Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday morning

Here's some of what's been happening:
  • We had a $194 electric bill for August's air conditioning (we had quite a few days at 105 degrees). Current highs have only gone to high 80s/low 90s, so I hope we will soon be entering that blessed time (but oh too brief) time of no air conditioning, no heat.
  • I've spotted my first Escalade Hybrid in the wild in the college parking lot.
  • Over the weekend, a 2000 sq. ft. 3BR/3BA house that started at $180k, went to $172k, and then went to to $160k has fallen still further in price to $150k. I told my husband (who normally hates house hunting), he suggested we drive over, so we loaded up the kids and cruised by it a couple of times. The location, price and interior (based on web photos) are very appealing. The outside is unimpressive, with an irregular shape suggesting that it had been expanded over the years. Furthermore, there was a small driveway leading not to a garage but to the house. I have dark suspicions that there used to be a garage, but they converted it into living space. Our ardor cooled. The owner is relocating or relocated (I googled him and he's got a job in VA) and the house is also for rent for $1350, which is a bit steep. It last sold in 2008 for $140k (but the tax assessment is for $70k), it looks like a bunch of interior work was done, and then it went back on the market in 2009. A neighbor across the street has a 1750 sq. ft. 2BR house for sale for $143k. Isn't that large for a 2BR, you may be asking? It's actually not atypical of nicer neighborhoods. Even back in the 1950s, middle class Texans in our area were quite addicted to formal dining rooms, living rooms, family rooms, sun rooms, etc. You can't really tell the size of a house just by the bedroom count. There was the opposite problem when I was house hunting in suburban Maryland. In suburban Maryland, the tiniest homes would somehow have four or five bedrooms, often in converted basements.
  • In other housing news, the number of houses for sale in the neighborhood I watch has suddenly contracted. They may have sold, or they may have been taken off the market for the fall and holiday season. I'm very curious to see what the new house crop will look like in February and March, especially since the most aggressive pricing has been in new listings. This is going to be very exciting!
  • Last night, I met some new neighbors (a woman who works with the football team on academics and her husband, a parole officer) across the street and exchanged contact information with them. Previously, I'd collected contact info from three other sets of new neighbors, and so last night, my husband and I put together a new draft of the neighborhood directory and emailed it out, asking for corrections. I'm hoping to send out a finished version later this week, but given the churn in our neighborhood, it needs to be revised at least once or twice a year. I took the liberty of mentioning in my cover email that 1) I'm looking for walking partners and 2) I babysit commercially.
  • Speaking of which, the infant I babysit is here right now. I gave him solids today (a month ago he was totally milk-fed). Another first for me is that he is actually taking a nap in my Pack N Play right now, having skipped his previous nap at home. That feels a little bit like cheating, but he is a baby.

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