Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Its Ours!!!! Its Ours!!!!! Woo-Hooooo!!!!!!!!

ITS OURS!!!!!! ITS OURS!!!!! ITS OURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Over the weekend we had a very nice notary public come to the house so we could sign all the papers without Mrs. Madscientist having to miss any work.

After that we were like, 'Hey, why in the hell are we going to wait for the 31st to close.???' All the hurdles where jumped and we wanted to close quick before ANYTHING else could pop up. So we sent an email around to everyone about, 'Hey, how about we close on Wednesday the 26th instead??' Our loan guy was able to fund the loan on the 25th and the sale was recorded on the 26th and its ours!!!!

HURRAY ITS OURS!!!!! THE $26k GAMBLE PAID OFF!!!!!!

We didn't actually know when exactly it was going to close so I was out grocery shopping at Safeway when my Realtor called. He said,'Daniel the sale recorded I'm heading over to the house now to get the keys where you at?' We agreed to meet in the Safeway parking lot in 15 minutes.

I immediately called Mrs. MadScientist and gave her the good news!!!! It was finally over!!! All the hoops, the hand wringing, the stress, the many, many sleepless nights...

Mrs. MadScientist started crying, so of course I start crying right there in the meat section of Safeway.

HURRAY ITS OURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HURRAY HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mrs. Madscientist came home a bit early from work and we scooped up the baby and drove right over there. It was really, really, really. surreal driving up to the house and down that looong driveway to the garage...it was ours.....wow.

The baby wanted to get out and run around the back yard and we played on a swinging bench there for a while but I was itching to get inside.

We went through the entire house turning all the lights on and looking out the windows and the baby danced around in the middle of the big empty rooms...it was awesome...lots of laughing and crying and giggling.

Here's the best new thing we discovered about the house...from one of the top floor rooms you actually have a little-bitty water view of the bay!!! Mrs. MadScientist has always dreamed about living somewhere where you can see the water and this new surprise just really sealed the deal for us that this is 'The House' for us.....

Boy, I hope we can get a couple of stress free nights of sleep before we have to start the moving, and building process at the new place...oh and sell the current Chez too....no stress there no sirree bob...

One Last One
WOO-HOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We've Traded Rats For Birds!!!

Dead Biiiird gonna put it on yooooouuuu!!! Dead Biiiird gonna put it on yooooouuuuu!!!!
Bonus points for anyone who got that reference...

Actually the credit for this post has to go to our friend Kevy...it was all her idea! Especially the title.

Stopped by the house today to unstick a window that the inspector had stuck open...pay the guy $1300 bucks to inspect the house and he can't even unstick the window he stuck.....

I went into the room and was greeted by this grisly site....apparently a small bird had flown into the open window and somehow fallen between the panes. You can see the struggle marks on the glass....hope this isn't some kind of omen or something.

Kevy saw this and shouted, 'Holy Crap you've traded rats for birds!!!'


I was able to unstick the window and gently remove the bird with a couple of putty knives... We gave it a dignified burial.



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That's it for now still have a crazy hurdle to jump this week...next post I promise...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Appraisal And Loan Are Finaled!?!?!?!?!?

Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another post with no pictures but plenty of exclamation points!!!!!

We just heard from our mortgage broker and after a small clarification of our income its official!!!

Our loan is done! The rate is locked in @ 4.99% APR.

Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The appraisal came in where we needed it too and the loan underwriters are happy with the appraisal!!!

Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One interesting thing about the appraisal was that because the house is a legal 3 unit the appraiser had to come up with reasonable rent numbers for all three units. We where shocked to see that his findings say that the $900/month rent for the studio apartments was a good average price!?!?!? Ha, seems high to me...


One exciting thing he came up with is that if we rented out all 3 units we could get $5k total!!! Wow, that's more than our all in mortgage-property tax-insurance monthly costs!! Course we're not going to do that because we're going to be living in the main unit.

Hurray!!! Now its just some paperwork....whew.....I should feel more relieved but I don't....

That was the last big unknown hurdle that was out of our control...but there is still one hurdle left and that's getting the city to uncloud the title....a subject for another post.

Much more celebratory Margarita's for everyone!!!
Man, this whole experience is driving us to drink unhealthy amounts of alcohol....but we can stop any time we want too!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So, What Ya Gonna Sell It For?!?!?!?!?!?

Funny Story.....we don't know yet...

In an effort to get the word out about our selling of the Chez and to help us figure out a price our Realtor put together a group of Realtors to come look at the house and give us their opinions on what they thought the house could sell for now and what it could sell for when it was finished. Besides what my Realtor comes up with we'll probably average the rest of the numbers to help arrive at a sensible selling price. When I say sensible I mean a price that is as high as it can possibly be but still have us in contract within a month of listing the house.

I put together this list of 'positives' for the Realtors to think about.

1. It’s a legal triplex of ~2858 sq ft with no parking requirements.
2. New foundation-slab where we dug down to give 9’ ceilings on the bottom floor.
3. An extensive under slab drainage system means bottom floor stays bone dry.
4. Earthquake retro-fitting done.
5. Electrical service upgraded to 200amps with 100amp sub-panels on each floor.
6. Natural gas service was upgraded and all the gas lines where re-piped.
7. Warm water radiant heating installed on first two floors. System is set up to also heat 3rd floor. Luxurious, energy efficient heating!
8. Stamped concrete outdoor sunken living room with natural gas plumbed fire pit.
9. New fancy ‘carriage door’ automatic garage door.
10. Custom antique brick driveway and path.
11. All work done with permits.
12. In Franklin School District.
13. 4 Houses down from Little John park.
14. Has tankless water heater installed-Endless eco-friendly hot water.

I was out getting groceries (doing the standard Alameda TJ's and Safeway double play) put arrived at the house just as the tour was ending.

Who should I see walking out of my house but several Realtors who I have reviewed and who have no love for the MadScientist....AWKWARD!!! Even the owner of the brokerage was here....It should be fun to hear their responses...

One Realtor even said that if she were younger she would buy it!!

There are apparently already several all-cash buyer types who are interested in touring the Chez.

I'm wondering if I'm going to see a correlation between Realtors who have all cash buyer clients and their estimate of the properties sensible selling price....

Okay, But Really, What Ya Gonna Sell It For!?!?!?!
Just as an exercise in ridiculousness I'll do the math that most folks seem to do to arrive at a selling price for their homes...
Purchase Price of House- $570,000 (its not like its a secret).
Cost of improvements - $200,000 (would of been a lot more but we did a lot of the work)
So Sensible Selling Price=$770,000 right??? Right???

Ya Right, Don't I wish.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Loan Is Approved!!!!

One giant hurdle out of the way!!!

Our mortgage broker just sent us an email saying he got our loan approved!!

We have been seriously sweating bullets about this...cause we needed to be approved for the new loan without the very common provision of having to sell our current house first.
Well, the loan is approved pending a favorable appraisal....

Guess they think we can handle both mortgages indefinitely?

Time for many celebratory margaritas!!!

We'll start stressing out about the appraisal tomorrow...but still..

We got our loan approved!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Pics Of The Possible New Chez.

Yes, yet even more pictures of the possible new Chez.


Shot of the textured wall paper in the dinning room...just cause I thought it was cool.





Here's something odd. This is the floor right in front of the doorway leading to the basement.
It's got these two weird swelled bumps in it...that you can just barely see in the picture. They are a definite trip hazard.
It's awesome really, the door opens right into the stairs with no hand rail.. if that doors open and you trip....its a long bumpy ride down....





Cause I forget them before.
Interior shot of the master bedroom closet...not very exciting here.... but hey, its got a granite floor!! Woo-Hoo!!!!





Doorway to the master closet





This is a shot from the door way looking into one of the 500sq ft studio apartments.
Not bad eh? Actually I don't know. When I was a renter I could never afford my own place....





Big Closet in the apartment.





The kitchen!
This looks pretty big actually (for a studio).
Yay granite on the counters! And it has all its appliances! Looks like with a little cleaning and tweaking we could rent this unit right out.
Tall ceilings at least.





Kitchen from another angle.





And another angle. Gas stove looks newish and its clean and it works!







Each apartment has its own electric water heater.





The bathroom.
Not sure where the towel and the toilet paper are from???





Okay that's the one rental unit. The other, which is occupied, is basically a mirror image of this one...with possibly a slightly bigger kitchen.


This picture solves a mystery for us.
When looking at a picture of the North side of the house, we saw a little window and we couldn't figure where the heck it was in the house...
Turns out, its in this dropped ceiling area. Someone at one time dropped the ceiling over the kitchen, family room and kids play room. The lumber they used is rough cut redwood so the ceiling dropage didn't happen recently.







That's it for now.....still waiting to hear from the appraisal.....arrrgh...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The New Chez? Tons O Pics Part 3

Way Too Many Pictures Of The Top Two Floors.

Okay, this is headed up the stairs from the first landing towards the second floor.








This is the landing on the second floor of the house. It has this weird cabinet thing that we can't figure out.
It looks like a spice rack cabinet and we can't figure out what they were storing here? Its too small for linens and things?








From the landing to the right we have the baby's room. Check out the cool bay window. Would make a great reading nook with a window seat there.
Unfortunately, all the woodwork on this floor is painted also....
Nice floors too.
No overhead light? But what appears to be a heating vent?








View of the other side of the room looking back. This room has a nice sized closet and...








Its own full bath! Yay! no sharing a bath with a teenager!








Shot of the shower and toilet. The window in the shower has me worried. Its impossible just about for these things not to rot out...








This is the view from the doorway looking into the master bedroom.








Love these windows....and the views not bad either. Definitely not in the ghetto anymore...








View from the windows looking back at the rest of the room. No overhead light and no closet in the room...The closet is in the bathroom....which I forgot to take a picture of.








Shot of the bathroom...look! more granite!! Hurray!!! Bathroom floors never get wet so this should be nice and safe....








We're calling this thing the suspended animation chamber. This is a sealed shower-steam shower unit...hope it works it'll be nice to take a steam after a cold ride home.








Sink and toilet... no storage and no light over the sink?








Super sweet two person jacuzzi tub!! Love that window right there for the neighbors to peek in...








The two low windows in the bathroom...don't you just love the security bars lag bolted to the inside of the windows?
We think that was the PO's way to try to get around the requirement that these windows be made of tempered glass...quality work.








Back out to the stairs and this is the view from the intermediate landing looking up towards the top floor.








Close up view of the non original metal railing. Its an unfortunate goldish color...
It does appear to be code compliant and firmly attached at least.








Shot of the sky light in the stair well. I included this cause its open and like 30' up and we can't figure out how to close it...








The landing on the top floor.
This is actually a really good sized space, bigger than the babies room is now.
On the left of the landing is...








Washer and dryer hook-ups. Though they appear to be for an electric dryer which we do not own...









Shot of the landing from the other end.
Nice column huh? Have no idea what that is about...is it hiding a plumbing vent? Is it just for looks?
The doorway next to the laundry is...








Another full bathroom!!!








With a nice view out the window.








Shot of the vanity showing a bit of wear. Nothing that a scuff sanding and some poly won't fix I hope.








There is a big deep closet off the landing.
Nice flex duct.








One of the bedrooms on the top floor. This one would probably be our home office-guest room.








Other bedroom on the top floor. This one is going to be the wife's dressing room and our exercise room and guest room.








Off the landing there is two utility rooms. This shows where the water heater is supposed to be.








Here is some quality venting work in action. This appears to be a plumbing vent just sorta stuck into what used to be the water heater vent.
Look at that quality soldering work on the copper...even I can do better than that...








The other utility room.
This one has the forced air furnace that looks to be partially disassembled.
Its new enough but its not direct vented...
Which means that its burning interior air..boy I hope that there is a fresh air vent to this room...same goes for the water heater....








Okay that's it for the upper two floors....
Next up, The Basement.

The New Chez? Tons O Pics Part 2

Way Too Many Pictures Of The Main Floor.


Here's a shot of the front door. The porch is uh, there but doesn't seem really big enough to get a swing on or chairs....




As you enter the front door and hang a quick right we have this little sitting room. It will be our library. Look, unpainted trim!! Joy!!




There is a nice set of working pocket doors from the siting room into the main formal parlour.




Stepping out from the sitting room and looking back at the entryway. The front door is around the corner to the left.




Opposite the sitting room is this view into the kitchen. It's got a little breakfast bar.




Now, walking through the pocket doors in the sitting room brings you into the formal parlour. This is a really good sized room with nice oak floors and a nice...




Fireplace. Dig the original tile. Not the most ornate mantle we've seen but I think its plenty nice...and its not painted!
Through a set of humongous pocket doors we enter into the....




Formal dinning room. This is also a nice sized room. The trim looks original but unfortunately....its painted the same color as the walls...damn...




Check out this fancy plaster work on the coved ceiling in the dinning room. The sitting room and formal parlour have the same treatment. We've never seen this before and it does look original.




At the end of the dinning room is this little full bath.
This is the toilet where the wax ring appears to be leaking.




Little vanity in the same bath. Small but functional.




This is the entrance way into the kitchen from the formal dinning room. It's got this weird closet niche thing that we can't figure out what its supposed to be for. Too small for a fridge.




The kitchen!! Lots of granite here...
In the lower right you can see where the PO's took the drawer with them?




View from the other corner of the kitchen.
Notice the granite tile on the floor...man is that going to be slippery when wet.




Another view of the kitchen from the fridge nook. The PO's also took the door off the sink cabinet?
Yes the kitchen is way tiny, definitely not an eat in...so we'll have to use the dinning room as a dinning room.

Through the doorway on the left you have the..




Illegal in-law suite! Well, it was, but the PO's took out the kitchen.
Nice cracked window huh?
We plan on using this space for the family room/ TV room.
Over to the right through yet another arched doorway is the..




Kids room? We think this room would make a great home base for all the messy arts and crafts stuff and toys that the baby doesn't keep in her room...is it super naive to think that we can prevent our child's toys from completely covering the house?





Nother shot of the kids room showing some sort of closet thing.
That doorway goes out onto the deck.
Since we plan on probably coming in and out of the house mostly through the back door this area will also function as our mud room. Check out the wonky tile work.

Right around the corner there is...





Another full bath! That shower will be perfect to hang wet riding gear in.

More wonky tile work also...



Another little mini-vanity.





Closer up shot of the bath. The PO's really liked their glass shower enclosures...







Okay that's it for the main floor.

Up Next the top two floors in the main unit.