Thursday, June 11, 2009

The End of the Tunnel (finally)

Ok, so once again I've left you believing I had fallen off the face of the earth. Hang in there, my friends... for summer is a mere week away! That's right, one week from tomorrow is the last day of school. Can I get a...


Sweet. Thanks. By the way, that is the actual sound I'll be making at 11:10 am next Friday (in case you were wondering).

So there have been A LOT of developments since I posted last. My brother got married, for one. I promise that the top of my to-do list for Monday June 22nd is to upload millions of pictures and post them in all the requisite places (blogger, picasa, facebook... any other suggestions?). My sister also announced to the world that she is expecting her FOURTH baby in December! I've known about this for a while but I can talk about it now that the dr. says it's safe to. Not only that, but we found out that one of my very best friends, Mary Beth is having a baby BOY at the end of October. In addition to all that, Josh and I have done a lot of talking and thinking and things of that nature. We've come to some important conclusions and made some pretty big decisions. It all started on the way to the grocery store one day. I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong. We are NOT expecting a baby ;]

We ARE however, planning for the future which we hope will include children. You've no doubt read about our recent plans to re-do the flooring on our main level. We did get our new furniture, which looks even better than I had originally pictured. I'm in love. I'll post those pictures with all the rest. But we've decided not to re-do the floors. Well at least not ALL of them. The way we came to that conclusion was while driving to the grocery store we go through the neighborhood where I had originally discovered a house that I really really liked and pushed hard for us to buy. However, we didn't get the ball rolling with our real estate agents quickly enough and though we did get to see it once, when I decided I wanted to have another look, the house was no longer on the market. So I always think about it when we drive to the grocery store through that neighborhood. There are many things about that neighborhood that I like more than ours. I won't go into all of it, but the other day I said to Josh, "Is it ok if I still wish we lived in THIS neighborhood?" And he said, "Yea. Me too." You see where this is going. About 2 more minutes into that conversation we realized that we don't want to raise our kids in the house we live in now.

That of course is not the best realization to come to when the market is in the dumps and you've paid fractions of fractions of your mortgage. Ok, so we started thinking about what needed to be done if we want to be able to move from our house by the time we have say, a toddler, AND actually make a decent profit to put down on something new. The first thing we determined was that we aren't doing all-new floors on the main level. We'll leave the laminate in the living/dining room and replace the linoleum in the kitchen. This also eliminates the need to do anything to the cabinets - so, another project off the list. Instead, we'll focus on replacing the carpets upstairs and in the basement and painting. We'd also like to do new countertops in the kitchen eventually, but nothing fancy, just a different color to match with whatever new floor goes in there.

The next issue is salaries. Obviously we can't buy a bigger house unless we qualify for a mortgage that size. I'm working on my master's and beyond that the only way to increase my pay is with time or a Ph.D. (and don't count on that ever happening). So we had to look at Josh's options. He's definitely in the more lucrative field and he doesn't yet have a master's. So, he has talked to his current boss and she is willing to create a position for him that wouldn't mean an instant pay increase, but would offer a lot of opportunities in the future. One has something to do with project finance, and the other is corporate communications something-or-other that gets his hands into a variety of things which he could later choose to branch off into. All the while, we're looking into an MBA.

So, while all of this looks promising and points us in the right direction, for the time being we'll be right where we are. We'll probably also have to wait for the market to pick up again since we have little chance of making a profit on our house until it does. This unfortunately means all the other houses increase in price as well, but what can you do? I made the HUGE mistake of actually looking at some listings here in Columbia for 4 bedroom, 2.5 baths (I'm not moving into anything less - we're talking about the place where we'll raise our family). Some of the places were barely more than what we paid for our house. It was kind of depressing. I didn't find any that seemed PERFECT - thankfully. They all had something about them I wasn't crazy about, whether it was the schools or the God-forsaken heat pumps. I would never buy a house with a heat pump. But some of them were pretty impressive. Sadly, they'll probably be about $50,000 more expensive when the market improves and we have to hope we're making some more money by then.

So anyway, that's a brief (kind of) update. I am finally at the point in the school year where I'm just doing review activities with the kids to get ready for their final exams. Exams start on Wednesday next week. So I don't have the extensive lesson plans to work on every night. This freed me up not only to write this lovely blog post, but also to entertain Jennie and Michael for dinner tonight! I'm so excited! I'm off to make a pitcher of mojitos!

Hope all is well ;] Stay tuned for lots of posts and pictures, things around here are about to pick up!

1 comment:

  1. Now this post was full of the scoop! That's what I like to call it. I have been wondering when I will be hearing the pitter patter of little Beck feet. But I am not the type to go around asking the question. So I'm glad you brought it up! It's exciting to start getting ready and planning things to invite a baby into the family. We're in the process of upgrading houses too for that very reason--to get a backyard and plenty of play space to add some more kids to the mix, and be somewhere we can stay for a good long while. Good luck with everything and keep us posted!


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