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Back in Dubai

July 13th, 2013 at 09:56 am

Well, the hectic trip was "hecticker" than I imagined it would be. We made it to DS's wedding and met his bride's family. They seem to be really nice folks. Almost all of the older men at the wedding were US military veterans, from both sides of the family.

My parents were not able to make it to the wedding. I was warned that my mother has symptoms of dementia, but when we flew to VA to see them, I found out the brutal truth of the situation. My mom remembered me, but she kept asking my wife who she is. It is really quite sad, but my father is coping with it well. Luckily, they are well-set financially for their retirement, so his only worries are taking care of my mom.

DD2 and her hubby (SIL2) have closed on their house. They haven't moved in yet as they are having a lot of work done before they move in. They are replacing all of the floors and painting. I suggested they replace the windows and put in more attic insulation, but instead they are doing the cosmetic changes.

I helped SIL2 put in some purlins in the attic (like there would be purlins anywhere else). I left my nailer and compressor at his place and showed him how to determine if a wall is load-bearing. I also showed him how to brace back to a load-bearing wall for the additional purlins he's going to have to put in. DW is working with DD2 this weekend to help her paint the inside.

Their contractor has finally given them prices for some of the interior changes. His prices are in line with the amount of work to be done. In addition to our house-warming gift of $2K, we're making them a substantial "Bank of mom and pop" loan as well. We're making them sign some papers, but that's more so that everyone knows the terms than for any legal purpose. I seriously doubt that we'll do any legal action if they don't pay us back. Of course, I'm sure they will pay us back, else I wouldn't have approved of the loan.

I spent the remainder of my time doing repairs on the house DW will be staying in. She insisted on a new Tahoe, and I made her get the LTZ model. If you're going to have a new car, you might as well get a good one. We financed it with our CU, who offered 1.49%, but after negotiating the deal, the dealership asked what our interest rate was. He said he could beat it, and therefore our rate is actually at 1.19% through Capital One. That's not a bad rate, in my book. DW should have it paid off in about 1.5 years by the amortization schedule we worked out.

Homes in my neighborhood have fully rebounded from the "soft" hit they took during the downturn. Empty lots are going for exorbitant levels. The house beside ours is listed for $1250 per month as a lease, and it is significantly smaller and less well-kept than ours. Rental estimates for our place are about $2K. I have considered selling it, but every time I look at its value, it has gone up yet again. Right now, it has increased by over $60K in less than a year. Although those are unrealized gains, there's no way I'm going to sell until that pace of increase abates.

So, now we have a car payment again. I can't say I'm happy about that, but at least DW has a safe car to drive in. This trip also put our house payoff schedule back a few months. It looks like we won't have it fully paid off until the first quarter of 2014 now. Oh, well, the best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry, as the Burns poem states.

I'll be back at work in the morning, and have already received about 10 phone calls about minor issues that needed my input. I guess I'll need to get back into office-work mode this evening. I won't be taking any more time off for at least 6 months.

Ramadan started this month. "Ramdan Kareem!" to those of you who follow the tenets of Islam.

8 Responses to “Back in Dubai”

  1. Wino Says:

    I forgot to mention that both of our dogs made it back safely. They love being back in their house and yard. We ended up paying just at $1600 for both of them including veterinarian checkups and flight. This is instead of the nearly $10K that we were quoted by a pet-moving company. The larger dog (both are under 25 pounds [11.5 kg]) nearly knocked her carrier over from the inside when we got her from the checked baggage area. She keep crying until we finally got her out of it.

  2. Miz Pat Says:

    I am glad you are home safe and glad the dogs are happy. Sounds like an excellent dog move price.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I'm glad the trip went well and your dogs made it back to the states just fine.

  4. scfr Says:

    Glad to hear all family members, 2-legged and 4-legged, are safe and sound.

    Chuckling a bit about the "kids" choice to do the cosmetic changes instead of improving the "infrastructure" of the house ... Don't worry, they'll learn.

  5. Wino Says:

    scfr: I showed them how much money they could reasonably expect to save on air conditioning costs, but they just wanted the house to be pretty. Some phrase about lipsticks and pigs comes to mind right about now. When they're getting $400 AC bills, they might finally understand the importance of the improvements I had suggested. At least DD2 decided to go with hardwoods instead of the trendy new tiles she originally wanted. I mentioned to her that paneling was really cool in the 1970's, and granite counter tops were the 2000-2010 decade counter material of choice. I think I even mentioned "summer harvest" and "avocado" as very trendy appliance colors in the past. When I pointed out that hardwood floors from the 1950s are still in demand today, she changed her mind. The changes aren't all cosmetic. Some of the walls are merely 1970's obstructions, and removing them will open the house more. Also, the stairway that the previous "handyman" owner put in doesn't meet code, so it, too, is being replaced.

    I've learned that not having the dogs around any more means that I have to pick up any food that I drop now. Before, I don't think it even actually hit the floor before the four-legged vacuum cleaners devoured it. They're both really loving the cooler weather in south Texas, too. Imagine calling 104 degrees (40 deg C) "cooler."

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    So i'm confused. ARe you in Dubai or Texas now? Or are the dogs staying in Texas?

    And what the heck is a purlin, anyway?

  7. Wino Says:

    I have just returned from the US to Dubai. DW is back in Texas. Dogs are with DW.

    A purlin is a roof support that attaches between a structural wall (load-bearing is the common term) and a roof rafter. These prevent both sagging and collapse along long runs. The house they purchased is lacking about 20 braces for their purlins. I would have been more accurate to state that I showed him how to put in the purlin braces. Here's a link that shows them: http://www.ashireporter.org/photos/thumbnails/2010_04/Word-1...

  8. scfr Says:

    Pretty funny ... Well, it is their "pig" and they can put lipstick on it if they want to! Some of the changes they chose to make sound really sensible, especially the stairway if it's a safety issue.

    I hear you about the food on floors ... Our dog passed in Feb and it's still a bit of a shock to find food crumbs when cleaning along the baseboards in the kitchen.

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