Thursday, January 19, 2006

House hunting Part 2

Well my forms are off and running for a "pre-qualification."

What programs does the city have for first time homebuyers?

Who's a decent realtor?

Anyone have experience with FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loans?

Also, one annoying thing: Dauphin County doesn't offer an easy way to see its assessment data like York and Lancaster Counties do. It'd be helpful to have a parcel viewer.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Buying a House Part One

buying a house: Part One

So . . . I am considering buying a home this year. And after a bit of research I have come to some conclusions as to what I want:
  • Older construction with character and uniqueness. This is one of those "I'll know it when I see it" things.
  • Gas or electric heat. Oil is too much to frak with in this unstable oil economy. I expect an attack on Iran soon and that will just send the market beyond bonkers.
  • A reasonable sized yard(or as they call what these town,er rowhouses have--courtyards. I have a green thumb I'm itching to use. Might plant some hops or kiwi or get real experimental and put palmettos or needle palms back there. Maybe a little rain barrel to act as a fish pond in warmer weather. And a tall privacy fence, I don't plan on wearing much out there.
  • Something that might need some work. I found a federal loan program designed just for fixer-uppers. I'm sure there are others out there too. Since I need to be doing something with my free time other than moping, a rehab project might be fun.
  • A basement, so I have space for my beermaking hobby. Preferably something that might be easy to turn into a nice lounge/work area too---I really have this dream of building a huge 300 gallon+ aquarium someday and that needs to be on the floor.
  • Lots of natural light. My apartment is dark, it faces north and east, and gets no sun except early in the morning. I hate it. I can't have any plants.
  • And finally, must be in the range of $0 to $90,000. The mortgage people I'm talking to say I can afford much more, but I'm being realistic.

So this is my "wish list." I'm not too picky about space. It can be 1000 sq. ft or 3000 sq. ft. Indifferent about garages too, since I don't know how to drive.

I bought a book that's something along the lines of Housebuying for Dummies, so when that arrives I can start on Part II: Finding a realtor.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

6 months

Been in Harrisburg 6 months this weekend. Not going to evaluate until it's a year, though.

Saturday, January 7, 2006


Did you know that for $110 dollars anyone could buy your complete phone records?

Does that bother you as much as it bothers me? It really should.

By the numbers:

As of yesterday, 1,386 deaths are attributed to the hurricane, with 6 more victims, Americans, Louisianians, found in the last week.

Katrina was an equal opportunity killer when it comes to race and ethnicity. However she was not equal opportunity when it comes to class: most of her victims were poor, regardless of race.

And while the focus is primarily on the urbanized areas of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans, we hear desperately little from the inland Delta region of Mississippi, and the lower parishes of Southeast Louisiana. Remember, at the height of the crisis the nearly entire state of Mississippi was without power.

Both Louisiana and Mississippi are going to be in a world of hurt this coming year with the lost revenue--Louisiana losing for all intents and purposes its largest city and Mississippi losing one of its largest sources of revenue.

6,644 people remain unaccounted for. 1,000 of them are children. Statistically many of these people could be alive, but FEMA is working with a deathtoll of roughly 3,000---equal to the last "worst day in American history," 9/11.

A horrible person in history once said "one death is a tragedy. 1,000 is a statistic." Actually I believe that's a paraphrase of what Stalin said.

But each of these numbers is a fellow American. A person. They have a story.

And I think their story is being forgotten as we move on into the election year. Let's keep Katrina in our minds this year, please.
Battlestar Galactica


This looks like the best season thus far, (it's not season 3 btw, it's Season 2.5).

Monday, January 2, 2006


Bryan, a cool guy I went to Millersville with, reports Futurama may be making a comeback!

Now if Fox would put Arrested Development back on a night where it could get some real ratings, because it is an extremely hysterical show, I'd be one happy camper.

Fox, put Arrested Development back on SUNDAY!
Good Riddance to 2005

2005 was a somewhat average year. The only great things that occured were that I graduated, found a job and jumped two tax brackets. However between scandal after Washington scandal, Katrina---just finally came out of my "PKF" (post-Katrina funk), and endless war...lot of bad went down. So let's wave good riddance to 2005.


I'm not making any resolutions, because I usually break them. If I had kept last years resolutions. . . well I did keep two which was graduate and find a job. . . but I'd also be 25lbs heavier from my weight-lifting program.

Since I have no real major personal goals for 2006, maybe get a haircut, maybe buy a home, maybe stick with PennDOT, maybe learn to drive, I think I'll just call 2006 the year to "go with the flow."

Happy New Years!