A Monday case of the mean greens

In my last post I mentioned how I’m addicted to Yahoo News. Well, now I’m confessing my Craigslist addiction. I’m a huge fan of the online garage sale and usually check it daily. I may be happily ensconced in my dream home- but oh man, sometimes that real estate section gets me in a tizzy. I browse the home listings just to see what’s being offered these days, and today I found it. THE ONE. I had that gulping, weak-kneed reaction to the photos- you know, that feeling you get when you’re afraid you’ve made a terrible mistake.

Take a peek:

Ahh! I love the shutters and multi-light windows- it’s New England style, my absolute favorite.

That’s the kitchen! Beautiful dark cabinetry, subway tiles (I adore subway tiles) and open shelving. Drool.

One of the two bathrooms- there is SO MUCH CHARACTER in this room! Wainscoting, professional tile, huge vanity (almost exactly like the one I’ve bookmarked at Lowes for future Hannah), cute “toilet niche” and archway over shower.

This picture makes my heart go pitty-pat. Maybe it’s the original hardwoods that resonate with me, the arched doorways, the crystal doorknobs, the professional tiling, or the fireplace with more than just a mantle. Who am I kidding, it’s the built-ins. I’m a sucker for built-ins! On a whim, I calculated the monthly payments- it would be $200 extra a month if we had this pretty home instead of our cottage. Yikes. I know exactly what you’re thinking: but Hannah! Your home is so adorable- how could you possibly be envious of another space?? (hah)

These are the issues with our cozy cottage that contribute to my* momentary* feelings of envy when I see a perfectly put together home.

  • Low, droopy popcorn ceilings. Our ceilings are an unfortunate 7’4″ (was our house built by tiny people? Seriously) with a glossy popcorn finish. A future project would be either ripping out & reinstalling sheetrock, or (more likely) putting up beadboard sheets over top of the existing finish.
  • General crookedness. The house-flippers we bought our home from were not professionals, and realizing this after-the-fact chafes. The entire house tilts the slightest bit towards the back wall. Instead of leveling out the house before beginning the remodeling, they left it as-is, leading to multiple crooked doorways and wonky trim around the top of the walls.
  • AMATEURS. I’m getting better at embracing the crookedness. I swear I really am. But ARGH, the house-flippers didn’t even set the new windows in straight! They are good-quality replacement windows that don’t leak water or air (counting blessings), but the kitchen windows are obviously off-centered. And don’t get me started on that tile, I sweep up bits of grout daily. Until we have the moolah for a full tile redo, we’ve got to live with it.

Which brings me back to the original thought- wasting a Monday on a case of the mean greens! Envy is a a destructive emotion. I spend too much time on Apartment Therapy and start wondering where MY 9 foot ceilings, claw-foot bathtub, and stained glass windows are. I have a happy, warm, snug, clean home full of friends & family & good times. Why worry over what could have been? I decided to take a lesson from this home and think about all the excitement and gulping weak-kneed moments that went into buying my own cozy crooked cottage.

  • May, 2011- I graduate from Ball State University and we move out of student housing, across the state into Mark’s parents home.
  • July, 2011- After months of pouring over listings online, Mark & I finally contact a realtor and view a home.
  • July, 2011- Mark & I fall in love with said home- small but recently renovated on nearly an acre!
  • July, 2011- Mark & I put in an offer on the home.
  • July, 2011- Mark & I wait. and wait. and wait.- and, oh look! Our offer was accepted.
  • August, 2011- Bank drags its feet on approving financing (we were pre-approved, but things were sticky as we had both only been at our jobs a few months/weeks).
  • September 16, 2011- Bank approves! We close the deal & get the keys.

I know you might think it’s strange that we fell in love with and bought the very first (and only) house we ever viewed, but there were a few things that were of utmost importance to us that this house met immediately. When we saw it, we just knew. Since you can never have too many lists, how about another one? 😛

1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Our little ‘Burgh is the perfect place to raise a family. It’s quiet, green, quiet (did I already say quiet?), and within 5 minutes of grocery, hospital & emergency care center, shopping, the vet, gas, Starbucks, our bank, etc.

2. SPACE. Neither of us imagined that as first-time home buyers we would find a place with nearly an acre, right in the middle of a city. Now I can’t imagine waking up without a peaceful green lawn right outside my window, complete with rustling trees and bunnies! There were a few larger new construction homes closer to our families in the *high* end of our budget that I bookmarked, but ultimately dismissed. We are not people that can be easily satisfied with a low-maintenance, postage-stamp sized yard. Weeds, wild blackberries, overgrown pine trees- bring it ONNNN!

3. BUDGET. We had money put aside for a down payment, but not enough for it as well as moving day expenses like household essentials and furniture (we down-sized quite a bit when we moved in with his parents). We found a way around that by acquiring a “USDA loan”. By buying a home outside the official city limits we were financed with 0% down payment. Buying a house in the ‘Burgh instead of the ‘Ville both our parents live in enabled us to use the USDA financing.

Ultimately everything came together in one huge cosmic beam of happiness and although I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, sometimes I need to kick my random discontentedness (is that a word?) in the head. Thanks for listening!



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