Our First Step

20 Aug

Hola all!

Welcome to our first attempt at blogging and our effort to document all the escapades of home renovation! Although we’re already over a year into home ownership, we definitely have a whole lot o’ projects left to tackle and want to be able to remember them all. We also thought the timing was perfect because we’re about to take on a huge kitchen remodel and want to keep everyone updated on our progress.

In an effort to get everyone on the same page, let’s start with the beginning of our misadventures- the “house hunt.” This actually started back in February of 2010, when Mike started to get the itch for home ownership. He was just going to take a look at a few, “Just to see what’s out there” and figure out what he was looking for in a home. Lo-and-behold the second house he looked at (yes, he went by himself- I was in the middle of my pharmacy residency and focused on my year long research project and impending presentation in April) caught his eye. That is where I got dragged into this whole mess. The house (a foreclosure) was pretty huge and had a lot of potential, but at first look it was more than we intended to spend, so Mike took a break…

That is until we heard word the house was heading to auction! So we took a second look and pretty much fell in love. Here are some pictures of the house before we took over:

Here’s a look at the front entrance to the house.
This is the kitchen (and what we see when we walk into the house from the driveway). You can tell it was in pretty good shape, so you may be asking, why we going through the time, hassle, and cost of a kitchen remodel – it’s really the floor and the itty bitty built-in oven you can partially see, and that awkward microwave holder that doesn’t fit a standard microwave, and the crookedness of the install, etc…
This is the main floor half bath.
And the Master Bath (there’s another separate “toilet room”)
Here’s the master bedroom looking at the doors to the master bath (there are also 3 other bedrooms and 1 other full bath)
This is a look at the stairs to the upstairs on the right, and that opening on the left leads to the living room. We’re using this room for our dining room.
This is our backyard with our nice screened in porch my dad helped spruce up this past year (not in this pic- can you see the screen flapping in the breeze ?!?)

The house was on auction on realtybid.com and we got in a bidding war with ONE other person that went down to the wire – and of course, we went over our initial limit… that’s what happens in the heat of the moment, I guess! Don’t get me wrong, it was still an incredible deal! Anyways, after quite some time, the bank finally accepted our offer and the closing date was set.

In addition to the 8k new home buyer’s credit, the bank was offering a 4k appliance allowance from a designated list of appliances!! Jackpot, right?!? Sort of… they required the appliances to be installed before we closed (no big deal right?) but they said it would be quite some time (2 months, I think) before we could have them (also no major problem- we had a lease through June). The problem was they needed us to close in 6 weeks – before the appliances could be installed! What an ordeal that turned out to be, but after quite a bit of “heated discussions,” we just got 4k from the bank to purchase our own appliances! It turned out to be a fabulous deal if you ask me!

So we closed on the house, bought our appliances, and began to make the place our very own home! I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details of the very beginning, but we started to paint all of the ceilings because the previous owner used a sprayer to paint so all the ceilings matched the wall color. We had a green kitchen ceiling, an orange bathroom ceiling, and way more color than I bargained for! However, after a few “issues” we ultimately hired a painter to paint all of the rooms except for 2 on the lower level, while we ripped out most of the carpet and had wood floors installed.

The previous owners also left us with some ugly brown painted wood trim (also half finished/half painted) that we ripped out in the process… and we’ve been replacing ever since. Yes it’s well over a year later and we still haven’t crossed the trim replacement piece off our never ending checklist, but that’s only because of the million of projects that have got in the way!

Being newbies at the hole DIY business and home ownership in general, we find that EVERYTHING takes longer than we thought it would. It’s pretty much 2 steps forward 1 step backwards for whatever we seem to tackle. And that’s why this blog is called baby steps. We hope you enjoy our baby steps towards making this house our beautiful home!


One Response to “Our First Step”


  1. Housiversary « Baby Steps - March 24, 2012

    […] This morning I woke up and realized that we had to be creeping up on our 2nd ‘housiversary,’ so I asked Mike to look it up. Sure enough, we had actually passed it. It was officially March 22, 2010 that we bought our first house. Read all about that process here. […]

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