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Another quick update

September 7th, 2014 at 05:57 pm

We're halfway through our second set of UK visitors, so I still don't have much down time to post. I'm having lots of fun, but busy busy!

Friday night was our first night in the new place! Everyone slept like logs, surprisingly, even the kids. Cat is still hiding for the most part, but eating, and accepting strokes, and coming out occasionally to explore, so I think he'll be OK.

The place is a little dingy and run down in parts, but basically functional. We don't really mind, because there's so much space, and trees outside our windows, and our friends living downstairs from us. Everyone in the family seems more relaxed. AS is just over the moon, and she's the one I really wanted to be happy, because she's still a bit mentally banged-up from leaving her stressful job and finding freelance work.

The Brits are very impressed, of course; one said you probably couldn't find a home this big in Oxford for under a million pounds ($1.6MM)!

We've moved 90% of our stuff out of the old condo. The only thing that's left is some stuff in the front hall closet (strollers, etc.) and some things for staging: the sofa, dining room table and chairs, lamp, bathroom accessories. We moved most of it Friday, stirring up a ton of dust and cat hair, and then had a showing Saturday morning. We did a frantic session of cleaning and decluttering and actually got interrupted by the realtor and buyer because they came early! (They saw I was in the middle of it and came back at the agreed time instead.)

Now that the beds and dressers are out, we can get the rest of the floors finished, The floor guy is calling on Monday to set that up.

But then, the feedback was that they might be interested! The main concern was the parking spot is pretty far away (it's in the garage of the next-door building). Our new realtor (so great) called promptly last night to let us know that she'd called that agent to tell them more great things about the unit. She wanted to know if we had any response to the parking spot concern. We let her know that there was a chance the buyer could swap with someone, or rent another spot from someone, and she called them back with that.

This morning our agent called again to say they were interested in coming again this week, and asked if we still wanted to do the rest of the floors or wait to see if we got an offer. It was a toss-up, but we decided to wait and see. It sounds like they are communicative, so if that was a deal-breaker hopefully they'd tell us and we could offer to do the floors at that point.

So I'll call the floor guy and have him hold off until we hear something. I have $800 set aside for the floors, so that would be a real boon!

I got some more good news: approved for the 0% (for 15 months) 0 balance transfer fees credit card, with a $9400 credit limit. So if I transfer that much in purchases that I was planning to pay off, that gives me $9400. If I don't do Roth catchup contributions in December, that's another $2250. If I keep the new NT student loan instead of paying it off in February, another $4494. Total: $16,144.

If we sell at the listing price we'll need to come up with $16,469 to get out of the mortgage. So we could pretty much cover it without having an onerous unsecured personal loan. Especially if we save $800 by not having to redo the floors! (Since some of the above money isn't coming into the budget until later, we'd probably have to get one for about $6K or $7K temporarily, but we could pay it off quickly and not pay too much interest.)

If we get a lowball offer or they ask us to cover closing costs, we wouldn't be able to avoid a personal loan. But with the money freed up by not paying mortgage and association dues, we might be able to pay one off pretty quickly.

I know I'm counting my chickens before they hatch, but I just want to make sure I know what we'll do in the event of an offer. It'll be some juggling but I think we can get away with low or no interest on the remaining condo-related debt until we can pay it off completely.

Other bits of money news:
- Vacation spending appears to be on track. I don't think I'll have to go into future spending money, which is good since our spending money is being cut in half to help afford moving into the new place so early! Grocery spending is actually down since we've been eating out using our vacation savings, so we might have a nice grocery cushion when this is all over.
- We spent a bit more than planned on van and car rental during the moving process, but I think only $20 or $30 more. I think I can get some credit from both our car share companies: one for downloading their new app, and the other if I report that we had to fill up the car we rented recently. So those credits may make up for it to some degree.
- We got some unexpected bonus items with the house: two wall-unit air conditioners, a bag of pretty nice clothes and accessories that got left by the garbage probably by mistake, a rake and a snow shovel, and some nearly-full cans of paint. These will definitely save us a bit of money in the short term.
- AS saw a great kitchen scale on deep discount on Amazon.com: about $16 for a $45 item. We figure if we bought this for our next wedding gift instead of the $50 Amazon gift card we were planning, we'd have more Amazon credits as a result. I need to see if it's still on sale and get it ordered! If not that, maybe we could find a similarly valuable sale item.
- We'll be getting a free date night in October; the daycare lady is planning a sleepover!
- A friend gave us a bag of really nice clothes she found on her free table. We've had a couple other good scores lately, including the big propane grill and a couple chairs from another friend, a coffee maker and two cute trays from the condo free table. Whatever we don't use I'll try to sell on our local Facebook garage sale page, or throw into storage to do a garage sale in spring. There's a big annual neighborhood one two blocks from our house that we could participate in if we didn't want to throw our own.

Overall I think it's going to be easier for my family to strive for frugal choices now that we're living here. Whereas it did feel like just deprivation with no reward, now the reward is all around us, a tangible reminder of why it's important to spend little or no money.

I'll check in when I hear more about the showing!

7 Responses to “Another quick update”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Fingers crossed you have an offer!!

  2. snafu Says:

    {{{Hugs}}} Selling a home is such a roller coaster, hope 'Sold' comes fast. How exciting to settling into your new home. In spite of having so much on your plate, we'd all love to see pictures when life gets back to routine.

    I wonder if there is an income stream by renting the garage?

  3. Rachael777 Says:

    I am so excited for you. Cheers!

  4. laura Says:

    Here is hoping to hear "we've got an offer" soon! Smile How exciting.

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Wow, your excitement jumps off the page! So happy for you!

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Hoping to see SOLD! Smile

  7. bluesfemme Says:

    Bit late, but I've got FinX too that we'll hear 'Under offer, at close at asking, with negligible closing costs' soon!

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