Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Yesterday, Lisa and I went to sign the stack of papers to finance our new house. Well, Lisa did the signing. The line of credit is in her name.

Funny story...well, not funny but, rather, annoying. Now that we have the settlement, we have assets on hand to buy the house outright. But I chose not to do that because a) we can use the mortgage interest tax break and 2) interest rates on a 15-year mortgage are only about 5.7% right now, so I figure I can invest that money and make more than 5.7% a year with it, thereby coming out ahead in the long run.

Problem was my credit rating. Before the calamity, my credit was immaculate, after having climbed out of debt after my first marriage. Unfortunately, after the calamity, we had many health care vendors knocking on our door asking "Uh. You owe us $250,000. Where's our money? Or are we gonna hafta muss ya up?" All I could tell them was that my injuries were the result of an auto accident, that the case was in litigation, and I'd give them the dough soon as I could. (This being America, everyone was familiar with auto accident injuries, on account o' they is ubiquitous. But that's another screed and I digress). I thought I'd contacted everyone, but apparently, a few of the bills were sent to collection without my being told.

The upshot of this blather is that my credit didn't allow us to get the low mortgage rate. However, LISA's credit rating is sparkling. But as a part-time employee, her income is not very high. So the nice mortgage lady ("props and a shout out" to Liana Gulzow at Washington Mutual) suggested we get a line of credit in Lisa's name, which is contingent on her credit rating (excellent) and assets (plenty, with settlement in hand). Then we use that to purchase the home and lock in the low rate. So we had to do some dinkin' around be we ended up getting what we wanted.

So, as of the county's receipt of the papers today, Lisa and I are officially home owners!


After the signing, Lisa and I had a lovely late lunch at the Reinlander German restaurant here in PDX, and discussed how we're going to fit all the stuff in the yard that we want -- solarium structure, deck/patio, Asian garden, regular garden, cat coop/dog run. I think it'll work because of the way the lot is set up: the house doesn't really have a back yard. Rather, it's surrounded by a strip of land about 15 feet wide -- not usable as a traditional back yard, i.e., a volleyball area, but perfect if you want to put in a lot of small installations. Plus, no mowing in back!

Next up: moving day, probably this Monday!

Monday, July 05, 2004

Stupid Loin Girding!

Time to get ready for another busy week.

Tomorrow, Lisa and I go to sign the stack of papers to make the new house ours. Well, technically, it won't be ours until all the fees are paid (ching), the papers are couriered over to the court house (ching) and I give them a cashier's check for the 20% down payment (cha-(infix)-CHING!). At least Lisa and I won't really have to sweat this part like many people do, but I still expect the blood to drain from both our faces when confronted with the reality of home and mortgage. Already, the amounts we're dealing with don't actually seem real to me. They're just numbers, like when Carl Sagan talked about the Milky Way galaxy containing "billions and billions of stars." You can't really comprehend it beyond the fact that, "Yup. That's a whole lotta stars."

Also, I won't know whether the other writer I've been working with on a big project at work will be there tomorrow or for the next three weeks...his wife's due date was last Friday, and she appeared to be poised to drop their first kid at any time. When that happens, he's taking three weeks off, then working part time for the next three weeks. We're both fortunate to be working for a company that has such an enlightened policy toward paternity leaves, but it also means I'll be handling the load for the six weeks. All I can say is, it's a good thing I hate being bored.

And finally, Lisa and I will want to move into the new place as soon as we can (we should get the keys on Friday). Luckily, as I told my half-brother Stuart, this time we can manage to do a "dream move," meaning we pay somebody to pack the stuff and we pay somebody to move the stuff. Meanwhile, Buddy will be vacationing at the beautiful "Howliday Inn" resort in exciting SE Portland, and Lisa and I will be downing margaritas. That oughtta take the sting out of the living hell that normally is "moving."

I also would like to finally get the "" page up and running at least in some form -- featuring abundant links to fun stuff and the AMAZING "Andrew's rotating pelvis page, with 3D CAT scans of my pre-op pelvis -- but I don't know if my loins are ready for THAT much girding. "ow Ow OWW!"