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November 2008 - Posts - Yankee 2.0
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Yankee 2.0

November 2008 - Posts

  • Winter greens decoration -- free!

     As I was planning to sell my home, I sort of let some maintenance go. But now that I have recommitted to my abode, I swept up the stoop the other day and noticed the two planters on my front stoop were rather bare. 

    I went to the local public park and found a couple of branches of evergreens (soft fluffy pine-needley things) on the ground, so I picked those up, trimmed some rhododendron leaves off a friend's bushes (with her permission), and clipped some branches of red berries from a bush in my back courtyard. 

     I stuck them all in the two terra-cotta pots I have on the stoop and they look lovely! So winter-y and full of green-ness. I don't know how long they'll last (at least a few months, I believe), but this was a delightful and FREE way to spruce up my little front stoop.

    I had been thinking of buying wreaths at the community college where I teach (I normally buy two every Christmas), but I decided to save myself the $24 (even though it supports the landscaping program at the school), and decorate at no cost this year. 

    Now, every time I walk past my front stoop, I see something pretty and know it got there for nuthin' -- feels good!

  • La plus ca change....

     The past few months have been pretty tumultuous. I'm no longer selling my house. The main reason I was doing it was to move in with my boyfriend, and we both realized it wasn't a good idea for many, many reasons. 

    Although the economic benefits for me would have been great on a short-term basis, in the long run I was very anxious about not having equity (not to mention indepence, my own space, etc...). Since I've made the decision to stay, I feel like I had betrayed my house, which always stood by me, and kept me warm and safe. We're making up now. :)

    My friends at Countrywide (they hold my mortgage) keep sending me refinance letters, which I have studiously ignored. However this time, I called to see what they could do for me. And surprise surprise, they can actually do quite a lot!

    I'm going to re-finance at a lower interest rate (down from 6.237 to 5.78), and roll in my home equity loan ($14k), and the remaining credit card I have ($10,000 -- I've been living off it the past month). Due to an escrow shortage and applying rollover to the credit card, my monthly payments for those three bills had been $2200. My new monthly mortgage payment will be $1600.

    Honestly, I don't even know where I came up with the $2200 each month -- eating lots of beans and finding odd jobs here and there helped. This lower payment will give me a lot of relief.

    I still have the $73k in student loans to deal with, but I'm going to defer them for another year. I'm hoping for an increase in income through my business -- it's an ongoing hope... but with no other debt than a mortgage and student loans, I feel like I'll be in a good place psychologically. Plus, if worse comes to worst, the value of my house is still about equal to the total debt I owe. 

     So look for more posts from me about low-cost historic homeowner ideas!

  • Now, how do I get rid of all the stuff in the house I'm selling?

     I really hope that whoever buys my house will fall so deeply in love with my furniture and furnishings that they'll want to take the place lock, stock, and barrel. Highly unlikely, though. So now I'm looking into how to get rid of all the stuff that I have amassed over the past nearly 40 years and packed into this four storey ample house.

    I got a lot of my stuff at flea markets, auctions, and estate sales, and I think the stuff is going to return to the source. I'm looking into having an auction company come and take care of my "estate" (yes, it makes me feel as if I've died). 

    I have a large office with plenty of unused cabinet space, so I'll bring all my paperwork, photos, and personal paper stuff over there. I will have my own room at the bf's and plan to bring as many books as I can. I guess I'm dreading it more than I need to and if the auction company just comes and packs everything up, I won't have to do a thing. Let's see what they have to say...

    Has anyone else whose gotten rid of anything got any suggestions or stories to share?

  • Selling it -- the house goes.

    Well, I've decided to sell the house and all the stuff. I'm going to move in with my boyfriend on a "roommate" basis. I'll have my own room, my own space, and just split the bills with him. If it doesn't work out, I'll have enough in savings from the sale of the house to get a little condo (but I hope it will work out!).

    I'm going to put the house on the market on January 1st and hope for a quick sale. In the meantime, I have to fix several things (small and large-ish) before it goes. So I will be dedicating December to all that. 

    Now that I have made the decision, I just want it to be done. I'm ready to move on and downsize. While I appreciate the beauty and fine craftsmanship of my lovely and large  historic home, I also appreciate the heat, snug windows, and warm carpeted floors of the bf's place.

    I've never been overly-attached to "stuff" and have sold all my worldly goods at least three times already. It's a good spiritual exercise. 

    I'm looking forward to my new life in the new year. I will have 0 debt. All student loans will be paid ($75k -- believe it or not), and I'll have a pretty good savings account. And I won't have to worry about being forced out of my house if I lose my job (a likely possibility, since I have really low enrollment in my classes). It's the right decision for me.  

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