Tuesday, November 23, 2010

T-6 days...

Home buying has been so stressful and the seller has made everything more difficult than it needs to be. I get knots in my stomach every time we have something major to handle with him. I have been keeping my mouth shut, but I'm so sick of his BS at this point. The latest is about a repair for a leaky shower. He disclosed the problem to us, told us he'd fix it, and then did his usual Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde routine by flat-out refusing to fix it. Then we had to argue about it, and he finally agreed to fix it. This is just one of the many things we've had to fight tooth and nail for. Since he was so slow in getting back to us about everything, the tile was probably not ordered as early as it should have been. Now, the shower won't be ready for the walk-through this weekend and we close on Monday. He refuses to pay an expediting charge for the tile to arrive earlier. We have no choice but to close on Monday and I guess the funds are somehow not transfered until the work on the shower is completed.

On top of all of this, we've been in the process of refinancing our condo for around two months. Yup, you read that right. Still haven't closed. When we put the offer in on the house, the loan for the condo changed from a regular one to an investment property, which is apparently a huge PITA because of all the recent law changes for both condos and investment properties. This means that we've essentially had to promise them our first-born child, then our second-born, and well, why don't I just hand over my ovaries now so that we can get a move on this loan. It's not our lender's fault, but it's really stressful trying to do both of these things at once. Why did we wait so long to refinance our condo, you ask? You have to wait until it's been off the market for six months. Compared to the condo, the loan process for the house has been a piece of cake.

So, not only are we closing on our new house on Monday (even though the work won't be finished), we are also closing on our condo refinance the same day. I know I'm stressed because my usual routine of falling asleep easily has turned into laying in bed imagining all the things that might go wrong. Then I dream about our seller and how many ways he's going to try to fuck us between now and Monday. Have I mentioned how excited I am to see him at the walk-through? He has no agent, so we are forced to see him every time we need to get into the house. Delightful. I'm so freaking scared that things are going to fall through or that closing will be moved. We have movers and a cleaning company lined up, Jason has taken time off work for these specific days-changing things now would really, really suck. Deep breaths, people. Soon it will all be over and will have all been worth it, right?

Since I feel compelled to put a picture in every post, here is Lola bringing the crazy. I'm still not sure if she's going to lay an egg or what because she is screaming constantly and has started this "nesting" behavior where she gets on the floor and rummages around. Apparently she found Levi's bed too irresistible to pass up. Or maybe she is courting the chipmunk. You never know with her.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sort of Wordless Wednesday

Things are nuts, so my posts will be short and sweet until after we move in less than two (!) weeks. Oh, packing is such fun times. I leave you with a few pictures of my sweet Levi at the park we love so much and will be so sad to leave behind, as well as the irresistible face of the new boy that we will be waking up to every morning soon after we move:) I cannot wait. Oh, and apparently Levi found the box in which Jason packed some of his toys and antlers. And don't ask me why out of everything that needs to be packed in our condo, that's what Jason decided was a priority. What can you do except laugh and take a picture?

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

More House Details and Photos

I think it's finally safe for me to post more about the house. Post-inspection negotiations have been challenging and stressful to say the least and we've considered walking away more than once. I didn't want to get too excited and set myself up for disappointment. I'm just biting my tongue until it bleeds regarding my opinions on home-buying until we close. However, we have finally come to an agreement with the seller regarding repairs. More on that another day.

First, a few things I love about the and a few things I "settled" on.

Loves:
  1. Location. Like I said before, the house is located in one of the city neighborhoods we most desired: Historic Shaw. Shaw was even voted "best place to live" by our free weekly paper. On top of that, the house is less than two blocks from a very large urban park, Tower Grove Park. Hello, farmer's market in the summer! Shaw is also bordered on one side by the world-class Missouri Botanical Garden.
  2. Size. We'll be moving from 1200 sq ft with almost no storage space to nearly 3000. We'll have a yard, a two-car garage, and a basement. Alleluia.
  3. Updates. New roof, new systems, all new windows, new appliances, new everything. This house was completely gutted.
  4. Yard size. HUGE for the city due to location on corner lot. I could not be happier.
  5. Four bedrooms/2.5 bathrooms with master suite. Exactly what we wanted, but would have been happy with only three bedrooms.
  6. Exterior. I'm in love with the outside of the house. I would love to put a picture on here, but it's too distinctive and would be too easy to figure out where we live. If you are Facebook friends with me, I'll include the exterior photos.
Dislikes. These are very minor and I really can't complain!
  1. Floor plan of first floor. One thing I really wanted in a house was a traditional floor plan with a formal living and dining room. This house appears to be converted from a two-family and I think the floor plan is weird. The floor floor basically consists of a very large entryway, living room, kitchen, bathroom, mud room, small office (will be bird room), and breakfast room addition. Then there's this strange open area by the side entrance that isn't really a dedicated anything. They have a casual dining table in that room, and I guess we'll have no choice but to make it our dining room. I'll be brainstorming ways to dress it up to make it seem more formal.
  2. No family room. We have two options for a family room: make the formal living room a family room or turn one of the upstairs bedrooms into a media room. I highly doubt we'll be doing formal entertaining anytime soon, so I imagine we'll just keep the living room downstairs as a family room. It's wired for surround sound which is also a bonus.
  3. No fireplaces. Not the end of the world, but there are two that have been covered at some point. I'll just have to find a more creative place to hang stockings! We've never hung them before, so it will all be new to us! Besides, we would probably never light a fire anyway with the potential for roasted cockatiel or conure.
  4. No pocket doors or stained glass. I'll live, especially with the millwork in the living room and coffered ceiling in an upstairs bedroom to stare at:)
So, let's go on a photo tour, shall we? I took most of these photos, but some are from the listing.

Here is the large entryway. All new floors and I particularly love the light fixture they chose. The doorway you see on the left leads to the living room.

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The entryway flows into the weird dining area and front staircase (there's a back staircase in the hallway). I'm thinking some creative use of paint or fancy wallpaper along with more formal furniture might partition the area off better.

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You can see how this room is pretty open.

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I already posted pictures of the living room, but here are a couple more. The lighting will be recessed.

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First floor hallway. You can see the mudroom in the distance.

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Half-bath on first floor. I love the vanity. The floors in the bathroom are really cool. Each tile is covered in linen and then baked. I've never seen anything like it.

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You already saw the awesome mudroom, but here are a few more of the kitchen and breakfast room. Oh, and a pantry! It's the little things, people!

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I think it's weird the kitchen has no backsplash, so I'm sure we'll put some in someday. Other than that, I love the kitchen. The drawers are the kind that close themselves slowly once you give them a little push!

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Also in the "it's the little things" category is the deep sink which is located in front of a window.

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I haven't done any research on this, but I think the appliances are pretty nice. I'll just be happy to not have to squat to open my vegetable drawer!

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The breakfast room, which I guess you could make a sitting room. I love that you can actually crank open these windows. There's a small porch outside the door.

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That's pretty much the first floor, so let's head upstairs! One thing I love about the house is that it's really airy. It's pretty far away from the house next door and it gets a lot of light. The hallways are also very wide, contributing to that airy feeling.

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Pretty staircase with our awesome inspector in the background.

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This is the smallest of the bedrooms, which we will probably make into an office. Or a birthing room for pregnant momma dogs, lol!

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Bedroom #2, which is pretty large. This is the other candidate for family room. This room is gorgeous, but there is no closet, which is kind of strange. Oh well. Again, the lighting will be finished off prior to closing.

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Full bath on second floor.

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Third bedroom. This one we will set up as a guest bedroom.

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The master bedroom is large enough to accommodate my enormous dresser, so that makes me happy.

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Master bath has dual vanities and a party shower! It has a rain shower head and multiple heads in the wall too.

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Love the tile in the shower.

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No tub, but room for one if we want to put one in later.

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Check out the walk-in closet! There might be room for Jason's clothes in here too!

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The sunroom off master bedroom once again.

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And now Levi presents: the yard! It's definitely nothing to write home about in terms of landscaping, but the size is more than we could have ever dreamed about AND it already has a privacy fence. I am imagining my raised vegetable garden as we speak. Also, the seller has already filled in the ugly hot tub hole with concrete.

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So, there you have it! Please keep everything crossed for us that things move smoothly through closing (less than four weeks away, eek!). I won't really be at ease until keys are in hand.