Monday, August 28, 2017

Splash Pad Fun

Our slow house improvement project continues. For some reason our Home Depot windows are being held up and I've needed to contact the project manager twice already to find out why...

Our Flooring carpet samples were lost and they are trying to track them down so for now, we are just slowly painting the house, one wall or ceiling at a time.

Little dudes room is done, and the bathroom just needs some minor touch ups.

I finished the ceiling in our hallway. Next i'll be painting the hall and the laundry room. Our painting got pushed back a bit since I needed to actually vacuum the walls clean after sanding and that couldn't be done after little due went to bed at night (too loud)... so It had to wait until this past weekend.

So i'm hoping by the end of next week to have the hall done so I can focus on the ceiling in the kitchen and living room (Which i'm not looking forward to at all... especially since that will mean also vacuuming those walls too.

I did get to take a day off and play with little man to wrap up our summer season. Splash pad fun was had by all!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bathroom Painting and Ikea-ing!

First I had to prep the walls and the ceiling... which mean I had to hand sand them all (and of course I had the wrong sanding pads so it took forever) 

But then we got to paint!

And start the ikea building...

We got everything done but the plumbing, which will be next weekend...

Thankfully, little man still takes naps. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Wrong box for electrical housing...
We had ALL the electrical in the condo re-done. The previous owner believed himself to be a "handy man" and lets just say things were not up to code. Things that needed to be in "high powered boxes" because of the amount of wire and electricity that were in them just weren't... switches were painted over, things were not grounded properly... messed up GFI's... not to mention the broken prongs we found in a few outlets that an "electrician" covered...

Let's just say our new home was looking like a horror story worthy of the Wall of Electrical Shame they have at hubs work, so we paid to have the work done. Our dome light in the master bedroom wasn't even in a box... They ran electrical wires through the dry wall...

They also left live wires in the kitchen and put our pantry over it.... oh ya, and the microwave was wired to the dinning room chandelier....

If hubs did the work himself, it would have been 6 months of weekends, WAY more drywall damage, and too much stress on the good old marriage, not to mention we needed an electrician to do the repairs since we will probably be going to court to sue the prior owners.

So, hubs bought all the parts for the electrical job through his work with his discount, and we purchased three ceiling fans from home depot. (We got a 10% off coupon for Lowe's in the mail, but Home Depot honored it, so we saved $40 since Lowe's didn't have the fans we wanted).

Then we paid an electrician to do the job.

Parts: ($1199.18)...
Labor: ($1850.00)
Ceiling Fans ($382.52)

Total: $3,431.70

We changed all the outlets to tamper proof since we have a toddler who loves to play with those white outlet caps and we re-did all the switches since most had been painted over and wouldn't "switch" easily.

We also went 100% LED. All Can lights are on dimmers, ceiling fans are all hard wired with dimmers, and our bedroom and kitchen can lights also have portable table remotes so when you want to turn off the lights from bed, you can... Same in the kitchen. Since the switches for the kitchen lights and ceiling fan are now on the wall near our front door, we have a remote on the island for a quick tap to turn the lights on. It's pretty legit.

We removed the mini wall that was
supposed to be a pantry that had
been converted into a desk.... with
really bad electrical.
We also put in can lights in our bathroom since our new bathroom mirror and cabinet will also have LED lighting -- so bye bye harsh all or nothing bathroom lighting and we have a super awesome bathroom vent that moves air properly. We also installed some hallway night lights for those evening trips to the lavatory or kitchen where a miss placed toy can end your life if you aren't looking carefully...

TV mount box and kit were installed. We are planning for the same Ikea set up we did in the last place, but that will come after paint and flooring.  We decided can lights would be better than a ceiling fan in the living room, since it's a larger area where more gathering takes place and a ceiling fan wouldn't be enough light.

We fixed the kitchen lighting by adding 3 new cans, moving an existing one, and removing the dangle lights that didn't hang down the same height. We also removed the chandelier that hubs hit his head on 4 times in the first week of living there and knocked out a wall by our front door to open the space up. We added a ceiling fan for extra air flow with a light kit to cover the dinning room. We also re-did the entire GFI system in the house.

Can lights and a ceiling fan went into our bedroom since the room was large enough for both and a ceiling fan along would not provide enough light. We also added power to the closet for our closet light bars and added a few USB outlets where the night stands should be.

Little Dudes room got a ceiling fan and an extra outlet along the closet wall in case we need power when we turn that into his toy space.

We added power to our outside "shop closet" and a permanent light fixture, and changed the outside outlet and cover so it could lock to keep little man out.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Little Behind on Posts this month

I'm a little behind on my posting schedule this month, but that's because I have days like today...

Today is the 2nd day I've had to take off to repair my heater... The first day I called and was told the company worked on Hydroponic Heaters, confirmed with the booking rep that was the case and took the morning off work for the repair.

But when they hadn't called at 8:00 am, I called... to find out it would be closer to 10:00 am... and the tech asked what he was fixing and when I told him it was my hydroponic heater, he told me he didn't do those... so I called the owner... he apologized profusely for the mix up and gave me the name and number of a guy who could fix it for me.   
He was out of town and the 8 other companies I called won't touch my heater. It's great that you can use any repair technician you want to service your heater... but only one company will come out and do the repair (can you say, hello monopoly)... so I had to call our boiler company.

So when the tech gets here, he tells me to just cap the pipe and buy a space heater...

So i have to explain why I'd like heat to actually reach each of my bedrooms and how I will not use a floor space heater to heat my home with a toddler.... so yes, I know I have to check the pipe annually for signs of corrosion... It takes 2 minutes to take the cover off and look at the pipe, its called preventative maintenance... I'm good with that...

So now that he knows that I actually want to fix it, he tells me they don't have the part.... which is funny since I called them last week when I booked the appointment and told them the fan was working but not the heating mechanisms... 
So the Tech tries to do the "let's order it and i'll come back another day routine" because the "small" coil he has is really for a 1 bedroom.. and he wants to do the job correctly.

But when I press, I find out he called the wrong guy about the part.. so he speaks to his boss about the part... They still don't have it, but now, magically the special order coil wont fit in the heater space and give him enough space for the copper pipe. 

We have no option but to use after market parts since boilers aren't too common out here anymore and they have to get all their coils from Arizona... but the tech is now all gun ho about installing the small coil he originally told me wont actually heat my home (FYI, the small coil is larger then the current one up there).

So now I have to call his boss because we have a contradiction. If it wasn't good enough 20 minutes ago, Why is it now? So I call his boss and ask him to confirm the square footage the coil will heat because i'm not paying over $1000 to be cold in the winter... after a long hold, he tells me he will call me back... tech gets a call.... we wait longer...  then I get a call.

Now they found a new coil that's actually three rows deep instead of 2 and longer then my current coil, but because the extra rows of coils is there, it makes for a better after market part then the longer coil that won't fit up there without drywall damage (which I told him was fine to do, but the tech said no) So the deeper coil makes up for the shorter length... ,so they will install that one.

So the tech pulls my old coil out (which is not installed near the fan that actually blows the heat and was literally NOT BOLTED TO the sheet metal enclosure, but was only being held on with 2 brackets laying horizontal instead of vertical and then just taped in place....)
The tech then tells me I could probably sell my old coil on ebay and make some cash since it isn't broken.. 

My first reaction was THEN WHY AM I REPLACING A COIL THAT ISN'T BROKEN????????????????? 
Because it was the wrong coil some handyman taped up in there and the wrong size for our unit, considering it's SMALLER then the one they typically put in a 1 bedroom that has a SINGLE duct.

But in this discover process I had to call the Hoa to confirm the summer boiler temperature since the tech tells me that the boiler is switched in the summer time and that might affect our heaters ability to heat our home... which is stupid because our heater worked fine during our inspection of our last unit which was done 1 day apart from the one we had done on this one... But i called to confirm anyway because its been that kind of morning and the HOA Rep feels REALLY bad for me dealing with all this crap...

But now, I need to call the owner of the company to make sure i need to replace the coil and that replacing and installing the correct coil will give me heat... 

We had to put a thermometer under the kitchen sink to make sure that water was hot. Apparently it gets up to 130 degrees on my tap... so they should be able to fix the heater today, once the guy goes and drives and gets the coil... so now i wait while the guy goes and gets the coil from his shop.

Here's the old coil they removed from the heater, and how it was installed. You can see some sheet metal with a lip... it's supposed to be mounted to the sheet metal, right up in the empty space against the fan... Instead they used a little bracket and then tried to tape up the hoses to get the grill to close...

I couldn't take pictures of the tape since they had to pull that all off and down to look at it and actually see what they had "done" to the heater. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Housing Comps - 2 bedroom

Since we now live in our 2 bedroom condo, I did some digging in the area in an attempt to find a comparable rental unit to use for the second half of the year and moving forward.

If I stay in the city we live in now and try and get our same neighborhood, a pet friendly 2 bedroom is going to run us around $2,000 - $2,100 a month (even checking through craigslist)... and i'm not sure i'd pick on of those places to actually live in.

So, I checked in on my old apartment complex from pre 1 bedroom condo time.

Yes, it's in a different city... but within the same commute distance to our jobs. AND its in the city our day care is in, making a move there, pretty darn practical. It's where we would live if we weren't living here most likely since hubs likes to leave these decisions to me.

I can get a 2 bedroom there for $1905 ($400 deposit)  + $35 in pet rent ($400 deposit) making it the cheapest option -- and it would be closer to daycare... I can say in all honesty, we'd move to a city that wouldn't lengthen our commute, if it saved us on rent, and i'd rather be in an apartment, then rent from a land lord, especially with a kid in tow to make sure things got fixed on time.

So we have a comparable rental unit we will use for math! Plus it helps that I know about the area and what is and is not included in rent and that the security deposit is full refundable if you live there at least 2 years... plus we'd get a garage.

We will also assume our now 5 year old washer and dryer (that we hypothetically purchased at the beginning of in 2012) will continue to function, thus eliminating the need for the coin operated laundry rooms at the apartment complex. 

Costs Associated with Apartment for 6 months 2017
We don't include electric bills below since we'd have to pay for those at either place, but my HOA fee includes water, gas, and trash so those will be listed in the apartment costs.
Initial costs: 
  • Deposit: $400.00 
  • Pet Deposit: $400.00
Monthly: $2,061.00
  • Trash: $15 a month
  • Water: $60 a month
  • Gas: $35 a month
  • Rent: $1,905 a month
  • Renters Insurance: $11.00 a month
  • Pet Rent: $35 a month
6 Month Total with security deposits: $13,166.00

Costs Associated with New Condo for 6 months 2017

Monthly: $1,439.94
  • Mortgage: $763.86
  • HOA: $350.00
  • Property Taxes: $280
  • Homeowners Insurance:($33.33 a month) $400.00 Year
  • Earthquake Insurance: ($12.75 a month) $153.00 Year 
6 Month Total: $8,639.64 (includes Homeowners ins, even though we ran it through escrow this year). 

On a monthly basis, our condo is $621.06 cheaper each month then an apartment without factoring in the security deposits. The apartment would cost us $25,532 over the course of a year, the condo $17,279.28... giving us the wiggle room to spend $8,252.72 each year on improvements while STILL saving money, since this doesn't factor in the tax write offs or the equity we will gain in the property by paying off the mortgage.

A note to new readers:
If your wondering how our mortgage is so low, its because we put $164,000 down from the sale of our first condo. I bought a fixer upper 8 years ago as a bank owned foreclosure and lived in it and made it our home through marriage, pets and our toddler. If your new to the blog, you can read the full financials on that property (including all the purchase, remodel and sale history here in our re-cap post). Our decision to buy this new condo, is in part because of the smart decisions we made about our first condo.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two Bedroom Condo Sale Specs

If your just catching along with our house buying and selling story, you'll want to check out the re-cap post on our 1 bedroom condo. 

Now, we pick up where that post left off and talk about our purchase. 

Our starting profit from the sale of our condo was $181,691.35. 

From there, we purchased a 2 bedroom condo in the same complex.

  • Down payment $164,000 (From the sale of our first place)
  • Inspection: $300
  • Admin/Origination charges: $899
  • Processing Fees: $495
  • Appraisal: $410
  • Flood Cert: $11
  • County taxes: $46.78
  • Endorsement Fee: $25
  • Recording Grant Deed: $9
  • Recording Trust Deed: $57
  • Notary Fee: $175
  • Messenger fee" $25
  • Archiving fee: $80
  • E-Document fee: $100
  • Escrow fee: $798
  • Lenders title insurance: $357
  • Sub escrow Fee: $37.50
  • Recording fees: $150
  • Home Owners Insurance: $400
  • Prepaid Interest $140.24
  • HOA Dues (June) $93.33
  • HOA Dues (July) $350
  • HOA Processing Fee: $50
  • Lender Credits +$6.40
  • Seller Credits +$1,200
Money spend to move into the new bedroom: $167,834.96.... 
Remaining Profit after both transactions: $13,856.40

Then we moved in and started the remodel... (yup, after the boxes were out of the u-haul, we ripped out our mater room closet the same day)... Here's what we have spent so far on the remodel.  
  • Washer/Dryer/Fridge - Delivery and Install: $2,037.61
  • Dryer Hoses: $17.26
  • Stove/Microwave - Delivery and Install: $982.82
  • Stove plug: $32.31
  • Reverse Osmosis System: $233.53
  • Stove Outlet Labor: $40.00
  • TV Mount for Living room: $135.00
  • USPS Change of Address: $1.00
  • Bathroom shower rod, curtain, hooks, tub fixtures: $234.47
Current Profit remaining: $10,142.40
We are only just beginning... and i'm sure we will go in the red before we hit the green again, just like the last place... but some things shouldn't wait to be fixed in this place, so we are quoting our and fixing things one at a time. 
  • Our current project is the bathroom... 
  • We are simultaneously getting window quotes approved by our HOA since that's a "we have to pay" someone to do it job and can't do it ourselves. (We have 2 quotes we are waiting to hear back from. Home Depot and an independent contractor from a trusted friend since the guy who did my windows last time isn't available). 
  • We are getting tons of quotes for jobs so we can see how our budget will stretch, including flooring, electrical, etc. We already priced out AC options and decided to table that for the end since the bottom unit is much cooler without the hot attic above us already. A few well placed fans and we are managing these 100 plus degree days. 
  • Heat on the other hand, that needs to be quoted for repairs still. 
  • Then, we are re-doing all the jenky electrical. We thought this would be a SCB DIY project, but the bottom floor means dry wall work (unlike our other unit where he could simply get in the attic and do the can lights and fans....) and he knows his limits. Plus we want to add and move outlets and knock out a wall... so, were paying someone and he's buying parts from work with his discount. We'll get it done in 2 days instead of a month plus and we won't worry about our toddler electrocuting himself... or us setting the place on fire (there was a reason our stove outlet was removed and replaced within a week of living here....)
So like I said, we'll hit the red sooner rather than later and we'll slowly crawl out of the hole from there. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

June Spending

We bought a new condo and sold our 1 bedroom last month and that decision basically encompassed everything we did that month.

 June 2017 Spending:
No mommy, no bedtime
my light saber... 
  • Giving: $785.00
  • Daycare: $1,350.00
  • Groceries: $360.85
  • Gasoline: $279.59
  • Auto Repairs: $147.53
    • The Es-court battery died... thankfully our friend offered to help jump it, and when it wouldn't start took hubs down to auto zone... they gave him a new battery and our friend fixed the connections on something -- maybe a light or a fuse that wouldn't go to the off mode--  so the battery wouldn't drain again, avoid a trip to the mechanic.
  • Eating Out/Entertainment: $324.36 
    • $71.44 was restaurants (we had 2 dates!)
    • $229.36 was fast food and take out (Includes feeding friends to help move/unpack)
    • $14.95 Audible
    • $8.61 Netflix DVD
  • Little Dude: $65.46
    • Water Table/ Toys: $37.80
    • Diapers/Wipes: $25.29
    • Food Pouch Snacks: $2.37
  • Clothes: (Little Dude)
    • 15.06 (summer pj's 2 pairs)
  • Gifts:
    • Father's Day: $91.56
    • Mother's Day: $147.53 (and my birthday... which we missed due to the move)
  • Doctors: 
    • $35.00 (Little Dude eye test -- he can see!)
  • Electricity: $74.73
  • Housing:
  • Lots of appliance hunting...
    • Technically no mortgage this month, as we have always been a month ahead (I pay in June for the bill due July 1) so we didn't have a bill to pay in July... and the rest of the fees ran through escrow for HOA, etc.
    • Moving/Remodel: $4,028.62
      • $155 storage Unit
      • 2,037.61 Washing Machine / Dryer / Fridge / Install and Delivery
      • 17.26 hoses for appliances
      • $233.53 Reverse Osmosis system for kitchen
      • $41.82 Electrical for the 1 bedroom
      • $38.87 Bathroom/Sink repair for 1 bedroom
      • $102.86 Uhaul
      • $16.07 home depot odds and ends
      • $607.11 New stove for 2 bedroom unit
      • $375.71 New microwave for 2 bedroom unit
      • $32.31 Stove Plug
      • $135 TV Mount
      • $1.00 USPS change of address
      • $234.47 Home Depot (Bathroom shower rod, curtain, hooks, new tub fixtures)
  • Discretionary: $34.67
    • $16.15 Box fan we ended up breaking :( reminder to always buy quality...
    • $18.22 Steam Sale Video Games (Hubs)

2017 Spending:

Just because your on the couch
doesn't mean your off limits
dad... I climb you!
  • Giving: $4,980.00
  • Daycare: $5,850.00
  • Groceries: $1,863.17
  • Gasoline: $1,473.58
  • Little Dude: $559.16
    • $164.65 Clothes, Shoes, Socks, PJ's
    • $26.12 Food Pouches
    • $131.18 Diapers & wipes
    • $31.14 Toys (Used Mega Blocks / birthday toys were hiding)
    • $68.57 (Usborne Books; Numbers Match Game; Potty Hook; couple small busy toys)
    • $7.39 Bubbles and bath boats (Easter basket)
    • $7.53 Book and etch-a-sketch (for car entertainment)
    • $17.18 Big boy cups
    • $45.88 Toddler bed conversion materials; Locks for our doors; Birthday party.
    • $21.72 Swim jacket, sun glasses, glow stick
    • $37.80 Water table and water gun
  • Eating out / Date Nights: $932.06
    • $34.44 Netflix DVD
    • $32.06 was movies and snack-age
    • $153.62 Restaurant Dates
    • $682.03 Fast food
    • $29.91 Audible
  • Clothes: (Hubs): $422.07
    • $7.56 A cheap hoodie from Walmart 
    • $97.00 2 nice pairs of pants from a place hubs wanted to try out 
    • $104.30 Good Shoes and Socks 
    • $138.80 pants, 2 pairs of shorts
    • $21.38 4 cheap Walmart pocket T's
    • -$83.63 The nice shoes didn't fit from last month.
    • $52.77 Pants and 2 pairs of shorts... no idea how it was only $52 but I kept seeing returns?
  • Clothes: (Me): $214.56
  • Yup, we took the toddler to REI so he could play in
    the floor model tents... (and so we could look at hammock
    stands)... but he thought it was so he could play.
    • $29.08 (Cheap boots)
    • $165.04 (Lularoe)
    • $20.44 (Cheap sports bras)
  • Gifts: $545.91
    • Toddler Birthday Party: $15
    • V-day
      • $80.83 - lularoe... (my new obsession)
      • $6.43 - Card for hubs.
      • $30.66 - knife and oil
    • $12.97 Baby Shower
    • $90.99 Hubs and Mother's day for my mom
    • $33.60 Birthday odds and ends (hubs)
    • $15.00 Game for Hubs
    • $30.51 Mother's day
    • $91.56 Father's Day/ Hubs Bday
    • $147.53 My bday / Mothers day
  • Internet: $314.95
  • Electricity: $74.73
  • Cell phones: $223.53
    • Car mount: $13.78
    • Charge Cables: $17.74
    • Cases and screen covers: $21.35
    • Cell phone minutes: $170.66
  • Housing:
    • HOA: $1,750.00
    • Mortgage (including extra principal): $5,186.98
    • Moving:
    • Hubs helped braid my hair... i'm
      trying really hard not to cut it so it
      grows out... he's been helping. 
      • Inspection: $300
      • Electrical to undo desk lights: $11.60
      • Home Depot (Paint, Wall texture, moving supplies) $355.80
      • Wall Texture: $300
      • Storage Unit: $170
      • HOA Doc Transfer Fees: $529
      • Cleaning: $145
      • Front door paint, boxes, ceiling paint: $66.22
      • $155 storage Unit
      • 2,037.61 Washing Machine / Dryer / Fridge / Install and Delivery
      • 17.26 hoses for appliances
      • $233.53 Reverse Osmosis system for kitchen
      • $41.82 Electrical for the 1 bedroom
      • $38.87 Bathroom/Sink repair for 1 bedroom
      • $102.86 Uhaul
      • $16.07 home depot odds and ends
      • $607.11 New stove for 2 bedroom unit
      • $375.71 New microwave for 2 bedroom unit
      • $32.31 Stove Plug
      • $135 TV Mount
      • $1.00 USPS change of address
      • $234.47 Home Depot (Bathroom shower rod, curtain, hooks, new tub fixtures)
  • Medical: $338.93
    • Dr/Urgent Care visits: $105 (7 visits)
    • Over the counter / Prescriptions: $221.51
    • Eye Test: $35.00
    • Dentist: $50.00
  • Pocket Money: $420.00
  • Roxy
    • $433.39 Vet
    • $20 Licence
    • $25.71 Kibble and treats
  • Discretionary: $1005.30
  • Jenky electrical surprises 
    • Kitchen/Cooking:
      • Tooth Picks: $1.48
      • Cookie Cutters: $0.82
      • Silicone Bake Ware: $6.44
      • Folding box, food containers, cups, hygiene items, hook hardware: $87.49
      • Lint Rollers and Grill Items $18.87
    • House:
      • Vacuum Storage Bags: $39.95
      • New Couch Mattress: $170.59
      • Pillow: $24.99
      • $16.15 Box fan we ended up breaking :( reminder to always buy quality...
    • Fitness:
      • Medicine Ball: $8.63
    • Husband:
      • Legos: $14.88
      • Machete Sheath: $8.36
      • Return Ship Fee: $7.99
      • Hammock: $123.80
      • Hair Cut: $51.00
      • Camping/Outdoor Materials $106.08
      • Para-cord, Buckle, soap, candle $75.39
      • Para-cord Needles $5.52
      • $18.22 Steam Sale Video Games (Hubs)
    • Other:
      • Turbo Tax: $126.98
      • USPS Return $14.30
      • Power Cord: $6.98
      • Costume Accessories: $9.68
      • Walmart (don't remember): $45.71