Category Archives: New House

Embarrased: Posting anyway GeocachingHealth/FitnessNew HouseNews

It’s been so long and I’ve been so bad at keeping up with posting here that I have no excuses. I’ll just say that I’m “righting” now and I’ll get “write” into it…

Having a house is a good deal of work. I was prepared for this but didn’t actually budget any extra time for unforeseen things like having to rake the front yard clear of pine needles. Those blasted trees dropped 4 giant yard bags worth of needles in under a week. Heather & I made the best of it by jumping in the giant pile of needles when we were done. It looked like a haystack. We found a haystack in the needles!

The inside of the house demands attention too of course and I’ve been just about ignoring the as of yet still packed boxes. We have to hurry up and get everything out of the way though… we have more stuff coming in! When Heather’s father moved into smaller digs we happily agreed to take some of his overflow stuff once we had the house. Well, we’ve got it and we’re getting it – even if we don’t know where we’re going with it! The big ticket item is a weight machine. The plan is to put it into the basement…. where we’ll never see it again. 😉

The cats are segregated. Poor Smechy couldn’t hack having the other two around and soiled the bed. Twice. We’re trying the Zero Odor stuff to get the stink out. The mattress is also covered with a rubber sheet & mattress pad. No stink is getting through all of that! Anyway, the kittens have the basement and Smech has the bedrooms. The rest of the house they time-share but never meet (unless a midnight storm blows the door open like this past Saturday). It’s creepy to be awoken from a deep slumber by the combined sound of gail force winds & cat growling. *shiver*

I’m still finding time to go Geocaching now and then. I’m up to 270 finds – including my first 5 star puzzle “Cloak & Dagger” which dragged me all over central Jersey finding urban micro caches, solving riddles, puzzles, ciphers & enigmas. I’m co-hosting my first event next month (This little piggy went to old bridge) & plan to launch my own puzzle soon. It’s still fun!

Besides that Heather & I have been getting up twice a week for a morning jog just as the sun comes up. Routine is the best way to stay motivated and having a partner makes it even harder to skip a day. One of us will mention how it’s pretty late and we should go to bed because we have to get up early for the jog (translation: can we skip tomorrow’s run?) and the other will invariably reply that yes we should get some sleep because I can’t wait to run in the morning! Teamwork … works. This has also given me the opportunity to explore the neighborhood a little more. I’ve discovered a back way into our neighborhood & a new park which is exciting.

That’s about enough for now. I’ll try to be more active on this site in the coming weeks. It’ll certainly be easier if it gets cold out but right now … it’s just too nice to say inside typing these words. Until next time!

General Update Health/FitnessNew HouseNews

Yeah, not much time for writing these days. I’m spending as much time as I can unpacking and reorganizing the house. I’m also spending as much time as I can avoiding unpacking and reorganizing the house! This “chronadox”  leaves me with no time (apparently) to get anything finished.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I did spend most of Saturday building The Grill. Sunday of course then had to be Test The Grill Day. I didn’t really have a choice as you can see! Despite my procrastination efforts (and it is an effort) the house is coming along slowly. I’ll post pictures one day.

The cats are still at odds though perhaps to a lesser degree. With the cooler weather we’ve torn open the shutters and thrown up the sashes and the cats (all of which were outside cats at one point) can’t get enough of sitting on a window sill and starting at … whatever it is that cats stare at when they look at nothing. One day they’ll get to go and explore the great outdoors but we’re not quite to that point yet. They haven’t even explored the entire INSIDE of the house!

The biggest news of the week is Heather’s new job. I wont spoil her fun of telling everyone so you’ll have to call her and ask if you want more information ASAP.

That’s about it for The News from Treasure Lake. Running? Geocaching? Football? Not enough time for everything. Not even for blogging! On the upside, I’m too busy for cluster headaches – the’ve all but subsided. Yay! Until next time… gotta go!

Homeowner! New HouseNews

It’s done! I’ve been offline packing/cleaning/painting/packing/cleaning & consoling scared kitties for nearly two weeks so I apologize for the tardiness of this post but it was necessary believe-you-me. Here’s the summary:

Because we’ve had so many close calls with closings we really didn’t start packing until we finally closed. That happened on Tuesday September 4th. The sellers, the buyers & their respective attorneys & realtors all gathered around a big able and signed papers at each other. All told I siggied 39 times and just like that (over an hour) I became a homeowner!

And then came the insane packing blitz. We had only 3 and a half days to completely paint 5 ceilings & 4 rooms (after spackling over and sand any holes/cracks), clean 6 dozen cabinets/drawers/closet shelves, wipe down every flat surface, vacuum the non-flat surfaces (including the interior walls), and steam-clean 3 carpets. Whew! Oh, and then there’s a 7 room apartment to pack, 3 more rugs to clean, a several dozen chunks of hardware to remove from the walls (and then spackle over), a porch full of garden & a trio of cats that need consoling. Yeah, we didn’t have enough time.

The actual moving day went fairly smooth like. The movers showed up, loaded stuff, left unpacked stuff, drove truck, unloaded stuff & broke very little. The unpacking is going slowly but we’re taking it one room at a time and spending most of this week just getting the apartment broom-swept clean so we can get our security deposit returned in one piece. After all the work we put into the apartment if they try to keep one red cent of that deposit so help me I’ll knock the fridge off-level, rip the lighting fixture out of the bathroom, break down the shelf in the kitchen, tear out the insulation from the attic, insert a ton of staples into the floor, a handful of nails into the porch & a bunch of pubic hairs into the paint. That way we’d be leaving the place JUST AS WE FOUND IT. That’d show’m.

Ok, that’s enough typing for now. I’m writing this at work because our internet hasn’t been turned on yet. I’ll write more when I can!

Zip Code Madness! New HouseNews

Everything is progressing well on the purchase of the new house. Nothing really to complain about except I don’t know where it is we’ll be moving in a few weeks!

Map of Zip Code 07735It all started when the insurance folks asked me which county can claim ownership of the land. I blinked… loudly… and proclaimed that I really had no idea! Its on the border you see and my map didn’t have enough detail. I’ve since looked it up and it’s indeed Monmouth but the fun doesn’t stop there, oh no! You see there’s also the zip code to throw monkey wrenches all around haphazardly.  I’ve been hit in the works with a Monk-Wren and it smarts!

Here’s the thing: Our zip code is officially 07735. The tax tables say that 07735 contains Cliffwood Beach [Monmouth] (Us), Cliffwood Beach [Middlesex], Union Beach & Keyport. I can rule out the Middlesex & Union Beach addresses, but the trouble is the address written on The Deed says Keyport while maps obviously point to Cliffwood Beach. Which is it?

This is no arbitrary decision. Hundreds of dollars in property taxes (which we’ve learned are paid to Aberdeen by the way) and preferential treatment by the insurance companies is at stake! I’ve decided that I’m going to say Cliffwood Beach when folks ask where I’m homing up. If they give me the “Oh my god I’ve lived in NJ for [n] years and I have no idea where that is but I don’t want Eric to know that!” look I’ll say it’s in Keyport. If the look continues I’ll just add “Exit 117” and they’ll smile and nod approvingly because everyone knows that’s exactly [n] miles from their Parkway exit.


What was I writing about again? I don’t remember. I’m going to bed. While there I’ll dream of my new house in Keypwood Beach, Monmoddlesex County.

On houses, runs & general silliness. Health/FitnessNew HouseNews

Our neighbor moved out yesterday. By complete coincidence our doorknob broke at the same time. We thought they changed the wrong locks. Just a coincidence. They fixed the lock/doorknob. Huh.

600 bucksWith our closing date of Aug 30th we’ll probably end up paying rent all the way through September. Drats. If the apartment masters are able to clean/repaint/rekey the place by the 15th however we could save six hundred plus dollars. The extra is what I expected to be paying movers to make it easier on myself, but now I’ll be toting my own bale. The upshot of all of this is that we’ll have lots of overlap where we can go between the two domiciles and pack/move/clean to our hearts content (or two weeks goes by, whichever comes first).

Want some good news? The mortgage has been approved and locked in at a rate of 6.125. Back to the magic number from earlier in the year! We were able to swing this lower rate because I qualify as a “moderate income” shlub. Fine by me. Any special program that saves me money is worth it. Label me a waddleflap for all I care, just as long as my bottom line is happier.

The next step is to get do the title search (another expensive proposition that really only takes some clerk 10 minutes + a phone call) and get the house insured. I’ll be going through NJ Manufacturers who currently insures our cars. I might even get a break on the car insurance. Once these two things are done we only have to wait until the 30th and the closing. I’m still waiting for a shoe to fall on me, but so far all is looking good!

Speaking of shoes… this past weekend I donned my running shoes & imported my Mother from North Carolina to run in the Ocean Grove Biathlon. I do it pretty much every year and had been training for about two weeks to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself. Well, the end result… I finished last. Or first. Depends on how you look at it. You see, the race was the 21st not the 28th as reported by this website:

Why I chose to look at that site instead of all of the others that told me the race was on the 21st is beyond me. I guess it wasn’t meant to be and that I’m supposed to run the Neptune City 5K this Saturday instead?

Maybe I will… maybe I will…

Moving Right Along… New HouseNews

Wow! What a difference having a motivated seller makes when trying to buy a house! We’re out of Attorney Review, have the inspection planned for later this afternoon & a mortgage company picked out. My goodness, this could actually happen this time!

Unless the inspection reveals gremlins in the appliances & a troll in the basement anyway.

So I’m glad we’re finally progressing but I’m pissed that I missed the boat on good interest rates. The first time we had pre-approval for a loan our rate was 6.125%. The best we could do now is 6.5%. If you don’t care to do the math I’ll do it for you: 0.375% amounts to $54/month or $19,370 over the term of the loan. I choose to look at it this way: lawyers and bankers have already cost us over $20,000 and we haven’t even closed yet. Thanks!

Here’s the thing: I won’t forget this. The plan right now is to leave the state (and the law specifying that lawyers are mandatory) for the next house purchase and go somewhere cheaper. I don’t intend on taking a loan for that next house. If things work out Banks will never see another dime from me. I’m not just bitter because of the whole “buying a house” fiasco either. Many years ago First Union dropped a fee on me for not holding a minimum balance. They took my remaining few bucks, bounced a few of my checks and then didn’t tell me for a week during which time I bounced another check.  It cost me around $60. Why did I let it drop below the “minimum balance” you ask? Because in the agreement I signed with the bank that was purchased by FU there was no minimum. They simply usurped my bank, changed the rules and reaped the benefits of fees on all of the “legacy” accounts. Thanks!

I pointedly chose the word Usurp above.  I look at banks as the new monarchy. Did prior monarchs rule because they were regal & just? Of bloody course not! They ruled because they had all of the money! In the end they could afford to pay the military to keep people in line and for really thick/tall walls when they stepped over that line. The only difference is the banks can’t tax us directly. Or can they?

When it comes time to close the deal on the new house I need to hand over the down payment. The banks refuse to take cash or a personal check. I can only hand over a Certified Check or make a Wire Transfer.

The Bank charges me $12 & $15 dollars for each respectively. I smell taxation. Where’s my representation?