Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When Did Life Get So Expensive?

How do people do it??? Everyone, I mean. You. Me. Them. How do we get by from day to day? It makes no sense.

This home-buying experience has been a very enlightening one. Ryan and I have spent hours at the calculator crunching numbers and working out percentages, figuring out what we can afford and what we can’t.

Through this process, we have realized just how crazy expensive getting a home is… at least a functional home that is in a safe neighborhood. We feel really blessed with a great job, a decent income and good money-saving/staying-out-of debt skills, but buying a home will really stretch us.

Maybe I am just nervous. Today Ryan is visiting with the bank. I am nervous that we won’t get approved for a loan. I am nervous that we will.

If we get this house, we will be very tight for at least two years. House Poor I believe is the term. Since Ryan and I have always lived below our means, living at our means is terrifying.

But now is the time to buy… right? Interest rates and house prices are at their lowest. Even if we save for another year, the higher prices might not compensate for the extra down payment.

So my question is, how do people do it? How do people afford to get houses and still have extra to go to movies and wear cute clothes and go on dates?

How do people who have more modest incomes even make it to the end of the month?

Monday, February 23, 2009

In Love

I'm a fickle fickle girl, for I have fallen in love with yet another house. This on might just be the one.

It doesn't look like much from the outside, but join me inside if you will.
This is the front room, but I like to think of it as the "Christmas tree" room.
This is a small room attached to kitchen. I think it would make a lovely library/sitting area.

A WHITE kitchen! Double ovens! Gorgeous tile flooring! All it needs is some granite counter tops and a subway tile back splash and I would flippin' marry this kitchen.

Yes, the back splash could use a little love.

The color orange has been scientifically proven to stimulate appetite.

The master. Small, but so bright and happy.

The master bath.

Bedroom #2.

Bedroom #3.

The cute-as-heck bathroom.

The basement family room.

I love this house. It is almost 3,000 feet and has five glorious bedrooms. The back yard is just the right size. It has the older home charm, without the Sugar House price tag. It is in Cottonwood Heights.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Option

This house is by far the least expensive. It is in Sandy, so not as good of a location as Sugar House(but still pretty good), and WAY better of a location than Daybreak (which I've learned is NOT a smart location to buy).
I really love this house. It is the right size for our little family and still has a little wiggle room. Isn't the yard fantastic? Can you say "veggie garden?"
While I loved the kitchen in the Sugar House house, it is not my exact style. The kitchen here is a blank slate. I can paint the cabinets white and subway tile the walls. I can do all that for dirt cheap, too.
This house definitely doesn't have the character of an old home, though. These houses are EVERYWHERE in Salt Lake, so it doesn't feel special. Also, Ryan dislikes split level homes. I am impartial.

We're going to the open house tomorrow. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bethanyisms (P*nile Implants)

Since I have not written a decent blog in who knows how long, I owe you big. I will pay up in the form of a “Bethanyism”. The story happened over four years ago, but it embarrasses me so badly (even still) that I’ve been hesitant to write it. Like I said, I owe you big. So here it goes:

I was a little nervous to give the presentation—not really because I was afraid of getting a bad grade, or even that I was afraid of public speaking. The main reason that I was nervous was that SHE was also in the class. SHE was the wife of my former ex-boyfriend.

I was a ridiculously happy newlywed, but the fact the SHE was in the class unsettled me. I felt like I needed to prove myself to her. I needed to show her that, although she may have ended up with HIM, I was the cooler, prettier, smarter, and better-in-every-way girl. I needed her to see that all the “crazy ex-girlfriend” stories HE had no doubt told her about me were simply untrue.

The presentation started off well. My topic was male-stereotypes in the media. I talked about how men were pigeonholed on TV and then I showed a funny commercial illustrating my point. Everyone laughed at the clip and seemed interested enough in my research.

That’s when I made the mistake.

In retrospect, I realized that using such a word was very bad judgment on my part. But I didn’t think twice about it before giving the presentation. I had been taught (by well-meaning parents) to be proud of my body and not to shy away from the anatomical names of human body parts. I could say things like urethra and cervix just as unabashedly as I could recite the pledge of allegiance.

So, after talking about how men were stereotyped by the media, I listed the ways men were impacted by those negative messages. I talked about how men felt the need to dumb themselves down to fit in with “the guys.” I talked about how men felt badly if they didn’t make a six-figure income. I talked about how men even turned to surgical procedures to look the way the media told them they were supposed to look. These procedures included liposuction, pec implants, and… (drumroll please)… p*nile implants.

Yes, I said it. I said “p*nile.”
(although I dare not do write it now in fear of attracting all sorts of internet pervs to my blog).

The class gasped. They could not believe I said what I said. A few people started chuckling.

It took me a minute to figure out what I’d said to cause such a reaction.

Then I realized that they were laughing because I said “p*nile”.

And then I realized that I should never have used such a repulsive, vulgar, and weird word.

Then I felt like I was repulsive, vulgar, and weird. I was ashamed.

I quickly tried to correct my mistake. I waved my hands in front of my face and said “I know it sounds crazy, but it is a really BIG problem.”

Then the class roared with laughter. ROARED.

My face had never felt so hot in my life. I finished my presentation and quickly sat back down in my seat. I wanted to cry. I had embarrassed myself in from of forty of my peers and worst of all, in front of HER. SHE would no doubt go home and have a good chuckle with HIM about that "crazy ex-girlfriend."

And that wasn't even the last time I looked like a total fool in that class…

... but I'll tell you that story when I really really owe you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Or, for a similar price, we could get this...

This home is 4,000 square feet in a development called Daybreak, on the west edge of South Jordan. It is only $6,000 more than the home in Highland Park. Ryan's daily commute would be about 30 minutes.
Concerns: Too too big. Mass housing development (quality of home questionable). Kind of in the middle of nowhere. Too good to be true?
Bonuses: Big (room to grow). In good shape. Pretty. Big yard. New.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Guess how many hours I’ve spent on this week. Go ahead, guess.

Wrong (hint: more)

Guess again.

Bzzz. (more)

Yes, it’s true. Ryan and I are back in the market for a place to call our own. We’ve thought a lot about where we want to live. Our favorite area is the Sugarhouse area, specifically a place just on the outskirts called Highland Park. The houses are all older, and cozier, and unfortunately, more expensive. But, oh they are fun.

This is our favorite house we've visited so far. Its only a couple blocks away from my grandma's house. Wouldn't that be great!
I like how the house has been kept up-to-date, but still maintains the craftsman bungalo feel. A glorious backyard!

The kitchen is surprisingly big. Not a white kitchen (boo) but Still bright and cheery.

A big dining room! Hard to find in these little houses, but a MUST.

Front room. The hardwood floors are lovely.

So, you see how darling this house is? The problems are as follows: Only 2.5 bedrooms. The bedroom downstairs is more like a walk-in closet. The basement is also a little awkward (really low ceiling, very little storage, a weird-looking bathroom). The house is VERY small. 1650 square feet including the little basement.
Something to consider, we could get twice as much house for our dollar if we lived in other parts of Salt Lake (especially the West side of the I-15). Unfortunately, so many of those homes are tract homes with less character.
What would you do? Where would you live?