Reasons to get out of bed…

Posts tagged ‘Home Ownership’

My Homebuying Guide

Here is the My Lesson In Motivation (tongue-in-cheek) Home Buying Guide:

Step 1: Fall madly in love with an architect and decide to buy a house with him (or her – in my case, it was a him)

Step 2: When looking at/purchasing a house with said architect, let his imagination run wild with possibilities

Step 3: Listen to those possibilities with an open heart and admiration for your partner’s genius

Step 4: Reign those wild fantasies in by imposing a strict timeline/deadline and a strict budget!

In reality, this plan basically did work out for us. My wonderful architect is not a residential architect, I’m sure that makes a difference. Instead, mine works in the “science and technology” sector (read: he designs crazy lab space for research scientists at universities and pharmaceutical companies). I think it worked out nicely because he wasn’t a snob about residential design, but understood it well enough to recognize a home’s “good bones” or hidden disasters. He was also looking for a house that would grant him a few hands-on projects. The downside was that he’s used to dealing with multi-million dollar  budgets… which we don’t have! (see Step #4) 

Additionally (which would be a more serious suggestion), we created a “needs and wants” list. Here’s an example of our list:

Need: A yard
Want: A LARGE yard
Need: Bedrooms on a separate floor from livingroom so when Mr. Light Sleeper goes to bed early, he’s not disturbed by Ms. Night Owl watching tv
Want: Fireplace

We reviewed it with our realtor as well, which was a good idea because he could ask things like “which would you rather: a house with a new roof or a house with a new kitchen.” That was easy: roof! Our rental has an avocado colored kitchen and we’ve been living with that for 4 1/2 years, but we’re sick of living there because the roof leaks…

Look at that hideous green floor! The countertops match one of those greens... (and then there's my Prissy Pants as a kitten playing with a paper towel roll for scale... and to distract you from how truly ugly that floor is)

Look at that hideous green floor! The countertops match one of those greens… (and then there’s my Prissy Pants as a kitten playing with a paper towel roll for scale… and to distract you from how truly ugly that floor is)

We ended up getting a house with all of our “needs” and some of our “wants.” Plus, the wonderful architect still got a house with projects to keep him busy.

One thing I’ve personally found funny is that everyone we show the (still empty) house to (with the solitary exception of my mother… who has been SUPER awesome enough to help us with all of our projects so far), says something along the lines of “well, have you considered doing this…?” to which, T always responds so politely, “Oh, that’s a good idea.” And I giggle in the corner because apparently our friends and family don’t realize that they are talking to an architect who has envisioned that house a million different ways. (Seriously, he did a mock-up of a dream kitchen that was so detailed I was in the rendering as a reference for scale. And while he had built a tv into the wall so “we could watch cooking shows,” he had placed a more likely, still image of a Patriot’s game on the tv since neither of us actually like to cook!)

Or our loved ones ask “Why aren’t you doing this…?” To which, one of us will reply “well, we considered it, but then Jen’s wallet started to cry, so it was tabled to a later date/moved down the priority list, etc.” (again, see Step #4).

We also casually shopped for houses for 4 years and had a good idea of what was out there, what we liked, and what we didn’t like. I think that really helped… but might not be a possibility for everyone…

If you came across this page because you’re actually thinking about buying a house: good luck! Happy house hunting! 

Or to my regular readers: what would your home-buying suggestions be?


Motivation: Deadlines! (And a Private Bathroom…)

Big things are going on over here at My Lesson In Motivation! Big things! Besides being pregnant, and still trying to work out (which I do… I just never manage to post about), my wonderful boyfriend and I just bought our first house! Whoa!

At this point, I’m feeling so adult it’s actually daunting.

xkcd homeownership

I promise to do a full update about the house (most likely complete with “before” and “after” pictures). But let me just tell you, this house has totally been forcing me to be motivated. Technically, it’s move-in ready… as long as we’re ok with 4 rooms being painted in the most extreme teal color even an 11-year-old girl made a joke about it (“wow… so that’s a choice”), and ok with having NO kitchen appliances, and a little mold in the basement, and a bunch of mild cosmetic issues, and not being able to close the bathroom door because the threshold is inches too tall (why?!), and, and, and…

Club house sale

You’re probably wondering at this point why we even bought the house. Because it’s lovely (especially for our price range), because all of the big stuff is new (roof, siding, windows, electrical thing in the basement which I should really know the name of). And because it’s so much bigger than where we live now. Literally, the basement is 30 square feet larger than our entire apartment right now (which is a single family home). No, our new house isn’t enormous – our rental is a shoebox! So if the basement is the same size as the ground floor, we also then gain the (three) bedrooms on a second floor: MORE SPACE! I don’t think our cats are going to know what to do with themselves with all of this room. I know they are going to love having more floor space to bat cat toys around and a dozen more windows to look out. (Not to mention all the new things outside).

So, we’ve been spending the last 2 weeks of home ownership fixing up the place (and buying appliances and hiring licensed people to do some of the more major work).

You know what’s a great motivator? Deadlines!

Deadline #1: We have to be out of our rental on March 31st.

It’s a great motivator to pack (although I’ve only just begun) and clean out closets and bookcases for donations. It’s also great to motivate us to finish a lot of the major projects (it’s WAY easier to paint an empty room than a room filled with furniture).

Deadline #2: our first guests will be sleeping over the night we move (T’s brother and sister-in-law are helping us move and then will be staying the night because they live 3 hours away). Normally, this would be no big deal. But when the bathroom door won’t close (and remains open about a foot and a half), these things NEED to be fixed!

So yeah… making sure the bathroom is a private experience without asking people to go to another part of the house (what we’re doing now… although luckily we aren’t in the house too much) is MAJOR motivation!

It WILL happen!!! I just keep repeating that to myself!

I’ll let you know how it goes, but I can promise you that I’m feeling motivated!

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