Sunday, March 29, 2009

House Update

Good news, good news. We got the house! We still have to do the inspections and what not so wish us luck! Once we get through the inspections we'll really be excited but until then, we are a little guarded because we've been this far before with the other house. Wish us luck!

If everything goes well, we should close on May 1st.

Sooner we close, the sooner I can start growing potatoes!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama Foodorama

Did you know that the Obama's have a Food blog? I stumbled on to it this evening while I was looking into the new organic garden at the White House. Check it out!

Reno randomness- Totem tree?

The Decemberist

Yesterday I got to listen to THE DECEMBERIST's brand new album played live from start to finish!
The Decemberist played at SxSW this year and NPR decided to broadcast their full set over the radio and online. You can stream the audio or download the podcast. I recommend download the podcast because I'm not sure how much longer the audio stream will be available.

You can go to to check it out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spoiled cats

Our Cats are Spoiled!

Our older cat Vester (in the picture) is slightly allergic to something that is found in regular dry cat food. No matter what food we gave him, he would throw it up about 2-3 times a month. After talking with our family vet, we decided that we would make our own cat food that only have simply, healthy ingredients. The cats have been on the food for about a month now and neither one has thrown up! Vester is much more active now then he has been in a long while and his coat is nice and shinny.

Our recipe is:

2 frozen chicken breast
2 cups of brown rice
4 cups of water
2 carrot
2 stocks of celery
2 hard boiled eggs

Put the Chicken, rice, and water in to a crock-pot on low. Dice up the veggies and the hard boiled eggs nice and small and add to the crock-pot. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked. remove the chicken and dice or shred it. We then pour the whole mixture into a large Tupperware container, mix it together with the chicken, and let it cool before storing in the fridge. One batch will last us about a week. We feed them a little less then half a cup twice a day. Easy!

*NOTE* Once a week will give them a can of wet cat food because there is something in it that cats must have.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

I want to live in a Tiny house!

A tiny house on a big lot with a large garden and lots of fruit trees! The house above is 89sqft and the WeeBee (I really like this one) is 102sqft. Either of this houses could be built for less then 35k and you can take them anywhere you would take an RV.

I got this idea stuck in my head from a book I am reading: The Urban Homestead (click the link to check out their website) In the book, the authors dream about living in one of these houses surrounded by friends also living in one. How cool would it be to own a piece of land with friends and live off the grid?

As I write this, I just remembered that my in-laws have 5acres of land on an island in Alaska..hrm I bet you can guess what I am thinking. Because the house can be built on a trailer frame, it is considered a mobile home or RV and therefore does not need a building permit. I think if we do get the house I mentioned below, I am going to have to build one of these in the back yard. While we are here in town it would be an office/guest house and we could take it with us when we went camping...KOA here we come!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

So, get this... The Gov'ment had originally passed a bill that let first time home buyers claim a $7500 tax credit if they wanted. It turns out through that this is not really a tax credit but is in fact a 15 years interest free loan to be paid back by the government taking $500 a year out of your tax return. Also, if you moved before the loan was paid back, you would have to pay back the remainder of the loan immediately. Because of this, we decided that we did not want the the money if we were to buy a house this year.

When they just passed this new stimulas bill, the rules changed. Now you can get $8000 instead of $7500 and you don't have to pay it back. Click below to check it out!

How is this home buyer tax credit different from the tax credit that Congress enacted in July of 2008?
The most significant difference is that this tax credit does not have to be repaid. Because it had to be repaid, the previous "credit" was essentially an interest-free loan. This tax incentive is a true tax credit. However, home buyers must use the residence as a principal residence for at least three years or face recapture of the tax credit amount. Certain exceptions apply.

With the new rules, I think we will be asking for the credit if this house goes through. Because we have already filed, we will submit a 1040x and 5405 to the IRS and claim the credit this year instead of waiting till we file our 2009 taxes.

Third times a charm...?

Here we go again! We have just submitted on offer on our third house! Cross your fingers, we should know something by Wednesday of this week.

I took Thursday and Friday off this week to spend some time with my lovely wife who was on her spring break. The first day of my mini Stay-cation, we met up with our wonderful Realtor and walked through another four houses. The first one was great and there are few words to describe the other three. A few of these words are Weird, Creepy, and What the heck were they thinking!

Here is the front of the house that we like and put an offer in on. It is a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house and is 1044sq. It has hardwood floors through out the house and a large fireplace in the front room. The kitchen needs to be redone right away along with finishing the hardwood floors but everything else can wait a little while. The back yard is huge and just waiting for a large garden. We are also going to plant a few fruit trees and hopefully some blackberries along the back or side fence.

The house also has a 1044sq unfinished basement the is very open and bright! It looks like the original plan was to make it into a second unit and use it as a rental. It is plumbed for a washroom, bathroom, and kitchen. We would like to have it rent ready within a year and then hopefully rent it out to some friends.

We already like the neighborhood and have several friends that live within a two minute walk/stumble. The house itself is only about a three minute drive from our current place so moving day should go pretty quick!

I am hoping that everything goes through quickly and we can get the keys within a month so that we can at least get the garden started! I learned how to grow potatoes in tires and I really want to try it this year! Stay tuned for more on that!

The best part? Lots of room for ducks!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Addictions....bad stuff

I feel that I have an addictive personality. Lots of my family have been addicted to smoking and drinking over the years and deep down, I know part of that addiction could be hiding in me as well. Over the years, I have tried very hard to not become addicted to anything. Sometimes I play a little game with myself where I will give up something that I really like for a month or two just to make sure I can live without it. Chocolate and coffee are two things that come to mind, gum also!

Well, you would think that being so aware of addictions would keep me from becoming addicted to anything right? Somehow something got through and I recently discovered that I do in fact have an addiction. They say the first step towards recovery is to admit you have a problem so here goes. I am addicted to.........Microwaves!

Yes, I know that this is nothing major but I was still so surprise to learn that I was pretty dependent on this one kitchen appliance. I think I probably used the microwave at least twice a day if not more.

I found this out because we just recently gave some friends back their microwave that we had been "baby sitting" for the past 2+ years. The next day I went to make a quesadilla but no microwave! I mean I guess I COULD use the stove but it had been some long that it actually took me a minute to remember how to make one on the stove. Well guess what? That was the best quesadilla I've had in a long time!
It was so good! The cheese was fully melted and oozing out the sides and the tortillas were nice and crispy, not soggy like out of the microwave.

One thing I like about the Microwave (other then speed) is that I don't have a pot to wash after we heat something up. Well, my beautiful wife found a way to fix that!

Well there you go. I am now happily on the road to recovery and I hope this will help you realize just how easy it is to become addicted to microwaves!

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Friday!

Quick post as I'm walking out the door...

This week seemed so long up until last night. We went to dinner with family for my cousin's birthday and had a really good time. All together, there were ten of us at the Sushi bar - we took up one whole side! Birthday's are funny because they always seem to remind you of just how old you are!

I hope today is a great day and a fast day. I can't wait to come home and see my wife! If you are looking for a new way to be lazy this weekend, here it is!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Here we go again

This Saturday we are getting back on the horse. We have one house right now that we want to go see and hopefully by this weekend, a few others will have popped up.

What else is going on...? Not much other then our crazy 3 hours "blizzard!" Of course by 1pm you never would have guessed it had snowed :( Oh well, that's Reno for you. It was good to get the water, our water supply should be at about 95% now. One more good storm and we will be set for the summer. So cross your fingers, gather some friends, and start doing a rain dance!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Long Week....

I don't know about you, but this past week was soooo long. Every morning when I woke up I was so excited because I thought it was Friday. Then I remembered it was in fact NOT Friday and only Monday or Tuesday. Bummer :(

The whole house inspection and the decisions we had to make because of it were pretty draining. We decided to not continue with the house. If there had been only one or two things wrong with the place then it would have been different but things just seemed to snowball. There is another house for sell in the same neighborhood with almost the same floor plan but this one comes with a Kitchen and a fireplace :) I'm hoping to check it out this upcoming weekend.

Once the week was finally over, I thought we would get to relax but the weekend turned out to be just has busy.

On Saturday we meet up with some friends and picked up trash along Wells ave in Reno. We are going to pick a different street each month and get together with friends and clean it up. Check it out on facebook, the group name is No More Plastic Bags!

Then Today we got to cater a friend's wedding. It was great that we have this skill and can use it to help out but it would have been really nice to just be a guest. Today was one of the easier weddings that we've done but it was still a lot of work. Our friend, Sam, was really thankful to have us there and that makes it worth it!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

House Inspection

Well, there's good news and there's bad news.

The previous owner (owner before the current investor) did a lot of upgrades to the house but it seems he did them on the down-low.

  • All the power outlets have been upgrade from two prong to three prong but for some reason, they decided not to ground the third prong :( Also, there are about a dozen exposed high voltage wires throughout the house, including several under the house in the crawl space.
  • The hot water heater has been removed and a new tankless heater installed in the garage - again no permit.
  • There are two types of heat in the house, forced air and steam. The steam is not currently working and the inspector has no idea why both were installed or why the city would approve it.
  • And the kicker is that the Mother-in-law's quarters in the back yard might have to have all the power removed from it or worse, be torn down (at our expense). This is the one thing that really sold us on the whole deal. We are trying to get the seller to let the city come take a look at it and tell us for sure if it can stay or not. If he won't allow us to call the city or the city says it will have to be torn down, then the deal is off.
  • And I forgot, once again, to take pictures of the inside. Maybe it's better this way - don't want anyone getting to attached to it.

WHEW! Okay now for the good news.

  • We are in love and healthy!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


We went and saw the house again and I forgot to take pictures :( However, the inspection is on Tuesday of this week and I will be sure to take pictures then.

The house passed the friends/family test today. All in all, we had nine people at the house today and everyone seems to really like the house. We know it will take a little work but Morgan and I are really excited to make this house into our home.

*Little update on the Craig's Helper widget*

I was able to add the widget to the bottom of the side bar ------> but still can not get it to show up in a blog post. This is a great little tool to quickly search craigslist in several different cities. Check it out!