Sunday, April 9, 2017

Returning to the Blog....and House #1

I just want to say that I have missed this blog.

I love being able to blog about our crazy life and keep friends and family (and other welcome visitors, too!) up to date with our lives, and being able to look back at where we've been and what we've done is always a welcome trip down memory lane.

Life has changed quite a bit since I last posted. I don't even think that I fully explained what happened even when I was trying to revive the blog....

The background is that we decided when Nate finished kindergarten to have him skip first grade. I don't think I ever wrote about it because it was a stressful time for us, and some comments that had been made by people we love really hurt us. However, it turned out to be a wonderful move for him to advance academically and we haven't regretted it once.

But then we started running into issues again, where all three of our kids weren't being challenged enough. Our little school, although we love them dearly, wasn't able to provide what they needed, so we again made a difficult decision and when the school year ended last year, we decided to switch schools.

They now attend where my husband works, and oh man, it has been a challenging yet wonderful situation! The kids are being challenged; Paige is in advanced math, Nate was able to do Odyssey of the Mind, and Ryan just started the Gifted and Talented program in February when a spot opened up for him. The challenging part has been that we're 20 minutes away from school and live out of the district.

That may not sound horrible, but we've been having to go back two or three times a day almost every day. That is a lot of time being on the road, a lot of wear and tear on our vehicles, and a lot of time away from home.

And that leads me to the second part of the blog's title: we're house shopping!!!!

And yes, I'm totally scared to death.

We met with our realtor yesterday, and we have a huuuuuge list of things to work on around here, but we should be able to get a really great price for our house. While we were talking about what houses we were interested in (and there is not a lot on the market right now where we're looking), she noticed one of the houses was having an open house today!

Although she wasn't able to join us, all five of us went and checked it out.

The Good:

Curb appeal! I really like the look of this house. And that front porch! Amazing!!!! We really really want a big front porch, and we really like this one.

The basement! SO BIG! And so much storage!

I'd even be able to have my painting studio down here, and there's a sink all ready for me!

There's even a work bench as well, but after seeing the garage, I don't know if we'd need this.

The garage! It's a three car, insulated and heated garage. With 11' ceilings. It's HUGE. And amazing.

There's even storage in the ceiling, and the ladder was amazing! It's rigged with pullies, and it was actually a really wide ladder, probably 3' wide or so?

The closets! We loooooved the bedroom closets! They were bigger than I expected for the size of the bedrooms, and they had shelves and bars already up.

The kitchen was pretty nice as well. I loved the cupboards and island, and then the oven and microwave were built into the wall. I absolutely loved the pantry, though! It was one of these, and I just couldn't seem to get a very good picture of the inside. But we all loved it and thought we should get one for whichever house we end up in ;)

Big beautiful yard! It had wonderful trees, some landscaping, and it's about 3 times larger of a yard than what we have at our current house.

The Bad:

The layout was weird. The kitchen had an eat in space, but it was too small to really fit five people in it comfortably. When we entertain, there would have been no space for everyone. The kitchen opened up through a big archway into another little room which could have been used as the dining room. Down the hallway was the living room, tucked back into a corner. It had been used as a bedroom, which made more sense, but the dining room area was really too small to be a living room. It felt discombobulated and didn't flow very well.

The upstairs bedrooms were tiny. Well, the two smaller ones were. The master bedroom was probably bigger than ours now, which was nice, but when our kids have either bunk beds or a loft bed, not much else would have really fit into the other bedrooms.

Checking out the yard through a bedroom window

There was no space for a play room or hang out space for when the kids are older. We could maybe have turned part of the basement into a space, but then the boiler would have been in the way and that's just not good. We want our home to be a welcoming place for kids to hang out, and having some place for them is really important to us.

The Ugly:

The carpet. Oh man, the carpet. It was in every room except the kitchen and basement. I think one of the bathrooms was linoleum, but one of them was DEFINITELY carpeted. And it was all blue, pink, or green carpet. The nice part was it was super cushy and felt amazing on the feet, but the color was awful, and we have two kids who are allergic to dust mites. We had hoped that underneath was hardwood as it was an older house, but no such luck.

Hiding...and the lovely carpet...

Final Thoughts:

House #1 is going to be a no go. I'm kind of bummed because I really liked the look of the house and the yard, but tiny bedrooms, weird layout, no space for kids to hang out, and all that carpet are just deal breakers for us. It was at the upper end of our budget, so trying to make the house work for us would have pushed us way over our budget. The kids are really disappointed, but it's also their first time house hunting, and I remember feeling that way after looking for our first house nine years ago, too.

So for now, we'll keep working on fixing up our house and waiting for other homes to come on the market.

What are some of your must haves or deal breakers for a house?

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