Monday, October 15, 2012

It sort of happened on a lark



It sort of happened on a lark one afternoon. 

I called our bank out of curiosity to check on a loan to buy a house.   

Our very first house. 

I  got all the information and then my heart did a little skip and maybe a little dance and then I lived on the internet for the next three days just looking at houses: ranchers, 2 stories, new construction, and fixer uppers. 

Then I sort of changed my  mind because it all felt a little overwhelming to move and besides I remembered I wanted to buy a house in the same neighborhood as my sister in law, Jen, so we could hang out and shop at DI together and carpool and plan Thanksgiving.

And then I remembered that Jen lives in Utah and I live in Tennessee.  And that sort of makes carpooling a little more difficult.  So, I tucked that little dream of owning a home away for a little while longer.

Then a serendipitous thing happened.  We got a post card in the mail from a friend who had changed jobs and now worked at a mortage lenders.  I called him and gave him some information and then he sent an e-mail requesting more information.  Then I got cold feet and sent an e-mail explaining that we only wanted information and that we weren't interested in actually buying a house just yet.

 And then he called and explained a little more and I said okay and we sent him the information and then he asked if he could give our contact information to a realtor and I said yes. 

And then the realtor called and I said we're not interested in buying, we are just getting information and he said well just for informational purposes what are you looking for and I said  four bedrooms, 2 baths, a family room and at least .5 acres all for the same amount that we pay in rent currently.  Oh and preferably in my sister in law's neighborhood. 

A couple of days later our mortgage lender friend sent us a prequalified letter and 10 days later we were under contract for a house.

This house.



 With this backyard.  Perfect for a garden, a tree house, and maybe a small orchard.  Oh and 5 kids and a dog.  Because somewhere during all the nagging about having a pet I said the kids could have a dog when we bought a house.
 I heart it.  5 bedrooms, 3 baths, a family room, and .81 acres all for the same amount we currently pay in rent.  It's just the right size for us in a quiet neighborhood (until the new neighbors move in) on a corner lot with mature trees and plants.
 I never thought I would love a 1968 split level home.  But I do.  It has lots of potential.  I love the word "potential" too.  I've been using the word a lot.

The funny thing is, I didn't even want to see this house.  The listing pictures left a lot to be desired.   We looked at a number of houses.  Actually, I meant to say we wrote down the addresses of a number of houses and then we drove around looking at the neighborhoods where each house was located. 

The newer houses were stacked on top of each other.  No yards just lovely houses with little personality because every house looked like the next. 

We looked at older homes with larger yards but they were in need of repairs. 

We drove by another house in the same neighborhood as our house.  We liked that it had a larger yard then the newer houses and loved the neighborhood but the house didn't really appeal to either of us.  Then James suggested we look at Governorwood because it was in the neighborhood.

 As we drove by and beheld that lovely flat, mature yard, all .81 acres our hearts did a little skip.    

We scheduled a showing a couple days later to look at both houses in the neighborhood.  While the first house  was 200 square feet bigger, it seemed so much smaller.  The whole time, I was looking at the house I kept praying that we would really like Governorwood. 

Especially because our realtor said they were going to reduce the price another $15,000! 

And guess what?  We did! 

I love the exposed brick wall in the entrance and the wide landing where Jen (after looking at the pictures I emailed) pointed out I could put a Christmas tree.  She's so smart!  Now, if I could just convince her to move from Utah to Tennessee.  Then we could be neighbors and decorate the tree together!


 I love that it has a fireplace.  I wish it had a mantle.  Maybe we will add one later.
 The livingroom and dining room are open to each other and share a set of sliding glass doors.  The catherdral ceiling and windows help to make the whole space feel more open.
 The diningroom is slightly smaller than our current one but still roomy enough for our table.
I love the kitchen.   I will definitely be replacing the dated lighting and that pot hanger lurking in the background to the left.  So much potential!  I'm giddy!  There are plenty of cabinets and the whole kitchen will be getting an inexpensive makeover.
 Love these cabinets. 
 Not too crazy about the L shaped counter because it cuts off the eat in kitchen but that's not really a problem because the dining room is right off the kitchen.  I like that there are 2 entrances into the kitchen and that the one nearest the landing has a door.  (Just in case the kitchen is ever dirty when company comes over, I can close the door. Not that that would ever happen).
 Those poor unsuspecting neighbors next door!  I can already picture kids hanging off the balcony and speaking in their not so quiet voices.  But lucky us! 

I'm not a fan of sliding glass doors, but I adore all the light and ambience that these doors provide.  Eventually we will replace the sliding glass doors with French doors but I love how open the house feels.
 No proper house tour would be complete without a brief stop of the bathroom.  The bathrooms in our rental house have been the bane of my existence for the last 2 years.  The floors slope, the vanity in the kids bathroom was falling apart, and the tubs and caulking are in desperate need of replacement.  So, the fact that these bathrooms are in decent shape have me all excited.  So, excited that I don't even mind the dated  wallpaper and light fixtures in the upstairs kid's bathroom (except that's as bright as it gets, so I will need to do something about the lighting).
 Did I mention there are 3 bathrooms?  Which seems a little excessive right now but I'm sure I will it appreciate later.  For now, I just keep thinking that is 3 toliets, 2 tubs, 1 shower, 3 mirrors, 3 sinks, and  3 floors to clean.
 
 A playroom/familyroom was a top priority on our list of must haves.  I can live with small closets and bedrooms (which we will be living with) but we wanted a place where the kids could hang out. A  home for all their toys, art projects, backpacks, dirty socks that lay where they drop.  So,  despite the unsightly drop ceiling and wood paneling, I'm in love.  If only that fifth bedroom was a little bigger, we would only have one kid residing on the first floor. 
 Other than small bedrooms and the fact that the only way to access the backyard other than the front door is either from the master bedroom or downstairs in the playroom or garage,  this is the only drawback to our new home...no laundry room.  Just a laundry closet but it's not a deal breaker.  I've got plans for this little area.
The kids have already squabbled over who gets which room, paint colors, and who has to mow the lawn.  Can't wait till closing in November! 

Now, who wants to plan to come over and help me paint?  Anyone?

26 comments:

  1. So exciting! What a great house! It definitely has a lot of potential! So fun!

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! I'm always open to suggestions!

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  2. Oh girl!!!! I see so much potential!!! You can paint that paneling in the basement. Check out pinterest for ideas on your laundry room, the possiblites are endless. Make sure to post lots of before and after. If I lived closer, I would love to help!!!

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    1. You are SO right about the paneling. It's the first thing on my long to do list. I'm just not sure which color to go with. I was just thinking white because I wanted to paint our piano the beautiful sea blue color I saw on pinterest. But I also have a loft bed a friend gave us that I want to sand and paint and put in the playroom as sort of a jungle gym. I wish you lived closer too and not just so you could some over and paint!

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  3. WOW that is seriously exciting! Tons of fun potential and space to work with. Caulk and molding can solve any problem. Congratulations on the find!

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    1. So exciting that you want to come down and help us paint? ( =

      Love you guys!

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  4. Gah! This is awesome! So excited for you. I want to come do house projects with you! Congrats congrats!

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    1. Oh, Misti! Just come on over and stay a while...a long while! I'm thinking of painting of the kitchen cabinets white and maybe gray on the bottom and maybe some beadboard on the back of the L shaped counter with paneling . Hmmm...Why not beadboard on the walls too! Maybe take the cabinet doors off the cabinets by the fridge to have open shelving...I need ideas woman! Seriously, come to TN. It's only 13 hours away!
      P.S. Love and miss you guys!

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  5. I love it! Love this house and love the yard! I am so happy for you guys!

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  6. What a great house for all those Moberlys!! Congratulations to you all.

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  7. I love the sixties vibe. really really. really. totally jealous as that's my fav kind of house. And the glass doors? divine. The yard? Celestial. Congratulations!!!!!!!

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    1. Oh, Mara, wish you here to help decorate it! Hope all is well in Utah!

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  8. I love the lights in the kitchen. Very retro. I would leave them up and get curtains to match the era. The yard is lovely! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks, Betina! Looks like the lights and curtains are staying at least for a while. ( =

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  9. Ok. I am so late - but what a beautiful house and yard. I love it! Have me over for Thanksgiving!

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    1. Not only will I have you over for Thanksgiving, Marilyn, but for Christmas and any other day of the year! Miss you!

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  10. I love your retro house so much. I can't wait to see it!!

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  11. I can't wait for you to come over and help me pick out fabrics and prints!

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  12. Julie Thomas SchmitDecember 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Congrats on the house! It is so big and I love the back yard. Endless possibilities! By the way - what a cute family!

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  13. You go girl! I think it looks like an amazing space! And I know you will make it such a special place for your sweet family!

    blessings,
    karianne

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    1. THANKS, Karianne! And thanks for all the suggestions!!!

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