Home Improvements

I’ve been talking a lot about all the work we’ve been doing in our home lately but I never posted any pictures.  Maybe that’s because when I look at the pictures I think, wow! All that work and that’s all the improvement??? Ha!  At least I feel better and it gives me something to do.  Nothing makes a house feel like your own than a coat of paint!  I have so many pairs of “paint clothes now” that its almost become my new wardrobe!    At this point, after we paint the master bath and stairwell, I will have painted the whole house.  Just in time to move :)

Our living area/kitchen/dining room is now completely green!

And the downstairs bed/bathroom went from this:

To this!

Yeah, I think those last picture are the ones you can’t really tell a difference besides the fact that I picked up, which is kind of depressing considering its actually painted a lighter color and I didn’t use a primer, which means I had to do like 5 coats in order for it to turn out right!  Oh well.  I think it looks cleaner and brighter, ultimately what I was going for.  I also got lazy with the color choice (its a cream color) since we found out we would be leaving soon and I figured neutral was a better choice for rentability.

Just realized I never took a picture of our upstairs bathroom…so I’ll have to do that tomorrow!  Its my favorite :)

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Little Home Update

May is the month of Mary and, according to my husband, it will also be the month for home projects.

Mary and Jesus painting in our bedroom

We have a couple things we need to fix on the inside (including the door frame after the break-in…) but I did want to show what we’ve done on the outside!

I planted herbs and flowers in window boxes and in pots by the front door (since the front yard is tiny) and I’m proud to say they haven’t died.  Yet :)

I also scooped up a little table and chairs at Marshall’s for pretty cheap.  Only thing was, they were bright blue.

So we painted them brown and they’re now chillin’ on the balcony with the flowers and basil sprouts.

Our sweet little home!  And yup, we just discovered that those are jasmine bushes growing around the gate.  The look so pretty in the spring!

Home Update!

After all of that house drama, the home we made an offer on finally became ours while I was in China.  And what’s more, is we’ve been living there for about two weeks now!  As I mentioned before, I went kamikaze on the painting in the living room but thankfully my husband followed along willingly.  We still don’t have all of it painted , but I have some pictures of what we have painted!

They’re not the best quality since they’re with my camera phone, but you can get the picture!

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(we want to paint the wall with all the windows, we just know it will take forever so we’re taking a break for now)

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From the other angle. Our future plans include staining our table that I got from an ex-graduate student and more difficult, painting the kitchen.  I really have no idea what to do about that kitchen.  What color goes with green?  What about that area underneath the bar, should it be green or kitchen color?  What’s tricky about the kitchen is then, do we paint the huge wall on the stairs the same color as the kitchen?  (you can see it in the picture below…)

living 4Husband siting!  I’m of the mind to just paint everything green just to keep it simple, but a little voice in my head (my husband’s) is telling me that’s probably not a good idea.  I really need one of those reality shows to help me out right about now!  I can’t even pick matching clothes, let alone paint colors!

Oh, and just so you know, that tiny little TV in the corner?  The one with bunny ears?living2FIXIts my husband’s dream to replace that with a giant 52in. flat screen upgrade.  The funny thing is, that since our time in this home (Oct. 1st officially) neither one of us has even plugged that little guy in.  And we don’t have cable.

I can see us getting a mattress first, because this is what our masterbed room looks like right now:

living3

Ouch!  Splinters in my back!

Here we go again….

Last week the paperwork on our home was progressing nicely and we were super happy to hear that the appraisal went off without a hitch!  Our new home was appraised at a value much higher than what we are paying for it.  Yay! (Mostly due to the really nice houses going up all around it balancing out the remaining ‘crack’ homes – I’m trying to get a hilarious picture that illustrates this perfectly soon).

So this was a relief to us, especially if you’ve talked to me or read about all the drama we have had with the home already, not to mention the rest with the previous 4 homes we put offers on!

So we’re flipping through the appraisal, looking for all the gory details of what the appraiser considered during his evaluation, like did he love the granite countertops? (no) the crown-molding? (no) or, was is really just all the other homes waayyyy nicer than ours? (yes) and we finally get to the picture section of the report.  Hurray!  Looking at pictures of the house and daydreaming about living there is one of my favorite pastimes (don’t judge) lately and after all, these were some new angles compared the ones I took myself!

Like here’s one of the outside of the home:

outsidehome

And here’s the living room again:

livingroom

But when we got to the kitchen picture, we felt something was a little off.  Can you tell what it is?

kitchen

Here, I know its a little difficult, so I’ll put the before/after pictures below, side-by-side:

Before Major Drama with Seller's Realtor

Before Major Drama with Seller's agent (that's our Inspector!)

After Major Drama with Seller's Realtor

After Major Drama with Seller's agent

Someone went jack mode on our fridge and stove/oven!!!

The common response when I tell someone this is, “Oh great! Now you can buy the one that you want!”  But look at them!  They’re practically brand new, stainless steel appliances!  I really would have been just fine with those.  Really.  I’m not picky.

So, now we get to solve a mystery! We don’t know who stole them (was it our best-friend, the seller’s agent who we raised heck with trying to make him not back out on our deal, including storming into his office when we wasn’t there and making his secretary cry? – I’m not proud of that – Or maybe some guys from those nearby ‘crack’ homes with the signs in the yard saying they’re not ever moving, ever, so stop coming by offering them wayyy more than their little homes are worth?)  So many characters and so many motives.  Or maybe they’re not even stolen (I keep going with the “Maybe the seller is just keeping them safe for us” line…)

But of course now we’re going to have to go through many more hoops in order to get them back, including insurance claims, etc. Assuming we can even get them back.  AND that the seller’s agent ever calls us back. [This is, of course, assuming that buying the house “as is” as we signed in our contract meant “as-is-when-we-looked-at-it-and-had-the-inspection”.  However they could meld it to mean “as-is-when-we-close-and-you-get-what-we-give-you”.  Any one have any help on this?  Can they just do this?]

I think the best part is that when Mike and I found out about this, we barely blinked an eye.  Just started laughing.  Hysterically.  Of course this would happen!

Here we go again….

Townhome Update

For anyone who may be following or is curious about our house drama, I thought I’d do a little update!  As of right now, we just signed new and revised official contract and gave it to our realtor who is now running it over to the seller’s agent with the other documents (including earnest money check…dated two weeks ago…) as we speak.   Apparently there were discrepancies about whether or not an email acceptance, a verbal acceptance and a prod to “go ahead and get your loan paperwork and inspection done while we’re waiting for this contract to go through” actually constitute a formal agreement, but unfortunately their agent failed to tell us this until other offers were conveniently on the table.  After some crazy emails and some bending on our part, we agreed to a slightly higher offer with the realization that if we can’t get our money back afterwards (which our realtor thinks we may be able to do) at least we’re still getting a good deal on a town home we like.  Just not as good as a deal before.

Anyway, looking at this kitchen makes it all melt away.

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Although when I think about decorating it I get a little more nervous…

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So I guess its still not official but at least we’ve done what we can from our end.  Now they have to sign the work AND our loan still has to be approved…

Here’s to growing up :)

*Side note:  One thing I learned during the inspection is that it if very hard to take pictures of rooms.  I won’t even dare show you the others I took!

To sue or not to sue

I feel like the events of the last two weeks are a test of some sort and I’m still trying to figure out the lesson.  I’ve always been embarrassed of the American “suing” mentality.  After all, its pretty selfish to just blame someone else for your problems and just plain greedy to want to turn those hurtful feelings into cold, hard cash in your pockets, right?  Like people who get hurt on someone’s property and sue the owner for the medical costs.  Or suing someone for “defamation” since money doesn’t get your respect back. And we all have heard about the McDonald’s hot coffee-spiller who sued for millions (but apparently the real case facts are startling!).

So, imagine our surprise when a potential court case lands in our laps.  I don’t want to sue anyone.  After all, I’m not the suing type, right?  We are just trying to buy our first home and keep running into every possible freak real estate situation imaginable.  I have no problem taking responsibility for what I do wrong, and admitting when something was a freak occurrence and not blaming others, right?  Suing just isn’t the moral or even “Christian” thing to do, right?  Right? But what about when someone goes back on their word?  Their contract.   Isn’t that why we have contracts in the first place?

To prevent things like what just landed in our laps from happening?

In the meantime, maybe I should start saying goodbye to this sweet, little property of real estate we thought we were in contract on.

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Doesn't he look so perfect opening that door?

On second thought…maybe not.  Does anyone know a Texas real estate lawyer?