Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Bunday: Audrey on Vacation

Check out Audrey's exciting adventures hiking!

Audrey on the Trail

Saturday, May 29, 2010

On Vacation

I'll be updating here every night I have internet access: Vacation Blog

Return comments may be a little light for the next two weeks, but I'll still be reading your blogs and thinking about all of you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Look Who's Here!

Audrey is back! And Cadbury was waiting to give her a great big kiss.

He'll have to get his snuggles in quick, because she's going on vacation with us. We're heading out bright and early Saturday morning. Cadbury will be staying home with his "Uncle" Wesley, who will be housesitting and giving lots of bunny treats.

In addition to bringing her knitted yellow scarf from her UK visit (which will come in handy in the chilly mountains of New Mexico and Colorado), Audrey brought this lovely cup:

I just might have to make some tea in it tonight.

Thanks, Glenna!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Bunday: Vacation Plans

Just one more week until vacation, peeps!

Cadbury: I can't believe my bipeds are going on vacation without me. They say Uncle Wesley from a few blocks over is going to stay here with me, and I like him and all, but...

Bunnygirl: Don't worry, Cadbury. We'll be back. "Uncle" Wesley has two bunnies and knows what you need. Besides, we're doing him a favor. He's been out of work for awhile and is having some problems with his wife. He can make a little money by watching our house, and by staying here instead of with his parents in the Woodlands, he'll be close to his children. Isn't that nice?

Cadbury: When you put it that way...when are you going, again?

Bunnygirl: Next Saturday. But don't you worry. "Uncle" Wesley will be right here in the house with you, looking after you the whole time we're away. And if you're extra good, he'll share our vacation postings with you.

Friends, if you don't have my vacation blog bookmarked, go ahead and do it now and beat the rush: Bunnygirl's Vacation Blog

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good News!

It turns out there is a way to get around the comps issue, but it isn't the way everyone was telling me to do it. There is a particular real estate agent in our neighborhood who knows how to make these deals go through even when there haven't been sales of comparable nearby homes for the appraiser to use as a basis of value.

I don't know if I can still get the conventional loan in time, and I'm frustrated that I might lose out on my sweet 5% interest rate, but the home purchase will go forward, regardless. I've made inquiries to two lenders, and if neither can come through for me in the time remaining, I'll sign directly with the owner and refinance as soon as I have the money, enlisting the services of the savvy real estate agent on a contract basis. If no major expenses come up, I'll be ready to refinance by next year. If some big expense does come up, I can rent out my garage apartment (bye, workout studio!) and be ready to refinance in two years.

As an extra bonus of good news, we've secured a bunny-savvy house-sitter for while we're on vacation! Cadbury hasn't indicated whether or not he's disappointed that he won't be spending two weeks at the vet spa this year, but something tells me he's going to be much happier in his own home. As will Dan and I, once we've signed this deal.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Bunday: Comparable

As you can see, these two share many similarities but aren't really comparable.

Just so, it looks like my home purchase may come to nothing for a silly reason. University Oaks is a very small neighborhood and has few houses the size we're trying to buy. We've consulted two lenders and two appraisers now, and neither can secure underwriting for the loan amount I need because there have been no sales of truly comparable homes.

Oh, there have been sales similar in square footage within an appropriate radius, but they're in the slummy neighborhood nearby, where one is likely to get shot while watering the garden. Here, where there has never been a crime more serious than someone getting their lawnmower stolen because they forgot to close the garage door? No home sales. People move here and stay for decades. They pass their houses on to their children.

Since we can't get an appropriate appraisal, we can't underwriting. Sad, because they were happy to lend me the amount I needed at 5% interest until the appraisal came back so low. The seller has offered to finance, but he wants me to pay off the note in five years and I've been unable so far to get him to include a proviso in our contract that will protect me if I still can't get an appropriate appraisal due to lack of comparable sales.

So things are at an impasse right now. It's frustrating to think we may have to move again over such a dumb reason as underwriting regulations, but life is full of dumb rules. One simply tries to maintain serenity in the face of all the insanity.

Have a safe and sane week, everyone!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Release Announcement!

Great news, peeps! The e-version of my novel, Maelstrom, is now available at Fictionwise. It will soon also be available on Amazon and B&N, and you'll be able to order old-fashioned print versions, too.

But for now, if you like reading fiction on your Kindle, iPhone, BlackBerry, or whatever, here's the link: Maelstrom

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Bunday: Sharing

This week's bunny advice: always share your toys.

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Monday Bunday: Raccoons

We have new wildlife around here - a raccoon, or possibly more than one, living in our studio. We're working on finding someone to humanely remove them to a safe place, and we're getting quite an education about the critters in the meantime.

With his little mask, Cadbury looks kind of like a raccoon, don't you think?

Cadbury: Maybe. But I'm better-looking.