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Old 02-12-2010, 12:17 AM   #21
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Hi Laurence. Your post encouraged me to post for first time in a long time. Glad to hear things are going so well.... you deserve it!
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:53 AM   #22
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Hey Laurence. I was wondering what you were up to and how your family was doing. It is great to have you back.

Life is all about balance and 55 is still young. You probably got a great deal on your house, if you bought when the housing prices were down. My DD and her family is living in San Diego since 11/09. She says that it is cold too and I just laugh at her and tell her to come back home to snowy WV and remember what cold really feels like. Nice hh income for a 35 year old. Heck, I would consider that a nice hh income for 50 somethings!
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:32 AM   #23
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You've missed a lot of Wednesday Weigh-ins!
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:26 AM   #24
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Welcome back. I was mostly lurking when you were active; actually, still mostly lurking.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:18 AM   #25
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( I have my Masters).
Congratulations and welcome back!

We're waiting for you in the bar.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:41 PM   #26
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Hi Laurence

Welcome back, I remember you and your delightful daughters. Last I can remember you were debating whether to buy a new piece of property, so it looks like you took the plunge. I take it you were able to sell your previous home.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:29 PM   #27
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As far as our home selling/buying went, we sold our house and were in a new one 43 days after talking to an agent. The day we put it on the market we had four offers. We had agents show up before the listing appeared on MLS at 8:00 am on a Saturday. The thing is, as good LBYM types, we still had a ton of equity in our house and weren't short sellers. Our home was a classic first time home buyer type (3 bedroom 2.5 bath, 1800 sq feet). Short selling is a nightmare and young couples just wanted a home to raise their kids in. It was funny, DW really wanted to sell to this one couple who met us and wrote this nice letter and were 8 months pregnant, yadda yadda. I said, "That's nice, and their offer is 10k short." LOL! We ended up with a no contingency offer 5k over our asking with a 45 day escrow one day after listing, two days after talking to an agent. Now the caveat was our house was the model, had a few upgrades and a slightly larger lot, so anyone who was really interested in our neighborhood probably jumped.

But then we didn't have a house! We didn't know what to do and everything was a short sale. So Memorial Day our agent takes us to a standard sale just over the hill from our old house and we knew it was right the moment we walked in. 2500 sq feet, 4 bed, 3 bath, 3 car garage, up to 33 foot vaulted ceilings making it feel so much bigger, and a nice, flat backyard overlooking the 5th and 6th fairway of a really nice golf course (they had a Buick Invitational qualifier there one year). Location was good to not get golf balls in the yard (we've had 5 since June). I joke that in San Diego a golf course view is the poor man's ocean front property.

Here, I'll see if I can remember how to add images:

Lia (Olivia - remember helping choose her name?) loving that she got to put Christmas decorations on the tree:


Lia not loving that she wasn't the only one:


View from the deck off our Master bedroom:


Roasting marshmallows in our backyard. It feels like camping every night!



Lia complaining about sticky marshmallow hands:


Wanting a hug anyway:


I'm a sucker:


We are 45 minutes south of Disneyland, so season passes are a no brainer, this was the pic we sent out with our Christmas cards:



Tori laughing on a ride at Disneyland:


Tori and Mommy smiling for the camera. She is doing so well and Down Syndrome is one of the last things we see in her, she really is a gem:



Dang, I have no good pictures of the house all decorated, this is what we have from first going in escrow. The house was empty and the sellers were motivated, so we got a fantastic deal, about 250k off the market peak (which still meant almost half a mill!):

Kitchen nook, we bought a pub height table and I enjoy the view every morning:


Master Bedroom:


Another view over the back fence:


Part of the yard:


Living room:


Family Room:


Anyhow, we got a great price and at a fixed 5% for 30 years we ended up only paying a few hundred more a month for it than our old house (yes, and re-set the clock) and since we have no other debt or car payments (thank you er.org!) we are quite comfortable with our payments and can still do what we want, whenever. Anyhow, that's a quick catch up wrap up!
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:38 PM   #28
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Sweet pictures 'L. I love Olivia pouting.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:39 PM   #29
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Wow, amazing house!

Welcome back.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:41 PM   #30
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My oh my...those girls have grown so much and they are just beautiful! I am grinnin' from ear to ear after lookin' at those photos. I am so happy and proud for you and your family!

Now, if y'all decide to have another child, will you post another poll?
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:45 PM   #31
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It seems like only yesterday...

Welcome back.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #32
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Thank you, bbbamI, you should ask that again this summer! LOL! Seriously, one more kid was the reason we decided to move one last time (hopefully). I could totally retire in this house, only reason we would move is to possibly downgrade or on a whim give up country life and move to downtown San Diego and live in a condo in a high rise overlooking Petco Park (where the Padres play). But my bet is on staying here.

The girls are so easy and fun, they are tricking us into having another, I swear!
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:50 PM   #33
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Laurence welcome back looks like you got it all under control! Great pics!
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:56 PM   #34
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Sweet house. Sweetest girls. I love the marshamallow kisses photo.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:58 PM   #35
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I think you should have 5 more kids. Just a suggestion...
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:00 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by laurence View Post
Thank you, bbbamI, you should ask that again this summer! LOL! Seriously, one more kid was the reason we decided to move one last time (hopefully). I could totally retire in this house, only reason we would move is to possibly downgrade or on a whim give up country life and move to downtown San Diego and live in a condo in a high rise overlooking Petco Park (where the Padres play). But my bet is on staying here.

The girls are so easy and fun, they are tricking us into having another, I swear!
Woo Hoo...we'll keep an eye on ya this summer!

You've got lots of love there...it's plain to see...
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:30 PM   #37
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The girls have grown so and they are absolutely adorable. Really nice house. Things are definitely looking good for you and your family.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:57 PM   #38
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Rich, I wanted four, she wanted two, three is the compromise! She has to do all the work so I'll be grateful for what I get! DW is a stay at home mom now, if the third is as easy as the first two, we may have one more. Maybe. All they want me to do is sit down so they can style my hair, over and over...and over. That doesn't interfere with watching football or drinking beer, so I'm good. We bought this HUGE play structure for the backyard (I'm 6' 2" and can stand under the roof of the 2nd floor) and the three of us party outside all the time (San Diego has it's advantages, it's still 65-70 during the day).

But on a serious note, we had fun spending some money and are ready to buckle down again and start upping our investments. I would say for the last year we've been living either at our means or slightly below, but it hasn't been the possum living we were doing for quite some time. But now we have everything we want, all the toys ( I got a 10" Dobsian telescope since the skies are relatively unpolluted here) and are ready to hunker down for another 5 or so years, make sure the nest egg is set. So part of that was getting back on here and joining my support group again. DW is super frugal by nature, I'm the spendthrift and need the help from you all!
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:53 AM   #39
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Eh, don't sweat themoney you spent. It will (and already has) return your investment many times over in fun with the family. While ER is great and all, money is ultimately about improving our experience of life and you seem to be doing a good job iof doing so. I don't regret a penny of the money we have dropped on the camper and related gear for the same reasons.

In any case, its a lot better than getting to retire at age 45 with millions but having forgotten what time and money are for.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:22 AM   #40
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Good to see you are doing well Laurence
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