Sunday, January 31, 2010

Furniture Finds

Little by little, we're nesting. Ed's TV is too large to fit the entertainment center in the living room. We worked a deal with a guy at a discount furniture store to trade the center for a box-springs and frame. Our kitchen table and 2 chairs are on order. We found a used Oreck vacuum that Ed's quite happy with.

We've been to lots of stores and back to those same stores. We got a printer on sale and happened upon a pretty bed-in-a-bag on sale. The most challenging was the microwave. The Sony that we have in Virginia has a "Reheat" setting that's easy to use for leftovers and Ed wants that feature. We gave up finding a white one -- now they're mostly stainless steel, so that's what we got and it matches the toaster oven that was in the house.


I figure that once you have the basics -- a microwave, a TV, a chair, and a bed -- you're ready to move in, which is what we did on Saturday!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Moving Out and Moving In

Today is the big day -- we're moving out of the RV and into our little winter house! We're allowed to park the coach there for up to 72 hours. We're hiring George's neighbor to help us, which will make everything easier.

Even though I'm sad to leave RVing, I am enjoying the nesting process. If you know me at all, you know I love to organize things and make things pretty, so I'm really in my element. I can't wait to get out to mulch the flower/shrub beds but that might not be right away.


If you don't hear from us for a few days, you'll know we're putting stuff away, arranging and rearranging furniture, and taking care of a few other gazillion details.
TTFN! (Ta ta for now)

p.s.
Pepper's going to be in for a big shock!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Homeowner's Association Interview

The Savanna Club is outstanding for its attractive settings and it's amazing to drive around and observe that every single house is well kept! That is because the Homeowner's Association has very specific rules, which are strictly enforced. They meet individually with every new owner and go over procedures, etc. Then, the owners can't say, "I didn't know that!" if an issue comes up.

We met with Debbie on Thursday and all went smoothly EXCEPT I couldn't find our closing papers with all the final figures! Evidently I put them in such a safe place that I can't even find them! Not to worry, we'll get a set from the title company. In spite of that small glitch, they made our picture name badges so it appears they're going to let us in.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Doctor for Ed, Dentist for Mary

Ed went to see Dr. Schwartz, his oncologist in West Palm Beach on Tuesday. Everything appears to be stable and the doctor said his lungs sound very good. Yay! there is no need to do anything at that point.

On Monday, I was eating one of those good-deal-dollar-cheeseburgers and heard a crunch - a big chunk of a molar broke off. I saw a dentist yesterday and learned he went to VCU in Richmond, Virginia. His best friend is a dentist from Harrisonburg, VA!

At first, it appeared that I would need a root canal and a crown, plus, the molar next to the broken should be done. That would cost a mere $3,500.00.....ouch! I decided to wait on that second tooth and it turned out I didn't need a root canal....WHEW! So, I got off "easy" with a total of only $1,400...such a deal!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Fun Part of a Move

We're thrilled with the pieces of furniture that came with the house but there a few items we need before we move in -- yeah, like a bed! We've been to a LOT of furniture stores. Many of those fancy stores like Ashley, City Furniture, Haverty, etc. have furniture in a scale that would look right in a huge castle!

We have bought a headboard, nightstand, breakfast nook table and chairs at Paradise Home and Patio. I have always loved wicker and rattan and no matter what we saw, I kept coming back to this store. We still have to buy a bedframe and boxsprings and will use the mattress from the RV that we bought in July. Instead of putting a cheap mattress into the RV, we'll just give an allowance off the price for people to go get the mattress of their choice.

We drove up to Ft. Pierce to the Danish furniture store on Monday. I wonder if I'm a reincarnated Danish person......all that teak furniture is so pleasing to my eye. There are several pieces I REALLY like but before I indulge in a buffet or TV stand, I'll shop some more.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Moving In Method

I'm starting to pack up a few things to take to the house. We're going to fix/change some things and buy a bed before we move out of the RV. Besides, we're paid here in the RV park till Feb. 13th and can't get a refund so we might as well use their water, power, etc.

Ed wants to wait until February 13th -- or whatever day we go -- when we drive the RV over there to unload everything at once - NO WAY!!! We'll be going there every day so I'm taking several bags and will put them away gradually. Men just don't understand these things, do they?

Three days later:
It seems Ed is so totally against my method because he feels it's making extra work to put things into the car, then into the house instead of waiting and taking everything directly from the RV into the house. So, I've agreed to wait and do what's left his way. (He doesn't realize how much I've already taken over!) He doesn't have a clue of how much stuff I've got tucked into every nook and cranny here in the RV! It'll work out fine...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Closing

All went smoothly at the closing yesterday. The lady who owned the house was, to our surprise, there. She's 89 and I'd say she could pass for 70 both physically and mentally. She did mention that she was a tennis player so maybe that, along with good genes, makes her so "with-it".

Our next step was a visit to the friendly tax office, which proved to be a long and laughable experience:
1. We went to the information desk and the lady had us sign on our forms.
2. We had to go across the hall to another office, stand in line and wait while that lady did all sorts of things in her computer.
3. She sent us back across the hallway to another counter, where we stood in line. That lady went through computer searches and asked her co-worker's help. They couldn't find that address. Then said, "Oh, you need to go over there to that other counter."
4. We went there and the lady sent us back to the Counter 3 that we'd just left.
5. From there we were bounced back across to Counter 4. Counter 4 worked for a while and called Counter 3. After a discussion and lots more computer work, we seemed to be finished.
6. As soon as we walked outside, the Counter 4 gal chased us down for one more paper.


Perhaps some confusion came because we get a title for the house and a deed for the land. No matter which way you look at it, we'll have the opportunity to pay taxes!


We went to the house and had the locks rekeyed. During that time the State Farm guy came and took pictures. We're making progress bit by bit.


We ended our outing with a nice lunch with George and Kay (Ed's bro & his wife). It was a busy, productive, amusing, and pleasant day!

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Free" Furniture

Ed and I went browsing in some furniture stores on Saturday in case we didn't get the furniture in the deal. Looking made us all the more aware what nice things are in our house-to-be. George let us know that evening that the deal is a "go".

We went back to the house on Sunday to make an inventory list to give to the listing agent and discovered a few more "freebies" (things included in the house sale).


The sofa is very comfortable, the coffee table is unique, the end table has storage, and the lamp is very attractive.

The bed in the guest room has sheets and everything!

Kay, Ed and I were surprised at how comfortable these chairs in the Florida room are - they kind of rock.

The white wicker buffet and lamp might get promoted to inside the house. I love wicker and rattan and was shocked to see how expensive it is!
In the shed, there is a little gardening wagon -- guess who will be using that!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Closing Tomorrow

It's hard to believe - we saw this house last Friday and are closing on it tomorrow! We certainly enjoyed working with our very helpful Realtor (Ed's brother). Maybe that made things go smoothly?

Mabel, the present owner, is 89 years old and is in an assisted living facility here in Port St. Lucie. Besides being eager to get in and get started on a few things, we wonder where we would be if something happened to her in the meantime.

Mabel won't be at the closing (as far as we know) but we can tell she's a real lady. The house is spotlessly clean and the homeowner documents and folder of manuals that she had are very orderly. Another good indication that she is thoughtful and classy is that she left soap and a small towel in the bathroom, along with plenty of toilet paper.

Our Offer Included Furniture

When we decided we wanted to make an offer on this house on Marlberry Court in the Savanna Club in Port St. Lucie, FL, we went back to see it a third time. While George was getting the paperwork ready, Kay, Ed, and I explored the house some more.

There were several very nice pieces of furniture in there such as a teak table with 4 chairs, a sofa, a recliner, a double bed in the guest room, a table with 4 comfortable chairs in the Florida room, AND a beautiful dresser!


When the lady countered our offer, she made an exception for 2 items.

We were mentally kissing the teak table
and Ethan Allen dresser good-bye! Instead, she wanted the recliner and a small table!

We are ecstatic! The table and dresser are worth quite a pretty penny and are far nicer than we would have bought. What a bonus!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Move-in Condition

The more we visit "our" house, the more we realize what a jewel it is. My brother would probably call it a double-wide -- nevertheless, it's a nice one, Phil!

The driveway is wide enough for 2 cars and is freshly painted.
We're pleased that there's a tree in front and two trees in the back.
There are also hurricane shutters on every window - the easy kind that you just pull the 2 sides together and fasten. If you've ever put up panel hurricane shutters, you know what a blessing these are.

The mirrored windows in the Florida room give privacy and help keep the room cooler.
This house is a custom design by the Jacobson company. There is a water view from three rooms, which is unique.

The breakfast nook view.

The living room view.

The view from the Florida room.

Ed and George Angelil going over paperwork.Two years ago we gave each other an RV for Valentine's Day.....this year it looks like it's going to be a house!

p.s. Know anyone who might be interested in a really nice motorhome?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Serendipity in Savanna Club House-Hunt

I think this is quite a "serendipity":

We looked
at the Savanna Club (a manufactured housing development with over 1,800 homes) in Port St. Lucie in early November and again in December. We decided we'd rather pay more in order to own the land, rather than pay over $500+ a month to rent the land (forever!).

We saw quite a few houses on Thursday and came back to our "Home, Sweet RV" computer that evening.


In our printout papers from the day we looked in December, we found a house we'd like to see again but it hadn't shown up on the Realtors' Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for George that morning. (George is Ed's brother who is also our realtor)

Ed found the house on the web -- and for a lower price than when we saw it in December. George went to the MLS and discovered it had been put back on the market that very day and yes, it was reduced!!

Turns out, someone had made an offer soon after we saw it in December but couldn't get financing. What luck for us -- that kept the house tied up so we could have a shot at it.

Kay (George's wife) had not been with us in December so I specifically asked that she come with us because she's a very good sounding board to evaluate features. She barely got inside this house and declared, "Of all the houses we've seen, this is already the best one."

We made an offer and said we'd like to include the furniture pieces that are still in the house, then we tried to remain calm and cool.....

George called Saturday evening and our offer was countered with a slight price increase and a request to keep two pieces of furniture. (More about the furniture later.)

Naturally, we still have to get the inspections and jump through a few other hoops, but those things will fall into place step by step.

Now we're excited !!!! We're almost-owners of a winter house in Port St. Lucie, Florida! (about 80 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale).
(Click on maps for a larger version.)
p.s. Anyone like to buy an excellent RV?

Friday, January 15, 2010

House Hunting is Hard

Correction: The manufactured development where we're looking is the Savanna (not Savannah) Club.

Whew! Why is it that the good houses are crammed in sooo close to the neighbors?Then the houses on water or the ones that back up to the preserve or golf course are strange designs?

One had a nice Florida room but you had to go through the master bedroom to get there. Who wants to be carrying food through their bedroom? Many of them are chopped into strange configurations. Several had nice big fancy living rooms but the family rooms were small. You can tell that you would likely never go into the fancy living room so all that space was wasted.

We found a nice design that flowed and was on water but it was really small (900 sq. ft) with the laundry outside.......if it came furnished and were about $40,000 cheaper, we might have been interested. No one said this would be easy, did they?

The quest continues.......

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Part Time in Port St. Lucie

A couple of people must have missed the post about our house hunting here in Port St. Lucie. We're looking for a manufactured home in Florida as a winter house. I'm not ready to give up my beautiful flowers in Virginia!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Moving North

Are we crazy? We are planning to move north......but only about 80 miles to Port St. Lucie on Wednesday. The Savannah Club development of 1800+ manufactured homes is there and is where we want to buy a winter haven/house. This will also give us a chance to get to know the area, find a church, etc.

We don't want to feel rushed and forced to just "settle"......we want something nice AND in our budget (doesn't everyone?) and this will give us time to look. George, Ed's brother, is our realtor, which helps a lot, too.


The St. Lucie RV Park, where we stayed in November, had a cancellation so we can stay there. Now I hope the RV won't sell too fast because it'll be convenient to stay in it while house hunting.!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Days in Paradise

Somehow we keep busy here in the Paradise Island RV Resort (that's a VERY loose interpretation of "resort"). This is the same park where we spent some time last winter. This is not a fancy place but it is right in the middle of Ft. Lauderdale and convenient to see family and friends. It's not like there are a lot of choices of RV parks here either.

Reading
Ed got a library card so we've been reading more than ever. He's gotten me back into using the library. I seldom read a book a second time so if I buy books they just fill up my house and they tend to get musty.
Also, most RV parks have a trading library where you take in, say, five books and and trade them for five books -- honor system. So we have access to lots of books.

Shopping
I thought I was so smart and left presents for family when we went through Ohio and Texas. Somehow, in the weeks before Christmas there always seemed to be "just one more" gift. We took a grocery bag with a list of items needed for the church's food bank. I have to give Ed credit for doing that shopping -- I do hate grocery shopping!
Now, it seems we are back to daily life where you always run out of things and need to shop.

Eating lunch out
As with many retirees, we enjoy eating out, especially for lunch. One week we ate at Olive Garden and Golden Corral. We are still looking for a Chinese buffet and a friend just told us about one that we will try soon. We then have a simple supper like cottage cheese with cantaloupe or eggs. For two people, it's sometimes cheaper to eat out than to cook at home.

Computer classes
Friends from my dive club, Chris and Jim Guld, are here in Paradise Island for the winter. They've been full time RVers since 2003 and are known as Geeks on Tour. They're building quite a reputation as they give computer seminars at RV rallies all over the country. Chris's favorite program is Picassa, Google's free photo editing program. They were invited to Google this fall and Chris participated in a Webinar about Picasa. They're offering a free computer class once a week for several months. If you want to find me on Wednesday evenings, that's where I plan to be.

Getting Together with Family and Friends

We've enjoyed seeing Stever (Ed's son), Lorraine and Sean several times. We've also seen Ed's sister and brother a few times, as well as some friends from church and Mary's dive club. Socializing with family and friends is always one of our favorite things to do.


Staying Warm
The cold snap that has hit all over has also caused some very chilly temps here. A couple of nights it's gone down into the low 40s with highs in the 60s. This has brought out my fibromyalgia pain so I've been pretty much staying inside and keeping warm. At least with the fibro-monster, I know things will get better in a few days. It's warm today but that second cold wave is on its way.

RV Maintenance
Just as with a house, there are always a few things that need to be fixed.
During the last month, we've gotten a spring replaced in an awning, the dash AC fan settings fixed, the step cover working, a bad tire replaced and a new ice-maker installed. Each thing seemed to involve several motors and procedures, as well as many hours (RV repairs ain't cheap!)......almost two thousand dollars later, and things are shipshape.

We have our ad on RV Trader Online and we have another album with even more photos on a Picasa Web Album. We can be honest when we say to a potential buyer that everything works.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cold

Ed usually says, "It's too cold in Virginia, let's move to Florida."

With the temperatures falling into the low 40s and high 30s at night here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida we have a new tune, adopted from our friend, Bob Burczyk
, here at Paradise Island RV Park, "It's too cold in Florida. Let's move to the equator."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hospital Visit for My Computer

We got Windows 7 for my notebook computer and did a clean install. Maybe that upset it because the CD/DVD drive went nutty. Ed took it to the Best Buy Computer Hospital -- and it'll be gone for 3 weeks (shock, gasp, sigh!). On the bright side, we bought it last year on January 12th so the warranty is still good.

On the way home, Ed "just happened" to pass by Costco and ended up getting me another little (literally) Christmas present. He got the very last HP Mini 110 netbook (it was a floor demo) and it was one of those deals he couldn't refuse, plus, it came with Windows 7.
He says he's tired of seeing me lug my notebook computer all over the place. With this little baby, I just need to get one of those gigantic purses that everyone's carrying! Then I'll have to get a set of luggage wheels to carry the purse. It's so small that I had to trim my nails in order to type!

Anyway, I'm having fun setting it up. Bye for now.....off to create my Disaster Recovery System on a flash drive (not discs because netbooks are too small for DVD players).