menga, the gathering
My sister arrived via the Auto Train yesterday and is now in Inverness. She arrived safe and sound. I'll be staying at Pop's over the course of the holiday. I plan on being back on the 26th.
I've been steadily using my treadmill since I got it here in Tampa. It's been performing well and I'm already starting to notice a difference. I have more energy (awesome), the pounds are coming off (awesomer) and my stomach is flattening up (awesomest). I'm using it twice a day; once in the morn' and once in the eve. Works for me.
Once January '07 rolls around I'm going to start The Big Search for a house. It's going to be fun but at the same time tedious. More on that in a moment.
As it stands right now, I'm looking at relocating somewhere in Pinellas County (pronounced "pih-neh-lahs", not "pyne-ell-ahs"). For those unfamiliar with that part of Florida, the towns you'll recognize are in that county are St. Petersburg, Clearwater and so on. On inspection of a map, you'll see that it's not all that far away from Tampa. Just a hop over the causeway and you're there.
Side note: Driving over the causeway really kicks ass. Pristine views and an awesome cruise. I highly recommend it to anyone.
Concerning the house itself, I was set on building rather than buying, but I've changed my mind. It's not that I can't find parcels of land to build on because those are easy to get (and cheap), but it's easier overall to buy an existing house. Yeah, you still have to deal with the bank and the loan people and [this], [that] and [the other thing], but at least you can cross off builders, building permit(s), well drillers and a whole host of other things. Makes for a much smoother experience.
However (and this is the tedious part)...
I still have to find the house I want. Then I have to deal with real estate agents. Then I have to hire a real estate attorney once I find the house I want to buy. Then there's what I call the "b.s. phase" that involves nothing but getting about ten different people to all be "on the same page" so-to-speak before proceeding. It has absolutely nothing to do with the house, but rather an extremely long line of red tape that includes the real estate agent, the bank, the title holder/company, the real estate attorney, and other people that are magically (so it seems) involved with this whole purchase process.
It just sucks. No one has ever been able to devise a simple method of buying a home. Even if you bought a house with cash, there is still this long line of red tape b.s. to deal with. Completely unavoidable and outright annoying. It's the only part I'm not looking forward to.
On the up-side, I will be taking a friend along to look at houses, so at least I'll have some company. The extra set of eyes will really help out, because she'll probably see things that I wouldn't pick up on first glance.
I will need to compose a checklist, print it out and bring it along when I look at a house so I can run down the things I need to check as I'm looking over any prospective property. It'll probably have at least twenty-five items on it.
I'm tired already just thinking about it. 🙂
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