Bought a house! (Again)

We closed on the house today! Now we’re home owners again!

Our house!
Our house!
Side and back yard
Side and back yard

Apparently, this is the day when I buy houses. 11 years ago today is when I closed on the old house.

We won’t be moving in right away. First we’re having most of the house painted starting with the laundry room. As more of the house gets painted, we’ll move a few things in a bit at a time.

First big moving day will be June 5. We’ll rent a moving truck, load it up with apartment stuff, a few things from the storage unit, and get it all moved into the house. Hopefully by then we’ll be able to have the fence installed (or at least approved by the HOA)

The next big moving day to empty out the storage unit will follow a few weeks later, but definitely before Labour Day weekend.

Looking between the neighbours’ houses offers a pretty nice view of the field next to the development. Hopefully it stays that way for a while. There are some nice sized trees that look like they’d make good antenna supports for some portable field ops. Who knows though.

Nice view between our neighbours
Nice view between our neighbours

Last little bit of house work

One week left until we close on the house! We were up there today for the final walk-through and inspection, and I got to see the floors uncovered for the first time. They look pretty good.

Wood floors down the hallway
Wood floors down the hallway

There are a few small things still left to do, and a few things got added to the punch list for the builders to fix before closing, but everything is looking really good so far.

The structured wiring panel is set up with the CAT5 (currently used for the phone lines) and CATV coax to the various rooms. I’ve got a few options on how to use this depending on whether we get a land line, or how we want to do the Magic Jack for phone around the house.

Structured wiring panel
Structured wiring panel

The gas is turned on to the house, so I got to test out the gas stove. Five burners with electronic ignition, so no pilot lights to fuss with. Really looking forward to cooking with a gas stove again.

Gas stove!
Gas stove!

Here we have the breaker box all labeled. That big one in slots 1/3 is one we’re excited about. A 50A breaker for the 220V line in the shack. We’re looking forward to putting it to use one of these days.

The breaker box label
The breaker box label

We also have several dedicated outlets in various spots, so I don’t have to worry too much about overloading circuits.

Time to start packing up the apartment!

The value of home inspections

When we were selling the old house, the realtor we worked with suggested we have a home inspection done beforehand to identify any problems with the house that might need fixing.

We did, and the home inspector (Robert Jones with Cardinal Home Inspections) found a few things that we were able to have taken care of when we were having the renovations done. Some of the problems he found had existed from when the house was built too.

We liked the work Robert did so much, that we also hired him to do inspections for the new house as well.

First we had him do a pre-slab inspection, to make sure everything was properly prepared for the slab. A few minor issues were pointed out which the builders easily took care of.

As construction progressed, we had another inspection done just before the drywall went up. Again, a few issues were pointed out that were easily taken care of by the builders.

At the final walk-through of the house today, we brought the home inspector back for another inspection. Again, a few relatively minor things were found and added to the punch list for the builder to fix before we go to closing next week. We’ll have him come back again next week before we go to the closing to have him check over the things he found today to make sure they were fixed properly.

While none of the items the home inspector found at each visit were difficult for the builder to fix at the time, some of them were things that would have been much more difficult to fix had they been found much later in the process, if they were even found at all. Those hidden problems might not have caused any issues down the road, or might have resulted in headaches later. However, since they were found and taken care of ,we don’t need to worry about them.

We were reasonably confident before that the builder would do a pretty good job with the house. Now, with the very thorough home inspections that were done, we can rest comfortably knowing that our new house is pretty solid, and that the probability of having construction related issues later on will be pretty low.

Having all the inspections done cost us some extra money, but considering how much we’re spending on the house, it was money well spent.

Now that we’ve been through all this, having home inspections done is something I highly recommend, whether you’re buying or selling, pre-existing or new construction.

Heading to Southeast Linuxfest 2016!

Now that we have a closing date on the house that’s a little earlier than originally anticipated, I can make plans to go to Southeast Linuxfest 2016.

My attendance streak got broken last year since I couldn’t make it (just too many things going on), so it will be good to get back this year. It’s always a great place to learn about what’s going on, learn something new, and of course get together with friends.

Unlike previous years where I drove up the day before, this year I’ll be leaving bright and early on Friday so that I can get to Charlotte around 0900ish. If anybody from the Charleston or Columbia area wants to carpool with me, drop me a line.

Looking forward to another Southeast Linuxfest!

Time for some computer hardware changes

This computer of mine has passed the 6 year mark and it’s time for another round of upgrades and replacements.

When I put in the new power supply, I didn’t exactly do a great job of routing cables. I want to get in there and try to tidy some of that cable mess up.

I noticed a few days ago that CPU temperatures were running a good bit higher than usual, around 50°C at idle and as high as 90°C under load (according to gkrellm). It’s got one of those closed loop liquid CPU coolers which as far as I can see hasn’t leaked. The fans and radiator get a good cleaning out at least a couple times a year, and the air being exhausted is definitely warm. I’ll start with taking the cooler off, cleaning it and the CPU off and applying some new thermal paste. Hopefully that will help things. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to replace the cooler.

The MX1100 mouse that came with my old Logitech Wave keyboard finally seems to have bit the dust now. Fortunately I was able to scrounge up a spare mouse from the junk box to use while I search for a replacement. The MX1100 will be tough to replace though. I  really liked the feel and weight of it.

I’ve been seriously considering replacing (or maybe adding…I think I might have a free SATA port or two left) an SSD drive. It would be a good opportunity to re-do the disk layout on the computer and rearrange things. I’ve been wanting to start off with a fresh new home directory to get rid of some of the dead weight that’s accumulated in there over the past dozen or so Fedora releases.

The computer maintenance work will have to wait until we move into the new house. Everything will be disconnected anyway, and it will be a good time to give the computer a thorough cleaning before getting it all set up again.