Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lost: 1 Sewing Machine. Continued fallout from our moving disaster

Ack. The hell that is the result of moving continues..

I just realized I cannot find my sewing machine. Well, one of my 6 sewing machines. (Clearly I have a slight addiction to sewing machines, but that is a discussion for another time.)

The one I am specifically talking about my fancy-smancy Pfaff Quilting Sewing Machine. The one I use 99% of the time.

I have searched everywhere.. she (because the gender of sewing machines is clearly feminine) is missing. I'm so depressed. So if anyone sees a cute little purple Pfaff.. please send her home. I miss her.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

House-hunting we will go.. House-hunting we will go...

Yep, we are still at it. On the quest for the perfect house.
This marks the 2 month mark and we may as well have started tomorrow for as far as we have gotten.

At this point I am mostly attending open houses, since the market here is so hot, that the way it works is:
1) Listing added to market on Tuesday or Wednesday
2) Following Sunday is Open House
3) 50 people attend and multiple offers are put down
4) House is sold

(At least the decent houses have all gone this way.)

So, I have been dilligently attending open houses. Unfortanately we haven't gotten past the first half of Step 3. I am one of the 50 attendees but never one of the people making an offer.

All in all it has been pretty depressing. We have a pretty high budget (at least relative to what we sold our last house for) and don't have many requirements other than the house needs 3 bedrooms and must be inhabitable by humans.

So, here is what I looked at (IN PERSON) so far.

Budget/Bed/Bath/SqFt: Why it sucked
  1. 100%/3/1.5/1420: On a busy street, steep lot
  2. 95%/3/1/1660: Needed a new kitchen and baths (1940s)
  3. 94%/3/2/1728: No parking AT ALL, Climb 20 stairs to enter front door
  4. 114%/3/2/1937: Second bath was in basement, over budget
  5. 84%/3/1/1500: Water in basement, overlooked freeway
  6. 100%/4/2/1838: Top floor CONDO, lots of stairs, no garage, busy street
  7. 80%/3/2/2200: CONDO, in need of repairs, no garage, dining room converted to bedroom
  8. 80%/4/2/1867: Busy street, old duplex converted to single family (two kitchens, two living rooms)
  9. 105%3/1/1134: Distant location, small, over budget
  10. 82%/4/2.5/2055: Steep lot, lots of steep stairs, overlooked lumber yard
  11. 96%/2/1/1094: Not enough bedrooms, shared driveway, tiny
  12. 100%/3/2/1547: Needs repairs including new kitchen (1950s)
  13. 80%/3/1/2012: Foreclosure, in terrible shape, no garage
  14. 100%/3/1.5/1625: Dumpy, needs lots of work
  15. 72%/3/1/5/1450: Foreclosure, 1980s house, needs lots of work, shared steep driveway
  16. 105%/3/2/1400: Tiny living area, no garage, over budget
  17. 80%/3/2/2396: Square footage included basement, on busy highway, steep lot
  18. 97%/3/2/1417: Distant location, needs new kitchen (1930s), no garage
  19. 100%/3/2.5/1984: CONDO, busy street, overlooks cemetery on 2 sides
  20. 98%/4/2/1900: In disrepair, walk-through master, needs new kitchen/baths (1950s)
  21. 95%/3/2/1628: Business converted to house, weird layout, no garage, tiny kitchen
  22. 84%/3/2/1810: In bad shape, no garage, horrible bathroom in basement
  23. 82%/3/1.5/1490: Busy street, in disrepair, needs new kitchen/baths (1950s)
  24. 97%/3/2.5/1522: CONDO, 3-stories, tiny winding staircase, between school and grocery store
  25. 81%/3/1.5/1490: On busy street, steep lot, needs work
  26. 90%/3/3/1803: CONDO, in downtown area, no lot, no parking
  27. 77%3/1/1210: In terrible shape, bad neighborhood, no garage
There were a couple more, but if they were truly dreadful I didn't even record the information about them. All but about 4-5 of those are not currently under contract. (Mostly the ones which need major renovations.) I am not surprised since the open houses are always a mob scene. You never would have thought there was 'a recession' going on with the number of people house hunting around here.

It is all so daunting. This weekend I have 7 more on my list to check out. Hopefully we will just get lucky, although I fear that even if we find something we like, and want to buy, that we will end up competing with a bunch of other people who feel the same way. Yuck.

That is what I have up to.

I also have an update about the job search, but I'll save that for another day. Enough depressing news for now.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Moving Update: You don't wanna know

I have been avoiding blogging about the move since, well, it has gone so completely disastrously**.

The last time I blogged about our moving status we had already run into a snag, but that was only the tip of the iceberg:
Yes, the movers showed up 6 hours late on moving day.
Yes, the truck broke down after is was only half loaded.
Yes, they temporarily loaded our crap onto a rental truck.
Yes, we left our house at nearly midnight and stayed with my parents while our stuff was in transit.
NO, IT DID NOT END THERE.

The idea was that the movers were going to move our stuff from the rental truck onto a repaired semi and (although delayed 3 days) it was going to come straight to our apartment. Since our mini-van didn't fit on the rental truck, they were going to come back and pick it up before they left... Oh you see where this is going don't you?!!

Well, clearly it wasn't that simple. They ended up off-loading our stuff from the rental truck onto the semi and get this: IT WASN'T REPAIRED! Once they moved our stuff to the semi, it wouldn't start. (Don't you think they would check that before moving 18,000 pounds of housewares? Guess not!) Our shit sat on the side of the road in a semi trailer for a few days before being loaded onto yet ANOTHER rental truck and then onto a NEW semi.

Yes.. Count it: That was loaded/unloaded 6 times at this point! (Naaaw, our stuff isn't getting at ALL beat up by this man-handling. Never.)

Almost 8 days later our stuff shows up at our new apartment. But guess what DOESN'T show up? Hmm.. What were they supposed to go back and get? Yep, the mini-van!

Their response: "Ooops! Slipped our minds! We'll send it down with the next trip."

W.
T.
F?!

Well, nothing I can do about it at this point. Just focus on unpacking. Now that the stuff has arrived it should be smooth sailing right?

Of course not! We don't have enough space in our apartment for all our stuff. In case I never mentioned it before, we are staying in a 2 bedroom 1100 sq. ft apartment. We have relocated from a 4 bedroom 1800 sq. ft house (with a garage and yard.) We have LOTS of stuff. (In fact, we have 9 TONS of stuff.. literally.)

We aren't stupid. We knew we needed to store some of it and so we had rented a storage unit based on the measurements the movers gave us we got a 10x10 foot unit. Well, not even 10 minutes into unpacking I have the horrid realization that it isn't going to fit in our rental unit. We need more than space. A LOT more.

Turns out we needed an additional 2 units (thus tripling our monthly rental space costs! Yay.) At least we have all the stuff off the truck right? Well, except the missing mini-van.

I spend the next 72 hours unpacking. I just white-knuckled it through. Everything in the apartment was out of boxes within the first 3 days. And THEN the mini-van shows up.. Duh-duh-duh-duuuuuhhh..... *queue ominous music*

Of course, both the front and back bumpers are badly damaged. It appears they scraped it when rolling it onto and off of the truck. ARGH!

But that isn't the sum total of the damage. So far (and mind you I have only unpacked one third of our things. My good china and other valuables are still wrapped up in storage. We won't know about any of those until we move into our permanent home. This is only based on our bare essentials that have been unpacked for our tiny apartment.)

Collateral Damages:
*Almost half of my stemware was shattered (6 of 14 wine glasses)
*The handle was broken off my toolbox
*Lost the shelves off one bookcase, completely LOST second (matching bookcase)
*They dropped the TV on our hardwood floor denting it
*Stainless steel kitchen trashcan is now flat so the lid will not shut
*My daughter's play-kitchen door was ripped off and the pegs that hold it together were sheared off
*Hardware to assemble the crib went missing. Crib=Useless
*Lid to cooler was crushed
*A bottle of mouthwash was shattered and they packed it in a box of books ruining all of them. (Unless you enjoy minty-fresh books)

And don't forget: I need two new car bumpers.

Oh god I don't want to think about what is left in storage and I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want to do this again. It is also at that point I will discover what else is missing. Right now I am assuming I just can't find things but I fear we lost a lot of stuff in the shuffle. What a nightmare!

Hell, we are already 2 months into our lease. Only 4 months to go and we get another shot at it.

I need a drink. (Too bad I don't have many wine glasses left!)



**See Titanic if you would like further examples.