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Almost Moving Day!

April 27th, 2016 at 09:50 am

It's been a long time coming, but moving day is almost here! My closing is on Friday at 10:30 AM and we're hoping to have keys in hand and start moving our possessions by 3 PM. I honestly had no idea that I didn't get the keys as soon as I signed the paperwork. The last home I purchased was a foreclosed home and I was able to get the keys immediately. Not sure if that's because it was a foreclosed home, or I just got lucky, but apparently it's typical to have to wait quite a few hours after closing until the house is "legally" yours since they have to record title paperwork, etc.

My current house is filled with boxes and it's quite annoying to maneuver through. With only 625 sq ft of living space, there isn't a lot of room for piles of boxes :/ my poor Emmett (60 lb pit bull) is going stir crazy in the house with having barely any room to play (did I mention it's been raining for 6 days straight so barely any outside time either??)

It's been awhile since my last house purchase and I had forgotten how spendy appraisals and inspections are. Inspection was $325 and Appraisal was $684. I feel like the housing industry should find a way to blend those two services... they are very similar. The Inspection company originally wanted $425 ($100 for a radon test). Considering the house I bought has a radon mitigation system AND I can go to town to the environmental center and pick up a radon test for $12 - there was no way I was paying an extra $100 for a guy to close some windows and press a button.

A few weeks ago we did have a hiccup in the mortgage underwriting process though! My lender called me saying there was a fraud alert in my name! *YIKES!* I asked if she meant someone was stealing my identity? And she clarified saying that on my application, I stated I only owned one home (my townhouse I sold) yet there was another home in my name, so it looked like I was the one attempting to commit fraud! I had no idea what she was talking about, and then she shared the address in question with me... Ohhhhhhh it's the home my dad owned. When he passed away in December, that house went into my name. I hadn't even thought of that. Not to mention I live in Montana and that home is in Minnesota - so out of sight out of mind and all that. Thank goodness this situation was cleared up easily by just giving my lender the contact information of the attorney who is handling the sale of my dad's house. But it sure was scary for a minute there! The word "fraud" is never something you want associated with your name!

Anyway, I can't wait to move! Well, the moving itself is not fun, but I love unpacking and organizing!

Finally Got a House!

March 15th, 2016 at 02:54 pm

Ever since I moved here to Montana in June of 2015, I've been wanting to move to a different house. I looked and looked and looked for rental properties and nothing was worth signing a lease and committing that much money to. Non-apartment rentals out here run between $1200-1500 per month. The mortgage on my house in Minnesota was $822 and the house I currently rent here is $850... I was not going to jump to those extreme amounts for something I didn't love.

Then in December of 2015, my tenants back in MN informed me they wanted to purchase my house. With that, I realized I now had the opportunity to buy instead of rent.

I was actively looking for a house to buy beginning mid-January. Everything in my price range (under $260k) was gone within 7 days of being listed. After losing two homes to others who put in offers before I had the chance, I learned I did not have the luxury of making pros and cons lists of homes, which I thoroughly enjoy.

There was a house that was not yet built nor was it even listed online yet, I just happened to drive by the construction site and decided to inquire on it. After discussing for a couple days with my boyfriend and realtor, I decided it would be perfect and wanted to put in an offer. Literally 2 hours before I decided this, someone else put in an offer. Again... this was not even listed on the MLS yet! The housing market out here is so insane, others were driving around trying to find potential lots too. My realtor was preparing to still put my offer in because I was going to offer list price whereas the other person may have tried an offer under the list price, and then they found out that I was coming in at list price and quickly raised theirs before I could get mine in. It's every man for himself out here in the wild west! Needless to say I was a little heart-broken.

And then... on Friday my boyfriend and I went to meet my realtor at a new construction home site. He arrived a few minutes late because he said as he was driving, he saw a realtor putting a For Sale sign out on the lawn of a nice house nearby. He stopped and asked her for the details. When he met me and my bf, he told me about the house and we immediately went over to look at it. I loved it! There was one more house we had an appointment to look at the next day, so I said I would 100% decide the next day after looking at the second house whether I wanted to put an offer in. Less than 12 hours later, my realtor found out an offer was coming in on the house that just had put the For Sale sign out. This too was not yet even online. I didn't even bother with the showing scheduled the next day and quickly decided to put in an offer on the house for $1000 over the listing price... and I finally got one!

Closing date is April 29th and I couldn't be more excited to move!

Edit: Addition of pictures below...

This will be my backyard which I'm very excited about because that land behind us is owned by the airport and will never be built on.

I cannot wait to take a bath in this tubby.

Digital Antennas (Thumbs up!)

September 10th, 2015 at 12:30 pm

My boyfriend and I moved to Montana because we love the outdoors (especially hiking the mountains!) We have been here since June and had never subscribed to any cable companies. We just don't really watch TV... but now it's football season!

I'm a HUGE Packers fan and he's a Bengals fan, so we needed a way to watch football. I read online that antennas can pick up pretty good HD channels, but living in a town surrounded by mountains I didn't think it would work for us. After researching a few different antenna companies, I decided to buy an external antenna for $29.99. Not only did it not cost much, but the company offered free returns if it didn't work out.

I'm here to say even in a place surrounded by mountains, this little antenna picks up GREAT HD TV! I have CBS, FOX, The CW, NBC, and PBS channels that come in crystal clear! Bring on the NFL kickoff!

So, if anyone else has been hesitant on cutting cable, do it... you can still get football!

Affordable Pet-Friendly Rentals - Impossible

August 28th, 2015 at 07:55 am

So, maybe a little naive, but I figured since everyone and their mom owns a dog out in Montana that we would have no issue finding a nice, affordable home to rent that allows pets. Not so!

My boyfriend and I have been in our 625 sq ft month-to-month rental since June 1st now and I'm getting antsy. I work from home, so I'm in the house all day. It's really starting to cause me to go stir-crazy.

I am on rental websites and Craigslist every day. Not only is it hard to find rentals that allow pets in the first place, but trying finding one that allows at dog that's bigger than 30 lbs. My American Bulldog pitbull mix is 50 lbs. Definitely won't make that cut.

We were approved for a home last week but they ended up wanting $500 PER PET as a damage deposit. I have 2 cats and the dog. That would have been $1500 cash up front not including first month's rent or the security deposit. Needless to say, we didn't sign the lease.

I love my pets and I am so glad to be their mom, but wow it would be SO much easier to find a nice place if they weren't around. But I'm not the type to give up my pets just to move. That's just silly.

Time to Start Trying to Make Friends

June 9th, 2015 at 01:11 pm

So, I like to describe myself as an Introvert who is really good at pretending to be an Extrovert. In all my work roles I've been front and center, the first impression of the company (up until now since I work from home) so I have always forced myself to be an extrovert. This has caused me to immediately want to go home everyday after work and just relax by being alone.

Well... that has to change. I now work from home in a new state and I need friends. I have my boyfriend here with me, but a girl needs other girls to talk to once in awhile too! I am now going to, once again, force myself to be an extrovert to meet people.

Today is Mission Make Friends Day One. I am going to a barre fitness class on Main Street after I'm done working. I'll probably be too sweaty and exhausted to meet anyone, but we'll see. The only issue with this is that if I like the class, I'll be hurting a little in the wallet. The monthly membership is $99 - eeek!! A part of me is hoping I hate it!

Another route I am going to try and meet people is volunteering. I applied to volunteer at the local animal rescue center the other day. I did this back in Minnesota at the humane society and I really enjoyed it and met other like-minded animal activists that were really nice. Some days working at an animal shelter are really hard because it can be sad, but it's rewarding overall because you know you're helping these animals find homes.

Has anyone else ever found themselves (as an adult) in a whole new city needing to find friends?? On a budget?!

Last Day in the Office Before the Move

May 29th, 2015 at 11:14 am

If you've read my other posts, you'll know that I move to Montana on Monday (currently in Minnesota.) I'm lucky to be able to keep my current job and work from my house out in Montana but I LOVE my co-workers. It's going to difficult not interacting with them everyday. I'll definitely miss them.

The company hosted a Happy Hour for me yesterday after work and today I've been getting little "I'll Miss You" cards and gifts throughout the day from different co-workers. I knew it was going to be hard to leave, but they are so amazing they are making it even harder! lol

One thing that is going to make it easier is whenever I come back in MN to visit family/friends, I can just go into the office and work in-house. This is such a bonus since I won't have to take PTO then. I'll be able to see them all again and catch up on life!

I'm so grateful for this opportunity the company has given me, but it really is starting to dawn on me how difficult it is to leave. You are at your job with co-workers more often with your own family it seems like, so you do end up becoming really close to them!

Almost Moving Time!

May 22nd, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Well, I have just over a week before I'm off to Montana! My house has tenants, the rental truck is booked, I've got the sedatives from the vet for my cats, and my PTO has been submitted. Not much left to do but move the boxes in the garage to the truck and drive the 1000 miles. Not looking forward to this part in the slightest. (Has anyone else moved long-distance with cats?! Thinking this will be interesting...)

This is my first time having to rent a moving truck. All the other moves I've done have been local so I've been able to get by with the help of friends and family and their vehicles. WOW are moving trucks expensive! It's a whopping $1290 for a 16' truck (and that's WITH a coupon code!)... we then tried to change the reservation to Saturday instead of Sunday and the company wanted $400 more. No spank you!

Once I get there, the moving still isn't done unfortunately. Half of the possessions are going into the house, the other half to a storage unit ($50/month.) The place we're living in at first is just month-to-month to give me time to find a more long-term place. I didn't want to choose something online without looking at anything so we're renting out a house my boyfriend's boss owns. It's only 670 square feet... hence not staying there long-term. With two adults, two households combining, and 2 cats and a pit-bull there is NO way that is enough room for us. It's too bad it's not bigger though because I love the location! Just 10 minutes from "downtown" and the mountains in the backyard! My dog is going to love it - that's for sure. LOTS of room for fetch.

Anyone else have long-distance moving experiences you want to share??

Facebook Garage Sales

April 13th, 2015 at 08:04 am

Because I am moving to Montana, I have LOTS of things I have been trying to sell/get rid of. The less things to pack and move, the better!

Who still is only using eBay and Craigslist to sell stuff? I was up until about a month ago, then an angel in disguise (a co-worker) told me I should try selling my stuff on Facebook. I had no idea there were "online garage sale" groups on Facebook. Did you? Anyway, you can join these local groups and start posting For Sale ads (for free) and start selling ASAP. What's especially nice about selling on FB is people can easily and quickly comment, ask questions, give offers, AND you can see what the person looks like, unlike Craigslist which can be a little scary sometimes.

So, three weeks ago I joined 5 local garage sale groups on Facebook.
Here's a rundown of what I've sold so far:

2 laminate wood bookshelves - $75
1 original Playstation w/ controllers - $5
1 original XBOX w/ controllers and 5 games - $10
1 XBOX 360 16G game console - $50
2 wireless XBOX 360 controllers - $30
5 XBOX 360 video games - $25
5 board games - $20
1 North Face track jacket - $10
1 small wooden table with drawers - $20
1 large decorative clock - $35
1 framed copy of Monet's Water Lilies print - $20
1 George Foreman Healthy Cooking Griddle - $10
1 Hamilton Beach blender - $10
1 Swiffer Wet Jet - $10
1 laptop - $50

That's $380 worth of sales in 3 weeks and 25 items I no longer have to pack and move to Montana.

YAY Facebook Garage Sale Groups!

Rental License??

April 8th, 2015 at 02:03 pm

I'm prepping to move to Montana in June and I own a townhouse in Minnesota that I plan on just renting out. As I am knee-deep in working with my property management company, I find out I need to let the city know I plan on renting it out. My association, sure. The city? Fine. I contact the city and find out I need to APPLY for a rental license! Seriously? Apparently I'm completely oblivious to things because I assumed if I owned a home it was mine to do what I wanted (within reason of course.)
Turns out I had to pay $325 to apply for the 3-year rental license ($100) and have a city inspector come "approve" my home ($225). I was shocked and maybe naive to think I had to pay so much just to rent out my own home.
Anyone else rent out their home and come across this? Yikes!

The Job

April 1st, 2015 at 09:37 am

For the past five years, I have been the "Director of First Impressions" and Marketing Coordinator for a life insurance brokerage company. This job did not require me to know the ins and outs of life insurance, which I was thankful for because it seemed very confusing.

Obviously working in a life insurance office for five years though you start to pick up on all the lingo and processes. Two weeks ago my CEO brought me into his office and asked if I would be willing to write all the technical content for our new start-up B2C online insurance company. It would allow me to continue to stay with the company even in Montana.

As you can imagine, I was so grateful, but scared beyond belief. I have two months to learn as much as I can about the ins and outs of life insurance before packing it up and working from home in another state.

I have a lot of prove and a lot of hard work and research ahead of me. I just finished my first article entitled "How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?" which took me hours upon hours to put together because there is so much to know about life insurance and there is not a lot of information online explaining it all without all the insurance-lingo. The article is now on my CEO's desk awaiting review. (Yikes! Get out the red pen!)

Now, I won't just be writing content. I also manage both companies' (the main and online) social media presence as well. I'll be plenty busy and have lots to learn on my journey to becoming a full-time life insurance writer.

Decision to Move

April 1st, 2015 at 08:04 am

I have "officially" been with my boyfriend since December of 2010, but I had known him for years prior. He's always been drawn to the outdoors whether it's to go fishing, snowboarding, biking, camping, kayaking, or just sitting around a bonfire. I am also what you may call an "outdoorsy gal" because I've been boating, fishing, and camping with my dad since I could walk.
Living in Montana has always been a dream of his, while I didn't think I'd ever be brave enough to take such a big risk and move away from everything I've ever known. My family and job were huge safety nets that I didn't want to leave.
A year ago, my bf had plans to visit a relative for a month of fly-fishing in Montana. On a whim, he applied for a landscaping position and got the job immediately because of his years of landscape experience. That month-long vacation turned into a full-time April - November job in which he was quickly promoted to a foreman position.
He had asked me if I would move out there with him and here we are today! Two months from relocating to a city that is 1,000 miles away from the place I've been living for 27 years.
My mom was distraught when I told her a year ago of our plans and she still isn't comfortable with it, but she's trying. My sister and I have always been extremely close to our parents and my mom especially has always been over-protective and wanting us close. My dad just sees this move as a new place for him to vacation LOL.
My boyfriend heads back to Montana to start working again on Easter morning and I'll head out the first week of June - what an adventure I've fallen into!
I was told two weeks ago by my CEO that they are creating a job for me to be able to work from home in Montana and I am so thankful. One less thing to stress about (and that was a BIG stressor!)

Stay tuned as I chronicle moving prep and life out in Big Sky!