Living The House

Home Sweet Home!

>Well, it’s been a week now since we’ve been in our new house and can I say I LOVE being a home owner?  We moved last Saturday, and while we still have a TON of stuff to move and clean at the apartment, it’s been great!  We didn’t get help for moving until 1:00pm, but my BIL Devin (he’s married to Jeff’s sister Melissa) did us a massively huge favor and dropped off his dolly so we could use it to move our appliances in and out of the house, and then Andy, Tim and Luke -he also brought his wife and stepkids- showed up (in that order and they are Jeff’s brothers) helped us take the heavy stuff out to the moving truck and then moved the stuff into the house.  It’s so amazing that moving stuff out of the truck is WAY faster than putting stuff in!

We still aren’t quite completely moved in aside from the obvious fact that we don’t everything that we own here, but we’re planning to make a trip -or two- to the apartment this week to clear it out and clean it up.  What’s awesome is that I was very worried about having to go out and buy a garden hose and lawn mower and other essentials for yardkeeping, but we lucked out and the previous owner left that stuff… and BONUS for me is that there’s even extra base cabinets outside in the shed!  FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC because on of the larger minor expenses I was expecting to have to pay out was a desk and storage space for my crafting stuff in my crafting room, and I was planning on spending about $300 or so doing that; instead all I have to do now is borrow a stud finder, get a length of countertop from IKEA for $80 bucks and some 2×2 and drill some holes and I’ll have a workspace to run the entire length of one wall!  We went to IKEA this weekend to buy some stuff, but we’re planning to make a second trip after the apartment is completely cleaned out and whatnot to go and get a dining room table and the countertop along with laundry baskets and other random stuff, since none of it would fit in our car especially because I need a 9 foot countertop!

I will post pictures of our home, but I need to wash the couch covers and just really organize and put shelves up and everything.  I gotta say, it’s quite interesting being a home owner, and it’s taken a few days, but it’s become a home and not a weird random house.

Living The House

Less Than a Week to Go!

>Well, we sign the closing papers for our house in FIVE days, and then we move next Saturday!  I’m super excited, but also kind of nervous and anxious.  Last Monday, we got our interest rate locked in at 5.25%, so now we know how much our mortgage payments will be, which is great because we’ll be able to plan our budget out and whatnot.  The appraisal was also this past week and our house was given a value of $175,000!  Our agent was surprised it got appraised for that, and actually said to me “I’m shocked to be quite honest, I didn’t think it was going to appraise for that much.”  Well then!  And I’ve got some more pictures too, since the appraiser took pictures, and we got them in the appraisal report.

 Here’s the red bathroom, the one that’s down in the basement!  I was initially thinking ‘red is a weird color for a bathroom, but the more i think about it, the more I really like it!  We’ve got the perfect picture to hang over the toilet, but we need to get it laminated so the paper doesn’t warp and ripple from people taking showers in there.  I also love the orientation of the shower, it’s really awesome.

 Here is the carport and driveway, and that door leads into the kitchen.  That yellow thing on the roof is the swampcooler that’s been winterized; that is to say covered so there’s no leaking issues from melting snow and whatnot; an issue we had at our last apartment.
Here’s the back patio!  The driveway carport actually continues into the patio.  This picture was actually taken to show the ‘chipped’ paint on the wooden fencing you see there in the lower right corner, but it’s a great picture of the patio area.  One thing we do not know is if we get to keep the picnic bench or not, but I really hope we do, because that would be AWESOME!  and that shed back there isn’t really a storage shed, but it houses the sprinkler system we are so lucky to get!
In case you were wondering why there’s a picture of the ‘chipped’ paint is because we’re getting an FHA loan, and they have strict requirements; and one of them is with paint.  Since the house was built before 1974, all chipped paint has to be taken care of.  I’m willing to bet this paint is alot newer than 1974, but because of the rules, it has to be painted.  It’s all good though.  There’s also another ‘problematic’ area on the other side of the fence behind the shed, I’m sure that was caused by the sprinkler water wearing the paint off based on the picture I saw.

Everything has been taken care of except for internet coverage.  We’re not sure yet if we’re gonna contiune to use our current provider or if we’re going to go with another provider and see if we can get a better deal for internet.  The electricity is due to go into our name on next Friday or Saturday, and the gas will be switched to our name on Monday.  When I had called the gas company to transfer coverage, the lady on the phone informed me that the current owner had called in to have it shut off completely, which is actually BAD because the weather can dip down low and then there’s the risk of bursting pipes or whatever.  Besides, having it switched over is going to be $8, but if it were turned off and then turned back on, it would be $15.  I’m all about saving money, even if it is just $7!

It’s so close!  I’m EXCITED!

Living The House

House Pictures!

>Today was our inspection and aside from a few minor issues, it went well!  And I managed to ge a few good pictures of the upstairs of the house.  Unfortunately, one of the guys that live there was home, so I wasn’t able to get pictures of the downstairs.

These are the bedrooms that we’ll be sleeping in, all upstairs.  The green room will be our room, since it’s the largest, the white room will be Zoe’s room, and then the blue room will be Ruthie’s.  The room is REALLY dark as you can see, and I actually had to adjust the levels in photoshop because all you could see was the window and that’s it.  I guess the light coming into the bedroom is why the flash didn’t go off.  They are decent sized bedrooms, since the bed in the white room is a queen size.

Here is the front room and upstairs bathroom.  I took the picture of the front room from the hallway leading back to the bedroom and bathroom.  It’s a decent sized front room, but we currently have no plans on actually using it as a living space, Jeff wants to put down a huge track to race cars… we’ll see about that, however that bay window is GREAT, especially for a Christmas tree.  And the bathroom has been updated and painted the same neutral tan as the front room.  The floors match the tile on the wall… I htink it’s the same tile but I’m not sure.  And while I’m a HUGE fan of our Spongebob Squarepants shower curtain.. I have to say I’m a really big fan of that dark red shower curtain.

Here’s the kitchen from three different angles.  The first picture is from the same spot (but me turned slightly) that I took the picture of the front room from.  You can see the door frame on the left side of the picture, that’s the back door that leads out to the carport and the back side of the house.  I took the next two pictures in the corner you see to the right of the window in the first picture.  Again, it’s got updated cabinets, counter tops and flooring, with the same tile that’s in the bathroom.  Oh and in the second picture, on the right that’s the stairwell that leads to the basement.  The walls of the basement are painted in the exact same color as the living room, upstairs bathroom and front room.. very boring but it really does work.  And the countertops aren’t granite even though they look like it; they are just regular laminate countertops made to look like granite, which I love.

And these two pictures were taken outside obviously!  This is the backyard, the carport is to the left.. you can sort of see the back corner where the dish is at.  We’re planning to fence it in, since we have discussed getting a dog, however I want a fence up first before we get a dog for very obvious reasons.  And the last picture is of me on the roof!  There’s some soft spots on the roof, and I went up with the inspector to see where they are at.  There’s not a lot of soft spots, and the roof did pass inspection; however based on the information I gave my dad and based on what I saw up there, the subroofing was done with 1/4 inch plywood when they should have used 1/2 inch plywood.  I was nervous about the pitch of the roof and it having leaking issues with the shingles, however my dad also confirmed that its 3-12 pitch, which is the lowest pitch allowable with shingles without having issues with leaking.  The roof has about 5-10 years left on it, so we’re gonna have to make plans on replacing the roof in the next few years.

I’m really sad I was unable to get more pictures of the rest of the house, but since the guy was home, I didn’t want to be the weirdo with a camera.  Of course, those pictures will eventually come, don’t worry!

Living The House

We Got a House!

>Well, that is to say we’ve put in an offer and it was accepted! We’re just waiting on the home inspection which is Wednesday, and I’m pretty sure that’s going to go well so I’m not worried about that at all!

Anyway, about the house. It’s in Sandy, on the EAST side of State street! It’s 2,016 square feet, with a completed basement, it has 5 bedrooms (3 upstairs, 2 in the basement), 1 and 3/4 bath and has a one car carport, but has enough space to park 3 more cars in the driveway. BTW, in case you are wondering, a 3/4 bath has a sink, toilet and just a shower instead of a bathtub with a showerhead, the 3/4 bath is the one in the basement. The kitchen, and bathrooms have been updated with new countertops, flooring and cabinetry, and everything has a fresh coat of paint. Also it has hardwood floors in the front room, kitchen and hallway upstairs, and the rest of the house -with the exception of half the laundry room that I suspect was a bedroom at one point- has full carpet which is plushy and soft. We’ve planned on the bedrooms that are upstairs being the sleeping quarters and the largest bedroom downstairs is going to become a guest room and the smaller bedroom downstairs -also the smallest bedroom in the whole house- will become my CRAFT room! That’s right I will have a WHOLE ROOM devoted to my crafting, something I’m very excited about!

Since the laundry room is so large, I think what we’re going to eventually do is put another wall up, and then put a door in there and use that as the food storage room. We’re waiting to see what happens with that home buyer credit thing that I last blogged about because it MAY double to $15,000 before we start stocking up on food storage and putting walls up. And we’re also planning on putting up a fence to completely fence in the back yard.

The best part is that the seller was asking $174,900 and we were able to talk them into accepting $167,000 AND have them pay closing as well, so we’re STOKED! I don’t have any personal pictures of the house, that’ll be done on Wednesday when we go back for the inspection, however here’s a picture of the front of the house.

I know it’s kind of small, but it’s not my picture, it’s the one from the real estate listing. And I’m not a fan of those weird window baskets so they’re gonna go as soon as I can figure out how they come off. I LOVE the bay window, however since we plan to use the basement as our main gathering and family room, it’s going to remain empty, and we’ll probably just use it as a gathering spot for parties and stuff.
We had initally wanted another house, however that one didn’t work out and I’m glad it didn’t. It was a bigger house, however it was also on a massively busy street -we’re talking 4 lanes- and it didn’t have any appliances other than the dishwasher. This house I know is the RIGHT house for us, and I feel so blessed knowing that on March 12th provided there’s no major issues that come up that it’s gonna be OURS!
Living The House

Shhh, We’re Hunting a Wascally House…

>Well, we’re offically looking to buy our first home!  We’ve got a realtor and we’re signing papers with a mortgage broker on Saturday to get our pre-approval letter so we can start putting down serious offers.  In fact we looked at our first house yesterday however the house was not in an ideal condition for us to buy.  The roof had started leaking and created water damage, and the landlord seemed like the type who wasn’t caring enough about the condition enough to ask the tenants to not smoke in the house.  It was going into forclosure, which is why we went to look.  We were interested in another house but since we couldn’t go see inside yet, we did decide to at least drive by it to see the outside of it.  And good thing we did beacuse there was a busted out window so who knows how long that was broken, and there was a couch upside down on the front lawn and there was someone driving across the front lawn in their pickup truck.  Needless to say, we’re not going to see that house.  We’re going to see a few houses tomorrow; hopefully one of them is in great shape!  They are all within our price range, so hopefully one of them is the one!  One looks promising; it’s alot of house -over 2,000 square feet- and their asking only $150,000.  It’s in a very good neighborhood, so I’m sure there’s probably already bids on it, so hopefully we can get in and put a bid in as well.

One thing though we’ve been tossing around is if we should apply for the $7,500 tax credit that’s for first time home buyers.  Basically it’s more like a interest free loan you can apply for by filling out a form with your taxes and in addition to your regular federal and state return, you will also recieve an additional $7,500.  And you pay it back by the IRS witholding $500 from your federal tax return for 15 years.  There’s of course alot of stipulations involved such as income limitations, you have to have bought your house within a specific time period, and if you sell your house within a certain time and you make a profit, they can legally claim the money back out of your profit… a whole bunch of stuff but for most people, it’s actually worth it.  I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty details here because I’m not a financial guru or whatever and I don’t actually blog for a living, but here’s a link directly that gives all the information about it

The biggest hurdle for us is that we NEED our tax return so we can use it as a down payment on our house, so we can’t really wait around for the papers to be signed to get the money because the form does require you to give the address of the home you’re buying or have bought.  We could file our taxes, and then amend it later, but unless our house needs work we don’t plan on doing it.  The house we looked at yesterday would have been an ideal home for it; however between the water damage and the roof and the fact the family that lives in the house are all heavy smokers, it’s too much work and Jeff’s not handy around the house so it would have been a money sink and not an investment.

I’m not saying that everyone who reads this should go for it; however if you feel that in your personal situation that it will reduce stress and improve your house overall, go for it.  But be sure to talk to a financial person or an accountant before you do it because on the surface it may seem like a good idea but when you put it on paper it won’t work out.

Anyway, wish us luck on our house hunting!