All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible....

May 29, 2008

I'm a Dork

I keep looking at the pictures of the house and thinking, are we crazy? This house is ugly. I see the potential for the inside immediately but the outside looks hopeless. I've been having trouble visualizing the outside when all I see is PURE ugly. So after drinking enough coffee for a 6 hour work day and only working 2, I created this:

The house just screams "How cute am I now?". Love it. The fence won't be there but I got carried away ;)

Siding Color, Check!

Josh and I also chose our siding color today. It wasn't hard. It's the Granite Gray we used on the Jarvis House with White Accents. The accent pieces that will be in White are pretty much just the corner pieces.

Kind of like this. At first I wasn't so sure when Josh told me he wanted White corner pieces but he showed be these two pictures and I fell in love. I really like it.

Kitchen Design

Construction is hard and grueling but there are so many fun parts. Like sitting down and designing our future kitchen. We finally did just that. I'm pleased with the results but we are going to have to tweak it a little ourselves. The larger wall with the sink, stove and dishwasher is fine. It came out exactly how we wanted but the Design Consultant didn't seem to be listening to our measurements on the back wall where the fridge goes. She kept insisting we needed room to open the basement door on the left side and we kept telling her our measurements took the door into consideration.

Here is the front wall facing with the window that looks out into the front yard. I love how it turned out. We won't do the microwave though. We already purchased the range hood and we already have a stainless steel microwave. The design consultant couldn't find a range hood to add in but you get the idea.

We want to maximize our counter and cabinet space so we may make the left bottom cabinet a double and the top cabinet a double. We'll also do a pantry where the doors open in opposite directions instead of four left handed doors. Overall I am pleased though. I love the pantry and can't wait to put all my food in it! I think it will be a great selling feature due to the small size of the kitchen when we go to sell.

May 26, 2008

Day 3 of Construction

I could sleep for a week straight. We just wrapped up our 3rd day at the house. Day 1 and 2 were demo and today we started repair work. Drywall, mudding, sanding, taping, plumbing, clean up etc...

Once again our investments have become a family affair. We had Seth, Brie, Gabe, Josh, Jax, Jordy and I all hard at work. We can't forget about CowCow either. He mastered the art of naping while we all worked our butts off :)

I am so proud of us all! The house looks great. Josh managed to move our plumbing for the sink to the other side of the kitchen so I can look out the window when I'm washing dishes or doing food prep. We also got the new bathtub in. We also finished taking off all the nasty wallpaper off the bathroom walls. The previous owners were sheer genius ::insert sarcasm here:: they thought it would be a good idea to just put the wallpaper right over the drywall instead of putting on a layer of primer or paint first. Ugh. It was hell getting it off. I do recommend DIF brand wallpaper remover. We would have never got the wallpaper off without this product. By the time Brie and I were done - we were exhausted and all our limbs hurt.
We'll be taking a break for the next few days because we both work but I can't wait to get started again.

*Edited to Include Pictures*

Oh and we can't forget about our little "helper" ;)

May 25, 2008

In aw after furniture shopping

The kids are in need of new beds. When we moved over a year ago we gave my Brother Jax's bed, which was actually my bed that I've had since I moved here 12 years ago and tossed Jordy's crib/toddler bed. The house we are living in now was left fully furnished by my Aunt but we wont take the beds when we leave.

So, I thought I would do a little online price checking for kids beds. They won't need them for another month or so but we need to have an idea about what we'll end up spending so we can budget for it.

I couldn't believe what I found after only the first website. These are some of the most amazing pieces of furniture. I would have loved a bed like this when I was a kid!

We didn't find what we were looking for but I just had to share them.

May 24, 2008

We Closed!

At 2:30 yesterday we became home owners again. I'm still not sure it's set in. We got such a great deal with very minimal closing costs. No stress, no mess. We have a home again!

Even as an agent I am beginning to ask myself why people buy houses the conventional way. How can they, with the mortgage industry the way it is? 20% down is ridiculous for our credit score. 4 week closing was just too long.

Creative financing saved Josh and I money and was much easier. No hassling or negotiating with sellers and banks who are trying to get the most out of their property in a cold market. No dealing with Multiple Offer situations just to lose a house we had our heart set on. I had no problems with the other agent. It was one of the easiest things I have ever done.

Now, it's time to start work.

May 22, 2008

He can be so stubborn....

Seriously, I thought I was stubborn but my husband is by far worse.

At about 12:20 last night I was in the middle of a dream about the book I had fallen asleep reading. In my dream I hear a door close and someone walking up our stairs. I started to stir and begin to realize it's my husband coming in from his 11:00 double hockey games and Queeny. I mumbled a hello to him and then I hear a "Hunny, I have a surprise for you". Ooo..maybe it's the Ice Cream I asked him to bring home LAST WEEKEND. I sit up, rub my eyes and look at him. He smiles at me...WHAT THE FECK!?!?! My dear husband is sporting a lovely semi-toothless grin. I'm not even mad. I'm impressed. This is the second time in less than two years my husband has needed dental work due to a hockey related incident.
He precedes to explain how this happened. He was battling for the puck with another guy when the guys stick got him in the mouth breaking off huge pieces of his two front teeth and splitting his lip.

Great. I do the usual "Every great hockey player gets hurt" speech that I usually give when he comes home with black eyes, bruises and broken teeth and go on about the financial issue these incidents can raise. We just shelled out $200 a year and a half ago to fix one of his teeth after he got a stick in the mouth. He spent our Anniversary in sun glasses due to a black eye.

HIM: Don't I look hot though?
ME: Ew, no. We'll call the dentist tomorrow. Does it hurt?
HIM: No. Just my lip.
ME: I guess you will start wearing a mouth guard now, right?
HIM: No. I don't want to be the only guy wearing a mouth guard. I'll look stupid.
ME: That's ridiculous. So you'll just keep spending the money to fix your teeth instead of wearing a guard or mask?
HIM: Yep, I think I'll have to add some cash for fixing my broken teeth into our budget every month. Just in case...
ME: Oh Joy.

May 17, 2008

Our New Home

It's a gut but I can't wait to turn it into something beautiful. The neighbors call it Boo Radley's house because it's literally the ugliest house in the neighborhood. It's actually condemned due the animals living in the attic. The city thinks it's unsafe until they are cleared out.

I can't wait to start work. Right now we are going into this as it will be our home. We will have re-sale value in mind but we want something that is ours. We can add our own personal touches and when we come home and night we can really feel like it's ours!

I hope we can smooth the neighbors nerves about this house. They think it's spooky and ugly. The neighbors have called the city countless times and complained about this home. I don't blame them. So far ever neighbor we have met, we like and I am excited to be able to turn this home into something they like to look at versus can't stand.

Why I have been M.I.A.

I haven't been posting as much as I would like in a LONG time. I created this blog because it is hard to keep in touch with everyone that I would like to. A blog is an easy way to keep friends and family members up to date on what is going on in your life and I have been neglecting mine.

My life has taken some unexpected turns. Good and Bad. The last few months have been a whirlwind. I contemplated putting Real Estate on hold because I landed a great job out of no where. I had to try and prioritize. I wasn't sure what to do. I had contracts I had to finish out and figured as soon as I did, I would put my license in referral. I was uneasy about the decision but I knew I couldn't take on too much. Real Estate is my passion but frankly the Real Estate and Mortgage Industry sucks. Clients were being dropped from loans right before closing and Sellers are losing their homes to foreclosure. When I entered into this business it was fun and fulfilling. Now it's depressing and my career as an agent was turning into something I didn't want it to be.

My main passion when I started Real Estate was to be involved in investing. Whether it be helping a newly-wed couple find a fixer upper and watch them turn their starter home into a gorgeous upscale property by doing a little sweat equity or working with investors/contractors to rehab and flip homes and make communities better. This was what I wanted to do. I don't mind helping someone find a already perfect property, helping them build their new construction home or helping someone find their forever home but my passion lies in the Investment aspect of Real Estate.

Investing has always been my dream but it isn't easy. You constantly battle other investors for properties and when you don't have cash to pay for a house, that's hard. After losing the St. Charles house we decided to hook up with an Investor and let them by the house and we would do the work. We then met Annette. She is an Investor from California and she bought a home here in Missouri to rehab. We met her at her property and Josh put a bid in on the job. Annette excepted our bid and we started work. 2 months later the house is almost finished. Annette has turned into family. It's been an amazing experience. Together we turned this almost unlivable home into a gorgeous property!

But now that the house is done, what were Josh and I going to do? We had incurred a little debt due to the Boyd house that we were not smart about paying off. We used the profit up before the debt was paid off. We had to make the decision to either use some of our savings to pay off the Credit Card or use it all to buy a house...Ugh...We could rent or buy again but with only being pre-approved for 90% we didn't want to go in anymore debt to buy a house. 3 years ago we would have qualified for 100% financing and now 100% loans are scarce and come with high interest rates. We would have to pour all the money we have saved up the last few months into a house. I hated the thought of it. So we figured we would rent for awhile and get away from the stress and wait for the mortgage industry to soften up.

A few weeks ago my life changed dramatically. Josh and I were in the middle of getting the home we live in now, ready to go up on the market and rent. We were looking through rental ads and found an ad about owner financing with no down-payment. We figured we'd just call. They had some homes in our target buying area for some really good prices. Our call was answered by Ted Coyle of Bellington Realty and Eighteen Investments. Our prayers were answered!

Bellington Realty is located in Clayton and ran by Michael Litz. An amazing man with more knowledge of Real Estate, Investing and Renting than anyone I have ever met. We sat down with Ted and Michael and put in an low offer on a cute little property in Maryland Heights. We negotiated up and our offer was excepted right then and there. Paperwork signed and closing set for 13 days away. No faxing offers around, no hassle, very minimal closing costs, no down-payment, no commissions and we walked away with a $640.00 payment. Almost $400 less than our max on a rental.

As of the 23rd we will be the proud owners of a cute 3 Bedroom, 1 Bath home with a full basement on a cute corner lot. I think it's fate. This home was meant for us. It's an almost complete gut but Josh and I are up for the task. We have decided to live in this home for awhile and possibly pay it off and rent it out. It's really up in the air and after almost 9 months of not having our OWN home, it's going to be nice to be home owners again. I really thank my Aunt for letting us live in her second home but it's never been "ours". It's time we move on.

On top of that I have been offered a job at Bellington Realty by the President himself. It's my dream to work on the Investment side and that's exactly what I will get to focus on at Bellington if I decide to make that move. I am so impressed with Michael and Ted and how Michael runs his company. I can't imagine putting Real Estate on hold and can't believe it even crossed my mind!

That's my life as of now in a nut shell. I feel like things are finally working themselves out.

Josh and I are very blessed. I am really excited to start this new venture.

Introducing Baby Nadia Marie!!

We have a wonderful new addition to our family now! My Brother and Kayla welcomed their first child into the world on May 16th at 11:15 a.m. She weighs 6 lbs. 12 ounces and is 20 inches long. Casey, Kayla and Nadia are doing very well. I am so proud of them.

I have been waiting for this little Princess for a very long time. I am finally an Aunt! She was given my middle name and I am so honored!

She's already proving to be quite the Laposky. She's a Taurus and it fits. She has dark hair, blue eyes and long lashes. She has her Mommy's nose and her Daddy's cheeks. She is gorgeous.

I can't wait to spoil her :)