Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Life is a marathon, not a sprint...

Another life lesson that proves to be so true! Our house is living proof! I started a blog about how we are starting with the master bedroom and bath almost 3 weeks ago. We have now finished painting both rooms, but still need to add the finishing touches to the bedroom, which is my favorite part! We need to pick out curtains and definitely need to make sure they match our new bedroom set! I could not wait for the curtains in the bedroom to be hung to post about the amazing job Adam did on the bathroom, so above are the before and after of the bathroom. I just love the colors!

Adam has been working what most would say insane hours the past few weeks. The poor guy. I can't believe he is still in good health. He basically wakes up goes to work, then to football practice and then goes straight to the house to work on it. He has been pulling 16+ hour days and I am so fortunate for what he is doing. I know I do not tell him enough how much I appreciate the time he is putting in to our house. While working like an absolute dog, he is also being really patient with me and teaching me how to do things. I am not always the best student, so this is a job in its self for him! We are basically walking zombies these days! For the past two nights I have set the alarm, but did not turn it on. That is not like me! We knew it would be like this, but I don't think we were entirely prepared. We are in crunch time because we are moving this weekend!

So, here is an excerpt of how I started my original post 3 weeks ago...

As I mentioned, we spent the holiday weekend putting up samples and prepping the rooms for painting. Most of you probably don't know this, but when it comes to his work, Adam is a perfectionist. His philosophy is we should always do it right the first time. He is very meticulous when he paints and it definitely shows in his work. I, on the other hand, have no painting skills whatsoever, so I feel like most of his time is spent going over what I already did, but such is life. Adam is being very patient with me and I am learning a ton.

After a frustrating weekend of prepping to paint the master bedroom and bathroom and trying to tape off the master and living room, where I probably wasted more tape than I put on the floor (don't tell Adam!), we finally started to paint this week. It turns out I can paint! So, maybe I used too much paint on the bottom of the trim and I didn't "whisp" enough and perhaps I painted the ceiling a little crooked and even missed a few spots. Ok, and I may have dropped the brush a few times, but I am getting it. I even have the blisters to prove it! We started with painting all the trim and the ceilings of the master bedroom and bath and then moved to the walls. I had no idea how much detail there was to painting. We decided to change the trim color in the entire house to a light beige, so it is taking more time to get everything done than we originally had planned, but everyone tells me that always happens. Plus, the previous owners did not do a very good job, so we need to fix a ton of their mistakes. And by "we" I mean Adam. When it comes to painting, Adam has very high standards. I am actually surprised he is letting me paint! I just hope he isn't lying to me when he tells me I am doing a good job!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Decisions, Decisions....

Sorry it has taken me a while to post, but we have been busy almost every night at the house. As I type, Adam is starting the first coat on the master bathroom! We are almost done!

Two weeks ago we spent the weekend sampling colors for the master bedroom and bath and the living room. We knew we wanted the master bedroom to be a light beige and a darker brown for the bath. We decided on Sand Trap for the bedroom and Mocha for the bathroom, which are in the 1st and 2nd picture. The brown on the lower left side is the one we chose. Adam originally thought he wanted to use Dover White for the trim, but we realized that was way too stark white even though it looked slightly off-white in the paint fan. So much for the $60 we wasted on the 2 gallons we already bought. Adam is beating himself up over jumping the gun, but we'll find another use for it somewhere. We would rather have it look perfect. Since our house is a little retro, we decided to go with a very light beige for the trim and ceilings, which is light beige in all of the pictures. We are hoping this warms it up a little. It won't be easy to paint all of the trim and ceilings, in addition to the walls, but w are hoping it turns out great in the end.

I originally thought I wanted to do a sage green in the living room, but after sampling that I quickly realized I did not like the colors I chose. It looked more like a pea green and it looked very close to the color we already have in the kitchen which we don't like. We decided to do the main walls in beige with 2 accent walls in the living room. The wall above the fireplace is going to be a very dark slate color called Smokehouse which matches the color of the fireplace. We are going to paint the wall that separates the living room from the kitchen a red color, Caberlia. If we don't like it, it will not really matter. We will be tearing down part of that wall down eventually when we remodel the kitchen, so we can change the color then. We will most likely run the beige in the kitchen and dining room after we move in.

Here are the samples we put up in the master bed and bath and living room. We are almost done with the master bedroom and bath. I will post some before and after pictures this weekend! We bought a new light fixture for the bedroom and put that up last night. Now we just need to find a new bedroom set. I am so excited to have a big girl bed! We have had our mattresses on the floor for the last 3 years!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The "Before"

We started doing some work to the house this past weekend, but wanted to show you some of the the "before" pictures. As you can see, we already put up some paint samples, but more to come on that in my next post. The house is 3 bedrooms to baths and about 1,400 sq. ft. Great starter home that we will probably have for about 5 years. The house was a rental for a few years and the renters did not keep up on the house or the yard, but I don't blame them! Our landlord just came over today to do a bunch of yard work we apparently neglected because we are renters! Our plan is to work on the inside of the house first, painting, remodeling the kitchen and re-finishing the floors darker (do you like the white wash 80's look?) and then start landscaping the yard and paint the exterior of the house starting next spring. Adam is really excited to start on the yard and already has ideas in his head from HGTV (our favorite channel these days!). I, on the other had, absolutely hate yard work and am not looking forward to working on it. I am going to have to find some excuse when the time comes!

Below are pictures of the living room, guest bathroom and kitchen. I will post before and after pictures of the the master bedroom and bath after we are finished with those rooms. We just started to paint them this week! I wanted to post more, but I discovered that moving pictures around is not easy and I am still trying to get the hang of this whole blogging thing!

How it all began.......

I have always wanted to start a blog, but never really felt like I had anything really interesting to blog about. Well, that is until now! Adam and I are officially now homeowners! It has been a long road (and will be an even longer one head), but it was all worth it in the end. To get you up to speed as to where we are now, I should probably start from the beginning. We started looking for houses in May in the downtown Issaquah area with our awesome agents, Jamie Butler and Tamaira Devany from Tec Real Estate. We love living within walking distance of Front St., so we started looking around the downtown Issaquah area.

As most of you know, Adam is a very skilled contractor and while I was leaning toward something that was a little newer, he convinced me otherwise, which was for the best (or I keep on telling myself that it will be for the best when we are all done!). As we began our search nothing that we looked at seemed to fit, either it was way too much work for us to even move in to, too small and even too big or it was a little too far from where we really wanted to be. We definitely wanted a house and not condo, so that ruled out a number of properties. Also, a lot of the houses are on mountains in Issaquah so the backyards can be at a slant or pretty steep, we really wanted a flat property. Half way through our search we found out that we really didn't like split-levels either. There is something about having to make an immediate decision to either go up or down upon walking into a house that we didn't really like. I know this all sounds too picky, but at the time I didn't think we were that bad, but I guess only our realtors can truly attest to that!

Right when I told Adam that I thought we were never going to find anything we liked, we stumbled upon 490 Mt. Kenya Dr. The house had been on the market for about a month and I had seen the listing many times, but I wasn't really interested in it based on the pictures in the listing. (My advice to anyone looking for houses, go see them in person!) As soon we pulled up Adam said he thought he was going to like it. Well, he was right, but not only did he like it, he ended up loving it! I, on the other hand needed a little more convincing. Once he told me all the potential it had, I was sold as well. I figured all the work we were going to put into the house was going to be well worth it.

We decided to put in an offer for the house the following Monday. The house was a short sale, so while we knew we were getting a good deal, we also knew it was going to take a while since we were working with the bank and not the owner. As luck would have it, another offer came in on the same day after the house had zero activity up until then. I don't want to bore you with the details of month and a half process, so long story short, we got the house and a great deal at that! We bought the house for 40k less than it sold in 2005 and the appraisal came in at 35k above the sale price! We closed the house on the 19th of August and could not have done it without our friends at Guild Mortgage, especially Tonya and Charles.

That brings us to where we are now. We have now had the keys for almost 3 weeks and have had very little time to do anything. With Adam starting to coach football and the end of summer activities, we haven't been able to spend the time on the house that we need to. I don't know why, but we seem to always move right around the beginning of football season, which is the worst timing. Luckily, we are in our rental until the end of September, which gives us some time. Our plan is to paint most of the interior, fix up the laundry room and resurface the roof before we move in. Not sure how much we will get done, but we are now on a mission. There is a lot more work we would like to do, like remodel the kitchen, but that is all going to take time that we don't have right now. I am hoping to remodel towards the beginning of next year after football is over.

While Adam wasn't initially super excited about people being able to watch everything we do in this blog, he is becoming more accepting of my great idea to blog about this adventure. I think it is going to be a true testament of our labor and hard work on our first home. We are incredibly excited and scared out of our minds at the same time. I still can't believe we own a house. In fact, I think it took us a few weeks to realize that we actually do own a home now! We can't wait to make progress on the many projects we have planned and watch how everything turns out right before our eyes. We have already experienced some hurdles, more to come on that, but we look forward to making this our own home.

We are sadly saying good-bye to the old "crack den" we rented behind Las Mas. For those of you that have been to our place you know what I mean!

But excited to introduce our new home, 490 Mt Kenya Dr.! For those of you who are familiar to Issaquah, the house is on Squak Moutain about a mile up from Front St. You just follow Sunset past the salmon hatchery up Squak Mountain.

Excuse the mattress in the front of the house! Just one of the joys of buying a short sale! We also have a weight bench in the backyard if anyone is interested!

This is the back of the house. The top picture is our deck looking into our living room and the bottom one is the sliding glass doors off the master bedroom. As you can tell, we have a ton of landscaping to do next spring!