As of July 2nd, this will be ours!
It's located in a nice, established subdivision (we've seen quite a few houses in the subdivision and have liked it since we first saw it last fall) in a small town (with a nice country feel like we had in Georgia) between where we are now and where Josh works. So, that equals perfect location. His commute will be shortened, but yet we'll still have easy access to everything we have come to love where we are now (i.e. shopping, doctors, restaurants, Fresh Market!). ;) Assuming we're still here in a couple of years (it'd be a first, haha!), Ethan will attend the new elementary school that was built a couple miles away. Convenient!
Now should come the easy part...the moving. Fortunately, we'll have movers again to get us all packed up, loaded up and transported into the house. Then we'll just do the unpacking part ourselves. After moving as many times as we have since getting married, this is my best piece of advice for
saving your marriage staying sane during a move: use movers! It's not worth the headache of doing it yourself. In case you are wondering, my only other piece of marriage-saving advice includes using a GPS navigation system while on vacation in a new place. ;) So...the movers are scheduled to unload our storage items (half of what we own!) at the house on Tuesday. Then they will be coming to the apartment on Thursday (since Wednesday is a holiday) to get us packed up here. So, that will give us some time one day (minus time to go see some fireworks!) to get the storage items unpacked before more boxes arrive. Sweet.
We definitely ended up compromising what we really wanted (a house similar to what we had in Georgia on about an acre of land) for this house, but the higher cost of living here played a hand in that. Our Georgia house/land was perfect, but at closer to a ~$400,000 price tag here, we weren't willing to splurge that much on a house at this time! So, we'll have an older house on a little over 1/2 acre (mostly level too!). There are definitely updates that we want to make to the house, as it was built in 1994 and has had several owners since that time. Surprising to myself, I am actually a little bit excited about the possibility! Building our previous two houses, they didn't really need updates/improvements inside (except paint), as they were already in perfect condition. I have seen so many wonderful ideas on Pinterest over the last year, though, that I kind of want to be able to implement some of them! Not exactly something you do to a brand new house, so this will be my excuse to get to do just that. :) With hubby's ability to build/fix anything and everything and my love of and eye for design, we make the perfect team! Our only problems arise from the fact that we are both very stubborn (compromise...what's that?) and perfectionists (the simplest things can become quite tedious). Our poor children are doomed.
The only thing we want to accomplish before actually moving in is to paint Noah's bedroom. It's currently a purplish shade of blue, which clashes horribly with the more greenish shade of blue in his bedding. So, I want to get it done before we get his room put together. Ethan's room will probably now be green (we got lucky and the current shade matched the green that was in his bedding), unless we decide to repaint it to the blue that he had in his old room. We'll see. Lucky for us, the rest of the house was recently painted a nice neutral shade of tan, so we won't have to touch any of the other rooms until we decide we want more color! We also lucked out with the flooring. The entire first floor of the home has nearly brand new hardwood floors (except for the tiled bathroom and laundry room), which are in excellent condition. The entire upstairs is carpeted (except for the bathrooms) in a great neutral tan color too (very close to the color we chose to put in our previous homes)! The carpet is also pretty much brand new, so it'll just need swept before we move in. Sweet!!! All of the updates we want to make will be easy to do once we are already moved in.
Unfortunately, I don't have pics of the upstairs rooms to share yet because my camera's batteries died during the home inspection and of course my back-up batteries were also dead. Sigh. I did manage to get some of the first floor. They aren't super exciting pics, but I'll share a few.
Upon walking in the front door, the room to the left is the formal dining room and the room to the right will be my office. Then the stairs lead you up to the bedrooms, or there is a walkway back to the living room. Here's an old picture I pulled from online to best show the entrance. I love the doors that will close off the office. The only thing I am torn with right now is all of the oak. I hate oak. I know my sister is cringing as she reads this. Sorry Katie...and everyone else who loves oak. The trim in most of the rooms is white, but there is still some oak, like you see here. I really, really want to paint it all white so it all matches. Who wants to help me convince hubby on that one? ;) With rooms for both an office and dining room, I may actually get a new dining table and hutch now! Any volunteers yet to help me with hubby?? :)
Once you are in the dining room, an opening leads you back to the kitchen. On the way, you pass the laundry area on your left (which leads to the garage) and a half bath to the right. The laundry area isn't ideal (I loved the big room I had in Georgia, on the same floor as the bedrooms) and has some pretty hideous wallpaper. But, there isn't a ton of it, so hopefully it won't take long to remove and paint. More oak though...
On to the kitchen! The oven and microwave are new and stainless steel. Yay! We'll also be bringing our stainless fridge with us too. The fridge that is there is nearly brand new, but black, so we'll use it either in the garage or downstairs as an extra for when we need more room or for snacks/water and such. The dishwasher is black too, but appears to be in good condition, so it may stay awhile. The cabinets and countertop were professionally painted just a year ago, so they will probably stay for now. Eventually we want to replace it with a granite countertop and maybe replace the cabinets too, also adding more cabinets/bar off where they currently end.
In the middle of the back of the house is the breakfast area, where we will put our current table. Patio doors lead to the back yard, and there is a door to the basement and pantry in here. On the other side is the living room. It has some great built-ins around the fireplace. I definitely want to update the fireplace, which includes painting more oak! haha. I think it would look better if it matched the built-ins. Adding some stone around the fireplace would look nice and more modern. We're hoping to be able to run the cable around and mount our flatscreen TV above the fireplace. We recently purchased a new, dark brown leather couch and loveseat set that will go in this room. With a big, comfy rug, this will be the perfect room to hang out in.
The master bedroom and bathroom are located upstairs, along with three additional bedrooms and a bathroom for them to share. The bedrooms all need updated lighting, probably ceiling fans. The boys' bathroom will also need updated - floor, cabinet and countertop. In our bath, we want to update the cabinets and countertop.
The basement is partially finished right now with 2 additional rooms, which were being used as a playroom and office. We are still trying to decide how we want to finish this space out. We may try to knock out the finished wall between these two rooms and make this our media room, with play area behind the seating area. Another option would be to finish the other side of the basement (it is currently unfinished) into a media room/play room. If we do that, the room that is already finished will become a guest bedroom. There is also a drive-under garage in the unfinished part of the basement that Josh will be able to use for storing the lawnmower, four-wheeler, etc. Once we finish it all out, the house will be bigger than what we had in Georgia.
The backyard currently has a small rose garden, a deck and a play set for the boys. We are debating replacing the flowers with a fruit and vegetable garden. We would like to cover the deck, add a ceiling fan, and possibly screen it in as well. We want to add a concrete pad off of the deck to use for grilling and such. We are considering adding a pool next year and fencing the yard as well. In the front, we want to add a parking pad/turn-around off of the driveway and the landscape needs some work too. So, as you can see, we have our work cut out for us outdoors! Obviously we won't be able to update everything at once, but hopefully it won't take too long to do most of the minor stuff. The important thing is that we will be all moved in before Noah's 1st birthday party in a couple of weeks!! :)
So, happy moving week to us! I'm sure our movers will appreciate that we picked one of the hottest weeks of the year to move! ;)