Archive for August, 2009

31
Aug

Second Chance!

1:00 PM

My husband and I were being the excellent house stalkers that we are and we noticed that the house we REALLY want went off the market today on our favorite house stalking website,  www.redfin.com

We knew this could mean several different things:  

1.  The house sold to the people who got their offer in first.

2.  Their offer was rejected and the house was being relisted.

                                        OR…

3.  The house was going from being a short sale to a foreclosure.

We immediately contacted our realtor to find out what was going on, and she said she would get back to us as soon as she heard from the other realtor.

 

3:00 PM

The house is in foreclosure!  This means all offers have been thrown out and we get to start over again!  Hooray for second chances!  All we had to do was put our excellent stalking skills to use and wait for the house to come back on the market.  Again, our realtor informed us that this could take more than a month.  Ugh!  I feel like I am in boot camp for patience training.

 

8:00 PM

Maybe I will just check on the house one more time today…

          Whoa, panic attack!  The house is back on the market.  That was fast!  Immediate call to our realtor.

Us: The house is back on the market, what do we do?  

Realtor: I’ll call the agent for the house and find out what is happening and then we will write a new offer.

 

waiting, waiting, waiting Ugh, back in bootcamp.

 

9:30 PM

Our realtor calls and tells us she can’t get in touch with the other realtor.  She has called several numbers and emailed but not heard back. We will have to write our offer tomorrow. :-(

 

11:00 PM

I could really use someone who can predict the future right now!

 

 


Category : House Hunting | Blog
30
Aug

Here we go again…

Our realtor told us that we could be waiting a very long time (possibly 6 months!) before we know anything about the house we put an offer in on.  This weekend we decided that in order to get the house out of our minds and try to move on we would look at 8 more houses.  This didn’t really help.  We saw some nice houses, but they were mostly at the top of our price range or there were qualities to them that we just couldn’t live with.  For example, one of the houses we saw was precariously close to the edge of a ravine and so I had visions of this happening:

house_cliff

 

Visions of your house sliding off the side of a ravine while you are sleeping are not very comforting.

 

The waiting will continue…

Category : House Hunting | Blog
22
Aug

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

This peach cobbler is really easy and delicious and not too sweet.  I like to serve it with homemade buttermilk ice cream.

Ingredients

Cobbler

  • 1.75 pounds of peaches (4-6) peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients for cobbler and put into a square baking dish.

For the topping, mix dry ingredients into egg until moist.  Use a spoon to plop onto peaches.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until fruit releases liquid and is hot and bubbly and topping is brown.

Buttermilk Ice Cream

Buttermilk Ice Cream

I first had this ice cream with a blueberry cobbler in Atlanta, Georgia.  The combination of sweet, sour, and creamy really complements any type of cobbler well.

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk

Bring cream to simmer in heavy saucepan.  Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend.  Gradually whisk hot cream into egg yolk mixture.  Return mixture to saucepan and stir over medium heat until custard thickens slightly, about 6 minutes (do not boil).  Strain into bowl.  Stir in 1 cup of cold buttermilk.  Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.  Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Category : Recipes | Blog
20
Aug

Panini Party list

The other day I had some friends over for a panini dinner party.  Everybody had a great time making their own sandwich creations and throwing them on the panini grill.  The best part was not having to worry about when people would arrive and there was very little prep work involved.

Panini PartyHere is the food all laid out. 

Carmelized Onions

BasilI used Post-it Note flags wrapped around toothpicks for the labels.

 

Fruit Salad

Terra Chips

Terra chips and fruit salad made the meal complete.

Category : Entertaining | Blog
17
Aug

The Beginning…

My husband and I finally decided a few months ago that we are ready for homeownership.  We began by searching online on www.redfin.com, which is an amazing site for finding information about homes on the market and tracking them in select cities (we live just outside Washington, D.C.).  If you use one of their realtors, they even split the commission with you.  We had every intention of doing this until we realized that more than half the homes we wanted to see were short sales (a home that is one step before foreclosure so the owners and the bank must sign off on your offer) and Redfin does not show short sales to their clients.  Thus began our search for a realtor.  Everyone we know who has bought a house was either not happy with their realtor or their realtor only specialized in D.C. – not Maryland where we want to live.  Anyways, we finally just chose a realtor based on a great website and a random connection with the small college we attended in Indiana.  So far we love her!  She is so organized and efficient, and she responds to our emails within minutes! 

Our first round of house hunting – interesting and educational to say the least.  Let’s just say that I now understand why Redfin does not support short sales. 

House Number 1: Sleeping Beauty

 At the first house there was a large man standing in the front yard, which made us apprehensive to say the least.  Our realtor forged ahead and approached the man.  “Hi!  I have an appointment to show this house.  Do you mind if we go in?”  The man just nodded without saying anything.  (Let me just say that it is super awkward and hard to look at houses with the people home when you know that the people only put their house up for sale because they could no longer afford the payments.)  When we go into the house an adorable little girl in her pajamas starts following us around.  The house is in good condition and has a lot of potential.  We go down the hall to the bedrooms.  We open the first door and Oh!  There is someone sleeping in the bed.  As we continue we find sleeping people everywhere including the floor of the finished basement.  It seemed like a good house, but it is really hard to look past all of the sleeping people everywhere.  We left and thanked the large man who was still standing in the front yard.

 House Number 2: The House that Should Have Been Condemned

 We were really excited about the next house because it was in a really good neighborhood and had a nice 2 car garage.  We walked into the house and nothing could have prepared us for what was waiting on the inside.  The first thing that hit us was the trash all over the floor and the weird children’s drawings on the walls.  The second thing that hit us was the smell.  This house was apparently a giant litter box for cats.  Not a good smell!  The house needed to be gutted and have about $100,000 of work put into it before it would be habitable again.  Not exactly what we had in mind as our first fixer upper. 

 

Great Garage

 

Moving on…

 Houses Three through Seven: Mold, Mildew, and Must

 All that needs to be said about the next several houses is that they all had issues with mold and mildew and smelled very musty.  Not issues we want to deal with.  One exciting surprise when we left one of the houses was the very fashionable, very happy man walking down the street smiling and waving (at who, I’m not sure) in a full body black stretchy leotard with sequins all over it.  Could have been our new neighbor.

House Number Eight: The Winner!

 At this point we are feeling very discouraged about what is available in our price range in the areas we want to live in.  Then we get to the last house.  We knock on the door because there isn’t a lock box.  No response.  We knock again.  Nothing.  We turn to leave and the door begins to open.  I see a flash of someone who is about 4 feet tall running back into the house.  We step into the house and Wow! Wow! Wow!  This is nothing like the houses we have seen so far.  It has beautiful hardwood floors, an open floor plan, a huge kitchen, a master suite.  IT IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!  We are in love.  When we get to the master bedroom, I realize the 4 foot tall person who opened the door is a little boy who is probably about 8 years old.  We went home with the plan to meet up with our realtor the next day and write an offer. 

That night I got on Redfin to send the link to my mom so she could see a picture of the house and my heart sank.  The status had changed to contingent.  Someone else had already placed an offer on the house!!!  Our realtor called us the next morning and we discussed our options and decided to go ahead and put in a backup offer on the house since the seller’s agent said they were taking backup offers.  We finished our offer at 10:00 PM last night and both offers are supposed to go to the bank for approval since it is a short sale (this part of the process can take months since the banks are so backlogged with these right now).  Now the waiting begins…

Category : House Hunting | Blog
13
Aug

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Category : Miscellaneous | Blog