This weekend (5/15) marks the two year anniversary of me. Of “grown up” me. Of me living in my home. My very own home. Any of you who knew me when I made the decision to buy a home may recall that it was very much something I decided upon on a whim.
The short version of the story:
- Gas prices dropped in winter 2008. All of a sudden, I had a lot of extra money in my bank account every week (OK not a lot, but enough to be noticeable since it dropped from $4.30 to $2.40/gallon, and I had been filling my Jeep every 6 days). It was enough to make me scratch my head and wonder what I could do with that money. I pulled out my calculator.
- About 4 minutes later, I had calculated how much I could save and what I could afford and had made the executive decision to buy a house to live in when my lease expired in August 2009. I am the executive decision maker of me-related things, after all.
- I began home shopping online about 4 minutes after that (I did make a quick call to sanity check myself with my parents. They were cool. Maybe they know better than to question me. Should have gone to law school.)
- I had every intent of not moving out of my apartment until August 2009, but I found my home, knew it was the right fit, and stopped looking all together on my second day of house hunting. I think I spend on average more time at Wegmans than I did looking at homes. It was Feburary. I’m an action-oriented kind of girl. Of course I couldn’t stall the sellers until August, so we agreed on May, and that was that.
- I proceeded to eat nothing but Ramen noodles, plain lettuce, and Wegmans-brand yogurt for 3 months because I needed to save a shiz-load of money in a short period of time. Somewhere in there, the first-time homebuyer tax credit (the one you didn’t have to pay back) was announced, which made me very happy.
- I found my female roomie a male subletter for the apartment. I am forever indebted to her because it sounds like the dude was a creepster. I had good intentions but of course would never admit that this was a matchmaking attempt. Apparently I’m no Patti Stanger.
- I closed on the house on 5/15. The 24 hours leading up to my closing was possibly the most emotional 24 hours in my life to date; let’s just say Wells Fargo made me cry a lot (in my cubicle, at work, which was awesome), but that’s not to say I wouldn’t refer you to get a loan through them. And then it was done. And I was a changed girl.
You’ve probably perused the before/after section of the site before. But seriously, when I pull together the photos side by side like I’m about to show you, I’m blown away at how much I’ve done to this place in 2 years.
Please enjoy, and celebrate homeownership pride with me; afterall, forbes.com is – it announced this week that Rochester, NY is the best city in which to buy a home. Frickin’ HIGH FIVE, people.
On to the photos:
Exterior of the house: It was stripped. (Thank you, tax credit.)
The front entryway is a work in progress – that front porch should be finished within the next few weeks (it’s been begging for railings):
The deck and pergolas on the back of the house are entirely new. DIY’ed too, just search “deck” on this site (or click right here) and see a whole slew of posts about this project. Impressive change, right?
The Living Room: A dramatic makeover from carpeted drab space to bright and slick (I can’t describe it any other way) happiness.
The Sunroom: It was storage for children’s toys before I moved in. And it was carpeted. What can I say, anything was an improvement. Yes, there’s a margarita in my photo; call it a grown-up toy.
The Dining Room: It’s more so a workspace for me than a functional dining room, but it too received a nice makeover from floor to ceiling.
The Kitchen: The initial change involved painting it white. It’s hard to tell in the original photo, but each wall was painted a different shade of blue. And then I removed 7 upper cabinets to make way for open shelving.
The stairwell recieved an updo too. Not just paint, I swapped in a new closet door and made a collage of frames on the wall more recently.
The view down the stairs is improved too; those horizontal faux-wood blinds are throughout the whole house and really change each room dramatically in a way that plastic blinds don’t. Plus, the hardwood landing looks sexy. People don’t usually call hardwood floors sexy, do they? Just me?
The Nursery-turned-Walk-In-Closet: Animals were painted over, and the room was neutralized and made highly functional with the help of some big IKEA shelves. I was lacking closet space in every single apartment I lived in, so you could say I’m making up for it in a big way.
The Basement: We built workbenches over the winter, but the biggest change was the installation of glass block windows. Let there be light!
Thank you again for all of your support, encouragement, and kind words about the projects you’ve seen so far; lots more to come.