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The Hanley's First Home!

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** UPDATE!! ** New shopping plaza being built next to our community!
When I saw this online, I nearly peed my pants. (Kohl's, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Chili's and Lowe's all a mile away?  Hold my wallet!) 
UPDATE #2:  The shopping plaza has been finished, and Mike and I are LOVING the fact that we can drive up the hill and get house stuff at Lowe's, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, I can shop at Kohls, and we can eat out at Chili's, Habit, or Golden Spoon Yogurt!  Thank you Santa Clarita!
 
If this cheese-tastic video doesn't make you want to move up there, I don't know what will.
 
Barry Schenck ~ If you are going to buy a home, you MUST use this man!  He is incredible.
 
 
Pardee Homes.  These folks were great.  They blew KB out of the water.  I wish I could recommend them to everyone!
 
 
Santa-Clarita.com.  Really informative!  Okay, maybe just for us.  But still.
 
The New Homebuyers Toolkit (you think I'm kidding - I'm not):
-Patience
-A good pen
-Measuring tape
-Digital camera
-Tums
-Cell phone
-Legal-sized folder
-Sanity
-A lot of money
-Your last 82 pay stubs
-Proof that you exist
-Sedatives
-A Home Depot gift card
-Friends with pickup trucks
-Punching Bag
-Granola bars for hours of signing
-A job that lets you take off random hours to sign things
-Electric paint roller
-Consumer Reports magazine
-Advil

Click for sound clip!
Over The Hedge

Rockin' The Suburbs
By:  Ben Folds ("Over The Hedge" Soundtrack version)
 
Let me tell y'all what it's like
Watching Idol on a friday night
In a house built safe and sound
On indian burial ground 

We drive our cars everyday
To and from work both ways
So we make just enough to pay
To drive our cars to work each day

We're rocking the suburbs
Around the block just one more time
We're rocking the suburbs
Cause I can't tell which house is mine
We're rocking the suburbs
We part the shades and face facts
They got better looking Fescue
Right across the cul de sac

Hotwheels take rising stars
Get rich quick seminars
Soap opera magazines
40,000 watt nativity scenes
Don't freak about the smoke alarm
Mom left the TV dinner on

We're rocking the suburbs
Everything we need is here
We're rocking the suburbs
But it wasn't here last year
We're rocking the suburbs
You'll never know when we are gone
Because the timer lights come on
And turn the cricket noises on each night
Yeah, yeah, we're rocking the suburbs

The Burbs - A great movie!
The Burbs

Firsts!
 
First day in the house by ourselves:  December 1, 2007.
First piece of mail opened with our  new address:  Christmas card from Dad & Mari.
First bill paid:  Part of December's HOA. ($6!)
First errand:  To deposit a check at the local BofA.
First neighbor met:  Nolan, across the street.
First doorbell ring:  Soliciting gardener.
First thing cooked in the oven:  Pizza's for the guys on moving day.
First thing burned in the oven:  Pizza's for the guys on moving day.
First thing microwaved:  Popcorn when there was no fridge.
First piece of furniture in a room:  1/3 of the computer desk.
First intercom usage:  Matt and Brian upstairs.
First item bought for the house:  Ocean shell potpurri for the upstairs guest bath.
First injury:  Mike's knuckles pushing the TV through the front door.
First friend to see the house:  Matt.
First night slept in the house:  December 22, 2007.
First dinner cooked:  Pasta
First repair:  Dishwasher plastic piece snapped off.
First grocery run:  December 22nd.
First hole in wall:  Curtain rod in dining room.
First overnight guest:  Matt
First room painted:  Side of the fireplace
First large upgrade:  Grass and sprinkler system
First Game Night:  Saturday, February 23, 2008
First External Upgrade:  Palms (which died), then more palms (which also died), then some juniper topiaries (also died), and now drought-resistant Mediterannean plants!
First New Kitchen Appliance:  Stainless steel blender (thanks Wink & Ginny!)
First "Surprise":  Pidgeons caught in the attic, March 2009.
First thing I didn't like about the house:  Mailbox is far away.
First BIG homeowner mistake:  Fertilizing the backyard with fast-acting nitrogen and completely burning the entire lawn.  Had to re-sod from scratch.
First laughable "oops" moment:  Forgot that our property taxes were bound in with our mortgage payment and over-paid when the tax stub came in.  Luckily they cut us a check back.  PHEW.