Monday, December 5, 2011

Little Giant ladder systems

I am obsessing about owning a Little Giant ladder system!! I know you've seen their infomercials - and now that we all have these wonderful new houses - can you just IMAGINE how many times you would use this!!?? I am the painter for our house and can not possibly paint up our main stairway or down our basement stairway using a conventional ladder. I have contacted a contractor about painting these 2 areas and the cost is almost $600!! If you've read my blog long enough, you know that I am EXTREMELY thrifty with my money. I can't imagine spending that amount of money just to paint! Especially when I know how to do the job, but just don't have the right tools! I happened to stumble upon a giveaway for this ladder system that I am dreaming's located at Mommy Living The Life of Riley!. I am crossing all my fingers and toes in hopes of winning one of these! And if you enter, GOOD LUCK and come back to let us know if you won!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Don't Forget To Use eBates When Shopping online for your House, Christmas, and Everything In Between!

Wouldn't it be nice to not only be able to use discount codes but to also be able to get actual Cash Back from all this online shopping you are doing right now? Whether it be for gifts, your new house, or just because - there's a great way to make a little money while spending it! Come check out eBates and get paid to shop through them. You can still access all your favorite online stores, but if you go through eBates first, you will start to get paid back anywhere from 2% - 52% on your purchases.

Right now my yearly cash back total is almost $150.00. You get an actual CHECK in the mail (or direct deposit into your PayPal account). And you can STILL use ANY discount codes you find online. Don't have any discount/coupon codes? eBates has TONS of them for you to use too! You will be AMAZED at the amount of stores on their site. And even local stores like Kohl's, JCPenney, Walmart, Target, Sears, The Shade Store,  - go take a look! You get $5 from them after making your 1st purchase over $25!

How can they do this? There are no points to redeem, no forms to mail in, and no fees. Stores pay Ebates a sales commission for sending shoppers their way, and Ebates uses the commission to pay you cash back.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Plan Your Room - map out furniture placement!

I stumbled upon this while looking at new furniture for our family room (finally sold our loveseat & couch yesterday!!). Plan Our Room It seems pretty user friendly and fun to do!

BTW - we DID refi our mortgage. We just closed and dropped our payment $136 a month! I scouted out 4 different mortgage companies and banks. After doing my usual comparison shopping I am extremely happy with the lender we picked. Their closing costs were very, very good and their service was exceptional! If you need a lender in Ohio or Michigan, send me an email. You won't be disappointed!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mortgage Refi

WOW - rates are crazy low. We've been talking to alot of people about refinancing and it seems to be a pretty hot topic! We're looking into it also. Who wouldn't want to save a couple hundred bucks each month?!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pier 1 *RARE* FB coupon! $10 off $10 purchase = FREEEEE

Did you get your FB Pier 1 Daily Deal yesterday?? It's a coupon for $10.00 off a minimum $10.00 purchase!! It's not a unique code so it can be shared!! Expires WEDNESDAY!!!

 I got some GREAT free stuff yesterday...and so did my daughter...and so did my husband....and, well, we went today too....and we'll go tomorrow too.....get the idea....

Get YOURS here: Facebook Pier 1 coupon

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The dog days of Summer...

Not too much to blog about lately. All is well with our house and yard. We had some settling touch up with more dirt and grass seed in spots. And we're REALLY enjoying our pool and clubhouse! I don't know what I would do if I didn't have a pool! We had one at our previous house too. Summer seems to go by so fast when it's filled with lazy days at the pool!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Groupon = cheap dining when all the food is packed up! TGI Fridays!

Do you Groupon yet? There's no hidden fees, they have a $$ back guarantee if for some reason you are not satisfied with the certificate you have purchased, they are in all major cities around the U.S., you can buy a Groupon featured in any state and city (not just where you live!) and the deals are pretty awesome! At least take a moment to sign up for Groupon emails so you can be in the know too! Click on the word Groupon anywhere in this post. I've posted plenty of Groupon deals previously and here's another neat one.

Right now TGI Friday's has a Groupon in the Akron/Canton Ohio listing for $20 worth of food for ONLY $10. And there's some very user friendly "fine print" with this:
  • Expires Dec 2, 2011
  • Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as a gift. Limit 1 per table, 2 per table of 6 or more. Must purchase 1 food item. Dine-in only.
This particular Groupon is good at multiple Ohio locations and 1 location in Erie, PA. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Updated patio pics

It's finally not raining here, or in the 40's, and it's actually sunny. Welcome to our patio as we see it in the morning.

The other side of the hammock are 6 arborvitae "trees/bushes". Got these at Home Depot during a great sale for $9.99 each! Normally $19.99.

There's that "swingasan" from Pier 1 that I obsessed about. And yes, it's the best swing EVAH! The pink flower bushes are rhoderdendrons. To the far left of them are small hydrangea bushes and the taller, lighter green bushes are burning bushes (turn deep/bright red int he fall). All super buys at Home Depot with coupons they mailed out for being a Garden Club member and the 10% off coupons.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Get those new address labels!! For almost FREE, of course!

Vistaprint is offering a GREAT deal on address labels. I just ordered 140 for FREE and $3.25 shipping. PLUS, you can get 5% back by going through eBates (you know how I love me some eBates!). You can do this deal 2 ways:

  1. To get this deal through eBates, you need to be a member (join for free + get $5 just for joining!) by signing up HERE
  2. Then use their searchbox and type Vistaprint
  3. Once on Vistaprint's website, search Holiday Address Label
  4. Choose, design, and purchase
  5. Skip all those special offer pages
  1. You can also do the deal by just going through Vistaprint directly, but you will not be eligible for the 5% cash back.

Here a copy of my order - note the item number for a design that's pretty non-holiday like, it's the label on the far right when you search Holiday Address Label...
Item # 147-001

Holiday Return Address Labels
qty. 140 FREE
Subtotal : FREE
Shipping & Processing : $3.25
Sales Tax : $0.00
Total : $3.25

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Levin Furniture 72% off ($35 for $125 certificate!!!!) Ohio only - Decorate for LESS!!

WOW - check this out. You can buy a $125 gift certificate for ONLY $35 by going HERE. The deal is on until Sunday, midnight.

Levin Furniture locations in Ohio: North Olmsted, Middleburg Hts., North Canton, Oakwood Village, Mentor, and Akron.

fine print: Limit 1 per person, and 1 as an additional gift • Limit 1 per person per visit/ household • Entire value must be used in one visit • Not valid for pillows, rugs, lamps, accessories, extended warranties, clearance items or floor samples, for previous purchases or with gift certificates • Levin employees not eligible • Tax and delivery not included • Other conditions apply • Promotional value expires on November 16, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pier 1 $20 Rewards Certificate BONUS!!!

Now through 5/30/11, use your Pier 1 credit card for ANY purchase and automatically get a $20 Pier 1 bonus reward certificate mailed to your home!!! You can purchase $0.30 (yes, I said 30 cent) candle and STILL get the $20 reward certificate!!! Valid only once per card this month.

ps: going to pick up my Swingasan and stand today from there!!!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Home Depot 10% off coupon!!

Did you know you can sign up on Home Depot's website for a 10% mover's coupon? It's all right here: Save 10% at Home Depot. Is anyone else in your house moving? Because he/she can sign up with THEIR email addy too....KWIM?????????

And make sure you sign up for their Garden Club while you're on there. I get coupons in the mail from them ALL THE TIME for great deals - like the one recently for Buy 2 Shrubs Get 1 Free. And then I went on eBay and bought another one. You'll see pics off all those great shrubs (around our patio) sometime soon.

Did I ever share with you how much I LOVE coupons??

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Free Dirt!! Where else can you find me?

If you're in need of dirt for your flower beds and landscaping here's how you might be able to score some for FREE. If your development is still actively building, there's lots of dirt to be had. Ask your PM if they have extra dirt from recent excavations. We've been able to get many, many yards of dirt for FREE - saving us HUNDREDS of dollars. You might even find someone working in your development using a bobcat. You could pay that person a small amount to dump that FREE dirt in your driveway. I hope to have updated pictures of our patio (and flower beds with our free dirt) in the next few days or so. Unfortunately we seem to be getting NON-STOP rain around here for weeks and it's been hard to enjoy anything outside, let alone work on our yard.

I love sharing good deals. Some of these deals really have little to do with the original intentions of my blog. So...follow me on Facebook and Twitter - ThriftyAmy on both. Send me a quick note on either one so I know who you are and can approve you.

More coffee table reading material! Mother's Day Gifts - DELIVERED!

How about some great coffee table mags? Here's a GREAT idea for a gift for all the "mom's" in your life - a magazine subscription!! eBates is offering a 51% cashback deal when going through them for Mom can be reminded of you every month - or every week, depending on the mag you choose! No Tax! Free Shipping! Here's just some examples:
  • Entertainment Weekly - 52 issues for only $15.00 & then get 51% cashback, so it's like getting this for only $7.35!!!
  • People for only $26.30- 12 issues, with cashback it's like getting this for $12.87
  • Good Housekeeping $7.97 - 12 issues, get 51% cashback, so it's like getting this for only $3.90!!
Go check it OUT!! Deal only good when going through ebates. Click HERE

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Buying Patio Furniture? Like Beer?

Beer companies annually put out great rebates in the summer months. For the last couple of years I have been able to cash in on these offers. And this year is no exception. On Friday I purchased some new patio furniture at Pier 1 (see previous post). Today, I went on eBay and searched "Patio Rebate". As usual, there's more than 1 rebate valid in my state when you purchase patio/outdoor furniture & grills plus beer. I should be able to get $50.00 back on my recent patio purchases after purchasing a rebate form. Always make sure the rebate forms are valid in your state. It's pretty simple to do. Purchase patio furniture, go to grocery store and purchase required beer. Follow directions on rebate form to claim your money!! (Even if you don't like beer - buy it to cash in on this deal and then give it to your new neighbor!)

I also saved alot on the purchase at Pier 1. I mentioned in an earlier post about opening up a Pier 1 card. When you initially open one up, you'll get in the mail various coupons. I got a 20% off any 1 regular priced item, $10 off $50, $5 off no min. purchase, and 20% off regular priced purchase in April. And I got a $20 rewards certificate based on my first purchase when I opened the card. Here's how my deal is going to shake out:

Swingasan Stand $129.95 less 1st 20% coupon = $104
Swingasan $269.95 less 2nd 20% coupon = $215
= $319 less $20 rewards certificate = $299

rebate form cost on ebay $3 + $28 for (2) 18-pks of beer = $31

$299 for patio furniture + $31 for beer and forms = $330
less $50 rebate = $280 for patio furniture and (2) 18pks of beer instead of $400 for just the furniture!

And, I'll be getting another $20 rewards certificate from Pier 1 based on the points I already had and the one's I accumulated from this recent purchase (4pts for every $1. Get $20 certificate when you have 2,000 points). When I initially opened my card up, their double points promotion was going on. It's been really easy for me to rack up the points to get the rewards certificates.

If you don't want to open up a credit card with them - do yourself a favor and buy some Pier 1 gift certificates on eBay. You can always get them for below cost and save yourself some money that way. I did this alot before deciding to open up their credit card.

ps: and I'll get 2.5% back from eBates for my eBay purchase by going through them!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Try to win a Pier 1 $100 Gift Card!!

Click here to enter the Tatertots & Jello Pier 1 $100 Gift Card giveaway!

Just went today to buy the swingasan and stand for our patio....I think I would buy another one if I won this giveaway!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Before & After!


I am LOVING my new Ginsu knife set!!! It never needs sharpening because it has serrated blades! LOVE IT!! Want one too? Here's the deal: Ginsu Kotta for $29.99 with free shipping!! . I ordered my set on Monday and got it TODAY!!

And to save even more, don't forget to go through eBates  first for 3.5% cashback!! Log into eBates, search for, and then on's website search Ginsu Kotta. And if you're new to eBates, they'll give you $5 just for signing up!!! Sign up here

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spruce up that new kitchen counter!!

Need a new knife set? Here's an AWESOME deal for you!!!

It's through eBay here: Ginsu Kotta Series 20pc. Stainless Steel Cutlery *But Wait!!*  If you go through eBates - you'll get 2.5% back on this purchase!!!! Use the link for ebates HERE.

I just picked one up and can't wait to put in on our counter. We really needed a new set and I've been looking for a couple of months now but just couldn't justify the prices I was seeing - and now I've got what I wanted for less than $30 delivered to my door!!!!

Set includes:
8" Slicer
8" Bread Knife
6" Chef's Knife
5.5" Utility Knife
5" Tomato Knife
Eight 4.5" Steak Knives
3.5" Paring Knife
Kitchen shears
Slotted spoon
Pasta spoon

Ginsu deal is now DEAD

ps: did you see today's Groupon deal for $45 worth of The Body Shop products for ONLY $20??!!! Go HERE. (or go through eBates for an additional 3% cash back) This deal is being offered Nationally. You can find it under cities like Akron, Columbus, Pittsburgh - just to name a few. Anyone can purchase this, regardless of your city. Can be used in-store only (no online purchases). Click HERE to locate a store near you. The Groupon is for $40 worth of products for $20, but if you use your Groupon certificate before 5/30/11, then it's worth $45. *Think Mother's Day gifts or cool lotions and products to have in your new bathrooms!!** (fine print: you can purchase up to 3 and may be used on SALE items).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Easter bunny came...and never left...

Meet Thumper!

PLEASE no potty accidents Thumper.... LOL!

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Need a cool magazine for that new coffee table? Like the Ohio State Buckeyes?? (or maybe a Father's Day gift?)

Groupon has a GREAT deal for the magazine Touchdown Buckeyes. This magazine will be mailed out and you will ALSO have special online access. Take these steps to get in on this GREAT deal
  1. Sign up for Groupon by clicking HERE, then
  2. Go through eBates to get 6% back HERE and use their search box and type Groupon
  3. Once you are back on the Groupon site, change your location to Columbus. On the right side of your screen after you scroll down, you will see the deal for this magazine
  4. With the 6% cash back through ebates, you will be getting the magazine for $18.80, PLUS if you're new to eBates, you'll get an additional $5.00 - so now the magazine is only $13.80!!!
Joining ebates and Groupon is FREE and there's no annual fee. eBates mails out their checks in May, August, November, and February. I've made a great amount of money going through eBates for ALL of my online shopping!!

Starting this fall, Touchdown Buckeyes Magazine will preview every home game with a periodical packed with content to keep the Ohio State faithful well-informed. As a gold member, you'll receive seven annual doses of authoritative coverage and postgame analysis in an attractive print package. Touchdown Buckeyes subscribers also get exclusive access to player and coach interviews, recruiting updates, and video features on the web, as well as a special bonus issue for the annual Ohio State versus Michigan game. The magazine's sponsors frequently reward those whose fandom extends deep into their color-coordinated red-and-white blood cells with special discounts.

Fine print
  • Expires Aug 1, 2011
  • Limit 1 per person, may buy multiple as gifts. Must activate subscription by 8/1/11.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Need food for moving day? Want to reward those guys working on your house?

Hey fellow Ryan Homes bloggers - here's a neat deal for all of you. Click HERE to get in on today's Groupon deal for a LARGE up to 10 topping Pizza from Dominio's for only $8 - wahoo!!! You can purchase up to 3 of these sweet deals today. Offer must be redeemed online at and only one offer can be redeemed per order (that means you and s/o each order and go pick up together, now you just got 2!) Click HERE  to find a Domino's Pizza location near you.

Choose up to 10 of these available toppings: White Sauce, Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Sliced Sausage, Green, Peppers, Black Olives, Pineapple, Mushrooms, Onions, Beef, Ham, BBQ Sauce, Bacon, Salami, Philly Steak, Premium Chicken, Jalapeno Peppers, Banana, Peppers, Spinach, Roasted Red Peppers, Shredded Parmesan, Feta, Tomatoes, and Diced Tomatoes. 

Expires May 19, 2011; Limit 3 per person; Limit 1 per order. Must order online.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mudroom Bench

Seems like lot of you like the Kohl's mudroom bench. Here's how to save BIG on this purchase. Follow these steps EXACTLY:

  1. Go HERE and sign up for ebates. You will get $5 from ebates just for signing up. There's NO FEE to join them. Once you are signed up, use THEIR searchbox and type in Kohls. This will take you to the Kohl's website.
  2. Once on the Kohls website, use the Kohls searchbox and type mudroom bench. Scroll down a little bit until you see the Sonoma life + style Storage Bench for $89.99. Click on that bench and add it to your shopping bag.
  3. Check out. You must use your Kohls credit card as form of payment. In the Promo Code box use code shopnsave30 for 30% off. Also use code free4mvc for free shipping.
Your total should look something like this:
You will qualify for $10 in Kohl's Cash because you spent $50 or more and you MUST do this deal TODAY (current Kohl's Cash offer ends today). The Kohl's Cash certificate will be emailed to you, usually within a couple of hours. Print it out and now you can take that Kohl's Cash certificate to your local store beginning tomorrow or use online. Kohl's Cash certificate is good 4/18-5/4.

By going through ebates for your purchase, you have just been paid back 2%. Your deal should work out like this:
  • spend $66.77 on bench
  • get $10 in Kohl's cash = it's like spending $57.77
  • get $5 for signing up for ebates = it's like spending $52.77
  • get 2% back on purchase before tax ($1.26) =  it's like spending $51.51 instead of $89.99
If you want the matching mudroom shelf, here's a good scenario: you have to buy the matching mudroom shelf in-store, it is not available online. Shelf is $59.99, but will be discounted to $49.99 if you use the Kohl's Cash certificate you just got. When buying in-store, use your Kohl's credit card and get an additional 15% off. This will bring your total to around $42 (15% is taken off total after Kohl's Cash is applied) Both of these items are in today's Kohl's circular, page 57. Now, it;s like spending $93 for 2 items that would cost $150 on sale or $260 regular price!!!

Here's my post about ebates if you have more questions: previous ebates post

Friday, April 15, 2011

Check out our Patio!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our Border

The steps (and dog leash)

Close up of border & step stamp

View from steps

Patio and Hammock stand

View from upstairs in Master Bedroom

We are beyond amazed and HAPPY with how this turned out.
And these pictures were taken under a completely overcast sky. Be prepared to see more pics once the weather is sunny and then once we finish accessorizing out there (a side table, the hammock, and slate fire pit are still in the garage) and landscaping. We've got 500 sq. ft. of relaxation in our backyard. And I think we have a patio that no one could imagine and one more unique niche in our home. I can't wait to landscape around this, put the hammock on the stand, and add some wine and friends!!! Our cement guy is THE BEST!!! If you want a patio and live in Ohio, YOU ARE CRAZY TO NOT AT LEAST GET A QUOTE FROM HIM!!! His price is truly unbeatable and the quality and craftsmanship of his work is something you won't be able find with your average cement guy. Trust me, this did NOT cost anywhere near what you think it did. He does NO advertising, strictly word of mouth. Summer, here we come!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bed Bath & Beyond coupon!!

Do you belong to Bed Bath & Beyond's email subscription list? If not, sign up now!! I just got a 20% off a single item printable coupon in my email. Sign up with multiple email addy's to get more than one!!!!

Bed Bath & Beyond email sign up

Pier 1 *RARE* FB coupon!

Save $10 off of $50 4/14-4/18/11. Can be used each day, but only once per day, per customer!! If you "Like" them on FB you'll see this coupon on the left margin labeled as Fan Appreciation.


Patio and walkway progress

Redo of walkway and stoop

Patio before being washed and sealed

Grape vine stamp on border of patio!

Patio before washing/sealing

Steps - also stamped with grape vine    

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stamped Patio in progress!!

Wahoo! So excited - our stamped patio is being put in this week. The weather has put us a little bit behind but today some big progress was made. I can't wait to post pictures later this week. It's almost 500 sq. ft. and will be a curvy/wavy design. The concrete guy putting it in is amazing - great ideas, very meticulous with his work, and really just a nice guy. We asked him to buy a special stamp for it - he got it and it's all starting to come together. I am SO READY for nice weather and to be lounging back living the good life!!

If you live in Ohio and want his info send me an email marrelam at I received quotes from 6 companies and this guys quality of work and price could NOT be beat. After reading my blog you should know that I am a bargain hunter. I was so nervous about this job and how much it could potentially cost. I feel so lucky to have found him, get an amazing price, and deal with such a nice guy. He's done 6 jobs now in our development and has a great eye for what he does.

Ryan Homes is replacing our front stoop and walkway. That's also happening this week. During our 10 month I noted the stoop had a crack as did our walkway. Ours is being replaced along with about 6 other houses on our street. Hopefully this won't be problematic for us - but if I remember correctly, concrete work is under warranty for quite a few years. I'll have to look that up.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How to SAVE while decorating your new home!

I've learned alot since moving here a year ago. One of my favorite deal sites is Hot Coupon World. Here's their Twitter page: HCW on Twitter. One tip on there that I found out is that many of the home decorating stores take each others coupons. For example, did you know that Michael's takes Joann's coupons and vice-versa? And they both take Hobby Lobby coupons. This helped me tremendously when shopping for our new decor. Oh, and I also found out on there that Bed Bath & Beyond takes their own coupons even if they are expired!

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Here's the video

Well, this turned out to be bigger and more complicated than I imagined. It practically blew up my computer when I tried installing it directly on blogger. Then it froze my computer while uploading it to YouTube.  Alright, enough whining - follow this link to the video and I hope you enjoy it (I only recorded this like 3 times and still am not impressed with the outcome!) Oh, and you may need to turn up your volume...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sneak Peek! Check back tomorrow for the full version!

Hey everyone! Here's a sneak peek at what I was hinting about a couple of weeks ago. To celebrate our 1 year anniversary in our home, check out this little video!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Contingency & Good Faith Deposits

A fellow blogger is experiencing some issues with being on "contingency" and questions have come up about her good faith deposit.

Here's my experience with this. I never wrote about this in my blog prior to this because, well, it's kind of embarrassing!! We signed a contract with Ryan Homes and then walked away from the deal 7 days later. I got cold feet. The suddenness of the deal and range of emotions surrounding it had my head spinning. We weren't even looking for a house when my husband decided to spring the idea on me and drive to the development he had heard of. My GFD was not cashed. The check was promptly returned to me in the mail. It was for $1,000.00. Had we gone through with the deal we were expected to give them 3.5% of the current (before all the upgrades and changes you make) sale price 30 days later, which was an additional $5,600.

Almost exactly a month later we went back to Ryan Homes and resigned a contract and went through with the deal. We were also told about the "contingency" option, but we qualified for the loan and didn't fall into this category. To the best of my knowledge, contingency is when you and/or your spouse/partner/etc. do not qualify for the loan because of your current financial obligations (example, you currently have a mortgage so you don't qualify to have 2 potential mortgages). We actually took someone's lot who was on the contingency plan.That person then gets to pick another lot and could potentially be bounced from lot to lot until his/her financial situation changes and they are able to qualify for the loan.

Hope this helps!!

**Oh and my little surprise I mentioned a few posts earlier for our 1 year anniversary tomorrow in our home may be put on hold because of the weather here - check back!**

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let me help you SHOP for your new HOME!!

Groupon in New York has an amazing deal that we can ALL participate in. Do you have a Groupon account? I have been a Groupon member for a few years now. They have provided me with AWESOME deals locally and nationally. Follow these steps:
  1. Sign up for Groupon here Groupon Sign Up
  2. Once you have an account, go here Groupon eBay Deal
  3. Now buy yourself a $15 eBay gift card for only $7. 
This is SO COOL!! The gift card can be used on eBay for one of those great purchases for you new home and can even be applied towards the shipping cost of your item and can be used towards multiple purchases!! You must have a registered eBay account and PayPal account.

Now go get your GROUPON!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Buying alot online for your house? Buying via eBay?

Here's another tip to help you stretch that dollar further in your house building experience. Use my referral link for This site pays you money when you go through them for over 1,200 online stores and eBay!! It also gives you coupon codes for over 1,200 sites too! I have gotten various amounts in the form of money via checks or money via my PayPal account by going through their site to get to eBay or the online store I'm shopping at. You can even make hotel reservations through them. The payback percentage you'll get is anywhere from 1% to 13% of your transaction!! How cool is that!!?? There's nothing like making a little money while your spending it!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stay tuned....

Stay tuned for something special for our 1 year anniversary in our Florence by Ryan Homes!!! Check back on or about April 1st!

Monday, January 24, 2011

10 month inspection

Our 10 month inspection was today. The guys were here for almost 6 hours. I'm very happy with the outcome and the workers were all very friendly and nice to talk with. They corrected everything on my list and then some. They did more then expected and I feel like I have a brand new house again! Lots of painting was done. Luckily the walls I painted with our own colors did not require any repairs - keep this in mind when painting. Those walls are the morning room center wall, the wall with the fireplace, and the full bath upstairs (not master bath). Here's what I had done (short version).
  • Kitchen - nail pop in ceiling by pantry, repair seam in vinyl floor by refrigerator, counter top coming away from wall, touch up painting needed
  • Living Room - nail pops near right window
  • Dining Room - touch up painting
  • 1st floor bathroom - touch up painting
  • Stairs to upper level and lower level - lots of nail pops and touch up painting needed
  • Some wall seams needed fixed near corners in lower level and moulding/trim needed touched up
  • The seam for the ledge on the upper level stairs needed repair
  • Pipe noises from HVAC system
  • Seam cracks where ceiling meets wall
  • Caulking around all windows including ledge, caulking around tubs where it meets floor
The pantry issue is something I believe I'm going to learn to live with. If you have a Venice, you'll notice the same issue in a closet upstairs according to the guys today ( I don't know which one since I have a Florence). The best solution to this is to leave that door open a little bit each day and/or to run the Fan option on your HVAC unit over night to help circulate the air. This will also help with the uneven heating/cooling you might experience in your house. We did those 2 suggestions while the guys were there and then had the temperature checked with a laser type tool on each wall - all over the house. It was a useful demonstration for us. It made a big difference in how the temperature regulated itself in that pantry.

Our walkway to the front door will be replaced in the Spring and possibly the small front porch. Those both have cracks with were documented prior to today. We had some nails sticking up from our roof shingles, those were taken care of. They did insulation work outside around the fireplace area and filled in any cracks that were noticed outside on the house that was above grade exposed cement. They found other minor repairs throughout the house which I am thankful for. All in all, a very positive experience and they even showed us how to do some minor repairs.

We got some referrals from them of people that can do some work in the house that we've been thinking about having done and also for our patio and pergola we want done this Spring. 10 month inspection and repair is going on right now!!!

Lots of guys working here as I type this - must be at least 6 or 7. LOTS of blue painters tape all over. This part has been very good so far.....will post later....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Utility Bills/Taxes etc.

We're in the middle of Winter here, that's for sure! We've been pleasantly surprised with our utility bills. In December our gas bill was $50 and electric was $30. In January our bill for gas is $88 and electric is $38. Looking back at our utility costs last year for our former house we were paying close to $300 or more!!

I would say our usage is probably pretty average. We use our gas fireplace a fair amount of time and keep our thermostat programmed pretty low at night and when we're not home. And our house now is alot more "tighter" then the old house!

Our taxes here are pretty low too. We pay our property taxes separate from our mortgage. Right now they are $400 a half. We compared this with our old property and it's about $200 less a year. The neighboring county is upwards of $2400 a half!!

Our 10 month inspection is in a couple of weeks. Ryan Homes contacted us a week or so ago to get this scheduled. They said they would be at our house on average 4 hours or more on this day. We haven't started our list yet but plan on doing it tomorrow!!