up in the air
Patient readers have endured my rambling about wealth management and Abby’s meditation on Dora and aging, and you are thinking: where is the main attraction? I will try to remedy this.
One of the fun things about the small town atmosphere is the variety of small town things to do. We already wrote about Fiddle Fest, and the Civil War battle reenactment. Last month, the nearby Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station hosted an Air Show with the Blue Angels. We actually didn’t get to see the Blue Angels in flight (we got too sunburned out on the tarmac with the earlier performers) but we did see a stunt helicopter named “Otto,” Canadian skydivers, and an F-15 (pretty awesome piece of technology). And there were also things to enjoy on the ground, like Shockwave, a truck that goes from 0-300 miles per hour in 11 seconds, thanks to three jet engines behind the cab:
And to complement the picture we took with Valor and the Civil War actors, we made sure to get a shot of him with some modern-day soldiers. His name was pretty popular with this Navy medical team:
In addition to fun weekend outings, we’re in home-search mode. In fact, we’re currently in the midst of negotiating a price for the next House of Gjertsen. No sooner had we purposed to probably rent for a few more months, with the expectation that the housing market would continue to dip towards the end of the year, two things happened:
- A police officer showed up at the door with a foreclosure notice on our rental house. Hard to imagine how the owner would let it foreclose with rent coming in, but that’s the reality. In all likelihood, whatever entity ends up owning the property in mid-August will probably be happy to keep us as renters, but it does throw a little bit of uncertainty into the process.
- A house just came on the market in our target neighborhood that might just be the one.
I should back up—we’ve been casually looking at houses since we got here, and since my exam is behind me, we’ve been more seriously looking. The demand, especially in our price range, seems very low, but oddly it doesn’t seem to really be pushing the price down the way it seems like it should. But I’ve obviously just moved out of an environment where every other listing is a foreclosure, so it’s taken some adjustments to my mindset. Anyway, from the outset we targeted Trent Woods, an established, centrally-located municipality that is 5 minutes from my workplace. Mostly the square feet we wanted has been out of our price range. But this one we just saw on Friday is on a very nice street, with cheaper utilities, and looks to be the right blend of “move-in-ready” and “fix-up projects to take on over time.”
So we put in an offer this morning, 8% below their asking price. And they’ve countered, dropping less than 2%. With it just hitting the market, they may not be that motivated to reduce their price. And it isn’t really a bad price where it stands. So I’m going to do a little more fine-tuned analysis of tax and insurance costs, borrowing costs (I found 4.5% fixed; pretty happy about that), and probably counter-offer on Monday. If it does work out, we’ll tell you all about the house in another post.
Oops, there I go again, writing about real estate when all anyone wants to hear about is Valorbug. Well, as I write this, he’s either teething (top two coming through) or having grandparent withdrawal, or both. Abby’s parents drove up from Tallahassee and spent a week with us. Grandma was very helpful in helping Valor stand and take steps forward while holding his hands.
We’re not sure if he’s going to crawl before walking or not—so far it’s still only backwards motion on his tummy. But Grandpa Warren made sure he put in his reps.
For my part, I’ve been training him to get around in other ways.