Trinity Park Home Tour

You guys know how much I love crashing my neighbors houses, so when we got an email a few weeks back about volunteering for the bi-annual Trinity Park Home Tour in exchange for some free home tour tickets – I was all over it. Some civic goodness and some jaw dropping houses all rolled into one afternoon, it was almost more than I could take.

Of all the homes we toured, you better bet I had a favorite. It just happened to be the first one we went through and it was fine. The details on these homes were absolutely out of the ballpark.

Trinity Park Home Tour

All of the homes we went through were property’s that had been extensively renovated. Many we’re well over 100 years old and they all just exuded so much character.

This house had a fireplace in virtually every room. This one in the Living Room was one of my favorites – don’t you just love that color on the tile?

Original Refinished Fireplace

Without a doubt, my favorite room in this house was the kitchen. This is a glimpse of it off of the oh so gorgeous butler’s pantry (and you know I love a good butler’s pantry).

Butler's Pantry Off Kitchen

Now I know y’all would be wanting an up close detail shot of this beauty and it does not disappoint. Between that wine cooler and those gorgeous counters, I pretty much want to put this lovely looker in my pocket.

Butler's Pantry

Here is a view of the kitchen, so you can see the whole kit and kaboodle. I love how they mixed marble counters on the periphery and put in a soapstone counter on the island.

Renovated Kitchen Marble Counters

One of my favorite details in the kitchen was a built-in bench they had added in under the window. A kitchen can be so nice to hang out in, but it’s often short on seating, so that’s a perfect solution for reworking the space to me!

Kitchen with Fireplace

Ok, one more shot of this room. :) Check out this amaze-balls detail with the exposed brick in the corner of the room. Loving the open shelving, too. Swoon.

Exposed Brick in Kitchen

Downstairs, the home was renovated throughout, with large and open rooms. This is a shot of their dining space, which connects the living room and kitchen.

Modern Dining Room

Upstairs they had a cozy Master, that led into a fully renovated bath and walk-in closet. This house was full with lots of people touring it at the time, so this is the only shot I got of that room. You can see another fireplace, peaking in on the corner. How cool would it be to have a fireplace in your bedroom??

Cozy Master Bedroom

In addition to the Master Suite, the upstairs also had another finished bathroom that was a jaw dropper. Check out this beauty.

Red Bathroom

Not going to lie, going through these amazing houses kinda sorta made me want to burn my house to the ground and start over. 😀 Not really, but kinda! Most of the homes we toured are $1 million properties, so I guess I can’t really get too jellsy about it. If I win the lotto though, you’ll know where to find me! 😀

House Stalker

Here I was, sitting on my pregnant tuckus Sunday afternoon eating (another) slice of pizza and do you know what my weary eyes stumbled upon? An email from our neighborhood listserve saying there was an open house in the hood. Since it was 2pm, and I was still in my PJ’s, I figured an open house was just the motivation I needed to get my rear in gear and enjoy some fresh, October air.

This house you guys, oh my goodness. For starters, it’s on one of the loveliest streets in Durham (IMO) but this beauty was a winner from top to bottom.

Front Entry Living Room

I’m totally – completely – obsessed, with this kitchen.

Just look at this beauty!

White Cabinets Chefs Kitchen

The details on this space are to the nines.

Vintage Kitchen Sink

Ok, one more. I just can’t get enough 😀 Open concept gorgeousness.

Large Kitchen White Cabinets

Right off the kitchen there is a beautiful dining space and a cozy little living space/den. Being an old house dweller, I can tell you that I long for and extra living space that we could use for TV watch chillin. Maybe someday.

Something like this fits the bill, huh?

Cozy Den Family Room

Even better, there’s a little sunroom off the side of the TV/Dining/Kitchen area. So much space, I wouldn’t even know what to do with it all. I’ve got a feeling I’d be up to the task though, if I really put my mind to it 😉

Sunroom Off Kitchen

All the bathroom’s in the house had the most beautiful tile work. I liked how it offered some consistency throughout the home and really helped to tie the entire property together.

Vintage Style Master Bath

Another detail in this house – all the cabinetry – from the built-ins in the front Living Room to the Kitchen to the Baths were matching, inset, vintage inspired and gorgeous.

There were a total of (4) bedrooms upstairs on this house, and all of them had gorgeous hardware and solid wood construction. The door on the far left of this room actually goes up to a 3rd unfinished floor which would be a sweet spot to add a TV lounge area for kiddos.

Large Side Bedroom

Since they’re my favorite rooms in this house, other than the kitchen (obvi), I thought I’d finish off the tour with one more view into these beautiful matching bathrooms.

SWOON.

Second Full Bath

Want it? Need it? Have to have it? Well the good news is, it’s for sale! The bad news is, it’s just shy of $1 million. I know, right. That’s what we call bad luck in the Sell household 😀

House Stalking

Since I’ve been in such a vegetative state lately, progress has slowed down a bit on the house. Ok, a lot. 😉 Pretty much all we do every night is lay in bed and watch Soprano re-runs. Maybe go for a walk if I’m feeling up to it. I know I’ll be feeling better soon, but y’all, I’m missing my pre-pregnancy days like whoa this week. Missing my energy, my appetite and my ability to walk into a room without vomiting from some smell that hits me wrong (kitchen, I’m looking at YOU). All in the name of growing this little fetus into a real boy/girl/monkey. Someone has got to do it.

We have been working on sprucing our upstairs bathroom and I’m excited to debut that little beauty to y’all next week, but in the mean time, I thought I send over some of the prettiest little pictures of the prettiest little cottage that I’ve ever seen. Do you guys follow Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo of ABCD Design? I found her on twitter a few months back and her style is to the nines. Her New England cottage is currently for sale and I’m pretty much head over heals in love with it.

East Coast Cottage

Her style is so gathered and eclectic. I love what she’s done with every single space and although it’s sad to see her leave this beauty behind, I’m sure she’ll do equally amazing things with their next abode.

That dark velvet sofa just looks perfect for snuggling in come those cold northern winters, doesn’t it. Delicious.

Eclectic Living Room

Speaking of dark, I’m totally in love with this galley kitchen. That inset custom cabinetry and contrasting marble counters are really perfect. Love the darker appliances as well, and how they blend right in with the cabinetry.

Black Kitchen Marble Counters

The dining room is a light and bright open space, right off of the kitchen.

I love the exposed beams in this space – the perfect rustic touch for this country home.

Dining Room Rustic

In contrast to the first living space downstairs on this house – this den is bright and neutral. I’m pretty smitten with the wainscoting details around the fireplace surround.

Rustic Living Room

Keeping that cozy theme, the Master Bedroom is dark and welcoming. Look at that headboard, y’all! Talk about a show stopper!

Navy Bedroom

As much as I adore the inside of this house, the outside grounds are full of wonderful surprises as well.

Although this perfectly groomed and landscaped outbuilding looks like a gardening shed, when you open the door, you actually find …

Outdoor TV Room

A cozy little TV room!

Rustic TV Room

And when you’re totally done enjoying all the amenities of this sweet abode, why not pull up a chair and dine al fresco under the stars. Sigh. Now that’s living the life.

Outdoor Pergola Patio

Tell me, which space is your favorite?

This house, along with a few others, are featured this week on the WSJ house of the week post (one of my favorites for gorgeous house inspiration). You can vote for your favorite, here!

Tiny Home

Maybe it’s my pragmatic ways or my frugal nature, but the movement in the real estate world toward simple, functional spaces completely speaks to me. I’ve always vastly preferred a 1,200 square foot bungalow on a tree lined street to a 3,500 square foot subdivision abode. In fact, our current house (at just under 1,700 square feet) is actually the largest we’ve owned to date!

Have y’all heard of the Tiny Homes popping up around the country? Their cottages, all below 1,000 square feet, are as big as their homes get! What they don’t have in square footage, they definitely make up for in function and character.

I mean, tell me, what’s not to love?!

Tumbleweed Tiny Home

This home is an absolute treat – all 557 square feet of it! Like this perfect little entry. You’ve got to optimize every square foot!

Tiny Home Entry

After you enter, you come into a big open space that houses the kitchen, dining room and living space.

See the loft space above, as well?

Open Room

That kitchen pretty much left me speechless. The details on this house are perfection!

Tiny Home Kitchen

Right off the kitchen, there is a great dining space that has bench seating (with storage underneath – smart!).

Little House Dining Room

And then a stones throw away from the kitchen/dining space, you have a cozy little living room.

Little House Living Space

This house has two tiny little bedrooms. One of which is used as a flex office space for the home owner.

Again, this home owner optimized space by using clever storage solutions under the bed. Genius.

Tiny Home Bedroom

And this little back porch. I think the chickens seal the deal 😉

Tiny Home Yard

What do you think? Would you ever do the tiny house thing? Jay and I talk about buying some property in the mountains, and I’d love to build something like this for a vacation spot and then perhaps have it for retirement in the future. I’m personally completely smitten!

Want to read more? Here is the Tumbleweed website, and here is the blog for this homeowner!

Hollywood in the Country Hills

Sometimes I wish I could live in the 1800’s way out in the country, in a beautiful house, with a self sustaining farm where we would get our eggs and greens each morning and a cow named Bertha that we’d get our milk from. I’d have 14 children to do all my work for me and I’d sit back and, I don’t know, cross stitch or something. And pet my cat. Something like that.

And when I see gorgeous photos, of gorgeous old homes nestled in natures abundant beauty, I start to think to myself – man I could dig that. So for all of you that have a penchant for famous people, and have an extra $1.6 million relaxing in your pantalones, I strongly encourage you to purchase Renee Zellweger’s country estate that just landed on the market.

Old Farmhouse

Just stunning, right? The blue sky, the crisp white exterior. It just makes my heart melt.

This foyer has the same effect.

Renee Zellweger's Connecticut Farmhouse Foyer

Here are a few more gorgeous photos of this incredible home for you to feast your eyes upon.

Renee Zellweger's Connecticut Farmhouse Kitchen

Renee Zellweger's Connecticut Farmhouse Hall

The tall ceilings in this Master Suite …

Renee Zellweger's Connecticut Farmhouse Master Suite

And this stunning bath.

Renee Zellweger's Connecticut Farmhouse Master Suite

Renee Zellweger's Connecticut Farmhouse Den

Renee Zellweger's Connecticut Farmhouse Bedroom

And then there’s the back. SWOON.

Renee Zellweger's Connecticut Farmhouse

Along with a gorgeous rustic barn. What’s not to love?

Renee Zellweger's Connecticut Farmhouse

Talk about dream home. You’d have to pull me kicking and screaming out of that one. It’s absolutely amazing.

What’s your dream pad? A Country Estate, an urban row house – one of both? 😉

Homey Hayes Barton

Y’all thought I’d buy a house and you wouldn’t see any more house hunting posts? Funny. This girl is always looking at Zillow and Trulia, pretty sure I have a condition. Every once and a while, I come across a home that is so stunning, I just have to share it with all of you. That is, after I wipe the drool coming off my face and gain enough composure to put a post together. 😉

If this house was my house, then I’m pretty sure I would have died and gone to heaven people. It’s stunning from head to toe and I think I kinda sorta need it.

Hayes_Barton

Shut up. Right? This house is a 1922 charmer, that’s nestled right in one of neighboring Raleigh’s best neighborhoods. It also cost $2 mill, so unless y’all got a mama or daddy warbucks in your life, I think we’ll all have to be content with this virtual tour (sad, I know).

When the first thing you see before you enter the house is this HUGE front porch, with charming details (the shutters!, the rocking chairs!, the ceiling!) you know the rest of the house is going to be good, people.

Large Front Porch

I think our bedroom is the size of this foyer. It’s huge! I love how they made it feel a bit more cozy with the addition of the rug and the side furnishings.

Formal_Foyer

My favorite spot in this house is by far the kitchen. It’s got an awesome eat-in, in addition to a formal dining space. I love how they made that structural support a focal point in the kitchen, along with adding that cooler to the right of the brick column. Perfect use of space.

Eat_in_Kitchen

This house has ginormous ceilings! Their especially evident in this drop dead gorgeous kitchen. The planked ceilings in this room are totally my jam people.

White_Kitchen_With_Black_Granite

Here’s another shot of the kitchen. Twice as nice :)

I love seeing the white cabinets with the dark red oak floors, since it helps me to visualize our kitchen, and how it will look once it’s all finished. (can’t wait for that day!)

White_Kitchen_With_Black_Counters

In addition to some formal spaces downstairs, the house has a beautiful family room along the back. Doesn’t it just look like the perfect place to snuggle up with a bowl of popcorn, and orange tabby and a movie?

Those windows, y’all. Ommmeerrrgaauuuddd.

Family_Room_With_Stone_Walls

Although I’m loving having my own home office, I think I can safely say, that I love this home office more!

Formal_Office_With_Persian

Let’s end our little tour with another shot of that amaze-balls front porch, shall we?

Large_Front_Porch_Swing

Tell me, what’s your favorite room? Oh, and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, America! :)

The Great Migration

Moving all your stash twice in 3-months, it’s not recommend y’all. It’s also not recommended to move all your goodies when it’s 99 degrees outside (actually not exaggerating) but sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles. Fact of the matter – it had to be done.

Lucky for us, we’d been moving most of our stuff over slowly, but we knew that we’d need to bite the bullet and get another U-haul to finish off the deed. Namely, our couches were most definitely not going to fit in the Prius 😉 So, enter U-haul movin’ round 2.0.

Moving with Uhaul

Another happy quinkie dink was that there is actual a U-haul rental location a half mile from our apartment, so our total cost to move our last leg of stuff was just under $40. We paid a $29.95 fee up front, and then they charged us .59 per mile after that.

Since our route was only 8 miles round trip, the mileage fee really didn’t set us back all that much. Rock. Here’s Jay, all ready to test his truck driving skills once more. I think he was pretty happy that there were no mountains on this leg of the journey 😉

Moving from Apartment to House

The U-haul was definitely a bit less packed this time around … they only had a 14 footer, so we had ample space to stash our goods. Conveniently, we were able to get rid of one of our couches that same day via craigslist, so we didn’t even have to load this one into the house.

Selling Furniture

Our small doors made it rather tricky to move in some of the furniture. In the end, for the larger items we had to use our side kitchen door, which was a pain in my bondonka donk, since couches are heavy, and I really prefer to not lift them for sustained periods of time.

The first whomp whomp moment. That couch and that door are not made for each other.

How to fit couch through door

After we moved all the larger items over, we still had a few days left in our apartment to pack up the odds and ends. We still had all our kitchen essentials, and clothing. Oh, and our mattress and our dining room table, too. We wanted to wait until the final day to move over our bed, since we don’t have a washer or dryer, or kitchen, at our new place yet. (y’all, I may be pulling my hair out over here with a few said conditions that are out of my hands right now. Uggh) With a few ratchet straps on the top of our little car that could, we we’re off to the races.

We had our doubts about this process (ok, I did. Jay seemed pretty confident), but we made it to the new house with mattress and table top intact.

Moving Mattress on top of Car

Our little orange boy hates kitty carriers and any type of car trip, but he was an absolute trooper. I told Jay he must have known he was headed to his forever home. He is so happy here. This little guy has just been crazy about exploring every nook and cranny. Happy as a clam in the salty sea. He even got to take his first trip outside this weekend. That’s a cat on the move.

Bringing_Indoor_Cat_Outside

Although we are beyond elated to finally be officially moved in to our new home, things are most definitely not finished yet. We’re started to get pretty frustrated with the kitchen process (cabinets were supposed to be delivered last Friday, the 27th … can’t get a hold of anyone after leaving multiple messages. Customer service at it’s finest), but all and all, we’re loving calling this new space home.

Our “kitchen”, currently looks like this.

Renovating Kitchen

No where to put anything, which is bad when you have a curious cat that would like to open your potato chips for you. We need kitchen cabinets, y’all. Badly.

Our other dumping ground for the time being is our upstairs guest bedroom. We started out with boxes just distributed throughout the house, but over time I realized that I’d feel the most sane if we just pushed all the clutter into one room, vs. spreading everything out, and seeing boxes in every space you turned.

Not going to lie, one of my favorite things about unpacking was being reunited with all my clothes. I feel like I went on a shopping spree! It’s awesome!

Unpacking all clothing

It was odd, closing the door at the apartment last week and realizing that a chapter in our life was coming to a close. That apartment. That mattress on the ground and that tiny little kitchen – it was good to us. I know that Jay and I will always look back at that place and smile. Thanks for the memories, little apartment that could. Home ownership, here we come! :)

Empty Apartment

It’s Mine, All Mine!

Yep, it’s a done deal folks. That sweet little cape cod is now our home sweet home. SO EXCITED!

All the fun started last Thursday, when we went to the house for our final walk through. Thursday night as I was falling off to sleep I leaned over to Jay with an epiphany of a thought that popped into my head. If buying a house was to getting married (I feel like I’m taking a standardized test here..), the final walk through on the house is like your rehearsal dinner, except without lots of food and wine. Now that I think about it, walk throughs could be greatly enhanced if said food and wine accompanied it, the real estate world should work on that…

Closing, that’s like your wedding day – exciting, expensive, emotional, binding … 😉 And the rest … it’s like your marriage – sometimes a whole lotta work, but so worth it when you see how amazing it can be with lots of nurture and dedication. Symbolism like whoaaaa – what what. Needless to say, my perfectly contrived analogy was blowing my mind at 1am in the morning… 😀

Or maybe what was blowing my mind was this image, still fresh in my noggin.

Durham North Carolina Real Estate

Yep – that sign means it’s officially ours! Well, almost.

For the walk through, I met Mr. Jay up at the house. He insisted on riding his bike so that he could scope out his new commute home. 😉 This picture just makes my heart so happy. Nothing makes this guy smile like a bike, I’m telling ya.

Bike Commute from Durham to RTP

Luckily, we didn’t find any hairy beasts left behind during the walk through, like this guy. Pretty sure he qualifies as a hairy beast, and he’s been chilling like a villian in the upstairs closet since our first visit to our future abode. Not sure if Santa got kidnapped, or what the deal is with him sporting that bag over his head and all.

Life Size Santa

They did leave a decent amount of junk behind, but really, meh. A few hangers here and there … from what we’ve unearthed so far it looks like they also left behind some interesting stuff. Like a big old collection of old magazines and a mad amount of really, really old books! When we went to investigate more Friday evening after closing, we found literally boxes full of books, some dating back to the 1920’s (antique roadshow is calling).

Value of Vintage Books

Unfortunately some of them are pretty damaged, since they’ve been up in a humid, southern attic for who knows how long, but a lot of them are in good enough condition that I think they’d look pretty nice styling a bookcase in the future. For now I’ve sorted them into a definite keep pile and I check on ebay first to make sure those goodies aren’t worth a house payment first, pile. 😀

Some of my favorites are some razzle mcdazzle old school children’s books – which (in a very PC fashion) refer to learning all about your friends in different countries – like Kimbi, the “native” of the jungle. Yeeeep.

Vintage Children Books

Some of the books are actually super pretty! Overall, I’d say I set aside 60 or so that I plan on using in some fashion in the future! I also told Jay that I’m pretty sure we need to install a built-in bookcase now. Ya know, so I can have a spot to put all my pretty books that no one will ever read. #practical

Books from First World War

Here’s a stack of keepers I set aside. Love them!

Determining Value of Old Books

So, I got super exited about the books we found in this post, and forgot to tell you about all sorts of other exciting things that happened on move-in day. Turn the key in the lock right after closing – and Jay immediately notices something chilling in a corner of the living room. He walks up to it, and says “Is that a bird”. Cue Mary – mmmm eerrrrr, I don’t know (backing away toward door). As he’s assessing the bird situation in the living room, I crane my head to the right and see ANOTHER BIRD in the downstairs bedroom. Whaaattt? So I snapped a very quick photo of the first bird, just to prove it happened and then dropped everything like it was hot and ran for the hills. Jay, assuming they were dead (all sorts of questions in my head at this point – why are there dead birds in my house? how did they get in here? is this house possessed?) and low and behold, I hear a bellowing yell from the inside of the house informing me that the birds are alive. It’s allllivvvveee!!

Now that I’m outside, I’m mildly entertained by this concept, so I get close enough to the windows to peer in and see Jay running around like a lunatic, opening the windows and trying to gently coax the birds to flee out the windows. Snicker … See that little black thing in the corner, it’s a wee little birdie that got into our abode pre-move in.

Birds Getting Into House

Another very exciting detail was the actual closing process. Our realtor is so sweet and amazing, that she brought champagne for us to toast the sale of the house! This is our third house, but definitely the first time that anyone popped bubbly for us!

Champagne Toast

Seriously, if anyone lives in the triangle area (or is looking to move to the area, like us!), than I can’t recommend Eve enough. Here we are with the entire dream team that helped this purchase happen. We only had just over 3-weeks between the offer and closing, so they were all rocks stars to get things moving as quickly as they did. Really a great group of people! (Here is her contact info, if you’re looking for a realtor!)

Gorealty_Durham

Overall, I’m having a hard time even enunciating how extremely excited I am. We had tons of fun making some major changes the first weekend, and I’m so excited to share them with you later this week!

This picture pretty much sums up my sentiment about our new little abode! Now, time to start working and getting this place into tip top shape!

Moving to New Home

Inspector Gadget

House inspections – aren’t they just a barrel of monkeys. Now, being that Jay and I have been through this whole inspection rigamaroll 3 times now, you’d think we’d be seasoned experts and know all the ins and outs of what’s coming to us. You’d be wrong though 😀 One thing I think we both realized during this round of house hunting, was that southern houses are a bit different. Not a ton, but enough for us to throw out a few of the things we thought we had down pact.

The wrinkles this time around – oh …. where do I start.

How about with the basement (aka the bane of my existence). So, before we even put in an offer on the house, the hubster noticed something awry down in the pit of the house. Jay and I have a pretty good system down where I inspect the house for things like layout, neighborhood and general loveliness potential and he scopes it out for all things structural. Thus – he is usually the bearer of bad news 😀

Basement Settling

Do y’all see that? That’s a big old crack. With a serious wall lean. So as I’m all perky and excited and thinking THIS IS IT, I go down to check on the husband, only to find him scratching his head and telling me he’s got some bad news. Oye. Luckily, we knew the problem was fixable, but we also knew it wasn’t going to come cheap. I must have batted my eyelashes enough though, since we landed up putting in an offer on the place anyway. 😀

Believe you me, it wasn’t without doing a fair amount of homework (including getting some preliminary quotes) before we even put in an offer, since we wanted the price to reflect the work that would need to be done to get this house to a place where it would be structurally sound. (Always good…)

Cost to Repoint Fireplace

It’s kind of hard to see in the picture above, but the next issue we ran into with this house was the fireplace. See the bricks up on the top row there – well they are loose as a goose and ready to fall off with the next wind storm and bonk you square on the head. Essentially, the furnace was venting off to one side of the fireplace, which over time caused that particular side to degrade and wear down so the grout is gonzo.

Inspecting Fireplace

Another fun surprise was that the fireplace does not have any type of cap on it right now, so it’s just free flowing air from the sky above us, down into our cozy little living room. Great for Santa, not great for my utility bills. All things considered, the quote we got to repoint the fireplace (grout and fix the top), add a flue and add a cap on top, came in at just under $2,200. I can tell you right now, there are many other things I’d rather spend $2k on. Can I get an amen?

Moving on to other repairs I’d prefer not to spend my moo-la on, let’s talk about windows, shall we? Given that the house has been settling slowly over time (it was built in 1939) and the fact that things were made more severe by the leaning basement wall happenings, the windows in the house – well, they pretty much don’t open. Not a single one. Ok, like one. One opens.

Windows that Stick

In all seriousness, although this is definitely another expense we’ll have to incur down the line, it wasn’t a deal breaker for us. More than anything, I think we figure that we can do this gradually, as our budget allows. Plus, just think how nice brand spanking new windows will feel after having these relics for a bit! 😀

And the windows are definitely not the only thing that sticks. Anywhere that tape went up during the inspection, indicated a door that either wouldn’t open, or stuck enough to warrant a flag. You’ll notice a lot of blue tape in these photos 😉 At least renoing a kitchen falls into the fun category for me … so there’s that.

Cabinets that Stick

When we we’re going through and doing the routine inspection check points, we also noticed that the water pressure got really low when you ran more than one fixture at a time. Like flushing a toilet meant that your shower went from full blast to a wee little trickle. Although I could chalk this one up to old house charm, I really don’t want it to feel like we’re camping when I go to suds up at night.

Another culprit of the water issues could be found in our basement. See the areas of the pipe that are white and green? The copper in those spots is actually starting to thin out, which causes other plumbing issues to boot.

Pin Holes in Copper Pipes

It’s not a huge deal (per the inspector…) but it’s definitely something that we’ll want to fix down the line.

Another down the line change, is our furnace. It’s currently oil burning and OLD, which means it will be getting the heave ho eventually as well. A downside to having the oil furnace is that our water heater is electric as a result (no gas line), which is a much more expensive way to heat up the water. Essentially, what all this equates to is that we will have to install a gas line to run up to the house. The good news – the city does that for FREE!! The bad – we’ve gotta pay for the line once it enter the house – so there’s that 😀

Inspecting HVAC System

Just check out this relic! Old school, man.

Old Oil Burning Furnace

Lucky for us, the outside had much more manageable fixes. The inspector flagged things like this ivy, which he thought was too close to the house and could cause problems down the line by growing up the side and under the vinyl itself. We just need to keep an eye on it. Total cost = Free. 😀

Ivy Growing Next to House

Small things like this bump in our back deck was noted as well. Apparently it’s a trip hazard. Don’t tell Jay, but I want to rip the whole thing out anyway. I’ve got grand plans for a deck like this with an outdoor eating area like this. Swoon.

Bump on Deck

The front stoop also had a few cracks in it, that may or may not have led to some discoloring in the wood below the basement steps (water). We’ll have to keep a close eye on that situation as well, since we obviously don’t want any water damage! Whatever the fix lands up being, I really hope we can keep the front porch as is, since I really like it.

Cracked Front Porch

There was one money saving component on the house that’s definitely the hubby’s favorite feature. See that contraption on the ceiling? It’s a house fan that essentially sucks all the cold evening air in and puts all the hot stuffy air out. Pretty sweet for the southern summers headed our way soon!

House Attic Fan

For all the things that we’ll “need” to fix, we’re looking at right around $10k. Luckily not all of it needs to be done immediately but still – that’s not the best case scenario for buying a house. The good news, is that some of these issues kept other potential buyers away, so our willingness to deal with them allowed us to purchase in a neighborhood we would not have been able to afford otherwise.

As we tackle each issue, I’ll definitely be providing a holistic cost breakdown of how much each project sets us back. For my sanity, hopefully it’s on the low end!

Exciting Changes!

Whew!! What a month April was. Jay and I moved down to NC, set up shop, bought a house, closed on our last one – and we haven’t killed each other in the process – it’s a miracle. In all honesty, Jay and I have been adjusting so well to our life down here. At least once a day I look at him and just kind of proclaim on the top of my lungs “Can you freaking believe it?!?!! We did it, man! We chased that dream and we made it happen! Can you believe we actually live here now?! He usually smiles back and just says – best. decision. ever.

Moving Cross Country In Uhaul

Now that we’re adjusting to our new routines I wanted to formally announce that I’ll have a new routine up here on the blog, as well. Now that I have so much extra time on my hands (since I’m working part-time) I’ll be posting to this sweet little blog o’ mine daily! Between all the design clients I’m assisting, adjusting to life in our new home and the hurricane of renovations that are about to hit this joint after we close on the house next week (eee!! get EXCITED!) – I know I’ll have more than enough to post about for all of y’all!

Another fun detail – I’m sure you regulars have noticed – but for the foreseeable future, every Tuesday there will be a giveaway up for all you lovely ladies and gents. SCORE! Who doesn’t like winning free stuff?!

It’s been a busy month over here – so how about a recap round-up?

Cross-Country Movin’

Moving From House to Apartment

We started out by, ya know, moving! 😀 This is life as we know it these days. Ugggg. I can’t wait until it’s not a battle to find my underwear for each day. Seriously.

Howdy Neighbor

Vintage Chesterfield Sofa

Let’s all swoon over Jessica’s house one more time. Le sigh. It’s a beauty!

Oops I Did It Again

Closing on House in North Carolina

Oh, yeah. There was that one time I almost bought a house and then lost $500. Oye – let’s officially archive that memory, shall we?

Number Cruncher

Where to Splurge and Where to Save

On a better note, we closed on our house in Michigan! Fixing up a house has lots of costs, but lucky for us, this round of home ownership also had a decent amount of rewards, too. Check out the post to see how we came out after all of our renovation costs.

Exploring Durham

Durham Real Estate

We’ve had tons of fun getting to know our new home! We explored lots of neighborhoods (Here, here and here!)

On the Hunt

White Kitchen Shaker Cabinets

Speaking of which, I also did a virtual house crash of one of my favorite renovated homes here in Durham!

Giveaways!

Antique Fern Print

We had a giveaway each Tuesday this month – which will continue into the foreseeable future. (so come back every Tuesday if you want to win some loot!) PSST!! The Gnosis Art Giveaway is up through this Tuesday!

Home Sweet Home

Brick Front Porch

And of course … we rounded out the month by introducing you to our new home! Can’t wait to get started on the renovations! 😀