Monday, July 27, 2009

House Inspection

The house inspection is complete. We don't yet have the report, but the inspector went through the big stuff with us.

The positives...

*The attic is very structurally sound, no skimping in this area
*The hardware on the doors is high end, no plastic
*Nice big water heater, so our bath won't run out of hot water before it's full
*A circulating pump is already installed on the water heater, so hot water right when we want it, and not when we don't, saves on water and electricity

The negatives...

*The pitch on the patio roof is too low for the type of shingles they used, so unless they've taken that into account by lining the roof with something special, then they'll need replacing.
*The water heater has not drain's universal code, so that's getting fixed...or else.
*The furnace drain pan is stuffed full of tools and building materials, which could cause the pan to overflow from condensation into our attic/ceiling.
*A drawer face in the kitchen is split in three places, about ready to fall off
*There's scratches, not just paint smears, but gouges on a couple bedroom doors.
*There's no vent/fan in the laundry room. This isn't code, but the heat and moisture from washing laundry could cause mold/mildew.
*The oven isn't anchored to the wall...universal code!
...and those were the biggest issues, but not all of them

So, if we can negotiate with the builder for all/most of the bad stuff, we should be saving tons. The inspector told us "your builder isn't going to like me." hehe

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bright Renovation

Lately, we've been watching so much HGTV and DIY Network, simply to gain ideas for the home we will soon be moving into. It is a brand new home, so there isn't much reason to renovate...HOWEVER, this is our first home and we just can't wait to make it our own. So, i'm starting small with my first renovation project (one that can be done before we actually move in).

See my before...

Beautiful crystal, ugly gold details. My goal was to accent the crystal with white to make the crystal the focal point of the lamp. This project was inspired by this creative project by Centsational Girl. It looked like a simple project that could be a good first try. I found two of these lamps at a local used and antique furniture store nearby. With the move-in ideas flowing, i'm hoping to create a black and white room in our new house and use these lamps as bedside tables.

Marc was the photographer while I learned the do's and do not's of spray painting. I read all about "light dusting" when spray painting. However, my light dusting of the primer was still dripy. Spent some time sanding it once it dried and cured. I followed it, the next day, with white spray paint, giving it time to dry and cure as well. Whew!

Final product...

I think it turned out great! What do you think?!? Minor problem... the lamp shade i bought at Walmart is too big. Aaaaaaaand this is lamp shade attempt #2. These are just tiny lamps, and this shade is the smallest one Walmart sells. So, i'll have to keep my eyes peeled for nice, tiny lamp shades...unless someone has a better idea :)

My next projects, which may or may not be done before we move into the house...

This is the lamp that we already own, but don't use because it it doesn't "fit" into any room in our duplex. If it were a different color and maybe had a more interesting shade, it could also find a home in our future home. Ooooo, maybe I will put it into the blue and white room we will have....
The bed behind this lamp, a white metal daybed, is in need of some updating. It's a perfectly functional bed, that due to the loss of some hardware during it's 6 or so moves in the last year, is barely holding on. It's also old-fashioned looking and i'd like to keep it and renovate it. I'm thinking a coat of black paint with new hardware. This would be the bed in the black and white room. It's all coming together in my mind!

This funky looking object is a coffee table we found at Goodwill for $12 in Little Rock, AR, while we were PCSing from Corpus Christi to our current location, En Route through Little Rock. (It is standing on it's side so i can park in the garage) We had nearly everything in storage, with no tables, so we used this as our kitchen table and coffee table for 3 months. Before this renovation kick of mine, seeing as it's a piece of junk, I would have just put it in a garage sale or throw it out. Now, I can see it sitting in front of the above daybed, either black or white, to go with the decor of the room..

Ooooo, I can't wait to get started on these projects. And Marc's mother is coming to visit on Tuesday. I wonder if she like to renovate, too?!?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Next steps...

We have taken a few more steps toward home-ownership. As was listed below, we have an inspection scheduled for Monday at 8am. There will be many people at this inspection: us...obviously, our realtor to let us in, the builder (whose name happens to be Bob), and the inspector. We might have a party while we're all there. You're all invited!! :-P

Our realtor met us at the property yesterday and we were able to measure the openings for the refrigerator, washer, and dryer. We already had appliances picked out, so the measurements were for purchase purposes. As part of the contract, the builder is giving us an allowance for appliances. So, he will be going to Lowe's tomorrow to purchase our appliances. He's going to do it in order to get his "no tax" discount as a home-builder. He will also be getting a discount for us for military. Aaaaaaaaaaand, right now there's a 10% discount off Energy Star appliances at Lowe's. That's a grand total of 26%ish off of the original prices of the fridge, washer, and dryer we will be buying tomorrow! That's a steal!!

Marc called the bank to see if they received our contract from the realtor and to ask what we should be doing next. There was a little hiccup with the paperwork because someone had put on the contract that the house was 85% completed. Woah woah woah! The backyard doesn't have grass yet, but THAT'S IT! So we fixed the hiccup by having our realtor confirm with the builder that it's actually 99% done. Once we had that confirmed, Marc spent an hour on the phone giving the bank representative a load of information and having them get the ball rolling on our loan application paperwork. The ball is rolling...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Under Contract

We have a signed contract on the newly constructed home!! We're taking the next steps:

1. Measure opening for refrigerator
2. Home inspection scheduled for Monday at 8am
3. Search for refrigerator, washer, and dryer
4. Call our bank to get mortgage paperwork rolling

We're not required to have it inspected, and since it's brand new and never lived-in, we have considered this option, but just because the house is new doesn't mean it's perfect. So, for reassurance, we're having it inspected. Texas inspectors follow the rules of the Texas Real Estate Commission, requiring licensure. New Mexico inspectors have an association they can join, but no license requirements. They simply take a few courses and are called an "inspector." In order to get a truly licensed inspector, we went with someone from Texas.

Updates to come...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Marc flew by tonight!

Marc flew over our house this evening!! He called around 3 to say he'd be the one flying over our city between 7 and 9pm. I took the dog for a walk around 7 and kept my eyes peeled...nothing :( But not even 15 minutes after we came home, I heard it flying over.

Now entering Rachel's mind - -

"I hear it!!!!!"
"Where's the camera" **frantic running around the house**
**run outside**
"Ugh, the memory card isn't in it!" **run back inside to find the card in the computer**
**run outside**
"Ugh the batter is dead" **more frantic running trying to find my spare battery**
**run outside**
"Oh my, i'm in pajamas...what if they can see me?!?" **run in and change**
**run outside**

I SAW HIM!!! It was so fun that I think i might have waved multiple times :) Even though i'm sure he was keeping his eyes on the instruments..right?!? He flew over for probably 30 minutes. yay!!

Disclaimer: He doesn't want me to reveal what he flies, so no pics...sorry :( (even though I think I took approximately 50..hehe)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July update

Our wedding anniversary countdown failed in a major way. There are numerous reasons that we love each other, and they are too many to count.

June was a happy month.

1st-10th - I spent some time with family in Houston, and saw my sister and bro-in-law (who I'd not seen since their wedding over 2 years ago)

17th - We were reunited on the 17th in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, where Marc had been for 6 weeks and where I planned on vacationing for the remaining 2 that he had left. He was in a resort hotel with a pool overlooking the ocean and the beach just below. There were also restaurants and shops on the boardwalk of the hotel. The day I arrived happened to be the first of 6 days Marc had off, so we enjoyed the time together before he had to return to classes. It was a great vacation!

27th - we began the drive back to Portales from Florida. What should have been a 9 hour drive became 12 hours, but we made it to Houston.

28th - Our 1st Anniversary!!! Nothing romantic happened that day because there were other plans, but it was special nonetheless.

30th - We finally arrived in Portales...whew...4 day trek from Florida to New Mexico.

I would be perfectly happy if that trip never took place again, but Florida is where the other squadron of planes that Marc flies happens to be stationed. Therefore, in about 5 years, there is some likelihood that we will be moving there. (I'm not complaining at all!!!) Once we arrived, we went to pick up Pip. It was great to see Marc reunited with Pippin, as it had been 2 months! Pippin was ecstatic :)

Now that we're back, we began looking at houses to buy. Our favorite one was already claimed (although the buyers were taking back-up contracts). We put in an offer for it and the seller decided to go with the original buyer. We were bummed, but this house was the oldest of all that we looked at and had been on the market for almost a year. Seeing as we are going to have to sell in about 5 years, we were looking to find a place that might sell quickly...and this didn't seem to be the one. We subsequently put in an offer on our second choice...a newly constructed home (it's not quite done yet) that is 3 bed/2 bath/2 car garage. It's got a wonderfully big livingroom with granite in the kitchen and a bay window at the sink overlooking the backyard. It's great and we believe this one is probably the better choice in the end for resale. We have put in an offer and received word that the seller likes the offer. He has been out of town this weekend, so we will probably hear back from him tomorrow about signatures or counter-offers. Pictures will be posted of this house if/when it has a signed contract for purchase. We are excited!! We're ready to stop throwing away money on rent and put down some roots (for the next 5 years).

We hope everyone that reads this is doing well and we miss you all!