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House, a set on Flickr.

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think we’ve fiiiinally found a house. And it’s a lot nicer than I was hoping for. The house has all the features we were looking for (and then some) – an older home, character, wood floors, decent kitchen, lots of natural light, outdoor living space… and with this house we’re getting a crazy sweet library, 3-season porch, 3 1/2 baths, finished basement, a water garden, 2 wood burning fire places, and a huge walk-in closet. Is this real life?

We had an offer accepted, and we’re scheduled to close on March 9 …only 4 1/2 weeks away! Last week during our inspection I went a little crazy taking pictures of all the fixtures and details, but remembered to take a few full room shots. Let me know what you think of the place!

Still homeless

Lately, I’ve started thinking Luke and I have been slacking off, since we haven’t found our house and just passed the five month mark of living at B&L’s. But when I think about it, and realize we’ve looked at over 50 houses and have been down in Kalamazoo looking at homes just about every free weekend since we arrived, I’m pretty sure we’re giving 110%. Maybe we need to low our standards? …nah. We are feeling a little more pressure now that the lake-effect snow has started falling, and Luke has been spending even more time commuting (10 hours/week is crazy enough already).

Since my last post about our house hunt, we put in an offer on another house listed as a short sale. When our initial offer wasn’t accepted we decided to let the deal go. The house was super-duper nice, but we didn’t want to get stuck waiting on all the complexities of a short sale, which can take months. The other update is that we’ve been assigned to a new realtor, Bev, because Frank left the group he’d been working with the go it alone. It’s a bummer because we liked working with Frank, and after spending several hours with him each week for the past several months we’d bonded. Bev leaves something to be desired. How old do you think she is?

The good news is there are two homes we’re currently considering, and depending on how convos with the listing agents go, we might be making another offer in the next week or two.

  • #1 is the closest to our dream home, of all of the houses we’ve looked at. It’s got plenty of space, doesn’t need any work, and is a home we could grow into. Plus, the office has its own fireplace. Check it out.
  • #2 would be a more conservative move in terms of size & price.  This is one I’ve posted pics of before. We’d have some projects to do on the place, and the kitchen is pretty small. The house has a lot of charm, but would need some updating.

I’ll let you know what happens, and in our case no news is probably not good news. Go Pats.

House hunt update

I haven’t posted an update recently about our house hunt because I wasn’t sure how things would shake out. I also didn’t want to cause undue excitement.

Long story short… about a month ago, we decided to make an offer on a house. We went back and forth with the seller a few times, and accepted a counter-offer before we found out that the seller hadn’t been making their payments for over a year and was in a bad financial state. The seller wouldn’t be able to sell at the agreed upon price without it being a short sale. We tried to work out a deal with the bank, but the seller wasn’t cooperating and didn’t pull info together for the bank in time. After that we decided to back out of the deal. It’s been a frustrating month, to say the least.

So, we’re back to the drawing board. We’ve expanded our search and are thinking about looking at homes in different neighborhoods. Renting is also still a possiblity. I’ll be travelling a bunch during December and with the holidays we won’t have a lot of time to look at houses, but we’ll keep you posted if our address changes anytime soon! At any rate, I’ll be asking Santa Jesus for a house this Christmas. Or a puppy.

Oof dah

Happy Black Friday, y’all. The only ones shopping in the Retterath house today are the men… go figure. I’m too busy recovering from our feast yesterday.

We had a tasty smorgasbord of classic side dishes to support the main attraction, the bird. (But not before the ‘kids’ had a grueling pre-feast workout session with Luke-the-Trainer.) Bruce brined the bird overnight and then used the charcoal grill to finish ‘er off. It’s a great way to do turkey, although you don’t get to smell the turkey cooking all day. Meanwhile, Linda and I tackled the casseroles and I tried out a tasty new brussel sprouts recipe which I’d recommend if you need a dish to impress your friends (pictured below).

Our delicious menu consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, celery casserole, cranberry sauce (two types: an adult version and my personal favorite, also pictured below), stuffing (stovetop, of course),  brussel sprouts, pistachio salad, rolls, pumpkin pie, and apple pie.

We finished off the day with games and the best Christmas movie, Elf. Hope your Thanksgivings were as full as mine (ba dum ching).

Windy City

A week or so we were in Chicago for my grandma’s birthday bash. Everyone from the my mom’s family came in from around the country (CA, MN, MI, NY, VA, & IL). It was the first time we had all rendezvoused since Renee’s wedding in September 2009. We ate, walked, and shopped while we were there. We also took an architecture boat tour on Saturday which I’d recommend if you’re ever in Chicago. It was a great way to see the city and learn a few things… although I didn’t retain much except that the Dark Knight and Transformers were both filmed in the old post office building and while they were filming you could hear explosions throughout downtown Chicago. It was a great weekend.

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