Good Bones Home

We bought our first home together because it has "good bones." Now we're trying to bring them out, one project at a time.

For Sale: An Update September 29, 2010

Filed under: Home — Stephanie @ 1:51 pm

One month in, selling our house has been, to put it mildly, super depressing. We listed it for sale on August 29th. During that time, we’ve had one showing. ONE. And that includes the zero people that came to our open house this weekend.

Not our actual house (source)

I had mentally prepared myself for the fact that it might take a while to sell the house. We went into this whole buying and selling adventure knowing that we could end up carrying two mortgages, living on a very tight budget for a while. And I thought I was ok with that. But, here’s what I wasn’t prepared for – that no one would even look at our house. It’s impossible to sell a house without anyone looking at it.

So here we are, 2.5 weeks away from closing on our new place to become the proud owners of two houses. Two mortgages, two electric bills, two water bills, one giant headache.

I know I should be glad that this is even an option for us, that we have the money for a down payment without selling, which enabled us to put in an offer on this new place, our planned forever home. But I’m just getting more and more stressed as we creep closer to the real estate wasteland that is the holiday season. We’ve already cut the price once and I fear another price drop will just identify us as the desparate sellers we are.

Anyway if you have any good house selling vibes to spare, send them our way, will you?


Half Marathon Training: Weeks 1-3 September 21, 2010

Filed under: 13.1/2010,fitness — Stephanie @ 8:43 pm

I’m now three weeks into my “official” half marathon training plan (and have exactly two months to go until the race!).  Part of me has been seriously regretting this decision.  With our somewhat unexpected change of heart about our time line for buying/selling, our free time has been jam packed, and won’t get any less busy as we hopefully close and move during October.  But the registration fee for the race has been paid, with no refunds or deferrals possible, so I decided I have to stay focused in my training.  Luckily it’s also provided me with a great stress release outlet, and I can let my mind wander to future paint colors while I’m logging the miles.

I’m using a combination of two training plans for this race.  The first one is Hal Higdon’s Novice Half Marathon plan.   I’ll be honest and admit my strength training and cross training have not been up to par, but I am getting in the three main runs a week from this plan.   So far the distances have felt managable, I’m up to a 5 mile max so far that actually felt pretty easy!

Right before I started my official training schedule, a friend recommended another plan, which is found in the book Marathoning for Mortals. I picked up the book and really related to their philosophy of different methods of approaching the race based on your fitness level, the amount of time you have to train, and your physical limitations.  I was already using a rough run/walk interval method for training, so the official run/walk training plan in this book  seemed like a great fit for me.   In this method, you train for a 4 min run/1 min walk interval all the way through the race.  The MfM plan actually requires a bit more time than HH’s plan, so I’m using a hybrid of the two.  I may eventually shift over to using one or the other 100%, but for now I’m mixing together the MfM intervals with the HH distances, and happy with my progress.

My goals for this race are (a) to finish, (b) ideally in under 2.5 hours, and (c) to still enjoy running after this race.

Think I can do it?  Any distance running tips from experts?


Crazy cat stories September 15, 2010

Filed under: Our terrible pets — Stephanie @ 7:04 pm

Still in mortgage approval limbo over here. I can’t wait to have that all taken care of so I can start sharing details of the potential new place. But as a placeholder, please accept two stories about one of our ridiculous pets?

With the house on the market, we’ve been keeping more doors and windows open to keep everything all aired out, and spending more time in some of our less used rooms like the guest room and office cleaning and decluttering them.  Saturday afternoon, after a marathon vacuuming and mopping session, the guest room door was left open.  A little while later I hear Rich call me from upstairs.  “What did you do to Alice?”  I was confused, but headed upstairs to see what he was talking about.  This is how I found Alice.

Can’t find her?  Here’s a handy edited photo:

Yup, she decided to somehow climb up into the bed, get under the quilt, and yet not disturb the rest of the bed at all.  I guess she was comfortable?  She heard us cracking up at her and tunneled her way out, looked at us indignantly, and marched downstairs to stare out the window for a few hours.

I don’t have any photo evidence of this second Alice story, but on Sunday night, she stole some leftovers we had left sitting out on the counter and chowed down.  So, you might be asking yourself what we so foolishly left out that she could not avoid.  Turkey?  Steak?  Fish?  Nope.  An ear of corn on the cob.  Yup.  She chowed down on it so thoroughly that I thought Rich had eaten it.  The cob was picked clean.   Ah, pet ownership.  Never boring.


For Sale September 8, 2010

Filed under: Home — Stephanie @ 1:28 pm

We are still not talking about the future dream home of wallpaper and outdated appliances, even though the inspection went quite well, because talking of such things before you have jumped through the billion hoops of financing can jinx them. But I can tell you this, our little row home, the home we first lived in together, that we came home to after we were married, that my dear husband has been living in for eight years…it is for sale.

Living in a home that’s on the market is a stressful experience. Living there with three of the world’s hairiest pets will drive you off the deep end. We spent a week and a half fixing up our home in every free second, getting it clean and decluttered and beautiful. Now we try and stay ahead of the pet fur and litter and crumbs of food they are tracking everywhere. Of course, all of this is in vain right now, as despite nine days on the market, not one person has looked at our home. I can’t believe it! It’s so pretty!  See?

(all photos from our home’s MLS listing)

Right now we remain fingers crossed that someone will eventually decide to look at our place, fall in love, and take it off our hands, leaving us with only one home and the money to renovate it.  So send us your home selling vibes!  (Or, alternately, if you know anyone in the Philly ‘burbs looking for a place, send them our way.)