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Archive for July, 2006

Jul
27

Buying a house – What an ordeal

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Ive been a bit busy lately, and havent posted alot.

Ive made an offer on a house, my first home. The offer was accepted and we are just awaiting financing.

Here are some pics: House Photos

Now I know, the colors inside are HIDEOUS. Most of the interior needs to be painted. Deep Red, Black, Green, Blue. Geeze. While looking at a number of houses we came to refer to this one as the Crayola House. How could someone do that to a home they are trying to sell? Whats more… Its actually freshly painted!

Crayola House

But, I got a decent deal on the house. Whats more important to me, was that there was nothing that HAD to be repaired. 90% of the things I dont like in this house are cosmetic. The roof and foundation are in great shape, the house is tight and dry. The windows in the house are just about 5 years old, as are the furnace, water heater and air conditioning. So many of the homes I looked at needed a new roof, or a new heating system, or something expensive immediately. I didnt want to have to spend extra right away just to make the house livable.

Naturally, I have many ideas floating around my head. Almost too many to deal with. This is the kind of thing that really makes me miss my Mom. I lost her 2 years ago to cancer. Mom had great taste, and yet could still think outside of the box and consider all the problems, limitations and thoughts when it came to planning a room. I think she missed her calling and should have been a designer.

So, soon, I will own my first home. I think I chose the right house, but only time will tell.

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Jul
10

Blogger proves one red paper clip can buy a house

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I know, it sounds impossible, but Kyle MacDonald, a 26-year-old blogger from Montreal, Canada, set out to barter one red paper clip for something and that thing for something else, over and over again until he had a house.

Blooger

He has accomplished his goal, MacDonald is due to become the proud owner of a three-bedroom home provided by the town of Kipling, Saskatchewan.

It began when MacDonald advertised on Craigslist that he wanted something bigger or better for one red paper clip. Someone traded a fish-shaped pen. MacDonald posted on Craigslist again and again.

Travelling across Canada and the United States, he exchanged the pen for a ceramic knob,then a camping stove a beer keg and Budweiser sign, a snowmobile, a trip to the Canadian Rockies, a supply truck and a recording contract. Next, in April, he got himself really close, obtaining a year’s rent in an apartment in Phoenix.

His story became an Internet news item. He appeared on “Good Morning America.” He also appeared on shows in Canada and even Japan. He made many local radio appearances as well — one of which, in Los Angeles, was heard by Corbin Bernsen. An actor in Los Angeles.

Bernsen who is directing a movie, offered a paid speaking rold in the movie Major League 3, which he wrote and is directing. MacDonald declined since he didnt think Bernsen could use the apartment was didnt want the integrity of his quest to be disturbed.

So, MacDonald went on and traded the year’s apartment rent for an afternoon with rocker Alice Cooper. Then in a move that really confused his blog readers, MacDonald bartered time with Cooper for a snow globe depicting the band Kiss.

Re-enter Corbin Bernsen.

You see, since the days when he’d get free stuff on promotional tours for “L.A. Law,” Bernsen has amassed a collection of 6,500 snow globes. “One off, they look sort of goofy,” Bernsen said. “Put them all together and they sort of look like pop art.”

So MacDonald gave Bernsen the Kiss model and encouraged his blog readers to send the actor even more globes in exchange for autographed pictures

All this delighted the elders in Kipling, a town of 1,140 believed to have been named in honor of author Rudyard Kipling.

Like many rural towns, Kipling is eager to stave off the perils of dwindling population by attracting new businesses, tourism and above all, attention. When the local development coordinator, Bert Roach, heard about MacDonald’s odyssey, he suggested at the next council meeting that Kipling lure him.

Quickly the town purchased an unoccupied rental house on Main Street and offered it to MacDonald. Roach won’t disclose the price because MacDonald says he doesn’t want to know. But Roach says it was well under the going rate in Kipling, which is about $50,000 Canadian (U.S. $45,000).

The town also pledged to put a giant red paper clip at a highway rest stop and hold an “American Idol”-style competition for the movie role. Participants will have to make a donation to the town’s parks department and a charity.

So, MacDonald got his house, starting with nothing more then a Big Red Paperclip.

You gotta give the kid credit. He set out with a goal and actually made it.

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