Houses and Home Ownership


Have ceiling fans, and I know how to use them.


“[He] has legs, and [he] knows how to use them.”

EDIT: For those following our house hunting saga, we finally saw a not-so-shitty place! At first it seemed great by comparison, but after taking it out of the context of the really awful houses we have viewed recently, it was not so great. We are waiting to hear back from their agent about what repairs they plan to make before sale prior to making our decision about it, though.


I own a house! I have a key and everything. The current owners are staying there until Sunday to move to their new place though. Since I’m currently on a month-to-month lease, I’m going to stay in my apartment through the end of June and slowly move my stuff (and buy new stuff!). I plan to be completely out of my current apartment by July 1st.




Pulled the trigger on a 9 kW solar installation. Financing to own.

The annual payments are more than 30% less than my current power bill, and some minor efficiency improvements should make it a 100% offset. Even if it’s only a 72% offset, it’s still a savings to buy the panels.

So that’s a thing.

On the heating front: Carrier and Bryant seem to make the most viable air-source heat pumps for this climate (well, for centrally ducted models - ductless minisplits are an option but get complicated). The equipment is probably about 1/3 the cost of installing geothermal, and total cost is less than half. The Carrier Infinity/Bryant Evolution (literally the same hardware) series is almost as efficient as geothermal, and costs way less to install.

Might be a bit before I get that one, though. Lots to pay off right now.


We just put an offer on a fantastic home with a lot of income potential. However, there is another bidder who is, thankfully, on contingency and we know they offered below our offer due to certain circumstance. The owner has until 4:00pm tomorrow to accept or counter.

On a related note, I have an interview for a dream job tomorrow so I need to get sleep, yet I cannot take sleeping pills right now due to a medical issue. I am keyed up about the offer/house. Grrreat.


Our offer was accepted! We have an inspection on Tuesday and, if all goes well, our current closting date is July 28th!


I offer tentative but heartfelt congratulations!


The inspection went well. Just a few minor things we are asking the owners to take care of (proper supports for the decking; GFCI for outlets in kitchens, bathrooms, garage, and outdoors; and inspection of the furnace, boiler, AC unit, and hot water heaters) . I am freaking out because 1) this is about to be reality, 2) there are some big projects (all cosmetic) that I want to tackle right off the bat, 3) we need to get a tenant for the two bedroom apartment, and 4) its a huge financial burden until we get a tenant. Thankfully, all of the big projects are just things I want, not really necessary. The apartment is rentable as-is, though I want to go in and spruce it up a bit (remove dated, aging carpeting and put in vinyl planks, paint the whole thing, add in washer & dryer hookups, get it submetred for utilities so that the renter is responsible for their own utilities, etc.) to get a higher rent/quality renters. To anyone who is a landlord, which background check service do you use for potential renters?


I don’t know if landlords use it, but here we use HireRight for basic background checks. SSN Validation, Address history & verification, National Sex Offender Registry & National Criminal Records.

FWIW, I’ve never submitted to a background check in my life for any apartment I’ve ever rented.


I’ve had to have a background check in some circumstances, but not in others. These are people who will be in my home and on my property. I am definitely running a background check before I sign a lease with them. Most landlords are advised to run them, and depending on what aspects of the tenant’s background you are looking into, they may not need to consent as you are only searching public records in those cases. It is a pretty common practice.


So this happened today.

Now to wait for my net meter installation.


What happened? The solar panels?


Yes, solar panels. A 9 kW system. 24 panels on the main roofline and 8 on the chunk of roof above the addition (not clearly visible in the photo). I’ve done the math about a dozen times, and am fairly confident that will provide a 100% offset.

Going with a grid-tie, because the cost of a suitable battery array is roughly the same as the grid-tie fee over the expected life of the system (~25 years).


I am so, so mad.

We shopped around for good mortgage rates. We found the best one possible at a local FCU who we banked with previously. We met with them on Tuesday last week to apply for the loan. We brought everything they asked for, plus some, but there were still some things they needed, so I emailed them over in less than 24 hours, asked if there was anything else, and asked what the next steps would be. I heard nothing. So on Friday, I contacted the person who took our application by leaving a voice mail on her cell and by emailing her. I heard nothing back. I was busy with work Monday, so I called on Tuesday and left yet another voice mail. I called again on Wednesday and asked to speak with someone else and was transferred to the underwriter who is handling our mortgage now (we were never told it was with underwriting or given any other contact person). The underwriter informs me that she still needs a couple things, which we send to her before I am off the phone. She also informs me that the low rates we were quoted last week are no longer available as the rates went up and we weren’t “locked in.” I informed her that I was trying to lock in last week, but no one called me. I then called the manager for the mortgage department, and he said that while it was unacceptable that I was not contacted and no effort was made to lock us in at the lower rate last week, that we are functionally SOL. So fine. I call today and the rates are even higher. They are putting me on a rate watch, but with closing potentially happening as soon as 7/28 and rates trending up this week, I am getting nervous. I am so, so mad. How could they sit on our file for over a week, knowingly risking our low mortgage interest rate?!


Don’t use credit unions. They are worse than big banks when it comes to loans. They will either screw you or be incompetent or both.


@panfriedmarmot We had 0 problem with our credit union (SEFCU). The biggest thing is a lack of consistency from place to place - each credit union is different.

@Kate_Monster That is some fucking bullshit right there. It took less than 24 hours from the time we submitted the last requested item to our rate lock.

I’d be tempted to do business with another financial institution on principle. That is really really outrageous.


Yeah, we contacted a lender we were working with but whose locked in rate was higher than this other institution offered last week. Now, that initial company’s locked in rare is lower than what this institution is offering, since the prices went up.


We’ve been using an Albany area FCU since HSBC pulled out of the northeast and dumped accounts into the other major banks in the area.

CapCom has been fantastic. No fees for anything, online everything, mobile check deposits, etc. We even had a car loan with them that went perfectly, and I could easily move money into it just by transferring money online from my account.

This seems less of a FCU problem than it is a singular person problem. Our agent groaned when we told her who we were working with and said that she f’ed up another mortgage a while ago because she just went on a weeks vacation and didn’t let anyone know.


We are two business days past our initial closing date. Everything is done except the attorneys need to schedule the closing and the sellers’ attorney is slow to respond to ours. WTF? Take my money. I want to give you the majority of my money. Just take it! :smile: