Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17 of 30 Days of Thanksgiving

For Day 17 of the 30 Days of Thanksgiving Blog Challenge, I am thankful for...

Our House.

(Guess which one is ours!)
Of course, there have been times when I wasn't so thankful for it. Owning our house has been the biggest, bumpiest and most nauseating roller coaster ride I've ever ridden!

Our adventure began in November, 2009. After two years of searching in a seriously inflated housing market, we finally found a home - our first home - that came close to meeting all of our requirements (price included). We jumped on it; our offer was accepted on my birthday of all days, so it was meant to be, right?

Escrow went well. The house passed all inspections, with a few issues here and there - some windows that didn't latch, an electrical hack job in the garage, a busted sprinkler system, pet-stained shaggy carpet, etc. - but you can just fix those things afterward, right?

Closing was something out of the Twilight Zone. The seller's escrow agent must have forgotten to take his daily meds, daily... he liked to verbally berate our mortgage lender and real estate agent. He even had the gaul to forbid us from signing the closing docs at his office. Though it was a rocky start, we were still thrilled to finally be owning our own place!

On the morning after getting the keys to our place (yay!), we excitedly headed over with boxes in tow, ready to start moving into our new home. Once we enter our home, we're greeted with POOLS OF WATER all throughout our downstairs; it was especially bad in the kitchen and in the dining room. Turns out during the previous night, our house had developed a slab leak. Joyous.

Our Kitchen - Where a Sink & Cabinets Once Stood
Needless to say, we weren't moving in that day. In fact, thanks to our lightening-speed construction crew (note the sarcasm), we weren't able to move in until four months later. FOUR MONTHS. Yep, still paying a mortgage, utilities, HOA fees, etc. in addition to rent and utilities at the previous place we were living. Talk about pricey!

But you know what? In those four months, we essentially got a new kitchen, one that I got to design and insurance helped pay for - black granite counter tops, white beveled subway tile backsplash, giant single-basin sink and a flattened-out bar. We also got new wood floors (to replace the maple-tastic bubbled ones) and carpet downstairs. Check out the before and after pictures:
BEFORE

AFTER
(although with the old chandelier)
Fast forward two years... work is almost complete on the master bathroom renovation. The same master bath with pet-stained shaggy carpet (EW), child-sized vanity with a bad paint job pealing off, and a discolored and smelly roman tub, where the previous owner kept his cat's litter box (?). Here's what that looked like (wished the photo showed detail!):


Now, the shower and roman tub have been refinished, with a new brushed nickel shower enclosure. There are new fixtures, as well as an adult-sized furniture-style black vanity with a thick, carrara marble top. My favorite revision to the bathroom is the carrara marble basket weave mosaic floor - gorgeous!

Improvements
 With a few more additions, including the installation of my white mini chandelier above the roman tub, the master bath will finally be done.

Then begins the next project (of which I hope WE get to choose, not the house!)...

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