The good and the bad

Well, I sadly have to take back my last post. The damage the body shop found under the fender was just too much to handle, and Scooter has officially been totaled. I said goodbye to him at the body shop Friday, and it was a sad, sad moment in my life.

At least one of the employees was nice enough to take my picture with my baby before I said goodbye.

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So that didn’t turn out so well. That’s the bad.

The good is that, about two hours after I posted last, we got a call that the home owners had accepted our offer on a house!


Ain’t she purty??!!

We’re still in the process of all the paperwork and approvals, but if everything continues well, we should close in time to have trick-or-treaters!!

Not excited. Not excited at all. Nope. 😀 

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Back to the Hunt

So I’ve checked my real estate app every 10 minutes for the past six hours, and it’s official. The house I’ve been dying to look inside for three weeks has not been put back on the market.

I was really hoping that whoever put in an offer would suddenly have a creepy little voice in their head say, “Take it baaaack… take it baaaack!” and that the house would magically reappear online so the mister and I can keep our viewing appointment with it tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow. Somebody out there had the nerve to fall in love with the house that I have already claimed as my own inside my head where there are no legal documents and nothing stands up in court the DAY BEFORE I was supposed to go see it.

*sigh*

We’re going to live in a tent.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the Mister and I are house hunting.

“house hunting”

(1) a repetitive action in which you pine for beautifully photographed homes on the internet and then drive by them to find out those photographs were apparently taken 12 years ago.

(2) a state of constant remorse that you’ve ever spent any money in your entire life when you finally find the perfect house, but you would have to actually rob the bank to be offered that much money.

Thankfully we mostly like our apartment right now, and we’re in a good place to stay as long as it takes to find something else. So there is that.

But paint samples. And coordinated furniture. And hardwood floors. And a yard. For the dog. Outside….

My mantra these days is “the Lord will provide.” And I know that He will. His plans for us are so much better than what we could choose for ourselves, and apparently this house I loved (and the one before that, and the one before that) weren’t right for us and our future family and something better will come along.

But still. How can I pick out paint colors when I don’t know what the rooms will look like???

A Lack of Solid Reasoning Skills

It must be something in the water, or maybe it’s a deficit of good red meat, or it could be because the milk always tastes funny – I don’t know – but I do know that logical reasoning skills are definitely not an island strong suit.

It took me weeks to convince our landlady that replacing our broken washing machine with parts and/or a new machine of the same make, year and model was obviously not a real solution since the same parts kept breaking on each machine. Logical conclusion? Try a completely different machine, preferably a new one.

Then, the repairman that she kept calling/telling us to call to fix the washing machine didn’t come for weeks, even when he said he would come the next day. When he finally did come, the “fixed” machine broke again the next week. Then when he sent someone else, that repairman took both machines (at this point there were two broken washers in the laundry room) apart, left the pieces scattered everywhere and went home for the weekend. Our landlady complained to us in dismay that her workers have such low work ethic. She’s a local! She’s lived here I don’t know how many years and is still surprised that local workers have zero work ethic?? I figured that out in our first month! Logical conclusion? Fire useless repair people.

Next, she finally does purchase a new washer for the house. The delivery truck arrives on Saturday and these men are dismayed to find that not only do I want them to hook up the new machine, but I also want them to haul off the two old machines and all the associated parts. Delivery men do not install. Technicians install, but only by special appointment, and they do not remove old machines. Garbage men will remove old machines but only if they fit in the garbage cans (yeah, I’m still figuring that one out). And the other repairman doesn’t do any of the above. So at this point there were three washing machines in the laundry room, two in pieces and one still in the box. How many Kittitians does it take to plug in a washer? Hmmmm……

Today, the original repairman returns, and instead of hooking up the brand new washing machine, he moves that new machine into a far corner, shifts the old machines back into their original places, and reinstalls them. I really wish I had gone down to check his work while he was still on the property because I would love to ask the following questions:
1. Why did you think we purchased a brand new washing machine if we didn’t want to use it?
2. Why would we want to use the old machines, now pieced together (literally) with electrical tape, when we could be using a brand new modern machine?
and 3. If you somehow couldn’t figure out why we would have a brand new washing machine, still in the box, sitting where the old machine used to be, did it never occur to you to come upstairs and ask if we wanted to use the new machine instead? (A related question: If you are capable of moving our beautiful new machine into a corner, why aren’t you capable of coming to the front door and knocking to talk to me instead of standing in the yard and yelling up to our balcony window, hoping someone will hear you?)

St. Kitts. People, I’m telling you, it’s pretty here, but that’s all it’s got going for it.

In this related vein, the Mister and I are excited to have found a new apartment for next semester. We and the roommates have been getting along well, but we all decided it was time for each couple to have their own space. We just agreed on our unit yesterday, after being led to it completely by accident, and we fell in love as soon as we walked in the doors. It’s one bedroom, two bathrooms, with a floor and a half. The living room, kitchen and guest bath are upstairs with a wide porch and dip pool overlooking the golf course, and the master bedroom, bathroom and laundry area are downstairs with access to just enough grassy garden for the dog to play in. As long as everything goes well with the rent, which is a little more than we were hoping to spend, then I don’t see us moving anymore for the rest of our time on the island.

I am incredibly excited; I even did a little happy dance in the living room after the Mister and I had our telepathic “Do you like this one?” conversation and decided to keep it. One of the biggest selling points is that it feels like an actual home, as opposed to just being a student apartment. And our new landlady seems to be very competent and on top of things. I don’t anticipate having any phone conversations with her like I do with our current landlady, where she starts explaining to me how she paid for the repairs and all the trouble she had finding a replacement and basically making herself out to be this big hero because she’s done us all this big unneccesary favor. I’m not kidding; I’ve literally put the phone down and come back for it later and she’s still talking.

December 1 can’t come fast enough.

So do you have any landlord stories to tell, good or bad? How did you know you wanted to live in the place you have now?

The Nut House Goes House Hunting

All first semester students here at Ross are given the option of living in the on-campus housing (dorms). And I’m not saying that’s a bad option – it puts you in easy walking distance of the main campus, with its ATM, fitness center and eating options, and you meet a lot more people in your class that way – but for us being a married couple, it has definitely had its challenges. We live in an efficiency room, which means we have about 20 square feet of space that serves as bedroom, living room, study area, kitchen and dining room all at once.

Yes, we’re married, and we’re close, but there comes a point where you get TOO close. . .

There are other types of dorm rooms – two bedrooms, and even split-level townhouse-type apartments – but everything is first-come, first-serve. So we have an efficiency. It is what it is.

But everyone has to move off campus for second semester, so we’re house hunting! I think it’s a lot of fun to go around and look at all these places with the realtors, although it would be more fun if we had our own car and didn’t have to call a taxi every time. (Cross your fingers and toes – we should have possession of our car within the next two weeks!)

Our future roommates (M and B) and the Mister and I have looked at a few options with a lot of potential and have our eyes on one in particular, if we can work out some kinks in the rental agreement. I won’t post any pictures or give any real details until we settle on something, since there may be other Rossies reading this trying to hijack our house, but let’s just say the one I like best is a real catch. (I know you’ve already got your fingers and toes crossed, so go ahead and cross those arms and legs too while you’re at it.)

We’ve looked at three so far: two in quiet neighborhood-type areas and one up on the tippy-tip top of a mountain overlooking basically the entire island. The view is breath-taking! But the drive up is pretty frightening, so we’ll have to see how that one goes.

Ross is really good about helping students find housing, and they have an entire website dedicated to listing the available units and showing extensive pictures and details about each one. The school is really good about understanding exactly how much students can be expected to tackle alone in this brand new area and new culture. They conduct security checks on all the properties and list the approved units on the student housing site; they include all student housing in the safety rounds and help write the lease agreements on whatever units we choose. However we are still responsible for setting up our own appointments with the realtors, finding our own roommates and making our own final decisions. You can choose to live somewhere that’s not Ross-approved, but it’s a decision you make at your own risk. And even then, if you ask, they will still send out a security team to conduct the check on your unit and give their professional opinions.

So we’re on another leg of this continuing adventure. But at least we are making friends, learning our way around, testing our wings and trying to make the best of it. So wish us luck in the house hunt. I will soon have an oven again, hallelujah!

 

 

**NOTE: I am trying to start a weekly blog theme called “Top Ten Thursday,” and I am open to any and all topic suggestions you may have. The Top Ten lists can be cultural, like local customs we’ve seen; they can be photographic, like local flowers, birds, colorful headdresses, etc.; they can be personal, like marriage lessons; or they can be how-to tips we’ve used, like about flying internationally or driving on the left side of the road. Anything really. realLeave your suggestions in comments and I’d appreciate it. 🙂

Did I Mention Counter Space?

My best friend (“Goose”) and her husband bought their first house this past weekend, and I don’t think I could possibly be happier for them! It’s an adorable starter home, and I cannot even begin to describe how jealous I am that she’s going to have kitchen counter space. And a washing machine. And a giant closet… the list could go on and on.

The new Gunter house. :-)

The new Gunter house. 🙂

But while the Mister and I were flipping through the pictures on Goose’s facebook profile, and he zoomed through the most important images, I realized a very major and important difference between he and I.

“Hey! Go back!”

“Back to what?”

“The kitchen! You didn’t even let me look at the kitchen!”

“It’s just a kitchen.”

“Well that’s just the yard. I don’t care about the yard. I want to look at the kitchen!”

**Blank, confused stare from the Mister**

He didn’t even want to look at the kitchen!!! I was in shock. While I wanted to examine every detail of the countertops, backsplash design, appliances and room layout… he just wanted to flip through and look at the yard. The yard! Yes, a yard is nice and I’m happy they have one, but the kitchen is infinitely more important. To have the cabinets just right, enough counter space the right distance apart, all the proper utilities… how could you NOT be concerned about that???

I can see us now, looking at houses (or even just apartments) someday in the future:

Me: “Oh, honey! Look at the big windows in this kitchen! I love the counter space!”

Mister: “Ok.”

Realtor: “The kitchen appliances are all being included by the owners.”

Me: “Did you hear that, honey? The appliances are included!”

Mister: “Ok. What type of grass is in the yard? Is this area zoned for cows?”

Realtor: “Zoned for cows?”

Me: “Honey, did you see the size of this pantry?!”

Mister: “Yes. Cows. For the yard.”

You see how this is going? There’s going to be a house someday with the perfect kitchen, and we’re not going to buy it because it doesn’t have the right kind of grass or something.

Actually, no, that’s not going to happen. Because if I find the perfect kitchen – or really, at this point, if I find any decent counter space at all – I’m going to duct tape myself to it and refuse to move until it’s mine.

Even if the current homeowners have to cook around me.

(Did I mention Goose is going to have counter space????) 🙂

What did your first home look like? What features does your ideal home have?

**Oh, and a note for last week’s readers: The chicken coop pictured in the blog is not the same coop we found at Tractor Supply Company. The TSC website would not let me steal that picture, so I Googled “fancy chicken coop” and found the one I used. For all the women who have asked my mother-in-law where they can buy that chicken coop (you do realize I was referring to it as a crazy contraption, right?), the one we saw was the same style pictured here: http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/ware-manufacturing-premium-chick-n-barn–nest-box-kit