Bungalow ’12 (8-21) quick thoughts

Good news
It DOES feel like a great burden has been lifted now that, five years after I bought this place under what most would deem harsh (financial) terms, I have completed the nearly-three-month process to refinance my mortgage. (I first went into the credit union to inquire back on June 1). I had contacted Citimortgage a few weeks earlier, but I didn’t like their modus operandi and moved on. I have a significant drop in interest rate coupled with, and this is more important psychologically for me, the elimination of PMI. You need PMI when your value:loan ratio is too high. Somehow some pseudo-appraisal was done that pushed me out of the range that requires PMI. Add that I will have no escrow. I still have to pay the taxes and insurance, but I can take that out of some undetermined bucket, so that when I look at my new monthly mortage payment, I can think HOLY SHIT, this is SO much less than I used to pay. I’ve shocked people for five years when I’ve told them how much my monthly mortgage payments have been for my little broken-down house. Now, if I tell you, you’ll think, “Well that sounds about right.”

Ominously good news (the calm before the storm)?
My good-guy party-neighbors’ get-together tonight was docile. Didn’t notice anything. But tomorrow night will be the moment of truth.

Ominously bad news
New neighbor #2 has station wagon parked aross sidewalk again in attempt to…who knows…force the the handicapped into the street.

Ominously bad news
New neighbor #1, through no fault of her own, has a very bright side porch light. It is definitely giving off more wattage than the last bulb that was there for the last tenant. It significant lightens my bedroom at night, and it makes what is already a frustrating challenge to get to sleep and much harder road. I could be the one to buy some light-resistance curtains, which could help be anyway, and she retains her sense of security. Or I just say to B.S.. “Hey, can you replace the bulk with something not quite as strong. It can sufficiently provide light for the side of the house without interfering with the desired level of light and dark for my house”.

So assuming I have $1000-$2000 coming up to do any house work I want…do I go with necessity or vanity? Quick brainstorm of projects:
– Fix electrical wiring under kitchen that is broken and prevents my lovely new range from October 2011 form functioning. Requires electricity with agility to get into very tight crawl space to do some wire splicing and hook-up. ($1000? $750? More? Less?)
– Fix broken boards on porch; have been eyesore for 1-2 years. Local non-professional guy offered to do the work. I have trouble trusting people to do services so I don’t know if using this guy is a good idea or not. Small job so might be worth risk. ($200-300?)
– Broken back door jams, panels, supports, etc. Unclear if new door itself needs replacement. Some reveling of back room floor. Not sure I trust the local amateur with this more comple job. Assuming no new door needed, looking at around $300.
– New HVAC since AC is ineffective and gas will kill me with CO2. ($5000?)
– Attic insulation – the cellulose kind since better for env and old wiring will cause fire with old insulation ($3000)
– Paint some rooms WELL (without my involvement) ($500)
– Professional landscaping to get things in order once and for all ($1000ish)
…dozens of must-haves and wish-list items…all totaling probably in the $50K range

If I had $50K, it would be exciting to watch this transformed into what it could be. Since I don’t, it’s depressing to spend a little money here and there that will barely make a difference.

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