Sunday, February 28, 2010

Money and a House

Yeah! Tomorrow is March, which means were that much closer to Spring! Wait, I thought it was Spring already? At least it sure feels like it anyway. Any-who.......

Ending the month of February we now have 20% of our financial goal; money for our down payment for a house. But wait, I have some other news too.

Last weekend we took a 5hr. new home buyer class, that was 5hr. Did I mention it was 5 hr.? Anyway, it was a LONG time. This specific class was necessary for us to qualify for some of the new home buyer programs that the FHA offers. Specifically the one that helps people with a down payment on their first home. Which completely negates the purpose of us saving up for a down payment but, extra money never hurts!

The next day after the class we started looking for some houses/ properties that would fit our criteria: under $200,000, 2+ acres, 2+ bedroom house. We came up with 6 listings all located a few miles away from each other in Graham. Apparently we are going to be living in Graham! : D One of the listings we COULD NOT find, four of them comprised of land surrounded entirely by water, and one seemed a suitable fit.

It was a 2 bedroom house on 7.93 flat acres, that had very little, to no water on the property, going for a cool $185,000. Curiously enough the house itself, not the property, was surrounded by a 5 ft. chain linked fence topped with barbwire and there were bars on the windows of the house. (Also later we found out there was a security system).

Now by no means is Graham considered the "Compton" of Pierce county (Tacoma is a better equivalent) so we couldn't figure out why there was all the security, except maybe that the previous owner was a bit paranoid.

Later that week when we met with our real estate agent, we again put our criteria into his computer to see what else might pop up. Literally the ONLY property that came up was the very "secure" house we had seen out in Graham.

So yesterday we walked the property and looked inside the house with our real estate agent and decided we would put in an offer. Now we are simply waiting to hear back from the owner to see if it's a go! Wish us luck..........

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Food and why it costs so much

In our house we get our idea about food and the importance it holds in our life from three sources (and of course, our own taste buds): the Feingold diet, the 100 mile diet, and the movie "Food Inc." Food that is free from pesticides, genetic alterations, growth hormones, antibiotics, and e-coli is not only DIFFICULT to find, it is expensive. Why? I dunno. But we are committed to good food for many different reasons. The most important one, as well as the simplest, is that it just tastes better.

  • If organic farming is the natural way, shouldn't organic produce just be called "produce" and make the pesticide-laden stuff take the burden of an adjective? ~Ymber Delecto

  • The belly rules the mind. ~Spanish Proverb

  • How do pesticides know when to stop killing?--Author unknown

  • You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces- just good food from fresh ingredients.--Julia Child

  • You aren't what you eat, you're what your food eats--Author unknown

Monday, February 1, 2010

Money Check up-Feburary

We are now in the second month of the year and it is time for our check up to see how we are doing financially. We did manage to increase our savings for a down payment from 4% to 11% . While it's nice to show some progress it doesn't really seem like very much. There were a few medical bills that held us back, as well as our ever expanding food budget; feeding your family fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter is expensive.

One area we did improve on was our energy bill. Since it has been a warmer winter we haven't really needed to use our heat and we have been dutifully turning off lights when we leave the room, unplugging appliances when not in use etc. You know, all the things your "supposed" to do to reduce your energy consumption. Which, for monetary as well as, "I love the Earth" reasons, makes sense to me. Although when we got our bill, we seen that our energy consumption had gone down but the bill was the same amount because the electricity rates had gone up! *sigh* What ya gonna do? : )