The process started about 2 months ago, but after so many ups and downs with real estate over the past two years, I didn't really believe it to be true until we had the keys in our hands. I was so afraid of jinxing a good thing. Anyway, here is the background story.
Mike got the itch again to start house shopping in August. We looked at a few (one we even put an offer in, not sure if I wrote about it or not). When we first saw our now home, we thought it was out of our price range. Ironically, one day while driving around for work meetings, I passed a few streets and thought to myself "This would be the perfect area to fit our needs". It was a beautiful family neighborhood, on the side of Toms River I preferred, good schools, easy access to and from the parkway... there was just something I liked about that section of town. That night Mike said he wanted to show me a house he likes but was out of our price range. Well the house was in the exact neighborhood I was dreaming about just earlier that day.
Fast forward version- We saw the house. It was smelly, and oddly furnished, and outdated in many rooms, with very strange owners. BUT It had all the qualities we were looking for. And to make it even better, it was the perfect compromise for Mike and I... neighborhood that I wanted, space that Mike wanted (almost 1 acre!!). We returned a few times to see it, showed our family, and put in an offer. After a few negotiations, we got it for the price we wanted!
The next month was full of mortgage dramas. Literally until the day of closing, and even now continuing after closing, we had issues and complications getting a mortgage. After a lot of stress and work, we closed on our new home on November 17.
Like I mentioned before, the house needs some TLC. It has great bones- the open floor plan, 4 bedrooms, large basement, but it was not kept up well. The game plan was to spend from November 17- 26 doing as much as we possibly could to get it ready for move in. I was very serious about moving in before December so that we could spend the month of Christmas enjoying the house, not working on the house.
The to-do list for move in:
-Paint the entire house
-New carpets upstairs and family room
-Totally re-do the half bathroom
-Pull up carpets in the upstairs bathrooms (yes carpets, gross)
-All new appliances
-Shampoo the living room/dining room carpets
-Change all locks
-New hardware in the kitchen
I am very excited to announce we did it all! Mike worked all day at his job and then came to work all night on the house. He got a lot of help from my dad and his dad, and some from friends, and they did a great job. I spent all that time taking care of the boys and packing the house, Not an easy task with two little helpers, but I also got it done.
So now we have been living here for about a week and I am so happy. Relieved to know where we are going to be living and no longer house shopping. Thrilled that we got a good deal. And excited about all the things we plan to do over time to make this our home. The list of projects is very long, but this house has potential for all the things we want. Even the small changes we have made so far made a huge difference. It till take a little bit of time, but I know it will feel like home soon!
Here are a few before pictures:
I will be posting about each room and area as we work on this continuous DIY project. Lots of before and after pictures. But the first one I have is the half bathroom. Its not 100% yet, still needs some touch up paint, caulk, and decor... but you will get the idea.
The boys are loving their new home, and I am really enjoying watching them explore. Patrick just crawls from room to room to room to check it all out. Ryan's first day here was awesome. He was just so excited and happy. He finally has his play room and a backyard he deserves. He kept shouting "This is super awesome" and "I loooooveeeee my new house". Every day he asks me to invite people over so they can plan and see his new back yard. Those moments last Sunday made the chaos well worth it.
Its not 100% smooth sailing yet. Ryan is extra emotional this week, he has a hard time adapting to change. He has also said a few time "okay, its time to go back to our real house now". But just like for me, it will take all of us a little bit of time before this is our "home."