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Saturday, August 9, 2014

// Finally.

Rusty and I have been trying to buy another house on and off for the last three years. When I was pregnant with Arlo, we desperately wanted to have an investment property that we could rent out and make extra income with by the time he was born. We had a contract on two separate houses - one ended up getting vandalized (and all the copper in the entire house stolen) while under contract. The damage was estimated at $20,000, which was extra money we didn't have. Both houses fell through, and then Arlo was born and we were too wrapped up in him to even think about other houses (understandably, right?). Fast forward to October 2013. Arlo had just turned one and we wanted to see where we stood as far as getting approved for another loan without my day job's income. I had just started The Violet Room and wasn't making quite what I wanted to yet. Still, we wanted to see how far off the mark we were. We were approved, but only if we were to sell the house we were living in. We were disappointed, but it was great motivation to work harder. Two months later, we decided to move to a rent house in the country and then rent out the home we owned. We moved on January 2nd, and had our "old" house rented out (in two days!) with a year lease signed. We were completely ecstatic. Owning a rental property had been our dream for years, and even though we didn't do it the traditional way, we were still pumped.
Last month, we went back to the same bank and re-applied for another mortgage loan. My business had grown and we had a signed years lease on our property. My stomach was in knots waiting for the yes or no, but we finally got official word we'd been approved and could start looking at houses. Phew. The next day, Rusty and I drove by and peeked in windows of 15 houses. We got it narrowed down to a solid 5, and then made appointments to see them the next day.

Arlo gravitates towards toilets. Sigh.

We didn't expect to find "the house" from these five, but we did. I've always had trouble getting emotionally attached to houses and that is exactly what happened this time, too. ;) Oh well! We made an offer on one and they accepted. The owners are still living there for the time being, so we have plenty of time to pack and purge. Starting next month, there will be an insane amount of before/afters coming. I. Am. So. Excited.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

// #2

I won my second storage unit at an auction on Thursday. It was the last unit of the day and it didn't look that promising. In fact, a few people left before the bidding started. I looked in and didn't see much except an opened box on top of a filing cabinet. Inside the box were hand addressed envelopes. I took a guess and figured not many people would be bidding on this unit in particular, and decided if nothing else, at least I had some letters to read. ;) I won with a bid of $5. My dad brought his 16ft enclosed trailer with us, so we loaded everything into the trailer, swept out the unit, and headed home to go through everything.

There was a set of three matching tables (made my money back!), a few porcelain elephants, a lace tablecloth, and a heavy afghan blanket.

After cleaning out the filing cabinet and a few other boxes, I started stringing bits and pieces of information together about the people that this unit belonged to. The unit had items and personal things (it only took me two units to find the dreaded box of adult content, haha) belonging to at least six different people and none of them shared the same last name. And then I struck gold - hidden away in a box, I found a brief case stuffed with papers, photos, and letters dating back from the 60's. Nothing in the brief case is worth money, but these kinds of finds are my favorite. A ton of headshots, old photos, marriage and divorce papers for the same couple, and of course, letters.

Monday, June 16, 2014

I think I'm addicted now.

This past weekend, I went to my first ever storage unit auction - and won my first unit! I've been going to a few antique/estate auctions here and there since we have a few friends that are auctioneers, but I couldn't wait until I could go to a storage auction. The first location had a few units, but none that I was interested in. I was specifically looking for furniture I could sell in our booth at The Nat on Route 66. When the auctioneer opens the locker, you're allowed a few moments to peek in, but no stepping inside or moving/touching stuff. (Just like on TV - haha) It's kind of fun seeing who bids on what type of unit. The first locker I saw just had bags and bags of what looked like kids clothing. The bags were covered in dust, so it was safe to say they'd been there a while. Another unit had a Christmas tree and a few cardboard boxes. At the second location, there were a few more available units. One had two futon bed frames - that was it! Then the next locker door opened and it was stuffed with stuff. Furniture, tubs, boxes, couches.. I knew this was going to be my unit. We won it with a bid of $240. It was the highest unit that sold all day, but it was also the best. ;)


Since we only had 48 hours to have the locker cleaned out, we got busy pretty quick. We started pulling out stuff and trying to sort whether we wanted to try to sell it or if it was trash. We pulled out four dining chairs, a lawn mower, a huge mirror, a DVD stand, a media cabinet, a wooden end table, a microwave, TV, tubs and boxes of clothing, a crib, two coffee tables and two end tables, a midcentury nighstand (wanted so badly to keep it!).. and then we saw there was a side by side fridge behind the couches. I had no idea it was back there since we couldn't see it. There was a bed frame, a dining table, and two mattresses in the back, too - along with a couch and love seat. In the boxes, we found a bunch of personal things. Unopened mail, job applications, drivers licenses.. and love letters from prison:

With the media cabinet, night stand, end tables, coffee tables, mirror, etc - we should make around $200 at our booth. The couches were pretty rough, so we donated those and the mattresses to Salvation Army. We took the fridge, dining table and chairs, and the crib to sell at an upcoming auction. The only thing I kept for myself was the lawnmower and binder of prison love letters. Haha! I would like to re-read them and share some of the better ones. I feel like we already made our money back with the furniture and keeping the lawn mower. Whatever we make at auction will go toward our next one.

Going through someone else's stuff is both weird and thrilling - not knowing what you're going to find next. It does make you really wonder what happened to the people that this stuff belonged to or what their story was. I think it's safe to say, storage unit auctions are my new favorite thing. I can't wait for the next auction. ;)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Last couple of weeks..

A few weeks after getting back from Albuquerque, we went to Lubbock for a few days. Rusty had some training he had to do for work and Arlo and I had nothing better to do, so we tagged along. 
Lubbock is only a few hours from us, so it wasn't too bad of a trip. Arlo and I hung out during the day while Rusty was at training, and then we'd all go to dinner when he got back. That same weekend was my 23rd birthday! Rusty's family had thrown me a surprise birthday party and brought me cupcakes and potted flowers for our front porch. They're the greatest.

Arlo's reaaaaally into watering things right now. :)

I got some new frames this month, too. These are my fourth pair of glasses from Firmoo and I love them. I haven't had a new prescription in a few years, and I love that I can order new frames online  with an 'expired' prescription and not pay a fortune for them - these are only $16! I love the tortoise shell look, and these are comfy and fit my face well. One of my ears is higher than the other, so I usually look like my glasses are on crooked. Haha. I think my next pair from Firmoo will be some sunglasses. Arlo wants to be outside constantly and they sure would help! Firmoo is currently having a "buy one get one free" sale for Father's Day. ;)

Next month is our four year wedding anniversary and also marks eight years of being together. I can't believe how fast time flies. (Arlo will be 2 in less than four months - whaaaat?)