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Domum Habemus

IMG_1822We have a house!  I closed on it yesterday. I am now technically a resident of Pennsylvania.  Still gotta move there but we’re getting closer.  The house needs some TLC before we can move in so I have a list of contractors and bids to go through today.  Lots of scheduling to do and I have yet to find a roofer.  If anyone in the Pittsburgh area has a recommendation, list it in the comments.

Anyway, it’s nice to have a house that I own free and clear without a mortgage.  Whew!  And according to the deed, I own quite a sizeable chunk of mowable yard.  It looks like I own a lot and a half, which is still a modest size but there’s a large sunny patch of ground with plenty of space for several raised beds.


57 Responses

  1. !!! Congratulations! I am so happy and excited for you, Riverdaughter!! And I’m really looking forward to your updates on renovations and gardens! xxoo!!! 🙂

    • I need a video camera. All I have is a little Flip camera that the Mac spits up everytime I try to process footage. You’d think that with all my gadgets, I would have one by now. Gotta find a bahgain.

  2. Congratulations!
    I don’t know anyone in Pittsburgh; you might try Angie’s List for a roofer, or ask the other contractors. Good luck!

    • I went to college and also lived later on in the eastern part of PA. You do have relatives who also have friends. That could be a referral source.

      At least in Jersey, roofing companies can charge very different prices for the same work. There is also a treust factor. Some will want to do a new roof for almost any job.

      Good luck.

    • Be very careful with Angie’s List. I’ve used four businesses and have been disappointed with each one.

      I’ve had better luck with Craig’s list including a roofer.

  3. You mean you rent a house from the local school district.

    • No, that’s what I do in New Jersey where property taxes on a townhouse with no land at all are more than twice what I will pay in Pittsburgh.
      I don’t have a problem paying for education. But it’s been a well known fact among New Jerseyans that the tax system in this state is pretty steep for homeowners and is a lot more equitable in Pennsylvania where the revenue stream isn’t focussed with relentless intensity solely on people who own a tiny plot of land.

      • When I was going to k through 12 in Jersey, the system was a bit better. True, there was no income tax, but commercial property was taxed at twice the residential rate. Now there is an income tax but it is relatively low and all property is taxed at the same rate. Suburban districts, most of the state, subsidize a few of the urban districts.

        Property taxes elsewhere even in the adjoining states are much less.

  4. Wonderful! Now watch the income tax– you may miss the interest deduction.

    • No worse than renting. And I don’t have my old salary anymore.

    • Better than a deduction based on a percentage of yearly interest paid over 15/30 years, which can triple the cost of the house is not having to pay interest because one has paid the principal.

  5. Congrats. And totally off topic… here in Wilmington the ax is coming down at Astra Zenaca. Over 1200 getting laid off and three buildings demolished.

    • I’ve heard. I’m so sorry. This must be nerve wracking for you. Do you want to write about it?

  6. Free and clear without a mortgage is awfully good. “Without a mortgate” has to be worth more than “mortgage interest rate deduction” ever was.

    Development of the raised beds and year-to-year gardening therein will be very interesting to hear about.

    • My experience was that the first year after I was totally debt free my income tax went up 50% more than the interest deduction, but then things vary from person to person and state to state. Since then, my tax burden and debt burden have more or less equalized.

  7. Congrats!

  8. Congratulations and happy gardening!

  9. Yay for RD and Little RD!

  10. Congratulations! That sounds wonderful!!

  11. Congrats RD, it looks fab!

  12. 1520 Days of Obama with no Wall Street crony prosecutions.

    • Of course not. Wall Street owns his bony @$$.

      None of that will stop the Oborg from singing the praises of Preznit Droney McCatfood and his Good Cop Party, because doncha know, the Bad Cop Party is a million trillion godzillion times worse so we gotta vote Good Cop! 🙄

      Of course, when those of us who are still actual liberals point that out, one or another of the Oborg will answer with the usual insinuation of r@c!$m. I must admit the 1% (aka Malefactors Of Great Wealth) knew what they were doing when they picked a nominally black man to be the Judas goat for the nominal liberals.

      FYI: A “godzillion” is a number the size of Godzilla. :mrgreen:

    • The new century is sucking. First, we had a Chimperor in the White House. Now we have a Judas Goat. 😦

      • ” Barack Obama has burned down all hope of hope.” Graham Firchliss really hated it when I said that. He devoted a nasty comment just to me.

        • It was fun yanking Grim Feckless’s chain, wasn’t it? 😈

          • At the time he must made me mad. But in hindsight . . . yes, yes it was. I still remember all the work I did gathering up Firchliss’s “best of the wurst” and putting it on a certain thread in Digby’s Archives. I hope that made Commander Badgebunny as mad as he made me.

            Separately , I note that the meme “Smaug Elite” has not quite taken off. Perhaps it deserves a few more experimental launchings just to see? Or one could alter it around a bit to say ” dragon moneylords”?

          • Ooh! Ooh! Now that its too late, I thought of another ‘rename’ for him that would have made him madder . . . Glum F#ck@ss. Oh well, maybe someday.

          • I have been forgetting to use “Smaug Elite”. I’ve been preoccupied with matters of my own life lately.

  13. Wow! /*Big high five here*/ Congratulations!

    The downside is that fresh vegetables straight from the garden will make supermarket veg taste like painted styrofoam.

    • True enough, we had good luck with peppers and tomatoes but not with lettuce. The local deer and rabbits ate it up. Tomatoes and peppers somehow seemed OK if in “cages.” Somebody about 3/4 of a mile away grows really good corn. He actually just leaves the produce out and let’s you drop money in a box. This is 25 miles from Manhattan.

      • If personal gardening ever becomes a famine-avoiding survival imperative for millions of suburban people, even sentimentalists will support killing off the deer and the rabbits throughout suburbia.

        Meanwhile, I have read ( but never tried) a “living wall” of onion-family plants in a tight wall around a bed will keep out rabbits. And if one had a big enough productive enough garden space that surrounding it with a deer proof fence could be worth the money, then surrounding it with a deer proof fence would keep the deer out.

        • Just now I remember reading that Helen and Scott Nearing claim in one of their books that they surrounded their hi-value garden with an eight foot high stone/rock wall.

        • And also, I have heard it said that deer won’t eat daffodils. Does something in daffodils repel them? If one could get some daffodil leaves somewhere, one could whizz them up in a blender and strain the juice (diluted with some water?) and spray them on the target plants. Maybe the spray-on daffodil juice will repel the deer.

          • Bad idea. Daffodils are poisonous. That’s why deer don’t eat but neither should you. Deer eat what is edible, but if you get rid of the deer, that just leaves the plants to get eaten by birds, gophers, voles, snails, slugs and i can name a dozen more critters in line for a free meal. Just plant 10 x times what you can possibly eat and hope all the critters leaves some for you.

          • If one sprayed the target plant long enough before it began fruiting for the daffodil spray to wash off, would the deer learn to avoid the plants and keep avoiding them? Even after the spray had
            washed off?
            (Or even if it didn’t wash off, if it remains on the surface and does not become absorbed and systemically translocated throughout the plant, might it still be a good idea? Might one spray green beans every single day until they flower in hopes that the deer would learn by then to avoid them? And yet the poison would not migrate into the unsprayed developing beans? Caution sounds in order, but I hope somebody researches this somewhere).

  14. Congratulations!

  15. Oh yeah, congrats RD! :mrgreen:

  16. Congratulations. I’m glad you’re in Pittsburgh as opposed to Killadelphia. Owning a home free and clear must be marvelous.

    Be careful, though. Being an intellectual among east coast working stiffs is no fun. If that remark sounds snobbish — well, my recent experience in a lower-class suburb of Balmer has changed me. Everyone here smokes and sports terrible tattoos, and I’m the only male who has ever worn a shirt with buttons. Nobody reads. Nobody has any ambition. Nobody leaves you alone. Nobody has anything interesting to say, even though they insist on talking endlessly.

    You have no idea how much I miss the Latinos of California. They’re very polite and they’re never intrusive. Here, I can’t walk down the street without the neighbors getting “nebby”…

    “Hey! You’re wearing a GREY JACKET!”

    “Uh…yeah, I….”

    “I had a grey jacket once!”

    And then they’ll spend the next twenty minutes telling you the epic story of the grey jacket. I’ve learned never to say ANYTHING to the local fauna. They won’t let you complete a sentence anyways. I just let them yammer and yammer, and then I’ll make my escape at the earliest opportunity.

    Unless you’re in a chic part of town, Pittsburgh is probably much the same way.

    • Um, my whole family is from Pittsburgh. Both sides. They are working class, technical class, entrepreneurs. Most of them didn’t go to college but none of my relatives are dull or uninteresting. Most of them read books. Real books, with pages and everything. It’s astonishing. They can carry on conversations for good quarters of an hour at the very least and have relatively open minds. I like them.
      I do have some rather conservative relatives in PA but they don’t live in Pittsburgh.
      Conversely, I have worked and lived around some PhDs who shot their wads in graduate school and now have nothing to say. They’re so used to kissing up to their advisors that they lack the ability to think independently and their area of interest is so narrow that they are almost incapable of thinking out of the box. I have no more interest in spending my afternoons with these people than a road crew drinking Iron City at the bowling alley.
      But my aunts, uncles and cousins who know how to have a good time and can think with intelligence and compassion? Love them to bits.

      • I wish your relations were here.

        No, strike that. I wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone.

      • FWIW, some of my relatives had college degrees but many did not. Possibly the smartest person I have known was an aunt who had no degree. She was simply too busy. At 16 she was supporting the younger children in her family as a full-time reporter and columnist. during the Depression. She not only read books she wrote a couple (pretty bad but she wrote two full length novels).

        Eight of our first 17 Presidents were not college graduates including Lincoln and Washington. The last of the ten without a degree was Harry Truman. By contrast, only two Presidents had only a degree from a “state school” (James Knox Polk, U. of North Carolina; LBJ, South West Texas State). The only President with a Ph. D. was Woodrow Wilson.

        I’m with you on the degrees. Note: Bill Clinton was a law school professor but didn’t make a big deal out of it. Obama was merely a “senior lecturer” who taught a course in affirmative action and blew that up falsely into a “professor of constitutional law.” Talk about a leading indicator …..

        • I remember at the time that so much of the discrediting information put out about Obama was phrased in Nixonite Republican terms ( “palling around with terrorists” etc.) that I would have dismissed fully accurate reports about that as more mere Nixonism. I wonder more than ever whether Larry Johnson and Politically Incorrect Susan weren’t Republican Operatives right from the start, poisoning the well against sceptical reporting about Obama so as to shape the political battlespace in Obama’s favor while preTENding to support HClinton.

          It was after all Larry Johnson who first higlighted “Birferism” on his blogsite before anyone else that I was ever aware of. Did he do that on purpose in order to discredit Obama-scepticism among any blogreader who came across it? I strongly suspect so.

  17. Cannonfire,

    Balmer sounds like a town in New Hampshire where I have the misfortune of owning a house but the good fortune not to live there. No such thing as “Live Free or Die”. People there cannot function in polite, intelligent society. BTW, I live near a Latino area in San Francisco and you are right – hard working, helpful,lovely people; the best.

  18. Let’s see if I can do this properly…

    Welcome to da burgh n’at!

    Congratulations on getting a house. The wife and I were pre-approved for a mortgage, so we’re hoping to join the home owners club in the near future too.

  19. Be sure and have your soil tested before you grow anything. Since you are going to do raised beds, check out where that fill soil comes from.

    Get three bids each for your various types of construction work. Verify that the contractors are licensed. Is that your new home? Be prepared for the cost of the roof to take a chunk out of your wallet. It looks great and I’m jealous! I’ve wanted a spot in Penn. for a while.

  20. So, when do they rename their football team to reflect the dearth of industry?

    Something like the Pittsburgh Actuaries or like that?

    Industrial Archeology must be one of the saddest disciplines ever. Poking around the remnants of a once great America before the Romney types with the help of the Obama types ripped its heart out and transplanted it to Communist China.

    • Who were the Obama types by specific personal name who pursued the Free Trade Agreements and Treaties which were designed on purpose with malice aforethought to make that transplant possible?

    • The new Communist-Lite China: All the brutal oppression of Communism without all that, y’know, socialism.

  21. RD:
    Congratulations on your new house. I´m sure your wits will flow just fine in your new surroundings.
    I have been overseas for more the 3 months and I read you almost daily.

  22. About that link to the Progressive Black Womens’ blog called Clutch . . . I left a tiny comment there which printed. So I left a longer comment with links to The Confluence and Naked Capitalism and Glen Ford’s Obama The More Effective Evil talk for Black Agenda Report.
    The Confluence link did not come up blue, but the others did.
    If it does not pass moderation, oh well I tried. If it gets printed . . . well,
    mwuh ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!

  23. And now for something completely different: :mrgreen:

  24. Well! My much longer comment got accepted onto that Clutch blog thread. And if mine did, your-alls’ may.

    Mwuhahahahah ha ha haa haaa haaaahhhh!

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