The One that Got Away

unnamed1234 While I was cleaning out our filing cabinet, I came across our contract and inspection report from our house that “got away.”

I am sure every homeowner has one..You look at a house, love it, put in an offer, and it is under contract. Or you get out-bid. Or in our case, you get to the home inspection and realize there are lots and lots of overwhelming things to fix. Like, practically the whole inspection report was in red font, meaning: NOT GOOD. You ask the seller to fix the major problems and they say no. You debate and debate and debate about whether or not you should continue on with the contract. You counter, they counter…We walked away…and we are SO glad we did.

I know what you are thinking. You walked away from a house that had “lots of overwhelming things to fix” and then you bought YOUR HOUSE? Yes. For many reasons.

The other house was over $30,000 more and still had cosmetic things inside that we would want to change. I was obsessed with the yellow front door and the little mudroom it had as you walked in. It had a large garage/shed in the back yard and a huge magnolia tree, a screened in porch, and a fence! And a gas fireplace! It was super close to our favorite neighborhood and was within walking distance of the river and a delicious BBQ place (priorities, ya’ll). The downsides were that it only had 1 1/2 baths, it had an underground oil tank that we would have to remove eventually, it didn’t have appliances, and oh…it had major structural issues (foundation, moisture, roof, etc) that the  seller was not willing to fix.

For my friends who are going through or eventually will go through the home buying process..I have a few tips.

Try not to get discouraged. You will find the right house for you. It just might take more time than you want it to. And try not to be pissed at the seller if they can’t accommodate all of your requests, you spoiled brat (I learned that one through experience..it doesn’t help anything if you’re mad.).

Don’t rush in to something or give up one of your “must-haves” because of an emotion (I love that yellow front door!) and be REALISTIC about the amount of work you want to do or pay someone else to do. We were gung-ho about making improvements from the beginning and there are some days where we admit we bit off more than we can chew on our own.

Know that everything once you own a house is more expensive than you think it is going to be. You will walk in to Lowes/Home Depot/any store and you’ll be like…”oh cool, these screws/nails/whatever are only like $.97 each…” and then you realize that you need 40 bazillion to finish your project. Plus a new screwdriver, hammer, and, “ooooh..look! They have mirrors AND curtains here!”

Listen to your advice-giving family, even if you don’t like what they are saying. At least just listen and think about it and THEN do what you want to do. Sometimes they really DO know best, even if you don’t want to admit it.

Every seller has a “thing” they are looking for in the transaction. Maybe they don’t have a ton of cash on hand so they CAN’T pay the entire closing cost amount, but are willing to drop the price a bit or be flexible somewhere else. Maybe they are an investor and don’t really care if they sell it right away because they can afford to sit on it and wait for someone who will pay full price. Maybe they have to get out of the house ASAP and can’t wait for a later closing date. The key is to find out what they want, weigh it against what you want/can afford, and decide whether or not it will work. If you feel uncomfortable/uneasy about where the negotiations are headed, get out and go look at more houses.

You’ll find it!

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Not for the FAN-t of Heart

The previous fan in our guest bedroom failed in any of the three tasks one would expect from a ceiling fan with a light.

1. That it provides enough light for the space.

2. That it moves air.

3. That it not be hideous.

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Last Sunday, Josh and I took a delightful trip to Lowe’s to get a few things for finishing up the back bedroom (trim, ceiling fan or light, etc). We’ve painted the room, but I’ll post pictures of that later, I promise. While we were looking at fans, we decided on a 44″ Hunter fan called the “Ridgefield,” which was priced at $84.96.  This fan markets itself as a “5-Minute Install,” meaning it is about 85% assembled when you take it out of the box. AKA, your only job is to wire it, attach it to the electrical box in the ceiling, and add the blades. I wasn’t totally sold on it because of the rounded blade attachment things, but it was for a room we don’t really frequent, so I was good with it!

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Then, we turned the corner and found a 42″ Harbor Breeze fan called the Lansing, which was on sale for $69.94. The picture shows the lighter of the two finish choices, the other is a darker finish like the one above). Since it was cheaper, we didn’t really think much about the added value of the “5-minute Install.” We should have. This fan made us hate each other for a good hour or so.

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Don’t get me wrong. I love the fan. The installation was torture.

Josh, of course, started by turning off the breaker for that room (this was around the time the sun was setting so we were on a bit of a time crunch to finish it while there was still daylight), while I took inventory of all of the pieces from the box and read the instructions. THE INSTRUCTIONS. UGH. The MOST FRUSTRATING thing in the world was that they started out with “Remove the screws on the underside of the motor.” Ohhh, so we are disassembling then re-assembling. That’s efficient with a freaking capital E.

Later on in the installation process, you had to remove screws AGAIN after the fan was wired and then push the motor assembly back up toward the ceiling and then re-screw the screw back in to its’ place. At this point, Josh dropped the screw into the bowl of the fan and had to undo a lot of the work that had already been done. When he finally got the screw out of the fan, it fell onto the floor. Meanwhile, Tucker was OBSESSED with me and kept trying to sit on my lap and it was hot and I was sweaty and I was yelling at him to get out of the room and he wasn’t listening so I didn’t see where the screw fell. Reminder, the sun is setting and there are no lights in this room.

We couldn’t find the screw. I went to go find a flashlight and found three, all of which needed new batteries. I huffed and puffed and said something snarky like, “Good thing I found this out prior to hurricane season, geez.” Josh huffed and puffed and stomped off to find his phone to use the flash light. I kept suggesting for him to look under the baseboard heaters. Josh said he knew it fell on the other side of the room. I said okay. (Imagine this with each of us being snippy and not very nice..it wasn’t a good look, ya’ll.)

We looked for another 10 minutes through the rest of the screws provided for the fan installation and they all look the same in the dim light. Josh finally agreed to look under the baseboard heaters and looky there, sparky! WE FOUND IT. Under the heater.

At this point, we are both sweating our butts off (because we are cheap and refuse to turn on the A/C) and just ready for it to be over. Josh got the screw where it needed to be and then we started the blade installation. That went super smoothly and then all was well in the world.

Bottom line is..Buy the mostly pre-assembled fans, don’t install a fan when the sun is setting, and don’t install a fan with your spouse.

Ya’ll didn’t know you’d be tuning in to the blog for marriage advice, now didya? You’re welcome.

But look, we have a fan! How fancy!

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You light up my life!

Look at this little cutie I found while browsing awhile ago!

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I immediately emailed it to Josh with the Subject Line: Hallway Light? And got no response. I showed it to him again that night since I was thinking about it ALL DAY. He said he liked it. I said OK.

The next day, I bought it. Well, it came in and it is now calling “INSTALL ME!!” from upstairs, but we expect a lot of in/out hauling to be going on with the installation of the insulation and drywall, so she is just going to have to be patient. I would cry if it got hit/broken, but I won’t be upset if something happens to the fixture it will be replacing:

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Leave it to me to pop in to another space without finishing the others. 🙂

 

While we are on the lighting subject, my sweet sweet husband is in the process of re-wiring the living room and sunroom. These are his plans:

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The first thing is we will now have TWO fans with lights, connected to switches when you walk into the room from the kitchen. We are moving the main light switch from a really awkward wall to one that makes sense, so I am extremely excited about that. We are updating all of the wiring/outlets in the room and moving a few of their locations as well. I am SO excited that we are going to add an outlet higher on the wall near the fireplace in case we want to put a lamp, tv, or anything up on the mantle that needs power so that we won’t have cords hanging down the side. We are also contemplating adding some accent lights near the fireplace, but haven’t made a final decision on that yet.

In the sunroom, we are adding two more ceiling light fixtures (there was only one that was in there when we moved in), although the ceiling in there is lower and we will have to be really good shoppers to find something that will work since we and our families are giants and we aren’t made of money.

 

Here are a few we are liking at the moment:

FM12025ACL-02P866840~dtlFM13128BS-01P641559~dtlI found one the other day I LOVED that was $499. $499 x 3 = not happenin’. We originally wanted to do can recessed lights since they would be a non-offensive, cheap option, however there is not enough room for installation due to the roof line of that space. BOO. Now we are just having a hard time finding flushmounts that aren’t too modern/rustic/trendy/expensive that we won’t hit our head on (they have to be less than 8″ tall to have enough clearance for Josh). I really like fixtures that have the exposed bulbs, but we want to be practical and also use our ugly energy efficient ones… ARGH.

We will find something and we definitely have time, since insulation and drywall have to happen first anyway. 🙂 We are on the calendar for insulation next week!

 

Hello, beautiful thing!

Oh hayyyy. Long time no post.. My reasoning is because 1. We’ve been in and out of town so not many projects are getting done and 2. We were still sanding, sanding, sanding, and posts all about sanding are boring. Soooo anywho… Remember this guy?

AC Unit at Move-In

Well, lookie what we got…

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It has been a few weeks since the installation of our AC unit, but man has it been glorious. We had major humidity issues in the house early on (mildew forming on walls, etc), so the AC was much needed.

WAHOO! Now we are a bunch of dollars poorer, but at least we can breathe in our own house without the fear of getting mildew poisoning. Is that a thing? If not, I just made it a thing.

Spoiled

Spoiled.  That’s all it’s about – can’t live without this, can’t live without that. You  can live without anything you weren’t born with, and you can make it through on  even half of that.
Gloria Naylor

Whenever I get wound up about something that ‘needs’ to be done on the house, I want Gloria Naylor to slap me in the face with her wisdom and remind me that WANTS are different from NEEDS.

Speaking of that, Tucker now has a memory gel dog bed and a fancy new collar. I live my life on the ironic side.

Tucker's New Bed