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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

House Hunting

Over the last several weeks we have been checking out some different areas. We checked New Jersey - it's out. Sorry Jersey! Gun laws suck, there's a liberal in charge in that state, taxes are high, they're smoking nazies. Plus - come on! Jersey??!

Delaware and Maryland next. Anything in Maryland close enough for a commute was way out of our price range. Delaware looked good - and then we refined the search to exclude mobile homes. What little was left was nice (low taxes, too!) but most were on a slab. I need my house to dig into the earth. Need a good anchor. Sorry Delaware and Maryland!

So. It's out to the sticks in PA. One house - cute as could be - looked great on paper. We drove out to take a look at the neighborhood and there it was. Nice yard. However there were freight train tracks directly across the street and about 100 yards down to the end of the street was a HUGE sign. It said, 'Siren will sound one minute before explosion!' Explosion?! I think there might have been a quarry back in there. We've found some real gems, lemme tell ya. Most everything in our price range is grotesque. The near suburbs around Philly, the housing market is just crazy. Twins with no land for a quarter of a million dollars??? Four and five thousand dollars a year for property tax on top of it?? Forget that.

Gotta go further out. You know, Pennsylvania is a beautiful state once you get out of Philly. I grew up in the Rockies and that is a different type of beauty. It's wild and craggy and dry and huge. Here in PA it's rolling hills alternating with fields and woods. Thick woods. Everything is green and lush and round.

So - anyhoo. We went to see a house way the hell out there. All stone construction, 2 full baths, almost a half acre of land. What a friggin mess it is though. It's in our price range and hopefully what we are thinking of offering on it will be taken by the seller. It needs about $12,000 worth of work right off the bat. Taxes are real low - about $900.00 p/year. We filled the truck up with gas while we were out there - 18 cents less per gallon than the cheapest place around here. Car insurance would probably be cut in half.

Our house is going up next Monday. Saint Joseph is ready to be buried in the garden. We are decluttering like crazy - got the basement and garage cleared out this weekend and the girls winter clothes stored. I'm going to work on my clothes now. Then it's up early to swim practice, then library stuff and then a swim meet.

Grizzly Mama is tired! Wish us luck.


Blogger Hanley Family said...

I'm so not looking forward to that. But it probably will be a year at least. Good luck on the house.

18 July, 2007 01:03  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

Its hard looking for houses. Take it from us. We looked at so many houses my head was swimming when we chose this one. It was location and such for us too. I mean we pay 2200 for land taxes here where we live. It sucks but its all we could afford for the time being and its a good home. Just needs some tender loving care. Hope you find what you are looking for soon. Plus a house is your to do what you like with. I hope you can do it. Loads of good wishes.

18 July, 2007 12:04  
Blogger tshsmom said...

At least you don't have to worry about what the schools are like. ;)
Good luck with buying AND selling!

18 July, 2007 14:53  
Blogger Skye said...

I'm happy to read that you found a home that you love.

Who knew PA could be so attractive?

So..when is the housewarming party? You could invite Joe for some Tai-Chi demonstrations....


18 July, 2007 21:52  
Blogger Alan said...

Best of luck with the new house, and I'm told by those who've used him that St. Joseph is the charm!

18 July, 2007 22:38  
Blogger Abouna said...

It is getting harder and harder to find affordable housing, and so many people seem to be losing their homes either because the variable rates are through the roof, or they are losing their homes through eminent domain.

Speaking of affordable housing, did you hear that in New York City, parking spaces for your car are going for as much as $2000.00 a month? My God!

I wish you an Troll a lot of luck.

18 July, 2007 22:44  
Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

We don't have the house, yet! LOL. First we have to present the offer and they may not go for it. They're way overpriced. Hopefully it will all work out - we just have to turn it over right now and get busy doing what needs to be done and then see how the chips fall.

Dana - it's HELL! Pure, unmitigated HELL! We've been here almost 10 years and Troll is a pack-rat. He's doing good getting rid of things though.

Tweetey - those taxes don't sound horrible. From the pics you post it looks like a great house with a really nice yard! Our school taxes alone are almost 4,000 p/year and that's for a row-house with a postage stamp front yard. In a horrible school district. Thanks for the good wishes!

Tshsmom - I know! LOL. It happens to be a great school district that we're looking at, but that definitely isn't a huge factor. Upstate there are tons of homeschooling groups as compared to Philly. Thanks for the good luck!

Skye - I don't think anyone would drive the hour and a half! Oh dear - the house is a mess really. We'll see and really I do trust that the right thing will happen. So if it's not this house then OUR house is right around the corner somewhere.

Thanks Alan. I am not superstitious, but I've heard too many of the St. Joseph stories. My MIL used him and dug him out of the garden before the sale settled - it fell through! She planted him again, got a full price offer and left him buried until everything was finalized. We're using her St. Joseph because she insists he's a good one! ;-)

Thanks Father Abouna. Housing in Philly is over the top. Actually - everything in Philly is. Can't believe about the parking space in NYC. Well - yes I can. Horrible, isn't it? We're in pretty good shape to sell right now - and we got out of our variable rate interest loan several years ago (thank God!), so I think we've learned that one the hard way.

Thanks all for the good wishes. Of course you will know how it all works out.

Oh! I just got rid of 3 lawn and leaf bags full of clothes. Dropped them at the 'planet aid' boxes earlier today. Almost caught up with the laundry! *whew*

18 July, 2007 23:41  
Blogger Mr. Grey Ghost said...

Congrats on the house, hope to see some pics soon!

19 July, 2007 02:21  
Blogger BillT said...

Good luck!

19 July, 2007 12:54  
Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

Thanks Mr. GG and Bill!

20 July, 2007 00:48  
Blogger NotClauswitz said...

I love the "Siren will sound one minute before explosion" bit! What, you couldn't find an artillery range? ;-) An hour and a half is what it takes to get down where I can ride my dirtbike around in a OHV park. But it's too far to commute for my wife...

25 July, 2007 19:23  
Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

Dirtcrasher - yeah that one was pretty funny. Wish I had had the camera to take a picture of it. We went to see another gem in Jersey. As were were idling in the truck looking at the outside of it a HUGE freight train drove up the tracks and blew it's horn several long and loud times. The tracks were about 20 feet from the house. We all just started cracking up and drove away as fast as possible!

28 July, 2007 00:55  

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