Mimi’s Grad School: January 2017

Our January meeting happened at the end of the month instead of the beginning because of year-end inventory at the store and Mimi’s schedule. We displayed our cardinal blocks and the overachievers showed their tops and finished quilts.

Kay found an innovative way to use one of the Row by Row fabric plates. The block in the top middle with the yellow birds is a quarter the size of the rest of the blocks.

Nechama reduced the blocks to practically nothing, something like 25% of the full-sized blocks.

I had intended to have mine assembled by the meeting day but I was overtaken by events. I started house hunting on 1/4 and found three strong contenders within the first week. I wasn’t expecting things to move so quickly. All of the houses I looked at were villas in 55+ communities. They all have a garage and first floor master suite. They all back onto green space of some kind. Someone asked me what the difference was between a townhouse and a villa. My answer was “about $200,000”. I need to ask my realtor what the real answer is.

I felt like I was on an episode of House Hunters. Will she choose the huge house in the country with shared well and septic? The cozy charmer next to I-95 and the BWI flightpath? Or, the posh new construction? My friend, Linda, dubbed the new construction “the posh house”. I took a friend with me to look at the three contenders and she, as well as Linda, voted for the new construction.

I loved the community out in the western part of the county. Saw four houses there. Didn’t like the floor plan of two of them but the best one was under contract the day after I saw it.  I saw another one with the same floor plan but it wasn’t as nice. I decided I didn’t want to mess with well and septic so discarded the idea of that community.

The 12 year old charmer had a lot going for it. It had columns separating a little sitting area and dining room from the entry, a gas fireplace with a stone surround, sun porch, screened-in patio off the basement; a large workshop that could be finished for the fabric room. But, the rooms felt small to me and by the time I did the things that needed to be done, it would cost as much as the larger newly constructed house. And, there’s the traffic noise from the interstate and airport.

The first time we looked at the posh house my realtor said, “this house is a steal!” She was really impressed and she doesn’t impress easily after 30 years in the business. Whoever made all the choices has similar taste to mine. The first floor has a small covered deck and the lower level has a covered patio. The charmer wins on those points with the sun porch and screened-in patio but the rest of the house makes up for any shortcomings. Huge kitchen, hardwood floor on the first floor except for the master bedroom. The second floor and basement are also carpeted and the carpet is off-white. After having that color in my current house, I’d rather have something closer to dirt color. The only thing I can object to is that the sinks all have two handled faucets. I prefer one. That’s easily changed. I think I’ll probably change one sink in the master bath and the sink in the basement. The basement is ground level in the back so it’s more of a lower level than what I think of when I hear basement. The basement will make a fabulous studio. It was all finished except for what the builder calls the optional exercise room. I looked at it and said it would be perfect as a fabric room but I’d have to have it finished. The sales agent said they would finish it for free. Well, not so much as it turns out. The builder wouldn’t agree to that. I ended up paying a little more than the original asking price in order to get the finished room. They did agree to add an automatic garage door opener. Can you believe it wasn’t standard? In a 55+ community with a two-car garage door?

I still have trouble believing I can afford a house like this, especially in retirement but the numbers don’t lie. Linda has already staked out a spot for her chair in the studio when she visits. We’re aiming for closing at the end of February. I’m waiting for some of the documents I need to submit for the mortgage app. That makes me antsy and the stress eating is on. I look forward to being moved but not to the moving process. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to sell my current house until I’m ready so I can move things thoughtfully. I will not have a mess at the new place!

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