Thursday, November 13, 2014

Becoming Home Owners

For years my mother and sister have joked about how they couldn't wait to see me try and buy a house. They know that I am incredibly picky and have a very specific taste in houses and they were certain that it would take me forever and that I would drive McKay absolutely insane! Well after 6 1/2 years of being married we were finally able to become home owners and it didn't take us forever to find a house and I don't think I drove McKay insane! We worked with a real estate agent that is one of my parents neighbors and someone that I knew growing up and felt like we were in pretty good hands. We started our search at the south end of Utah county. McKay's job is in Provo, so he wanted to look down in Springville and Mapleton. Well the Springville and Mapleton that he had imagined in his head with big houses and lots at a low price far away from neighbors didn't really exist, so then we searched all of Utah county. We found a handful of houses down in that are that seemed like they would work, but then we ultimately decided against them. We decided that what we were looking for just didn't seem to be coming up, so we would wait a few weeks to let more houses come on the market and try again.

Well right after we decided that, I did some searching of my own on the internet and came across a house in Lehi that looked promising. First off, I did not ever want to live in Lehi. Being on the west side of the freeway makes it really difficult to access and the city is growing really fast and is getting so congested! However, the house that we found is technically in Lehi, but it is north east of the rest of the city of Lehi, in a really nice and quiet neighborhood only 3 blocks away from the city of Highland. When we drove up I immediately loved the neighborhood and was shocked that it was actually a part of Lehi. Luckily for us, the home actually looked better in real life than it did in the pictures. It has a very traditional look and layout that we love, but is not very common in Utah.

Because we decided to take a short break from house hunting McKay was at work and didn't come see the house with me, but after touring the house it just felt right. It felt like home. It was a layout and aesthetic that I liked, and it has enough space for our family to grow into without being too big. It also had a really great sized back yard. I called McKay up and told him that he needed to come see the house because I was pretty sure I had found our home. He came up during his lunch break to see the house and felt pretty good about it too. It only took us 3 weeks of house hunting to find our home. I think my family was a little bit shocked. So we put in an offer that our real estate agent was a little worried was too much of a low ball offer, but they accepted! We closed on our house at the end of July, but didn't get possession of the house until August because the previous home owners were really lame and didn't move all the way out...but that is a whole other frustrating story.

After we finally got possession of the house we painted like crazy. We painted all of our bedrooms, the family room, living room, office, laundry room and bathroom. basically the only places we didn't paint were the kitchen and front entry and we have plans to do that later. Our master bedroom has vaulted ceilings, and we are crazy people and painted the ceilings in the rooms as well. Painting the super high ceilings was really difficult and left us with some major head, back and neck aches! Thank you mom for helping do so much of the painting, and I am sorry about the headache you got from staring at a ceiling all day! But it made the rooms seem nice and new instead of 19 years old! I also took on an ambitious project and painted pink and white vertical stripes in Madelynn's room. I don't even know how much time I spent taping off that room, but basically it took me three days to paint that room. It is a good thing it turned out super cute!

Turning this room from blue to pink took a lot of paint

The change in ceiling color

The pink nightmare/masterpiece

Madelynn's room before ^ and Madelynn's room after 

After we painted everything we had our kitchen, laundry room and bathroom cabinets lacquered white. It really spruced up our 1990's oak cabinets and made the home seem much more modern and new. Then we ripped up the old dirty carpets and gross linoleum floors in the laundry and bathrooms where we found some mold damage. We ended up having to fix some of the sub floor in the bathrooms but then we put in new carpet and slate look flooring which look great. It took more than two weeks to do the flooring, which was twice as long as we had expected. We also ended up replacing all but one of the toilets in the house and having a plumber come fix a few leaks. That was the point at which we decided owning a house was a lot of work!  We also had all of the air vents and air ducts cleaned out. That was sooooooo worth it.They showed us pictures of inside the vents and they were disgusting. They also cleaned out piles of dirt and lint and a birds nest when they cleaned out the dryer vent. It is nice to have our air running through clean vents. We also ended up replacing all the vent covers when they did that and found that making that small change really made things look nice and new and CLEAN! we are in the process of replacing the outlet and light switch covers as well. So many of them were broken or discolored or missing. It is amazing how much of a difference replacing tiny things like that makes.

We also took on a project that ended up being way bigger than we though it would be. We ripped out the front gardens and all he rocks lining them and replanted the flower beds with lots of bulbs and peonies. In the spring we will also plant some rose bushes. It took every weekend for a month to get that done! we ended up running into problems with aspen roots, yarrow and broken sprinklers so it turned into a big project! The yard looks pretty empty right now, but it should look beautiful in the spring when the tulips and daffodils and hyacinth sprout.
 This is what the garden beds were filled with... Ugly
 Our empty garden beds waiting for spring

Even though we had to put in a lot of time, money and work we are loving our new house. We moved in on August 22 because that was when our furniture arrived. We have been here for 2 1/2 months and it already feels like home. We still have so much that we want to do with the house and so many small and large projects to take on, but we love it. We love it so much. It is really nice to have a place that is ours to call home. Eventually I will get around to taking some pictures of the finished product, but for now enjoy the pictures of the process!

No comments: