5 things I learned from buying a house

When I started looking at houses to buy after getting tired of renting, I had no idea how it was supposed to work. What does a realtor do, exactly? Who do I have to pay? What do I look for?

There were so many unknowns, but luckily I had quite a bit of help along the way. So here are the 5 major things I learned.

1. ASK QUESTIONS! Ask the realtor, ask the inspector, ask the finance manager, ask the real estate lawyer, ask the neighbors, ASK EVERYTHING! This was the biggest help overall. My house had well water and oil heat, two things I had never experienced before. Asking questions not only improves your knowledge, but it also gives you more information to make an informed decision. For example, I pay nothing for my water because I have well water. However, if I have to re-drill my well in a few years, that’s a few thousand dollar expense, and something you have to consider when buying.

2. Houses are like beautiful women; don’t fall in love too quick, and there’s always another one around the corner….haha. In all seriousness, look around you. There are so many houses all around and bouncing on and off the market everyday, don’t lose yourself over the one that got away.

3. Evaluate potential! A house, whether your starter or forever home, is an investment. Be realistic when looking at a “fixer-upper” and lay out the costs it will take to upgrade whatever areas. My bathroom is outdated, and I planned the cost of a new one when making the offer on the house. But when I do eventually sell my house, it will be up to date because of the slow but sure project list I have amassed.

4. Be prepared to shell some money out of pocket. Yes, there is a down payment, but there are also closing costs, which can be anywhere from 2-8 percent of your house’s sale price. There are also inspections for everything: water, termites, radon, nuclear capabilities etc. All of these inspections cost money, and depending on your house and your budget, this can be a factor. Also, after purchasing your place, you’re going to need to buy a lot of miscellaneous things, like shower curtains, a weed-whacker, silverware etc…..which all adds up quickly.

5. Lastly, bring a trusted set of eyes with you, and make sure they know you well. I brought my parents along when I looked at some houses. This was for two reasons: first, being that they have a lot more experience buying real estate than I did, and secondly, they know me. One of my strengths is seeing the potential in anything. However, I needed to be realistic when buying, so it was good to have a trusted set of eyes for a second opinion.

All in all it was a great experience, and something very feasible for most. You never know what you can afford and what kick-ass loans are out there until you ask the questions and do your research.

Happy house-hunting!

-Lil Kevy

It hasn’t been my year….

It hasn’t been my day, my week, my month, my year….

It is a statement we all mutter to ourselves when we deviate from our goals, or come upon misfortune and something so easy to blame.  It is easy to give up, and succumb to this excuse.  There is a certain level of comfort in accepting the fact that external events have got us beat.

But time waits for no man…..

Every day we live is another day closer to the day we die.  Whether it be in 70 days or 70 years, each breath we are closer to our last.  This isn’t to say we need to fear death, but what you do need to fear is that when you do take that last breath, that you do not regret the life you live.

But, there is more comfort in making it your year, if your year goes to all hell, make it your month, make it your day, make it your hour.  Whatever gets to you, seize the moment and make it yours.  The older you get, the quicker life goes by.  Each day the clock ticks closer to the end, so why are you going to waste any second of time, because of external events?

Each breath, we are closer to our last.

So when the grim reaper comes knocking at your door, do you want look back at wasted time?  Or a life worth living….

Life is a highway….and we are all cars

Cars need maintenance. You buy the car, you put new tires on, change the fluids….so on and so forth.

Sometimes cars need things outside of regular matinence, such as a new battery or alternator.

Sometimes cars need bigger projects like a new transmission or a new engine.

All of these different problems are fixable, but fixable in different ways. If you keep running through tires and putting new tires on, it might not be the tire that’s the problem, but the fact that something is rubbing against it causing uneven wear.

It could be that your battery keeps dying, but it’s not the battery’s fault; it could be the alternator is failing to charge it.

There are so many things that can make a car stop running or not perform to standard.

Now the same is true with people. Everyone has their quirks; they have their dents and dings. Some problems in life are minor, and we can continue to drive through them and others are major where we have no choice but to confront the problem.

No matter what the issue though, they affect our car.

A misfiring car will still run. It will run until it runs so terribly that something seizes to work. It could be a week, it could be 100 weeks, but it will still run. Now when you’re running as a misfiring car, you’re damaging your other components and putting extra stress on them.

Just as if I have a problem I choose to ignore or try to push off, the second and third order effects will slowly trickle out of control.

Sometimes we get lucky; our cars break down at our house, or near home. We may break down far from home, but still be able to park in a safe spot.

But other times we are not so lucky, and we find ourselves cell phone dead and broken down on the busy highway of life.

When you have problems in your life, don’t ignore them. Assess the problem or issue, make a plan, execute and refine your plan from there.

Although break downs are sometimes inevitable, the more maintenance you can do, the better off your car will be.

If I didn’t get a flat….

I have three cars. A newer Volkswagen, an older one and an old ford ranger.

The ranger ran when I got it, I replaced a few things on it and when I put it all back together, it didn’t run….

0 for 1

The newer Volkswagen, the ever reliable car, just got an ignition cylinder problem. My key got stuck, with my car running…..

After a few strong smacks I was able remove the key. However I didn’t want to risk driving it today, because of my key getting stuck.

0 for 2

So, I took out the hoopty car, the lowered and loud, potentially misfiring clown car, an MK3 GTI #lowlife

She made it all the way to drill, and halfway back, deep in central connecticut, the tire blew out.

0 for 3

After thirty minutes of AAA not picking up, I began cold calling.

The nearest tow truck was 2 hours away.

I asked a couple of real adults for advice, and decided to limp my car to a gas station and get it towed tomorrow.

When you have a lot of bad luck, it’s easy to get sad or angry. To break down or get down on ourselves.

Or you can accept that sometimes…..shit happens. Sometimes life happens. Sometimes things out of your control (or in them) throw a wrench in your plans.

Instead of breaking down, we can choose to hunt the good stuff.

If I didn’t get a flat, wouldn’t be sitting here inspired to write.

If I didn’t get a flat, I wouldn’t have learned to check the camber on the wheels and check for uneven wear when buying a new car.

If I didn’t get a flat I wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy these delicious hot fries and a cool refreshing Arizona Iced tea.

Take a minute, take a breathe, and when life kicks you in the teeth, eat some delicious hot fries

The Captain of Lost souls

The captain of the ship

Is the pilot of lost souls

He Knows where they have been

But not where they shall go

He stands strong at the helm

Through hell and high seas

But he’s just as lost as the rest

And no one can see

Through danger and peril

He keeps the souls afloat

The ocean rocking and churning

The hull of the lost souls boat

Although he may be lost

And the other souls are a stray

He is the captain of the ship

And keeps them on their way

Not all souls will stay

Some may drift off to sea

But the captain will stay strong

For that is all he can be

The best nights are the ones that you never Snapchat

The best nights, are the ones you never Snapchat

Anyone who knows me, knows my knack for snap chatting…..well….almost anything haha. However, the best nights I have are the ones I never end up snap chatting or taking pictures from (not for the reason you’re thinking 😉 hahaha)

It’s about living in the moment, or moments.

We live so much for trying to remember memories we haven’t even made yet.

A bunch of “candid” photos for the Instagram that we all know were staged.

Getting a shotty video of your favorite artist, whatever it may be, but it removes you. It takes you away from the experience. When you use your phone or camera to become the middleman between yourself and the event, you become just another internet iser who could have watched the same video from their computer at home.

We need to focus less on making memories we haven’t made made yet and more on living in the moment.

What you see, smell, feel and hear. What you take from looking around and seeing your friends having a blast, and you being a part of it. You’re making memories, you’re having a moment with the people that count.

I have 78 photos on my phone from a Safari in Tanzania, and I wasted two hours taking them all. When in reality, The pictures that I never look at don’t remind me of the beauty in a wild Giraffe galloping across the Serengeti, or the nervous look our guide head when our van broke down by the lion we were watching and he had to get out to fix it.

Better then social media, or a flash drive, Your mind is the greatest database of memories and don’t forget that.

At the end of the day, stop living so much for trying to remember memories you haven’t even made yet, and live in the moment.

-Lil Kevy out.

What do you want to remember

As I’m jolted awake by another swerve of the car avoiding some hazard on the road, I open my eyes. The sun is directly shining down on me and a beautiful pasture out my window.

I flip over in the back seat of my compact car and ask “what state are we in now”.

“Virginia……I think Hahahaha” is the reply.

Driving 15 hours for two nights of bar hopping and shenanigans may seem ludacris to some, but to some buddies and myself….why not?

You’ve only got one life, and everyday we are a little closer to dying, and when you sit back and look at your life, taking your last breathe…..

What do you want to remember?

-Lil Kevy