Thursday, June 25, 2009

57 bags of top soil, 7 gallons of paint, and an aching back.


(The deceiving picture from the online listing that I mentioned earlier.)

This is what we saw in our walk-through:

This is what we were working with come spring/summer:

Overgrown shrubs, dead grass, a sad faded yellow paint color, and a floral mailbox. It was depressing. But now, not so much. :)

Please ignore the big blue tub. It houses all the river rock that I'm still pulling up and eventually delivering to my friend's fire pit. There is still a lot to do: scrape and paint trim, fill in the bare areas, finish transplanting the rest of the hosta to the side of the house, new edging... The list is never-ending.

As an overeager homeowner, I:

1. Painted. Yep, the ENTIRE house, by MYSELF. Olympic's Stone Grey for the house color and Phantom Mist for the shutters. It looks black on the paint chip but is a wonderfully rich espresso brown. All for about $150. Yes, you heard that right. $150!

2. Ripped out the shrubs. With the help of a generous friend. Who am I kidding? I didn't "help"at at. She was wielding that ax just fine. If it was left for me to do, those shrubs might still be there today. (I'm paying her back in the form of river rock.)

3. Dug up a ton, literally, of river rock. Replaced with black mulch.

4. Slowly added new plants. Last summer, I was about 25%.

I think I'm about 50% this summer. Hopefully next year, I'll find exactly what I need to fill in the rest of the area.

5. Decorated with some hanging baskets. My $5 Boston ferns and $5 hanging baskets from WalMart. $40 for all of this. Can you believe it?

Another quick before and after:

6. My favorite part was fixing that grass for under a hundred bucks. 57 bags of top soil, fertilizer, and a bag of grass seed later:

7. I was glad once we got rid of the ugly mailbox. We had a little giggle when Matt pulled it out of the ground. We replaced it with a basic black house-mounted one. (One that I hung a bit too tall. I don't think my mail carrier can close it. I didn't think about the fact not everyone is 5'9". lol)

8. You can't see the house numbers because I removed them from the pics, but they are of the floating numbers sort. Similar to:

I think that's about it. lol This totally inspired me to break out the "listing" pics of the house and compare them to the "now" pics. Look for more blog posts to come!

The Eerie Similarities of...

Online dating and online house hunting:

Many of our friends know that Matt and I met on a online dating website. At the time, I just finished with school and was incredibly shy. (I've now done a complete 180 thanks to my job!) I had a really hard time meeting people and online made it very easy. It was like window shopping for a man. lol It was mostly entertainment and not anything I took seriously. Until I met Matt. :)

However, online dating taught me a few things:

1. Pictures can be deceiving. Just a headshot may be hiding his special wolf t-shirt.

2. Profiles can be deceiving. "I like to kick back and enjoy myself" translates to "I drink beer until I'm stupid and puking everywhere. Then you can clean it up."

3. Go with your gut. If you have a bad feeling, your instincts are kicking in for a reason.

4. Give people a chance. On paper, someone may not seem to be your type but you may be surprised once you get to know them.

When we started house hunting online, I was amazed at the similarities it had with online dating.

1. Deceiving pictures? Check! Isn't it amazing how awful neighboring houses are carefully cropped out of pictures? Rooms can look beautiful online... only to discover the work is shoddy and a bit scary.

2. Deceiving descriptions? Check! "Cute little dollhouse" means that only DOLLS will fit inside the house.

3. Go with your gut. There were a few houses that we didn't spend more than 15 seconds in. I just had a baaaaaad feeling. Like the one that smelled a bit funny. A bit funny like they were hiding a huge water/mold problem.

4. Don't prejudice yourself. The house we ended up buying? I almost refused to look at. lol I'm glad that Matt convinced me. I had a gazillion reasons why I didn't want to, but the second I walked through the door, I just knew. It had good bones. It felt like "home". And the cosmetic work it needed? Not an iota of a deterrent.

Stay tuned for some of those deceiving pictures, the "real" pictures of the walk-through, and some "afters"!