"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

John 10:10

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trick or Treat

This is a little late but as cute as ever. 
Detective Madeline, Lydia the Butterfly, Anna the Monkey, and our lil pumpkin Cora.

Cute cousins.

Monday, November 1, 2010

House hunters

Moving is not easy.  It interrupts life.  There are a lot of decisions to make.  So while all these things are on my mind, I thought I'd provide some (hopefully) helpful tips concerning the topic:

When you are looking for a new house, take notes on house detail sheets that will help you recall the specific house.  Our moves are always quick.  We go to our new place, see 20-30 houses in a couple days, make a decision, and put in an offer.  Touring so many houses in a short amount of time causes many of the houses to blur together.  I remedy that by making unique notes about the houses, things that will make sense to me but may not to anyone else (such as big dog, ugly wallpaper, or boy house).  Later on when I am reviewing the houses, my notes will usually spark a memory of the house.  In addition, take notes about important aspects of the house.  I love to take baths, so I usually noted if the house had a big bath tub or not. 

Try to keep a running ranking of houses in your mind.  If I walk in to a house and it doesn't make my top three, I don't think about that house any more.  Don't get bogged down by too many options.  

Looking at house pictures online is helpful, but you have no idea what the house will be like until you walk in to it.  One house we went in to had a sloping basement floor.  Another house boasted a pond view.  Well, it was a small pond with a huge electrical facility behind it.  Don't waste too much of your precious time on the Internet.  (I know this is easier said than done.)

Make sure you are not too hungry or tired when house searching.  This sounds silly, but it really is important.  The houses we see just before lunch or supper are just not as appealing.  Our blood sugar is low, we are tired, and want to be done.  Be aware of this and bring along snacks or drinks. Schedule in some downtime for your mind to unwind, then wind back up again.

Look at a map before, during, and after your house hunting.  When you move to a brand new place and have no idea of the layout of the place, it is very easy to become disoriented with where you are at.  You are riding along with a realtor who zooms around town.  Before you know it, you don't know how far away from the office, church, or school you are.  Being somewhat familiar with a map beforehand helps.

Verbally process your thoughts.  This is difficult for me, who keeps my words in my own head.  Point out the obvious and not so obvious aspects of a house.  Mark and I see completely different things when we walk in a house.  He notices the siding while I notice the light fixtures.  Talk about as many of these things as possible while you are in the house and once you are out of the house. 

Once you do the final viewing of the house you're going to purchase, take pictures of everything in the house.  We saw so many houses in a short time of high stress, I would not remember anything about our new house if I didn't have the pictures to look at.  Since I have my pictures, I can start to dream about where to position furniture, curtains, painting, and new purchases. 

Use some detective skills to learn about the neighborhood.  Visit the house at different times of the day.  Drive around the neighborhood at night.  Talk to any neighbors that are working in their yard.  Ask them who lives in the area.