in MLS until this evening but the sign is out front and the lock box is on the front door. If you know anyone who is in the market for an adorable, little house in excellent condition, send them our way.

We went by the new house today and all the issues have been resolved except the surround sound speaker wiring has yet to be moved to their correct places. But it will get done.

Nov 4, 2008


Our new house front door was installed yesterday and it has already been tagged, probably from neighborhood kids. I'm sure they watch as homes are built and go through all of them while they can still go through them. You know how suburban life is for kids, so boring that they have to find some way to entertain themselves. I don't even want to know what else goes on in those homes. A small area inside was tagged also. I do think it's funny that someone declared their love for someone else in the tagging. We also received our new back door yesterday which I forgot to take a picture of but will next time I'm there. I'm excited about it because it has built in mini-blinds. The back door of our current home has add on mini-blinds and they are a chore to open and close. The surround sound wiring was installed but not in the correct locations. Roger and the electrician spent quite a bit of time and discussion deciding what were the perfect locations for the speakers for the size of his television and obviously the low voltage crew did not get those plans. So I had to put in another call to our new construction manager who I just met Monday to go over the list of items which were incorrect or not installed at all.

And the gas drop was moved away from the back door as we specified at the builder meeting before construction started, but they moved it right next to the master suite window. The construction manager told me yesterday that it could not be within three feet of a window to pass city code so I guess they will be moving it again. The lack of communication between project managers, construction managers, contractors and crew is amazing. The electricians, low voltage crew, plumbers and gas guys are all going to have to come out again to remedy what they didn't do right the first time because they didn't receive our plans. The builder will pay for all those extras, not us. As I said before, glad we can go by the house often to keep an eye on these things. I can only imagine how much more involved it's going to get since the pre-dry wall inspection may be early next week. This may turn into my full time job. And what's even more crazy is the first construction manager told us the house is usually complete 45 days after the dry wall is installed. If that's next week, we're looking at the house being done around the middle of January. And we're putting our house on the market this Thursday. Please pray for the timing of it all.

Nov 3, 2008

Freebies On Election Day

Make sure you vote on election day, not just because it's your right and responsibility but because you get free stuff! Just make sure you get that "I Voted" sticker to prove it.

-Ben & Jerry's - one free scoop of ice cream from 5-8pm
-Starbucks - free tall cup of coffee, all day
-Krispy Kreme - free star shaped doughnut with red, white & blue sprinkles, all day

Click on the links above to find the closest location to you. There are only two Ben & Jerry's and two Krispy Kreme in Austin. Of course we know there's a Starbuck's on every corner.

Nov 2, 2008

House Construction Update

We took Roger's dad by our new house yesterday while he was down here visiting us from North Austin. It was kind of fun to give him a tour of the house. It's getting more and more exciting since pretty much every time we go to the new house, something new has been done. The entire roof is completed, shingles and all. So now we do not have to worry about the weather anymore. The plumbing began on Thursday and the electrical was started Friday. The gas lines are in also. This has also given us a chance to make sure they are getting all our special requests and upgrades done. We noticed a couple things on Thursday and yesterday we noticed a few more. So we've made a list for our construction manager and put a call in to him. They did realize the two items from Thursday and were already planning to correct those. I guess it's a good thing that we go by the house often. It's better to catch those things sooner than later. I'm sure we would have caught them at the pre-dry wall inspection since I believe we would go down our list of upgrades and options with the construction manager. But I believe it's better to fix them now than have to delay the dry wall installation. I don't want to delay anything. Check out the pictures we took Thursday and Saturday at the Flickr link to the right.