Real Estate is real(ly) stressful

First of all, let me say that I’m a big fan of renting.  And moving. As a single chick I really enjoy the fact that I don’t have to shovel my driveway, or mow the grass.  And I like calling the landlord when my AC breaks, or when my drain gets clogged.  Granted, renting is pretty much like lighting your money on fire (not unlike buying baby Nike Shox.) And since I was 18 years old, I have yet to stay at a single location for more than 12 months. 

My family is getting tiiiiiiired of moving me.

So I hadn’t really put too much thought into buying a place, because I didn’t think I was quite ready for that serious of a decision. Then Uncle Sam decided that if I decided to buy a place, he was going to give me $8,000 free dollars. It became way too good to resist. So here I am, looking at real estate listings as if my life depended on it.

I just want to know, DOES ANYONE ENJOY THIS?! Is house shopping supposed to be fun?

Well let me just say, this has been one of the most stressful experiences of my life!   Granted, my circumstances are a little different than the average buyer.  I love getting to tell my potential lenders that no, my daddy will not be co-signing on this loan.  And no, my husband won’t be joining me.  Yes, I’m ok with living by myself.  I imagine this whole thing is much easier when you have a person to give you a second opinion, bring up questions you may have missed, and oh yeah, pay half of the mortgage.  But you know what?   I’m going to sing you a song:

I N D E P E N D E N T you know what I mean man?

I N D E P E N D E N T you know what I mean man?

She got her own house, she got her own car

Two jobs, work hard You a bad broad!!

It was nice of them to call me a “bad broad.”  I think.

So I decided that moving to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis was a bad decision.   Don’t get me wrong, if I had kids and all that this would be the perfect place for me, but I found myself yearning for the excitement of living in St. Louis again.  So I decided I was going to head back to the city.  Woohoo!

Small problem: stuff is way more expensive over there, I’d be living by myself so I want to live in a safe (read: expensive) neighborhood, and my commute was going to be kind of a bitch.  So I set out to find my perfect neighborhood. I initially moved to Clayton in 2007, and while that neighborhood was BEAUTIFUL and safe and treated me very well, it was just a little too fancy for me.  I felt like whenever my car (at the time it was a 96 Cutlass…heyo!) was parked in the lot, I brought down the property value of the building I lived in.   So I decided to go for a less fancy location, and tried Benton Park. Now the street I lived on was very nice, but the surrounding streets in that area were shaaaady, so I found myself yearning for the safety of the suburbs.  I moved to O’Fallon IL and really enjoyed the 10 minute drive to work, but really missed being able to take a cab on a night out, and being able to pop over to Forest Park on a gorgeous day, so back to the city I go.

Yes, it’s true!  I haven’t been a true “St. Loser” for this past year!! My blog has been a LIE!!  The homepage should have looked more like this:

I initially found a condo in the Shaw neighborhood, which I LOVED. I’m not terribly familiar with South City, but people who live there really seem to love it. I was right by Tower Grove Park and the Botanical Garden, and the develop was a full rehab of an old apartment building. It came with top of the line amenities and seemed like an ideal fit. There was only one problem: the crime statistics were a little intimidating. While my street was technically fine, looking up the amount of burglaries in that neighborhood could not be ignored, so I decided I needed to look elsewhere.

I kind of figured that the Central West End would be out of my price range, but I was lucky enough to find a development that was just being finished up in that area that suited my needs to a T. The unit was on the 3rd floor, (top level, no clomp clomp clomp of footsteps overhead) had the original hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a full sized washer and dryer (I’m ashamed of how EXCITING this is to me!!) Parking was gated and the view from the living room is of a beautiful, tree lined street.  The metro is within walking distance so I could take it to work, and Forest Park was right around the corner.  Its official: I fell in love with the place.

So I took a deep breath and told my Realtor that it was time to put in a bid, so we sat down and decided what a fair asking price might be, and I signed my name about 248060 times during that meeting.  I put in the bid at around noon on Saturday, and they have until Monday at 5:00pm to get back to me.  The suspense is KILLING ME!! I felt like I put in a pretty good offer, but of course my mind has been racing lately with fears that they will laugh at my bid.   Or that I asked for way too many freebies and they’ll be so offended they won’t even counter.  Or even worse, they will accept right away and I will know that I came in too high.  So by tomorrow night, I will find out if this place is destined to become my own. I’m nervous and scared and excited and I honestly believe that it is making me physically sick right now.

However, once this part is all said and done, the FUN will begin!!

I’ll get to actually PAINT the walls whatever colors I want!

And best of all… …my family will get to help me move again!!  Up 3 flights of stairs!! Hooray!!

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[Insert moody, emo lyrics here]

Alright, for those of you not in my immediate circle, you might not already know this but I am once again single.  I don’t plan on venting via blog about the whole thing, but I figured my dedicated followers might like to be included in this change in status.  Really I’m ok, we ended on good terms, but the situation was just off for both of us.  He doesn’t blame me, I don’t blame him.  Sorry my breakup isn’t more interesting, it’s always more exciting when there’s name calling and another woman to slap, right?

So anyway, that being said, my blogging will going to be 100% more interesting because this means I will be back on the social scene and less on the “let’s just stay home and watch a movie” scene.  More dresses and heels, less sweatpants a fuzzy socks.  More bars and booze, less delivery pizza and bottled water.  And I’m gonna eat cheese EVERY DAY!!  (He never liked cheese…that should have been my first sign this was doomed.)

Being single has never really bothered me. That’s totally a lie.  Being single USED TO really bother me.  A lot.  I couldn’t walk into a room without immediately scanning the place to figure out if I was the only person who wasn’t paired up.  I would avoid situations where I would be 3rd/5th/7th/9th wheeling, just because I figured it would be way too awkward.  I mean, what if a slow song came on?  Who would I double skate with?  (Skateland grade school throwback there.)  But now I embrace the situation, and look forward to getting what I want out of life, and making decisions that benefit me and me alone.  Being selfish is fun, you should try it!

So anyway, there you have it.  A few more Fiona Apple songs and I should be good as new in no time 😉  Thanks for all the concern and the well wishes, and I promise to do another, more exciting, less informative post soon!

B

Brenda + Bugs = lack of sleep

So here I am, living in my very first one bedroom apartment!!  Moving was uneventful, really, I was super prepared and had everything all packed up and ready to go, and my helpful moving crew (aka grumbling family,) were fantastic help.  If you’re wondering why my family is grumbling….well that’s because I’ve moved SEVEN TIMES in TWO YEARS.  How is that possible, you say?  Let me break it down for you.

1. Moved from ISU to my parents’ house

2. Moved from parents’ house to Mel and Phil’s duplex.

3.Moved from duplex to Mel and Phil’s new house

4. Moved from house to apartment in Clayton

5. Moved from Clayton to Rico and Christina’s house

6. Moved from Rico and Christina’s to house in Benton Park

7. Moved from Benton Park to Fally.

My parents told me if I didn’t stay in this place for a few years, they WERE going to kill me.  Can’t really say I blame them.

So moving day had finally arrived!  My parents drove from Philo with the rest of my stuff, and met me at the new place with their SUV and a trailer.  Who knew that I had so much crap?

So we unloaded everything, went to Benton Park, packed up the rest of my belongings (how I ever fit so much stuff into one room was completely beyond me.)  The happy unpacking process began.  (And my grumbling movers started to cheer up.)  Please notice Sadie in the corner, not having it.

Fun movers

So in unpacking my stuff, I realized I own WAY TOO MANY black tank tops, but not nearly enough groceries.  I have a huge pantry, so I decided to spread out the stuff so it looked more impressive.

No bread, but 36 Snack Packs

No bread, but 36 Snack Packs

So after the movers left, and I put away all my stuff, I went to bed, dreaming of all the sweetness this apartment would bring.  Little did I know, evil was lurking in the shadows.

I woke up the next morning to let my dog outside, and lo and behold, what do I see crawling across my lovely beige carpet?  A BEETLE. And not just any beetle, the most annoying beetle on the planet, the June Bug: a dive bombing, refuse to die, annoying flying bug that stalked me while I worked at 4-H Camp all those summers ago.  I tried to remain calm (ahem, jumped up on the couch screaming “EW EW EW”) and realized I couldn’t smash this guy on the carpet…I don’t own a vacuum yet!  So I did what any logical girl would do.  I put a cup on top of it.  And when that didn’t seem secure enough, I put a book on top of that.  I wish I was kidding

DO NOT WANT

DO NOT WANT

The book on top?  “A Modern Girl’s Guide To Life.”   I clearly need to re-read the chapter about owning your home, titled “Aggh! What’s that Crawling Across the Floor?”  (Actual chapter title.)  I left the cup/book combo there while I went to work, so I could get up the nerve to actually kill the damn thing.

I realized if this HUGE bug made its way into my pad, there must be smaller ones lurking around.  I went to the scariest place for a bug to be: right above my bed.  Sure enough, I found 3 little tiny baby spiders just chilling, waiting to drop on me in my sleep.  Since my biggest fear in life (and reoccurring dream,) is to have a spider drop on me while I’m sleeping, these needed dealt with immediately.  So I grabbed the closest bug killing device I could find: my dust-buster.  Sure enough this worked like a CHARM, and I went around and sucked up all the little bugs I could find.  I somehow doubt this actually killed the bugs, now they’re just living inside the filter of my dust-buster, angry at me.  An alarming thought, I’ll make my dad clean it out next time he comes to visit.

So after work, I went to Home Depot and went straight to the “Pest Control” aisle, where I bought the BIGGEST can of Ortho Home Defense I could find.  $5.00 for the spray it yourself kind, $13.00 for the kind with the automatic sprayer.  I thought “Oh my apartment is pretty small, I’m sure I can handle the manual sprayer.”  One hour and one tired arm later….I’ll be springing for the automatic sprayer in the future.  I sprayed every INCH of the door frames, windows, and wood trim, so hopefully that will prevent any more creepy crawlers from trying to ruin my good time.

If not, well maybe my family would be down for move #8….no?