We're building a house. Can't be that hard, right?

We're embarking on a home building expedition, and here's what we have to say about it!

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Busy Busy

I had no idea it's been almost a month since I wrote a post. We've been SO busy with the house and it's going great. So far we've:
  • Replaced the pink carpets upstairs
  • Painted the kitchen, family room and bathroom
  • Had Kyle's room redone (it's definitely the best room in the house with it's new white trim, lattice work, and decor!)
  • Had a painter come in and do the living room and all the trim. The room is totally transformed with white trim vs the old oak that is everywhere, we love it!
  • Bought new appliances
  • Installed the radon unit
  • Bought a new washer and dryer
  • Bought a new kitchen table
  • Put up curtains and pictures
  • Had the place professionally cleaned...twice
  • Had a landscaper do a fall clean up
  • Added some Christmas decorations!
It's a lot, but totally worth it. It's feeling more like home every day. The last thing that needs to be done from the original purchase and sale is the window install and that's happening tomorrow. I promise I'll put up some before and after pictures this weekend once things settle down a bit!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We live in a house!

It's been 3 official days since we actually moved into our house after everything we've been through. It's great so far!

Boxes are still everywhere, but the majority of our stuff is put away. We have the essentials either put away, or out within reach and hope to spend some time soon putting up things like curtains and pictures.

We did so much work last week, that it's change so much we can't help but feel at home already. We painted the family room, kitchen, upstairs hallway and half of the upstairs bathroom. The mauve carpet was replaced (thank god) and our amazing cleaning lady came and thoroughly scrubbed, mopped, sponged, bleached, scoured and windexed the place. It actually looked clean. And we felt good getting into the place. It still needs some updating, but the spiderwebs, dust bunnies, floor stains and counter crumbs are all gone.

The best surprise we got was from my Dad, he totally re-did Kyle's new room with a friend of his. It's amazing! We just got the furniture in last night so I haven't had a chance to take many pictures. I will though, it's a total transformation!

Kyle just LOVES his new house. He has so much room to play and to run around in and the floors are so soft with new carpet that he's always rolling around playing trains and having fun. There's a nice little loop from family room, to living room, through the hall, into the kitchen and back to the dining room that Kyle is practically wearing away the floors he's been running it so much. And he will tell you when it's your turn to run and which way to go and you better run fast!

Our furniture fits nicely in some places and other rooms look pretty bare! That's to be expected when you double your square footage from condo to house!

We still have a lot of work to do, but I promise, before and after pictures are coming soon!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big week!

One week ago, we ACTUALLY signed all the papers and officially own the house. It's been a crazy hectic week and I've barely had time to write much! We couldn't get in until Sunday since Old Friend's new place wasn't ready until Saturday.

We drove by Saturday and he happened to be taking his last load so he waved us over to give us a few updates. His son had a few things left, the garage door openers were on the kitchen counter, the windows were to be delivered this week and he 'cleaned as best as he could'.

It's still filthy. But...he did vacuum and the counter tops and surfaces were wiped clean. We still have our own cleaners coming on Friday morning.

Sunday afternoon, we started painting! Kyle's room, the hallway, the bathroom all got some paint. Monday night the carpet guys came to measure for the new upstairs carpet, Tuesday night we painted the family room and got the radon unit install scheduled for next week and this morning a painter came to help us with the living room which is a two-story, so it's WAY too high for us to do.

The movers come on Friday, and we should be officially in the house by Saturday night. yay!

I can't wait to start posting before and after pictures!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


It finally happened. We signed. Signed, sealed and almost delivered.

This morning, we actually closed on the house. The air conditioning unit has been fixed, the gas fireplace is fully fixed, inspected and permitted, the house has been painted and Old Friend is almost out. The only two things left are the windows (they have been ordered and paid for but probably won't be installed for another week) and for Old Friend to actually move out.

Because of his rental situation, we closed today, but he has until Sunday, Oct 31 to move out. Happy Halloween to us! He thinks he'll be out by Friday or Saturday morning and will let us know. We did get one set of keys, but not both yet. We also get a nice little 'rent' check in a week or so for the few extra days he's staying. Funny, it's just about enough for new curtains for the bedroom and family room! ;)

There's still a dumpster out in the driveway and that will be there until Monday, Nov 1 since they can't pick it up on the weekend, but that's OK with us!

For once, in this WHOLE process, we actually had a funny thing happen that was in our favor.

We went to the bank this morning to get our cashiers check for the closing cost, and a separate check for Margot the Agent's commission. We decided to pay out the commission separately because it lowered our monthly payments by about $50 and we didn't want to be paying commission for 30 years. So we got two checks.

At the end of the closing we handed Margot her check and the lawyer had a funny look on her face. What's that for? We told her it was her commission...she said, oh no, that's already included in the closing costs.


We were told by the bank that our closing costs were X amount, and that DIDN'T include commission. (this was yesterday)

There was a mixup somehow and this morning, we found out that we didn't need a separate check. AND...this is amazing...the bank over estimated our closing costs and actually owed us money!

When does that ever happen?? Never!

So we walked out of the closing with a new house, and a check that should cover not only the carpets we are having installed next week, but possibly the hard wood throughout the first floor that we orignally were going to install until we had to install the radon unit, fix the toilets and a do a few other little things in the house that Old Friend refused to negotiate on.

Thanks TD Bank! We'll take your bank error in our favor any day!!
This weekend, Lowes and Home Depot become our best friends...Let the upgrading begin!

Friday, October 22, 2010

You would think we'd be excited...

Next Wednesday we should be closing on our new house. Notice how I said "should be".

You may remember all the issue with had with Old Friend refusing to really do much (if anything) on the house by way of repairs that we thought fell under the 'standard home maintenence' category. And, how we finally got him to agree to fix the windows, paint the house, fix the AC, and repermit and fix the gas fireplace.

Guess how many are done-only 4 days from closing?


That's right. Nothing is done.

Last week, Old Friend invited us over to see if there was any old furniture we might want to keep and to give us an update on the repairs. Kind of odd, but this whole thing has been pretty strange so we figured, why not? At least we can see the house again, especially since we've started thinking about colors and carpets and wanted to visualize a bit. Plus, there was a big picture mirror in the basement I spotted during the home inspection that I want!

So we went by (with Margot the Agent's number on speed dial just in case things got weird). Old Friend's son and daughter were there helping clean out, which made it a lot easier. We thought it could get weird if it was only us and him. At least we had someone else to talk to!

He showed us what he thought was wrong with the AC unit and said he would be making a call to get it fixed. We still aren't sure if that was fixed or not yet.

The painters had some and cleaned and powerwashed the house, but hadn't actually painted yet. They were supposed to come by and finish on Monday. As of last night - 4 days later-...-4 SUNNY days later- it was still not done.

We went inside and checked out the gas fireplace that we still think was installed without permits. According to Old Friend, they need to take out the damper and repermit due to 'new regulations' (riiight, sounds to me like you couldn't produce the permit we requested because you didn't have it so you had to get it redone...)
Old Friend told us he would get the damper removed and a new permit OR...we could replace the whole thing for a couple hundred bucks! No way! We couldn't believe he was trying to pass ANOTHER thing off onto us just to save $25.  We both said no thanks, you need to get it done yourself, since you did sign the P&S saying you would...

He was supposed to make a call on that this week, we hope it's been done.

Lastly, the 5 windows we argued about for weeks. According to Old Friend, they have been ordered and pre-paid for, including labor. But...they won't arrive for another week or two, which means it might be after he moves out. Of course, now we're really worried that the costs will be more and we'll get stuck with it. So we have our lawyer drawing up a document that says whatever happens, it's on Old Friend.

Today, we emailed our lawyer and asked 2 questions:
1. Can we have the documentation that the repairs that might happen after the close will be paid for by Old Friend?
2. What if not everything is done yet?

You know what he said?

Sorry guys, but if all repairs aren't completed by the close...there IS no close.

Yup, after all this, we STILL might not get to own this house next week.

Margot the Agent is on her way over right not to ask Old Friend what the heck is going on. Hopefully we'll hear back that the AC and fireplace were done this week, the painters are coming tomorrow and the windows miraculously arrived a week early and will be installed by the close.

I doubt it, our luck has not been at all like that throughout this entire process, but I can still hope.  I didn't even get the mirror! It was gone. :(

We think that at the very least, we can still close if the windows aren't done yet, because they have already been ordered, so the process has started. If we need wording in the closing docs to support that, we're fine with it, as long as we don't have to pay for anything.

Fingers crossed!