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Now that I’ve upped my cable, I’ve logged way too many hours of HGTV and DIY. I love the before/after shots, I love the simple explanation of how to do something, the show-off of cool tools. What I tend to forget, though, is the magic of TV editing. These shows make you think a little sandpaper and paint make everything better. Well, sometimes.

In any event, my cable viewing made me feel up to the challenge of refinishing my dining room table. We have a black Pottery barn table, and I wanted it white.

The whole project started out OK. We moved the table outdoors. J showed me how to use his power sander. I went to town sanding. I stirred my paint. Found my paintbrushes. And then … one coat on, and helloooo rain! Seriously. Got to love South Florida weather. It was blue skies, then instant downpour. By the time we moved the table inside, the rain stopped.

Post-rain mishap, table was back outside, and after more work than HGTV made me believe, we had a white dining room table. I still need to so some touch-ups to the table, and I’m looking for new chairs, but all in all, I’m happy 🙂

It took us a couple of years to get into gear, but we finally saved up enough greenbacks to buy sod.

And let me tell you, it’s worth every penny!!!! Love it! We spent a lot of time prepping the yard — and by we, I mean, mostly J’Pace (love him!). Trees were cut, trees were trimmed, rows of dead bushes in the front yard were pulled, a zillion leaves were raked up, dirt was moved around … ugh, I’m getting tired just typing all the prep work that was done.

But the day came when 9 pallets of sod were delivered to our house. (Note to anyone buying sod, double check your measurements and how many of pallets of sod you really need. We were a pallet over, but we gave to our neighbor to keep the green going on our street!) I couldn’t believe how much something so simple, like grass, can give a house such a boost. What’s more, I can’t believe how something so domestic could make me so happy. I’m sure once I see my water bill go up, and my Saturdays consumed with mowing lawns I’ll go back to cursing homeownership. But for now, I’m happy 🙂

I admit, I was nervous about getting grass amid such drought conditions here in SoFla. But damn! Grass is good! I have a rain barrel on the side of the casa, so I’m hoping the afternoon summer thunderstorms will keep it full, and I’ll be able to not be such a water drainer.

I just have some pics of the front yard, but I’ll get some of the back yard soon!

The house across the street has been empty since the day we moved in. I can’t totally complain, though. The bank-owned property gets groomed every now and then, and I’ve been able to score an extra garbage can to lug out the 10,000 lbs of leaves that collect in my backyard.

The property hasn’t ‘officially’ been up for sale very long, but now it’s going up on the chopping block: a public home auction.

Is this good for my home’s value?

I’m going to cross my fingers, look to the stars and say, “Yes!”

I’m hoping someone scoops it up for a deal — I checked around online and saw ‘starting bids’ of $17K-19K — then fixes it up and moves in. Or, at least, that someone fixes it up and rents it out to awesome people.

When I saw the sign with the dates of a few pre-auction open houses first, I got excited. I really just want a chance to check out the inside of the casa. And I’m interested in seeing how a home auction works. I mean, is a fast-talking host going to stand on a soap box in front of a bunch of cash-heavy investors and homebuyer hopefuls? I didn’t catch anyone over there last Saturday, so I’m hoping I’m around for the next one.

Oh crap … if there’s a next one … I just checked Auction.com, and the property listing says “Bid Pending Confirmation.”

What’s that mean!? Is a sale pending!? I’ll keep you posted!

Yaaay, sort of. Honestly, I’m not really sure what to feel about it, but I guess I’m happier than not that one of the two empty houses across the street is for sale. In fact, I saw three more houses with some Said Real Estate Company sign stabbed into the lawn in the past few weeks. And two days ago, I noticed a For Rent sign on one lawn. Hmmmm.

At Bankrate.com (yes, insert shameless plug), I read that the top 5 housing markets growing right now are:

1. Elmira, N.Y.

2. Pittsfield, Mass.

3. Binghamton, N.Y.

4. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.

5. Bloomington-Normal, Ill.

I’m sure Lake Worth, Fla., is far from being anywhere near the top of that list. Makes me wonder … Can the real estate market handle more inventory? Is now the time to sell? Where are these sellers going to live? Will they buy or rent? Is this a good sign for my property value? Ugh, the conversations and thoughts of homeowners can be for real lame at times. What’s more, are there people who are willing and, more importantly, able to purchase a home? And, do these people want to buy in Lake Worth’s College Park?

Regardless of the answers to these questions, I’m still happy that one of the bank-owned properties across the street is legitimately up for sale. I’m hoping someone awesome comes and gives it some TLC 🙂

What’s the state of real estate in your area?

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