The morning started off early… beer bottles hurled well into our yard courtesy of the frat-house-for-community-college-flunk-outs next door. I placed them on one of the “official” residents’ truck. They had their little house band playing loudly at 11:45 last night, too. The bottles are Warning #2 (they’ve already gotten a verbal from me about past-midnight drum solos). Next time? Police. And, as the stepfather of a high-school-age girl, I can’t WAIT to find out how many underage girls they’re having over there (there’s some history there as well).

At the very least, they can be nailed for number of non-related adults living under one roof — there are several “guest” vehicles that are over there EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

The current occupants are renting from the owner, who is currently on a training rotation in California. No, not military: CVS Drugstores. *HE* also hosted regular parties with underage girls, although he did keep the debris out of our yard after a single word from me.

I don’t want to be the crusty-old-fart neighbor, particularly since I’m not even 40, but there are some rules for polite society, and drum solos after midnight and tossing empties into the neighbors yard aren’t in keeping with them.

I miss the previous owner. She was a nice lady, about the same age as K and me, with dogs (a black lab and a Weimeraner).

Anyway, we got up and made it to our favorite neighborhood breakfast spot for a tasty breakfast (it takes “fresh-squeezed orange juice”, whispered into her ear, to get Miss E up that early on a weekend), then a few errands, and then back to the house. Cleaned the oven. Okay, well, the oven cleaned itself quite nicely, actually, although we did have to open the windows because it got HOT and a wee bit fumy and Scooterbird doesn’t like fumes. Lunch of Thanksgiving leftovers. My dressing was better today — not as dry. Turkey was still wonderful. Gave our shredder a workout. I rearranged the shelves on the Jerker — I like the result. Not only did I get the printer down where we’d like it to be, but I made access to the corner of the room where our DVDs and CDs are stored much easier.

You see, we have this little tiny house. Two bedrooms. One bath. A tick over 800 square feet in total. No basement. It literally was built as a vacation cottage back in 1947 when this area was the middle of freakin’ nowhere and folks from Detroit and the close-in suburbs came out here to Oakland County’s “lake district” on the weekends to relax on the water — quite a bit less expensively than being on the Detroit River or Lake St. Clair or one of the other Great Lakes. Now? Well, there’s a house going up behind us on a lot that was purchased, with the original house, from the original owner for $350,000. As a teardown. There’s a place on the next street over that we nicknamed Swamp Castle because, well, all the other kings said it was daft to build a castle in a swamp, but they built it anyway. And put a full basement under it. After spending 6 months driving pilings to bedrock, they dug a basement and put *4* sumps in it — they were pumping before they even started framing. See — the lake is maybe 18 inches below their finished grade… Swamp Castle’s price? $480,000, 3 years ago. Amazingly, it hasn’t sunk yet.

We’re not on the water, ourselves. But the folks who built this house sensibly put it on a slab, and then, quite unexpectedly, heated it with radiant hot water heat IN the slab. So we get toasty tile under our feet in the bathroom on cold mornings. Which is very nice.

But there’s not a lot of room here. We have a 10’x20′ storage locker with all the overflow from when K and I consolidated our households. Okay, some of that space is allotted to my ’65 Mustang that I hope to have a place to work on again someday not too far down the road. It’s a good little house. Emphasis on little. It also has a good little mortgage payment, which is far more important these days. 🙂

When we re-fi’d a couple years ago, we went fixed-rate. This has proven to be a smart move long-term. Friends who went variable have been scrambling to lock something in — and when they do, it’s higher than what we’ve got.



  1. Three cheers for small houses with small mortgage payments and fixed rates!! We should be signing at 4.05% on a 20-year fixed rate in December. In principle, this is a done deal. Now we wait for the paperwork to be done by the bank!


      1. In France. We couldn’t buy anything in the US, at least in New England where all of my family resides.

      2. I occasionally look at acceptable properties closer to my office and there’s just no way — since there’s no point in moving unless the additional space needs are met, we’re looking at something with at least 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and a minimum 3-car garage, and there’s nothing even remotely close to that for under $250K, and the houses at $250K need EVERYTHING updated (wiring, HVAC, windows, roof, siding, plumbing, insulation, landscaping, etc.), which is at least another $50-100K to do right. Yeah, I once figured out a way we could swing that, but I’d have to stop racing entirely and sell off my rolling stock, we’d have to stop traveling entirely, and we’d become intimately familiar with the endless menu possibilities of various types of beans and Ramen noodles. NOT a trade I’m willing to make, thanks. And no, jumbo interest-only variable-rate mortgages with 5-year balloon payments are not for me, thanks. That’s a fool’s gambit, and a lot of folks who went that way are getting bit in the ass by it now.

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