Thursday, February 22, 2007

Update on House Hunting

Well, my first day of looking at houses is over.

It got off to a bad start with the very first house - which just happened to be my favorite of the ones we planned on looking at. My husband nixed it before we even saw it because of the neighborhood it was located on. I agreed with his decision. Working for the sheriff's office, you don't want to move your family to a neighborhood where a) there's a good chance the local residents don't care for the police and b) you're a racial minority. It was certainly disappointing though - it was a beautiful home inside and out. (Now I know why it was so affordable!)

One more house was nixed because of the neighborhood. Another is an old fixer-upper - unfortunately, with my husband's work and school schedule and my responsibility taking care of two young children, it does not seem feasible to tackle a project that big. It certainly could be turned into a beautiful home, though! The last house was fairly roomy and had a wonderfully big fenced in yard, unfortunately it was also a foreclosure, and from the sound of it the bank that owned it was inclined to make the closing process difficult and expensive. The second house we saw was the one my husband liked best - I, however, hated it. The rooms were small and the kitchen was TINY. If I'm going to purchase a house, I don't want to feel like I'm still living in an apartment. It made me claustrophobic!

The best thing about the afternoon was the real estate agent that showed us around. He seems very forthright and honest - he made sure to let us know of anything about the house that might be a problem. Even better, he was not pushy at all. I plan on continuing to work with him.

Right now, I've compiled a list of more potential houses - to avoid what happened yesterday, I will take a tour of the neighborhoods the houses are in. The ones in acceptable neighborhoods I will ask to see. I think I may bundle the kids into the car and take that trip today. It'll give my husband some peace and quiet, at the very least.

At least we are not on a deadline and can afford to take our time looking! I still hope that we will find something which is comfortable, affordable, and reasonably appealing to both of us.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Milestones




My husband has grown tired of apartment living and recently decided that we are financially stable enough to buy a house. We have now been approved for a home loan (yay!) and are going to see a few houses Wednesday afternoon. I'm very excited! I would love to have a yard and a laundry room.

We're going the starter home route - something small and affordable that we can live in for five years or so, then hopefully upgrading after that. Our eventual goal is to own land and have a house built where we can raise what my husband refers to as his 'clan'. I favor purchasing a dome home kit and building it ourselves, but we'll see how things turn out. Land is very expensive in this area of Florida.

Right now, my favorite potential homes are older homes from the early 1900's. Older homes have an architectural warmth and charm that many later decades lacked (see my post below for examples). The block homes from the 60's and 70's were some of the worst offenders, in my opinion, though the bulky, ostentatious waterfront homes being built in the 90's and 00's were pretty bad as well.

Of course, with an older home we have to be careful of what we're getting into, especially in the area of plumbing and electricity. Fortunately, my mother and my father-in-law have both been giving me tips about what to look for. It is also fairly easy to find rehabbed older homes with central air conditioning - I hate wall units.

The house pictured at the beginning of this post is my current favorite possibility, followed by an example of the hideous block home style of the 70's, followed by an example of a dome home. I need to teach myself how to incorporate photos throughout the text!

Older homes






Some of the beautiful homes for sale in the areas we are looking at. All of these were built before 1930, and sadly, most of them are very much out of our price range!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Good for the Trumps!

Ivanka Trump has some pretty harsh words for Paris Hilton — and says she is nothing like the hotel heiress, and is tired of being compared to her.

“I work 13-hour days for my money,” the 25-year-old former model, who now works for dad Donald’s business, told the London Express. “I bought my house from my father — I have a mortgage, you know.”

She says she’s not at all like that “party kid” Hilton.“I think we are totally different individuals,” Trump said. “If I were to go off the rails and become this party kid, I would not be able to afford my lifestyle. I’ve never had a sense of entitlement. I saw how hard my father worked for his money and it was always made very clear to me that things wouldn’t just be given to me."

Don't bother reading the rest of the article, unless of course you happen to enjoy reading celebrity gossip.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Media bias?

Sometimes I think I'm just overly sensitive to the way news is presented. It seems to me, though, that MSN, among others, is reluctant to acknowledge the truly heroic actions of one off-duty cop.

Here are the important parts of the article:

SALT LAKE CITY - An off-duty police officer having an early Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife was credited Tuesday with helping stop a rampage in a crowded shopping mall by an 18-year-old gunman who killed five people before he was cut down.

Ken Hammond, an off-duty officer from Ogden, north of Salt Lake City, jumped up from his seat at a restaurant after hearing gunfire and cornered the gunman, exchanging fire with him until other officers arrived, Burbank said. “There is no question that his quick actions saved the lives of numerous other people,” the police chief said.

“I feel like I was there and did what I had to do,”
Hammond told reporters. After spotting the gunman, he told his pregnant wife to take cover in the restaurant and went to confront the suspect.

MSN's first headline for the story on the MSN homepage:

'Hero' cop hailed in mall shooting

Now, the headline has changed to:

Cop called hero after mall rampage

While I find the second headline to be a little better, both are disturbing. It seems that MSN is reluctant to freely acknowledge that this man is a hero - they want it known that they're only acknowledging that some people believe him to be a hero.

Further salt on the wound:

Hammond’s boss, Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner, said the state Senate wants to honor him.

“Thank goodness he was there,” said Greiner, who is also a state senator. “You don’t want to ever say it’s good we were there and killed somebody, but it’s probably good someone was there.”

What the heck? It's probably good someone was there?

And it's just sad that we've reached a point where we can't say unequivocally that yes, it was good that the cops were there and killed somebody!

Of course, that comment was coming from a politician. Hard to find a politician that is not a wanker.

Well, I'm not a politician, and I'd like to believe I'm not a wanker, so here goes...

Officer Ken Hammond is a real man and a hero!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Virtual pepper spray!




Are your eyes burning now?

Can you believe fashion designers actually make a living churning out crap like this?

To clear up the confusion - #1 and 3 are male, #2 is female (I think).
Be happy I spared y'all the picture of the transsexual wearing an outfit meant to pay homage to Glenda the Good Witch from
The Wizard of Oz!