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Archive for May, 2012

Waiting...and Looking

May 30th, 2012 at 08:55 pm

I'm still waiting for one buyer to make their payment for an Ebay purchase. I just want to get it mailed and have that cash in my account. Maybe it will be paid by the time I wake up!

We went looking at schools and houses in our new city. It was a lot of information to take in, but it was all good. We haven't decided on a house and will need to look again.

Our trip to visit included an overnight at a hotel and meals out. I'm sure we spent over $300 with the hotel, meals and fuel. We didn't plan very well. But it is done and not all of our visits will include an overnight, but it was needed to make all the school visits and appointments.

Sold Two More Items On Ebay

May 28th, 2012 at 07:11 pm

I sold two more items on Ebay yesterday. I don't have the net proceeds yet. I'm still waiting for payment. I will add the proceeds to my Christmas funds. I expect the amount to be about $12.

We are school and house hunting in our new town tomorrow. We will spend one night in a hotel. We have already received a partial advance for DH travel expenses and the dislocation allowance. The money will sure help with the moving expenses. It is all the little things that seem to add up with a move.

More Snowflakes

May 25th, 2012 at 09:41 am

I have more snowflakes to add to my 2012 Christmas fund. I received $3 from Pinecone for completing a survey. I also sold one item on ebay, with the Buy It Now option and netted $15.50! That's another $18.50 to add for the month of May.

I did receive the $25 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks yesterday, too. I already mentioned it here, but I have added to my Amazon account.

I have two more items listed on Ebay that will end on Sunday night. I think they both have a high chance of selling since so many people are watching them! Those proceeds will be added to the Christmas fund, too.

Again...have a wonderful weekend!!

Finally We Agree and Other Great News

May 24th, 2012 at 07:07 pm

We have finally signed a final agreement with the buyers on the home repairs. We will hire a contractor to resecure the deck, and reset and caulk protruding nails. We will personally paint the caulked areas. We will not be replacing the interior door.

I had the contractor revise the estimate, which came down from $2300, to about $1600. I realized he still had painting included. He revised it again to $1200. I finally said that is too much. Can you get closer to $800? He said he could do $800 worth of repairs. I said, yes!!

This means the contractor may not get to all the nails, but we can pop a few in and caulk while we are up painting. The buyer will still get a receipt from the contractor for repairs and the work will still get done.

Oh and the really great news...my husband graduated from his class and is driving back home!! I might actually see him tomorrow...or early on Saturday. Enjoy your extended weekend!

Contractors Are Booked!

May 22nd, 2012 at 05:45 pm

I called three contractors yesterday and all were booked and not able to get to any repairs in the next three weeks. Yikes. My realtor then calls a contractor she might use to build her home. They were able to come today and provide an estimate. If we agree they will start work next week.

The estimate is for resetting about 20% of the nails, caulk, and labor for painting. It also is for resecuring the deck to the home and replacing an interior door in the master bathrooom. Total $2333!!!!!!!!

I'm annoyed beyond belief. The deck is the cheapest at just $79. The door is nearly $600. It is a hollow door that has a nickel size whole on the interior of the master bathroom near the upper hinge. I could buy one myself for about $70, but the staining isn't something I have experience with. The nails and caulk are cheap. It is all the labor that is becoming the issue with me.

The buyers are insisting that the work be done by a licensed contractor. It seems to make these requests seem so big. Ugh!

Lack of Writing Skills

May 21st, 2012 at 06:32 am

Apparently the buyers agent has an inability to write well. The wording on the inspection addendum did state ALL nails, but that was not the intention. They only want the nails that are currently protruding from the siding fixed. And only those nails caulked and painted.

We have not signed the addendum yet, but hope to by the end of the day.

I sent an email over the weekend to a handyman inquiring about the repairs we need done. Unfortunately, it's a no go. They are booked in the time frame we need the repairs done.

I also sent an email to another contractor we have worked with before. Fingers crossed he calls and is available to complete the work!

I researched one other company that looks promising with good reviews. I will attempt to call this afternoon, if I don't hear from the previously mentioned man.

I'm getting to the point where these repairs are stressing me out. They are simple, but yet with one rejection from a reliable and busy company I'm a little concerned. We may need to just acknowledge the deficiencies to the buyer and provide a credit to compensate.

I hope this is cleared up by the end of the day!!

In other news...I did receive another pinecone survey payment of $3. And if I didn't already mention it, and I may have, I redeemed swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card. I also put three items up for sale on ebay last night. Two pairs of nearly new sandals and a pair of capris. A little extra cash would be nice!!

All the Nails?

May 20th, 2012 at 05:52 am

Geez! I'm beyond annoyed. The buyers want ALL the nails in the siding to be pounded in flush or replaced, caulked and painted to match the siding. ALL.

There are 25 for sure that need to be replaced. I could even venture there are 100 that could be looked at. ALL would be over 3000 nails. That is a lot of labor. Labor they want done by an exterior contractor.

I've decided no. This is basically cosmetic and can be done by the buyer. We will resecure the deck to the siding as that could be a safety issue. That's it.

Received Our Credit Scores

May 19th, 2012 at 06:31 am

As a result of the application for a new home mortgage we received a copy of our credit scores from all three credit bureaus.

All were in the excellent range from what I could tell. If you know otherwise, let me know.

Experian Range 150-950
DH: 826
Me: 798

Equifax Range 300-850
DH: 782
Me: 801

TransUnion Range 336-843
DH: 799
Me: 791

There were comments on both of our reports from all three companies indicating we have too many accounts with balances, time with recent account opening too short and too many inquiries in the last 12 months.

The truth is we have opened a three credit cards in the last twelve months to obtain rewards. We purchased a truck in the last year. So I guess all those comments are correct, but I think our scores are pretty good. No complaints here.

Have you seen your credit score recently? I believe you can get an approximate one if you sign up for free at creditkarma. I just checked my most recent score with them which is 772. A pretty close estimate to what was reported, but lower than each of the credit reporting agencies. Have you seen your credit score recently?

Truck Balance Under $11K!!

May 18th, 2012 at 02:18 pm

Our regular payment on the truck loan posted yesterday. We paid $31.35 in interest and paid down $297.78 on the principal balance.

This brings the new balance to under $11K. So excited to meet a milestone. The actual balance is now $10,933.65.

Just four more payments to put us under $10K. I'm always lookig forward to less debt. Smile

Estimator Scheduled

May 18th, 2012 at 10:20 am

We have been contacted by the moving company that will move our belongings from this house to the next. They will likely store our things for 2-4 weeks before we move into our next home.

On Monday, an estimator is coming to our home to see how much stuff we have. And really, it is not that much stuff. Right now they think it is a day and half job. I think the last time only took one day and I expect the same this time.

We already have estimated dates for packing and picking up. Boy this feels VERY real. I have dates that I can use to start telling services to stop service.

I think I need to start making a list!! Yikes.

Inspection Complete

May 18th, 2012 at 05:23 am

The buyers had their home inspection completed yesterday. According to my agent, they found the deck to be pulling away from the house. I can see what they found and it should be an easy fix. The deck is only 2 feet off the ground, so not a major safety issue, but could be a problem at some point. I never noticed it before!

We have more than 25 nails that are protruding from the siding. They will need to be replaced with the correct nail and repainted.

We will likely hire a handyman service to do the work. Easier on us and we can show that the work was done by a professional. Hopefully, the cost won't be too much either.

VA Certificate of Eligibility - Check

May 16th, 2012 at 05:28 am

We applied for a VA loan and were approved about two weeks ago. My husband needs a certificate of eligibility to complete the loan. We received a copy of it by email today, so we are good to go.

We may reapply for a conventional loan now that we have sold our home and likely won't close on another home until after we complete our current sale. That would mean we would have a much bigger down payment since we would have the equity out of this house.

Decisions, decisions! I guess I need to run some numbers. Fun!!

Has anyone else used there VA home loan benefits? What did you think about it...good or bad?

Replace Garage Door Openers

May 15th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

We have been down to just one garage door opener for about two years. It has been no problem since both of our vehicles have the ability to sync with the opener.

Unfortunately I made a mistake with the remaining opener recently. I took it outside with me while I did some work in our far back yard. I wanted the garage door closed, but a quick way to get back in. Instead of keeping it with me I set it on my van hood near the windshield wiper.

Many days later, its raining and while I'm driving my daughter home from school something flies off the hood. I did think of the remote, but I was positive I had put it back in the house.

I didn't think to check when I returned home and now several days later I went to use the remote again and it is missing from its regular spot. Ugh!! No remotes now. And...we are selling the house and they need to be included.

I went to Sears and was quickly ushered to the remotes and told which ones would work since they no longer carry the original. They were $45 each!!! I paid. The computer froze up during the transaction and I paid again. Yep, I see two pending transactions. They said it might happen and one would drop off. Fingers crossed it will.

In the meantime, I did more research at home and found I could buy the original ones on ebay. I paid $45 for two new remotes...which included Priority shipping. Just saved $45 on a purchase I didn't want to make in the first place. Smile

Do you have an 'I lost my mind' story that cost you money?

Homes For Heroes

May 14th, 2012 at 02:58 pm

The agent representing our buyers is an affiliate of a program called Homes for Heroes. The first time I heard of the program was on Saturday when I saw the back of his business card.

The program connects real estate agents with firefighters, police officers, military personnel, health care workers and teachers to help them purchase and sell homes. The agent gives 25% of the affiliate's gross commission back to the client in the form of a rebate.

So we signed up last night online. As of last night we already had a phone call from and an agent where we will be moving. She is already sending us listings of homes and left me a voice mail message just making contact.

Not sure what amount we will end up with since it depends on the price of the home we buy. It will be nice to have a little help in the form of a rebate! It might just be enough to recoup that $1-2K we decided to forgo in negotiating the price of this home. If only we had known before we entered into agreement on our current home. We could have receieved about $1500 at closing!

The program is connected with lenders, home inspection and closing companies as well to offer discounts to help lower the cost of buying a home.

Has anyone else heard of this program?

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I added a $5 Target gift card to my Christmas Fund after purchasing 10 Lean Cuisine meals at Target. I used a $2 coupon off the meals as well. Very good deal. Might need to pick up more before the week is out!

We have a Deal

May 13th, 2012 at 11:03 am

We have finished negotiations with the buyer of our home. We ended up netting out at $6K under our list price. We would have felt better at $4-5K under, but we didn't want to lose the deal over $1000 dollars. We close mid June!

Our realtor did check with the client that saw our house for the second time yesterday, but they had decided against making an offer. So there was not any price war bidding going on.

We are just happy to have a buyer. Now to get through the inspection without too much negotiating!!

I have to say I think those 47 days were some of the longest and busiest of my life. It is hard to keep a home spic and span that long without getting burn out!

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful mothers!!

We have an Offer!

May 12th, 2012 at 03:17 pm

We have received an offer to purchase our home!! We would need to close by June 18th, which is fine by us.

Funny thing is this was a last minute showing this morning...less than an hour to prepare. We also just had a showing this afternoon by another client that saw our house about three weeks ago. I'm really wondering if another offer will come in.

Either way...It is sold!!

Construction Leads to Less Spending

May 9th, 2012 at 06:34 pm

The major road behind our house has recently closed in order to widen the street to four lanes. As a result my detour is very inconvenient and starting today requires waiting for oncoming traffic to pass before being allowed to pass on a one lane road.

As a result, I didn't feel like making a separate trip to the grocery store tonight. I decided instead to make soup and breadsticks with items I already had on hand. I'm going to do the same tomorrow too. I turns out I do have some things I should start using up in preparation for the move. Tomorrow is grilled cheese for the girls and salmon that I found in the freezer for me! Yum.

I'm also going through all cupoards and closets looking for things that need to be tossed or donated before the move. I'm pretty pared down, but I'm checking expiration dates and outgrown shoes. There is always something that one no longer needs it seems.

Do you have any unusual ways to keep from spending? Do you have a lot of construction in your area?

Snowflake Updates

May 8th, 2012 at 05:11 am

For the month of May I already have $41 to add to my Christmas Fund. I received $10 from MySurvey in my paypal account, two $3 deposits from Pinecone. I also redeemed points with Swagbucks for five $5 Amazon.com gift certificates. I should be able to accumulated enough points to redeem for a $25 certificate shortly, too.

How is your Christmas fund stacking up?

Preapproved for More Debt

May 4th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Good news and bad news! We are preapproved for more debt. We applied for and were approved for a home mortgage. This would be debt in addition to our current mortgage. We didn't make the application contingent on having this house sold.

This is good news because it means we can begin looking for a new home to purchase. We don't have to wait for our home to sell to get into a new home. This actually relieves quite a bit of stress for me!

The bad news is this means more debt. We hope temporarily, but if not, it will be easily covered by our income.

We know we will sell this home and we know that it would could easily be rented. We already have a lead on a property manager that another soldier has been using and is very pleased with while he has been in Germany. We just don't have the luxury of waiting around while it sells before we have to have something else to live in.

We have found in the area we will be moving to that rental homes are very hard to find that accept our two cats! So many people don't accept pets. I do understand this from a landlord perspective though. Smile

That's the news here. Have you held two mortgages at once? If so why and when was it? I honestly didn't think we could get approved for another mortgage loan, but apparently our low credit and minimal debt make it easy.

Sharebuilder Funds Available

May 3rd, 2012 at 06:26 am

My bonus of $75 was available to withdraw today! Yipee. Let me know if you participated and got your bonus, too.

Sharebuilder Bonus Response

May 2nd, 2012 at 05:12 pm

I did end up sending an email to ING/Sharebuilder about the $75 bonus money I received back in January and should have been able to withdraw by today. I waited the obligatory 120 days and attempted to withdraw the funds. Unfortunately, the bonus money currently shows as unavailable for withdrawal. Ugh! Here is the response I received..errors included. Smile

Your wait is almost over. Our bonuses are on hold from withdraw for a few months to encourage customers to use the money towards investments. I can confirm you should be able to withdraw this money by the end of this week, you could even try to do so tomorrow. Just click on the Accounts tab > Transfer Money > Deposit & Withdraw.

That being said, this is an investment account. If you plan on making an investment, but aren't sure where to get started, take our Research Tab for a spin. Take the Research tab for a spin. You'll find helpful tools such as the Investment Screener, Market Movers, and even PortfolioBuilder if youd like some guidance based on your financial goals and your comfort level with risk.


I will attempt to withdraw tomorrow and Friday to see if the email is correct. If not, I will email them back to see what the problem is. I will let you know tomorrow what happens!

$75 ING Bonus

May 2nd, 2012 at 01:05 pm

Way back at the end of December, I opened an ING account with $100 in order to qualify for a $75 bonus. The bonus was applied to my account on January 3rd. Per the agreement, the bonus money could not be withdrawn until 120 days after it was credited to my account.

The way I count up the days, I thought I met the 120 days today. It seems not. When I went to withdraw the money, it clearly showed that the $75 was not available for redemption.

I will wait one more day and try again. If I can't do it tomorrow then I will contact customer service to find out how they count the days!

I think some of you did this offer around the same time. Did you remember that you have that bonus money coming to you? Let me know if you are able to withdraw yours!

Under with the Water

May 1st, 2012 at 01:24 pm

I budget $60 for our water bill each month. It actually includes trash and sewer fees as well. This month we were under budget at $52.31. We saved $7.69. Last month I put the savings in the Christmas fund, this month I'm saving the difference in our emergency cash fund. Every little bit helps!