Monday, August 18, 2008

Homes and Homeschooling

Remember that house we tried to buy and our offer was $245,000 and it was such a disaster? Can you believe that it STILL hasn't sold, even though our realtor-at-the-time told us there was another buyer waiting in the wings to snatch it from us!! And can you believe that they have reduced the price to $229,000. Can you believe that our original offer for the house was $220,000. Isn't that hilarious. You just have to laugh.

I have finally finished purchasing everything for school which starts the second week of September. I'm in the midst of writing lesson plans for 2ND grade and kindergarten. I still want to get an art book for Ella and a music appreciation book for her, too. I am really anxious about starting her on an instrument but with the small place that we live in and the constant feeling of "we're about to move" I just feel it's a bad time for that right now.

My parents are headed to Hawaii again. They'll be "working" on Maui for another six months, although my mom is to come back in late Dec/early Jan so she can be here for the baby to be born. I have planned to take 5 weeks off of school during that time. I've never had a baby in the midst of schooling so I have no idea if that's realistic or not. My dad thinks that my mom should just stay here until he gets back from Maui. She'd be a huge help with school and EVERYTHING else, but I doubt she'll stay that long. I think she'll go back since round-trip tickets are often the same price as or cheaper than one-way tickets. Go figure.

We are still steeped in house hunting. The market here is just insane; it's hard to know if you're doing the right thing by buying right now. We are just expanding beyond this apartment though. On top of the insane market, most of the places around here are located in Florida's INFAMOUS Community Development Districts (CDD) and the fees for living in these places is often $1-2000 or more a year on top of taxes and HOA fees and sometimes "monthly maintenance fees." Whatever those are. What happened to places where you just went and bought a house and lived there? Make sure you read the article about CDDs. And keep in mind that we live in Hillsborough county and that the article is 4.5 years old. It's hard to find a house that isn't in a CDD. The fees are, I believe, partly responsible for the high rate of foreclosures and short sales here. The taxes are already high but then you add these exorbitant fees - that can be raised at any time - on top of them and your house payment just doubled. When they say your monthly payment for your house is $1000, you have to add anther $5-700 on to that and it prices many buyers right out of a decent house. It's infuriating.

I think I'll stop talking about this now, I might punch my computer screen and then I wouldn't be able to check the blogs anymore and that would be a tragedy. Or maybe I'd hurt my hand and not be able to cook dinner. Hmmmm...now that's an idea.

11 comments:

Mrs. Amy Brigham said...

That is pretty funny. :P Some people...*rolls eyes*

I bet on top of those INSANE fees you aren't allowed to have a clothlines, the "wrong" type of flowers in your front yard, or (oh noes!) an oil stain on your driveway, among many other nutty "rules" ;o) My grandparents have a HOA that is ridiculous with their rules and from what I understand, their HOA isn't even *that* bad. Scary! (At our apt complex, it's a lease violation to play on the sidewalk. What if you're toddler accidentally has an ounce of fun while walking along? ;o))

Lawanda said...

Omgoodness! Why would anyone ever want to buy into that?

I would say move to WV! LOL It is much cheaper to live in my town than almost anywhere in the country. It was on an actual top ten cheapest places list on MSN one time!! :)

Johanna said...

I wouldn't buy a house with a CDD. That's ridiculous! It is why the housing bubble burst - developers are in over their heads, home owners are in over their heads...it is sad really. We purposely didn't even buy a house with an HOA. I don't care if I don't have a tennis court, golf course, or swimming pool in my neighborhood. It is nice, established, and well-kept by the homeowners who take pride in their property. Hard to go wrong.

That music appreciation book looks really neat. I tried to find a recommended age on it, but didn't see one. But Aaron loves listening to music and coloring, so I bet he'd like it quite a bit.

Joanna said...

It's crazy isn't it! It's so ridiculous you almost have to laugh. And then here in Florida, every other person already HAS a pool in the back yard, for Pete's sake. I mean PLEASE!!!

You're kids can't play on the sidewalk????? That's so dumb!

West Virginia sounds lovely, except 1) it's stinkin' cold there and it snows and I'm perpetually cold anyway and, 2) there's no way my husband could get a job there. :(

I thought CDDs were now all around the country; I had no idea that it was just us dummies here in Florida buying into this crap.

Marie said...

that's so frustrating that you CDDs seem to have taken over the area. doesn't allow for much choice but to succumb or move.

i've never heard of kids playing on the sidewalk being a violation! that's crazy!

i don't think violins are that loud. it's been a while since i played though, so i could be just forgetting. you could always rent a violin to try it out. there's a place here that rents them for $16 a month for the smallest size.

Marie said...

i meant to say THE CDDs, not YOU CDDs :)

Terry, Ornament of His Grace said...

Those CDD's sound horrendous!

Our HOA isn't "that bad", as Amy put it, but it still be a pain in the neck sometimes.

On a more pleasant note, I'm sure it feels good to be prepared for school as much as two whole weeks in advance. Now that's what I call being proactive!

Joanna said...

Two whole weeks!! LOL, that's a good one, Terry! I guess it's one thing to be prepared on paper and another thing to be prepared in my mind to get at it. I need another few weeks for the mind part.

Granny said...

texas...texas...texas...

minnesotamom said...

I hear ya! Homeowning is expensive here, too. However, if we had waited in an apartment for about 6 mos. before we bought, we could have had a house with a yard for the same price we paid for our (nice, livable) townhome. It also makes me very sad that a family can't make it on one (very decent) income anymore...sigh...

Joanna said...

Yeah, it's a big question: buy now or wait. However, we've been waiting to buy for approximately, oh say...7 years now. My oldest daughter, who is 7, is starting to say to me, "It's okay, Mom. I'm getting used to being cooped up." Despite the advantages of waiting, now is the time. We just have to avoid rushing into a house we sorta like and then hate for years to come.

Texas...sigh.