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The House Hunters Thread

dcgator

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
1,115
Hey everyone,

I thought I would jump back into this thread and not only see where everyone is at, but also update our status. First off...

Gypsy - OMG, I don't think I could have convinced myself to declutter like this had it not been for the sale. We did some SERIOUS cleaning in order to stage the place well! But, it sounds like you have other fun stuff going on at your place, so that should keep you busy anyway.

Elrohwen - So, how did that drama with the house go? Did you guys finally get them down to where you wanted, or have you moved onto greener pastures? I hope the search is going well!

Charbie - Well, after much research, etc, I can only say this market is REALLY goofy. Things in our building are either on the market for 2-3 weeks or 6 months, so its just completely random. We are hoping we will be one of the lucky ones, but I guess time will tell. So how are things going with the building, have they broken ground yet or are you still waiting for permitting? Everything sounds so exciting with getting pick all your finishes and make the place your own. Congrats again! How about the renters, everything good there? Did they sign for 2 years?

Chemgirl - How is the house hunting going? Did you decide if you were going to go the townhome route? Hopefully the search is giving you lots of options!

Thing2of2 - How are things going with your home sale? Did any of those pontential buyers make an offer or are you still hunting for that perfect buyer? I really hope that your house already has an offer on it and you are just waiting for a closing.

****
AFM - My DH and I finally completed weeks worth of cleaning and staging, in addition to the installation of some very nice Brazilian cherry, engineered hardwood floors, and are very happy with how the place looks :bigsmile: . We got it up on the market last week and had our first open house yesterday. We had 5 groups come through 2 of which were quality, so we'll see if that nets anything. I know we are super early in the process but I hope we get lucky! As far as after this place, we are thinking to rent in the same neighborhood we want to build in, so the transition will be super easy once a house is completed. We can also build back up some of the money for a downpayment, since renting a house down there is about half as much as our mortgage and condo fees. We are really hoping that we can sell the place before we need to move (before June, due to the baby), but I guess time will tell. In the meantime, please cross your fingers for us!
I hope everyone else is having luck in the buying/selling process!
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
Hi dcgator-thanks for bumping this and asking! It's a timely bump because (at the risk of jinxing it :cheeky: ) we just signed a contract today! They want to close at the end of April, so fingers crossed it all works out!

And wow-I hope all your hard work pays off and you're under contract ASAP! I thought we did a lot but at least we didn't have to deal with getting new flooring installed! I bet you're beyond sick of all things house-I don't know if I can ever look at a paint can again! That's great you can rent in the same neighborhood that you'll build in. Hopefully that will make for an easy move!

Good luck to everyone else-I'm glad we're under contract but I miss our house! ;( I'd rather be buying!
 

ilovethiswebsite

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 13, 2008
Messages
1,788
hi ladies!

I haven't posted on PS in a while so thought I would give you an update. I have been living in Toronto Canada for the last 6 years while attending graduate school. We have been renting for 6 years, and if anyone here knows about Toronto, the rent if very high. Anyway - I am close to finishing up my degree and got an internship in the city my DH and I want to settle in (Ottawa, Canada). We made a trip to Ottawa in early April to look at homes and get an idea of the market there, and ended up putting an offer on a house! During that weekend we saw a total of 18 homes and many of them were older, closer to the city, and quite expensive. We ended up choosing a property in a suburb about 15 minutes outside Ottawa. It's a new build home and although it's a little further than we originally wanted - the price was great for us and in our budget, and the home is totally move in ready. Anyway - just wanted to share our excitement! We are finally going to be home owners!!! Whooohoo! Good luck to all the ladies here still on the house search. Luckily our search was relatively short, which made buying a home in another city a little bit easier... We are also very happy to stop paying rent - and to be investing our money in to something like a home instead of paying someone else's mortgage.
 

ilovethiswebsite

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 13, 2008
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PS: Does anyone here watch House Hunters International? I am totally obsessed with that show... Our dream is to buy a home in Europe one day - nothing fancy - just a small place near the ocean or countryside somewhere. I love the laid back lifestyle in Europe. I have noticed on House Hunters International a lot of people have been buying properties in the south like Nicaragua and Eastern Europe countries that are still relatively affordable. Has anyone here had any experience buying vacation homes overseas? If so, which countries do you think are best, most affordable, and why did you choose them?
 

ilovethiswebsite

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Jan 13, 2008
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kama_s|1290019812|2770139 said:
We just bought a house today! Around 2 months ago our landlord called us to tell us he would like to sell our condo at the end of our lease, which would be end of February. We weren't sure if we wanted to keep renting or buy a house. My husband doesn't consider a house an investment, as he gets a better return on investments. Besides, for a while, we were conteplating living the international lifestyle, working abroad in Europe and travelling. Anyways, after much thought, we decided to jump in with both feet and start the house hunt. We saw almost 30 houses, and nothing was even remotely good. Our current condo is pretty sweet, highrise on the lake with floor-to-ceiling windows, so we weren't ready to settle for anything mediocre. But, unfortunately, prices in our city for houses are absolutely ridiculous, over 700K for something half decent and not rotting.

When we saw this house, we fell in love. Hard. And fast. The only reason the house was still in the market is because the sellers were crazy people. They rejected offers that were more than 70K than what WE offered!! :-o We were in negotiations for close to two weeks and several times our offer was just plain thrown out the window. After much perseverance, they finally signed the damn papers TODAY! We close for mid feb, which leaves us with a 2 week overlap with our current lease.

Home inspection is scheduled for this weekend, hopefully nothing major comes up. Without further ado, I present to you pictures of our new home sweet home!

(The pictures were taken by the sellers, so the furniture etc is not ours)

3_4.jpg 4_4.jpg 5_2.jpg 6_1.jpg 7_5.jpg 8_6.jpg 9_5.jpg 11_0.jpg 12_0.jpg 16_0.jpg 19_0.jpg
Kama_S - your house is incredible! Please post some updated pics!!! I really want to see all the new beautiful furniture you bought from RH in the house!!!! You have great taste!
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,512
Congrats, ILTW! When will you be moving in???

Update over here: we close in 19 days...wooohooo! I have loved going to the new house to check out progress, and have made it once a week for the most part. We had the rainiest April on record...of course. But they finally got the brick up last week and I just love the look. I am a stickler for the details....if something doesn't look even/level/on center/etc. I call my project manager and tell him it needs to be fixed. He's been great about assuring me everything will be corrected...and it always is. Now we are ordering some new furniture, planning the nursery, and prepping for the move. We locked in our intrest rate, all the documents are ready for closing...just waiting for the house to be totally ready! Yay!
 

ilovethiswebsite

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charbie|1306723115|2933459 said:
Congrats, ILTW! When will you be moving in???

Update over here: we close in 19 days...wooohooo! I have loved going to the new house to check out progress, and have made it once a week for the most part. We had the rainiest April on record...of course. But they finally got the brick up last week and I just love the look. I am a stickler for the details....if something doesn't look even/level/on center/etc. I call my project manager and tell him it needs to be fixed. He's been great about assuring me everything will be corrected...and it always is. Now we are ordering some new furniture, planning the nursery, and prepping for the move. We locked in our intrest rate, all the documents are ready for closing...just waiting for the house to be totally ready! Yay!
Thanks Charbie! We are closing on July 29th and moving on the 30th. Your home sounds like it's going to be beautiful! We would have loved to have bought a new custom home but unfortunately we were on a tight time line. Maybe for our second home! The home we ended up buying was built in 2010 and the current owners only lived there for 10 months before they got transferred to another city. Luckily we love many of the finishes they chose for the home and it's kinda nice to see the end product. When will you be moving charbie?
 

meresal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
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Congratulations ILTW!!


AFM... we are having a huge patio built in the back yard! Finally made a decision on the contractor and should have the approval from the HOS early next week! I am sooooo excited to watch another project come to fruition! Other than furnishing all the rooms and a tree removal in the front yard, this is the first "major" thing we have done on the house since it was built a little over a year ago.

Fingers crossed that everything come across well. I miss sharing pics around here... I love seeing other people's projects!
 

NewEnglandLady

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Meresal, I popped my head into this thread when I saw you'd posted. Congrats on the first big project! How big is the patio going to be? Are you doing brick, stone, concrete? We have a brick patio and I love it for summer family get-togethers!

We've been in our place for just under a year and I've only done smallish projects. Yesterday we had a landscaper come out to work on our yard and it's made such a difference. I'm always juggling what project I want to take on next.

ILTWS, good luck to you on your closing and move next month!
 

rhbgirl24

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 6, 2009
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2,181
Hey everyone! Congrats to everyone who has purchased or is the process of purchasing!

We have done some major and minor stuff since we moved in last year. Painted everywhere, crown moulding in master and in living and dining room. Now we are just finishing up a deck in the back yard. My husband decided he wanted to do it on his own and its been a HUGE undertaking, however looks incredible. We decided on full PVC instead of wood or composite because of the numerous maintanance and problems and ended up with Timbertech's XLM. Couldn't recommend it more! We just have to stain the framing and put up lattice around the bottom now.

Here are some pics - before color of the living/dining room - whch I hated, some ugly mustard and after which is called Olivewood and I love it.

crown01.jpg

dr01.jpg

lr01.jpg

lr before.jpg
 

rhbgirl24

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 6, 2009
Messages
2,181
And here is the deck. I edged out veg gardens in front of it too and we are going to do a hardscape landing in front of the stairs as well. I am so proud of my husband for doing all this! He would go to work for 12 hour days then come home and work on this 4 or so hours each night! he did a fantastic job and we are thoroughly enjoying spending time out there!

deck rail.jpg

garden.jpg

from above.jpg
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 19, 2007
Messages
4,497
rhbgirl24 - Thank you for posting those photos!! :love: First, I love the Olivewood color. What brand is it? How many coats did you have to use to cover the mustard? Just one coat of primer? I have a similar horrible mustard in our dining room and need a kick in the pants to paint it.

Your deck is AMAZING! I'll mention that product to my husband. Our deck was painted and it was starting to chip, so we sanded it down and painted last year, and don't you know, it's already chipping again! Grrrr. We do have to replace it all one day, but it is truly a shame because the wood itself is in great condition. It's just that the finish is hopeless.
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
6,298
rhb, your husband should be a professional--seriously, that deck looks AMAZING! Oh, how I wish myself or my husband were that handy!
 

rhbgirl24

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Loves Vintage|1307465141|2939895 said:
rhbgirl24 - Thank you for posting those photos!! :love: First, I love the Olivewood color. What brand is it? How many coats did you have to use to cover the mustard? Just one coat of primer? I have a similar horrible mustard in our dining room and need a kick in the pants to paint it.

Your deck is AMAZING! I'll mention that product to my husband. Our deck was painted and it was starting to chip, so we sanded it down and painted last year, and don't you know, it's already chipping again! Grrrr. We do have to replace it all one day, but it is truly a shame because the wood itself is in great condition. It's just that the finish is hopeless.

Hey Loves Vintage!!! The paint is Gliddon Olivewood. It covered pretty well, we didn't do a primer at all, but had to do two complete coats for it to look good. Go paint your mustard over!! I couldn't believe how much of a difference it makes having it gone!

Thank you for the compliments on the deck! We chose the XLM because it was full PVC, so no staining, no sanding and doesn't have the mold/mildew/staining problems as composite does. It was well worth it, but cost almost triple the price of normal pressure treated wood, which was crazy!

How about a semi-transparent stain for your deck, if the wood is in great shape. Wont have the same coverage, however also won't chip! Then thompsons it yearsly. May work for you! That what we do with my mom's wood deck. :)
 

rhbgirl24

Ideal_Rock
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NewEnglandLady|1307465629|2939905 said:
rhb, your husband should be a professional--seriously, that deck looks AMAZING! Oh, how I wish myself or my husband were that handy!

Thanks NEL. I'm pretty darn proud of him. He's never put together a deck before, but he is pretty handy with tools and whatnot. So he just read up on what he needed to do and viola! Of course, just working on it in the evenings and weekends it took 5 weeks to complete. However most of that was waiting on the inspections.....

He has done all the work so far including the crown moulding and man, is that a pain in the butt!!!! I just help, hand things, paint, and do all the landscaping/gardening!
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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4,497
Wow, no primer! That's amazing. We painted a room that was a light blue, but I guess not that light, because we did primer and two coats of light cream, and you can still see the blue in some spots?? Maybe we should use more paint while we're painting, I dunno.

Half the battle for me is in choosing a color. Maybe if I just tell my husband to pick up this glidden, I'll never have to step into Lowe's or HD or wherever they sell Glidden. I can look at those paint samples for hours! It is maddening. And, then I still feel like I made the wrong choice. Haha!

Well, there's wood that's in great condition (as in you don't fall through, haha) and then there's great condition (where there aren't little gouges here and there where paint has collected in). Ours would be the fomer. It took forever to sand and then there were still little pockets of paint here and there. I'd love to do what you suggest though. Maybe it's possible to sand down deeper overall and do what you've suggested. I'll mention it to DH who is more the researcher for home improvement stuff. I like to think of myself as the inspiration! :halo:

Seriously, that deck is magazine-worthy. Love the little veggie patch too!
 

rhbgirl24

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
2,181
Loves Vintage|1307466387|2939923 said:
Wow, no primer! That's amazing. We painted a room that was a light blue, but I guess not that light, because we did primer and two coats of light cream, and you can still see the blue in some spots?? Maybe we should use more paint while we're painting, I dunno.

Half the battle for me is in choosing a color. Maybe if I just tell my husband to pick up this glidden, I'll never have to step into Lowe's or HD or wherever they sell Glidden. I can look at those paint samples for hours! It is maddening. And, then I still feel like I made the wrong choice. Haha!

Well, there's wood that's in great condition (as in you don't fall through, haha) and then there's great condition (where there aren't little gouges here and there where paint has collected in). Ours would be the fomer. It took forever to sand and then there were still little pockets of paint here and there. I'd love to do what you suggest though. Maybe it's possible to sand down deeper overall and do what you've suggested. I'll mention it to DH who is more the researcher for home improvement stuff. I like to think of myself as the inspiration! :halo:

Seriously, that deck is magazine-worthy. Love the little veggie patch too!

Yeah, I was seriously suprised with the no primer thing. I said no to it, because simply I did not want to paint those two rooms with the 9 foot ceilings THREE times. But it did great! I had such an issue picking the color too - over 50 samples of greenish-sage-ish-greyish paint and I even bought 4 sample sizes and painted the walls to decide. ACK! It was HAAARD! But I love the way it came out.

Yes, to do the stain you would have to get all traces of old paint off, but it would last longer in high traffic areas I believe! Good luck! Thanks for the compliments on the deck, its the biggest project we've done so far and we're happy with it. =) My husband is a major perfectionist, and takes forever on small details, but it pays off.
As for the vegs garden, couldn't be with out it! Tomato plants are on the side of the deck, peppers, basil, green beans in the front, and there is a huge pot with 7 different kinds of herbs on the deck. Wooo hooo to summer and the growing season!
 

meresal

Ideal_Rock
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NewEnglandLady|1307458100|2939801 said:
Meresal, I popped my head into this thread when I saw you'd posted. Congrats on the first big project! How big is the patio going to be? Are you doing brick, stone, concrete? We have a brick patio and I love it for summer family get-togethers!

We've been in our place for just under a year and I've only done smallish projects. Yesterday we had a landscaper come out to work on our yard and it's made such a difference. I'm always juggling what project I want to take on next.

ILTWS, good luck to you on your closing and move next month!
Hey NEL! We are adding about 350 sqft of stamped concrete. We are covering over the existing patio, apprx 8x20, and adding the rest. We are also building a pergola over half of the new addition. It will cover an outdoor dining table, and will be on the East side of the yard... so as to leave plenty of open tanning light in the afternoons for the lounge chairs! Priorities, right?!? :wink2:

We were going to redo the landscaping in our front yard, since the builder stuff is horrible, but the quote we got was absolutely ridiculous... so we decided to put the money into the back yard instead. We just had a company do new mulch in the front and it made such a difference! Glad it helped yours as well!

I am right there with you on the "next" project... I shudder at how much more I would be doing if we hadn't built a new house. You guys that are doing so much, are awesome!
 

Iowa Lizzy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,667
Dropping in on this epic thread to say that my DH and I put an offer in on a house TONIGHT!

We moved to St. Louis from Iowa a year ago and have been renting in a downtown high-rise. Basically, the only redeeming quality about the shoebox we're currently calling "home" is the rooftop pool that overlooks the STL Arch and the Mississippi. We decided that when we buy a house, it must have a pool.

This weekend, on a whim, we decided to walk through a house just outside downtown (but still in St. Louis proper) and lo and behold, we really liked it. It is a 4 bedroom/4.5 bath with a beautiful pool! The part of town is slightly sketchy, but we talked to some of the neighbors who said that everyone really looks out for one another and the chief of police apparently lives just a couple houses away. St. Louis was just listed as the most dangerous city in America, but the district we'd be moving to is actually the safest.

We've done a lot of "pre-negotiating" with the seller and his agent so hopefully our offer is accepted without any counter-offers.

Fingers crossed!

Thanks for the invite into the thread, Charbie ;-)
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
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TG!!! ummmmm- yay! sounds uh-mazing. a pool was my one deciding factor on a house...and of course that was the compromise i made when we built the house we're in. i'm sad i won't have the pool i've always wanted (i grew up with one...i loved it) but my husband has promised me that by the time i turn 35 we will have a boat. so it will be my trade-off i suppose. very excited for you!!! i hope it works out for the best- you can't go wrong with interest rates as low as they are right now.

i'll post a pic of my new house, just cause i love it ;-)

completedhouse.jpg
 

dani13

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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I love your house, Charbie!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Do you have any pics of the inside? :naughty:
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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Charbie, Aw, congratulations! Your house is so pretty! I love a brick house!! Whatever that detail is, above each of the windows, and the garage, oh, I love that too! Yes, we neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed more photos! Are you moved in already?
 

NewEnglandLady

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TG, congrats on finding a house you love! I grew up in Kansas City and have always loved St. Louis. I hope the negotiations go well!

Charbie, the house is gorgeous! I can't believe it's all done and you're moved in, which is great since you're at the end of your third trimester (!!) :))
 

chemgirl

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Thanks for asking Dcgator!

We keep on reading news articles about how the bubble is going to burst in Canada and housing prices will drop so we're holding out to see what happens. I'm looking for a new job, so if that happens, we'll be selling our condo and renting in our new town. We're not comfortable buying in a town we've never lived in before, plus those same news articles brought up how renting in Ontario is generally so much cheaper than buying. For example, its possible to rent a $400 000 condo for $1500 per month. The monthly fee basically covers property taxes and condo fees. Owning the same unit would cost much much more.

We live in n-karma's area so house hunting has been a frustrating process. Houses under $350 000 usually have HUGE problems. Saw a fun 2 bedroom, 1 bath house the other week with extensive water damage and they were asking $340 000. We can't find anything we like for under $350 000 and those are town houses. We decided we don't want a town house because it seems like they are dropping in value around here. For example, a new townhouse in a particular sub division will go for $350 000 for the basic model and closer to $400 000 with the upgrades we would want. You can pick up a phase 1 unit with the same upgrades for $335 000. It seems fishy to us that something three years old is worth so much less than the new build. There's also the issue of being part of a condo association. Most of the town houses around here are condo and we're frustrated enough with our current condo association to want to avoid getting in to a new one. Ours spent $9 000 last year on a fresh squeezed juice bar for employees...um really?

So long story short, I have my third meeting with a new company next week. If all goes well we'll be moving to our new city in October. I'm getting excited and looking at rentals online. There are some pretty riverfront condos near the office.
 

chemgirl

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charbie|1313721373|2993945 said:
TG!!! ummmmm- yay! sounds uh-mazing. a pool was my one deciding factor on a house...and of course that was the compromise i made when we built the house we're in. i'm sad i won't have the pool i've always wanted (i grew up with one...i loved it) but my husband has promised me that by the time i turn 35 we will have a boat. so it will be my trade-off i suppose. very excited for you!!! i hope it works out for the best- you can't go wrong with interest rates as low as they are right now.

i'll post a pic of my new house, just cause i love it ;-)
Gorgeous! I love how stately it looks, with the shutters and the molding around the door!
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 18, 2009
Messages
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chemgirl|1313762883|2994212 said:
charbie|1313721373|2993945 said:
TG!!! ummmmm- yay! sounds uh-mazing. a pool was my one deciding factor on a house...and of course that was the compromise i made when we built the house we're in. i'm sad i won't have the pool i've always wanted (i grew up with one...i loved it) but my husband has promised me that by the time i turn 35 we will have a boat. so it will be my trade-off i suppose. very excited for you!!! i hope it works out for the best- you can't go wrong with interest rates as low as they are right now.

i'll post a pic of my new house, just cause i love it ;-)
Gorgeous! I love how stately it looks, with the shutters and the molding around the door!
Agree - it looks beautiful, so classic! And huge!!
 

charbie

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Well thank you, LV, NEL, chemgirl, central, and Dani!
We quite like it. Yes, we are all moved in, been here 2 months now! I also love the presence of the home. It doesn't have lots of frills or unnecessary additions to the exteriors bc of the elevation we picked, besides of course the detailed brick on thhe windows and door framing. The area above the garage is our bonus bedroom, which we added at almost no cost by swapping out the finished basement the builder was offering. There have been hiccups that come along with building...poor finishing jobs, funky smelling dishwasher, and drainage issues, but we have worked with our builder to get many of the kinks worked out. Few minor thing to be fixed still, but its nice that you know even the most minor scratch or flaw isn't your fault so everything no matter how small it seems gets fixed.

I will have to get the pictures I took off of my camera! We have decorated a teeeny tiny bit so far, however not much, besides of course the nursery. We don't want to do much painting for a year, since the house willl settle still and need more touch ups. But ill post more of the interior pre-move in this weekend. It is very open (and large) inside ~3000 sq ft. They really designed the home so that every inch is usable square footage.
 

Iowa Lizzy

Brilliant_Rock
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Our offer was accepted!!

We close in a month! Now comes all the packing and the fun of getting everything ready.

Here's a pic of the backyard/pool. Naked guy statue not included (I hope).

house1.jpg
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 7, 2004
Messages
6,298
Wow Charbie your house looks like my mom's house. My parents had it built 25? years ago. It makes me wonder if it has the same layout inside or just the exterior looks the same. Instead of a bonus room the top floor has 4 bedrooms; my grandmother's bedrom was the one above the garage.
 

gardengloves

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Oct 21, 2009
Messages
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We are thinking of packing in the cold NE and moving to....drum roll.... Las Vegas... Red Rock mountains, desert climate, day trips to Zion and Bryce National Park for hiking.. the indoor outdoor living feature of this lifestyle - inner courtyards, balconies , desert blossoms, friends in the area showed us the local side . the natural beauty of it all, we are going to look seriously this week.. Made an offer a few weeks ago on short sale and got seriously "Shot Down" big time - little did we know a full price bid was just the beginning of a bidding war , so we are only looking at regular sales this trip-- We have a few houses lined up and date with agent, hope to have bid in by end of week. I just want my heart to sing with beauty before me and no snow plowing! . Dust please...
 
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