Wednesday, March 31, 2010


DISCLAIMER: Mostly when I say the words, I, ME, WE, OUR I am referring to myself and my wife. We have both been working hard on the house and sometimes it was difficult to see progress.

Every time I start a post I start it with, "Ok, so" then I have to go back and reword the sentence to make sure I don't always start my blog entries with, "Ok, so."

Anyway[see reworded :-)], so part of making 5k go along way to making a house nicer means you do most of the work and OMG!! I'm tired of "working" on this house. I'm delirious! I don't even know if I want to sell the house or burn it down.

BUT and I know I've said this before, we're getting close. The garage will be completely painted and trimmed and caulked by tonight's end. If there is any daylight left the front porch will also be painted and maybe I can start on touch-up painting in the house.

That will put an end to 3 of the last 12 items to do. I can't wait for that day, I haven't worked out in 2 1/2 weeks and I have a 10k (ugh) race in 3 weeks. Most people just say I have a 10k RUN or 10k but to me it is hard to separate the fact that I'm running, I like to win (although I rarely have a real chance) and there are other people (unsuspecting) running the race for me to beat. If I can't workout HOW am I going to beat them?!?

Anyway, we hope the house sells fast. 1 day, although the sales person in me knows that if it sells fast it was most likely under priced, at this point I don't care. IF it doesn't sell, it wouldn't be the end of the world. The house looks nicer, and it will be complete. NO LINGER projects!!

It has inspired me to create a new rule for myself. One that most people would probably thing should be an axiom for any project. TO FINISH IT!! I have a bit of a problem with that, I know, I don't hide it but things are looking nice and I like that feeling of completion.

Here's the list of things to be completed NOT including packing up & cleaning:
1.) Paint 3 interior doors
2.) Replace 1 side of door casing on 2 doors
3.) Touch-up/clean baseboards & door casings
4.) Touch-up paint kitchen cabinets
5.) Paint bathroom vanities
6.) Finish painting garage/side of the house/backdoor trim
7.) Touch-up living room ceiling
8.) Replace 4 air vents
9.) Purchase and Replace stove
10.) Repair fascia on porch
11.) Install over oven Microwave
12.) Lots of cleaning and Packing (Ok I included it just not in detail)

Completed items:
1.) Dry in garage
2.) Replace rotted siding on house and garage
3.) Replace rotted trim on garage
4.) Replace kitchen sink
5.) Replace kitchen faucet
6.) Replace dishwasher
7.) Purchase over oven Microwave
8.) LOTS of cleaning and packing (thanks to my wife)
9.) Replacing rotted railing on porch
10.) Rack leaves in front bed
11.) Mow & fertilize front yard
12.) Repair windows
13.) Paint living room ceiling
14.) Remove linoleum in guest bath
15.) Remove rotted vanity in guest bath
16.) Replace all ceiling fans
17.) Install recessed light in bathroom
18.) Install shelving in Laundry Room
19.) ??

I'm sure I'm leaving something out, but you get the gist, we've done a lot.

And here's a cute post about Mayzie and Her Best Friend

Friday, March 26, 2010

The house

The house has been taken up my time for the last two or three weeks. Every available moment has been spent thinking, working or cleaning the house. We have made some amazing strides but we still have some work to do.

I'm really liking the look of the house. It is coming together and I'm pretty optimistic about it selling and selling for what we want. I'm also pretty excited about some of the houses we've been seeing. There is a house (I'm sure it will sell before we could make an offer) but if we sold our house for what the Realtor is expecting then we could mortgage 75-85k. Some people have that much debt in just their cars!! AND the typical car loan pays in 60month or 5 years and we would be able to pay off that house in a little over 5 years. THAT IS EXCITING!

It actually makes me want to work harder to get it paid off faster. I can't imagine the feeling of knowing that you don't have a house payment. In fact the total amount of money we'd pay in interest in 5 years on that mortgage would be about the same as what we would pay in 1 1/2 years at our current house. This is exactly why we've chosen to sell.

I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, because I know things could change quickly and I am well aware of what the Bible has to say about a man's plan and the way he thinks is good. But I can imagine the opportunities that we could leverage for the kingdom being completely debt free.

Friday, March 19, 2010


We are called Wheelies from our director which I really hate, but she only e-mails us a few times so I don't have to hear or read it very often. I'm talking about Meals On Wheels!!

Most people don't know that I am a volunteer driver for the Meals On Wheels program. My route is in East Austin. I work the route with my best friend Mark. He is the co-pilot and I'm the driver and we get the food to the people quick!

I don't know how it is in other parts of Austin, but the route I drive is sometimes pretty "interesting." We have this guy on our route that could be a serial killer, or at least he has the Hollywood stereotypical look and he's kind of crazy to talk with. Usually he wants us to sit and talk a long time while he smokes multiple cigarettes, but thankfully we can't because we have food to deliver. Today we had obviously interrupted him with something because he took the food and said, "Bye!" real quick. We joked that he was trying to over up his latest murder victim.

There was another time when we delivered food to a different person who was smoking a cigarette and discarding the butts in a trash can. As if that wasn't dangerous enough there was an oxygen tank sitting right next to the trash can pumping oxygen into this guys nose. We usually leave ASAP so as not to get blown up from the exploding oxygen tank. It says very clearly in multiple places on the oxygen tank NOT to smoke around it or have a fire anywhere near the tank, because it will explode.

However strange and crazy some of the recipients of the MOW program are, they are made up for by the nice folks. There is a nice lady we drop food off too, who is genuinely grateful we stopped by and is always very nice and thanks us over and over. We chat about the weather a bit and maybe some household projects we are all doing and then we have to leave. Our next stop is another lady who is always smiling. She talks while she's smiling, she doesn't walk well but she projects her contentment with life with ease and makes you feel better when you walk away.

I really enjoy the MOW program and the opportunity it gives me to serve. It is sooooo easy to do I can't believe I've never done it before.

Lubbock to 100 days!

There are less than 100 days to my wave start of the Buffalo Springs 70.3! Oh I'm nervous just thinking about it!

Strangely, I think I am going to be well prepared for it. I still have a lot of work but a lot can be done in 14 weeks and I'm going to have some fun. It will be the day before the baby's 1 year birthday!!! This was the race I was supposed to do but had to fly home because the baby came. My flight left 20 minutes after the start of my wave.

The 100 day mark is really a reminder that every day I need to be monitoring my diet, making sure I push myself hard at every workout and get good sleep! I can't wait!!

IF anyone wants to do some riding, running or swimming let me know, I could always use a workout partner or heck just do it with me!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The House!

This weekend while the wife and the baby were out of town, I worked on getting the house ready to sale. Our stager made a list of things and I began working on them. I HAD A BLAST!!! I wish I could do that everyday only with the family there. I worked 22 1/2 hours on Saturday on the house and very close to the same on Sunday. I know, I was busy and sleepy. BUT I got a lot of things done and the house is coming together nicely.

Three things I noticed while I was working on the house. One is that 5k goes a lot further than you think when you're willing and able to do most of the grunt work. So far we've painted the ceiling in our living room, it makes a big difference in the light. We've replaced all the fans in our house, which made a HUGE difference in our bedroom, it might be too bright now. We've also installed new plugs and several new GFCI circuits because of code issues and to make them more uniformed. We are going to have several windows fixed that had problems and install recessed lights in the dinning room. The biggest change is our guest bathroom. We've completely removed the vanity, toilet and took up the linoleum floor that was in there. IT was a lot of hard work, but the floor is almost ready to be leveled and then.... TILE and probably a new vanity!!

I'm excited because it was long over due and it has been cheap enough to make me question why I hadn't done them already! Which leads me to the next thing I have thought, why do I feel guilty? All this work has actually made me feel guilty about doing this work just to get ready to leave. It is a strange feeling, I don't know who I'm even feeling guilty toward, myself, my wife, the house... who?

Which again brings me to the next thing I've learned... maybe I like this house now. The more I we keep doing to the house the things we've always wanted to do, but never done, the more I think... maybe we should stay. I really think it is the guilt talking but I'm liking the house now. I think I'll really like it with the tile but the thought of staying has crossed my mind a few times.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Selling the House

So the realtor we chose pays for a "stager" to come and make the house buyer ready or at least tell you the things that need to be done to make the house ready. She came today, and of course I was nervous, I really wanted the house to be in better shape than it was because your house is a reflection on yourself.

She really changed some things around and I must say, I would have never done that, but it does look better than it was. And she gave us good feedback on things to do and change that I feel will really make a difference in our house. I'm excited, before I was still kind of on the fence about selling but now I'm on board, I just need to break the news to our neighbors who will be very disappointed.

But here are some logical reasons why we should sell.

We owe $118k on our house, down from $162300 (yeah!) Our standard payment is $779/month but we pay extra ($905/month) It will take us 214 months to pay off this house at this rate. That's 17yrs and 10months for those math impaired.

Now if we buy a house in Plum Creek (besides that is a nicer neighborhood) for $140k then our standard payment on a 15yr note at 4.75% would be $778/month. However, we'll continue to pay $905/month. This means we'll have paid off that note in just over 12 years. Anyone can see the easy math that 17yrs and 10 months is longer than 12 years. But here is the crazy part.

IF we stay for 18 years and pay off our current house, we will have paid $357k for the house. If we buy a Plum Creek house for $140k and put all of our money to get the loan balance to $100k and we pay it off in 12 years, we would have only paid $152k for the house. Again it doesn't take a mathematician to see that $152k is a better deal than $357k.

Then there are the things that are harder to measure. For instance, our neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks, Plum Creek does. Our neighborhood doesn't have a pool, Plum Creek has two! Mayzie and D'Lane could walk to school when they wanted in Plum Creek, but she'd have to be driven in our current neighborhood. There are some draw backs, we won't have as much space for the dogs, there aren't huge trees that house hawks and owls. We'll have to abide by HOA rules and our house will be smaller. I'll have a further commute to work, but we'll be close to friends.

We're considering renting because it has a lot of advantages over owning a house but for right now we're focusing on selling ours. This seems pretty logical no matter which way you slice it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Selling the House

Yesterday we met a Realtor that came highly recommended from some friends of ours. He came over and gave us some tips on things to work on and fix and we're going to talk to a "stager" who will really tell us how to prepare the house to sell. He told us that our house would probably sell at 170k. Not bad I guess, I was hoping for a bit more but we'll make money so we can't complain.

The problem is what to do next. We are debt free besides the house and intend to stay that way. The wife and I both like the idea of reducing our house debt by purchasing a cheaper house. We also like the idea of getting in a master planned neighborhood, but I am struggling to figure out if that's what is the BEST thing to do. We hate debt, thanks to Dave Ramsey we have a completely different perspective on debt than we did just 5 years ago. A move to Plum Creek would likely result in us being able to pay off the house in 10years or less. That's great! I do not know many people in their 40's that own their house outright. Think about the things you can do if you don't have a mortgage payment! College tuition, no big deal, emergency fund, no big deal.

Most of the uncertainty about what to do next comes in the fact that I don't really like what I do. I'm inside all day, I don't really work with my hands and my work doesn't make a difference in people's lives. These are three things I've identified that I really want to do. I've just got to find a job that incorporates these things. Oh I forgot one... endless large amounts of money!! j/k