Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cork Floors and Slate Tile

I promise I'll be posting photos soon. The good thing is that I've been busy with the house (and a few other things) The laundry is coming along very nicely. I laid down the slate tile and installed a nice modest frosted globe light fixture. I also installed new power outlets and light switches. The only thing left to do is install new baseboards.

My next project is installing cork floors. I ran into a bit of snafu with the flooring company (iFloor). I placed an order for some cork flooring to cover my living room and hallway to start. I used their no interest/no payments for 18 months credit offer. (I know, I know, I already had a conversation with my brother about financing home improvements...) Anyways the company just filed for chapter 11 and I can get anyone on the phone to find out how and when I can pick up my flooring. Soooooo I guess that's a clue that I should not have financed my flooring. Waiting to hear back from their attorneys...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Orange Laundry Room, New Refrigerator

My first week in the house has gone pretty well. One of the "surprises" was that the refrigerator didn't work. As much as I like to cook, this was a priority. I was planning on updating the appliances in the future anyways, just not this soon. So purchasing a new refrigerator moved to the front burner, so to speak. I settled on going with bisque color appliances since I don't really like stainless steel, black is too gloomy and white is just so...what's the word i'm looking for? white. Bisque is pretty retro without committing to seafoam green or avocado (by the way I actually love both of these colors) Plus I'm planning on using earthy colors throughout the house so I think the bisque color will compliment pretty well. I've been doing tons and tons of research on "green" remodeling and energy efficient appliances, etc. "They" say that a fridge with a bottom freezer is the most energy efficient. Which is totally awesome, because I love bottom freezers. I think they look cooler too and somehow more classic. So I got a 21 cubic inch Maytag. I really wanted a Frigidaire but they don't have any bottom freezers and seem to duck the bisque color scheme for the most part. No biggy, the Maytag is freaking awesome! It's sooo huge. Now there's no excuse for me not to cook wonderful meals from now on!

Next, my friend Ginny found me an awesome 70's pearl crushed velvet couch at a Goodwill in Atlanta. We went to pick it up this past Saturday. While we were over in the neighborhood we stopped by SimpleFloors. They are one of many flooring places that carry bamboo, cork and other eco friendly flooring. After much research I have decided cork is the best way to go given my dogs and my back. It apparently "gives" a little bit, kind of absorbing shock and stress. I also prefer the designs that are available in cork over the bamboo. There's swirly kind that is available from many brands that I freakin' love. I got some samples from the store and took them back to the house and I think it's going to work just fine. I'm going with the floating kind so I don't have to mess around with glue. I'll have to do the house room by room instead of all at once given my budget. I'm going to do the biggest room (the living room) first to get that wallet pain out of the way. It's going to cost around $1000 for that room and about another $1700 for the rest of the rooms that I want to do. $2700 total - not too bad.

Last, I wanted to start on something that would be small, inexpensive and rewarding. Luckily the laundry room is the first thing I see when I enter the house. This room is about 6x3 feet. I decided I'll tile the floor, paint the walls and replace the lighting fixture. Simple, but enough work to make me feel like I'm doing something. So tonight I painted it "Lucky Penny", a sort of light rusty orange. It's by Olympic's Low VOC paint. (I'm trying to go as green as possible on this house). Tomorrow I'll stop by Lowe's and pick out a nice, simple light fixture. I'd like to use reclaimed tile, but since the room is so small, it might be more "green" for me to get a few new tiles at Lowe's rather than have a few recycled tiles shipped via air polluting diesel rig from out of state. Pictures soon....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Keys are in my hand!

It's official. I am a homeowner! The closing went pretty smooth this morning. I put in new locks and already started ripping up the carpet. My Dad and my brother are coming down tomorrow to help move. Kim and Ginny are also going to help with the move this weekend. I'll be posting some more pics next week. Hip-Hip-Hooray!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just in time for Fall and the Holidays!

The seller accepted my offer and we're in the middle of negotiations now. I meet with my realtor tomorrow morning. The inspection was last week and it all looks fine with just a few things, so I don't think it will take long to get the negotiations worked out. We'll be closing on October 24th. I'm going to rip up the carpet and refinish the hardwood floors over that weekend. My friend Kim is going to help me move on Monday, the 27th and I'm going to have a pumpkin carving party on Wednesday, the 29th. I'm so thrilled that I'm going to be spending the Fall and the holidays in my new house! So good so far...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Roller Coaster Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The house in Hull didn't work out. The sellers didn't want to come down from their asking price and it was just more than I wanted to pay for my first home and according to my budget. It was a great house but not the one. That was on Monday. Come Tuesday, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath brick with a 2 car carport popped up on one of my daily web searches. It had just hit the realestatebook. I immediately contacted my realtor and went to look at it on Wednesday. I fell in love with it from the get go. The layout is classic ranch. The carport is huge. The yard is beautiful. The hallway bathroom has a tub and the master bath has a walk in shower. I immediately started seeing me tiling the bathrooms, ripping up the carpet and refinishing the hardwood floors.

I won't lie to you, it's a little rough around the edges. It has been a rental for the past 20 years. It has this hilarious faux wood linoleum in the kitchen and master bath and abused carpet through out. But the "bones" seem to be all sound except for a floor joist under the hallway bathroom. Apparently there was a leak that no one knew about and caused some problems there. However they are going to fix it. The open kitchen is perfect for me to tile and redo cabinets. The kitchen sink window looks out to the back yard and sliding glass door provides access to the backyard. Exactly what I want. I can see my custom patio with a saline hottub. Privacy fence with organic garden and firepit. The dogs frolicking...

Here's the big news. They are asking $80,000 with a $2000 retainer for carpet. My kind of price! Since I don't want carpet we're going to negotiate that. So we put in an offer of $78000. (Their asking price was about 9 grand below the tax assessed value and I don't want to dilly dally) I'm anxiously waiting to hear back today! Fingers crossed...

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Home in Hull?

It may be possible. My realtor showed me a beautiful 1965 brick ranch with an asking price of $94,900. It's a 3 bedroom with 2 full baths. That's right, 2 FULL baths. I would have a master bath. Totally sweet. It's got a 2 car carport with an added carport. All on a little over half acre in a nice neighborhood in Hull (about 15 minutes from Athens) I called my folks and emailed my brother. They all said go for it. I talked with my realtor and we both agreed on offering $87,000 (and they pay closing costs roughly $3000). So they countered with $96900 with them paying closing costs, which kind of through me off. This to them is $93,900 since they would have to pay $3000 in closing costs, so they came down $1000. It kind of turned me off, but my realtor said to not get discouraged; it's just a big poker game. They are trying to find my top and I'm trying to find their bottom. I counter-countered with $89, 500 which is $2500 up from my initial offer. I figured this would help show that I'm serious and interested by offering more than what they came down from. The frustrating thing is that it's an estate so there's more than one person having to decide on a number. It also hasn't been on the market that long so they might not be as motivated as we'd like. We'll see, they may just walk away. In the meantime check out the shots I took. It's an awesome house.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward

There was a small 3 bedroom in a cul de sac over on the East Side. It had been on the market for over a year. I was kind of dragging my feet about it just because it didn't quite speak to me when I first saw it. Well I went to look at it on a Friday and talked with my parents and my brother and over the weekend started getting really excited about all I would do to it to fix it up. It had a great yard. Asking 86,900. The only real negative was that there wasn't central air. Well I was prepared to put in an offer on Monday, but my realtor emailed me and informed me that the sellers had accepted an offer that came in late Friday. I couldn't believe it! I checked a couple weeks later and indeed they had closed. I've been sort of kicking myself the past couple of weeks because of it. Just as well, it was pretty tiny, even for a 3 bedroom. I'm getting very close though. I can feel it! I'm going to look at 2 recent listings this Friday. They aren't in the exact location I want to be, but they do look promising. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 8, 2008

No Dice

Well I put in an offer and the sellers countered and we were just too far apart. I put in a counter-counter and they walked away so back to searching. No big deal, I know something will pop up. I was nervous as hell before I put in the offer. Almost sick to my stomach. It was good to experience that though and now I kind of now how putting an offer works and will hopefully be a little more comfortable for the next time. Back to the search...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Putting in an offer!

So I met with my realtor today and we chatted a bit. Looks like I'm putting in an offer tomorrow. Stay tuned!...

Monday, August 4, 2008

This one looks promising

So my realtor called me last week while I was in Savannah and told me she knew of 2 houses that were right up my alley and hadn't hit the market yet. So we agreed to look at them today. The first one was beautiful. It had very cool 3 panel floor to ceiling windows on the front, sliding glass door leading the kitchen to the patio in the back yard. It's in an established neighborhood (forest heights) but it was out of my price range and was already renovated so we went over to see the other one on the east side. It's an up and coming area and the house is in the middle of renovation. I have to be honest I smiled from the minute I first saw it til we got back into the car. A 2 car carport, 3 bedroom with an enormous addition and 2 full baths. Nice flat lot with a privacy fence. It's basically everything I'm looking for. Built in 1968 which is almost too young (I know, I'm crazy!) There's enough cosmetic work to be done to keep me busy and allow me to put my own stamp on the house without being overwhelming. They installed a new metal roof and central air. Newer appliances in the kitchen and even a dishwasher! There is a rub, but possibly with a silver lining. The owners need to sell so they can move within 3 weeks. So I kind of need to act fast. I don't want them to do anymore reno work, but I can't very well ask them to stop unless I put in an offer. So I'll be going over tomorrow at lunch to take some more photos (sorry for this crappy one!) and making my final decision tomorrow about putting in an offer. My thinking is that I can put in a low offer with the agreement that they don't need to do anymore work which would be attractive to both of us. We'll see...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Still looking...

So yeah, i'm still looking. this awesome, modest 70's one popped up, but no carport! it's a 2 bedroom so it's probably just a bit too small for me and the pack anyways. still cool, though. The longer it takes, the more money I'll have saved up which is good. Still, "the way-yay-ting is the hardest part"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Dream" by the Everly Brothers

It's going a little slower than I thought it would. I thought since this is supposedly a buyer's market that I would find a few that I liked fairly quickly. I have seen a few that I sort of liked, but they tend to have a fairly big negative: One house that I really liked, didn't have a carport and it had some mold issues along with some other cryptic things on the disclosure. Another house had no HVAC or duct work (no AC in Georgia, seriously?) In general it seems there's not too much for sale down here. My brother told me there are for sale signs all over Nashville. My only assumption is that since Athens is a small town, there's simply not a lot of properties compared to a bigger city, hence not a lot for sale. Also my realtor explained to me that summer is generally slow in any market and so sellers may have taken their houses off the market until the fall, when college kids are moving back and things in general pick up around here. I scour realtor.com and trulia.com and countless other real estate sites (with the same damn expired listings) at least 3 or 4 times through the day in hopes of finding a fresh listing. I've burned 2 tanks of gas in a weekend driving through all kinds of neighborhoods rubberneckin' looking for those ugly yard signs. I've only been looking since May, but anybody that knows me, knows I'm an impatient SOB. I use to throw major temper tantrums when I was kid when I wanted something. Turning all beet red, stamping my feet. I don't plan on doing this and it really doesn't accomplish anything anymore (except passing out from hyperventilation and sore feet) So in the meantime, while I wait with white knuckles for the next house for sell to pop up, I've been looking through my current issue of Atomic Ranch. I've been picking up this magazine for about 2 years now. It is the ultimate source for inspiration. Even the ads in the magazine get me pumped. Who knew that a full page ad for Crestview Doors could get me so excited! I've also been sketching out and writing stuff down that I'll want to do and get for the house. Sort of a little backwards, but it's a lot of fun and keeps me from getting down or frustrated.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Slow Summer

I went over to the Whitehead area today. I really dig this area of Athens. It's not too far out, yet not overcrowded with SUV driving college students. Word on the street is that there's a lot of young professionals moving over to this area and cleaning up/remodeling these homes. I hope I'm not too late!
There's quite a few 50's and 60's brick ranches over there. I took a look at one on Lillian Drive. Seller is asking $109,900 which is at the top of my budget. Well of course that's the asking price, so I would be buying at a lower price than that. Anyways, the house itself is okay. There's a perfect carport to house my '53 Buick. The lot, was really not to my liking. Neighbors were a little too close. The lot slopes in the back and levels out which allows a nice unfinished basement in the back. However there's no access to the basement from the inside of the house. Poor Leeloo (my 7 year old Great Dane) probably wouldn't want to have to go up and down stairs EVERYTIME nature calls. This also means that access to the top of the house in the back is about 2 stories high. I'm slightly (okay extremely) acrophobic (fear of heights) so this limits my handyman-ness for maintaining the house myself: gutter cleaning, painting the siding at the top, roof work, soffit/facia replacement, etc.I envision a nice fairly flat lot in the back that I can fence in. The house was built in 1960 which is okay, but I'm really wanting something from the 50's. So the hunt continues...

Monday, June 30, 2008

On the hunt!

It's time. I'm ready. I've been fantasizing about it for 5 years.

It's now on the horizon. I'm in the market for a 50's (or 60's) ranch style home.

The horizontal lines. The seafoam green kitchen with sliding glass door allowing access to t
he slate patio in the back with a charcoal barbecue and tiki bar. The black and white tile and pedestal sink in the bathroom. Pulling up into the carport with the slanted roof in my 1953 Buick (from my solo art reception of course!) It's right there in front of me. However I'm getting a little ahead of myself. You see, I'm smack dab in the middle of searching for my dream home. That's right, I want to take you through the entire process.

Down here in Athens, it's seems ranch style homes are fairly rare. I guess not too many people were coming back from the war to reside in lil' 'ol Athens to attend UGA. Here, the pre-war craftsman, kits and cottages are what is popular. Then it seems in the 70's they got duplex fever and popped them up everywhere. In the 80's and 90's it was the condos. Now it's the brand new "choose between 4 pastel colors and 4 styles" cookie cutters. And that's all fine and dandy. I'm not dogging those. That's why they make chocolate and vanilla as my Dad would say. I just prefer a ranch and finding a ranch down here (or in the South in general) seems to be a little tougher than I thought it would be. I'm not looking for an Eichler style, but I would like something fairly unique with good clean horizontal lines. Specifically a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath brick with carport on .5 - 1 acre. However, I remain optimistic, because they are here and available. The house will find me... soon...