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Do Over

By | back to renting, birthdays, condo, hazards to my well-being, milestones, mortgage, music | 2 Comments

This time last year, I was freaking out a little about turning 30. Luckily, I kicked off my fourth decade with two fabulous birthday parties, friends, family, and lots of fun. As my 30th birthday weekend drew to a close, I was sure that it going to be a great year. We kicked off the summer with a Jimmy Buffett concert and a Memorial Day weekend full of so many Orange Crushes, I don’t really remember much of it. June came in with Hurricanes and went out with Pina Coladas on the patio at Mahi Mah’s. It was all fun and games until July teased me with a few perfect beach days, then bowled me over with a tidal wave of stress, legal research, and difficult decisions to be made. Between a condo association in a financial mess, a leaky roof, a broken air conditioner, a bunch of foreclosures in my building, a bankrupt co-borrower, a ridiculously high interest rate, and a completely inflexible mortgage company, I really just wanted to get out of there for good. It was a lengthy, expensive trek into August, and then September came with long, hectic work days and hot, un-air-conditioned nights packing and getting ready to move.

October was supposed to be my month to relax, but RFP after RFP bombarded me work, meaning more long hours, lots of proposals, lots of meetings, lots of stress. I tried to plan a vacation in November, but the due dates for my proposals got extended and screwed it up. I tried to plan a vacation in December, but the due dates for my proposals got extended and screwed it up. I tried to take a whole week off at Christmas to spend time with my family, but the due dates for my proposals got extended and screwed it up.

January was a blur. I couldn’t even remember the last time I hung out with any of my friends because I was so stressed out, I didn’t even want to talk to anyone.  I think we finally turned in the last big proposal in the middle of the month. Then came the day I didn’t own my condo anymore. If I could have popped open a bottle of champagne that morning at work to celebrate, I would have. Instead, I purposely started my business that very same day. I laid low for awhile after that.

A few days ago, it occurred to me that all that stress is over. I caught myself smiling one morning when I woke up for no reason, and I finally gave myself some credit for making it through seven straight months of craziness without having some kind of nervous breakdown. =) Of course, it’s taken me a cool two months to really decompress — I’ve caught up on my sleep, started running again, gotten my little business off the ground, and taken some time out to relax.

So now that chapter’s ended, and here we are again. A few days before my birthday, and I’m ready for a do-over. Bring it on, 31. This is going to be fun. =)

Where Was I?

By | back to renting, condo, milestones, mortgage | No Comments

thiswaytothebeach

Well, it’s taken me seven years, four moves, and evasive legal action, but I finally live close enough to walk to the beach. I haven’t actually walked there yet, but I can, and that’s what really matters, right?

But before that. What happened before that? There were a few things, but nothing that I found quite humorous enough to post here, I can tell you that.

Maybe someday I’ll overcome my inner controversy and tell the story here, but for now, all I can say is this — I’m giving the condo back to the mortgage company. Not to be flippant about it or anything, but seriously? I tried a hundred times to rectify the situation and things there had deteriorated to the point where it was no longer worth staying. With a co-borrower who bailed and a mortgage that was twice as expensive as I could have paid to rent the (nicer) condo next door, it was time to go. Judge me if you want to, but my roommate and I are now living in a lovely place, almost twice the size, for much less money with functioning heat and air conditioning, a washer that actually cleans clothes, a dishwasher that actually cleans dishes, no mortgage, no drug dealer neighbors, and NO CONDO ASSOCIATION.

And what did I lose? Not much. My 802 credit score, probably. And maybe the respect of a handful of people who have no clue what they’re talking about. But other than that…I can’t think of anything else except for maybe the lovely Asparagus color of my old bedroom walls.

Anyway, the only reason I’m posting this is because every time I try to write in this blog, my first instinct is to close one chapter before I begin another. So, the war with the mortgage company chapter ends like this:

Just like I said, they’ll end up with 1,010 square feet of carpet that needs to be replaced. And due to the fact that the complex is riddled with bank-owned properties, they’ll be lucky if they can sell it for half what I owe on it. They already made their money back in interest though, so I don’t feel too bad. And me? I’ll live here in this beachy townhouse for a little while, and I’ll love every second of it. =)

Moving On

By | back to renting, breaking news, condo, home improvement, milestones, packing | 3 Comments

Guess what! I’m moving! =)

My roommate and I signed a lease this weekend on a two-story condo about a half mile from the beach. We move in October 1, and I seriously cannot wait.

It’s been about five years since I last moved, and since then, I think I’ve really improved my packing skills, so I’m expecting this move to be pretty easy. Over the last year, I’ve really paired down my closet and gotten rid of a lot of things I don’t wear. I’m also not very big on clutter, so I don’t have much miscellaneous crap to pack up either.

The new place is simply gorgeous inside — the owner has updated everything, and she has impeccable taste. I love the paint colors, the carpet, and especially the patio and balcony outside. It’s the perfect little beach house. There’s an L-shaped balcony on the second floor accessible from both bedrooms upstairs, and it overlooks a spacious, fenced-in, rectangular patio below. The first floor features a living room, dining room, kitchen, and half bath, and the second floor has a master bedroom/bathroom, plus another bedroom and bathroom in the hallway. Once I get there, I’ll definitely share some photos. In the meantime, I’m on the lookout for some new artwork for the lovely walls, as well as some furniture — a dining room table and chairs, new barstools, some patio furniture, plus a new coffee table and end tables. Oh, and maybe a TV stand.

It seems like I always move in October, so it feels like everything is falling into place perfectly. My first lease in Virginia Beach began in October, and so did my second. Even though I closed on the condo in August 2006, I took a few weeks to fix it up before I officially moved in, so that move was end of September/October-ish, too. Ironically, the air conditioning in my condo died shortly after we signed the lease this weekend — just one more sign that getting out of there is the best possible option. I feel like I’m saving myself close to another $5,000 since I don’t have to fix it.

A little less than six weeks until I move! It’s going to be an excellent year near the beach. =)

Best Laid Plans

By | back to renting, fashion statements, outfits, style, summer | No Comments

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Lucy Love dress (2002), Forever 21 top, Aldo wedges, vintage Coach bag, Tory Burch sunglasses, Ann Taylor ring
I can’t believe September is just 10 days away (and I’m still posting photos from July…oops). My summer turned out nothing like I expected. I planned on lazy beach days, lots of parties and nights out with friends, and a few months of serious relaxation before August and September had me cranking out proposals at work. Things started off perfectly, but by mid-July, my summer veered a little off course. 
It feels like things have changed so much over the last six weeks, but even though I’ve been a little stressed, I think it’s for the better. The good news is I’m moving even closer to the beach! I’ve spent the last several weeks viewing every place for rent in my price range, and I finally found something and signed a lease with my roommate this weekend. I’ll be within walking distance of my boyfriend (and the new puppy!), the beach, and some of my favorite friends.
Things are about to get a little hectic at work (end of the government fiscal year), but October 1 marks my move date and the beginning of a (fingers crossed) relaxing fall season full of afternoons reading on my new patio, beach days here and there, bike rides, football, chili, and fun. 
There is one plan I stuck to — I wore every Hawaiian print article of clothing hanging in my closet at least once (if not twice) this summer. Just like I said I would. =)

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Two Story

By | back to renting, ruling at life | No Comments

Today, I went to look at a townhouse. It was by far the nicest, largest place I’ve looked at so far for the least expensive amount of rent each month. Despite the fact that I had to tiptoe around the house because a baby was sleeping on the second floor, I thought the place was pretty f-ing spectacular. Wood floors and tile on the first floor, two master bedrooms on the second. Full-size washer and dryer, patio, outdoor storage, quiet neighborhood. It’s pretty unbeatable for the price. I’m going back to look at it again tomorrow afternoon, and I think I’m bringing a check for the security deposit.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: almost certain
And I’m singin’ along to: If I Ever Feel Better – Phoenix