Posted on October 9, 2008

It is time once again for my quarterly blog. I have been keeping too busy to post, what with all the work, school, family obligations, and sleep that I have been occupying myself with. Most recently, Karina and I have been busy with all the work that goes into buying and selling a house. 

We have begun the process of looking for a place to move to before August of next year. Ashton starts school next year and we want to be in a house and school district that we can stay in for the 12-16 years that he will be in school. Not to mention the other 4-8 years if he decides to go to college. I’m kidding of course. I don’t want to toot my son’s horn but: toot, tootle-ie toot. We are confident he will do just fine in school. 

Last month Karina and spent about a full week and a half deep cleaning or house in preparations to put it on the market. That was nowhere near being close to anything resembling the semblance of fun. Apparently over the last few months the dust bunnies have been multiplying like rabbits! It’s times like dusting when I least like to think of what dust consists of: dirt, dead skin cells and dust mites. At least I didn’t have to touch ALL of the dust because I managed to inhale most of it. 

So after a full week of scrubbing, painting, and dry heaving we had a realtor come over to inform us that it wasn’t worth selling right now. Luckily, we bought the house at the very peak of the housing boom and we’d have to cut a pretty little check to sell the house. And by “little” I mean “titanic”.  The realtor did mention that the rental market is booming and we would probably have no problem finding a renter. Karina and I are contemplating this route because we feel that, after analyzing every square inch of our house during the cleaning process, the only things missing were discarded beer bottles in the backyard and holes in the wall.  

We know renting is a risky prospect, but it is an avenue we have thought about pursuing in the past and never had the gumption to follow. Our realtor suggested that we make sure we are very comfortable with the people who will eventually be living in our home. Optimally, we’d like to rent to someone we know or someone who knows someone we know. Preferably a nice, responsible person, possibly a nun who knows someone we know. Of course I jest as religion is one of the criteria one cannot use to disqualify prospective home renters. I wonder if discriminating against anyone who is not a woman wearing a black outfit trimmed in white is ok. This would conveniently narrow the prospective renters down to nuns and Judge Judy. 

Perhaps in the meantime I can find someway of making our house more attractive to buyers. I suppose there are several options: putting in new floors and cabinets, completely landscaping the yard, or finding someway to make a famous event happen in my house. That way the realtor can say “yes, this actually is the house where a grown man broke the record for most time spent in a (take your pick) diaper/sundress/cardboard box cut into the shape of an airplane (or perhaps all at once!)” 

Of course renting/selling is only one half of the moving equation. While this is a terrible market to sell a home, it is an awesome (or in the words of Dora the Explorer: FANTASTICO) market to buy a home. Karina and I have decided that we would like to move to Rancho Sahuarita. We’ve found that living in northwest Tucson isn’t as close to Brazil as we would like. Plus, my drive to work would be reduced by over 50%, we would be close to in-laws, and most importantly, there is a super Wal-Mart located minutes away. Not to mention Rancho Sahuarita is a good environment to raise a family in. 

We’ve checked out the home builders and have found a particular model we like. The base price is very attractive and we’ve found the options will only cost an arm and a leg down to the kneecap. Those homebuilders are tricky. The models are outfitted in the most expensive options and furnished as if it was one of Bill Gates’ summer homes. Once you look into it though, you realize practically everything is an option: tile, crown molding, sinks. As it is a buyers market, the builders are throwing in some incredible incentives. For example, one builder offers $15,000 towards options. That’s the equivalent of a new Mazda3 in upgrades!! In any other market you would be shelling out the 15 g’s yourself for the upgraded garden tub and additional outlet in the den. 

The thought of buying a home (with the exception of the whole money part) is exciting. We can’t help but imagine the additional space and trying to figure out where we will put our furniture. Of course, it takes time to build a house (6-8 months) and we haven’t even signed on a solid line, much less the dotted one. For now we will have to be content with our existing house that is sparkling clean. In the meantime, I can begin contacting everyone I know to see if they know anyone trustworthy looking to rent a house. While I am talking with them, I should also find out where one gets adult diapers and a sundress in a size 10.

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