It was a fairly quiet week at work, though I don’t mean “quiet” as in “not busy.” With another product release out the door, plus a newsletter campaign and a variety of internal system upgrades, bug fixes and testing, there was plenty to do. Just not much in the way of communication, because my boss was out for the whole week getting his family moved from Kansas to Texas. And if things weren’t already quiet enough, next week the entire office will be shut down while the company gets moved to Texas as well. We won’t be really back to full-power until July 6th, I expect, although we’ll all have operations covered in the interim while some of us work remotely. For my own slice of workspace, it’ll be business as usual.
Yesterday I received a call from our real estate agent, who asked if it was all right for a buyer to come by for a showing this morning at 10:30. It’s our first showing since we put our house on the market about a month ago, so we were pretty excited. The real estate market is, again, tanking — since the federal government’s homebuyer tax credit expired at the end of April, the month of May saw a worse-than-expected 30% drop in sales. It’s no surprise that there’s been little interest.
But things might be starting to pick up a little bit for us now, what with today’s showing and an open house that we’ve got scheduled for Sunday afternoon. On top of that, our most promising lead right now is a co-worker of Apple’s, who expressed interest in coming by to take a look at our home. If she ended up being the buyer, we’d save half on the commission since she would not have enlisted the services of a real estate agent. That would be a real boon for us, considering we need all the money from the sale that we can get. (But when is that ever not true?)
My parents are here in town this weekend, and a few hours ago we all enjoyed a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant downtown. For the weekend ahead, we’ve got the aforementioned open house going on, and I ought to change the oil in the GTO. Aside from that I don’t have any definite plans. I’ve been in the mood for some writing, reading and bookish hobby work lately — converting all of my PDB eBooks to ePub format, adding onto a story I haven’t touched in a while, perhaps even getting back to my wiki project. Through all of this, the addictive properties of Red Dead Redemption on my Xbox 360 continue to tempt me greatly, a constant struggle between creative expression and self-indulging entertainment. I suspect I won’t know the outcome of this battle until the weekend ends.
A few nights ago I did another new search over at Realtor.com for newly-listed properties in the Frisco, TX area where we’re looking to relocate. A few new places have come online, one of which is actually in Plano but is particularly interesting because it appears to have all of the features we’re looking for, including confirmed availability of Verizon’s FiOS TV and Internet service, and the coveted three-car garage that I so lust after. The only thing I don’t like is the potential proximity to the Sam Rayburn Tollway (otherwise known as the 121). There’s always some issue, isn’t there? No home is perfect — you have to decide which flaws are more important and which you can ignore.
Realtor.com has a really great iPhone / iPad app that makes it really easy to browse listings and save your own notes and ratings about a property, right there on your mobile device. I’ve been going through, looking at homes and correlating their positions on the map, checking out the best of them in Bing’s excellent Bird’s Eye view, and then writing my own notes on the promising properties. Ever the snarkmaster, once I get done listing the legitimate ups and downs of each property, I’ll usually add in something goofy like “Cons: dining room is a bizarre Twin Peaks color” and “Pros: House is on a street named after Captain Picard’s first command.” Why not have some fun with it, is all I’m saying.
Pretty much all of my colleagues are moving into houses equipped with backyard pools. I dunno; I wouldn’t mind having a pool, obviously, but the expenditure of time, effort and/or money to properly maintain one is prohibitive in my mind. If there was one pie-in-the-sky feature I’d like my next home to have, it’s that coveted three-car garage. Then I could finally give our classic ’79 Trans Am the new, fairer-climate home its been needing. And with so many people in my address book who either have pools or lakes at their home, there’s no doubt I’ll have plenty of opportunities to go swimming should the mood strike. 😉
But that Trans Am…it’s really the one Man Toy Pipe Dream™ I have left that I have a real shot at fulfilling, if I just persevere and play my cards properly. At the same time, I won’t buy a lousy house in a crummy location just for that coveted garage — other priorities are paramount. Additionally, building a roofed carport on my property is likely to be an option, given the distinct lack of Nazi-esque HOA and zoning rules (compared to this part of Florida, anyway). But that would cost more money, and the real garage will always be king, especially for such a treasured automobile.
When we have kids, I want to create the same kind of memorable occasions that my dad shared with me, and those included weekend outings in the classic T/A, where we’d play around at his office, pick up lunch and enjoy all of the gawkers ogling our car. My small family certainly doesn’t have a huge legacy of unyielding tradition and “following in your ancestor’s footsteps,” but this would be one way in which I think I could appropriately honor my history with my dad as well as my Detroit heritage. I know that some have trouble understand the importance that others (particularly Detroiters) place on their four-wheeled machines, and I’m not going to be the last man who’s incapable of explaining it, but I don’t think it needs to be explained. It just is. And compared to all of the world’s other vices, it’s not really so bad.
Anyway, just a little woolgathering from yours truly on a lazy Friday eve. I feel like we’re reaching the end of one of life’s chapters and the beginning of a new and exciting one — in more than one fashion. It’s tough to explain this prediction fully, so I won’t do it the disservice of trying. Suffice it to say that I think we’re finally about to achieve many of the things that we’ve worked for, and whether or not it happens, the mere possibility is invigorating like you wouldn’t believe. Sometimes, that’s reward enough.
And I’m out.