Wednesday, March 23, 2011

House Hunting in B-Town

Like I said in my last post, we starting thinking more & more about home ownership & eventually started house hunting... let me just say, "Praise the LORD for our patient realtor, Vannessa Carter Walling" through-out the Aug. - Dec. process we probably looked at 50 homes in our price range & boy, was it exhausting! (Although I totally LOVED it- Ed, notsomuch) 

We started out in quest of a 1930's brick bungalow home, a style that steals my heart and makes me envision weekend home repairs and fun trips to thrift shops like John & Sherry... However, after seeing tons of homes where entire bathrooms & kitchens needed to be gutted, central heat & air installed, and roofs replaced we realized that, while there are some things we could live with & easily replace ourselves over time...


Cue instant buttercup glow

Ed thinking "I CAN'T WORK IN THESE CONDITIONS! (he's a kitchen snob)

There were others that made us think who the @#$* do we think we're doing even considering this...

Notice puddle in the middle of kitchen...and no, neither Bea, nor I tinkled in the floor!

 *Sadly I wound up with no pictures from the "Milly, don't touch ANYTHING house" (Ed's niece came with us on one house hunting adventure)

So, after lots of discussions on what we thought monetarily, physically, and psychologically we could handle, we opted for less work on the house= more time for play & with both of our already busy schedules plus desire for a social life, we didn't want to DIY ourselves to death or pay out the wazoo (haha) for updating everything in sight! Maybe later, but not right now... ANYWAYS here is our little 1920's cutie...

Picture taken 10/6... Keys in hand 12/23... it was a LONG process!
This was the 3rd house I put an offer on & like they say, 3rd time's the charm! She (yes, houses have genders) is just perfect for us right now! We are exactly 1 mile away from my work, walking distance to restaurants & bars (yes, Bristol does have a few), close to King College (relevant until 5/7/2011 WAHOO!), has plenty of space to grow, old home character with modern updates, and will eventually have soccer fields across from it (yay! fenced-in running space for The Weaze!). The only cons I can think of at the time are closet space (although one is in the process of being built- slowly but surely? maybe? fingers-crossed. #storyforanothertime), and I wish we had a little more natural sunlight in the afternoon, but, nothing to make me pack up and want to start the process all over again!
Here are a few shots before we moved in:

Perfect Southern front porch! All you need is a glass of lemonade & some rocking chairs!

Left 1/2 of the kitchen before our make-me-love-cooking appliances were delivered!

Please take note of the "cute" little staging items...

Pretty stairs going upsairs (uh-duh, Becca)

There are still a few things we want to do here & there- eventually replacing kitchen counter tops, fence in the backyard & build a back porch, build built-in's in the living room, possibly add french doors to open up the dining room, paint, add hardwood upstairs, and landscape outside.  Nothing pressing, but just some goals for the next 30 years (doubtful we will stay here that long, but hey, it's what the paper says!).

Home ownership makes us want to celebrate! (mostly I just think this is a hilarious picture)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Saying "Yes" (Part 1)

I should probably rewind all the way back to August- even before starting my blog- to the house hunting process.  And actually maybe even rewind back to November 2009 when Ed & I moved into a cute condo together here in Bristol....

Upon moving in together we knew our relationship would go one of two ways- 1.) We would realize that we couldn't live together, hated each others guts for never putting the toilet seat down, taking hours to get ready, or fighting over who got stuck  had the pleasure of taking our sweet precious Weezer out on cold nights
You know I like any excuse to add a picture of sweet B.B., and yes, she is wearing a tutu!
or 2.) We would figure out that we can live together, love spending countless hours watching the Food Network side-by-side, enjoy waking up next to each other's morning dragon breath & greasy hair, and continue to fall madly in love with one another ;)

I'm not gonna lie, those first two months may have been more like #1, it was tough figuring out each other's living habits and figuring out that fine line of actually being good roommates; nevertheless, strengthening our relationship when we were arguing over whose turn it was to take out the trash or unload the dishwasher.  Luckily, we weren't delusional when taking this major step in our relationship.  We knew it was going to be tough, there were going to be days when we just needed a break to spend time with friends, quiet time to ourselves, or occasionally taking a step back and saying "WOAHHH! it's dishes in the sink, NOT the end of the world" so after the transitional period, and a S.W.O.T. Analysis (no joke, I was a business major) we figured out how to make it enjoyable and agreed that we wanted to stick it out for the long-haul! (Say what you want about living together before marriage- it works for us- it may not work for you, to each their own!)

However, after a few months of paying rent and listening to the 3 & 10 year old boys next door charge up & down the stairs at all hours of the night we knew come Nov. 2010 when our contract was up, we needed to move.  We needed space to ourselves where I had the ability to paint, hang pictures, and be creative with our home (no joke, we had predetermined nails in the center of each wall as a designated picture spot in each room).  We thought about renting a house- with a more easy going landlord- but, renting options in B-town are few and far between and with interest rates at all time lows (hello 3.9%), the thought of building equity at a lower price per month than rent, plus a gracious gift from my grandparents estate, home ownership became something we thought about more and more.

Next Up, the house hunting process... more pictures...I swear!