Saturday, August 29, 2009

the ongoing trials and tribulations of lil' ugmo

zomg, being a homeowner is a**. even more a** than planning a wedding, because it's way more money and you're saddled with this thing for life, whereas it's a lot easier to skip out on getting hitched, either somewhere along the way TO getting hitched (à la what we ended up doing) or immediately after (aka divorce).

our second purchaser's visit went okay. we saw two contractors (one whom we've seen before but keeps forgetting us somehow). one tried to upsell us on a lot of stuff and it's really easy to get pulled in. ideally, these are the scenarios under which you want to buy a house:

a) be a millionaire, so that you can buy a NEW house in cash, outright
b) be a millionaire, so that you can buy a $400,000 house, and then spend another $200,000 gutting it and fixing it up to your specifications
c) be a millionaire, so that you can buy a plot of land and build a custom house

we don't fit into ANY of the above options (in case you didn't know). it sucks because you ended up paying for stuff to be done twice, when you don't have the money to gut it all at once. for example, you're getting the re-wiring done, right? so they put in new outlets for the kitchen, but then you're going to end up gutting the kitchen in a year anyway (best case scenario), so then you have to re-do all that work.

it's really easy to fall into the trap of: "well, while we're ALREADY pulling shiz out of your place, we might as well DO IT ALL and DO IT UP PROPER" which is a mistake borne from new home frenzy. you just (naturally) want your stuff to be set up and ready to be photographed by dwell or domino magazine. but this can lead to rapid increases in price before you've had a chance to let the dust settle.

par example, at lil' ugmo, two of the rooms share an 8" long closet, with bifold doors in each room. the placement of the doors in each room slightly overlaps. we'd like to make it so that EACH room has a self-contained closet (ie. when you open the door to the closet in the dotytron's studio, you're not looking at the stuff hanging in my craft room).

the easiest way to do that is to throw up a diagonal wall between the two closets. but one of the contractors told us that he could square up and seal up one closet and then move the door way for the other one. this is the mid-price option. the problem is: they've installed new hardwood floors in ALL the rooms. which means that you're priority number 1 is to AVOID MESSING UP THAT FLOOR AT ALL COST. because matching that little bitty piece of floor that gets messed up is going to be damned near impossible, which means that if you do mess it up, you have to replace a whole section of floor (at best) and the ENTIRE FLOOR of the room (at worst). so then his workaround was to create a built in wardrobe, like a custom piece of furniture. VERY EXPENSIVE! like, $2000! but, we could also use cheap wood and then paint it. much cheaper!

we were all caught up on that tip and had pretty much decided on squaring up the closet and then i started talking to my colleague who said, "you know what? why bother spending NOW on a closet? when you can use that money for other stuff?" and i was like, you know what, you're totally right. WHY BOTHER SPENDING MONEY ON A CLOSET? so we'll probably go the quick and dirty route and just put in the diagonal wall. each room gets a 3'5" closet of their own and yeah, it's a little odd to have a diagonal wall, but it's going to save us LOTS of money in the short term that could be better spent in other areas (like, repaying our debt). and it's not like we don't have the option in the future to square up that closet if we decide that we must absolutely have square closets or else our lives won't be worth living.

don't even get me started on the tankless hot water heater. oy vey.

last night we signed the papers with our lawyer and had a few more heart attacks when we saw how much the certified cheque we're delivering on monday has to be. it's all so tentative and dicey now and considering our last experience when we got pwned by the mortgage underwriters...i'm feeling really scared and nervous.

we had dinner with dr. rei and a nice long catch-up that was impossibly fun. i have the best best friend in the world. we can literally just sit and talk for hours and hours. we tried to come up with a processional and recessional song for her wedding. i think i came up with a pretty solid suggestion. the recessional is a toughie. it's really hard to find songs that are filled with joy. other than "ode to joy" and van halen's "jump" (the dotytron's call - solid). it also has to be played on an organ. seriously, think about it. what songs are filled with JOY and not happiness? joy's a hard one to nail down.

this morning i've been packing and organizing and labeling and showering. this precedes our attendance at a late afternoon hors d'oeuvres party for all the dotytron's mater and pater's family that didn't get invited to the hoo-ha in august, hosted by momma d and poppa d. it's really nice that we'll get to see everyone and have the opportunity to apologize profusely for being weirdos who ran off to get hitched with only 20 people in attendance. i hope i don't have to open presents in front of people. that's actually one of my least favourite things to do. i like opening presents in the privacy of my own home. is that weird? it's only fun when it's like, besties or something. but with people you don't know well i find it awkward. i know, i have social anxieties to spare!

here's hoping i don't gorge too much on bite sized foods.



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