Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Before Tour

Well we have been busy trying to get the house to a point where we can move in.  We actually took the plunge and moved in on Monday but have still yet to finish any of the interior projects we are working on.  However, most projects are 75% done.  I hope to be able to show you some progress in the near future.  Meanwhile, here is a tour of the house before we moved in.

Here are some shots of the kitchen.  Just to give you an idea of what we are doing....the counters and sink have already been replaced.  We have tile samples on order for the back splash and we are having the entire kitchen lighting changed to get rid of that florescent and replace with recessed lighting and 2 pendant lights over the island (which is now one level).

Here is a shot of the living room that is open to the kitchen.  And that wall to the left is where our new door way to the office now stands.

Down this hall which is off the kitchen is the front door and the stairs on the left.  On the right is a half bath.  And on the very end on the right was the only doorway to the office (not anymore, however).

And right about now is when I was wishing I had grabbed my other camera lens....I had a hard time capturing the whole room.  This is the office that I mentioned near the front door.  That wall in the first picture is the wall that is now open to the living room.  The third picture down shows the french doors that lead to the front patio from the office.

Here is the dining room which is opposite the office.  Gotta love the gold chandelier and dark village wallpaper.  This wallpaper has been removed but was thus far the worst renovation we have done.  I despise wallpaper at this moment.  If anyone has any awesome removal techniques PLEASE let me know...we still have a master bath and guest bath to work on!

Here is a shot of the stairs...

And at the top of the stairs is what will become my sewing/ craft room.  It is a room that is actually off the master bath.

If you make a left at the top of the stairs you will find the master bedroom.  The lens I had on me cannot capture the bedrooms very well.  I will have to update later.

Here is the view looking back towards the stairs into the foyer.

Master bathroom picture below.  We have no shortage of mirrors.

  And this is the last picture I have of the inside of the house.  This is a shot down the hallway to the other bedrooms.  There are 3 other bedrooms plus a laundry room and jack-n-jill bathroom.

 I can't wait to share the updates for our backyard we have already made.  Mark took a week off work and dedicated his time to cleaning up the randomness the previous owners had going on.  Mark's priorities have always been the yard.

And here are my cuties enjoying our deck after a long day.  Can you believe Eli will turn 2 on Tuesday???  How did that happen???

Monday, May 20, 2013

House and Remodeling Beginning

Ok so anyone who follows me on Instagram or Facebook knows that we have moved to Atlanta (Suwanee specifically) and have been living in my dad's basement for the last 8+ months.  I distinctly remember having a conversation with Mark before we pulled the trigger on the whole move to Atlanta that went something like this:

Crystal: "Ok, let's do this!  BUT we are not staying at my dad's house for more than 2 months.  I don't think I can handle living in a basement with Eli for a prolonged period of time."

Mark: "Oh yeah, we will live with your dad for a couple months, save some money and then go buy a house".

Fast forward 8.5 months and we FINALLY close on a house.  The home buying experience was one that I would not wish on my worst enemy.  Overnight, the housing market changed to a seller's market (which typically is good news....UNLESS you are buying a house).  For over 6 months we looked for a house, most of the time was simply spent checking the FMLS for any new listings...which rarely happened.  In the 6 months we looked we put 7 offers on houses with no prevail.  To give you a sense of the market change, one house we put an offer in on went on the market at 10am.  We scheduled a showing the same day after we got off work at 4pm.  By the time we got to the house, the owner told us that he had already had one showing and one offer on the house!  We took a look around, decided we would put in a full asking price offer and pretty much thought we were golden.  WRONG, the owner went with the first offer which happened to be a cash offer that was willing to skip out on the appraisal AND the inspection!!!  Needless to say, we have heard that the owners that purchased that house are really regretting their decision to skip the inspection...the market is THAT competitive though. 

After our 7th offer was rejected, Mark and I decided to take action and put out flyers in neighborhoods we liked telling people that if they were planning on selling their home to contact us.  We were flooded with people telling us they were planning on selling, but most were out of our price range, except one.  We were finally able to land ourselves on an accepted offer!!  The seller we worked with didn't make things easy but a painful 3 weeks later we had ourselves a HOUSE!!!

The best news is that this is in one of our dream neighborhoods and a VERY familiar neighborhood for me since it was the neighborhood I grew up in since the 7th grade.  Yep, that's right, we ended up buying a house just down the street from my dad.  It has made the next phase of this home buying experience much easier; renovation. 
We have quite a few projects in store for this house but there are 3 projects that need to be completed before we move in since we do not want to live in a construction zone with an almost 2 year old. 
1. Finish the missing piece of fence in the backyard (Need to make sure our lab, Toby, stays in the yard)
2. Replace the worn laminate counter tops in the kitchen with granite
3. Create an opening between the Office and the Living Room (more on that in a bit).
We have officially started all 3 project but have not completed any of them.  The fencing is on special order, the countertops are being fabricated as we speak (Yay!!!), and the opening in the wall is mid-construction.  I will get into all 3 projects more specifcally at a later date, but will give you the run down on the opening between the office and the living room.  The below picture is a ROUGH sketch up of the main level floor plan.
I did not draw the stairs in the drawing above so it may seem a bit confusing but they would be in the upper center portion of the drawing in front of the front door which is at the top center.  The opening that I am talking about is the one circled in red.  The office (upper right room) was only accessible through the door next to the front door of the house.  Knowing how I can't do anything without Eli being within eye-sight I knew that this layout would not work for us.  The office would never be used and therefore, just be wasted square footage.  So I decided that I wanted to put a doorway between the living room and the office to open up the house.  My first tactic for getting this done?  Start pleading with my dad... ;-) .  A weekend later we have this kind of progress....

The picture above shows the electrical that was being run through the wall.  We had to run this electrical through the basement.

And this picture above was the thing that made us do the happy dance...we already had a header in the wall!  That meant we didn't have to cut and patch any drywall to put in a header for the opening.  We just reinforced the header that was there! 

 Sorry for the blurry pictures...iphone was all I was carrying during the projects.

And this is the view from the office into the living room...a view that has never been seen before!  Yay!
Now we just have to patch the flooring and do some trim work!  PROGRESS!!!
Sorry for the lengthy post...I could go on and on about the other 15 little projects we have going, pictures of the rest of the house or the progress in the kitchen but it would take me forever.  I will try to get a full walk through of the house before we moved in and then another one for the kitchen renovations.  Since we aren't living in the house right now we are attacking a ton of projects at one time which makes things SUPER crazy around here!  Wish us luck!