It has been a long time since I have done a blog entry. Or answered email for that matter. It seems like it is time for an update.
Last week I was back in Florida, this time taking Brandy and Amy with me. A couple things were going on, first, while at work, things started speeding up. Week by week, I am spending more and more of the day actually doing the types of things I was hired for. I can't say I'm completely 100% booked and productive yet, but it is getting closer. This is all good. I feel like this is working out, and I am developing into my role. A few more weeks and I should really be fully integrated. (Although the times back in PA slow that down, I am doing lots of conference calls from here too.)
OK, with that out of the way, the reason Brandy and Amy were down was because we wanted to go house hunting. So Tuesday through Saturday, every day we spent several hours looking at houses. There were a couple I liked, but were too small. There were a couple Brandy liked, but needed too much work for my taste. All in all, we kept finding places that had some portion of what we were looking for, but not everything. And unlike the feeling I got when I found my townhouse in Yardley, there were no places at all that jumped out at me and said "This is it. No question." Not even after I raised the price boundaries I was looking at by another 10%. It helped a bit, but still not quite. The last day, at almost the new price limit, we found one that all of us agreed we "could live with". But there was no real excitement about it. So we didn't try to put an offer or anything, and by now it is probably sold. Things seem to sell there pretty quickly.
So before we left, we also looked at some of the new construction in the area. There are a bunch of new developments going up, and a bunch of builders with their model houses and such. We stopped at a few. One thing quickly discovered is that the new construction is actually comperable in price to the existing homes. I would have thought it would have been more to order something and have it build, but it is not. For the same price, we could get something brand new built, choose our lot and our model, and our options and have EXACTLY what we want. With some of the builders you can actually modify the floorplans too rather than just choose an existing model. It sounds really great. Except of course that after you order, it is 9 months to a year before you can actually move into your house. Which really sucks. Cause I think I would be sold on just picking a floorplan, picking the options, and having it built... if it did not take quite so long. But maybe.
So anyway, we left it with the real estate agent down there still looking out for places that match our criteria while we do more research on the build option. Not to mention waiting for my place in PA to actually sell.
Speaking of which, as I was returning to PA at the beginning of this week, I got an offer on the house. Unfortunately, they were lowballing me. They offered 7% less than I was asking. Now, I know my initial price is shooting high, and I am willing to go down a bit. But at the level of this offer, I would have to actually PAY at settlement when all was over. And not a negligible sum. No matter what, I'm know I am going to come out in the hole on selling the house. Even my most optimistic sales prices would completely cover my August closing costs completely. I'm just selling it too soon for that. And that's OK. What I am getting as part of my relocation package will cover that loss. But I need to AT LEAST break even on the actual transaction when I sell.
My bottom line, if at closing on the sale of the house I will need to write a check, I will not do it. If I get a check, even a small one, then I can probably do that, although obviously the bigger the check the better. So anyway, I rejected the offer, but did provide a counter offer in between my asking price and his offer that would still let me break even (plus a little bit). He turned that down, so the house is still showing. Several people looked yesterday, several more today. It will sell before too long I hope. Unless the housing bubble bursts, in which case I may end up just having to take that loss. I hope not!
This week I've been back in PA. Every day from 8 AM when there is a daily conference call (ouch!) to around 6 PM I've been doing work stuff, conference calls and such. After that I've been doing stuff with Brandy and Amy (which is good and fun), and then going to bed early so I can actually wake up in time for the 8 AM and be lucid for it. I have done none of the non work stuff I should have been doing. Haven't done email. Haven't done bills. Haven't posted the results of the fitness contest. Haven't worked on repacking the basement. Haven't done anything. I'm doing this blog entry at the same time I'm doing a conference call prioritizing bug fixes on a new feature that is being added to my company's product.
Sometime soon I'll have to carve out some time to do that kind of thing again. I need at least a couple hours a day to keep up with that sort of thing. But right now, I don't know where that time can come from. Sigh!
Anyway, that is what is up with me. Next week I'm in Florida again. I think I'll probably start looking for a month-to-month lease apartment down there. It may be a little while until I am in a new house down there, and rent will be cheaper than the hotels I've been staying in.
Maybe sometime I'll squeeze in answering some email too. Sorry in advance to all those with outstanding emails in my inbox I haven't gotten to yet!