Saturday, September 25, 2010

Project 333

A recent article in the NY Times on a project where people wear only 6 items of clothing for a month got me thinking about creating a more efficient, minimal wardrobe. I have already been doing this over the summer. TD and I spent the summer in Austin with a small suitcase each - and I certainly could have gotten away with fewer clothes - there were several things that I never wore. When I went to Mexico and Brazil in August, I actually brought too few clothes, and it was a pain. Confession: I brought only one pair of pants for the city and didn't wash them the entire time (because it takes 24 hours to get our laundry done and I couldn't wear gym shorts to work).
So when I saw this project on selecting 33 items to wear for 3 months, I decided it was something I could do. Here is my list of 33 things. I went ahead and included workout clothes, but not underwear on the list. I know I'll be able to do this October - November, and hopefully I can keep it up once I come back to the states for the closing and to Austin for Christmas. I plan to blog photos of some of my outfits, but for now, here is the list! I am worried about being warm enough, so there may be some shifting once I start packing.

Item Category Description
1 Accessories Diamond Studs
2 Accessories Gold bead necklace
3 Accessories Wool Stocking Hat
4 Accessories Deerskin Gloves
5 Accessories Black belt
6 Accessories Black tights
7 Accessories Coral Pashmina
8 Accessories Navy tights
9 Dress Navy Boatneck dress
10 jacket Black Soft Shell
11 pants Dark, straight jeans
12 pants Brown cuffed chinos
13 Shirt Kelly green button down
14 Shirt purple floral
15 Shirt Black eyelet tunic
16 Shirt Black v-neck
17 Shirt Navy tuxedo shirt
18 Shirt Paisley long sleeve
19 Shirt Black mesh tank
20 Shoes Dansko mary Jane clogs
21 Shoes Salamon hiking shoes
22 Skirt Brown midcalf skirt
23 Skirt Navy cargo skirt
24 Sweater Cream cotton cardigan 
25 Sweater Tan/Blue stripe boatneck
26 Sweater navy/white stripe boatneck
27 t shirt Pink AGMC tee
28 t shirt Harvard tee
29 Workout White v-neck
30 Workout White v-neck
31 Workout NB running shorts
32 Workout Black yoga pants
33 Workout Patagonia pullover

Friday, September 24, 2010

Its Happening!

Things are moving right along with the house. The inspection identified a few minor things that we have asked the seller to repair, but nothing major. I got our loan approved today and we will hopefully lock in a rate this afternoon - 3.75% on a 15 year fixed rate mortgage. Wow! We anticipate closing on Nov 29 - TD and I will both come back from Mexico for the closing - TD will just stay for a few days, and I will stay til mid-December to work on getting the floors replaced and a new HVAC unit put in.

We are hoping to do stained and polished concrete floors in the kitchen, hall, hall bath, master bedroom and guest bedroom. Right now they are a combination of sheet vinyl and carpet.

Warm Brown
Concrete Floors
Artistic Surfaces Inc
Indianapolis, IN

Also, the HVAC unit is as old as the house (29 years), so we will be looking to replace it before the end of the year to take advantage of local and federal tax credits. Although the current system works fine, we hope that replacing it with a more efficient unit will lower our monthly bills, and will be a good investment for resale.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Taking the plunge!

Well, we called our realtor this morning to put an offer on a house. Fingers crossed!

The good: 3/2, 2 car garage, half acre lot, in subdivision with private pool and tennis courts
The bad: gross carpet in 2 bedrooms, vinyl flooring and wallpaper in kitchen and baths

But, the price is right (< $95/sq ft) so we will see if they accept our offer and how inspection goes!

Monday, September 6, 2010

To Rent or Buy??

TD and I had settled on renting after seeing lots of overpriced ugly houses with no character when we visited in June. Fast forward 3 months, and I am equally uninspired by the rental market (lots of ugly cheap houses with rooms painted all sorts of funky colors), plus alot of the rental homes are houses that have been for sale. That means if the market picks up, the owners will probably sell and we will have to move again. I really would like to live in one house as long as we are here - which maybe isn't realistic for renting. .....So I switched craigslist for zillow over the weekend.....dangerous, I know!
A craftsman - Almost exactly the same layout as my brother's house!!

I did a bit of exploring on Saturday and really like the neighborhoods right east and north east of downtown. They've got big trees, lots of spanish moss and most importantly -- houses with character! (i.e. built before 1950). I've found a couple that are downright affordable (a mortgage in the 5 figures - oh my!!). There is a very nice historic neighborhood (like Hyde Park?) but all the houses for sale are in adjacent neighborhoods. The one I like seems like Clarksville 20 years ago - all the houses are pretty small, some are very nice and others are falling apart. Its a quick bike ride to the university, right on the bike path that goes to the large wildlife area south of town, plus the NY Times buy or rent calculator says I should buy.

BUT there are still all our original reasons for not wanting to buy: uncertainty about how long we will be here, the extra costs of buying (insurance, taxes, extra utilities, home improvements), plus added responsibility, etc, etc.

So who knows where we will end up!! (and things are of course complicated by the fact that TD is Mexico right now) I did email my Realtor to schedule a time to view the houses. Maybe they will be terrible and that will make the decision easy!