It is time for the obligatory year ending post. It is usually around this time of the year that my AMEX card gets charged with the domain hosting fee. Around the same time is when I regret not having posted enough. What started off as a very good way to spend extra time when I was a graduate student slowly became a step-child when more important things came up in life i.e. wife, child, TV, job etc.
2011 was a very exciting year in many respects. The year started off with me and Anusha spending available weekends trying to figure out if it was the right time to buy a house. The market was right in so many respects and it seemed like the best time to invest in a property. Countless time was spent in searching properties we liked and in the price range we could afford. One of key criteria was proximity to work and being in a good school zone for Arya. Many different permutations and combinations were made in picking that ideal spot and we thought we were “genius”, but as you keep reading, you will see how life throws curve balls at you.
All the math was done, along with contingencies. Getting qualified to get a house was rather simple, primarily because we did the homework on the price point we could afford. [Tip] Know what you can afford and strictly search in that price point. It is very easy to fall in love with homes you can’t afford. All in all, we saw 25 houses. There were some that were in very good neighborhoods and school districts but were slightly far from work. Houses close to work, in Coral Gables or nearby, were obviously too expensive. The one we settled on finally was the first house we ever saw. At one point in time, we were so overwhelmed that we almost called it off. But after a brief cooling down period, we decided to put in an offer. The house was in a very good neighborhood, not terribly far from work and in a very good school district. And so on a fine afternoon in March, we signed the loan documents and officially became proud owners of a house. Another to-do item ticked off in our long laundry list of things to do.
In the following weeks, we spent a lot of time figuring out how to furnish the house, what colors to paint the wall, what lighting fixtures to buy, what new appliances to get etc. Anusha always wanted a nice kitchen. The house we bought came with a lousy fridge, but brand new cooktop and microwave (or did at the time of putting in the offer). At the time of signing the contract, the microwave had disappeared. So the executive decision was made by yours truly to move the “white” cooktop to the garage (oh yes, one of the perks of not living in an apartment). We then picked up stainless steel appliances to spruce up the kitchen and it looked infinitely better than before.
All this was pleasantly stressful. With a lot of TLC, the house work was complete and we moved in. It seemed like we would never get done with all the things that needed to be done, but every weekend we managed to chisel away at it one piece at a time. Arya had his first birthday celebrations there and a month before that he took his first steps.
Part 2 of this post will talk about the second half of 2011 (aka “Curve Ball”)