Sunday, May 5, 2013

Karl in the Hizz-ouse

I have no idea if I spelled that correct because I just typed what it sounded like in my head.

I actually had another post planned but I am just too excited and have to share this update with you. Post order be damned!

In my last post, I told you the good news about our sectional update; we found one! We chose the Karlstad from Ikea in Sivik dark gray.

Found here.

I had seen this sectional on younghouselove.com originally and really liked it. However, at the time Husband wasn't totally sold. It wasn't that he didn't like the color or style, he was just nervous about buying a couch without being able to see it in person. He worried the fabric might be uncomfortable or the couch would feel cheap. I completely agreed and we continued our search.

We have been searching and searching since the day we moved in. 9 months of nothing. Well, maybe not nothing (Double negative! English majors hate me!). We found a couple of options that we liked but weren't quite right for the space. The sectionals we found were either the wrong color, wrong orientation (we didn't want to block our back door), or it was ridiculously expensive.

We found this one from Havertys that we really liked. It was comfortable, a good price, and each piece is seperate so we could get any configuration we wanted to fit the space. I wasn't completely sold on the color but they have a good return policy and we decided to buy it and see it in the space. Different lighting can drastically change colors.

Found here. We went with the Porto Granite.


Sadly, the color looked worse in our living room. I don't have pic but, trust me, it was bad. We wanted a gray couch but it looked really brown, as opposed to only kind of brownish in the store. It also made the walls look pink. I tried holding up some gray paint swatches (since we want to paint anyway) but that only brought out more of the brown and it really clashed. We had to return it.

Womp womp.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find any other affordable option in the style and color we wanted. We had to go the custom route and order something. We picked out this little number from Christian Street Furniture.

Found here.


The price tag for what we wanted, with delivery and taxes, was well over $4,000.

Ouch.

We decided to suck it up and save the money. We didn't really have any other options. It turned out to be a good thing that we were taking so long to save the cash. It gave us more time to really consider if an expensive custom option was what we wanted. Our house has a dog, a cat, and a really messy wife so paying $$$$ for an everyday couch felt like a bad idea. Sure, a pricey piece would probably hold up well to the daily abuse. BUT. Husband and I knew we would just be sweating bullets every time someone came over and hovered too close with a drink or snack.

That's no way to live or host a party, ya'll.

I really knew Husband and I had to reconsider the custom couch when we had some friends and their son over. Their two-year-old cutie was playing with our chalkboard table (oh I'll have to show you that too! Later.) and he had chalk on his hands. He ran over to our sitting area couch and got chalk dust on it. The mother apologized profusely, trying to clean off the hand prints. I told her not to worry. The couch is slip-covered and inexpensive! It's not like it's a heirloom piece.

That's when it really hit me. Had the kid done that to our $4,000+ custom sofa, I might not have been so laid back about it. I told Husband about the incident and it registered with him as well. Could we really live comfortably with a sofa we couldn't be relaxed around? Nope. Nope. Nope.

We took another look at Karlstad and the price was definitely right. Even with $350 in shipping, the sectional with the add on chaise was only about $1,600. That's less than half the cost of the custom piece. Plus, the Petersiks had posted here with an update about how Karl was holding up to their daily abuse. Spoiler alert, it was holding up beautifully. That and the price really sold Husband on it. So we bought it! And it came early! SCOOOOOOOORRRRRREEEE!

I just want to reiterate that the style, size, and orientation were also perfect. Not just the price. The only thing that kept us from buying it in the first place was the inability to see it in person, since we live several hours away from the nearest Ikea. I strongly urge you NOT to buy something just because it has a nice price tag. Buy something because you love it or need it.

It took me about 3.5 hours or so to put it together. I took a couple of candy breaks in there too. Husband was under the weather that day and couldn't help. I, however, was uber-determined to have that thing done. I wanted our new couch already!



I used a dolley to bring everything in and Husband helped push our old couch to the side. A real plus to having such a large, open concept home is that there is always space to work on things!



I suppose I wasn't completely solo on this assembly. My furry little helper was always underfoot. He makes a good product tester as well.

Hurry up with the rest of those cushions, Mom. I'm ready for my nap.

Here he is, all assembled and in our living room!



Husband gave the aluminum legs the ok and I'm glad he did. I really like them and they add to that modern feel we want!



I will say I like the fabric and look of the couch. However. Yes there is a however. However, the cushions are a lot firmer than what we're used to. Our old sectional was cushier to start and has been broken in very well over the past 5 or so years. I'm used to sinking into a sofa, which I don't really do in this one. I'm hoping that we will be able to break it in a bit more over time. All in all though, I really like the couch. I can't wait to have friends over and have everyone fit in the living room at the same time! It will be EPIC I tell ya!

I get excited over the weirdest/lamest crap.

We also hung the gallery wall from the condo (seen here) above the couch and bought a large rug (that looks pretty much identical to the one from the condo) from Lowe's. The rug is 7x9 and it is from the Sophia line at Lowe's in the Ivory color. I don't see our exact one online but it was about $400. I know, that's a lot to pay for a white rug but OH WELL. It was what we liked and we saved a bundle on the couch. It is also super plush and soft.

We plan on adding some more colorful pillows and finding/building a console table to go along the back of the couch that faces the dining room. As always, I'll keep you posted!

Another before,


and another after,


and another shot of Ty!

Love those leg wrinkles!


PS - I'll have a separate post about how we hung the gallery wall. It was really frustrating at first but Husband and I came up with a method that worked perfect and made the entire process much faster and less headache-inducing!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Step Two: Paint!

Husband and I had a nice long list of projects and To Do's when we bought our house. See that list here. Step One after buying the house was CELEBRATE!

This was our first time using our key and walking into the house right after we bought it. The brown envelope has our closing documents. Yeah, we were excited.

Right after we moved in, we moved on to Step Two: Paint. Specifically, the man room.

Not so manly right now.

This room used to be a little boy's room. As with all things, it was time for this room to grow up and become a man. Don't make that as dirty as it sounds.

This room is meant to be Husband's little bit of oasis. The room where he can do whatever he damn well pleases, such as relax without a nagging little woman around. Hey wait...that's me.....I just insulted myself on my own blog in a really sexist way.

Not much relaxing could really happen in here with the neon colors. So, before we even unpacked all of our boxes, we grabbed some paint swatches and Husband started picking colors. Since this is the Man Room (I should capitalize it from now on) I have nothing to do with the decor choices in here. I'll give my opinion if Husband seems stuck or asks but whatever he wants to do in here, he can do.

Husband and I try to agree on everything decor wise that we do in our home. This is OUR home and we should both love it. That's not to say one of us doesn't compromise sometimes but, for the most part if we both don't like something, it doesn't make it into the house. Except for our offices. We each get free reign in our own rooms. Teal walls in the office, here I come! 

Sidenote: There is one thing I'm not allowed to do in my office anymore and that's cut things with my dremel. I may or may not have been cutting molding in my office with my dremel and I may or may not have set off the smoke detectors in the entire house. I need a workshop, yo. Because I've been banned. *sigh*

Back to Man.

Husband wants his Man Room to have a classic, elegant feel. Maybe elegant is too feminine of a word. Classy? Fancy? High-end? Yeah, high-end. Manly and accurate. Think, modern lounge. He decided on a light, neutral gray with some warm undertones. The color is called Filtered Shade by Valspar.

Luckily, Husband's parents were free and willing to help us paint! We primed and painted the room in a day. Many hands made such quick work that we primed the dining room the same day!

Crappy phone pic. Nice.

We could have painted but we hadn't picked out a color for the dining room yet. Oy vey was that a long process. But that's another post.

We did have a bit of a hiccup that day. We only had so many rollers and brushes and, at one point, my father-in-law was left with no roller to help with painting. Not being the kind of man to idle, he decided to cut some overgrown bamboo that was along the side of the house. Unfortunately, that disturbed a nest of carpenter ants. The ants begin to scatter, with many of them climbing the side of the house and into the air vents that lead to the attic! These little buggers don't eat wood like termites but they do destroy it to make nests and tunnels. Husband and his dad had to act fast. They ran drove to a nearby pest control store and bought some heavy duty ant killer. Husband sprayed around the house and sprinkled the bait in the attic.

Details about these little buggers here.

Needless to say, Husband and his dad weren't able to help paint because they were a bit busy keeping our home from being destroyed. So, the two women (me and my mother-in-law) painted the Man Room. Is that irony? I'm not sure but it seemed like it at the time.

Our house is still standing so I guess the bait worked.

Here is the Man Room now, with a more subdued hue!

I'll post better pics when it's a room instead of a box graveyard.


And that's it. That's all that has been done to this room for the past 9 months. Sad, I know. Our current living room couch will end up in here. Until we could get some new furniture for the living room though, it has been forced to stay nearly vacant. Lucky for Husband, that will be changing soon!

We finally picked out and ordered a couch! We decided on the Karstad sectional from Ikea in Sivik dark gray.

We ordered the add on chaise as well. I know, I should rename this blog YoungHouseLoveCopycat.com.

We also ordered the aluminum legs but Husband said he may or may not be sold on those. We'll have to wait to see them in person before we say yes to using them. I'll post details when that happens.

The couch is set to be delivered this week! *squeal* Once we have that set up, we will move our brown sectional into the Man Room and Husband can really begin setting up his space. He currently has his favorite artwork sitting on the floor, leaned up against various walls. I know that some people do that and it looks cool and artsy but, trust me, it doesn't look like that in there right now. He was waiting on the furniture so he could hang things properly the first time. Until then, there hasn't been much incentive to do something about the piles of boxes and disorganized junk everywhere.




Wait! We did do one other thing to the Man Room! The ceiling fan was changed. Husband was looking to change out his white fan for a brown one, which would fit in with his style more. When he pointed out a few he liked, it struck me that what he pointed to looked very similar to what was in my office. And I had been thinking I wanted a white one! We really are soulmates! So, instead of spending dough on two new ones, we just switched. It was easy enough for Husband and his dad to do and we saved the moolah for other projects.

Use what you got it! Because sometimes, it is just as good!


Wow, this post is kinda all over the place. Painting the man room, dining room, ants, couches, fans, etc. I guess that is just a testament to what working on a home is like. One project leads to another and to another. It is just one big domino effect. I suppose that's why our homes are always In Progress.

I'm ok with that. How about you? What dominoes have you been knocking over recently?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Set the Stage

As promised, I wrote up a little something about what we did to stage our condo to sell quickly and for what we were hoping for. I should note, I am no expert. I didn't go to staging college or anything, if those exist.

I don't think they do.

Anyhoot, these are the things Husband and I did to give us a leg up during showings. These tips are all about what to do the day of an open house or potential buyer drive by.

First and probably the single most important thing, CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN (full caps means business).

Photo credit, realsimple.com. Check out this great cleaning checklist I used as a starting point for my own checklist!

Oh Lawd, clean like you have never cleaned in your life and then continue to clean everyday like Martha Stewart herself is coming to judge your home. You might think most people won't notice the smudge on the baseboard but, when people are house shopping, they notice everything. Even if just on a subconscious level.

Husband and I did not leave dishes in the sink. We did not leave semi-clean laundry hanging on any chairs. We made the bed religiously. We dusted, vacuumed  and scrubbed all surfaces constantly. We made sure there were no dust bunnies in any corner of the house. We emptied all trash cans (even the bathroom one) almost daily, or at least right before someone said they were coming by, regardless of how much was in the can. Yes, it was exhausting but it paid off in the long run. Hopefully, your house will be so clean it will sell almost immediately and then you don't have to clean ever again.

To let you know how important this step is, I'm going to tell you this little story. There was another condo just like ours (same size, floor plan, etc) on the market at the same time we listed our condo. The other listing had some older flooring upstairs and wasn't staged like our home. Other than that, same condo.

There was a much bigger difference in the price, though. That condo was listed for $20,000 CHEAPER than our listing. It had also been on the market for some time so, it probably could have been negotiated for less. I don't know that for sure because, obviously, I wasn't trying to buy it. This listing made Husband and I extremely nervous but, we forged ahead. We had to try.

When our buyer told us that he had checked it out but chose our home instead, I asked why (because I'm stupid like that).He said it was because, out of all the listings he had toured, our home was the cleanest place he had ever seen. He went on to say that made him feel like our home was well cared for and, therefore, less likely to have any major issues.

!!!!!!

Our crazy cleaning was worth $20,000 to our buyer.

!!!!!!

Cleaning is important!

My second tip, which kind of goes along with the first tip, is to move any pets out of the house. 



Some people might have an issue with this but it really does help with keeping the house clean and fresh. Plus, not everyone is a dog/cat/turtle person. Shockingly appalling, I know. We did disclose that we had pets in the condo because we weren't moving the kids out to be deceptive. It really is easier to keep a house clean with fewer living creatures in it. Heck, I thought about moving Husband out temporarily. No one would take him.

Kidding, honey!

I am not at all suggesting you take your pets to a kennel or get rid of them. Heavens no. We could never do that to our babies. We begged  asked our parents to take the kids during showings. The cat went to my mom and the dog went to my in-laws. Our kids are high maintenance and giving both to one person would have been too much. So, if you have a family member or really good friend who is willing to take your furry babies for a bit, just do it. And buy that person lots of booze and cookies.

I'll be honest, it was hard. We missed the kids, they missed us, and our families were burdened with our brood. But, we all knew it was important to help us sell quickly. Since the pup is a little more maintenance than the cat, we would leave him for a few days and then take him back for a day or two, until someone called to set up a showing.

The cat was more difficult to move (mainly because of the litter box) so he stayed with my mom for about a month (or two). He also doesn't handle change well so I knew seeing moving boxes would stress him out. My mother is so awesome for keeping him for that long (until we settled into the new home) and ignored her own stress level for it.

THANK YOU MOMMY!!!!!!! She reads the blog sometimes. Everyone say hi mom and thanks for taking care of your daughter's fat cat for so long!

Once we had a purchased agreement signed though, we moved the dog back for good. He can handle the boxes.

If you can't temporarily relocate your pet, then keep that litter box/kennel/aquarium super clean (I use sifting liners in True's litter box and they are fantastic for a quick clean), try to bathe your pet so they don't stink, and consider using paper plates or bowls for their food. That way, you can toss their food dishes before a potential buyer comes by. You want to minimize your pet's footprint as much as possible.The Petersiks would even drive their babies around in the car to get them out of the house while people were checking out their pad.

Tip #3, do a quick pass through to declutter before showing your home and shove it all in the car. 

I have about 5 of these bad boys and used every single one to decrapify. They are about $5 each at Wal-mart or Target.

These items are things that you need in your day to day life but may crowd your home, such as your dirty laundry basket. I would pile things into empty laundry baskets and toss them in my car, then drive my car to the other side of our lot. It feels kind of sneaky but it really did help our tiny condo feel airy and clean. My car was usually stacked with our laundry baskets, my bathroom trash can (because it stuck out in my bathroom and interrupted the flow), our Roomba, clean clothes that hadn't been folded yet, the baskets on our stairs we used to corral clutter, and other random items that we would normally throw in a closet before company comes over because there wasn't time to properly put it away. Since this company would be looking in all of our closets, there was no place to hide our mess.

By tossing all of those random things in the car, it allowed us to use what little time we had for getting ready to focus on scrubbing. Some people may call and want to stop by in 10 minutes or less and you want to be ready for them. They could be The Ones!

Tip #4, Light some clean smelling candles and spray some Febreeze.
Photo credit

You've probably heard tips about baking fresh cookies in your oven during an open house and, while that's a  good idea, I didn't think my waist line could handle such a thing. So I opted instead to use cleaning smelling candles and Febreeze. I wanted the clean smells to reiterate my goal of a nothing-dirty-ever-happens-in-this-house-seriously-we-go-next-door-to-do-number-two vibe.

I picked up a couple of Glade candles in Crisp Waters scent for the bedroom and bathroom and a bottle of Febreeze in the regular odor eliminating scent for the couch and carpets. I would light the candles and spray the carpets before Husband and I would do our quick pick up and clean for potential buyers, so the scent would have some time to disperse throughout the rooms.

Cookies or clean sheets, the choice is yours. In my *limited* experience, clean smells and bright colors make a home feel bigger and fresher. Sounds weird but, I tell ya, it worked.

Just to note, I wasn't paid or perked for my recommendation of Glade and Febreeze. They don't know I exist, let alone know to pay me.

Tip # 5, Open some curtains and light it up
Get it? Lights on the Christmas tree? Ok so this is a big stretch. I just wanted to post a pic of our new house all decorated for Christmas. SUE ME.

By light it up, I'm not talking cigarettes or joints. Don't do drugs, kids.

Part of our prep included opening all of our curtains and cracking the blinds to let in as much natural light as possible. It adds to the open, cheery feeling buyers love. Also, turn on lights in every room. You don't want buyers to walk into a dark room and search for the switch. EVERYTHING should seem bright and welcoming  No dark corners. Light is good, ya'll.

Since buyers will be peeking into every nook and cranny, I would also turn on lights in closets, pantries, basements, etc. It's just one less thing someone has to do, because buyers don't like to work. That is true for any kind of buyer, in any retail situation.

 If your showing the house during the day, I wouldn't worry about outside lights though. That would be overkill.

Just to recap all that glorious info I just gave away fo' free:

1. CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN
2. Move out the pets, temporarily of course
3. Do a quick declutter and shove it all in your car
4. Light some clean smelling candles and spray some Febreeze
5. Open curtains and light it up

As I said before, I am not even close to an expert. I did a lot of research before we listed our condo and these are the things Husband and I did that worked for us.

Anyone out there have any other tips or tricks that helped them sell? Any house shoppers who have a list of things they look at when touring homes?

Friday, March 1, 2013

New House!

Ladies and gents, I present to you *drum rollllllllllllll*

Our New House!!



It may not be much to look at from the front (trust me, it's on the To Do list) but Husband and I fell in love with what was on the inside.

This is the living room area. The natural stone tile is throughout the main living areas, guest bath, and laundry room.

This is the view from the front door. I love how everything is wide open & feels so spacious!


Just look at all of that MOLDING. I know, the picture quality is below average but mama doesn't have the money for a wide angle lens. Husband used his phone with a stitching app because it was the only way to do this open concept any kind of justice. And I didn't even have my camera with me at the time. And my laptop with pictures is in the shop.

I know our original plan was to buy an older home and fix it up. We wanted more square footage and thought we could only afford that with an older home. We were very fortunate to find, okay our Realtor found this spacious open concept home that was doable for our budget! Notice I said doable and not within. Yeah, we went a bit outside our original budget but still within our comfort zone. Actually, when we first started looking at homes, our budget was around $160,000-$180,000 which we quickly realized was LAUGHABLE around our city. Hence, the two years of saving and planning.

I was skeptical when I first saw this place. We drove into the neighborhood, with it's fancy gas lights at the entrance, and I thought, no way can we afford this. When we walked in the front door and I saw the triple crown molding and big open living area and I thought, there's no way, as a sarcastically cackled to myself.

O ye of little faith.

Just a few short weeks later and we had moved in!


The kitchen & sitting area.  O how I love this kitchen and sitting area! It is THE spot in our home during parties and get togethers. Still more work to do here but it has come a long way (functionality wise) since this picture was taken.

This is our master bedroom. Love the tray ceiling & it gets a ton of natural light.

The master closet. Yeah, my heart went pitter patter when I saw the built ins.
The master bathroom. The jacuzzi tub works and is a nice little getaway. We have some simple ideas to spruce this area up and we will probably do a bigger renovation/upgrade a few years down the line. It's pretty basic, with the exception of more drool-worthy molding.

This is my office and will also be the guest room.  Big plans!

This is Husband's Man Cave. Yeah....it was the first to be painted because ow my retinas.

I forgot to snap pics of the laundry room, guest bath, and kids' room. Yes, our pets have their own room. It's actually an office (because there's no closet) but it works perfect for a pet bedroom. Those rooms are also pretty basic and just needed some organizing and a little sprucing.

This place is fairly move in ready. I say fairly because there are always things to do to a new home. When Husband and I discuss our To Do list, we joke about our home being move in ready. Laugh cry mostly.

Just for kicks, here's a rundown of some of the things we want to do at our new Casa de Comeaux:

1. Landscaping in the front (although this will wait for spring because SO MUCH ON THE INSIDE).
2. Buy a lot of furniture  Like, a lot. My sister asked how our stuff looked in the new place and my only reply = "Small."
3. Organize. Organize. Organize.
4. Add a deck/more patio to the backyard. It's pretty small, ya'll. I'll have pics of that soon.
5. Paint the dining room.
6. Paint the man room.
7. Paint my office.
8. Set up a sitting area off the kitchen.
9. Add some art to any and every room. The walls are all still empty 8 months later. Ridiculous.
10. Make some matching built ins for the other side of the fireplace.
11. Paint the master bath.
12. Add some shelves to the toilet room of the master bath.
13. Add a bed and some other comforts to my office to make it a guest room.
14. Set up a mudroom by the back door for our daily junk.
15. Get shelving in my office to organize it.
16. Make a divider for the kids' room (details soon!).
17. About a million other little things.
18. Paint the living room a soft gray, which means painting that entire area. Oy. Vey.
19. Add a tile backsplash to the kitchen to give it a finished feel.

I'll be honest, some of those things on that list have already been completed. I really want the satisfaction of publicly crossing off some items. I have no shame.

Don't let the 19 items fool you. Pretty much every room needs furniture, organization, wall art, and decor. We are slowly but surely saving pennies and finding some time to tackle all of these projects. And I can't wait to share all of it with you peeps!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 will be blogged!

July 10th. That was my last post. Great job, CC. Way to stay on top of things!

I've been dealing with this constant feeling of overwhelm, too much change and transition, and too many things on my plate. New job with much more responsibility, new house with much more responsibility, new bills, new this, new that, more this more that... You get the idea. Unfortunately, I put blogging on the back burner because too many other things took priority over it.

Looking back, I don't think I made the right choice. We had a Christmas party at our home and some friends were so impressed with my organized kitchen that they took pictures. Seriously. One friend even took pictures of my pantry and my entryway. I totally admit to feeling some major pride and that's when it really hit me. I have missed being able to share my work and oh, there has been so much work.

2013 will be blogged!

Last I left you (way back when), we had a purchase agreement on our condo and we found a house we were in love with but we weren't sure if we would get it because of a lawsuit filed against our condo association. Most banks didn't want to loan money to our buyer because our place was under litigation. It was an incredibly frustrating time for us because we did everything right (saved $$, paid our dues, researched, advertised, etc.) but we could still lose the sale and ultimately our dream home.

 I'm happy to report, all turned out ok.We sold our condo! We got the house! Hurray!

To catch you up to speed and give you all of the details, the lawsuit was regarding $2,000 worth of unpaid dues and interest. $2,000 was going to cost of everything! We were pretty desperate and even offered to pay to make it all go away, because the amount of equity we would lose was way more than $2,000. It was too late though; the suit had been filed and was in process.

Our Realtor, God bless him, had some great contacts and found a bank that was willing to loan to our buyer. When the lender found out some information about the suit (it was already in mediation and looked to be reaching a settlement soon), he agreed to loan to our buyer, who had 20% to put down and excellent credit. In today's market, you can't lose a buyer like that.

We were ecstatic! That was our last obstacle! We had already put in a purchase agreement on the new home, with the stipulation that our current property would sell, of course. We got an inspection done on New House and it came back clean and clear. There was some more back and forth with paperwork and timelines. SO MUCH PAPERWORK. SUBMITTED IN TRIPLICATE, YA'LL.

We listed our condo for sale on June 10th. Within two weeks, we had two showings. Both of the potential buyers called us back a week or so later, wanting to put in an official offer. We had a purchase agreement signed about two days later. We had a couple more phone calls from interested buyers after that but, since we already had a purchase agreement, we turned down showings and stopped advertising. We were able to close on our condo on July 31st. We closed on our new home on August 1st. Husband and I joked on the way home from closing on the condo that we were now homeless, since we hadn't officially bought the new house yet.

We feel pretty damn lucky. There were other condos and homes in our area that were not selling. Some of those places are STILL on the market. Times are tough, peeps.We were very nervous when we put our place on the market. What if it doesn't sell? What if we get an offer, but it's not enough? We have a certain amount we need and, if we don't get it, we can't afford to buy a place.

Luckily, our place sold quickly and for the price we needed. Whew!

Financially, we came out better than we planned. We got our full asking price for the condo, we squirreled away as many pennies as we could for a nice amount in savings, our payoff for the condo was a little less than we thought it would be, and the sellers of our new home were ready to get rid of their property and gave us an amazing deal. I'm not saying we're rolling in the dough with our fancy pants on, but we can buy name brand ramen noodles. I mean, we still gotta furnish this new place.

I really believe that our two years worth of planning and staging of the condo made it all possible. No joke on the two years of planning. When Husband and I got married, we started planning on buying a house together. We spent a year getting my credit up and paying off all of our debts, like student loans and cars. We researched real estate prices in our area. We researched what kind of home we wanted and how that translated into dollars. We figured out how much we would need for a down payment to make the mortgage affordable. We budgeted to make that happen. We researched tips to sell our condo. We spent a year staging our place, a little bit at a time. It all paid off!

I think I'll do another post with tips I learned for staging. Spoiler alert: Clean like you have never cleaned before. And of course I will do a post with pictures of New House! We took plenty when we moved in! I have so much to catch you up on too! We've already organized and painted some rooms. I told you I've been busy! It's been worth it though.We wake up everyday saying, "I love this house."

Catch me up to speed with you! How has the blog world been?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Desperate

I'm not going to try to give excuses for why I took such a long blog hiatus other than to say, life is crazy pants. I thought June was bad but July has put it to shame. Wowzers.

I won't be doing any DIY projects for the month of July. Probably not even free ones. We need to save every penny for closing and I barely have the mental capacity to do dishes lately. I may be able to post some tutorials/projects from previous months but, as I said, dishes aren't even happening right now.

Here's some info to bring you up to speed.

Good news = We have a purchase agreement signed on the condo! Someone wants to buy it! Hooray!!!! We actually had TWO people who wanted to buy the condo. It didn't turn into a bidding war though. It was more of a race to see who could get financing approval first. I'm happy with who won the race because he seemed to really love the place and I know he'll take good care of it. He also gave me the sweetest compliment. He mentioned that there was another condo in our complex for sale and it was cheaper. However, he picked our place because it was completely move in ready and the cleanest place he had ever seen. Yeah, I totally teared up at that. All of my painting/organizing/fixing up/staging/mega-cleaning paid off and was appreciated! Sa-weet!

Bad news = Someone in our complex (not us) is in a legal dispute with our homeowners association about a past due balance. As a condo, we are seen as one entity and banks will not loan money to someone wanting to buy a property in the middle of litigation. We are working our booties off to find some other loan options for our buyer because we all want this sale to go through. We may have found a solution but *KNOCK ON SOME SERIOUS WOOD* that it all goes through because things could still fall apart. At any moment.

The suspense is killer, yall. Husband and I have both been on the edge of our seats this entire month.

Good/Bad news = We found a house we love! This is good and bad because we found a house we love (yay) but, we may lose it (boo). I feel stuck in this awesome and terrible mix of emotions. I don't want to get my hopes up because we might lose this amazing house but it is so freaking close I can almost hug taste own it. Say a prayer, light a candle, or sacrifice a goat for us. We don't discriminate against any religious act that will get us this house! Well, maybe not the goat one. That might be a little much. Okay, please don't kill any goats or other animals. But light as many damn candles as you can find.

Husband has been a true champ through this entire roller coaster. He is constantly answering phone calls, emails, and text messages between lenders, our buyer, our seller, and our Realtor. He's been working hard to tackle obstacles and find solutions so we can move into our dream home. Wes = Awesomesauce. Round of applause for Husband. *clap clap* I really hope all of this hard work pays off.

That's all the news I really have now. I feel a bit better having blogged about it. I may just post updates on Mission: Sell the Damn Condo Already. and I'll come up with a better name for this series too. Bear with me, kids.

Obligatory photo:


This is a dwarf hibiscus I bought for staging our patio. It has been surviving beautifully during all this chaos. Maybe because plants don't know the first thing about lawsuits or conventional loans. Lucky bastards.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It's on the market!

It's official. We listed our condo for sale! Wooty woo!!!

Here's the flyer we put together.
We also listed our property online here...


And here!

 
Is it sad that we had to take pictures with my husband's phone, which has an app that stitches pictures together, because my super duper fancy camera only has a standard lens and it would have taken twice as many pictures to showcase all the features of our rooms? I really need a wide angle lens. Certainly not going to buy one now because we need to save all the moolah we can!

I have to admit, it is really nerve-wracking posting our home for sale. I know I post pictures of our home on this blog but now, you know exactly where I live. It's frightening but necessary. Please don't stalk me. Unless you want to buy the place. It which case, I'll bake cookies when you come over.

It feels so great to finally have this done! And now.....we wait......and hope.....*gulp*......