One of things that I dreaded the most after moving to Texas was kind of silly. I didn’t want to give up my California license plates.
Seriously. It was like one of the last tangible things that marked me as Californian.
I know, it’s just a license plate, but it was still part of me.
But finally, in order to be compliant with the law (ahem to some out of state friends who still have their home state’s plates!), I caved and went and got my car registered and up to standards for Texas.
After I received my plates – which is right on the spot here in TX – I waited to put them on my car. I rationalized that I needed Cent to do it. So Cent, having the “just get it done” spirit, changed my plates for me. And you know I had to document it. We actually did this in October.
I think it took me longer than usual to post this because I wanted to share the story, but needed to creatively edit the photos. Because, well, you never know.
So you can sort of see in this next picture that I actually have two plates on the front of my car. Even my car couldn’t part with being Californian! We tried to pull it off, but we were afraid it might pull off the front of the car, because we totally have super-human strength! (joke!)
So registering your car in Texas is actually pretty simple if you are coming from out of state.
- Go get your car inspected. You can go almost anywhere they fix cars. Ask for a “state inspection.”
- Once inspected, you’ll receive a piece of paper stating you are an out of state registration.
- Go down to your local county tax office. Bring your previous state registration, title, and proof of insurance.
- Pay all the fees. Bring cash or pay the fees at the onsite ATM.
- Voila you have a legal vehicle in Texas.
Visit the Texas Department of Transportation for more information.
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I’m excited to report that we are MOVED IN!
Of course, that simply means that we shoved everything into the house. It’s still kind of a disaster zone. But now we have furniture to sit on and a bed to sleep on. It makes such a huge difference though.
Saturday, or “pre-furniture” day, we waited for the cable guy to come. As is standard, the cable company gave us a window of time that the cable guy might show up. And of course, it was at the END of the window that he finally arrived. While we waited, we leaned on the counters, tried sitting on the tile floor, and laid down on the carpeted bedroom floor. Nothing compares to actual chairs or couches. Things that were meant to be sat on. Just saying, I’m THANKFUL for the invention of chairs.
Since our move wasn’t of epic proportion (i.e. cross country or hours away), it was 15 minutes down the same main drag, our move wasn’t terrible. I’d like to call it our “Frugally Fabulous” move. During the week I’d go over to the house with suitcases full of clothes, boxes with dishes, and a Glad trash bag full of shoes. Yes, we were stylin’ with the Glad bags. The neighbors probably thought I was leaving Cent or something, little did they know we were Moving OUT! I packed up boxes from my move to Texas that I had never unpacked. Sunday we rented the U-Haul and we should have listened to HGTV, and reserved the bigger truck. Make fewer trips. Thankfully, Cent’s friends from my flag football team came to do the heavy lifting, and I, you know, supervised.
So, we are moved in.
And we have places to sit.
Here’s my advice to moving in a Frugally Fabulous way:
- If you can move gradually like we did, move over all the items (clothes, dishes, stereos) that don’t require a U-Haul.
- If you’re frugally fabulous like us, resuse boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper.
- Bring over a stool or small chair. You’ll be happy you did.
- Rent the bigger U-Haul. Less wedging of furniture. Fewer trips. Less headaches.
- Enlist the help of friends. Thank them and feed them pizza.
- Clean your new home prior to moving in. The Swiffer line of cleaning products rocks!
- Check out Craigslist for people giving away moving boxes.
- Bring a roll of toilet paper. You’ll thank yourself later. (Thanks Eileen for the tip!)
Buying a house is hardly for the weak of heart. You have to have endurance. You have to have stamina. Because seriously, it’s like a race. It’s like a mental and emotional roller coaster. Excitement. Nervousness. Disappointment. Elation. It’s like, make up your mind about how I should feel!
Like the old adage says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This is true for houses as well. While we survived our home inspection, and while we didn’t think we’d get through it without a problem, there are definitely some things that need to be addressed before we sign our lives away for the second time at closing.
And so we wait.
I’m thankful that we were hooked up with an awesome home inspector. He was super thorough, like nooks and crannies thorough. If you’re in need of a home inspector in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, call Bud. You won’t be sorry.
Good Home Inspection
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Thursday I had been furiously working on building my new website (set to launch October 1, so stay tuned!), and I was totally in the zone. Cent had just come home from work and something prompted me to check my email on my iPhone. I saw an email from our real estate agent so I immediately opened it. It read, “CONGRATULATIONS!”
The seller’s accepted our offer!
Just last week I mentioned that we put in an offer on our first house. A HOUSE! Quite honestly, I didn’t expect to be a homeowner so soon after we got married. But a nice credit from the government for being a first time homebuyer was a very attractive incentive. So we started looking. I thought it would be just that, looking. But as it turned out, we found two houses we really liked and finally decided to take the big grown up step of making an offer.
We met with our real estate agent, Julie Beck, (she’s been so awesome so far in the process – call her if you’re in need of one in Dallas!) and she explained to us paragraph by painstaking paragraph exactly what we were signing and initialing. I totally appreciated all of her patience and help as real estate documents are longwinded and confusing! So we put in our best case scenario or “pie in the sky” offer, and crossed our fingers and prayed.
Waiting to hear back was like sitting on pins and needles. That night, I couldn’t get good rest. While I knew that there was no way we’d hear back in the middle of the night, my mind was racing in excitement and nervousness. “What if they didn’t accept our terms?” “What if they don’t want to sell their house to us?” “What if…?” Deep breaths help in this kind of situation. Totally.
When we hadn’t heard anything on Tuesday or Wednesday, waiting became a little easier. I still had the “What ifs” in mind, but it wasn’t as bad as Monday night. So when Thursday evening’s email rolled around, we were so excited. SO EXCITED! We’re going to be homeowners (as long as the rest of the process goes smoothly!), so please keep your finger crossed, send us positive vibes, and keep us in your prayers!
Our real estate agent’s info:
juliebeck [at] judgefite [dot] com
While we spent most of today as a holiday should be spent – relaxing and getting our FREE Chick-fil-A sandwich for wearing a team t-shirt, we also took one large step in the walk of life.
We put an offer on our first HOUSE!
Just last week I was talking about house hunting. And now we put in an offer. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. I feel like those couples on HGTV’s Property Virgins and My First Place. Anxiously awaiting an answer.
While it was nice to be able to go into our real estate agent’s office without the day to day hustle and bustle of office life. It’s also a holiday. A day off. People aren’t answering their phones as quickly as when it’s a “regular” work day. So our fingers are crossed. Toes too. In fact, I think if I could sit with my eyes crossed without the threat of them getting stuck (as my mom would say), I might try that too.
Home ownership is such an exciting thought. Like crossing the threshold into being a “real” adult. Personally, when I think of the word mortgage, I think of my parents. Because that’s what grownups are always talking about. I guess we’ll be included in that pool of people if all goes well! And a reason to buy a shiny new keychain.
And because everything’s better with cupcakes, look at what I made last week:
Happy Labor Day!