Monthly Archives: November 2017

Project braces is live

Yesterday, I started project braces. It is step two. Step one was the consult. I’ve had the spacers put in, x-rays taken, and molds taken.

At first the spacers were not bad. They are rubber bands to make sure that the bands can get on. The first few hours were fine. They were a bit annoying by the evening. This morning, I woke up with sore teeth. I feel like something is wrong with them because not only are they tender but my gums are tender. The spacers feel like a huge wad of food is stuck in four spots. And now the discomfort is causing jaw pain and a headache as it radiates out.

Man, the brackets are going to suck. Chewing is hard because my teeth hurt more and more as the day has gone on. This afternoon wasn’t bad, but I tried to chew a soft pretzel this evening and I wondered if my teeth were falling out.

But! They are still in my head.

On the 29th, I get the top braces on. On the 5th, I get the bottom on. How exciting.

At the end of next month, the husband gets his spreader in. He gets to have his upper jaw spread by slow pressure. I suspect I’ll have to stop whining once that happens.

DIY

I wanted to write a novel in November. I wound up learning a lot about DIY plans for the house we put an offer on. If all goes well, we will be in a new house by spring. I say if all goes well. While it is okay to fall in love with a house you have to keep a step or two back until everything is done and move in day happens.

The house is a Fixer Upper. Not to the extent of the show but it has not been loved in a very long time. It has been maintained but not loved. There is so much of the house that is original and we would be the sixth owners.

I thought the first owners may have done the crazy basement, but now I suspect it was the third owners. They owned it from 97 to 2005 and they put a theater in. The theater seems like something that would be done then. It feels as if the basement was put together in pieces. There are two normal rooms and two weird as hell rooms, and then a sauna.

Anyway, there is a lot of original stuff in the house. In 2005 it got its fourth owners who only had it for a year before foreclosing. In 2006 it got its fifth owners. They are now short selling it as is. A lot of it is just very worn. The laminate floors need to be replaced (I learned that they do have a life span). The entire place is grungy and we stalked the seller to find that they’ve had some civil lawsuits for money owed dating back over the last three years.

There are a lot of builder basics. A lack of upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms leaves a lot of room for rationalization. That also costs money and I’ve been creating a budget and game plan to approach this house, fix what has to be fixed and do edits before we move in that will be much harder after.

That is what has led me to learning how to pour concrete counter tops and refreshing my knowledge of tiling. I’ve also researched paint like I have never researched paint before. I get to build half walls, extend an island, and have an electric ranged turned into a gas one. That’s just to name a few.

Money and finances

It is a shame that the education system in the United States of America does not prepare its young people for understanding finances. Finances are something that used to be taught at home. Your parents would teach you what to do or pass down something to you to learn to manage. Finances were taught in the home and in general, our culture has interesting reactions to money. Talking about money makes people uncomfortable. Many people just want to ignore money and its complexities.

It is a rather ignorant way for us to face the world and one that I feel is cultivated because we do not teach money as part of mathmatics. Interest rates for example. When the federal government came down on credit card companies during the recession in the early 2000’s part of what they did was to make the money owed clear.

Now, if you look at your credit card receipt you will see a section that shows if you only pay the minimum payment, not only will it take until the sun cools for you to pay off a debt of a few thousand dollars, but you will pay for that money 2-4 times over again or maybe even more. This does not stop people from going into debt but it does give some clarity into what they are stepping into. Not everyone thinks of the future but for some, a simple set of numbers and figures can help them make better decisions or take on debt at need instead of just because debt exists.

I remember when I used to think I could afford a corvette on a waitress salary with some savings. Now, when I can afford a corvette I have no wish for one. It comes from understanding financial responsibility more, as well as tastes changing. I can do a lot of travel for the price of a corvette and that interests me more.

I read financial news and discussion. In this last few months I’ve been a bit more hot and heavy into my finances then normal. I eliminated the last of my credit card debt. I paid off my car. I paid off my school bill. And now we are refinancing this house and looking to buy a second. This place will be converted to a rental property.

Refinancing was to avoid mortgage insurance. It reduced our payment by an enormous amount and now rental rates around here will cover the mortgage and leave enough extra to take care of the HOA fees and the housing costs such as HVAC maintenance.  We have also built up a comfortable equity in the home and if we did have to sell it, it’d be worth our time. However, we want to invest in real estate and plan to keep both properties.

Refinancing means understanding interest rates. It also means understanding how loans work, how credit reports work, and all sorts of fun questions about income calculations. I’ve been grooming my credit report for the last year for this move. By grooming I mean I’ve built up my credit, lowered my credit used, and not cancelled anything.

By not cancelling any credit cards (which I want to do because I have empty cards I used for points or refinancing) I improved the aspect of my credit that discusses credit over time and the positive impacts that gives me. It creeps the score up and the worst thing that can happen is they ask me to close some of the credit lines to close on the house. Once they have already approved it, I’m happy to do so.

As it stands, my closing is in two weeks on this house. We wind up with a better rate and I can close down all of my unused credit cards. I get tired of checking them every week for fraud. I have no desire to use some of them but I’ve kept them open until now.