Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I am homeless

I am homeless and in disbelief.  It was so surreal to meet the buyer at the closing and hand over our keys, then realize that my home is not my home anymore.  I am so incredibly sad.  I made sure it was as perfect as possible...patching all nail and screw holes, repainting the patches, repainting the trim where it was dirty. 
The day before the closing flew by.  The movers broke our front screen door (of course!) so the buyers will have to deal with that repair - paid for by the moving company.  What a mess.  At least everything else looked good.
Ashford was very disoriented with all the empty rooms.  I felt so bad that he probably won't remember this place.  I hope my pictures do it justice one day when he's curious. 
He was especially confused by the lack of toys in his room!  I love this photo.
I also love this room! 
I was feeling very rushed and frantic the afternoon before, knowing that it was my last chance to take a family photo in the house before it wasn't ours anymore.  My tripod was MIA, so I had to improvise with setting the camera on the fireplace mantel and using my flash instead of taking a photo outside like I wanted to.  Ugh, it is better than nothing I guess.
Dorky photography side note: while I love that my speedlight flash makes impossible photos possible, it also completely changes the look of the scene. For instance, this is what the living room actually looked like at this very moment....way different!
My mom came by and we were just aimlessly wandering around thinking "Is this real life?"  She took care of Ashford while Shaun and I were getting a couple things done...
And she took a photo of us out on the deck.  I'm really done with this gray, cold weather.    
I'm anxious.  I feel like I need some positive feedback from the buyers on the house, which is silly.  Obviously they love it, or they wouldn't have bought it.  I guess I care too much about what people think!  Or maybe it will just take some time for me to let it go.  On our new home front, things are not going well. 
We had the inspection, and the entire roof needs replacing NOW due to several rows of shingles missing and daylight visible from the attic.  I found out from an insurance company that there was a claim on the home last year that was paid out for 12k...presumably for a new roof.  Here is one of several 'bad roof' photos from the inspection.  Yikes!
The owners took the insurance money and let the house go into foreclosure.  Now, we are asking the bank to replace the roof because we don't think we can even get homeowners insurance without a new roof at closing.  Drama!  Safe to say we probably won't be closing on time, which means more time living in my parent's basement.  Glamorous.  I will keep you posted!   

Thursday, April 24, 2014

An empty house

The movers came bright and early on Monday and started packing up our house.  Whenever I tell people the company hired movers that are going to pack us (and unpack us!) all I hear is 'you are so lucky!'  I'm here to tell you, it's still really stressful.  You have little control over what they are packing, unless you have put a sticker or note on something that says it stays.  I chose NEON green so they didn't miss it. 
Even still, things will get packed that you never thought they would pack.  For instance, my laundry detergent and a basket of dirty clothes.  Yep, they just put some paper over the top and taped it all up. OMG, just thinking about my dirties hanging out in a basket full of holes and then getting 'unpacked' in a few weeks is disgusting to me.  But, I didn't think I needed to specify that.  They also took all the drawer and cabinet liners from the kitchen, the TV mount in the den we planned to leave, and a pillow that matches a chair we are leaving for the new owners...there is just too much to think about.  
It was very sad to watch my rooms get emptied and realize it wasn't for a renovation, but for good.  The more 'stuff' we took out, the more I saw the details of the house that I love....the little ceiling triangle in the guest room.  
The sloped ceiling, built-in bookcase, and adorable sconce in Ashford's room.  
The built-in we spent so much time on!  Sadly, it is looking a little yellowed where the books were, and there are cracks all over the seams.  I have to say, I will not miss maintaining white paint throughout the house!  All of our painted bookcases and china cabinets were FILTHY.  I should've taken before and after pics, but truthfully, the 'afters' aren't even that great.  I did my best without repainting.  
Just for reference, our stuff took up two huge trucks, and we didn't even take the glass dining set in the porch, the little white love seat and aqua tables in the other porch, the wicker bedroom furniture from the guest rooms OR the living room sofa/chair/ottoman.  Wow!  I have vowed to do better.  I wish I could just blink and become a minimalist.  
I am sad to leave our curtain rods, they aren't available anymore and I LOVE them.  But I agreed to leave them when we listed the house, so they stay.  I also didn't want to patch all the holes and I think it's weird to just leave the rod holders up....I think I might go for a different finish in the new house, anyway.  
The buyers have purchased some things from us, these curtains in the dressing room, the kitchen curtains and rug, and the basement zig zag rug.  I had to be realistic that I can't fit everything from this house into our new one, even if I really like something...I am happy to sell them to the new owners so these things can continue to live here, even if I can't!
I have to say that even after several years, I still love everything that I did in these rooms.  Good job, Sara from 2008!  I haven't decided if I will paint 'Aqua Smoke' in our new master.  If I do, that will be the third time I use it for my bedroom...crazy how much I love this color!  It also touches up seamlessly, which is a huge plus.  
So, today is our last day in the house, then tomorrow is closing!  I am really excited to get the movers out of here so I can have an empty house to clean up.  There are SO MANY dust bunnies and I'm pretty sure I could make another cat from the hair that was under the piano....
I'm off to make the house sparkling clean, because 'broom swept' just isn't good enough for me!  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New House!

We have purchased a new house!  And I no longer have an income!  YAY!  Here is our new 1973 split level abode, in Eagan, MN:
Yep, the maroon color is depressing and dark.  The cream garage door and window is going to be a challenge to work with.  I thought about painting them white, but I'm not sure what they are made out of.   My thoughts are gray siding with bright white trim/garage door and a fun color door.  And of course, fixing the difference between the trim around the upper windows and the lowers.  And ditching the hunter green screen door.  And new lights.  Anyway, the inside of the house is so light and homey!  It doesn't feel like a 'split level' when you are inside.  Front door on the right.
Our first order of business when we close is to refinish the hardwoods - they are the beautiful skinny planks, I think 1.5 inch?  It runs through the living/dining and upstairs hallways and bedrooms.   
There is a private fenced patio area that is accessed from both the dining area and the eat-in-kitchen area French doors/slider. 
Under the snow (I took these photos APRIL 5th and they had just gotten several inches!) is a nice deck, concrete slab and planting areas. 
The kitchen is considered 'upgraded,' but of course I'm not a fan of the sea of wood.  They are nice quality cabinets, the wood is actually pretty, and thankfully the shape of the doors is ok.  The counters are ivory Corian.  Sorry I don't have a better photo of the kitchen....we saw 16 houses that day!  The backsplash is different from one side to the other, and both sides are hideous.  That will be smashed out and replaced quickly!  The lighting and faucet will be replaced, too.
We need to buy a refrigerator and a microwave.  Not sure if we will put one above the range (not a fan of those) or find another spot for it.  It's hard to see, but there is an appliance garage/bread box at the end of the counter...and eyeball lights.  Oh, and also the silly country rail at the top of the cabinets.  Hello, 80s!!
Here is a better view of the vaulted eat-in area of the kitchen.  Love this part of the house!  The skylight makes it so bright, I do not have any intention of painting the beautiful ceiling.
And this area goes down to the lower level, which then pops up again near the front door.  I totally love that circular flow. 
Here is the walkout from the lower level.  I have not decided whether I will turn this into a mudroom since the 'back' door is there, or a play area for Ashford, or possibly a wee guest bedroom...I know one thing, I will one day replace that door with a French door to let in more light.  And of course, the ceiling and light need help!
And down the hallway is the laundry and storage area, a workbench/hobby room, a little half bath, and the family room complete with tongue and groove, laminate floor, enormous gas fireplace, boob light, and faux brick.  Yikes!!
Our plans for this room are to either fix up the faux brick or rip it out, modernize the fireplace screen, put in can lights, replace the boob light, and probably install carpet over the icky laminate.  I have claimed the little nook (to the left) on the other side of the room as my photo editing/computer station, but Shaun is thinking it should be a bar.  I don't think a bar is necessary to crack open a beer or bottle of wine...right?     
The stairs here take you back up to the living room.  Then there are 7 steps up to the bedroom area. 
The main bath is nothing special, but it is simple and clean.  I will probably paint the vanity, get new hardware, faucet, and light and install some can lights since there isn't a window.   Oh, and I guess a shower curtain rod is necessary, too. 
The two smaller bedrooms are pretty small, but workable.  I love the large wood windows throughout the house.  This room will be Ashford's room, it has a huge closet!
This will be our guest room.  Due to the width, I may end up putting the queen bed against the window wall.  The closet is on the wall with the door.  I'm seeing some creative decorating in my future to open up this space!
What really sealed the deal for me on this house, is the fabulous master suite!  The master is enormous!  I think it is 23x14 or something like that.  The carpet is brand new, but we will be pulling it out to refinish the wood underneath.  If there is no wood, I guess we will be installing some!
To the left is a double-wide bifold closet, and to the right is the walk in closet.  Oh my!  Thank goodness, since I'm giving up all my fabulous closets in our current house.
There is also ANOTHER closet over by the bathroom, I forgot to take a pic - it is cedar and great for off-season clothes.  And here is the very dated master bath.
I will have to replace the vanity top and faucet, no like the sea shell.  I will also probably replace the shower door, light, and all the small fixtures.  Here is the view from the bath area.  There is a skylight in the master, which I love for the light - but we are looking into a shade, since we both love our sleep!  (This is sort of a joke, since we have Ashford we can never BOTH sleep in at the same time...)
The house also has a nice big attached garage with rafters, which we don't have now.  We are looking forward to the extra storage space for Shaun's kayak, ice shanty, and other stuff that is taking up room on our garage floor.  It's also going to be very luxurious to be able to enter the house from the garage!
So, that is basically everything.  Here are my thoughts...I am not a fan of painting short little 'ranch' trim white.  I think it looks awful.  I also don't like painting hollow core doors that are so typical in mid-century homes, and I can't afford to replace them all with solid doors right now.  I also don't want to paint the nice wood windows and doors throughout the house.  However, there is SO MUCH wood in this house.  I want to embrace the retro feel of the house, but I cannot find a single inspiration image with original stained trim!
There is also this large casement window that apparently had a slew of animals using it as a scratching post.  I am not sure I could get this smooth enough to look good painted.  I'm thinking we will remove the small baseboard when we do the floors, and replace all of it with 1x4s stained to match the floor, then I will paint the kitchen cabinets similar to what Joi did with her kitchen to break up all the wood.  I think those colors would look great with the natural trim throughout the house, and the tongue and groove ceiling.  Please give me your opinion! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

House is sold

We have an accepted offer on our house!  This actually happened a few weeks ago, but I wanted to make sure the inspection went ok (it did) and the appraisal came back approved (it did) before we posted the news.  With that said, we are both horrified and happy because it means we have to leave our beautiful house, but it also means we never have to clean it for a showing again! 
This is Ashford skipping down our beautiful walkway because he doesn't have to put his toys away any more.  (Just kidding, he totally does.)  So, the dirty details....we sold for 194,900 and are paying 1.5k of the buyers closing costs after a wee negotiation.  We are THRILLED that a family with a daughter about the same age as Ash bought our house.  They love the place and I couldn't be happier.  Our official closing date is April 25th and because of that, we did go to MN last week to look at houses. 
The trip didn't go very well, meaning we didn't find a place to live.  Now I am a little stuck because I have two weeks left of work and cannot go look at houses again until after the 11th, unless we drive up this weekend.  It's very upsetting to see houses come on the market and be sold in 1 DAY.  Yes, that happens.  That market is hotter than the mess in our attic.  It was especially depressing when we came back to our house and realized how much better it was than anything we looked at.  I'm a little stressed, but we're working out a plan for temporary housing.  In the meantime, I'm taking lots of photos around the house and hoping to capture every detail, the light, the space, everything.  I set my camera on our dresser and pulled out the remote last Sunday morning, with totally fun results!
As you can see, Shaun was not interested in participating.  But this is a classic weekend, one parent wrangling the kid while the other desperately tries to sleep in.
I'm so happy I took the time to do this, and I'm trying to find other places around the house to stage little photo shoots to remember moments like this.  
 I can't believe we only have a few weeks left.