If you follow me on IG, you already know we bought a house! I went on a little hiatus to deal with the whole process, but now that it’s done, let’s talk about it!
I NEVER WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN.
Seriously, though. This process was nuts. Not only is buying a home a stressful ordeal, but throw in the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders, and shut downs, and the entire process becomes pure chaos.
I mean, it went a little like this: find a realtor, explain the desire for a single-family home with a decent-sized yard, look at a TON of houses via the MLS portal and Zillow, request to have my parents see the houses (due to me living in another state), houses go off market prior to them seeing houses, look at more houses, add townhouses as a possibility, find a townhouse and put in an offer, start negotiating, offer approved!, owners refuse to fix anything that came up during inspection, suck it up and get the appraisal, owners required to change make-shift 3rd bedroom back to a garage prior to close, owners refuse and request buyer (me) fund the conversion, suck it up and move on, think about renting but still look at houses, find another house! (this time during shut-down), view the home via zoom conference, put in an offer and start negotiating again!
And that wasn’t even the extent of it. At least not for us. My start date at my new position (the reason for the move) was a week earlier than our close date so we had to have a game plan. We moved all of our stuff to a storage unit and then stayed in an Airbnb for the next 10 days. On the day of close, we were unable to do a final walk-through and we sat in my car while I signed my life away for the second time (first time was when I joined the Marine Corps). It was definitely one of the most demanding couple of months of my life. But, I’m here to say WE DID IT!
I’ve always wanted to own a home. Ever since I was younger and would go to the home improvement stores with my family, picking out everything I would want in my own home. I remember the words my father used to say, every time I would pick something over-the-top: “you’ve got big dreams”. And I do. And I’m SO glad to make those dreams a reality. And to make this house our home.
So, I’d love to give you a little insight on what we were looking for in a house, why I chose this one, and some of the ideas I have in mind for upgrades.
What we were looking for: it’s no surprise that we went into this home-searching process with an idea of what we wanted. I mean, this is a huge investment, and I wanted to make sure that I was getting exactly what I wanted. Or at least within reason. So, I had a list.
- Good school district
- Fenced in back yard
- Close to work
- 3 bedroom
- Single-family home
- Nice-sized yard
- Dining room
As you can see, my list was pretty lengthy – especially because I didn’t have the largest of budgets. But I knew what I wanted! However, as I started to look at the houses, my wants/needs changed. The largest change was switching from a single-family home to a townhouse… with an HOA. Mainly, so that I didn’t have to mow. I have NEVER had a desire to want to live in a development with an HOA. Until the thought of spending a day on the weekend doing yard work was brought to my attention.
No, thank you.
So, I ended up with:
- Great school district
- Fenced in backyard
- Close to work
- 2 bedroom
- Small back yard that overlooks a horse farm (something I knew Audrey would love!)
- A fully finished, walk-out basement (what sold me on the house!)
The living room is a decent size for my small family. However, it’s missing something that the original house we put an offer in on had. Something that I fell in love with and started planning around. A fireplace. I’ve always thought fireplaces were the focal point of a living room, so the first room I’m going to tackle is this room – starting with building an electric fireplace bump-out. I’ll share more on my plans for this room in the upcoming weeks, but needless to say – I’m excited!
I’m so thankful the walkway from the living room to the dining room/kitchen is large enough for my console table, and that the dining room is large enough to hold my hand-built dining room table. However, that’s probably all that’s good about the dining room. The light needs to be moved so it’s centered on the table, and the room is in desperate need of a lighter color. The orange/brown is quite the eyesore.
The kitchen is large with a lot of cupboard space. But there still isn’t enough for all of my kitchen supplies. I have big plans for this room, like extending the upper cabinets to the ceiling, painting all the cabinets, adding an island, laying the same floor as in the living room, and replacing the countertop. There’s a powder room entrance right next to the refrigerator. I didn’t get a shot of that room, but it has a very outdated vanity. It’ll get an updated vanity (I’m thinking pedestal), a fresh coat of paint, and the same floor as the kitchen/dining room.
The full bath leaves a lot to be desired. I want to put in a his and her sink, replace the flooring, and upgrade the shower with tiled walls. This bathroom has a large linen closet that I can’t wait to fix up to fit our storage needs.
Audrey’s room is one that leaves me stumped. We had every intention of making the finished downstairs her play room, but she doesn’t like going down there all by herself, so we switched plans and moved everything up to her bedroom. The only problem with this is trying to figure out the storage for all of her stuff. Especially because the living room is too small to store any of her toys.
And while I know I took photos of my room, I can’t seem to find them. I haven’t really thought much about the master. It’s functional. It’s rather large with a large walk-in closet and a standard sized closet. I plan to change up the standard closet to hold a vanity/get-ready area for me, redo the walk-in to be a bit more functional for the clothing I own, repaint, and change up the flooring (not sure if I want to stay with carpet in the rooms or run the wood flooring throughout) – regardless, they need to be replaced. The main thing that needs to change in my room is the furniture.
And then there’s the downstairs. I didn’t take any photos of the downstairs, because when I was taking photos, I had yet to clean it. And trust me when I say this place needed CLEANED. It was absolutely disgusting (the perks of not being able to see the house prior to closing I suppose?). It took me nearly 3 hours to clean the refrigerator – if that’s any indication. But the downstairs has the pantry (or what I’m using as the pantry), the laundry room, an office space, as well as the main area. It’s fully finished, but definitely needs updated – floors replaced, ceilings replaced, walls repainted.
I’m so excited about this house. And all the ideas I have racing around in my mind. I’m also super excited to take you on the journey of making it our home. And trust me – I have no idea what I’m doing. Yes, I’ve built myself a dining room table before. But I’m also the same girl who thought I could take the water filter out of my refrigerator to get it replaced and woke up to a kitchen that was covered with water. Yes, the same refrigerator that took me 3 hours to clean was now filled with water.