Archive | Moving, Buying, & Selling

House Buying for Noobs

Buying a house is crazy. Especially for us first timers. We saved all our notes, charts, and tips so that we could share the process from our real-life-first-time-home-buyer’s perspective, and a request we got the other day to write a post on the subject was the motivation we needed to finally do so. Here it goes!

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

Step 1: CASH MONIES

The first thing we did was get a good idea of our budget. There are two numbers you really need to think about: your down payment (a percentage of the cost of the home you pay upfront), and your month to month payment (we broke this down below).

The down payment part is easy. How much cash can you part with right now (and still maintain a comfortable enough cushion in your pocket)? And what percentage are you comfortable putting down (10%, 20%, etc)? If you put down less than 20%, you have to pay mortgage insurance each month on top of all your other monthly payments, so we personally tried to find a house that we could afford to put 20% down on. But if you have less cash you can part with immediately and you don’t mind paying a little extra each month, you can put down less.

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

For month to month payments there are a few more factors to consider (try not to let your eyes glaze over…)

  • Principal and interest- most real estate websites will calculate this for you for each house listed.
  • Property tax- sometimes it’s on real estate websites, other times you can google the tax rate in the area you’re looking at.
  • Homeowners insurance- this one we didn’t know til we actually put in an offer on our house and got a quote. Might be google-able. You could possibly get quotes from insurance companies if you want something more accurate.
  • Utilities- these are harder to estimate. We talked to family that lived in the area and found out their costs, then figured the proportional cost for the size of house we were looking at. I hear you can also call utility companies directly to get their rates.
  • HOA fees- not all areas will have these, but if they do they’re usually listed on real estate websites.
  • Mortgage insurance- if you put down less than 20%, the bank requires you to pay this.

The taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities, HOA, and mortgage insurance all depend on the house you get, so just get a ballpark idea of what they cost for the area you’re looking at and size of house you want. We got our ballpark and subtracted that from max amount we wanted to pay per month (we were aiming for no more than we paid for rent at our apartment). That left us with the limit on how much we wanted to spend on our mortgage.

Beware of budget creep!!!! As you look at houses, you’ll start thinking “we can look a little higher than our max budget because we can always argue down the price.” So your “max budget” creeps a bit. Then it creeps a bit more and a bit more. Then before you know it you’ve put in an offer on a house $100,000 OVER what you originally aimed for (true story- a few weeks before finding our current house we put in an offer on one $100,000 more expensive. Thank goodness it fell through!)

Step 2: GET A PRO

Find. A good. Realtor. Ours was a friend of Evan’s family and she was AWESOME. Having somebody who had our best interest in mind made things a lot less scary. If you don’t have personal connections to a realtor, go to open houses to meet them. You’ll know pretty quickly whether you get “good person” vibes or “salesman” vibes. You can also look up reviews online.

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

Step 3: LEGIT PREAPPROVAL

Even though you don’t have to do this as soon as you start making house appointments, you should. Why? Because if you find a house you want to put an offer on, a preapproval letter will make your offer stronger. Considering two of the three offers we put down on houses were against competing offers, anything we could do to make our offer stronger was a plus. Who is a seller going to choose, the grown ups who the bank has already said they’ll lend money to, or the hoodlums who may or may not actually get approved? Get yourself legit!

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

We were initially a little confused about getting preapproved. Did it mean we had to get our loan from the bank that preapproved us? No! Getting preapproved by Bank A does NOT mean you have to get your loan from them. You can go with Bank B or C if you want (more info on getting your actual loan later). To get preapproved, just contact a bank/mortgage company and they’ll tell you all the material you need to gather before they can preapprove you (pay stubs, tax returns, etc). You send them the info, they send you a preapproval letter. Don’t put it off, it’s easy.

Step 4: HOUSES

This is the super fun part! Look at houses!! We were very involved and specifically picked every house we wanted to see, but if you have less time your realtor can find houses for you. If you’re not sure what you want, just start looking and you’ll get there. We went back and forth about the area (downtown vs the burbs), age of the house (post-2000 vs pre-2000), and how much work we wanted to put into it (move-in-ready vs fixer-upper). Just getting in and seeing a LOT of houses really helped us figure these things out.

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

Seeing house after house after house, it’s easy for them to get mixed up in your head. Was the one with nice open floor plan the one that had the crooked deck? Was the really big one the one that had a huge power line behind it? Was the one with the awesome kitchen island the one with unfortunate purple wallpaper???? Ahhhh!!!

Fret not though! Pictures and diligent note-taking make all the difference in the world. I’d take pictures of things in each house that weren’t shown on the listing, and I had a bunch of questions on my phone that I’d fill out while we were walking through the house. It REALLY helped keep them straight in my head, and it also helped me to remember to look for things in the house that I may have forgotten without my list handy. Some questions I had were:

  • Price and sqft?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Are the ceilings high enough?
  • Open floor plan?
  • Do all the faucets, showers, toilets, etc work?
  • Walk in pantry?
  • Walk in laundry?
  • Double paned windows? Do the windows have blinds already?
  • Any water damage?
  • Type of flooring?
  • Evidence of foundation movement?
  • How maintain-able is the yard?
  • etc etc…

The list of questions goes on and on. Seriously, I could do an entire post on this step- there are so many things to look for when you’re buying a house. Some other things to consider:

  • Size- bigger isn’t always better. We tried to avoid anything over 2300 sqft because we didn’t need that much space and didn’t want to clean it!
  • School district- even if you don’t have kids, being in a good school district will add tons to your resell value.
  • The bones- pay more attention to the bones of the house, not what it’s wearing. If a house has dirty carpet, hideous wallpaper, and dated appliances, don’t sweat it because you can easily change those things. But if it has low ceilings and your engaged to a guy that’s 6’5″… that’s a problem with the bones of the house. Or if it’s all really closed off into separate rooms and you want open concept, it might be a deal breaker. Sure you CAN raise the roof, and you CAN knock down walls, but that stuff is a lot more expensive and involved than tearing off some old wallpaper.
  • Location- this might sound like a no-brainer, but make sure that commute is doable. Also pay attention to things like- how close is the nearest grocery store? Do you back up to a busy street? How far away are you from major highways?
  • Price per square foot compared to other houses in the neighborhood. You do NOT want the most expensive house in the neighborhood, because the lower value of the other houses will pull down the value of yours when it comes time to sell.

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

When you find the house for you, you’ll know. Don’t settle. Be patient. We had our eyes set on this one specific neighborhood because it was walking distance from this cool area with shopping, bars, restaurants, etc. We put offers on TWO houses in that neighborhood. The first fell through because there was a cash offer higher than ours. I was pretty upset. So when another house in that neighborhood went for sale, we put an offer on it even though it was $100,000 more than we were aiming for (and about twice the size we wanted). After losing the first house, we were afraid if we didn’t jump on this new one we’d regret it. This one also fell through because the seller wouldn’t come down in price to meet our offer, and at the time I was pretty upset about losing that one too. But it ended up being a blessing in disguise- I’m SO glad we didn’t end up with something way out of our size and price comfort zone. When the house we DID end up buying went on the market, in another neighborhood just a few minutes farther from the cool area, we walked in and KNEW it was the one. We put in an offer before we even left the house.

One last note about house hunting- if you can, bring an experienced home owner with you! Evan and I did most of the shopping ourselves, but his parents came to a couple houses with us and pointed out some really good questions to ask about each house and noticed things we may not have noticed on our own.

Step 5: AN OFFER THEY CAN’T REFUSE

After screwing up a couple offers, we didn’t want to mess this one up. We had our preapproval letter ready, and we also wrote a letter about us directly to the seller. We talked about how we were newly engaged, how this was going to be our first house, how excited we were to be homeowners, how we wanted to put a lot of love into this house and take good care of it. We offered above asking price because there were several offers on it already. We agreed to a shorter than usual three-week closing period. And we got the house!!!

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

Every situation is different though, it all depends on supply and demand of the houses in your area. Our house already had several offers the first weekend it went on the market so we knew we had to act quickly and pull out the big guns. But if the market is slower in your area, lucky you! You’ve got a bit more buying power and you can argue down the price.

Step 6: APPLY FOR A LOAN

The buyer accepts your offer, woot! Now you actually have to get funded. Good thing you already got that preapproval! Shop around for a loan to get the best rate (we went to two different places). The bank/mortgage company will tell you what they need to give you a rate (it’s similar to the stuff you had to gather to get preapproved). We ended up going with Bank B even though we got preapproved by Bank A.

Don’t let loan companies pressure you! If they call you at 4:50 and say they can offer you this “great rate” but you have to choose by 5:00, that’s a red flag. And yes, this happened to us. And yes, that’s why we went with Bank B (who ended up having a lower rate than Bank A’s “great rate” anyway).

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

One of our readers had a great tip to add too- and that is to keep an eye on your credit score! In order to get the lowest rate possible you need your score to be as high as possible. So if you know you’ll be buying a house, don’t go close any credit cards, open up new lines of credit, or make big purchases (like a new car). All that stuff will negatively affect your credit. Also, keep an eye on how many times you let your credit be pulled by the banks you’re checking out. It’s ok to do it a few times during a 30-day period while you’re loan shopping because it’s understood that you want to shop around for a mortgage, but don’t go crazy cray. Getting your credit score pulled will lower your score as well.

Step 7: CONTRACT, INSPECTION, AMENDMENTS

Once your loan is all in order your can sign the official contract for your house! This part is easy! And super exciting! Your realtor and the selling agent will whip up the contract and all you have to do is give them your John Hancock.

Once you’ve signed, you have a certain period of time called the “option period” where you have the option of walking away from the contract for any reason OR proposing amendments to it. You use this time to get inspections and estimates for any repairs that need to be made. Our realtor got us connected with an inspector and professionals that could give us estimates on all the stuff the inspector found that we needed to fix. We had a 7-day option period and getting all this done during just a week was a little hectic, but I think most option periods are 7-10 days so maybe you’ll get lucky and be on the 10 end of that. Just make sure to tell the professionals you’re contacting that their estimates are time sensitive because of your option period- they’ll understand!

Because there were a decent amount of repairs that needed to be made, we asked the seller for an additional amount taken off the price we offered. She agreed, our realtors amended the contract, and we signed! Note: you have to let your lender know if you amend the contract price because they’ll need to adjust the amount they’re lending you.

We found that it REALLY helped to be there during our inspection and estimates. We learned a lot about the house and how to fix the problems that were found. It’s also a good idea to bring an experienced homeowner (friend, family, etc) with you who knows how to ask the right questions.

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

Step 9: CLOSING

Once our contract was finalized we just had to wait on the loan company to get all its ducks in a row (appraisal, writing the HUD, etc) and then we were good to go for closing! Everyone makes it sound like signing all those papers is a horrible ordeal. It’s not. True it is a lot of stuff to go over, but we got free lunch and free coffee so I was happy happy. Beforehand we had to go to the bank and get the biggest check ever (our closing cash- ahhh!!!) But again, this part is easy peasy!

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

Step 10: GET EXCITED!

You did it! You got a house!!! YOU ARE A COMPLETE BADASS!! Put on a crazy hat, grab a jug of crunk juice and CELEBRATE!!!

House Buying for Noobs- evanandkatelyn.com

Now all there is to do is move in! And repair things! And make it your own! And mow lawns! And fix leaks! And all that good home stuff that keeps you busy 24/7. Hope this post has helped make the whole process a little less intimidating for everyone else out there wanting to buy their first house. Good luck!

 

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Move In Progress

After yesterday’s post I realized that we’ve been putting so much time toward fixing bigger issues (like pipes, clamps, and potties) that we never got a chance to post about our move-in progress. So here’s a quick little update on how things are looking around here these days. Not that we’ve had the time to make any huge strides… but we are no longer sleeping in the living room, so at least we’re heading in the right direction!

During the first week or two, the kitchen was still pretty chaotic. This is because it took a lot of time to clean this thing from top to bottom, I’m talking every nook and cranny. Kitchens have a lot of crannies!

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But after much cabinet-liner-ing, meticulous stuff-organizing, and fridge de-gross-ifying, I was able to get it looking like this! And now it’s fully functional! Being able to make coffee, use the garbage disposal, and have ice cubes (things we couldn’t do in here for weeks) makes a place feel much more like home.

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As you can see through the doorway in the photo above, we also have our dining table set up. Sorry about funky place mat placement… somehow our seats always end up getting closer and closer to each other (awwww).

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After we got our bed and other miscellaneous stuff out of the living room, it felt a lot bigger. We even started to think that our 8×10 white rug may be a bit small for this space…

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…So we bought a new rug! It’s 10×12 so it’s HUGE, and it was only $199 which is craaaaazy cheap. If you think Garden Ridge is only for lawn chairs and lifesize metalic knights, think again. They also have amazingly cheap rugs.

We got our TV set up enough to watch Walking Dead on Netflix. So basically the living room is functional!

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Our bedroom was in pretty good shape. I say “was” because it’s actually looking messier now than when I took this picture a couple weeks ago. Taking down the previous owners ugly gold curtains and putting up our own made a HUGE difference.

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Yeah, THOSE gold curtains. Ewwwwww. It looks like we painted the walls but we didn’t, the old gold curtains just tinted the color of the whole room.

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The other bedrooms are far from being done. But we at least moved everything out of the guest room and into the other extra bedroom so that we can have people stay over! (Well, only people that don’t mind an air mattress. And don’t need side tables. Well basically people that are ok with having an empty square to stay in, sorry guys!)

Move In Progress- evanandkatelyn.com

Oh but yeah, future guests, you don’t really have any room in the closet right now to hang stuff. It’s currently housing shoes and overflow clothes…

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The other bedroom is currently home to all the stuff we aren’t dealing with yet. Still not sure how we fit all this into our one bedroom apartment

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Our office is still cluttered and kinda cramped feeling. I spend most of my day right here amidst the technology piles.

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Mochi doesn’t seem to mind though. She’s comfy on her bed of wires and lightbulbs.

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Well there you have it! A quick little post about our move-in progress. Can’t wait til we have time to get more organized and make things pretty. But we’ve got more pressing projects to check off the list first… like putting a floor in our laundry room, doing some yard work before we have a jungle out there, and re-grouting/re-caulking our master bathroom. But hey, progress is progress!

1

I Like to Move It Move It

I like to… MOVE IT! *lemur dance lemur dance*

We successfully moved without hiring a moving company, woohoo! For the cost of a few beers, we saved several hundred bucks and got to hang out with people we like so it was a win-win. Bring on the celebratory drinks with our moving crew!

I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com

To help the process seem less overwhelming, we started moving things little by little a couple weeks before our actual moving day. This made things a lot easier the weekend our friends and family came to help. Every time I made a trip to the house for flooring or plumbing or electric work, I packed up a full carload and brought stuff over. We just stored all the stuff we brought early in one of our extra bedrooms so that it would not interfere with the floor install.

I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com

Our apartment started looking realllllly weird after a few of my pre-moving-day trips. Mochi was a little confused I’m sure, but enjoying the piles of stuff she could lay in.

I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com “Hey hoomans where u put mah pile??”

I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com Things got more and more barren in there. It was weird.

I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com We didn’t think everything all the way through during some of our pre-moving-day trips. Like the fact that we still needed to be able to fully function in at least one of our dwellings, which forced us to be a little creative with things. Hence the breakfast of champions for example- cereal, eaten at the bar, sitting on a step stool (he let me have the one remaining bar stool, such a gentleman!)

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We also discovered that when you move you uncover some interesting things. For example, we knew Mochi liked to sleep behind my clothes in our closet, but we did not expect to find what was literally a nest of black cat fur. Gross Momo!

I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com Speaking of finding surprises in your carpets, we decided that having our carpets at the new house professionally cleaned before moving in would be a good idea. We had an HVAC company come do a carpet cleaning (and an air duct cleaning to clear out all the dust from the floor installation). To give them access to the carpets, we had to move all the stuff from the extra bedroom out onto the finally-finished floors. So when our friends/family helped us move in, we put everything on the wood floors since the carpet cleaning wasn’t until the next day.

And yes, I was completely OCD about protecting our floors and made everyone wait so I could put felt pads on EVERY piece of furniture that didn’t already have them.

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For the first week of living in our house, we slept in the living room, proudly cooked breakfast tacos and ramen (the only two things we could find supplies to make), and lived in some pretty serious chaos because all our time had to be put toward more pressing matters (DIY-ing our security system, addressing plumbing problems, etc). We tried to make a little sense of things but they sort of got worse before they could get better.

The entertainment center became our headboard (progress?).

I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com Our guest bathroom and hallway became extra storage space (we are used to being in a one-bathroom apartment so it was fine).

I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com I spent a whole morning organizing and cleaning our kitchen and somehow it looks worse than it did on move-in day.

I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com I Like to Move It Move It- evanandkatelyn.com Our entry way is ok though! Entry table officially in position! Mind-you-not the mountain of stuff that greets you just to the right of the fireplace. Oh and our breakfast-nook-turned-office is functional!

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Our dining room has become the official art-storage area (did I mention we have a LOT of art?? This is only a small portion of it).

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After the moving chaos, we went back to pick up our kitty from the apartment (we had left her in a bedroom there so she didn’t get underfoot during heavy-furniture-lifting). She is the best little car rider! Just sits in my lap the whole drive. (Sorry for the grainy iPhone pic)

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Mochi wasted no time in exploring her new place. She’s actually in 6 of the pics in this post! Bet you can’t spot the little soot sprite in all 6 photos she’s ninja’d herself into. It’s like playing find the cat in our own home sometimes, seriously!

2

How to Prep for a Floor Installation

We did some things right. Made some things worse. Eh, we are noobs at this stuff but we tried, and now we have some great tips for anyone who decides to turn their place into a dust palace install new flooring in their home.

With our house, we wanted to remove all the white tile from the kitchen, breakfast nook, laundry room, and entry way (it was cracked in several places and just sorta blah). We also wanted to get rid of the carpet from the living room, dining room, and hallway. Basically, the only rooms we decided to leave alone are the bedrooms and bathrooms, so the majority of our house is getting a huge floor makeover.

We chose that awesome laminate wood floor to go everywhere except the laundry room, which will be getting tile (even though laminate wood is more water resistant than hardwood, the guys at the flooring company recommended tile for the laundry room just to be safe). With such a large portion of our home getting a floor upheaval, we had to do some prepping and planning to make sure it went as smoothly as possible.

Firstly, we turned off the AC and used whatever we found lying around (cut up trash bags and home depot bags, which we have plenty of now) to cover all our vents.

20130226_103815 We wanted to shove towels in front of the bedroom and bathroom doors, but because the guys were redoing the floors in the hallway too we couldn’t (the towels would have gotten in their way). So we closed the doors and hoped that would be enough to keep the dust at bay. It sooorta worked. After one day of tile demo, the guest bathroom did not fare so well and ended up covered in a nice thick layer of dust. The bedrooms weren’t too bad, but in the spare bedroom with all our stuff there was already a thin layer of dust on the items closest to the door.

So we made a run to home depot (note- we’ve been to Home Depot twice a day every day since we got the house) and picked up some rolls of plastic sheeting, Dexter style. We brought it home and basically made a big plastic tent to cover all our stuff in that bedroom as best as we could.

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And since we had some extra, we used more to cover up the kitchen appliances. The flooring guys had covered some of them already, but we thought it wouldn’t hurt to add a little extra protection. Check out that mess of a floor. Consider this a preview of our next post…

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We still had the problem of dust getting through the bottom of the bedroom and bathroom doors though. So the engineer came up with a towel+twine solution that allowed us to use towels to block dust from the inside of the doorways. First we rolled up a towel length-wise and tied twine to it in three places.

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Then while Evan was outside the room, I’d line up the towel along the inside of the doorway and pass the twine underneath the door to him. I’d shimmy out of the room, and as we closed the door Evan would keep the twine pulled tight, holding the towels up against the inside of the bottom of the door. Then we just tucked the extra twine and voila! Dust-blocking towels that wouldn’t interfere with the floor installation!

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I’d love to say that this is all we did and it was a huge success and we are awesome. But there was something else we did too. Something involving a putty knife, pry bar, and our baseboards. And it was not so successful.

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Let me explain our foolish actions. See with wood or laminate floors, they have to be installed with a 1/4 inch gap around the perimeter to leave room for expansion. Typically, people add quarter round stained to match their floors to conceal this gap. Here’s an example:

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We didn’t really like the look of that, and thought we’d like it better if the floors were just flush with the baseboards. So we decided we’d save some money, remove the baseboards ourselves, and reinstall them after the floors were done to conceal the gap left for expansion. So it would look more like this instead:

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We knew it would take a long time, so I started while Evan was still at work. After reading a bunch of online tutorials, I picked up all the right tools and followed all the right steps, and the darn baseboards would NOT pop off the wall.

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I was scared to pull any harder because I didn’t want to break them (after all, the goal was to reuse them and save money). So on his way home from work, Evan picked up some heavier-duty tools to see if those would help. Well, they DID effectively remove baseboard from the wall. But unfortunately it was just the broken off chunk you saw a few pics above. Sad trombone. We tried to stick it back on to make ourselves feel better.

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Luckily we had started in the laundry room so it’s not a place that too many people are going to see. But before we tried to tackle any more baseboard removal, we wanted to find out why it was so hard to pop off. Upon investigation (i.e. getting our faces really close to the floors), we realized that the tile and grout had been laid after the baseboards were attached, meaning the baseboards were literally grouted to the floor. No wonder they were so stuck! You can see how the grout is holding them in place in the picture below:

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So the good news was that at least there was a reason we were failing so hard. But the bad news was we had a huge expanse of grouted-in baseboards that we would not be able to remove. We had to consider other options. And after searching a bit more on the internet, we found a solution. WHITE quarter round.

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Extends palm, plants squarely on face. Duh. After it’s caulked in place, white quarter round ends up looking like part of the baseboard and pretty much gives us that same look we wanted from the beginning. Derp is us! Why didn’t we think of this before we started destroying our baseboards?!? Oh well. I blame lack of sleep and too much tile dust inhalation.

1

House Tour!

Currently my car, my hair, my clothes, my eyeballs, my shoes, and my house are covered in dust. I’ve been at the house all week during our tile demo/laminate wood floor installation and it is crazy over here! But before we post about the floor transformation, we realized we need to take a step back and give you guys a house tour! Can’t believe we haven’t done that yet! You’ll have to forgive us, we are derps.

You’ll recognize this picture from our very first post, it’s our little house looking quite dapper from the outside.

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When you enter through the double doors, once you get the darn things open (they get stuck… need to fix that), you are in a little entry way facing the back of the fireplace. Might seem sort of awkward but it’s really not, we actually like it and plan to hang some art there and put a thin console table against it for candles/vases/flowers/whatever.

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On the other side of the fireplace is our giant living room with huge lofted ceilings! This was one of the few older homes we looked at that Evan could walk through without bumping his head. A big win for us!

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You’ll notice we already have seating and some art hung. Feeling homier already!

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Here’s another view of the living room if you’re standing to the side of the fireplace looking back toward the dining room.

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In this picture you can see through to the kitchen area. The previous owner did a LOT of work in the kitchen… all new custom cabinets, granite counters and backsplash, new lighting, stainless steel appliances (all except the fridge), and she even knocked out that big hole in the wall that opens the kitchen up to the living room.

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In that last picture, we are standing in the breakfast nook that’s to the side of the kitchen. We actually have plans to turn this room into our home office (sounds strange now but I think it will work). Here is another view of the breakfast nook.

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And to the left of our breakfast nook is the laundry room and access to the garage. And yes, that’s a big-ass sub zero freezer chilling (pun intended) with our washer and dryer. Gonna craigslist that beast. Anyone interested?

House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

So when you’re in the living room facing the kitchen, to the left of the kitchen is the breakfast nook, and to the right of the kitchen is the dining room. If you scroll back up to the last living room picture, you can see the dining room in the back. The previous owner added some nice built ins so we have tons of storage. But the OCD in me cannot stand that the light is off-center. We’ll be changing that.

House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

So when you enter through the front door, to your left you see the breakfast nook, kitchen, and dining room; directly in front of you is the living room; and to your right is a hallway that leads to the bedrooms and bathrooms.

House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

We have a master bedroom, two spare bedrooms, a master bathroom, and a guest bathroom. One spare bedroom is empty and the other one is currently full of all the stuff we’ve moved in so far. Check out those sexy fans.

House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com
House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Then we have the master with really tall ceilings and his/her closets (more like her/her… I can’t fit all my stuff into just one!)

House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com
House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

The previous owner completely redid the master bathroom and guest bathroom too. Here’s the master. It’s got a huge walk in shower with frameless glass door which is awesome, but you may notice something is off. No, I’m not talking about the funky pedestal sinks+middle vanity situation going on (though that is an odd set up). I’m talking about the fact that there’s no bathroom door. Weird…

House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com
House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

I actually really like how she did the little guest bathroom though! It’s nice. Probably the ONE room in the house we don’t have any plans to change.

House Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Well there you have it, our little 1928 sqft home! Of course, it currently looks a little different. As in the floor has been stripped down to the slab and everything is covered in plastic wrap and dust. Seriously, chaos. But it’s gonna be worth it!

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WE’RE OFFICIALLY HOME OWNERS!!!

AHHHHH!!!!!! OmgomgomgEEEEEEeesffksjl holy balls this is CRAZY!!!!! WE OWN A HOUSE!!!!

Officially Home Owners!- evanandkatelyn.com

Weird to think that these two kids are now in charge of the upkeep, finances, and general responsibilities involved with home ownership! Honestly we’ll probably be doing pretty much the same stuff as the pics below, just with bigger hammers and more chocolate.

Officially Home Owners!- evanandkatelyn.com

We definitely did revert to childlike excitement when we finished signing everything at the title company. Keys!!! Garage door opener!!!! Giant pile of papers we just signed!! Ahhhhh!!!

Officially Home Owners!- evanandkatelyn.com

And thanks to a surprise visit from my college roomie (love you Sidra!), we were able to get a couple stereotypical shots in front of our new home. You might notice it looks very dark and cave-like inside. This might be because we didn’t have electricity yet. But at least we DID have a couple folding chairs and half our liquor collection. #Priorities?

Officially Home Owners!- evanandkatelyn.com

Officially Home Owners!- evanandkatelyn.com

Officially Home Owners!- evanandkatelyn.com

We’ve been busy busy this weekend moving things in, meeting with repair people, and making friends with everyone who works in the Home Depot around the corner. We even started our first DIY project! Hint: it involves lots of pink. Haha can’t wait to share!

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Apartment Tour

Before we say goodbye to our apartment and hello to our new house, I thought it’d be nice to make a post about how the place we currently call home has progressed over the past year.

Evan lived at this apartment complex a couple years before we were dating, and it was definitely a guy’s place. To his credit, it was by far the cleanest guy’s place I’ve ever stepped foot in and he had some pretty badass stuff:  a collection of nerf guns, a legit light saber, and a table-top arcade controller thingy (technical term) that took over the entire coffee table. But give the guy some credit, at least he had a coffee table!

We never took proper pictures of the apartment itself back then, but you can get an idea from these shots. On a side note, the apartment pictured below is actually his old larger unit. Before we were dating, I suggested he moved into a smaller one to save money. Miss frugal. Little did I know that in a year I’d be trying to squeeze all my crap into this much smaller space. His newer unit looked pretty much the same as the one in these pics though before I moved in, so you can get an idea.

On another side note, our friends are awesome ^_^

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

See, definitely a guy’s place. But his lack of curtains was not enough to scare me off! I moved in in April of 2012, and all of a sudden it looked like a hurricane of clothes, coffee mugs, and throw pillows had hit the place. Just take a glimpse at the craziness below.

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Yeah, it’s scary. After a few weeks we turned it into something a little more manageable, but we still had piles of art taking up about 1/3 of the living room. Evan paints and I do digital art, so we had way more stuff to put on the walls than this apartment could handle.

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

In the meantime Mochi was making herself at home amidst the crazy. Cats can be comfy anywhere.

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

After weeks of Goodwill trips, meticulous organizing, and becoming pros at assembling IKEA furniture, we were able to turn that craziness into this!

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Apartment Tour- evanandkatelyn.com

Well there you have it, a glimpse at the place we currently call home! Excited to see how the new house compares since we’ll have even more freedom to make it our own.

6

Planning a Home Renovation

It’s a great feeling to be able to use the skills I’ve developed in school and at work for something helpful at home. I was able to use my favorite 3d computer-aided-design (CAD) software to mock up our new house with some measurements I found on some previous inspections… and my imagination.

3D Model of Our Home- evanandkatelyn.com

 

Now I can imagine you asking me why this is at all helpful to anyone that does not have access to SolidWorks to plan out their house. But thankfully there is a free alternative in Google Sketchup! Sketchup was recently bought up and rebranded by Trimble Buildings but thankfully cnet still has the Google version available for download. You can download Trimble’s version here and Google’s version here. There is even a whole library of 3d models that you can load in like couches, TV’s, entertainment centers, etc.

Some people might also be wondering WHY?! Partially just because. But I actually started this little side project because we needed accurate square footage estimates for pulling up tile and buying flooring. With SolidWorks that info is a couple clicks away (Note- that is why I added the dividing line you can see between some rooms, that way when you select a surface for info you get the room you want not the whole floor). Plus you can plan what furniture you might want to buy and or fit into your new house.

Excited to get the keys to our home and get to work! We’ve got tile and carpet to remove and walls to paint!

 

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We’re Starting a Blog!

Between planning a DIY wedding and buying our first house (lots of DIY to ideas for that too), we are crazy busy these days. So the only logical thing to do was add another item to our plate- starting a blog! Our goal is to keep family and friends posted on all the house and wedding stuff going on around here, and mildly entertain any random strangers who got lost on the interwebs and stumbled upon our little piece of the blogosphere.

So I guess we’ll jump right in! After months of looking at houses, losing one to a cash offer, losing another because the sellers wouldn’t come down on their price, and walking through some pretty nasty someone-was-definitely-murdered-here foreclosures… we found our perfect house!!! Eeeeeep!!! Check it out!

Our First House- evanandkatelyn.com

IT’S SO AWESOME!!! Ok, we might be a little biased. We are SUPER excited about this house. Currently we’re under contract- fingers crossed everything goes smoothly! We don’t want to jinx it though, so until we actually close on it we’re holding off on busting out the celebratory champagne Bailey’s (mmmm… creamy. Soft, creamy beige).

We already have tons of DIY plans for this place, and having a house will make it easier to work on our wedding DIY too. We’ll keep y’all posted on things! Cheers to displaying our lives on the internet!! *glass clink* *sip of Baileys* *ok ok we broke it out early, so sue us!*

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