tnrkitect: (Default)
We have a contract on the house!

Friday afternoon, a couple put a semi-lowball offer on the house. We counter-offered on Saturday, and they accepted!

The end of October (they have to wait for their lease to end), we will go to closing, and there will be great rejoicing!

How did we get from listing to contract so quickly in this market without getting taken to the cleaners?

Easy! Well, not really, more like hard work!

You see, we took a gem of a house and put in the elbow grease to make it SHINE!

Then we priced it at a reasonable price point, one that lets up make a (potentially) teensy amount †

We hired a GREAT Realtor, Suzy Trotta of fame, and that was what it took!

Even in this market, a great house, at the right price, marketed right will sell. Promise!

† Depending upon the IRS' definition of what constitutes a member of the uniformed services, we may have the entire $7,500 stimulus forgiven because we sold the house due to getting orders stationing me at a location more than 50 miles from the house. If they decide that I, as a civilian Army Employee, who has orders, and military ID, etc, etc, am a member of the Uniformed services, which they define as: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, then I am golden!
tnrkitect: (Default)
Well, I am sitting in my mostly empty house here in Huntsville, AL. By mostly empty I mean that I have:

- 1 card table
- 1 folding chair
- 1 folding 16" x 30" side table
- 1 laptop stand
- 1 air mattress
- 1 fitted sheet
- 1 non-fitted sheet
- 1 16" sq. throw pillow
- 1 plate
- 1 bowl
- 1 butter knife
- 1 steak knife
- 1 fork
- 1 spoon
- 1 skillet
- 1 small pot
- 1 large pot
- 1 tumbler glass
- 1 pizza pan
- 1 computer
- 1 shower curtain
plus toiletries, and enough clothes and food to last me the week.

It's a bit lonely being here without Jessica, but I am headed back to Knoxville this weekend and she will be down shortly thereafter with our cat Annie. :-)

I am enjoying the new job so far, trying to digest a LOT of information. The Army does things quite differently from private A & E firms, and I am doing a LOT of reading trying to get familiar with it. This is aided by the fact that I do not have computer access at work yet. Why you might ask? Well, I do not have my Civilian Employee ID Card yet, and the computer uses a card reader and the ID to allow me to log on.

I have been issued a crackberry Blackberry Bold 9700, and have already been informed of when my first trip will be. I get to go to the DC area September 13th through 15th to observe and help with a Level Zero Energy Engineering Analysis Program (EEAP) survey at three bases in the area: Ft. Myer, Ft. McNair, and Ft. Meade.

They have also asked if I had my passport yet, but just for general knowledge, since they have no need to send me overseas, ...yet.

Anyways, I am looking forward to learning the new job, especially since we will be identifying problems then recommending their solutions in a structured plan to make the buildings on the bases in the Army more energy efficient,thereby helping the Army be better stewards of the monies allocated to them by Congress for building construction and maintenance. It will help the Army obtain energy independence, and reduce the government's dependence on foreign oil.

It's funny,the Army not only acknowledges peak oil, but is actively doing something to try and mitigate it's effects on their operations. Too bad the rest of the government is not as forward thinking.
tnrkitect: (Default)
Took another ARE exam yesterday, Schematic Design, and during the course of it managed to figure out how to crash the program during the Interior Layout graphics portion. Then while showing the Prometrics desk worker I recreated the crash, so it is definitely a program bug, not operator error. Unfortunately the only way to get it working after each was a hard re-boot, and the test time did NOT reset.

For those that are curious, the following is what it takes to crash the program:

When reading the Program criteria for the Interior layout, you have to scroll down to read all of the requirements for the spaces. If you scroll to the very end of the vertical scroll bar, you crash that part of the software, and can not get to the code requirements or program requirements without re-booting the machine.

I still managed to finish that section, and I think I did well enough to pass. I will be contacting NCARB on Monday though and reporting the problem just in case. I should be able to get them to let me re-test for free if I missed that section. :-/

Afterwards, we did some running around and picked up the permit for the Yard Sale we are having today as I type. So far, we have made $37.10, but people are still stopping by, so there is still hope.

The permit allows us to have a yard sale two weekends in a row, so we are going to have one next weekend too. Most likely it will be on Saturday only (like this weekend's) as Jessica doesn't want to have to set it all up and do the sales all by herself.

I take the last of the ARE sections (the first time) 2 weeks from Monday: Programming, Planning, and Practice. Then the end of the that week we go on a real vacation. :-) I will take my re-test of the Structural ARE in September, and baring my having messed up on any of the ones I don't have results back on, I will have all the requirements done to get my license. Knowing my luck though, the bureaucracy at the State Board will mean that I won't actually be awarded the license until December, or February. :-/

Anyways, back to the yard sale! Wish us big sales!
tnrkitect: (Default)
Well, even though I may not necessarily agree with the concept of the recently passed stimulus package, I am not above accepting the aid it is giving, in both the personal and professional aspects of my life.

The personal aspect was covered previously, and resulted in a HUMONGOUS tax return a few weeks back thanks to our buying a house last year. This allowed us to pay off our credit cards, and pay off the last of the mortgage on the land across from mom, as well as pay down some other bills and give us an emergency fund. The paying off the credit cards was particularly satisfying in that I received a notice from Capital One that effective April 17th, they were changing the terms on my credit card with them, going from the fixed 8.9% interest rate I've had since I got it over 5 years ago to a variable rate equal to 17.9%. It seems that I am not the only ones getting hit by this either:

I had the option of not accepting the changes and closing my account, which I did to spite them. I don't need their credit, especially if they are treating good customers this way.

The professional aspect of the stimulus is beginning to surface now. A major part of our team's work has been renovations and the occasional new construction projects for a good number of the public housing authorities in east Tennessee. In good times, this sort of work tends to be poo-poohed by architects, as it is not glamorous, there is a good bit of leg work involved, and most of the projects are piddly renovations that don't earn much such as window replacements or re-roofing jobs. But, they are still profitable, especially if you know what you are doing.

Now having contracts with the housing authorities is turning into a boon, as they are still spending money. Plus, the stimulus package just passed is giving them approximately 140% more funds (for a total of 240% of their normal yearly allotment), and the bonus amount has to be "allocated" within 1 year or they lose it. In H.A. parlance, allocated funds are those that have a project under contract with a contractor.

So... we are getting busy busy BUSY!

In other news, I have a headache tonight, that is making studying difficult. :-(


tnrkitect: (Default)
tnrkitect - Musings of an Unconventional Mind

June 2011



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