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    The Home Show


    2007 - 02.19

    So yesterday was Sunday and I had a great idea, go to the Home Show at the Meadowlands convention center.  Sounded like a good thing for someone who wants to do minor repairs at his house, i thought that maybe I’d get an idea or something. 
    It took 15 minutes to find parking, and I should have taken that as a sign to turn around and go home.  But at last, I continued.
    The first booth I walked into was for a basement finisher, Hey I thought, I want to finish my basement.  So I looked around (doesn’t take so long for a 6 by 8 foot booth and started to ask a question.  The sales person (I think that is what I should call him) gave me a dumb look.  I then asked (on cue) what do you guys do here.  He replied, we have a basement finishing system.  I then asked would it work in a shorter basement.  He asked where I lived (which I told him) and said “I don’t know, maybe.”  I then tried asking more questions, but all he could care about was getting me to fill out a card with my name, address and phone number so someone could call.
    I left his booth thinking, OK, maybe he is not normal.  However, when I found a nicer booth with an older women selling glass block windows, I thought, hey let me try again.  (Hey I already shelled out $7 for this “expo” and I asked her approximately what this cost.  “well it depends”  she said.  I asked for an approximation, a guess (hey per block what does it cost”?  Again, all she wanted was my contact info.  She was nice, and I understand that there is a large range, but then she admitted, we don’t know the prices, they pay us to get these cards filled out.
    While there I also was given the opportunity to buy a Gansu knife, a rubber squeegee and a pin maker.  All exactly what I was looking for!!!  (oh, and there were 4 cooking demonstrations.)
    While I think the idea is nice, if no one is willing to talk to you and all it is, is a glorified sales pitch, then maybe they should be paying me to attend and not vice versa.
     

    The water heater – part 1


    2006 - 10.24

    So,  as you know from reading my blog, we (Yacha and I) moved into our new house about 2 months ago.  B”H, there haven’t been any big surprises that we were not aware of.  Until last night…

    Last night Yacha calls me to the basement saying there is a flood.  A small one albeit, but a flood (40 gallons).  Once i figured out how to turn off the intake to the hot water tank i started swimming.  Once I got the required amount of exercise I started mopping. And mopping. And mopping. And mopping. (get the point?)

    Now I am home from work (realize, I am still working, b/c i don’t know how to take a sick day) and waiting for PSE&G to tell me what I already know, that the tank is dead.  What is more fun is the paying about $800 to get a new tank.

    How will this play out?  Stay tuned for our next installment.

     

    as always,

    mo-b

     

    mo-b, where have you gone?


    2006 - 09.27

    I have been getting a bunch of slack that I have not been posting to my blog.  This has been for several reasons:

    1. I have been busy
    2. Work has been busy
    3. I forgot my login password

    As you will see the internet is strange.  It wants me to remember 2,000 passwords like 8h65TFd$%qa1Z.  That is not as easy as it looks.

    But now that I figured out hoe to log in I will bring you my latest dilemma.  To paint, or not to paint?  That is the question.  I would like to paint a room or two because I don’t like cream (the current color) and think it will give the room some life.  Yacha thinks I am crazy. 

    If you would like to give me your 2 cents you know my e-mail. 

    Until next time, I remain.

     

    mo-b

    p.s. we are im”h getting FIOS over Sukkos!!!!

    We moved!!!


    2006 - 08.16

    So 8 days ago we moved.  It took 10 hours for the movers to do their job (more than the 7 they quoted) but everything looks great!  I have spent the last 8 days unpacking, moving boxes and missing sleep.  In the past week we starting finding things like my dishes, went to Upstate NY to pick up furniture, met the neighbors, complained to Verizon as my DSL is still not working (more on that later) and have started to try to relax.  Moving takes a lot out of a person which should explain why I have not posted in 8 days (that and the fact I have no DSL).

    Hope to see everyone by our place soon.

    mo-b (more to follow)

    So where are you moving?


    2006 - 08.06

    A bunch of people have asked where I am moving.  Therefore, I had a friend create a google map and I am linking it here for all to see. Click Map of mo-b’s house to see where I am moving!!! (Please note, the streets name is Edgemont Place, not Edgemont Terrace as it says on the map.)

    Dvar Torah 8/5/06


    2006 - 08.06

    This past shabbos was my last shabbos in my old apartment prior to moving to our new house.  It was therefore my last shabbos as President of our community shul, Congregation Ahavat Shalom.  It was a little bittersweet as I was living in Teaneck when Congregation Ahavat Shalom was formed and have been on the board since its inception.  I decided as it was my last week to give the dvar torah at Shachris prior to Mussaf.  Here it is as a PDF file.  PDF of Dvar Torah

    Communities


    2006 - 07.26

    This is my rant on communities.  When purchasing a house one of the biggest questions (or at least the first big question) you will have to answer is where do you want to move.  Unlike a bunch of other purchases, it is not easy to undo the purchase of a house.  Well, that isn’t 100% true, but that can be an expensive proposition.  

    When we (Yacha and myself) started looking for a house we had many questions about where to look.  Issues we had included:

    1. Strong local community
    2. Good local shul
    3. Local resources
    4. Proximity to family
    5. Proximity to work
    6. Proximity to job market
    7. Value for our money

    To us the hardest thing to find was a community we felt comfortable with.  We wanted to make sure there would be good neighbors for our daughter, that we would feel comfortable in the synagogue, that it was a place where we could get involved in the community to the extent of our desire.We also don’t like having to get into a car to get everywhere.  We wanted to make sure that we could walk or take a bus to run simple errands should we need/want to.  We also wanted to make sure that we could go for a walk at night and not feel that we were in a ghetto.  

    Quality of life is a major issue.  When we started looking I was working in NYC and Yacha was looking for work.  Therefore, I wanted to ensure that I would not have a painful commute to work and that we would be centrally located for whatever job Yacha found.

    Lastly, I wanted to move somewhere where I felt we would have a lasting value on our investment.  Therefore I was a little nervous with some start up towns or some towns where a few people made all the decisions (and not necessarily the correct ones).

    We talked to our friends who moved and asked them about the communities they moved to.  While most seemed happy, many admitted they moved to be near other people they knew, but were really outsiders in their new neighborhoods.  A couple (although a vast minority) had gotten really involved in their new shuls/communities but that seemed to be the exception not the rule.  It also seemed like they knew of the community leadership prior to moving in to their new homes. The most important thing we did was visiting towns.  This was done in a number of ways.

    1. Visiting relatives
    2. Visiting friends
    3. Going to community events
    4. NCSY

    Now most of those seem obvious, but let me explain #4 – NCSY.  NCSY is a youth group that my wife and I have been involved with for nearly a decade.  One of the major group of events that NCSY runs are youth weekends in different local communities.  I have been to over 100 of them (over 150 [not all with NCSY, some with other organizations] actually, but who is counting).  While I was working on these weekends I was always thinking in the back of my head would I like to live here?  For some towns the answer was sure, for some it was never and for a few it was not sure.  For that third group we would do more events in that town to help us decide whether it would be a possible town to move to or not.That last thing I want to say about communities is it has to be right for you (or you and your spouse /child(ren).  Just because it is right for your friends does not make it right for you.  You have to come first in this decision or you won’t ultimately be happy.  If your friends are happy in a town, great!!  Check it out.  Just remember, you will be paying for your house, not your friends.  Therefore it has to be the town for you, not your friends.

    Buying a house – lesson 1


    2006 - 07.24

    Let me start off with a legal disclaimer -I am not a lawyer, realtor, mortgage broker nor do i work in real estate.  This blog and future posts are my first hand observations of this process and are my personal opinion.

    Now that I got past that let me say that the first and most important thing in purchasing a house is looking at houses.  While that might seem obvious to some it is not to others.  Yacha and myself looked at over 50 houses over a more than one year period prior to finding the one which we hope to be moving into soon.

    Over the 13+ months we learnt a lot.  Our styles changes, are likes and dislikes changed, and more importantly we learnt how to rate a homes value based on other houses in the neighborhood.  It also has helped us apprecaited the house we are buying so much more as we know what our alternatives are.

    When we started we had already looked at communities (more on that in a later blog).  We had finally chosen the one we wanted to look at and had two simple requirements for our Realtor.

    1. Near the Shul we wanted to daven in (although we looked a full 2 miles around it)
    2. In our price range (good luck on that one)

    Our realtor showed us many houses.  Some cost more than we could afford but were good to look at so we understood what was out there.  He showed us others that were smaller than we wanted, but again, it is hard to find the exact thing you are looking for and you as a buyer should have unlimited options.

    When looking at houses we started to develop taste as to house styles.  We liked the Colonial and the split.  We had mixed feelings on the tutor.  We had some issues with Capes.  The most important thing was by seeing many many many houses we could see how even some capes could appeal to us, and how other houses, even if in our price range were just not for us.

    We also placed bids (or tried to) on some houses that feel through.  While this upset us initially it helped us realize the entire process.

    That is my intro in a nutshell, and I hope to post much more in the near future.  Feel free to e-mail me at myblog@mo-b.com with any questions.

    mo-b

    Welcome to my blog


    2006 - 07.24

    Welcome to my website, www.mo-b.com.  It has taken me 8 years to aquire this domain and I plan to use it to help others.  How you may ask?  That is a great question, thank you for asking.

    I plan on giving advice on random things that are having effecting my life.  I though I would start my upcoming move which should be happening next month.

    More on that later today.

    mo-b