Wednesday, April 2, 2008
House for sale
A year ago, I'd only been home a few days with my little darling when I realized my 788-square-foot condo was not going to cut it in terms of space. Veeka's wardrobe seems to multiply every few days as all sorts of friends of given me their old kids' clothes, packing Veeka's closet with enough outfits for 30 straight days.
Plus, the commute has become worse and worse. In my pre-mom days, I used to saunter home at 7 p.m. or later, easily missing all the worst traffic. Nowadays, I have to tear out of my office by 5 p.m. to wend my way through 17 miles of heavy artillery on some of the nation's most clogged freeways to arrive at the daycare by 6 p.m. Veeka's current providers are very kind and allow me a few minutes of grace time. But when I switch her to a larger daycare, I will be charged $1 each minute I am late. Veeka's speech therapists are recommending I switch her sooner rather than later, to improve her vocabulary a lot quicker.
As I have looked around the city of Falls Church, my current abode, there is almost nothing under $500,000 that has the three bedrooms I want. Which is a shame, as Veeka is already benefiting from the city's excellent school system. But I do not earn that kind of money! So, for the last year, I have slowly been making the improvements one must make to sell a home where one has lived for 12 years and in mid-March, it went on the market. No offers so far, but I am almost alone on my block in terms of places for sale. Not only that, but Falls Church has one of the state's best school districts, so this place should sell.
Where move to? Well, I am looking to move closer to work. I have been househunting several times within a 10-mile radius of my workplace and I've narrowed the area down to 1-2 specific cities. So I am comparing school systems, crime stats, commuting times and trying to figure out just what it is I want in a home. The current drop in home prices is really going to benefit me this spring. But preparing to move has really sapped my energy. For several weekends in a row, I worked like a dog preparing my home for sale, reducing all the clutter and painting and cleaning everywhere.
However, there are chinks in any plan; just today, the Washington Times management announced it will be having layoffs in the newsroom! Sooooo, don't want to bid on a home for the next few weeks until that dust settles. I am working endlessly preparing articles about Pope Benedict's visit. Just interviewed an imam yesterday who will be meeting April 17 with the pope. Am doing a spot today for a British TV station on the state of the American Catholic church. If you click on www.washingtontimes.com, you'll see on our front page the "papal visit" blog that I am contributing to every day. I am happy to say I am doing pretty well against the competition in terms of breaking stories no one else has (ie the secret birthday party being thrown for the pope on April 16 at the Italian embassy starring Placido Domingo) and more is forthcoming.
Am also trying to juggle care for Miss Veeka while I work 24/7 covering the pope from April 15-20 in Washington and New York. Unfortunately, the busiest day will be on her third birthday, also April 16. I may not even see her on that day. Now if I can just sneak her into that Italian embassy party...