Okay, western PA has seen enough of the fluffy white stuff. It can stop now.

No really.

We have about 2.5 feet of snow.

For the record, moving in 2.5 feet of snow is not the most brilliant plan I have ever come up with, but we did it with a surprising amount of success! We are about 95% moved into the new house. We still have one couch left at the apartment, a computer desk, and some other random things that didn’t fit into any categorized boxes. Right now we’re basically cleaning the house and the apartment and we can officially say goodbye to the place that had been our home for the last two years. It’s oddly bittersweet.

Owning a house is all kinds of amazing. Right now it is a project in itself to just put things away and explore some more, all while trying to find everything a “place”. I’m so glad we got ourselves a three bedroom house, and I’m shocked at how we already have a fully furnished place. I’m not sure how everything fit in our apartment, but it looks much better in the house!

Being the listy sort of person I am, I already have a list for just about every room in the house and what all needs done. When Justin and I were looking for a house we knew we wanted something we could turn into our own. We certainly got that with this house! We did get two really important features though, hardwood floors throughout and three bedrooms. The whole house has hardwood, save for the master bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. I love these floors. I think we’re going to put hardwood in the kitchen and master as well, but we are still deciding.

Just to give you an idea as to what we’re going to be in for for the next few years, here’s my To-Do List for the bathroom:

  • Spackle holes (Oddly there are numerous holes, like the previous owners hung a ton of…art? in the bathroom! haha)
  • Repaint or replace tub (The previous owners PAINTED the TUB. I don’t know what possessed them to do that, but there’s peeling paint and dirt got underneath. Eventually it will be replaced, but for now I am going to try to make do, seriously….who paints a tub??)
  • Replace handle hardware. I learned from HGTV that if you want to change the entire look of a room, start with the handles/knobs/hardware. Right now they’re a brassy gold, I’m thinking tarnished brown.
  • Repaint entire room. (Again, the previous owners…. the room is day-glo ORANGE. It’s like walking on the surface of the freakin’ sun!)
  • Check/clean exhaust
  • Repaint/re-stain cabinets
  • repaint/re-stain mirror
  • Repaint/re-stain wood trim
  • install a towel rack (they had one hanging behind the door, it lasted about 5 minutes with me. Annoying!)
  • Find some material for curtains. (I have a Martha Stewart Complex. I want to create!)

    The floor in the bathroom is kind of up in the air right now. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I think it’s probably because it’s overshadowed by the orange monstrosity that it the current paint job. If we hate the floor later then it will be replaced, but it is not a priority at the moment.

    I actually think I might start another blog specifically for documenting out decorating and renovating projects, which will include absolutely every room in the entire house, starting with the bathroom. The living room is next, but a nice coat of paint will transform that room completely. The living room is like swiss cheese though, the previous owners went to town pounding holes in the walls. Oh well, at least now it’s our swiss cheese 🙂

  • We CLOSED!

    I know, it has been awhile, huh? Every time I went to post an entry, all I wanted to do was talk about the house, but actually writing about it was putting even more stress on a very high-strung situation.

    Long story short, as of 3 PM February 3rd, 2010 Justin and I are proud homeowners 🙂 It’s kind of crazy, people buy houses every day, but it’s a whole other ballgame when it is you buying a home. I can’t believe how many dreams have suddenly come true in the past year. I married Justin and we bought a house together all in a seven-month span. It’s actually kind of funny, our original closing date was set up for exactly six months after our wedding date, but sadly it got pushed back six days.

    We started to move in yesterday after we closed. Justin swapped out all the locks on the house and Brittany helps us unload some things. I hope to actually sleep over there tonight, even if it’s just us, some wine, and an air mattress 🙂

    I was really scared before about talking about the house at all. It has been such a long time coming that I think I almost talked myself into believing that there was no way we were going to end up getting it in the end. We literally had such a roller coaster of a ride to get those keys in our hands, but I think it makes us appreciate it even more in the end.

    The house right now is nothing much to look at. Justin and I both love projects, and this is going to prove to be the biggest project of our lives. We’re basically redoing the entire place and making it completely our own (red and black kitchen for me!) Sometimes watching those HGTV shows where people buy houses already completely done seems so…impersonal to me. That’s not to say that I would turn down a $50,000 kitchen if it were handed to me, but I’m so excited to take on this crazy adventure with my husband.

    Right now I’m frantically googling absolutely everything DIY related when it comes to houses. The room I want to attack first is the kitchen/dining room, simply because we don’t have to re-drywall that room (the rest of the house is covered in painted paneling, ick.) I’m debating creating a new blog dedicated to having all my home-based decorating and renovating in one place, as well as cross posting here. There’s so much to do, it will keep us entertained for years.

    I’ll post some pictures when I finally get around to taking some. It will be awesome to see some before/after shots when the renovations get rolling!

    Buying a house, while exciting, is probably the most irritating experience I have ever had. The worst part about it is that apparently I’m the only one who feels that way.

    This house has never been a guarantee. We put an offer on the house 24 hours after it was listed. Seller accepted, we were contingent. Then we started worrying about the roof. Would it pass inspection? Would it need replaced asap? Wait, wait, wait.

    We got it inspected. Roof did not pass, but it has at least a year on it. We’re relieved, we don’t have to walk away…yet. Wait, wait, wait.

    We battle trying to figure out if we can get the seller to pay for the roof, after all, no one wants to eat the cost of putting a new roof on the house before it is theirs. Seller can’t replace it now, but we can get a credit at closing. My husband is handy, he would be able to replace the roof without an issue. Now we need to get the appraisal, and the house needs to appraise to an amount that the bank will give us the mortgage. Wait, wait, wait.

    We got the appraisal, and it was right where it should be. It actually appraised $2,100 more than what we’re buying it for, but now there’s some issue that that extra $2100 might not cover some taxes? I don’t understand it, and I’m really reaching the end of my patience for the whole thing. It seems like it is one jerk around after another and I don’t understand why.

    I’m just frustrated. I’m frustrated that I’m frustrated when apparently Justin is being cool as a cucumber about it. I’m frustrated that I’m frustrated with him because I think he should be antsy right along with me. I don’t believe he’s taking this all as well as he says he is, but that could simply be due to the fact that this entire ordeal is driving me up a freaking wall.

    We are supposed to close two weeks from today. If something falls through this far into the process then I’m walking away from home ownership for a long time. It’s going to take a lot of relaxing before I’m ready to go through this all over again.

    Still looking for a green light here so I can finally start getting excited about the biggest purchase of my life. Wait, wait, wait.

    Another decade! Can you believe it?

    We were fortunate to ring in the new year with some of our closest friends and had a blast. If the beginning of 2010 has any indication for how the rest of the year is going to go then I am ready for an amazing year.

    We got our home appraisal on Wednesday, hopefully we’ll know by this coming Wednesday if all systems are go or not. Apparently the appraiser was only there for half an hour, so I’m hoping this is a good thing. You see, it has been very cold around these parts and we’re buried under about a foot of snow. I’m hoping the snow covered any imperfections the appraiser might have noticed on the outside and it was just too darn cold to stick around inside the house for very long to get a good look (no one has been living there in a few months, and the entire place is winterized against our lovely PA winter weather). This should be the final hurdle before we can close, still on schedule, on the 28th of this month! Did I mention before that’s just in time for my birthday? I turn 23 on the 30th. What a fantastic birthday present, should it happen. I get a house!

    I’ve started my decorating dreams, and just to keep things organized made a little website to keep things neat and in the same place. Click here to check some pictures out 🙂

    2010 led me to a new discovery as well: mineral makeup. The bare essentials seemed a little over priced to me, but I wanted to try mineral makeup (no chemicals!) so off to Etsy I went. I was not disappointed. I found the shop for Urban Apothecary and ordered foundation, blush, and eye shadow. I’m in love! I’ve never been this excited about makeup before (that might be a lie) but this makeup is amazing. I’m hopeful it will help my recent break out problem. I’ve been blessed with clear skin for most of my life, but apparently 22 is the new 13 for me.

    Hoping soon I’ll have some happy house news to share, I have my fingers crossed they won’t leave me in suspense too much longer!

    Buying a house is obviously not for the faint of heart!

    A lot has happened in the last week.

    We got our home inspection on Friday. As we had assumed, the roof needs to be replaced as well as the chimney. The inspector gave it less than a year. In order to get a loan for the home, we need to have that roof replaced.

    Our first step: We asked the seller to pay for the roof replacement (estimated at $4,500). We then proceeded to wait three days to hear back from him. When we heard back from him he said he doesn’t have the cash to pay for the roof, but he’ll give us a $2,000 credit at closing.

    There’s no way in hell I would want to make such a major (expensive!) repair on a home that is not my own. even if we had an iron-clad contract with the buyer he could still back out, and then we have a legal mess thrown up all over our laps. No thanks. We countered and asked that the seller then drop the price of the home to reflect the cost of the roof, he countered that he would give us another $1,000 at closing, so we would only be paying $1,500 to repair the roof.

    For the amount of house we;re getting for the price, husband and I decided that it was still a pretty good deal. Keep in mind we do plan on putting a lot of money into updating the entire thing, but I digress. The house has a sturdy foundation, it’s spacious, it has a huge yard and in a great location. We can eat the $1,500.

    We come back to the issue of not wanting to pay for something so major unless our name is all over that deed. Now we are waiting to hear back from our broker if we can put the seller’s $3,000 and our $1,500 in escrow and wait until after the house is ours (and that it’s not the middle of winter in Pennsylvania!). We’re basically at a stalemate here. We won’t continue if we have to fix the roof first, but if we can work something out with escrow then we will be one step closer to being homeowners. We most likely won’t here the verdict until Monday, but I’m hopeful the news will be good.

    This whole experience has been full of headaches and heartaches, but if we end up with the house in the end I’ll consider it worth it.

    I don’t have much of an update from our contingency news from Thursday. We scheduled the home inspection for this coming Friday and it is basically a waiting game until then.

    The whole process of buying a house has been very educational. You have no idea what goes into buying real estate until you’re knee-deep in paper work. Here’s the cliff notes version.

    First, you find a house. Not just any house, but one you and your spouse can actually (freakin!) agree on. (kidding honey 😉 ) You think that’s the hard part. When you find a house you both love, you immediately start the process of mentally moving in, which is such a bad idea on so many levels. Your husband will deny any such mental move in on his part and tells you it’s not yours yet.
    The next part is putting an offer in. In our case the house was in a very comfortable price range, just came on the market the day before we saw it, and to us seemed like it probably wouldn’t last long, even with the market in the toilet right now. We offered full asking price and that the seller pay closing. The seller counter offered for a slightly higher price but would still pay all closing costs. We accepted and are now sitting at contingent. Contingent basically means we will buy the house if _____. In our case we have two things we need to secure the house. The house needs to pass a home inspection so that the lender will give us a mortgage, and then we have to secure the actual mortgage. As far as credit goes we have the money ready, but the house basically needs to be worth as much or more than what we want to take the mortgage out for. It all makes sense in a round about sort of way, but it’s a nail-biting experience.

    Our inspection is scheduled for 9am on Friday morning. We’ll meet there with our realtor and the inspector and basically he’ll tell us what all is wrong with the place. We if there’s something minor that needs done we are not afraid of a little work, but one concern our realtor had was the roof. She seems to think that it might need replaced and may not pass inspection. Justin didn’t see anything wrong with it and I have no idea what I would be looking for so I don’t count, haha. The suspense is kind of killing me.

    It’s not even that I would be against putting the work into replacing a roof, it’s the fact that it would need to be done before we could buy the house and it is the middle of winter in western PA. Not exactly roof-replacing weather by any means.

    If the roof passes then our last hurdle is the assessment. As long as the house is worth as much or more than we’re paying then we will get the money to buy it.

    I’ll admit, I’m already halfway mentally moved in. I have big plans for the kitchen and the bathroom is half painted. A garden is almost planted in the huge back yard and Justin and I are already arguing over all the color options for the extra bedrooms (haha). The point I’m trying to get to is that it is hard to not let yourself mentally move into a house that you love, and the closer you get to obtaining it the harder it is to reel yourself back in.

    This week will probably be one of the slowest of my life, I hope it goes by quickly!!

    So, um, Justin and I put an offer in on a house yesterday.

    Today the seller counter offered.

    As of 3PM today we are officially contingent.

    I guess I should back up a little. We’ve been dappling in house hunting roughly since the time we got back from our honeymoon. We’ve gone back and forth a lot about what we want, where we want it,what all we want in it, and how much we want it for. We put an offer on a house that is very different from the house we had cooked up in our minds three month ago!

    We went out with our Realtor yesterday to check out a house we both fell in love with from pictures on the internet. The kitchen was all finished with stainless steel appliances and granite counters, it had a garage and a barn and came with two acres of land. It was the first house Justin really was excited to see.

    Well, we got there and the pictures didn’t lie, the kitchen was beautiful and the land was amazing. It was also built for shorter people than Justin and I.

    We are tall people, we will probably have tall children. This house was pretty small in all aspects, including the bedrooms. It was listed for $119,000 and in my opinion not enough house for the money. This house was a bust and we didn’t plan on looking at anymore that day. Our realtor mentioned that another house had just popped up on the market the previous day and it was only a 3 minute drive from where we were at. We didn’t have anything else to do, so sure, why not go look?

    this house was triple the size for half the price of the other one. While it isn’t beautiful and updated, it can be beautiful and updated. There is so much potential and room to grow that we just knew wanted it and could do it. We said goodbye to our realtor and talked it over at home. An hour later we called her again and asked if we could meet back at the house later that day and maybe put in an offer.

    Put in an offer we did! The seller countered for a reasonable amount and we accepted. So here we are now, contingent upon the inspection. If the inspection goes through (and our mortgage, which I’m not really concerned about) then we just might be home owners 🙂