Tuesday, August 30, 2011

another house that MIGHT have been...

So, we just got back.  We went to Dallas, yet again, to go check out a rental house... b/c remember?  We leave in just almost 2 weeks.  The count down is on, ladies and gentlemen.

We had a few requirements (3 bed, 2 bath, and CLEAN).

We had been checking listings online for days prior to the trip, and luckily, our lovely Realtor and new friend, mapped out a ton of places for us to see.

This place was the first one we saw in person.  Super duper clean.  4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and even a study too.  Oh, and did I mention a great kitchen?  Here she blows:

and yes, in case you were curious, it does kind of look like our current home (this was back when we purchased it and there wasn't a front yard... for some reason I couldn't find any more recent pics without humans in it). 

So, it was clean, in a great neighborhood, a little playground/park around the corner (we're talking less than a block away).  And, the kitchen was so nice and open.  It had a LEGIT laundry room too!  Luckily, that house was first in our search and we compared every other house to it.  And, with every house we saw, we kept going back to that first one.

Until we got to see this beaut in the historic downtown area...  (sorry, some of the pics are blurry)

We loved this house and the idea of this house.  Hello, look at those trees in the back?  Did you see that bathroom floor?  And that kitchen with the brick?  Wrap around porch?  Yes.  All very nice.

But, let's talk DWELL on the bad parts, b/c we decided to not go with this house in the end.  And, I really need to focus on the NEGATIVE so I can be happy about that first red brick house instead.
CON list:
-the floor plan.  If you noticed in those first few images, it is a very CLOSED floor plan.  Meaning, there is one main hallway and little separate rooms on both sides.  The kitchen is in the back of the house and the closest area for the kids to play is way up in front of the house.  

-it's a pretty small home.  which is fine (we are used to small), but a little crazy when you have such a wonky old timer floor plan.  Our current home seems much bigger than it really is, b/c so many of the rooms open into each other.  Also, it would be tricky to figure out a place for another little baby (no, this is not an announcement, I'm just thinking future for a minute).  I know that many of you who read this might live in the city and seeing these pics you might think, "Melissa, this is a ton of space comparatively speaking..."  and, yes, I know.  I'm a spoiled-little-tiny-wahh-waah-baby / brat.  What can you do?  I am who I am.

- the three bedrooms really turn into TWO bedrooms, b/c no way would I ever have one of my kids sleep in that first green bedroom with an exterior/rickety door to the front porch.  So, i the end they would need be sharing a room.  Which is fine and good for some reasons, but stresses me out a little.

-no working garage.  the glorified shed was nice to have in the backyard for storage purposes, but the main big door didn't open.  Also be parking on the side of the house in a dirt/rock driveway.  Let's talk about how not fun it would be with kiddos in the rain and mud going to and from our destinations.  And, where would we put things that we'd use on a regular basis---like our double stroller?  Put it on the front porch?  Probably it would get stolen.  Hmmm...

-no storage in the house.  While cute and darling, the closets were mini with doors that wouldn't open all the way EVEN if you put your back into it.  And, you all know that I am my mother's daughter---I love good storage.

-Super busy street with no fence around the front---we're talking I could never let the kids play in the front yard/porch with out being stressed. out. of my. mind.

-yes, it's located in the "historic district" but that borders the "shady" district.  meaning, not super duper safe.

-As I sat back down in the car after spending a few minutes inside taking a tour of the home, I couldn't help but notice a TON of sick dog hair ALL over my dark pants.  gag me.  Knowing that a very hairy dog lived in the place, kind of makes my stomach churn. Sorry all you pet owners.  Shedding dogs aren't really my thAng.

-let's talk about the front door---umm, it hardly closed.  And when it did, you could still see the outside.  That would stink as far as safety is concerned.  Me and my weak self could probably just shove the door and it would open. Also, another bedroom door opened onto the front porch---which was also a weak-sauce-non-tight-closing-door.  Meaning someone could easily snatch a kid in the night.  I'm dramatic, but hello, I'm a mom too.

-and last, but certainly not least, is that the girl who owned it wouldn't be able to move out for another few months---which means we'd have to find temporary housing for our temporary rental.  Meaning I would go temporarily crazy.  Basically, we would have to find an apartment somewhere for about 2 months.  So, moving twice.  With a big piano.  And two toddlers?  Not sounding super appealing.

So, let's play the game where you help me rationalize why we made the better decision for the newer CLEANER home in the super SAFE area.  :)  Thanks in advance.  

P.S. I am SO over choosing homes and getting emotional about them.  Three cheers for being somewhat settled in a few weeks. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

house progress with BIG surprise ending...

I've been waiting for about 6 weeks to do this blog post---or rather any real blog posting.  I keep on starting a post and then deciding "No, I need to wait..."

No more waiting!

Let's take a look at the house that has HAPPILY consumed our lives for the last several months.  This is the place we visited every day, religiously.  So, you know we're gonna have a ton of pictures to show you. 
If you get bored, go ahead and skip to the final paragraph.  Yes, it has a surprise ending.

- - - - - - - - - -

 june 18th, 2011---Looks like we have some packages in the garage!  What could they be?  
ahhh, yes! the cabinets!

Let's go take a gander on the inside! Kitchen and eating area.

pantry is right here.

view of the kitchen and family room from eat-in area.

 angelic calvin.  he's practically perfect in every way.

 More views into the family room...

 inside the master closet.

one of the bedrooms...

 family room again...

tillie got dust on her pants.  here she is super irritated...

june 21st, 2011---Let's see what they've accomplished today.  Ooooh, interior doors have been delivered.

and, looks like they have textured the walls!


june 22, 2011---garage doors installed.  I'm happy we went with white!  Originally we'd chosen dark dark brown, but white seemed brighter (duh!) and happier, in the end.  Boring and predictable? Maybe, but I love them.

I was driving on the road and saw this bumper sticker.  Funny. 

 june 23rd, 2011---Our builder told me that we could design the shelving in the closets however we wanted.  I think he regretted the day he told us that, b/c we took FULL advantage of that promise.  Because we had so many requests for the closet spaces, he just told me that he'd call me when the trim guy came, and if I could run down there and tell him what I wanted, it would be less confusing.
So, I got the call and quickly grabbed the kids and ran!  The trim guy was pretty nice, but I could tell he was not too thrilled with all of my requests.
Normally, in the bulk of the closets, they do one rod, one shelf.  hA!  Little did he know that I'd have measurements and drawings all made up.  My mom and Aaron were so great to help think through all of the details with me.
Luckily, the guy mapped it all out with me on the wall (while my kids were CLINGING to me... they were both stressed with all the power tools going on everywhere).  From our meeting, I headed straight to Costco to buy a few packages of their huge muffins.  I was SO grateful.  And, I wanted to make sure they knew how much I appreciated them doing all that extra work!!  My mom suggested it, and I loved the idea. 
Here we are the next day checking out all their handy work.

I didn't realize they were doing baseboards, the mantel, and some crown molding (in the front part, you'll see more pictures in a minute) too!

pantry of my dreams!!

One last shot of the exterior.  A close up of the new garages.  I think in the end, they'll put some hardware on them too.  With or without the hardware, I love them. Who knew you could have such strong feelings for garage doors?

june 27th---PAINTERS come!  They sprayed everything down with a primer coat (I'm imagining that's what it is, since EVERYTHING got sprayed. 

june 30th---Looks like they've graded the front area where the driveway and side walk cement will be poured.  I was so happy to see that it didn't look like it had too much of a slope! 

Now the REAL paint is up!!  It's much creamier than I realized, but I still like it. It's so hard to envision what it will all really look like on the walls and ceiling when you are looking at one little 1/4 sheet of paper.  We chose the lightest "standard" color they had.  We figured we could paint individual rooms if we wanted to later.  For now, I'm feeling pretty good about the decision.

 I think it's funny how they wait to paint AFTER they install the shelving.  But, what do I know? It just seems like it would be better to paint before so you wouldn't have these weird big white chunks.  Again, what do I know?  :) 

july 4th, 2011---dressed in red, whites, and blues in honor of Independence day!  Look at that awesome back patio! And, do you love the secret storage room under the wood stairs?  An awesome little bonus.

July 6th---concrete poured!  So flat and smooth!!  Perfect for Aaron and me to roller-blade on (yes, we love to roller-blade) and perfect for Tillie and Cal to ride their little bikes....

are you feeling the gray glass tile?  I'm feeling it. And, loving it.  The granite we like to think that if you spilled an OREO shake on the counter, you wouldn't even know!  Awesome. 

fans on the back patio area... such a good plan to keep the air circulating....

let's look at that kitchen again... love those cabinets.
kid's bathroom

master bathroom

This is the master bathroom shower.  In hindsight, we probably wouldn't have chosen this dark tile for the bathroom.  We probably should have done a light tile.  But, this way, you can shower in a "cave". 

 I kept wondering how they'd do the walkway.  I'm a fan of how they sloped the cement pathway around the big oak tree.  Good work, team construction guys!

And that, my friends, is the progress that had happened before I took a trip up to Utah with the kids.

Apparently, after we left, they made some more changes to the interior, landscaped and put in grass... I guess that's what happens when you leave for 5+ weeks.
You want a visual of the backyard?  Okay.

Pretty great, right?  I know.
I would have taken more shots of the front yard, but my eyes were a little too misty.

You see, this isn't OUR new house anymore.

We would have closed on the place and moved in last week---had everything gone according to our plan.  
But, we got a little job offer at a great practice in the Big D.  What's the "Big D"?  
Oh, it's a clever little name someone decided upon for the city of Dallas, Texas.  

Guess we're moving in like 3 minutes.
Oh wait, more like 3 weeks.  Weeks vs. Minutes?  really, it's like the same thing.

More details to come...
oh, and you KNOW there are details.


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