house post alert: missed opportunity of owning a laundromat

one of the ways we could’ve raised money for the house, was by starting a laundromat. why a laundromat, you ask?

well, when i lived in raleigh, i first bought a washer. then i tried to buy a dryer. my roommate had a friend who was trying to get rid of a washer and dryer. apparently he couldn’t sell them in enough time, so he sold me the set at the same price as i was going to pay for the dryer. so i had 2 washers and a dryer in raleigh.

nick needed to get a washer and dryer when he moved here. so, he too got a washer and dryer. then his dryer broke. and remained broken for 6 months. when i moved in, i fixed it, but found the capacity of his set to be lacking. on a separate note: how does one survive without a dryer in a townhome with no clothesline? i don’t know. maybe nick can guest post about that.

when we decided to move all of my stuff down, we just hauled down everything, including my washers and dryer. i planned on swapping my set in and selling his set. we had 5 washers and dryers in our one-car garage. i did have a picture of it, but it has since disappeared. it kind of looked like one of those low-budget appliance warehouses. at that point, we should’ve known that it was a start of a true business opportunity. alas, we were short sighted and sold 3 of them on craigslist.

two months later, we close on our new house (currently a duplex). and what comes with the house? oh yes, more washers and dryers.

just what we needed!
just what we needed!
it must be christmas! how did we get so lucky?
it must be christmas! how did we get so lucky?

yes, dear readers, nick and i could have been proud owners of 9 washers and dryers. definitely enough to start a laundromat, yes? if only we would have waited another month or so. as of right now, we only own 6. not quite enough to get that cash cow going. oh well.

anyone need a slightly used washer and/or dryer? i’ll give you a great discount.

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house post alert: chopping down trees!

so, we have a few trees in our yard…

just a few trees...
just a few trees…

one of the things suggested to us was to get an arborist out to look at them. you can’t have them actually do a test until you own the property. however, the visual inspection indicated that the biggest tree near our house might have to come down. and that sucker is big (see the one in the middle of the photo).

it is beautiful, isn't it?
it is beautiful, isn’t it?

we were definitely concerned – can you imagine what that huge tree would do to our little house? we’d really be starting from scratch.

luckily, the test came back with good news. we don’t have to take the tree down right now! there are some minor issues with it, but their recommendations, the tree only needs to be monitored every couple of years. now i have a large chunk of change to apply to different parts of the renovation. heh. shouldn’t be hard to spend that money.

on a separate note, we’re currently fostering my sister’s two cats. meatball (a.k.a. xena) has decided that the best place for her to sleep is between me and the back of my office chair. while uncomfortable, i am just too much of a sucker to move her. how can you resist a sleepy, snuggly kitty?

house post alert: more yard work

DSCN1236
overgrown front yard…
DSCN1280
hi nick! doesn’t look so bad here, does it? maybe you should turn around.
DSCN1297
picture of backyard from roof. hm… not so good.
DSCN1298
backyard? or jungle perhaps?

i used to give my parents a hard time when i called them and they’d be doing yard work. mind you, it seemed like every weekend i called them they were doing yard work. i shuddered at the thought of spending all of my weekend working on the yard. it also gave me flashbacks to mowing the giant backyard in kansas during the middle of the day. ugh.

nick, on the other hand, was looking forward to getting started on the yard. in fact, he researched (for hours, i’m sure) weed killers, bug killers, clippers, tools and weed whackers. he confidently told me he was going to dominate the yard.

minus the incident of the bones, everything went smoothly. and i got to spend 5 weekend days “working on the yard.” how did i get so lucky?

what didn’t do so well were the backs of the guys who had to pick up our yard waste.

heeeeey garbage men. i've got a nice surprise for you!
heeeeey garbage men. i’ve got a nice surprise for you!

in all, we filled about 50 bags of stuff. vines, leaves, branches. you name it. all went into the home depot bags and went away. i was terrified they wouldn’t pick all of it up. i made nick go over after trash day to make sure that all of the bags were gone.

in the end, the yard doesn’t look good, but it certainly looks better. it’s a great blank slate now. even better is that we’ve noticed a decrease in mosquitos – very good for someone (nick) who’s a tasty target. (he’s currently scratching away at some on his feet from the past weekend)

and we have a porch! any suggestions for the front bed?
and we have a porch! any suggestions for the front bed?
congratulations! it's a backyard!
congratulations! it’s a backyard!
from the back edge of the yard looking towards the house.
from the back edge of the yard looking towards the house.

house post alert: yard work

i mentioned in a previous post that the atlanta market was cray cray this spring. because of that, we needed to be competitive on our offer. that meant closing as quickly as possible.

if you’re rolling in a renovation loan with your mortgage, you typically need 60 days to close. that was too long for the seller. so we had to do a traditional mortgage and now we’re in the process of refinancing into a renovation loan + mortgage.

with that said, until we close again, we can’t start doing any interior renovation work on the house. it leaves us with our hands almost tied. however, they were able to wriggle free and start doing work on the yard.

if you know my husband, then you know that he might have a tendency to be slightly dramatic every once in a while. just a little. so, no surprise that we had a dramatic occurrence while we were clearing the yard.

here’s how it went… imagine me in the front yard, scooping wet, rotting leaves into bag after bag. in atlanta. in the middle of summer.

nick stalks out from the backyard (where he’s raking leaves, vines, etc.) and without any further announcement states “i’m 90% certain i’ve found human bones in our backyard.”

i sigh and say i’ll be there in a min. i tiredly ask him if they may be cat bones? the lady had a lot of cats. he shakes his head and heads back, slightly irritated that i don’t believe him.

i take a break and walk to the back yard. and he’s absolutely right. these are not cat bones. but human bones? i wasn’t really buying that either. i thought  that it might be a bone for a dog to chew on. nick emphatically disagreed with me, continuing to hold up one of the bones to his thigh for comparison.

and here are the infamous bones.
and here are the infamous bones.

by the time we finished yard work for the day, we didn’t come to a conclusion about what to do with them. so… nothing happened.

fast forward to the next weekend. we’re talking to our new neighbor and mention the bones. he does a great job of getting nick going again; however, he does make a good point that it doesn’t hurt to just call the police and let them decide what to do about it.

in the end, i’m glad we did.

an APD officer arrived at our house within 20 minutes of our call. we chatted with him and showed him the bones. he then told us how he likes the condo living. negates issues like this. thanks man. he also told us about how his own car was stolen once in atlanta. sigh.

after assessing our potential crime scene, he calls the Fulton County Medical Examiner. she arrives approximately 15 minutes after that.

she saunters out, takes one brief glance at our bones and states “definitely not human.” nick and i both breathe a big sigh of relief. what were the bones? beef she replied. so somehow we ended up with cow bones in our backyard. i’ll take them over human bones any day.

so why was i happy we called? well, besides the obvious fact that we found out for sure they weren’t human bones (nick – 90%, huh?), we also got to interact with the APD. our experience was great. everyone we talked to was courteous and friendly. no one made us feel stupid for calling and the response time was really quick for a non emergency. it definitely makes me feel comfortable to be in this area.

house post alert: what’s in the neighborhood?

so, in my previous i mentioned the whole walkscore. so, just because the walkscore is good doesn’t mean things that you like are close. so here’s a brief summary of what’s within walking distance:

5 min walk
5 minute walk from our place!

having the playground and community garden so close in fantastic. we walked over and looked at it recently and it’s flourishing. considering how little sunlight we get in our yard, having a plot there could be great! i finally get to grow some of my own food. yum.

10 min walk
10 minute walk from our place!

within a 10 minute walk, there’s an amazing amount of variety. two grocery stores? yes please. library? definitely going to use that. home depot? you saw the picture of the house. inman park restaurants? delicious.

and lastly, the ponce city market is coming very soon. 300k of retail space? that’s a lot of retail, restaurants, etc. all within walking distance. what’s not to like about the neighborhood?

house post alert: welcome to the neighborhood!

so, now that we’ve gone through how we ended up with the house that we did (luck!), let’s get to know the neighborhood. our new neighborhood is called poncey highland. it’s located a shortish 2 miles away from downtown and midtown atlanta.

when i first moved to atlanta, i was in one of the georgia tech dorms on the east side of campus. the building was less than a block away from north avenue. it’s crazy to realize that our new house is also less than a block away from north avenue – albeit several miles down the road.

but what’s so great about poncey highland? well, i think there’s a lot. but don’t take my word for it – check out the walkscore. poncey highland is the third most walkable neighborhood in atlanta with a score of 86. for those of you who know me, this is highly important. when i lived in raleigh, i’d go several days without driving my car. i’m still trying to do that here and living in a neighborhood like this will help.

one other reason we were so excited about the location was the proximity to the Beltline. there’s only one building between us and this wonderful little path. need to head to piedmont park? no problem. the beltline’s got a direct route for you. want to get down to inman park for dinner? don’t fight to find a parking space; just saunter your way down. want to get some exercise? head to the place where the paths are NEVER crowded.

the last part is a joke. all you people who live down here know what i’m talking about. the beltline has been wildly successful and is crowded at almost all times. ever been to the highline in nyc? well, it’s not really that bad, so i shouldn’t compare.

Atlanta Beltline

whenever i see renderings, whether is in architecture land or HGTV, i always chuckle a little and think hah. it’s never going to look like that. well, property brothers and this rendering of the beltline are working to prove me wrong. although there is no light rail in place, this is really close to what it looks like the 2-3 times a week i use it.