Our New Fuzzy Friends

It’s not been a good week thus far. I went to three different hospitals four different times in less than 24 hours on Sunday/Monday. We drew Jack’s labs twice. And I lost count of the meltdowns Jack had.

We found out yesterday that the house we’re buying has a mold problem. We knew from the initial inspection there were drainage issues but expected those to be fairly easily addressed with a credit for closing costs. Our inspector recommended we get mold testing, though, just to be cautious, so we got a microbiologist out last Friday. Although there weren’t major problems visible to the naked eye, the air samples she took in two of the bedrooms (master & Jack’s proposed room) came back yesterday and showed that mold spores from the wet crawl space are getting into the house through the HVAC. The levels were pretty high and the heater hadn’t even been on!

The house is not habitable currently. The carpets will need to be torn out, the furnace replaced, all of the ducting replaced, and the whole place washed down and retested…oh and the drainage problem that started all this needs to be addressed, as well. If we go super cheap on everything that’s probably $9k.

In a normal sale this could be negotiated to be taken care of by the sellers; however, this is a short sale. That means nothing can be done to the house to correct these issues until escrow closes (April 27) and it will have to be done by us. We can get a credit toward closing costs but closing costs may be less than the cost of the repairs. If that’s the case, we will probably have to walk away from the house having flushed $1k in inspection costs down the drain…

If it all somehow works out with the credit covering the costs of repairs and we close on the expected April 27 date, it will likely be at least a week or two before we can get everything fixed, retested, and then move in. Waiting a couple of weeks isn’t too terrible – especially compared to losing the house altogether. We would just have to hope nothing ELSE shows up when we start pulling the place apart.

Our luck, thus far this year, has not been very good so I wouldn’t bet on things coming up rosy.

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A couple of weeks ago I was able to get Jack’s elementary school application submitted to the San Francisco Unified School District.  Now we wait until March when we hear which of the 10 schools we asked for will be assigned to us.  I admit that I’m experiencing an array of emotions during this process.

I tried to lower my general anxiety over San Francisco’s lottery system by not touring any of the schools.  I know that might sound a little odd, so let me explain my reasoning.  For one, even with the improvements made to the lottery system for this academic year, Jack may not be assigned to any of the schools we requested.  Why tour schools and pick favorites when chances are good that he won’t even attend those schools?  That is just asking for disappointment.

In addition to that, the reality is that we need a school that is fairly close to either our home or my employer.  My workday isn’t flexible and I will likely be the one doing drop-off and pick-up (at least, that’s how things are now with daycare).  I don’t have the ability to drive across town to a better school than the ones that are close.

There there is the fact that this is just Kindergarten and there is a high likelihood that we will move before he goes to 1st grade anyway…but if we do happen to still be in this area when that time comes, all the schools within a mile or so of our house are pretty equal according to my research.

So for the most part I have managed to avoid much of the anxiety that I think a lot of parents experience during this process (one mom behind me in line when I went to submit the application had a worry stone that a friend had loaned her for good luck).  I AM a bit anxious but that has more to do with my own worries about how Jack’s school experience will go – that is more related to other kids than the school itself.  Putting my kid in school is forcing me to face all of my school-related issues.

I am also unsure what is going to happen with Jack after the school days are over, as so far the after-school programs I’ve found in our neighborhood aren’t open to kindergartners.  What kind of craziness is that?  I *know* that other parents of 5 year olds work so what gives, San Francisco?  Or, more specifically, Richmond District?  We live in one of the more affordable parts of the city – not everyone has a nanny – so you’d think these things would be ironed out.  Apparently they do not, though, and there is not much I can do about it until I know where Jack will be going to school.

In the mean time, we’re in limbo.  SFUSD limbo.  This is not my favorite thing.

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Truthiness Day 19: Religion and Politics

Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

I guess I’ll go with politics.

I research candidates and issues that are on the ballot when I vote, and that is pretty much as involved in politics as I get these days.  I avoid the news and the irritating campaigns – they aren’t helpful and tend to be paranoia-inducing.  I watch the occasional debate but more for entertainment because all of the content pretty much just sounds like lip service to me.  I find politics to be disheartening for the most part and very frustrating, especially local (California) politics because HOLY CRAP these people here like to spend money they don’t have.  I’m so very sick of bond measures…

Voting is kind of a shot in the dark, in my opinion.  You make your best educated guess and hope that in a few decades there will be more forward-moving than backward.

I think I mostly vote so that I feel entitled to bitch about things with which I disagree…

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Truthiness Day 5: Home Sweet Home

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

I hope to own a house.  David and I have recently started doing our research on buying a home.  We are looking into first time home buyer programs, assessing our credit and our buying power, and checking out listings to get a better idea of where we would and would not live.  We have a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, and moderate dreams.  But we are worried that it won’t happen.  Two years ago the idea of buying a house wasn’t even on our radar.  We have no down payment saved up (although we aim to do that in the next year).  We make just a little too much for a CalHFA loan (which would help with the down payment) but not enough to be saving money for a house at the moment.  And if the market recovers before we are ready to buy, the houses that are currently within our financial reach probably won’t be anymore.

We are both scared shitless because OMG buying a house is a HUGE deal.  We’ll owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to the bank.  We need to make wise decisions and plan and know whether this house will be our home long term or a starter house or what.  We are considering our jobs and the likelihood that we will stay with them, or at least continue to commute to the same area for the foreseeable future.

We want a home.  We want roots here in the Bay Area.  We want a place where we can plan our future and build our family together.

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Wishing and hoping

The divorce papers have been sent in yet again and it looks like they were received today.  I’m hoping with every piece of me that they are accepted this time, right before this process hits the 1.5 year anniversary.

If you plan on hiring a service to do the paperwork in your divorce, email me first to ask which one I used.  My friend Sarah gives big props to Legal Zoom for her smooth divorce.  I was too cheap for them.  Yay for cheap…

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