House Becomes Home

Happy Monday!

I'm excited to report today that I did almost nothing for the entire weekend besides bake cookies and bread pork chops. I made chocolate chip cookies with vanilla pudding (try it, they're amazing), and Parmesan crusted pork chops for dinner yesterday, and My Gazelle was very appreciative. As I've explained more than once, he values home cooked meals more than practically anything else in this universe. This was his last weekend off for a while, and I'll be visiting my family for the entire week of July 4th (he will be joining us for 3 of those days), so I wanted to take advantage of our last weekend.

As such, I didn't work out at all...but I've postponed my long run for today, and I'm prepared. My training schedule is still rolling along pretty well. I've only missed a few workouts, and I've actually not missed a run in the past 3 weeks. That's progress, right?

In light of the fact that the house we have been trying to buy since January was taking so long, and because we realized that the property taxes in the county we were purchasing the house in were sky high, we decided to start looking for another house. We expanded our search out to a neighboring county, and we started looking. I quickly got frustrated. Despite everyone telling us over and over that "it's a buyer's market", it's actually a really tough market right now in our price range. Although we were able to expand our budget by quite a bit just due to the decrease in property taxes and homeowners insurance, the prices of houses in this "new" county were also higher. I felt like we were back at square one again.

Then, we found our house.

This time, I mean it.

After getting through a short initial offer/counter-offer process, we are under contract, and this is NOT a short sale. It's a standard sale, with real live people selling the house as opposed to a bank. We had our home inspection last Friday, and pending some decisions on repairs that need to be made, we will be settling on July 21st. The plan is that we'll take about 2 weeks to paint and lay laminate flooring, then we'll move in the first week of August.

The house is by far not a finished product. Since we don't believe in credit cards or exorbitant amounts of debt, we're going to fix the house as we save the money, and we'll do anything on our own that we can. There are some modern day examples of families who live by this philosophy (love the Petersiks!), but my first example of this was my own parents.The reason why I know how to hang wallpaper and such is actually all due to my parents and their love for the remodel. Well...actually, my Mom loved starting projects, but needed my Dad to help finish them!

When I was just a baby, my parents purchased the home that they still live in for about 1/2 of what most new cars cost these days. It still blows my mind that they were even able to live in the house, since it was definitely not a finished product. They had purchased a drafty, old, sort of falling in farmhouse from the 1800's. My mom recounts stories of sitting on the steps crying because it was such a mess. Through the many years that they've lived in the house, however, they've turned it into a beautiful home. My parents have not gone into debt through the process, and they can probably count on one hand the number of times that they've hired someone else to do a project for them.

My Gazelle isn't quite as tool-friendly [har har] as I am, but he's very willing to learn. Our goal is to turn our new house into a home over the weeks, months, and years that we live there. This is going to be our forever house, and we will raise children there. It's the perfect house for us, but it needs some love. It's going to be a long process, but all we have is time--right?!

Our family has many memories of the remodel of our family home, but the one thing we always wish is that we took more pictures as it was happening. My little brother was so young during the early years of the remodel that he can barely remember what it looked like before now...which is really a shame since he missed the whole "oak paneling" phase! I don't want to look back and wish that I had "before" and "after" pictures [and I also don't want to bore you with house stuff if you're not interested], so I started a separate blog for our house!

House Becomes Home will follow the saga of buying, remodeling, and "homing" our house. And we're going to Home the 'ish out of it. The first post went up today about our home inspection and all of the demanding things that we're asking the sellers to do. Should be interesting to hear their response.

So, check it out. There's a full story on the house, complete with descriptions and pictures of the rooms. And, if nothing else, it'll be fun to watch us screw stuff up!





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