Saturday, May 25, 2013

We love the zoo!

Since we have a zoo membership we try to get out there about once every month or two.  Today the weather was a bit cooler than normal for late May so we thought it might not be packed.  We were wrong, it was pretty busy but we got there early enough that we got parking in the normal lot.  We took lots of pics of the animals as usual.  May is the celebration of Zoo babies so we saw all the animals born in the past year.  So cute!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Picnic

The weather today was gorgeous so we decided to take the girls to Big Bone Lick State Park for a picnic and to see the Bison.  We packed up some picnic food and hit the road.  We decided to set up near a playground so the girls had a chance to run off some energy before we ate. 

After we ate we headed over to where the Bison are.  The trail was very muddy today and when we finally got to the place where the Bison are we were bummed to learn we could only see one and he was pretty far away.  Luckily the girls weren't disappointed and didn't seem to notice since they were so focused on the mud on the wheels of the stroller.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

HUD Inspection

Since we submitted our final bid from the contractors Monday we needed to set up a HUD inspection.  We scheduled that for today.  For the full 203k a HUD inspection is required in addition to a HUD appraisal.  The purpose of the inspection is to validate what is required to be fixed as a part of the 203k loan.  Since this loan is part of a government program they want to validate that part of the loan will be used to fix any safety issues with the house.  I was a little worried that something new would come up with this inspection.  I feel as if we know everything there is to know about this house but who knows if we'd missed something.  

Overall the inspection went well.  He only found three safety items that he is going to require in his report:

* GCFI plugs in the kitchen - included in our contractor bid
* Updating the electrical panel - included in our contractor bid
* Adding smoke detectors to each of the bedrooms - not included in our bid but easy enough to resolve

Once the inspector sends his full report to our mortgage person she will order the HUD appraisal and then everything goes through underwriting to finalize.  We are in the home stretch now and things should hopefully be quiet for the next couple of weeks before we close.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Buying a house

For the past year we were renting a house and we'd hoped to do that for another year and then buy a house next spring.  This plan ended in January when we contacted the leasing company we were leasing our house through and found out that we were unable to renew our lease because the owner wanted to take possession of the house again.  We later found out that he'd sold the place because they gave us a credit to move out ten days before the end of our lease.  Needless to say we were very disappointed and needed to formulate a plan quickly.  At the time we didn't have enough time to find a house so we decided to rent an apartment for six months and start house hunting.  

The whole process has had a lot of ups and downs over the past couple months.  During this time we have had a lot going on in other parts of our lives as well.  Of course we have the the girls that are constantly keeping us on our toes.  I transitioned to a new role where I worked which has involved going to training and getting a new certification for this role.  Greg has taken on a second job working for the Reds in an usher type role, which he loves. Over the next couple weeks I've decided to blog about all of it so I can share everything we've gone through and learned and also to give us to have something to look back at when and if we decide to buy again in the next 10-20 years.  We aren't all the way through the process yet, (we close early next month) but it's been quite an adventure so far.  Luckily we've done most of our communication with our realtor (who recommended I blog about it as well) via e-mail so I can start from the beginning fairly easily.   

I will be dating the blogs appropriately so you may have to read back a bit to catch up.  I also threw in some pics from our vacation before the house buying updates.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Contractor Meetings

This past week we met with three contractors to get bids about the updates we want to make to the house.  We have developed quite a list of changes we'd like to make and we ran it through with three of them.  Once we get the bids back we will choose the one that we think is the best fit and submit it for approval.  Here is the list of changes we went through with them: 
  • Fix Foundation
  • Radon mitigation
  • Porch fence
  • Update Electrical
  • Furnace Repair
  • Hot water heater 
  • Fireproof wall in basement
  • Update stove & fridge
  • Granite counters in kitchen
  • Ceiling fans in bedrooms
  • Remove wall, create breakfast bar or add island
  • New sink in kitchen
  • Tile floor in kitchen
  • Turn coat closet into pantry
  • Master Bedroom Conversion to Master suite
  • Update kitchen light fixtures
  • Replace cabinet faces with glass
  • Pull up carpets and refinish hardwoods (if necessary)
  • Move carpet from upstairs to downstairs
  • Improved attic insulation
We liked two of the contractors and were not fans of one of them.  It will be interesting to see how the bids come back so we can make comparisons and make the best choice for us.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Last week Joy asked us if we'd had the house tested for radon.  That was something we'd talked about briefly but we hadn't included in our initial house inspection.  Today we got the results and the radon level was 5.7.  Anything over 4.0 indicates that it should be mitigated.  So we will be getting an estimate on a device to mitigate the radon.  Basically they will come in and install a pipe and hook it up to a fan in the attic to take the radon out of the house.  

Just another step in the adventure surrounding buying a house.