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New house, new washer & dryer, and paid mortgages

Holy cow!  What a few weeks it has been… I am happy to report that we have completed our move and are settling into our rental house.  Its pretty comfortable.  We refuse to unpack a lot of what we own since we know this is all temporary and so we have a lot of (non-necessary) things packed away for safe keepings.  We have unpacked the things we need – kitchen stuff, clothes, office stuff, and furniture.

We picked out and had our new washer and dryer delivered over the weekend.  We chose the Whirlpool Duet washer – an Energy Star, high-efficiency washer.  I am amazed at how little water it really does use to wash the clothes.  It is very different from the washers we’ve ever owned and its going to save us a lot of water, especially with the number of loads we wash every week.  This is our first GREEN step in our home building process.

Of course, I learned that there are no clothes dryers that are Energy-Star compliant and that makes sense.  We chose a matching Whirlpool Duet Steam dryer.  We very rarely iron anything in our house — occasionally, my mom breaks out the iron and will do a little for us — so the steam feature on the dryer is nice to throw in clothes and let the dryer steam out wrinkles.  I know this completely counter GREEN, but it meets a need that we have.  Maybe in the next house we’ll have a clothes line to hang out some of our clothes to dry and not need the clothes dryer as much, but that is for the future.

We completed our closing on the house sale on Thursday/Friday of last week.  The new owners have already taken possession and apparently moved into our old home.  I hope that they are as happy there as we have were.    And, I have to say we had great neighbors on Limestone Lane.  The couple across the street were always fantastic – watching our property for us when we were away and keeping an eye on our street.  She even knitted a hat and scarf for Peyton…   And the neighbors next to them were always good too.  She is a teacher and would always come and see Peyton anytime we were in the front yard.

Selling this house means the end of our Summer parties too, it seems.  No more pool, no more pond — not much to attract people for a summer party, so maybe we’ll scale down to a few smaller gatherings in the summer.  With that in mind, Jen is planning a Sellers Sweet Swap for sometime next month.  We hope to make this a new tradition, and as much as I love the Christmas season, I’m all for this one…

Our mortgages associated with the old house are now paid in full.  That is an amazing feeling to have those gone.  If only we could keep it that way and get a new home — how to do that??  There is a tremendous feeling of relief to have those debts paid.  For a while now, we’re [nearly] debt free.  [we did just buy those appliances interest free…]

We’re turning our plans now to the future.  We meet with a builder today and we’ve met with one builder earlier.  I think we’re going to focus on these two — both of which we feel very comfortable with — and try to plan our build process.  Jen and I both feel that we’d like to do some green features in our new home.  There are some obvious energy efficient choices we want to make — windows, insulation, etc.   We chose a design with large porches to help with the summer heat.  We also want a metal roof, which should help reflect some of the UV.  Beyond that, we are thinking about new ideas – like a greywater system that we could use for irrigation, tankless water heaters, and even solar somewhere in the equation.    We’re not sure what of these initiatives fit within our budget restraints, so we need to figure out what works and will be most efficient.

The other things about building today is the federal incentives for energy efficiency.  There is a whole 4 page listing of different incentives we may be able to take advantage of — in addition to incentives from our local electric cooperative.  Its an exciting time to be embarking on this project.  Coincidentally, Jen will be taking a green building class next quarter as part of her masters degree program.  That should provide us with some new ideas too.

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