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Old 05-25-2013, 12:07 AM   #21
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Good luck in your new home Greg. We need pictures of before, during and after. One of doggie wouldn't hurt either. You have been missed. I am so glad you finally have a place to call home. My wishes for the very best are going your way.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:19 PM   #22
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Thank you all! I will post pictures soon, particularly of my kitchen. It's nice now but it screams for upgrades! The tile counter screams "I want granite!" The cook top screams "I want Viking or Wolf!!!"

The back yard slopes and I have plans to terrace it. Perhaps 3-4, maybe 5 levels (1-2 feet between levels, depending on survey. Part of the back yard will be dedicated to growing vegetables and herbs. I already have a Rosemary! This is IMO the very most important herb you can grow easily. I also have plans for a Koi pond, location yet to be determined. I wish I could put them right outside my bedroom but Koi don't swim on the second floor! Oh and you can be assured there will be other tropical fish on the property, probably on the guest (ground) floor where people can enjoy them, perhaps the living room.

It has a small patio but I want bigger and I intend to live here for the next 20-25 years so I'm all out to have a very nice patio, and plenty of barbecues! I picture my idol Steve Raichlen and his PBS TV series and books: "BBQ USA," "Barbecue University," and "Planet Barbecue." I intend to have at bare minimum a gas grill, a charcoal grill, a sidebox smoker and a vertical smoker. I'm impressed at all the various things Raichlen shows how to make on your barbecue including grilled, roadsted, barbecued and smoked meats and fish, vegetables and breads (including pita, focaccio and naam).

Furthermore I'm in a "planned urban community" (PUD) so nobody is going to paint their house black or work on their cars (and park them) on their front lawn.

I may be the most scrofulous resident of my new neighborhood. Most of the houses are almost $1M or nearly so, and I'm in a "baby or starter" home. (Considerably less cost, I'm not a millionaire.) I promise to not work on my cars on the front lawn. (Actually I prefer Jiffy Lube.) I have every major restaurant chain within 5 minutes drive from my house, and also two major supermarkets and representatives of most of the shopping outlets (Walmart, et al.). Cost+ WM and BBB no problem! And a short distance away I have all the major shopping: Macy's, Penney, etc. Trader Joe's a few miles, Costco a few miles farther.

And finally, this is the best house I ever saw after looking 1-1/2 years and perhaps 500 properties: there will be no remorse that if I would'a could'a had some other house. I never saw once the equal of this property, and only 1-3 times did I see nearly equal properties (within a few blocks of my new home) and I even lost a bidding war on one of them, but glad I lost because for a small amount of $K I got a much better home!

Wow! I can't think of much more to say except that within two weeks I'll be living there! I have major shopping tomorrow and Monday since it's Labor Day weekend (and the appliance and bedding sales) and never mind that the flags fly on next Friday. I'm making my deals tomorrow and Monday for deferred delivery until closing day in a week or so. I'm negotiating the fridge, there is a built in oven (electric, I think its GE) and cook top (gas). Need clothes washer and dryer too.

I'm taking suggestions to replace the cook top with ... Viking? Wolf? What? Cost is no object, I'll pay anything to have the best cook top! Subject to space, dimensions to follow...

Am I okay with an electric oven? I know the cleaning will be less but there are humidity issues for electric ovens (since gas ovens humidify the oven, so perhaps a dish of water will help--I love to cook breads!).

And lastly, my dog has large areas to mark. In fact he's just now begging me to help (leash) him to repeat his marking of my current locale. The new yard has a dog proof (and bunny proof) yard. I'm looking forward to the day I can just open the sliding patio door and let my dog self walk himself!
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:28 PM   #23
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You really need to show some enthusiasm Greg. I take it there is even room for that Kitchen Aid mixer. We certainly have missed you and am so glad you are back with such great news.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:12 AM   #24
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Thanks Addie. I have a nice Cuisinart food processor and also their Mini-Prep. All my stuff is in storage. In fact it's only the last few days I've started thinking about what I have in storage that I forgot, and quit thinking about, and will get to see again in the month of June. I'll see all my great cooking gear, not the least of which is my beautiful Henckles knives, and all kinds of foodie gear and beautiful services (I have several sets of varying plates and dishes, and flatware (stainless not silver), antique stuff, even some original art (including an iron sculpture by a little known but excellent artist, who is also a friend), unique items (like my framed arrowhead collection), hobby supplies, in short everything I've been doing without while living in my 270 sq.ft. box on wheels. And I get it all back in the next few weeks!

Tomorrow and Monday will be hell for me. I have to buy a refrigerator (if I can't negotiate the seller to leave behind), clothes washer and dryer. I wish I had time to shop for a gas grill, charcoal grill, sidebox smoker and vertical smoker, but there is a limitation on how much research and comparative shopping I can do before I drop dead from shopitis!
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:00 AM   #25
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Well, you know where to come for help and information. Most of the folks here have all that equipment and they all are different. There are several threads that cover that subject. Now that grilling season is here you are going to be seeing a lot of information.

For me, the simple Weber was always good enough for my purposes. I am scared to death of the gas ones. I just know I would cause it to blow up on me while trying to turn it on. I am now at the age where my first consideration is "cleaning it." How much work is going to be involved. I now live by the KISS method.

Good luck with the shopping. And I hope you get the fridge.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:45 PM   #26
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Head up to all my fine friends at DC! I closed escrow, I moved in, I'm now a resident of the beautiful Santa Clarita Valley, a suburb in northwest Los Angeles county. As per my "postbit" (forum software writer code for the stuff you see on the left side of the posts -- I've worked on writing forum software myself) I now reside in the wonderful area of Valencia CA.

In some respects Valencia CA is like Valencia SP (Spain) in our Mediterranean climate, although a bit warmer and drier than So. Cal. coastal regions (which very nearly approximate the Mediterranean climate).

I now own a beautiful home (3 BR 2.5 BA about 2400 squares) with a beautiful back yard where my cute sr. citizen doggie (he's 15) will be able to self walk now. Okay yeah I'll have to collect it, and I'll be shopping for an electric mower soon...

And the best part, my GF is visiting tomorrow to see the house for her very first time!!! She'll love it!!! (And she has a very cute house in the Valley.)

So I'll be back in the fold within a very few weeks, and perhaps after I've bought a new gas grill (my trailer gas grill is primitive), a charcoal grill, a side smoker, and a vertical smoker.

I forget the dude's name here on DC but I'm an embedded controls engineer, and I'm going to hook up with him and get my own instrumented outdoor cooking center.

So I'm back, I got my house, and outside of replies and well wishings I think we can close this topic down, and I expect to resume active posting (with photographs!) within the next 1-2 weeks!

And thank you everybody on DC. You've been with me through Hell and back, through my dark days, through my abortive home hunting in Santa Fe NM, but now I'm back where I belong. You can take the boy out of the city but you can't take the city out of the boy.

I will surely live in Valencia for the next 25 years unless I cease breathing before then. I intend to live here for the rest of my life. I finally found my home!!!

And it's beautiful!!!
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:16 AM   #27
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Well welcome home Greg. Have you gone dancing through all the rooms yet? Have you used every bathroom just because you can? Have you rolled in the grass yet? Have you done all the silly things new homeowners do when they get their dream homes? And how about that fridge? Did they leave it for you?
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:30 AM   #28
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Congratulations Greg!
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:04 PM   #29
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Hello Greg! I cam in while you went on your break. I'm excited to hear your adventures in your new kitchen.

Too bad we aren't closer, I'm looking for a new camper sometime this year.

I'm not sure how long you lived in yours but I know when I go up to my camper, I never want to leave.
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:00 AM   #30
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Addie, no dancing except my spirit is high. My dog is in charge of the lawn...

The fridge, we cut a deal, I had a laundry list of broken things that needed fixing, and then countered that if they'd leave the fridge I'd take the house "as is" and all parties agreed.

I discovered that the reason the master bedroom celing light didn't work is because seller took the lightulbs with. Same for MBR walk in wardrobe, no lights because no bulbs. I replaced them with LEDs. I always wanted to try the LEDs, and I like them!

Ahoy, I had a 32 foot 5th wheel trailer with slider living room/kitchenette, and slider bedroom. Not too bad the first few months but after 2 years 3 months I'm glad to leave. It's in storage now and waiting for removal of personal possessions and cleaning sinks/counters/linoleum floors. I had the carpets cleaned and the outside power washed in my last week.

So last night was my first night in the new house, GF and I were going to dine at Wood Ranch Barbecue but my dog (15 years old) seemed uncomfortable alone so we got take out and ate on my patio. It's so peaceful here in my new neighborhood and we had a lovely time! Tonght my cousin is visiting and we threw together chicken tacos for dinner tonight, also on patio.

Probably will have the first house warming Saturday night, then a bigger one in July (RE agents etc. invited). Hoping to find a place that will rent me furniture tommorow for pick up (I own a pick up truck.) All we have is wooden chairs and folding chairs.

Many people don't know how crazy the So. Cal. RE market has become. I clawed my way over bleeding bodies of my fellow bidders who also wanted this house. They're crying and still house hunting. Myself, I threw money at the problem. Now I'm living at home! I plan to live here until perhaps some day I may need assisted living

I transported ALL my cooking gear from storage to my garage, and tomorrow is Christmas here!
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:45 AM   #31
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Greg I am so happy and excited for you. I hope you got the daylight bulbs. They shine much brighter. Or maybe I am confusing them with the squiggly ones. Which is what I have. Great deal on the fridge. A lot less expensive than buying a new one. You came out the winner on that deal. I wish I could be there for your house warming. I am not surprised at puppy's reaction to being left alone in a new environment. Old folks like puppy and me. don't like change. It takes time for us to adjust and accept. But I have the feeling once puppy is out in that grass just relaxing, you will see a really happy companion. Just don't cut the grass too short. It encourages the weeds to come up. And there is nothing like the feeling on cool grass on bare feet.

I wish you all the luck in the world in your new home. Just to let you know how happy I am for you, I have had a smile on my face the whole time I have been working on this missive.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:20 PM   #32
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I think the camper we have now is either 32 or 34 feet. It even had a washer and dryer in it but since its parked on family land and right next to a tree farm we are on 100's of acres with no one around. The hubby's uncle had a few trailers there when he was younger so we have running water and electric. Uncle George put up a huge enclosed pavilion where we have monthly picnics. There's also an outhouse but I don't have to use it. We removed the washer and dryer since we are close by some family members so if need be, we can use theirs.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:12 AM   #33
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Hey, happy new home owner -- you'd better have an abundance of virtual food at your party. All of us DCers will be there to help you celebrate your good fortune/success -- happy results of your sacrifice, moxy, and just plain hard work. Travel arrangements courtesy of ... magic. (See the coffee klatsch thread for a fine example of virtual visiting.) Just as there's no crying in baseball, there are no flight delays or cancellations in virtual travel.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:07 AM   #34
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Addie, I'm still having trouble deciding on which bulbs to get. I tried some 5000K and they were way too harsh. I put 2700K in the stairway and it looks good, put 3000K in my table lamp and it looks good too. 5500K seems to be the gold standard in photography (and I *WANT* a good 5500K photo lighting set for my photography) but the 5000K looked really bad in my house. Since the table lamp looks good at 3000K I'm thinking of going with 3000K all over the house. I went to Lowe's and bought a half dozen of each (2700K, 3000K) and will decide in the next few days which to go with, but I'm thinking 3000K. (I think the 5500K is the closest to real daylight.)

Ahoy, I just got tired of the trailer. I spent most of the day there cleaning it up, and another hour or two cleaning will make it almost pristine. Then it goes on the block. I'm thinking of maybe buying a really small trailer now.

Lizzie, I think I'm just plain lucky. I've been house hunting for a year and a half. Three weeks ago I was living in a RV, today I'm living in my house and gussying up that RV to sell it. I have a bit more than 5x the square feet, 3BR vs 1BR, and a very nice lot by L.A. standards.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:01 AM   #35
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I have a huge pop up for sale ;)

I think we may have found the one we want. There's 4 that we like, one even have a kitchen island in it but I don't think I want to spend quite that much on it. I wanted to wait a year or so to get a new one but the hubby wants it sooner so who knows.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:35 PM   #36
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Addie, I'm still having trouble deciding on which bulbs to get. I tried some 5000K and they were way too harsh. I put 2700K in the stairway and it looks good, put 3000K in my table lamp and it looks good too. 5500K seems to be the gold standard in photography (and I *WANT* a good 5500K photo lighting set for my photography) but the 5000K looked really bad in my house. Since the table lamp looks good at 3000K I'm thinking of going with 3000K all over the house. I went to Lowe's and bought a half dozen of each (2700K, 3000K) and will decide in the next few days which to go with, but I'm thinking 3000K. (I think the 5500K is the closest to real daylight.)

Ahoy, I just got tired of the trailer. I spent most of the day there cleaning it up, and another hour or two cleaning will make it almost pristine. Then it goes on the block. I'm thinking of maybe buying a really small trailer now.

Lizzie, I think I'm just plain lucky. I've been house hunting for a year and a half. Three weeks ago I was living in a RV, today I'm living in my house and gussying up that RV to sell it. I have a bit more than 5x the square feet, 3BR vs 1BR, and a very nice lot by L.A. standards.
Greg a friend who was remodeling her kitchen told me it is the little things that cost so dang much and no one notices them. She was looking at wall corner protectors. (small kids) She wanted to go with the real nice ones. But couldn't justify spending so much on them. And no one will come into her home and admire them. "Oh, what beautiful corner protectors you have." They will envy her counter tops, but never ask where she got the corner protectors. They will sit for hours with a cup of coffee admiring her stove and appliances. But they will never ask where she got those protectors. Let me know if anyone asks about those light bulbs. They may not notice, but you know you have what you want.

She finally decided to go with the mid priced ones. About a year later I asked her if she had inquiries about them. She started to laugh. She didn't think I would remember them. And she thanked me for remembering them. I was the only one who ever said anything about them.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:15 PM   #37
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I'm so happy for you Greg and thanks for catching us up to speed about how the move has been going. You mentioned you're looking to rent some furniture but keep your eyes out at Craig's List, as we gave away a house full of nice furniture there when we combined our two large households into one. We got a lot of pleasure in not selling it, and some of the people who came to get it couldn't believe we were just giving nice stuff away. Our grown kids got first pick, but strangers took the rest.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:47 PM   #38
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I have a huge pop up for sale ;)

I think we may have found the one we want. There's 4 that we like, one even have a kitchen island in it but I don't think I want to spend quite that much on it. I wanted to wait a year or so to get a new one but the hubby wants it sooner so who knows.
I visited Camping World and they told me my 32' 5th wheel was worth about $13K as a trade in, or even same as consignment except they have too much stock right now. They didn't have much stock in small sliders. I like a place in Simi Valley and last time I visited them for service I was blown away about all the stuff little sliders have. I expect to visit them very soon to get a second opinion on the value, and see if they still have all those cute little sliders I liked. At the time I saw them 2 years ago I thought I would like my 5th wheel, but now I'm glad I spent my waiting time checking out the new units.

I've been camping too long to give it up. My family camped from my tweens through college, and I joined my parents from time to time after that. Got sidelined with my career and chasing chicks in the '70s, then back to tent camping in the early '80s and through about 2010 when senior citizenship set in and I just got tired of loading/unloading loading/unloading my 4x4 for setting up camp. (But I did camp at some astonishing, amazing sites!) I thought the 32' 5th wheel would be great... but I was wrong. I was skeert driving down I-40 and the 18-wheelers tear up the right lane and the gummint doesn't keep up the highway. One trip from Los Angeles to Santa Fe to Los Angeles...

I might as well recognize that I have the camping gene and that I need a small trailer to pull behind my 4x4 SUV. Perhaps later this summer I'll get one.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:58 PM   #39
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Greg a friend who was remodeling her kitchen told me it is the little things that cost so dang much and no one notices them. She was looking at wall corner protectors. (small kids) She wanted to go with the real nice ones. But couldn't justify spending so much on them. And no one will come into her home and admire them. "Oh, what beautiful corner protectors you have." They will envy her counter tops, but never ask where she got the corner protectors. They will sit for hours with a cup of coffee admiring her stove and appliances. But they will never ask where she got those protectors. Let me know if anyone asks about those light bulbs. They may not notice, but you know you have what you want.

She finally decided to go with the mid priced ones. About a year later I asked her if she had inquiries about them. She started to laugh. She didn't think I would remember them. And she thanked me for remembering them. I was the only one who ever said anything about them.
I just "bought in" to the idea of LEDs. Based upon my career experience and BSEE degree from UCLA, I believe that the total cost of ownership for LED lighting makes it the cheapest, most reliable form of lighting. TCO calculations included purchase price, cost of replacement, expected lifetime and energy usage. When you factor all that in I believe that LED lighting is the cheapest (and "bestest") form of lighting.

My new home is already at least 90% LED lighted. I expect them all (or mostly) to keep functioning to at least 2034. I've found that light bulb, CFL and LED lifetimes are rated conservatively. I think it's quite possible that after my lighting conversion is done I may not need to purchase a "light bulb" (or equivalent unit) ever again, except for new lamps etc.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:02 PM   #40
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I'm so happy for you Greg and thanks for catching us up to speed about how the move has been going. You mentioned you're looking to rent some furniture but keep your eyes out at Craig's List, as we gave away a house full of nice furniture there when we combined our two large households into one. We got a lot of pleasure in not selling it, and some of the people who came to get it couldn't believe we were just giving nice stuff away. Our grown kids got first pick, but strangers took the rest.
Thanks Kay. I checked out rentals and the cost is ridiculous. I've been doing really good with "think on your feet at the moment and make an executive decision within 15 minutes" and I think I can probably just visit a few stores and decide and get the stuff delivered next day.

Give me a week and I'll probably have reached my new steady state. And then there's the grills and smokers to purchase!
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