Home Equity loan

So it’s done, I’m signing the papers today.!!!!

As I mentioned it’s not for as much as I initially hoped but it’s enough to do some fun and some needed projects. The main things are the roof/electric panel/skylights/solar which all sorta need to happen together and the the front landscaping project. I also ordered a new oven as mine got an official death certificate from the antique appliance repair person. There are a few other things but I’ll have to wait and see what the above actually costs to see if they can be done. I also hope the tax credit from the solar will be enough that I can do one of the bathrooms with it early next year. So it’s exciting, and a little frustrating that I can’t do it all (kitchen, bathroom remodels and backyard improvements) but it’s a process and I’m looking forward to it all.

Front and side yard

So here is the new and final landscape design by Liz Duer for the front and side yard. Originally, I was working with someone else and she did a fine job, but I felt Liz just got what I wanted more. I signed the contract today and work should start next week or the week after depending on when the roof is done. It’s really exciting as I will have a gorgeous front yard AND start conserving water with all that lawn gone AND I’ll finally have a path to the house that’s not the driveway. And I’ve got my LA DWP turf rebate already approved so I’ll get money back for every square foot of grass I remove!

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The Podocarpus is finally here

I never knew I would be so excited about Podocarpus, but I really am. Yesterday, it finally got planted along the fence on the left side lower/mid level of yard. Previously I had planted honeysuckle there and it just wasn’t providing enough of a screen from the neighbors. Their house is super close to the property line and it would be nice to have a little privacy. I considered a fence but ultimately felt the right plant material was the best solution, hence he Podocarpus.

The honeysuckle has been moved to various places in the yard and I hope it survives the transplant, fingers crossed. I like honeysuckle, it was just a misguided choice to grow along the fence. So here are the photos of the Podocarpus going in…..hopefully it will grow fast! One more step towards the backyard I know is possible.

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So, now I know

The appraisal came back and the house appreciated a little over 170k in 18 months. That is really quite amazing and yet I was disappointed as I was hoping for more. That said I am grateful it is as high as it is and will allow me to do some money saving projects. And really, I don’t need to do everything all at once. The loan is at the underwriter for final review and if all goes smoothly it will fund at the end of next week or early the week after. My plans are a new roof and solar and a re-landscape of the front with some small improvements in the back yard and maybe the creation of a laundry room. The bathrooms and kitchen are fine for now and I will indeed get to them eventually. The solar rebate should allow for one bathroom or similar sized project to be done at the end of the year. 

Backyard Improvements

The backyard apparently gets a lot of sun and the outdoor rugs fade and basically get torn up after a year or so out there.  As a result I have now replaced all the rugs out back and hopefully have bought inexpensive ones that will last for awhile that were cheap enough I won’t care when they ultimately meet their demise.  The cushions also seem to fade rather quickly and I just don’t have it in me to keep the covers on all the time. As a result I think I am on the three year cushion replacement plan which I can totally live with.

For some reason the coffee table that came with the couch was falling apart and after much searching I found a new tile one that i think will last and that I liked and that wasn’t a fortune.  I also ordered new cushions for the top patio chairs as those were really beyond saving. hopefully they will arrive in the next few weeks. SO the backyard feels pretty updated and ready for summer. I would like to get some of the sculpture pieces powder coated but that I will need to wait on a bit.

Here is a before and after picture of the main seating area. I found the rug before the table but I think its sorta funky and fun.

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Here is the lower patio rug and sofa
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Here is the back of the yet to be re cushioned chairs and a glimpse of the new rug.

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Looking forward to a few more improvements in the back that will make it even more enjoyable!

Tuesday is the day

So finally, three banks later, I found a potential home equity lender that will do an actual appraisal of the house to determine its value. Real estate is so micro neighborhood these days I think this will really work to my benefit. At least I hope it will. The last bank did a drive by and appraised the house much lower than I was hoping for. I am optimistic that once a full appraisal is done the work I have done this far will help as well as all the neighborhood improvements. I’ve been reading what to do for an appraisal and apparently I should hand them a list of work I’ve done on the house as well as my own list of recent comps and neighborhood news and improvements.

That said I had Edwin here fixing any little thing I could see just so an appraiser wouldn’t be able to find anything not perfect. I also have him dry walling the garage tomorrow because it looks so dilapidated in its current state. Maybe I’m nuts and it won’t matter but I figure best foot forward and all that, it will be about 90% done by Tuesday. Also, hopefully the gardener will be by today to get some additional minor clean up done… Fingers crossed…..I really want a new roof, solar, landscaping, kitchen update, etc….

Spring is springing

Spent some time out in the yard this weekend and I was surprised and happy to see an artichoke and blueberries already doing their thing. I’ve yet to get the veggie beds replanted but will eventually and in the meantime, it’s nice to see so things growing all on their own. I also got a second blue orb thing and finally have 2 of the 3 outdoor rugs replaced. Seems outdoor rugs don’t last all that long if you leave them outside!

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