Possession Date Change

Guys!  It's been crazy busy over the last few weeks.

Our possession date for our new place moved up to June 3 from July 4th so we've been working on getting quote for the renovations we want to do. We've been to the city twice for my feet :/ and Little Man has split his first tooth!

I'm hoping over the next few weeks I can settle into a bit of a better writing routine again, but just wanted to say Hi, I'm still here.


April Spend Report

 Here we go...another month has gone by.

We spent about $150 or so more than we normally do on groceries.   We had a cold run through the house - first Jordan, then me and Little Man, and then my mom. It hit my mom harder than us, so I think we made it to the store a few more times then she did. We also ate out some this month...oops.

A couple of times were out of town and a couple of times were in town.  The big win here though, is that none of the eating out was on breakfast sandwiches,  etc. They were meals shared with family and friends.

Six months postpartum, I was desperate for clothes that weren't tights so we bought some clothes this month.  Just a couple pars of jeans and a dress for me.  Jordan got a sweater for work, and we got a cute outfit for Little Man.

The big budget line this month though, is under Home Maintenance.  This was the bill from our recent home inspection - which was well worth the money.


The Final Deal

So it's been a busy couple of weeks since we placed an offer on the new home here in small town British Columbia.  Given that it's actually the third house we have tried to buy, we didn't want to make a big deal out of it unless it was going to happen for real...and we're here, it's really happening.

So, what was the final deal?

It was listed for $289,000, and we settled at $279,000.

We started our offer at $264k, they countered at $284k, then when went to $269k.  Next they came to $281,500 and we countered at $273,000.  They came back at $280, final.  That was hard because we didn't want to go more then $275 - so our agent went back to them and asked if they would meet in the middle of our 'finals'.  They came down another $1,000 and we took it.  The $4,000 difference wasn't worth losing the house and only translated to a $13/month difference in the mortgage payment.

The bank appraised the property before approving the mortgage and the value came in at $280,000 - so we felt really good about that and where we wound up.

Oh?  So what did that buy us?

A three bedroom, 1.5 bathroom bungalow with both an attached single car and detached single car garage.  The main floor has 1800 sq feet of living space, and the basement as another 1500.  The lot size is the biggest we have seen in over a year of looking at 100 x 120 feet or .275 of an acre.  It has the space we want for dogs, gardens and kids.

Both the kitchen and main bathroom need renovating, but that's a post for another day.


Inspection Update!

Here's another view of our *finger's crossed* next house.  

The inspection was the middle of last week and here is what we learned....

It's a good, solid house!  The inspector said he was actually surprised that he didn't find anything huge wrong because of the age.  It was built in the '50s and then was renovated sometime in the 70's and again in the '90s.  There are absolutely some things that need to be addressed, but not deal breakers.  Some of the priorities are:

- Replacing a cracked window and the remaining single pane window
- Repair a few loose edges of the tin roof
- Repair the chimney.  It's no longer in use, but to prevent bricks from falling down we should address this.
- There is a set of stairs that goes no where that we can remove.  We think these concrete stairs were left behind from one of the previous renovations as it no longer goes to a door.
- Repair some chips/cracks in stairs, pathways and driveway
- Fix the automatic door opener in garage.  There is currently no power going to the outlet for some reason.
- Attached garage man door needs a self closing devise to ensure no fumes get from the garage to the living areas.
- The grading around the house is either flat or has sunken in in some spots, so we should build that help to prevent water from getting in around the foundation.  There is also no gutter/downspout system which is apparently typical with tin roofs, but also something we could address to help manage water accumulation.
- Ceiling has an r value of about 32 for insulation - we could increase this, but no rush.
- There is no range exhaust it the kitchen, but we plan on renovating that anyways.
- The bathroom fan blows into the attic, also a problem but we plan on renovating that room as well.
- The dryer connections aren't on tightly so lint is blowing into the basement - easy fix.
- The stairways to the basement have some variation in height that are no longer to code.
- There are some old vinyl tiles that may or may not have asbestos which is common for this age of house.  We'll have to manage that carefully when renovating.
- The second electrical panel is mislabeled because of it's age - this could be addressed by an electrician for clarity.
- Replace the smoke alarms as they expire every ten years - just to be safe.
- Invetsigate plumbing as the pipe leaving the house is above ground for a foot or two which is a freezing hazard in the winter - though the current owners have never had a problem with it.
- Some very minor cracking in the foundation could be investigated further but no immediate concerns.

Phew!  Ok, writing it all out makes it seem like a really big list, but it's really not.  We felt really good about the inspector, and believe he did a thorough job.  Now to build the 'want to fix list' ....there is a lot of paint in this houses future.



Networth Update

With all of the recent money changes, I thought it was time to do a net worth update.  Our investments keep fluctuating and overall we're down a couple of thousand dollars there, but now that we don't have a mortgage payment (at least for a little while), we'll be able to make up some net worth ground with saving like mad.  We also had a decent tax return due to being able to claim moving expenses.

We've update our net worth charts accounting for the sale of the house, and we've also reduced the worth of our vehicles.  I do include them in our net worth, because if the crap ever did hit the fan, we could sell one or both of them.  This year I just used the online blue book value, but in the past we have had them assessed for trade in value as well.

Our only debt is currently the Kia - it's a 0% interest loan, so we're not in a super big hurry to pay it off, though I do add extra chunks to payments every once in a while.  Once we finalize the purchase of our next house and settle on a budget for some upgrades, we'll be prioritizing paying it off.  Even though it's a 0% loan, it costs us $250/month in cash flow to have it.


Wine Making

I haven't written about it a lot, but some of you may know that I've been making wine for a couple of years now. I took a bit of a hiatus while I was pregnant, but over the last month I've been getting back into the swing of things. I have two kits going - a Gewurztraminer and a Shiraz. The kits have everything I need in them except for bottles.

Those wines take a little while to age to get good - so while they are doing there thing I'm starting a third batch.

This quick drinker is called Dragon's Blood and is Danger Dave's of the winemaking talk forums evolution of Lon's Skeeter Pee. It's a fruit wine with a lemon back that is ready in 2-3 weeks start to finish. It peaks at three months old so making it now will mean it's ready just in time for summer!

You'll find a link to the forum and original recipe above if you're interested in the original. I'm making a Tropical Coconut Variation. It's heavy on the strawberry and has mango and peach along with lime and coconut.

If anyone's interested I'll share the recipe, but for now here is the cost breakdown:

You can see that the cost is under $3.50 a bottle!! If my town had a bulk store I could probably get it down to $2.50-$3.00 which is what the original blend cost me as frozen fruits the biggest expense second to the wine bottles themselves. 

I've included the bottles here - but am working on a bottle collection, soon, even that will be eliminated from the cost breakdown.

Including this fruit wine, I have about 90 bottles that I'm going to need, so it's probably time to take an inventory on that.


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