Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

Well, I'm just a little under 15 minutes until the start of Earth Hour. I'm right in the middle of watching (for my first time) Mrs. Miniver. But I'll hit the pause button, then shut off the DVD player at 8pm and proceed to shut down all of the rest of the house. Lights, fridge, heating, pool pump, computer, all off!

An hour of solitude, reading a book by candle light. How awesome is that?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Apache Deal

Well, it's a done deal, except for the bank giving me some money. I have a new home. I had it inspected today and it came through fairly well. The worst is some termite damage that'll need treating and repair. That's really about it.

I did get a "Sold" sign put onto the house. You never see those signs on houses outside of romance movies. This picture is the one on my home, and that is Daniel Loges, my realtor who found me this cute cottage. (Daniel, you are welcome to use the picture any way that you like!)

Hooo, boy, this is going to be a big lifestyle change. I hope I'm ready for it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Apache Home

I've gone and done it again. I've found another home that looks very good to me. This one looks to be much more sound than the last one. The current owner is a company that buys homes and refurbishes them. A "flip" if you will, except that they first actually put work into restoring it.

This one is outside the loop, in the northeast part of town. Actually it is just barely outside the loop, being the first light off Wake Forest road. As always, bigger pics once you click. (Y'know, I really should ask mad about his way of enlarging photos with a click on his blog...that's really cool!)

When I first moved to Raleigh, I lived in more-or-less this part of town, so I know it fairly well. The neighborhood is across the street from Bahama Breeze, a place that intrigued me every day when I drove past it that I finally asked a friend to go there with me. I am completely familiar with that whole part of town.

The neighborhood seems really good. I stood with the realtor on the street talking about the offer and giving him a check, and during that time I met at least 3 of the neighbors. Nice people all, generally younger and professionals. I could easily see many gay neighbors in the future, if they aren't there already.

So now, here come the pictures. The front is bland and boring. I'll find something to do with it though to liven things up, but I really love that I have two very big, very mature oak trees to give me shade during those hot summer days.

Here is a picture of the back of the house, from the top of the hill. The back yard has had some landscaping done, as there is landscaping timbers making tiers. I think in time I will replace them with maybe railroad ties or even stones.

There is also a nice arboretum off to the side of the patio out back. It gives the feeling of being outdoors in a quiet shady area. Lots of shade loving plants would easily fill this part with lots of color.

One of the more striking features inside is the living room. One end is a slight step down to tiled flooring, with a brick wall for accent, plus the hardwood floor throughout the main part. That brick wall has all kinds of possibilities. Fireplace comes to mind, of course. But what about even more plants. How about a vine climbing up the brick?

I really like the kitchen. Right off, it has a gas cooktop. I have been wanting to cook on gas for ages. I also like the way that there is no wall between the kitchen and dining area, and no wall between the dining and living areas. A person could stand in the dining room and chat with practically anyone in the house from that spot. It also lends itself to having a bar placed between the dining and kitchen. I've got a corner hutch that would fit the bill perfectly for storing the glassware and liquor.

There is one potential pitfall to this becoming my place. There is already a contingent contract offer for the home. One of those "when we sell our home, we will buy this one" deals. I am betting on the seller going for the "bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". But if the other purchaser comes up with the money, I'm out of luck. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that.

This will be a great place for me. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Metal Water Bottles

Okay, so I am one of those people who drinks lots of water. From a bottle. I use the store-packaged water bottles occasionally especially when driving or about town. And I even fill it up at the kitchen tap (I like my well water), plus at various places like businesses.

Usually though I have a heavy duty plastic water bottle, pictured here. It's okay, insulated so that it doesn't sweat when I have ice water, and generally just fine. I read something back awhile ago about chemicals from the plastic, but I figured whatever.

Then I came across this article about stuff white people like, concerning the water bottle. Low and behold, I find out that what I'm really supposed to be doing is drinking out of a metal water bottle. I don't know, it's a stature thing I guess. I guess I need to go find me a pretty metal water bottle, like one of these.

But really, the purpose of this post is to tell you about a blog called Stuff White People Like. It is a riot, and you really must go read it!


Monday, March 03, 2008

The Right Path?

This blog post is pretty interesting, and it plays into where my head has been for quite awhile now. The whole house hunting thing is an outgrowth of my trying to be independent. This is the path that I've been following, and it sums up one aspect fairly succinctly:
Mainly, I could have been a better employee to former employers and living below your means allows you to do “stupid” things like quit your job and start your own business. It’s an adventure and trying at times, but most things worth doing aren’t easy.
The key in that statement is the living below your means. I've been doing that for several years now, and it has been paying off. With a new house, I will be cutting the final line, the mortgage.

By the way, the house I wrote about did not survive the inspection, so the deal fell through. The house almost fell through itself, literally. The inspection uncovered some serious structural deficits. So it's back to more house shopping.