In early December Mr Fun and I took a big leap of faith. In mid November we started thinking about finding a house that might fit our needs better. Allen and I both work from home so we both need good offices. We also still want bedrooms for all of the girls even though two of them will be off in college soon. Everybody needs a spot to come home to as often as they want! In addition to that Allen really wanted two other things 1) He wanted a Husky Den. (In the basement, if possible. He loves a good basement!) 2) He wanted a ‘wall of windows’. Meaning a REALLY large opening to go out to some outdoor space.
We started by looking at new houses but the price on those was very high and all of them had compromises we would have to make DESPITE the high price tag. Mostly they were too dark, had weird ‘loft’ spaces (Who wants to sit in a chair the middle of a hallway? Who wants to keep a loft family room clean all the time so it won’t irritate mama? Right. Nobody!) or were outside the boundaries of our high school. There is no way we are moving Kate from her high school. Plus, we LOVE this neighborhood and really didn’t want to leave it.
The week that we decided to go with a resale house a certain house dropped in price by $200k. That was a HUGE drop and really drummed up a lot of interest. (This house had been on the market for five months.) They reviewed all offers on one day (meaning they were expecting multiple offers). They were right. There were five offers and ours was the big winner! (We were kind of tricky with our escalator clause and it worked!)
Of course that meant we had to pack our house in less than a month all over the holiday season. Yes…I am THAT kind of crazy. (Especially considering we went on three little trips between Christmas and New Years.) Good thing I’m an organized kind of crazy! We moved 2/3 of our stuff into the garage of our new house. (Mr. Fun was a master Tetris player and put all of his skills to good use.) The other 1/3 was moved into a rental house a block and a half away. Overall it was a good move but Mr. Fun and I had to sacrifice our dressers (one wouldn’t fit and one just got buried in the Tetris on accident) so it looks like we may be living out of garbage bags for four or five months. Ugh!
Let’s chat about this new project. While the bones of the new house are awesome, nothing has been updated in the house for 20 years. What was once beautiful is now fairly dated. We’ve hired a contractor and designer to help us with this massive investment. Originally we were thinking of the new house as a long term flip. Stay long enough for Kate to graduate from high school and then re-evaluate our plan. I have to say, though, that moving was SOOOOOO painful, and we are going to make this house just to our taste and to fit just how we live. Let’s be honest. There is a good chance we will live here for a LONG time. (Allen fully intends to remind me how painful moving was the next time I get the itch!)
So, what are we going to do to this new house? A lot! A new roof is first and foremost because we know it is leaking and it’s at the end of it’s lifecycle. It also needs a new HVAC system and hot water heater. All of those fall into the ‘no fun’ category. Things that need to be done but aren’t really seen. The fun things we will be doing include: all new kitchen, updated bathrooms, paint inside and out, new hardwood floors upstairs and on the main floor, new carpet in the girl’s rooms and basement, move the fireplace from the wall with the view (where it BLOCKS the view) to a side wall, extending the deck, installing a 10ft sliding glass door (Mr Fun gets his ‘wall of windows’), change all the moulding, new lighting all over, replace all brass hardware, etc. It’s daunting how much there is to get done, but David and Candace (our contractor and designer) have done this before and they are breaking it down into bite sized pieces for us.
My hope is that we get to move in by Mother’s Day but my ultimate goal is to be there in time for Ellie’s graduation party. I thought it might be fun to document the transformation here on my blog. Here are the starting photos. These are the ones used online for the listing of the house. I’d credit the photographer but I don’t know their name. Whoever it was did an amazing job with angles and post processing because it honestly looks a lot better in the pictures than it does in person! Bravo anonymous photographer!
Here are the BEFORE pictures. There are a lot of them but just know that ALL of these pictures will have big changes when you see the AFTER. Woot!