June 22, 2004

Oh Verizon, How You Toy With Me

It seems like my never ending issues with Verizon have ended, with no DSL service for me. After being rejected and then re-assured, I've been rejected one last time. So alas, no DSL service for me. I'm not going with satellite since there is an added cost, so I'm either regressing technologically to dial-up, waiting it out for cable, or sharing the connection of my next door neighbor. Obviously, I would like to do the latter - especially since he offered it about a month ago when the saga first started.

I kind of wonder why Verizon can't get their act together. I know sales, customer service, and DSL are all separate bunches of people, but would it hurt to communicate a little? You're one fucking company for christ sakes. I'm almost surprised the customer service person didn't say "why don't you try Time Warner?" after hearing of my troubles. They say the reason is that I'm on fiber optic and not copper wire, which is what they told me the first time too. But when I signed up the second time and changed my number, they pretty much assured me that I would be able to get it. Doesn't look like it, huh? Fucking bastards. Supposedly, they are working on fiber optic DSL now, which is a little crazy. What's going on in their heads? "Let's see, we have some old copper and this new-fangled thing they are calling fiber optic...and now we have this "Internet" thing with high speeds. Hmm...let's install it on the old technology as we upgrade everything else. This is a great idea!!" I'm sure it was probably just a way to get DSL out there to compete with cable Internet service.

Ho hum, looks like I'll be without a connection at home for a little bit. Must go talk to my neighbor. In the meantime, anyone want to buy an apartment?

Posted by tien at 08:38 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 18, 2004

My Apartment is Taking a Leak

So yesterday after coming back from a spectacular dinner at Sushi Masa, I come home to see some shoes outside my apartment. Of course, this is all very strange since I wasn't expecting guests. Well, it was my parents who had come to pick up some empty boxes. They were in the cellar/basement and discovered some water. That's no good.

They had been there about 15 minutes and had already cleaned up most of the mess. The rug that I had was soaked with water as were a couple of boxes. It seems that the heavy rain last night caused some seepage from a few spots along two walls. This morning, there were a couple of moist spots on the newspaper that I placed along the walls, which could show the problem areas.

Lucky for me (or unlucky for me), my contractors are coming today to look at some other stuff. The forecast for today calls for some more thunderstorms, so I've got my fingers crossed and hope that everything goes a little more smoothly.

Posted by tien at 08:39 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 09, 2004

Verizon, You're Back in My Good Graces

Previously, I mentioned that I hated Verizon because they couldn't give me DSL service on my line. Well, there's some sort of justice in this world - after spending about 45 minutes on the phone with two different Verizon people, I am able to get it by changing my phone number. Simple enough.

The representative I was on the phone with was very apologetic for making me wait a lot during the process, but with results like this, who's to complain? Yes, I had to switch phone numbers, but since nobody had that number yet, it's not really a problem. The new number is also easier to remember. Verizon seemed to know that they could give me service because my neighbor has it while having the same phone extension.

My new apartment is now complete and I won't have to move. Now all I need is a desk.

Posted by tien at 08:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 04, 2004

Stupid Verizon and Your Stupid DSL Service

Yesterday, I was dealt a major blow to my grand apartment plans. Verizon said I can't get DSL service because I'm not on a copper wire, but a fiber optic one. Since I don't have cable access in the building, that leaves me with no recourse. Sigh. For an Internet addict like myself, this is a problem.

On the plus side, I can spend more time with my friend, television. I also called Time Warner again and they said that someone else called in about service and they might pull a line. That's the sweet to this sour story. It's only mildly comforting though. Nothing like a really nice computer with dial-up service. Woo!

And what ever happened to fiber optics being the wave of the future?!? Stupid Verizon and your dependence on old technology. Stick that copper wire up your ass! If you can provide me with DSL though, I'll gladly pull it out for you. Thanks.

Someone, please cry me a river.

Posted by tien at 12:34 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

June 03, 2004

Window Treatments Installed

Yesterday, my blinds from Smith+Noble were installed. With that done, I can now walk around in my apartment naked and the cops can't watch me. Then again, you can see through the shades and cops probably have special peeping equipment, so I may refrain from walking around nude...but at least I have some privacy now.

Looking at my selections of fabric swatches, it turns out that I only used one of those shown - the privacy one for the bedroom. The other fabric I wanted was actually discontinued right before I wanted to order - those bastards! That said, I'm very happy with the fabric I selected - especially since I didn't see the swatches in person first. I don't have the pictures of it just yet, but you can see the online swatch here. It has a 12% openness factor, but I like the fact that the blinds will let some light in during the day.

I've got to say that my experience with Smith+Noble was quite good. I got one blind within days of placing my order and the rest within a couple of weeks. Sure, you have to install them yourself, but I think it's better than paying a few thousand for a blind company to come out and do all the work. Customer service from the Californian company was also top notch.

Posted by tien at 09:58 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

May 26, 2004

First Night

I'm still in the process of moving a lot of stuff to my new apartment, but last night, I spent my first night there. With my newly assembled bed (started over the weekend and finished two nights ago), some phone service, and TV service, almost everything is set for my moving in. It's going to take some getting used to in my new place though. I have yet to learn the exact number of steps from bedroom to bathroom, bedroom to TV, TV to bathroom, and kitchen to TV. So many details to learn. I've also had my first run-in with my platform bed. I was warned that the edges were a drawback by several friends, but I'm glad I just brushed my shin into the edge and wasn't going full tilt towards the bed.

Because the phone line is finally working and connected, that means my DirectTV is also active. Excellent. No complaints about that yet, but I'm still working my way through learning the system. There is one thing I do know, I love TiVO! So far, I have set it up to record Seinfeld, The Simpsons, and Scrubs. It automatically recorded Finding Nemo for me, which was nice of it. I told the DirectTV people several times that I don't think I'll ever need to leave the house again.

In this process of putting together my bed, I also learned that man's best friend is not the dog, but the power tool. It made finishing up my bed so much easier. With about fifty screws to fasten, I think my hand would be pretty sore if I didn't use a power drill. Thank the inventors of the power tool, whoever they are.

Posted by tien at 08:42 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

May 25, 2004

The First Residents of Apartment 1E

Now that the apartment is virtually complete, the first two living residents are in the apartment. They lived with me in Murray Hill too, but don't have any names. One is a queen of thorns and the other is some sort of fig plant. They were in pretty bad shape when I moved out of my old apartment, but have since been nursed back to health by my mom. Excellent work mom.

Posted by tien at 08:33 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 23, 2004

Cleaning and Assembling

Yesterday, with the help of Christina and Shannan, my apartment is cleaner and I have some furniture assembled. There was already a lot of cleaning done through the week by my mom (thanks mom!), but there was a little more to be done yesterday.

The furniture that I bought from West Elm is now mostly assembled. My new coffee table was really easy to assemble, and the bed less so, but still easy. The bed also isn't quite finished yet. I have about 50 screws to tighten and I wasn't about to do that with a regular screwdriver.

The apartment is almost livable, all I need is Verizon to fix the damn phone line and to turn on the air conditioner.

Thanks again to Christina for her help yesterday, Shannan for her help yesterday and Friday, and my mom for her help the whole week (not to mention during the whole process).

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 10:21 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 22, 2004

Movin', Movin', Movin'

Since the last time I went to my apartment, it was almost in move-in condition, naturally, it would have been wise to move some stuff in. That's exactly what I did (with help, of course) on Friday. I took the day off and moved all my stuff out of storage and finally moved my bed and coffee table into the my apartment. Some cleaning took place and lots of waiting for Verizon service (fuckers never came). As you can see, I also took the protective PVC off my appliances.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 09:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 19, 2004

I'm Feeling Sleepy's

Last night, I went shopping for a mattress. Originally, I was planning on shopping around for a mattress with various stores including Sleepy's, 1-800-MATTRES, and Macy's, but I ended up just buying one on the spot. I went with Sleepy's because they cut me a "deal", selling an $800 mattress for $650. Someone in the Gothamist Forum told me it was difficult to price shop because the vendors all have different model numbers from the manufacturers, which turns out to be true, but I think I got a good deal. All I know is that I'm getting it on Saturday. It's a Serta Perfect Sleeper, which has all those cute sheep in their ad campaigns. (You can even buy sheep in their store!!!)

Of course, I had the jingle in my head while shopping, "We're the mattress professionals doing it right, call Sleepy's for the rest of your life."

Posted by tien at 07:34 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 17, 2004

Virtual Move-In Condition

It looks like my apartment is ready to live in. All that needs to happen is a few minor touch-ups/changes and some cleaning (cough...cough...). I also need to turn on the boiler, the air conditioner, and the washer and dryer. I'm taking Friday off work to get some items out of storage and pile them somewhere into my apartment. Fun, fun, fun. I guess this saga is finally coming to an end.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 07:37 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 14, 2004

Working Appliances...Excellent

Well, it looks like my appliances work. The fridge is pictured here, cold and empty. Those that have known me a long time see this as typical, but hopefully I'll have some stuff in it soon. If not food, then at least some condiments. One cool feature of the fridge is that I can adjust the temperature in both the freezer and the fridge part.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 07:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 13, 2004

Lacquer and Stairs

Since my contractors weren't wise enough to cover the floor after they installed it, they applied a fresh layer of lacquer to it. It's very shiny in the photo above, but it was still wet. Hopefully it will get duller when it dries and over time. The stairs also have a fresh coat of lacquer as well as some additional work on the stair treads. It all looks pretty good right now if you ask me.

Rumor has it that my appliances are working too, but since the floor was wet, I could not confirm this. Perhaps another trip tomorrow.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 07:31 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 10, 2004

Water, Water Everywhere...

Okay, so maybe it's not water everywhere, but my kitchen faucet is now installed. The showers are now working too. The stair treads were redone, so now all I have to do is move in, right? Bwhahahaha. You kid. But seriously, I hope that everything can be finished this week with final touch-ups next week. Some serious cleaning between now and then and some moving action.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 06, 2004

Finally, Some Counterspace!

Yesterday, my kitchen contractor installed the countertops in both the kitchen and bathrooms. Both are granite, heavy, and look really shiny and nice right now. This, of course, begs the question, "when will the apartment be finished?" Don't ask, because I don't know. I hope to move my stuff in before the end of the month. As always, I'm sure my contractor will do his best not to let that happen.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 07:32 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 28, 2004

A Few Lights and Downstairs Bathroom

Not much is going on at my apartment right now. I'm still waiting for the countertop to be delivered. In the first picture, you can see the lights for the living room. They are hanging a bit low right now, but that will be adjusted. I'm not sure if they will be bright enough, but if they aren't then I can just add some more room lighting. Lights above both sets of stairs, the track for lights in downstairs, and the light in the laundry room/closet were all installed. In the bathroom, the plumbing was re-worked for the fixtures that I ordered and all the patch work was taken care of.

As you can see, there is still a bit of time before it can be considered livable.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 01:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 24, 2004

Looking Good, Lookin' Real Good


Bathroom, with cabinet and toilet


Kitchen


Kitchen, close up

Since Tuesday's check-up on the apartment, a lot of progress has been made. Or at least it looks like it. In the bathroom, the toilet and cabinet are in place, but not yet secured. The kitchen looks like it has made progress too. The top cabinets are in place, except for two that were the wrong size. The appliances are temporarily in place, awaiting a connection to power and/or water. Swan (my cabinet fabricators) came in and measured for the countertops as well. Some lights, in the kitchen (pictured), living room and bedroom (both not pictured) were also installed.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 07:20 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 21, 2004

Splash Guard and Door Details


Splish splash, stainless steel backsplash


Door frame details

Not much progress was made since last week. One problem I have is my bathroom trim. It's all chrome looking, but I'm not sure that it goes with the wood doors. Any opinions out there?

The lights have supposedly arrived and will be installed later in the week. The 1st floor bathroom underwent some minor changes to accommodate the fixtures. I did, however, leave the apartment smelling like paint and wood stain.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 07:25 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

Because You Can Never Have Enough


Kitchen, now with some cabinets.


Cabinet details.


Bedroom closet. To be stained to match trim.

I know, you guys can't get enough of this apartment coverage. It's just so much fun, isn't it? Think of it this way, it's like Martha Stewart without the insider trading and the design instincts. I'm just not sure what that leaves you with.

As you can see above, the kitchen and bedroom have made a fair amount of progress since Saturday but not that much since Monday. Hopefully when I take another look on Friday, the cabinets will all be up. I know, you wait with bated breath.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 07:34 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

April 13, 2004

Floor Installed


Bedroom


Living room and kitchen


Kitchen with cabinets

When I went to my apartment on Saturday, they were getting the apartment ready for my wood flooring. Yesterday, during lunch, I went back to the apartment and most of the floor was already laid down. Upon returning after work, all the wood flooring had been finished and the cabinets had been delivered.

It turned out a little darker than I wanted, but the stain is growing on me.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 07:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 12, 2004

More Apartment Photos


Living Room, 1st Fl.


Bedroom


Looking downstairs to 1st Fl.


Bathroom, 1st Fl.


Kitchen


Stove for Kitchen (floor pictured is not mine)

Saturday, while I was waiting for those Direct TV bastards, I took some more pictures of my apartment's progress. They were paining the walls and getting ready to lay the wood floor. Today, my kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets are being delivered, so the floor needed to be finished before then.

Progress was slow, but is now very fast. Excellent.

- All Home Renovation entries

Posted by tien at 07:21 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 11, 2004

Direct TV - Welcome to My Shitlist

Today was my installation day for Direct TV. My installation time was set for 8 am to noon, brutal hours for a weekend installation, but I had some other things to attend to in the afternoon. So I dutifully wake up at 6:30 so I can make it there by 8. I get there, I wait. And wait, and wait. At 11:20, I get impatient and call Direct TV customer service. I find out I'm still scheduled for 8-12. At 11:40, I get a phone call saying that they are running late and would be there from 11:30-2. Hmm, that's great, 11:30-2 when it's already 11:40. Fucking retards. Of course, because I have lunch plans, I can't wait there until 2 to get the system installed. And they won't just install it if nobody is there.

My Direct TV isn't even working yet and they already have one strike against them. They blow. They better win me over with NFL Sunday Ticket. Bastards.

Posted by tien at 10:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 08, 2004

Apartment Update


Bedroom (larger than it looks, but still not huge)


1st floor living room


Cellar bathroom (yes, glass blocks in for shower)


Cellar

My apartment is coming along slowly, but at least there has been noticeable progress (at least in my mind anyway). All the drywall is up and there is primer on the walls, tile on the bathroom floors and walls. Actually, I think that's it in the progress department. Sad when I think that is the definition of progress.

Posted by tien at 12:35 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 31, 2004

Window Treatments

Okay, this goes pretty much against everything in my last post, but I'm deciding on window treatments for my apartment (it should be noted that I usually call them blinds). I am going to order roller shades from Smith+Noble, after my cousin recommended them. Prices seem resonable, but you have to install them yourself.

The rooms that I need blinds for are the bedroom, living room, and cellar. I think I'm going with privacy in the bedroom (hubba, hubba!) and just room darkening for the living room and cellar. I'm pretty sure the two blues and green are out as options.

Posted by tien at 07:32 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 25, 2004

I'm Going With Direct TV

Despite my desires for having cable and a cable modem, it doesn't look like Time Warner wants my business. Fools! Because of that, I've turned to Direct TV, which has a lot of upside. Over 150 channels for $42.99, a TiVo box for $100, and a free DVD player. You know that come September, I'm signing up for NFL Sunday Ticket, so anyone that wants in on some football action...you know where to go.

I also signed up for phone and DSL service from Verizon earlier this week. I think there is some line testing that is still required, but I hope it works out, because I won't be able to live without a high speed internet connection. I did all the Verizon stuff online too.

Posted by tien at 07:16 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 11, 2004

Must Sell HD Stock

Last night, I went to Home Depot to pick up some stuff for the apartment - towel racks, toilet paper dispenser, soap dish, shower rod, and a toilet. Unfortunately, I only 2/3 of my toilet - the water tank and the seat. Home Depot was out of the bowl, which is pretty essential. The customer service, while seemingly short on staff, was actually very good. They looked at alternate locations for the bowl and answered all my questions. One employee even offered help as she was about to leave.

The only problem I had was at the register. While the people were friendly, it took so long to pay for my items. I think I spent an hour and a half at Home Depot, with half of it waiting to pay. How is a company supposed to make any money if they can't get people through the payment transaction?

If only they could have some more people at the registers, it would flow so much smoother. Besides that, my experience at the Long Island City Home Depot was great. Tonight, I make another trip in a quest for the bowl.

Posted by tien at 07:28 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 09, 2004

First Item of New Furniture


Table (top) and bed.

After work tonight, I went to West Elm and bought my first new items for my apartment. The queen size platform bed and the rectangular block coffee table.

West Elm also has a white glove service for the assembly and delivery, but since my apartment isn't ready yet and I didn't want to pay the extra money, I decided to go directly to the store. I've since figured out that there is a reason that they have white glove service for the bed - it's huge! The salesperson said that it would fit in the car and boy was he wrong. It pretty much hung out the back. It was really heavy too. Luckily, I got it home okay.

What the furniture will eventually look like, I hope:

Posted by tien at 07:37 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 07, 2004

Appliances For Apartment

Since I have a kitchen layout, I needed some appliances to go with it. All stainless steel (well, the outside) and all from GE. Hopefully they will match the kitchen cabinets.

The refrigerator is 22.6 cubic feet and has numerous features including an upfront electronic digital display, an integrated ice system, a dispenser for ice and water outside the door, and an in-door beverage rack. The range is self cleaning, has a "precise simmer burner" and a "high output burner" and claims to have an extra large oven capacity. The microhood (combined microwave and hood) has sensor cooking controls to adjust time for cooking, a hidden vent, and a huge turntable. The dishwasher has two wash arms, the ability to preheat water and delay the start time, and "Piranha™" - a feature that grinds leftover food into small particles that can be washed away.

Also purchased, but not pictured are a washer and dryer (non GE).

Posted by tien at 12:00 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 05, 2004

Kitchen Design and Layout


(click on images for larger size)

Looks like the design for my kitchen is pretty much set. 36" wood cabinets with glass panels and stainless steel appliances. From the layout, you can see that the kitchen isn't that big, but it will have a lot more counter space than my kitchen in my old apartment. And it will just be that much nicer. All I need to do now is order those appliances.

- Previous cabinet photos (top for the wood, bottom for the glass)

Posted by tien at 01:25 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

March 04, 2004

Slight Redesign of Apartment

As my apartment progresses (I think it has to be finished in 5 weeks), there are some slight changes. The kitchen has changed a little, but has yet to be finalized. The faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms also changed from the original items I wanted. Now, I'm going with Grohe's Eurodisc in the kitchen and their products for the bathrooms too.

What a painful ongoing project. Hopefully it will be finished soon. I also have to order some appliances today and maybe some furniture too.

Posted by tien at 07:33 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 01, 2004

Apartment Update


Water heater.


Air handler.

It's been a little while since I've had any apartment updates, but the apartment is slowly progressing, emphasis on slowly. My air conditioner/heat and hot water heater/tank have been installed. The tile in the basement is finished. A toilet and vanity mirrors have been purchased. Kitchen and bathroom measurements have been taken.

This weekend, I found out that there is no cable in the building, which means no cable TV or cable modem. Clearly, this is not acceptable. I've called Time Warner and they are going to take a look at the building. I also inquired about the possibility of the building getting a bulk contract for cable service. Hopefully, all goes well. I can't imagine life without cable television and a cable modem.

Posted by tien at 07:36 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

February 07, 2004

Window Shopping for Furniture

My apartment is going slower than I would have liked, but what can you do? I'm lazy. The downside to that is that I've owned it since the end of last month. What's better to do when progress is slow on your apartment renovations than shopping for furniture?

I went to West Elm to look for some things since their stuff looks nice while remaining relativly cheap. They have a wood platform bed, a coffee table, and some lighting that I would like to buy. West Elm had plenty of chairs and couches as well, but I'm not sure they were the most comfotable or practical home furnishings.

Previously on the apartment:
- miscellaneous apartment stuff
- apartment closing
- revisiting counter options and tile options
- mortgage approval
- kitchen cabinet design
- contract and mortgage
- appliance shopping
- floor and counter ideas
- the apartment
- the floorplan

Posted by tien at 11:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 31, 2004

Miscellaneous Apartment Stuff


Bathroom faucets

Today, I went to pick out some more stuff for my apartment. I looked at everything from my kitchen cabinets and countertops (again) to the faucets in the bathrooms. There are some color changes in the countertop, but I didn't take any pictures because my battery was shot. It's either going to be a dark green (you can barely tell it's green) or a dark grey with some hints of red in it. Both are hard to explain, but look nice. The faucets and bathroom sinks are all from Kohler. I was originally going to go with brushed chrome for the faucets and fixtures, but polished chrome was substantially cheaper, so I'm going with those. The sinks in the bathrooms are white and the kitchen sink is stainless steel.

Previously on the apartment:
- apartment closing
- revisiting counter options and tile options
- mortgage approval
- kitchen cabinet design
- contract and mortgage
- appliance shopping
- floor and counter ideas
- the apartment
- the floorplan

Posted by tien at 06:10 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

January 28, 2004

Closing Time


Hello Mortgage!

Yesterday, I closed on my apartment. Closing is always a pain. Both sides have to sign countless sheets of papers, leaving your hand in no condition to do anything when you are finished. If you're buying, you get to fork over tons of money as a bonus. Overall, my contract to closing date was a fast process, but if you're buying an apartment, it seems like a process that will never end.

My reward? Besides owning a piece of property (unlike my last apartment, which was a co-op), I get this nice mortgage. Nothing like a six digit loan to brighten your day. I now get the renovation process to look forward to. This also seem like a process that will never end.

Previously on the apartment:
- revisiting counter options and tile options
- mortgage approval
- kitchen cabinet design
- contract and mortgage
- appliance shopping
- floor and counter ideas
- the apartment
- the floorplan

Posted by tien at 07:22 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

January 21, 2004

Counter and Tile Again


Bathroom wall, counter (bottom sample), and floor tile from left to right.

As buying my apartment becomes less fiction and more reality, my procrastination is coming to an end. Yesterday, we got the general contractor and the air conditioning guys together, re-selected a counter-top, selected floor tile for the basement and bathrooms, and wall tile for the bathrooms. I selected wood flooring and a counter sample in the past too, but we changed that around a bit to make things match a bit better. Now, if we could only start on the construction.

Next step for me is closing, which should be on Monday Tuesday, which is a lot closer that I even realize.

Previously on the apartment:
- mortgage approval
- kitchen cabinet design
- contract and mortgage
- appliance shopping
- floor and previous counter ideas
- the apartment
- the floorplan

Posted by tien at 02:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 12, 2004

American Dream, Here I come...Again

My bank faxed me a letter saying that I've been approved for a loan of $125,000 at an interest rate of 4.75% and a term of 15 years. I'm not sure what kind of crack they are smoking at the bank, but I say, "hook me up with some of that!" I guess they will be handing the check over to the condo directly, so I won't see a penny of the money, but it's still kind of crazy to be talking about that amount of money for an apartment. My last apartment, a studio, cost a mere $2000 more than what I'm about to borrow.

Previously on the apartment:
- kitchen cabinet design
- contract and mortgage
- appliance shopping
- floor and counter ideas
- the apartment
- the floorplan

Posted by tien at 06:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2003

Kitchen Cabinet Design


The style of cabinet and handle I want.


The type of glass that I want.

Yesterday, I went to go look at some kitchen cabinet designs and materials. All along, I have wanted wood cabinets with frosted glass doors, but you still need to see the designs before you order. Ideally, I want the style of cabinets in the first photo. Actually, that's almost exactly how I want my kitchen right down to the cabinet handles. The only things I would change are the tile on the wall, the stainless steel under the sink, and I would change the glass to the type in the second picture.

Previous new apartment entries:
- contract and mortgage
- appliance shopping
- floor and counter ideas
- the apartment
- the floorplan

Posted by tien at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2003

Contract Signed and They Are Just Giving the Money Away

I signed the contract for my apartment yesterday and handed over a nice large check. Not as large as the one I got when I sold my apartment, but it was still quite hefty. With the signed contract, I went to my bank to submit my mortgage application. On Monday, a fixed-rate 15-year mortgage was 4.875%, which is already damn low. When I went yesterday to lock in a rate, I was pleased to find out that the rate went down to 4.75%, which is a savings of $7.76 a month, but over 15 years, that's $1396.80. All you math geniuses can now figure out how much money I'm borrowing. The loan officer told me to expect a late January or early February closing. Now, I have to think home design again.

Previous new apartment entries:
- appliance shopping
- floor and counter ideas
- the apartment
- the floorplan

Posted by tien at 09:44 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

December 14, 2003

Appliances Are Expensive

Yesterday, I went appliance shopping with my parents, which is not as fun as it sounds. For some reason, we went to New Jersey, but the place we went to was closed. We took a look at Home Depot and Best Buy. I drew one conclusion, appliances are expensive, but stainless steel appliances are even more expensive. Matching brands is a bitch as well. It seems that everyone and their mother is making appliances, like Samsung and LG. I did see this cool fridge at HD that had a Brita water dispenser built in, so all you had to do is pull the little lever. I also had to search for appliances that are narrower and less deep to accommodate my kitchen.

We did, however figure out the layout of the kitchen and get some cabinet ideas. My idea for the cabinets is wood doors with glass panels. All I have to do now is go through all the literature that I picked up and figure out exactly what I want. Decisions, decisions.

- floor and counter ideas
- the apartment
- the floorplan

Posted by tien at 12:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 13, 2003

Home Design


Marble and floor samples.

Designing an apartment is hard. When given a clean slate to start with, any design choices reflect on the person doing the designing. Since I'm buying an apartment that needs extensive renovations, I'm pretty much starting with a clean slate. So far, I have looked at floor samples and kitchen counter samples. So, borrowing a page form Eleanor and her home improvement blog, I'll be posting about some of the "design decisions" that my mom and I are making. Unfortunately, I don't have an unlimited budget to work with, but I'll do the best I can. It should be noted that if the look comes out bad, it's entirely my mom's fault, but if it turns out nice, then the decisions were all mine.

Above are the sample of the floor that we are going to use and the marble samples for the kitchen counter. Originally, we were thinking of bamboo flooring, but I didn't take to the look and it's about $2 more per foot, so that idea was scrapped. Of the two marble samples above, I think we are going with the darker one for the kitchen and maybe we can go with the lighter one for the bathroom, but I'm not sure I want to go with marble in the bathroom.

- the apartment
- the floorplan

Posted by tien at 12:26 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack