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Archive for July 2009

A Tale Of Two Dwellings

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Where o where have I been for the last 6 months?! I know you’re dieing to know. Well, for your information, I have been quite busy. The first few months of this year were spent furiously developing the latest version of TestTrack, TestTrack 2010, which boasts our brand spankin new requirements management tool – TestTrack RM. This latest version has been receiving tons of positive feedback, and is set to release very soon. Many a night and weekend hour where required to bring this version to fruition.

In addition to that, my wonderful fiance (yep, she received a title change since my last post) and I have been attempting to purchase our first home. We had the fantastic idea to by a foreclosed property in need of some TLC – for the potential to build up some serious sweat equity relatively quickly. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

(This is the part on TV where the show fades into a scene from some character’s recent memory.)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

The owner of the property was none other than the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, a.k.a. Freddie Mac. This was just one of many foreclosed properties that had contributed in driving the company to the brink of collapse, only to be subsequently seized by the government. The previous occupants of the home had been removed around 6 months earlier, and by this time the price had been significantly reduced. Of course, the house needed quite a bit of work. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with a bank when purchasing a home, but it can be quite a frustrating experience. The most important thing you need to know when dealing with a bank is, banks do not react quickly in any situation. Much of the time spent in the negotiation process will be dedicated to you waiting for the bank to respond. Fortunately, the bank responded to our initial offer in only a few days – sometimes this can take months. But that, of course, was only the beginning.

The entire negotiation and closing process took almost 3 months. Most of the negotiations were the result of a mold problem that was discovered during our initial inspection. Mold – it’s nasty stuff. Fortunately we were able to get the bank to come down on the price by the amount of the estimate to fix this mold issue. This required us to be very persistent. We finally closed on the house around 1 month ago.

Since we closed, we have been working diligently to get the house into condition for us to move in – which we did this past Sunday. All new paint, floors, appliances, bathroom fixtures, counter tops, refinishing the kitchen cabinets, the list goes on. Things are coming along, but there is still a lot of work left to be done. Trying to remodel a house in your spare time is a long process. At least we are no longer traveling back and forth between our apartment and the house every day.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a link to a Picasa web album of the “before” pics. The “after” pics will hopefully make their way to the web within the next 2 – 3 months. I keep telling myself, it will all be worth it at the end of the day. I just wish the end of the day would finally get here.

Written by Kris Wong

July 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm