Ah! We bought a house! It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to post on here and I’ve been dying too! But, with the stress of moving and the sheer amount of work that we have had to do, the blog had to be put on the backburner. But now, I’m so excited to not only show you our new and biggest DIY project but also let you in on a few of our plans and the story of how we got here. So, if that interests you, just read on!
A few months ago, the landlord of the house we were renting told us he wanted to sell our house. He offered to sell it to us, but the price was just way too high for something we would have had to add on to make it more comfortable for us. Don’t get me wrong, I had lived in that house for over 4 years and I really loved it. It was a place that was a refuge for me and my two kids when I was a single mom. It was the house that Sean and I got married in. And it was the house that we started our new life as a blended family. I’ll really miss some of the spaces like our master bedroom! It has held so many special sweet memories there and we were sad to leave. But with 4 kids and 2 dogs, we really needed more space.
So anyways, the news of the sale meant we needed to find a house. We really didn’t want to move to another rental so we tried to figure out if we could buy a house. The housing market in Southern California is not friendly to new buyers, especially if you don’t have equity from selling a previous home so we were kind of afraid of not finding something that would work for us within our budget. Sean went into a full panic mode and I went to work writing a list (we usually hit our stress head-on in different ways, can you tell?!). I wrote down our must-have list and our want list. And then we prayed over the list. That week a new listing came up and it seemed to fit our family perfectly and had everything on our must-have list, we went and looked at it and put an offer in! Seemed fast, but we had actually been looking at houses for months (weird hobby to have on the weekends I know) and knew what was on the market and what our family needed.
This house has four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, was built in the 60’s, given an update in the 80’s and not much since. The house is extremely well-built, solid and had been very well taken care of by the previous owners that had been in the house for almost 40 years. But, now it needs a lot of style updates and manicuring. It’s also a tri-level home built by a builder named Merideth known for his tri-levels.
While the previous owners had added some nice hardscape, for some reason they took out all the grass before they put it on the market. The front looks pretty bare without much green. What landscaping there is, doesn’t seem to fit and is overgrown.
There are a few good things about this house… the amount of storage it has – in the entry alone there are three closets and some under foundation storage (you can see it there on the left, those white cabinets). Also, all the interior doors and all windows are new. It’s nice to have to spend money on the cosmetics and not foundational items. You can also see here why we need to update. The colors just aren’t me. So first to be done is painting. Next thing is new flooring and eventually stair rail (that oak banister needs to be updated!) and hardware. I love brass, but not 80’s super shiny lacquered brass.
All the windows are covered by shutters, and while they are nice and probably were expensive, they don’t let much light in and they just aren’t my style. So, we’ll have to get rid of most of those. Also, while the floors look like they are hardwood, they are a laminate from the 80’s so while kept in good condition, just not what we want. Fireplace needs to be updated as well.
Ah, the kitchen. While big and open to the dining room and we love how it leads to the backyard it needs some major updating. We thought we could just do a paint job, to begin with, but alas, this has ended up being a full gut job. I can’t wait to share more about what we are doing with this space.
This house has a little office in addition to the 4 bedrooms. This is going to be a perfect place for Sean to work since he works from home. We have already ordered some furniture that is really going to make this a cool room. I also can’t wait to hang some of my graphic design posters that I’ve been collecting.
As you can see, the bathrooms are going to be gut jobs too. But sadly we are going to have to wait for those a little bit. We are hopefully going to get to the kid’s bathroom before the end of the year.
These two photos are of our new master bedroom. Ahh! Half the size of our old master bedroom. While we really miss the old bedroom we are going to try and make the new one just as relaxing as the old one. I’m just sad they didn’t leave the floral TV cord cover for us to use! LOL.
This backyard was one of the main features that sold us on the house. It’s big and mature with tons of potential. The previous owners have two sons that were horticulturists and our backyard was basically their playground. There are over 25 fruit trees, everything from pomegranate, fig, banana, papaya, mango, apple, lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange and too many more to mention. In addition to that, there is a full raised garden area and grapevines. As you can see, there is a lot for us to manage! Right now we are trying to just clear out the overgrown stuff, but we are making a long-term plan for the garden that we can use to start attacking it little by little.
Somehow when I look at a fixer-upper, wether it is a house or a room, I only see the dressed up fixed up version. So, when we saw first saw this tri-level house with a two-tone exterior with rust trim, no grass and overgrown landscaping all I actually saw was the fixed up version I ended up photoshopping above. The photoshop version isn’t usually something I need, but I use it to sell Sean on the vision. Most of the time he has the same vision but this gets us on the same page. Trust me when I say, this house is going to need a lot of photoshopping!
Stayed tuned for updates on all our house projects!