Let me begin by saying that I basically gave up on these weekly updates. I mean, it's been over a month since the latest one. But here's the thing: streaks make us give up stuff. Like, here I am with a broken streak, I can't post the 4th weekly update because the last truly weekly update happened over a months ago. And you know what? Screw this. Just because I failed to keep it up I'm not giving up. I will do my best to post more regularly now :)
So, this happened.
One of the goals for this year that I set for myself was to figure out a way to buy a house in 2021. My job situation is stable, I have saved some money that would be enough to start building down payment on, the market isn't getting any cooler anytime soon, our current landlord got to the point of being obnoxious about their constant nagging, and so on.
In March we discussed as a family whether or not we can proceed, what the timeline would be, what do we need to do and sacrifice in order to make it happen. We enlisted a real estate agent and got to work.
Within a few weeks it became painfully evident that any house we remotely like that matches our location preferences is out of our reach. We were set on only making reasonable offers and not participate in bidding wars, and as a result we've got outbid a few times. A few times we decided not to make an offer when it became clear that a particular house would get multiple offers that were likely to go over $50k over asking price.
About three weeks into the house hunting, we became pretty discouraged: we could barely afford tiny fixer-uppers in less than desirable places, and we still been only making losing offers. We began expending our search area, but we were not yet ready to compromise on other house parameters. We also were not ready to change our highest price that we were willing to pay.
Then one day in early April I went to view two houses in Arlington. They were for sale as of that day, and they were conveniently located on one street. By the time I got there 40 minutes later, both houses turned from "for sale" to "sale pending" — they got offers while I was driving to view them! By some weird coincidence, there was one other house for sale on that same street that I missed in my search. I let my agent know that we'd consider this other house and asked them to figure out what's what.
The house ended up being in a decent condition, but required a bunch of interior work. We visited it, walked around, and decided that it's good enough for the price. We made an offer $5K over their asking price, with home inspection and financing contingencies — something very rare in Seattle metro area. Our thinking was that if we think this house is not worth more, and we want to fully inspect it and have it properly appraised. We liked the neighborhood a lot, even though Arlington itself is waaay further than what we considered perfect.
In mid-May, we closed the sale and are getting ready to move in by the end of June. I drive there almost daily after work, doing minor repairs, working with contractors that do major upgrades, meeting neighbors, etc. My wife had painted the garage last week, and overall things are coming together pretty nicely.
We are now a fully vaccinated household. Even though my son is still waiting for his second shot, for most intents and purposes, we consider our household to be fully vaxxed.
Getting vaccinated in Washington was and remains easy. Vaccine doses are available without an appointment, it takes 15 minutes to get a shot, and it brings you that much closer to getting back to normal. I'm no longer wearing a mask in stores unless I'm speaking with someone at close range, and even then I'd first ask them if they prefer that I wear a mask.
As of today, 69% of Washington residents are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. We will reach heard immunity threshold of 70% within a couple of days.
Work has been interesting. For starters, my team just won a Hackath0n at work :) With dozens of teams participating, it's pretty wild that our little project got enough votes. The experience itself was not exactly what I wanted it to be, but I'll make it work better next time around.
Our (still) fairly new team is still figuring stuff out. We are setting up a major new program at Auth0, and it's a massive undertaking for the four of us. There's been very little engineering lately, but we are setting up things in a way that would free up a lot of time and resources to do fun stuff soon.
Oh, and this week I will launch a live Auth0 Best Practices webinar for customers participating in the program we are building for them. Should be exiting, fun and terrifying :)
Updating this website
It's time to admit it: this website is never going to be finished. It's my playground where I try things all the time, rebuild, remake, change and start from scratch. This is exactly what happened this week.
I've been following Lee Robinson for a while and really like how clean and simple his website is. Since Lee's license allowed derivative work, I decided to pull the trigger and rebuild this site based on his setup.
I've updated it to use Typescript, added Algolia-powered full-text search, implemented Auth0 login, and made a few other improvements. It's still mostly Lee's design, look and feel, but I'm determined to make it my own, slowly but surely.
One of the reasons to draw inspiration from an expert is that not only do you get exposed to the best practices right away, it gives you a chance to see where you can do better than someone you respect. You know, good artists copy, great artists steal. I don't know what decent artists do, but I like to think that copying some, stealing some, and then using either as inspiration for something truly yours makes me a decent artist ;)
Comments are coming soon, RSS is available already, podcast pages are in the works, but in the meantime, feel free to subscribe to the newsletter. If you see a typo, feel free to make a pull request. Cheers!
The summer is different this year. Let's take a look at what's going on this time around.
It's been such an exhausting yet exciting month. The new house stuff is coming along, moving out is on track, work is buzzing. I'm tired, pumped up, sleepy, and on fire!