Wednesday, January 9, 2013

And we bought a house...

We've been casually looking for a house off and on for the last couple of years. We've looked at houses that are full of mold (and I mean FULL). We've looked at houses that were really tiny. We've looked at houses that needed a total renovation, just to make them livable. And then we looked at a few houses that were nice, but out of our price range. It seemed like it would be a miracle to find something we liked in our price range. We took a break when J was born. Then, I ran into our realtor in the grocery store one day and I hopped online later that day to check out what was on the market. Cue: our miracle.

There wasn't much on the market, in fact, there was only one house I thought was even remotely interesting. I sent our realtor an email to ask her to set up a showing, and my email included this line: "Wonder what's wrong with it!"

Turns out the answer is, Nothing we couldn't handle. And so, five weeks later, after what had to have been the most painless house-buying process ever, we signed some papers and walked away with the keys to our new house.

It was just one week before Christmas, but thanks to the ward Christmas party, I had some decorations all set for the house! I felt so festive, at least I did before I set foot inside! Inside, it was utter chaos. We closed on the 17th, moved in on the 20th, continued moving in on the 21st and 22nd, and then escaped to my parents' house on the 23rd to celebrate Christmas.

Here's the one picture of the inside that I have. It's crazy in here! I am at the point where I don't want to unpack any more boxes, because I don't know where to put anything! It's not that there's not enough space - there's PLENTY of space! 1000 square feet more than our condo! It's just a different configuration, and it will take me a little while to figure it out.

Since I don't have any pictures of my own, I'll share a few of the listing pictures.

Here it is in daylight. I am currently eating crow about hating split entry houses. It's not so bad! :)

The kitchen's on our list of someday changes to make, but it's great for now. I love how bright and sunny it is. I need my sunshine, and I definitely get more of it here. The seller put in new appliances, counters, and sink/faucet, so that's nice.  There's a weird gap between those two upper cabinets above the dishwasher, where they had hung some strange metal mail holder tray. Very inconvenient location for mail, so I think they just hung something that fit in that strange space. And there are places where there obviously used to be cabinets, but who knows what happened to them. I could use a little more room though, so I might add some open shelving in those spots, or maybe get a freestanding pantry.

The bathroom is the best possible version of original, in my opinion. No pepto-bismol pink here, just black and white. I can handle that.

Downstairs there's a nice big family room. If you want to know what it looks like right now, just picture half of the floor covered in Legos, and the other half, in boxes. I'm not exaggerating. A coat of paint will brighten this up considerably. Don't ask me how I'm going to paint at this stage of my life. I'm currently praying about that one.

Back upstairs, there's the living and dining room. That wall you see on the right side of the first picture in this set is the wall of the kitchen. As I drive down the street at night and creepily stare in my new neighbors' windows, I see that this wall has been removed in some of their houses. This makes me very happy. One of these days, we'll knock it down, and open the whole thing up.

Oh, hi, Wall! We were just talking about you. Don't be offended that we want to knock you down. It's not you, it's me!

Here's the LR/DR view from the other direction. The front door is out of view on the left of this picture, and the windows look out on the backyard. So the kitchen is at the front of the house. I'd never seen a split entry laid out like this, but I really like it. The doorway you see on the left is the hallway back to the bedrooms and bathroom.

And thus concludes our out-of-order picture tour of the new house. Not pictured: the bedrooms - all decent sized with white walls and hardwood floors, except for the basement bedroom which has wood paneling and the original orange berber carpet; storage area - some houses like this have a one car garage, but ours has storage instead - future Man Cave; laundry room - cinder block walls and a laundry chute, which conveniently shoots laundry over the laundry basket and behind the water heater; and another bathroom.

The house is in excellent shape. It's been really well maintained, so hopefully we won't mess that up! We left closing feeling a little bit like we did when we left the hospital with newborn L - that feeling of disbelief that they're actually going to let you leave and learn by trial and error what the heck you're doing!

The house's main quirk is that the lot backs right up to a high school, so during the fall, we'll be serenaded by the marching band. But they went to Nationals this year, so at least it's a GOOD marching band! Let's hope it stays that way for many years to come. So far, proximity to the school hasn't been an issue at all. The middle school is also close - about a block away - so if we still live here when our kids reach that age (and we plan to) I will be so happy not to have to shuttle them around for all their activities. They'll be able to run home for a snack before practice or meet me out back when they forget their homework. The schools are excellent - the best in our area - so that's fortunate. And the church is super close too. We timed it last Sunday. From our driveway to "our spot" in the front row at church - 3 minutes and 30 seconds. It's about a one minute drive, and then two and a half minutes of corralling L into the building ;)

Wow - are you still here?! Apparently I have a lot to say on this topic. Don't worry, I'm wrapping up. I just want to record how blessed we feel. Everything just worked out so perfectly, there's no doubt that Heavenly Father had a hand in it. Even in all the chaos, with boxes piled up in corners, and toys strewn about because they don't really have a place yet, and shopping bags of food on the floor because my pots and pans and bowls filled up the cupboards already, even when I look around and feel overwhelmed by all the work ahead, I see the sunshine streaming through the windows, and know that our little family is in the right place. Our place.


Rachel said...

Congrats! When can I come visit and meet J? XOXO

Twinkies said...

Looks awesome. Let me know if you want me to come help you paint or add more cabinets or any other home projects.

Lara said...

Yay for new houses! And I just have to chime in, that it's even prettier in real life than the pictures show. So excited for you guys!

PS I hate split entries too. :)

Donna "Nina" Dively said...

The house is beautiful. I am the kind of person that sees the potential in a house and this one has so much. You will be able to make it your own over time. It is really clean and move in ready. It has a great yard too! thanks for sharing. I loved reading all about it and seeing the pictures too. make sure you post pictures after you are all settled in.

denise said...

Great place. Seems heaven sent. I agree with Donna that I see possibilities in homes and this is an awesome place. I love the YOYO too. Of course, I YOYO every night. I hope to see the after pictures now that I have seen the before. You are so talented, it will all be awesome in no time. Love you.

Sarah said...

It's beautiful! I can see so much potential here, and knowing your cute style, I'm sure it will be look amazing before long. I'm so happy that everything just fell into place with the buying process. Good luck with all those boxes!

merathon said...

i love your house. it's going to be amazing. i just wish i still lived in charlotte and i'd come up and help you with unpacking and some house projects! i love that stuff!

Angie said...

Congrats! How exciting.