Saturday, November 22, 2014

How it all began

After about 5 years of living in the same apartment, I knew I was ready for a change.  The apartment was fine but it was lacking the personalization I really wanted and I was tired of sharing walls with neighbors.

In October 2013, I started working with my realtor Bob to find my home. My list of musts limited my choices.  I wanted a house in about a 5 block square area of my town.  The house had to have a nice sunny space in the yard for a garden.  It needed at least 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms but not so big that it would feel empty with just me living there.  The street should be relatively quiet and the neighbors' houses well-kept.  The distance to downtown shops, restaurants, church, post office, and library should be short enough that I'd willingly walk, at least in good weather.  Bonus points for: covered parking, fireplace, any recent upgrades, and storage space like a dry basement (rare in my area).

Bob and I visited lots of homes. I just quickly counted up 11 from memory and I might have missed one or two more.  Every house had some kind of deal breaker, from termites, to bedrooms with no access to a bathroom except in the master suite, to no kitchen at all, to being way too much of a fairytale, to just being too "blah."  In August, I came to see my house, just as school was getting started.  The timing couldn't have been worse for a teacher!  I saw the house on a Thursday and had an accepted offer by Sunday.

The house is a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath Cape Cod on about 1/4 acre in town.  The bathrooms and kitchen had cosmetic updates done by the sellers, so I pretty much left those rooms alone.  There's a sunroom on the south side of the house that gets lovely light.  I'm just four blocks from downtown businesses and less than a mile from work.  

I closed at the end of September and went to work hiring contractors.  I wanted to have the doors and windows replaced to help seal up the house.  I also knew the hardwood floors needed to be refinished and I certainly didn't want to live through all that dust.  I also had drawers built into the walls in the upstairs bedrooms, a hall closet built, new lighting installed in the kitchen, a fan/vent combo put up in the bathroom, and a few other small things done.  It took some doing to find a contractor who could do the work by the end of November because I wanted to hold off on moving in until the work was done.  Through serendipity, one of the recommendations I got was for the business partner, Jack, of a man I know from church, Paul.  Jack and Paul did an excellent job on everything they touched and I was very fortunate that they were able to keep on schedule as well.  The weather was pretty cooperative as they had 22 windows to install! 

I moved in on November 22 and the adventure really began...