Our House Will Be a Very Fine House

Posted by Jim on May 19th, 2008
May 19

So our house closing came and went with only minor issues (reminder: make sure your middle initial is on your home insurance policy), and now Nissa and I are homeowners. We have to wait until the end of the month to begin living there, as the floors won’t be refinished until then. This does provide us with plenty of time to move though. We’ve made a number of trips already, so our apartment is beginning to look empty. By the end of this week, we hope to have most of our possessions stored either in the basement of the new house, or the kitchen bathroom areas (the only places without hardwood floors that need to be refinished). The last week of the month may see us living out of suitcases and eating simple or no preparation meals, but that’s ok if it allows us to quickly and easily close up our current apartment on the 30th. Normally we’d use the final day of the month to clean the old place and move our stuff to the house, but that day happens to be Nissa’s college reunion, so instead of moving we’ll be up in Brunswick reminiscing. It may be a late night on Friday the 30th, but we’ll get it all done in time.

Pubcrawling 2.0

Posted by Jim on Apr 25th, 2008
Apr 25

The title of the webpage says it all: beermenus.com.  It only works for approximately 170 bars in the greater New York City area, but the idea is brilliant—a search engine exclusively designed to find out where your favorite obscure brew is available.  Just type in a beer or brewery and it will tell you where you can find it.  Plus, it includes a Google map so you can see where the bars you want to go to are.  I also like that it allows for user submissions.  I’d feel bad for the few beer nerds who can’t go out and drink because they are stuck inside uploading beer menus into a database.  Now all we need is to get a Beer Menus website for the greater Portland Area and we’ll be all set.

Thanks to the C|net blog The Social for turning me on to this site.

Our Own Money Pit

Posted by Jim on Apr 18th, 2008
Apr 18

Two days ago, Nissa and I put in an offer on a house we really liked.  Yesterday, after a few stressful hours, our offer was accepted.  Come May 16, the house at 301 Lincoln Street, South Portland will be in our name!  It was a close call on our bid though.  We weren’t the only bidder, or even the highest bidder.  We made an offer for the asking price and placed no conditions on the offer that weren’t first suggested by the seller (a seller’s contribution to closing costs and the seller handling the dismantling and removal of an old pool in the back yard), plus a quick closing time of five and one half weeks.  The next morning, we find out through our Realtor that another party placed an offer on the house with an earlier closing date and with a price tag above the asking price.  As Nissa put it, we were sniped!  Luckily, the seller gave us one chance to revise our offer.  The listing agent could not disclose how much the other party was willing to pay, but she did admit that it was an amount greater than our pre-approval loan would let us bid.  Basically, she had all but written us off.  After a stressful discussion of how much we liked the house and how much we were willing to pay, we figured we could still afford a price that was $10,000 over our current pre-approval.  I made a quick call to our helpful representative with Navy Federal and got the increase to our loan in under five minutes.  I guess the snipers and the listing agents didn’t count on the ability of two people with impeccable credit who are determined to buy a particular house.  Our generous offer certainly surprised the listing agent (at least according to our Realtor’s account of his conversation with her), and it definitely pleased the seller.  She accepted it on the spot, without giving the snipers a chance to counter our offer.  I feel a little bad for them, but since this was the third house (out of 20+) we’ve been willing to put an offer on only to have it bought out from under us, we were due for some good luck.  Perhaps we’re paying a lot for the house, but others in this condition usually go for what we’re paying, so I’m not too concerned.  Plus, since the offer got us the house we wanted, I can’t call this amount anything but money well spent.  Now comes the inspections and title research and the like.  It’s going to be a busy month, but come June 1, when everything is signed and paid and Nissa and I are on our back deck, grilling some hamburgers, listening to the Sox, with our dirty dishes in our dishwasher and our clothes in our dryer, I know we’ll both think it was worth it.

Playing Political Catch-up

Posted by Jim on Feb 15th, 2008
Feb 15

Within 3 hours, I had two new people begin to follow me on Twitter. Both accounts are for political candidates election committees. The first, novickforsenate, apparently has issues with his geography (or perhaps is actually interested in what I’m up to), because his campaign is based out of Portland, OR not ME. At least he seems to be using the service effectively, with lots of updates and links. This is in contrast to my second follower, collins4senate, which represents Maine own Susan Collins. So far, she only has two updates, both posted in the last hour or so. Isn’t this a little late to start using Twitter as a political tool? I would think that as soon as Tom Allen announced he was looking to unseat her, she would have begun active campaigning. Perhaps she’s scared of Allen’s new hold on the sympathy vote? It didn’t work for John Edwards Susan. But then again, he wasn’t in a race with one of Bush’s cronies.

Those Who Forget History are Doomed to Repeat It

Posted by Jim on Jan 31st, 2008
Jan 31

Never Forget!

Posted by Jim on Jan 20th, 2008
Jan 20

Here’s the new license plate I just ordered! What do you think of it?

On a related note: the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles hates my freedom.  You go try to make a “Support the Troops” license plate with 911HERO on it.

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