Monday, June 29, 2015

Adventures in Home Ownership

I love owning my first home! I hate being suddenly broke because of it!

The phrase I've heard the most in this past week has been, "Welcome to home ownership!"

Some say it as a heartfelt welcome to the club. Some say it with humor. Some say it with well-known empathy. And, others say it as a vicious knife to the heart. (i.e. Their lips say, "Welcome to home ownership!" while their hearts are saying, "I can't wait to watch her eff this up!!!")

No matter how you break it down, I have definitely taken that plunge. All those precious dollars stowed away for year upon years have finally been invested into something that I wanted so badly. Gone is the bulk of my savings account. No more opportunities for impulse spending or last-minute vacations. The deed has been done (and transferred into my name officially at the city appraiser's office.)

Old carpet has already been ripped out and new carpeting is paid for and waiting on installation. Most of my furniture has already been purchased and is waiting to be sat on. Dated light fixtures have been replaced. New smoke detectors have been installed. 

More strapping men and women of my clan.

The budget I had so carefully mapped out for years, was falling into place to a t.

And, then... home ownership happened!

I was fixing lunch yesterday and noticed that my refrigerator was very upset about something and had started to cry. A more seasoned home owner pointed out to me that the drain pipe from the freezer was broken and had been leaking into the fridge below. (I like my theory better. I could have cheered it up for free!)

Well, I'd placed aside a contingency for such issues that may arise, per the advice of the Property Brothers. (I knew watching way too many hours of HGTV would pay off for me eventually!) So, I figured, "I wasn't planning on replacing appliances for a year, but that's what I have my contingency for!"

Bada-bang, bada-boom, a new fridge will be delivered on Friday. (And, "accidentally" a new oven too. I strive to maintain complete honesty in my blogs; so, I'll just admit that the range is at least thirty years old... although, most likely, closer to forty. It was nasty dirty and I had simply run out of elbow grease. I'd like to cook in my kitchen one day soon without running the risk of 30-year-old spaghetti sauce remnants catching on fire so, "Hello, contingency!" I do have some self control, though. The original dishwasher remains in place.)

So, alot of fun has been had in my kitchen already.

But, at least, that contingency thing worked out for me!

Then I find out that my home owner's association dues are being raised in two months.

Then I also find out there's a two phase special assessment starting in the complex next month. They won't give out details until my association meeting next week, but it's pricey enough where they're talking payment plans.

Augh! Four days in and home ownership is already giving me the back sweats!

My head wants to start to panic, but my gut is telling me to just trust the Lord. No one in my complex is a millionaire. (And, if you are, please show yourself! I'd like to schedule a dinner date.) We'll all have to find some way to pay for this extra cost. I am not alone.

Everything will work out if I don't sweat the small stuff. Or, the big stuff. Or, the expensive stuff. (Somebody please tell this to my back! No sweating allowed!)

 Besides, I've already got my first two pictures to hang on the new fridge.

I promise, less sweaty pictures of me once the move is complete.

Courtesy of one of our strapping littles:

The artiste'

In the meantime, a message from new homeowners to seasoned ones: When somebody vents to you about their new housing woes, they're not looking to be patronized. They're not looking for you to smirk or haughtily add, "Well, that's home ownership! What did you expect?"

We understood that home ownership came with a price. We are not naive. We're not looking to be judged... just for a sympathetic ear.

And, maybe, also a greeting card stuffed with hundred dollar bills. (I can private message you my address if you're interested.)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Bathroom

Wrinkled rug. Doh! I have already failed at homemaking.

My bathroom cracks me up!  But, I guess it's okay to laugh in there. (Oooohhh... and I just said "crack" and "but(t)" right off the bat in my bathroom post.)

I didn't have to do much in here, which is why it's already pretty much done a mere two days after closing.

When it comes to bathrooms, white is right! (I just wish a little more whiteness on that tile floor in there. Here, bleach! Come 'ere, boy...")

Soap dispenser and trash can from Target
Bath mat by Ikea

I actually touched this room first on closing day. The previous owner had already installed this fine-by-me sink and cabinet. So, all I had to do was bring some soft soap and artwork into the mix.

Oh, why does my bathroom crack me up, you ask?

Well that leads us right into my favorite thing:

"Bat Brush" and "Cat Brush" by Greg Guillemin. Purchased at
Moonrise Kingdom poster purchased at ParadoxParade on
White frame from Michael's Arts and Crafts

My favorite thing about this room: The artwork! It's fun, it's me, and it happened to come in the colors I wanted for this room. Moonrise Kingdom is one of my top ten favorite movies, which is why I initially chose the print on the wall opposite our Gotham heroes. The reason I'm laughing is because I placed that poster directly above the place in which many moons will be rising. *wink, wink. nudge, nudge.*

What this room will be use for: Duh! And, probably also several impromptu fights with Cat Woman over toothpaste and our main squeeze.

What I'd still like to do with this space: Bleach those floors! Possibly remove the glass shower doors. I've never been a fan, but I'm also kind of starting to like the airy lightness they provide in this all-white space. We'll revisit that topic once I've actually showered in there. Also, the counter space will soon be cluttered with way too many products once I've officially moved in.

That's all for now. Keep it fresh and clean out there!

The Florida Room

Since every inch of the poopy carpet* is in the process of being replaced, yet I'm chomping at the bit to start decorating, the easy choice was to start with the three rooms that aren't waiting on the Home Depot team to lay new flooring.

The easiest of those places to start was in my Florida room.

Everything had already been purchased and was waiting in storage, so once the dingy white carpet was gone, all it needed was a good floor scrubbing and some caulk to replace the peeled-off stuff under the windows. (Note to self: Must buy caulking. That part didn't actually happen yet.)

Chair, table and rugs from Target.
Chevron outdoor pillows from

My favorite thing about this room: The brick wall and the colors! I'm a lover of color. Which is also my way of warning, "Brace yourself. There's more of that to come!"

More chairs and rugs from Target.

What this room will be used for: I decorated very inexpensively here because I hadn't fully decided what this space will be used for. If I change my mind along the way, there will be no crying over tossing out the $19 Adirondack chairs. I'll get more than $19 use out of them this summer alone. Anticipated use: Reading, blogging, snacking and petting of cats. (Whoops! Not plural. Just cat. Keep me accountable with that, please!)

I prefer to use trends like chevron in easily replaceable ways,
like these cheapo rugs and throw pillows. That way once the trend
is laid to rest, I won't be crying over painted chevron floors or tile work.

What I'd still like to do with this space: I've been scoping out local antique shops for the perfect vintage street sign for the brick wall... although I'd also kind of hate to cover any inch of it up. Festive outdoor lights will probably be added as well.

Punny street sign option for the "cougar den".

*Reassuring me in my repulsion of the state of the old carpet was my brother who, when lifting the throw rug the owner had left behind as camouflage, blurted out "AUGH!!! What did he do in here?!" See, doubters. It's not pop stains, coffee spills or other once edible substances. It was poop. (You may now debate the relation of poop to "once edible substances" amongst yourselves.)

The First Two Days

Keys! Keys! I've FINALLY got keys!!!

The keys came on Thursday night. One hour later...

...and I'm already tearing up carpet! 

"I" obviously meaning my dad and brother. The real I "supervised". (Totally accurate use of quotation marks on both accounts.)

Three hours later...

...and, new carpet was ordered by midnight. Kimmy don't play.

The past two days have been devoted to shop vacs, tape measures, scrubbing bubbles and shopping trips. (Not the fun kind.)

Of course, that also means the fine cuisine of Home Depot.

And, way too much takeout pizza for a woman of my age and metabolism.

Some things I've learned so far:

  • Always be born into a family of strapping men.
  • Hoarding furniture piece by piece while paying for a storage unit paid off. It's so much better to spread those expenses out over time then to take one big stressful and bank-busting shopping trip at crunch time.
  • Those dated dining room mirrors I once hated, I now realize I'll miss once the furniture is moved in and I'll have to discontinue the one woman dance-offs.
  • Heavy lifting up several flights of stairs is about as much fun as I anticipated.



Bonus: I fully expect calves of steel by the end of next week!

Extra tidbit for my regular readers: The drunk guy that fell into a bush and starred in one of my prior house hunting posts lives directly across the parking lot from my Florida room. This ought to warrant a binoculars purchase in the near future.

Top window, abode of the entertainingly drunk home owner.
You're welcome.