Monthly Archives: August 2012

Tour de Casa

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The time has finally come…. to show you our Casa.

Oh wait, where are my manners?  Hiiiiiiiiyaaaaa! How’s everyone doing? Good? Great!

Didn’t really expect two posts in a row, did ya? Well hopefully I’m full of surprises like this… but don’t get your hopes a soaring…yet.

Before I begin, I feel as though I should issue a few disclaimers….this is our first home and we know that we will not be here forever.  We know it’s not perfect, but we kinda love it this way.  The house is our age.  Exactly.  The house is teenie…a mere 1200 square feet.  Okay that’s a lie, it’s only 1196 square feet. ARG!  And it may look a little awkward… but I’m awkward.  And I kinda love it. Okay onward…

Okay, here’s a veryyyy rough sketch of our floor plan.  Doesn’t the garage look absolutely massive?  It’s not.  Which just proves how horrid this sketch really is.  You may have also noticed that there are no interior walls.  Ummm, that’s a lie too.  I assure you, there is a wall between the kitchen and master bathroom….so I am (unfortunately) not able to bathe and make mac ‘n cheese all in one place.  Bummer.

Moving on….  This is a picture from our teeeeeenyyyy little dinette, looking into the living area.  To my right is the kitchen and door to the master bedroom and to the left is the hall.  A few things you may notice…. Carpet is throughout.  Ugh, yeah we don’t like it either.  But it was new when we bought the house so figured we let it stay a while.  Also, yes our backdoor is open.  It happens.

Okay…moving on again.  How about the teeeeeeeny kitchen?  Okay you talked me into it.  How about an awkward picture of the kitchen?  Even better.  Mostly because it includes the most awkward piece of architecture I have ever seen.  Can you see that beam?  With the two cabinets hanging from it?  And the light? Weird, right?  We know.  Trust me, it’s on the list.

As if the horrible tile in the kitchen wasn’t bad enough….you should check out the guest bathroom.  Tile. Laminate. And an ugly toilet seat. Ohhh my.

Okay, I think this should conclude the tour de casa.  You are all probably thinking “What were they thinking?”  But we have a plan, and a vision…and it’s fun learning as we go.  I know there are quite a few not-so-good things about this house, and I may have sounded negative.  But I can promise you that by the time we are finished I will love every square inch of our first home.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!  We have already started working (we are avid believers of show and tell, so I promise you’ll see)…and will probably continue working until it’s just the way we want it.  Toodles.

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Property Virgins

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Well, I hope this isn’t awkward.  Oh – my title? That too.  I was actually referring to the awkward moment when I decided to break my blog’s silence…. I mean really, it’s been a while. Whoops!

So I’m here this evening to tell you a little story.  A story about a girl…and a boy.  You see, these two thought they were ready.  They thought they were prepared.  They were in love.  Yes, they just KNEW it was finally time…….to buy their first property.  🙂  Just what you were thinking, right?

This whole process started at the end of 2010, the same year I graduated.  I was just starting to get a firm grasp on the adulthood and financial responsibility…ya know, paying my own bills which ranged from rent to utilities to my oh-so-wonderful student loans.  This is also about the time I started to get pretty serious into my coupons and savings.  Really, I was a crazed maniac… I try to block out a few months worth of that year, solely because I think there was time when I actually dreamed about coupons and saving money.  Yep, it’s safe to say I had a pretty serious problem.  BUT…as with most bad, there is also good.  And through these coupons I was able to cut our grocery expenses by about 60-75%.  It was a BIG change for me and Boyfriend.  We were seeing it add up in our bank accounts…fast.  So the couponing continued, and so did our savings.  Then we started pinching…pretty seriously.  We almost completely eliminated eating out, we dropped our cable (oh come on it can’t be that big of a surprise, you KNOW nothing is EVER on), and I stopped buying a new pair of shoes every other week.

Then we started to get super serious about our finance.  And renting just reallyyyy irritated us.  I mean really.  Did you know that in the 4 years of renting we spent around $31,000?  You think I’m lying, don’t you?  It’s okay, I won’t hold it against you.  Honestly, I wish I were lying.  But unfortunately (for us), this is a very true statement…actually it’s a very modest statement, as we actually spent a little over $31,000 (between us both) on rent alone…not including utilities over those years.  I can think of about a million things that I’d rather do with $31,000….and rent is not one of them.  So this built-up frustration led to us looking into purchasing a home.  Something that would cost us about the same we were spending in rent each month…but something that offers somewhat of a return of investment in the future.  Yep, we wanted an investment.

So we started the hunt.  We crunched numbers…we looked like creepers/stalkers driving around and looking at houses…and we started to get our game faces on.  It was actually Valentine’s day when I applied for a home loan.  You know with the internet these days, the sky really is the limit.  Boyfriend was in the rental kitchen, cooking me an oh-so-delicious Valentine’s Dinner, and I was sitting at the kitchen table… salivating and applying for a home loan online.  This was it.  Would I even get approved?  Was I asking for too much?  I didn’t know.  We didn’t know.  But we were having a wonderful night…and I had been drinking some pretty darn good wine.  So what the heck?  I mean we had been thinking about it for months anyways…why wait any longer?

DONE!  After hitting submit on the home loan application, I shut down my computer and enjoyed my evening with Boyfriend.

We knew what we wanted, and we thought we knew how much moolah it would take.  Now it was all out on the table and we just had to wait for our response for the lender…which we received within 48 hours.  Within 24 hours of being approved, we started to search for a realtor, as realtors are F-R-E-E for buyers, and you KNOW how we love F-R-E-E.

The realtor that we ended up with, by God’s grace, was literally AMAZING.  She told us about a city grant (free $5000.00!!!) and the MCC tax credit (which is exactly as it sounds).  She had rental properties all over town and had been around the block a time or two.  She was extremely patient and took us throughout DOZENS of homes within our price range… She didn’t push us to our “max” amount, she agreed that we shouldn’t push ourselves financially…I mean come on, we are young and we love to have fun.  Unfortunately moolah is usually a part of the having-fun-process, so it was important that we always had spending money and didn’t have to dedicate every paycheck to our mortgage.

She worked with our “wanted” list, and she helped me grasp the concept of what I could live without (bye-bye gourmet kitchen).  She really was fabulous.  On our second or third trip with our realtor, we ended up touring our soon to be home.  We had seen about 7 or 8 properties that evening, it was after work, we were tired, and I thought that we had already found THE ONE.  Yep, I had already committed to another home…the first one of that evening.  But we decided to go ahead and tour the lineup for the evening just to be sure…and boy, were we glad we did!  By the time we got to the last home, it was dark… So the outside looked good, or at least we thought.  And when we walked in the door, we had that awkward moment of not really knowing where the light switch is, because it’s someone else’s house….and as soon as the light the hit the walls I literally stopped in my tracks.  IN HORROR.  My eyes couldn’t stop wandering around…there was just so much CRAP, and it was EVERYWHERE!  Up the 13 foot walls….all of the floors…on the countertops…EVERYWHERE.  Though my jaw was dropping because of the clutter, Boyfriend’s jaw was dropping because he immediately saw the potential.

When I finally got around to taking my eyes off of the walls, floor and countertops I took a glimpse of Boyfriend and saw the look on his face.  It was one that I don’t get to see very often, one very similar to that Christmas morning look.  In that instant I knew I would be fighting for a losing battle if I tried talking him out of this one.  And as we toured the home, my eyes really started to open too.  Especially after walking through the walk-in closet! 🙂

The rest is really history….We made an offer, the owner turned down our offer and countered it, we countered the owner’s counter, we received a counter to our counter of the owner’s first counter, and finally we gave in…we knew we wouldn’t be happy in any other house.  We closed on our house on April 11th, 2011.   Less than TWO MONTHS after we applied for our home loan.

Now you are all a part of our journey in turning this house into our home!!

(Right after the closing I changed clothes and ran to the lawn to rip down the sign)