30 Jul 2013

Our New Digs

We bought a house! A new house....well, an old house, but a new house to us.

New House

I'll admit...I am super excited but also slightly terrified all at the same time.  

Let me back up a little.....

We decided to move because we simply needed more space.  We wanted a bigger backyard with a place for Fin and Dief to play.  We have an outdoor kid - she'd live outside if she could, and our postage stamp sized yard wasn't really cutting it any longer.  We also desperately wanted a second living space that wasn't in the basement.  Right now we watch TV in the basement and we don't love it. I also work from home 2 days a week (plus spend endless other hours on the computer), and my computer is currently in the basement.  It was just getting old.  It would be a such a nice day outside and I'd have to work in the basement where it was cold and somewhat dark.  Aside from all of the above, Dief refuses to go down the stairs to the basement, so we aren't able to spend time with him at night while we veg in front of the TV.

Our wish list for a new house was:
  • In the same city (which is a suburb of Edmonton, where everything is about 10 minutes from everything else)
  • an older neighbourhood with established trees
  • a big yard
  • a quiet street
  • 2 living spaces (living room & family room), both of which aren't in the basement
  • 3 bedrooms or more
  • ensuite (master bathroom)
I can't actually believe it, but we found it all.  The house we bought was actually the very first house we looked at.  We liked it right away, but we felt that we needed to see what else was out there.   Over the next couple of weeks we looked at about 15 more houses, none of which were cutting it for us.  We kept comparing everything to this house, so after much thought (and after our own house sold), we decided to make an offer.

The house was a foreclosure, which was a bit scary for us.  You have to buy a foreclosure as is/where is, which means you get what you see and have to take it as it is.  Yikes!  The other strange thing is that you are negotiating with a bank....which is nice because there aren't a lot of feelings involved, but also annoying because it can take them a day or two to respond.  After going back and forth for a few days we finally agreed on a price and a possession date.  We had heard that there had been more than 5 other offers that had been denied by the bank, so we were quite happy when ours was accepted. 

Once the offer was sealed, we then had a week to get all of our ducks in a row and to get our home inspection done.  We knew that there was going to be some issues with this place and the home inspection confirmed it.  There are various issues from leaky faucets to stuck windows to a defunct furnace, but all of it we figured we could handle (money, sweat, money and more sweat!!!).  

This is a project house.  It was built in 1979.  Some aspects are still original and some are updated, but have been updated really poorly and need to be redone.  Our heads are spinning a million miles an hour with ideas and plans, and it's going to take us a while to settle down and figure out everything that needs to be done.  

We take possession in 2 weeks (ACK!!) and will have 5 weeks where we have both houses so that we can fix the new one up a bit before we have to move out of our current house.  In that time we hope to lay some new flooring, fix up the baseboards, maybe scrape some stipple off of the ceiling, and paint - all the things that are tricky to do once furniture is in)

Ready to see it?  These are all pictures from either my iphone or the MLS listing, so my apologies for the quality.  I've actually only been in the house once, so I haven't had a chance to get in and take some decent pictures (Mr. Swell went back again for a second viewing, and then again for the house inspection, so he's seen it 3 times and I've had to rely on his judgement :)   

The family room, which is just off of the kitchen.

family room before

The kitchen. Don't you just love that sunshine ceiling (ick!)

kitchen before

The main floor half bath.

main floor half bath before

The view of the dining room from the living room.

Dinning Room Before

Check out the headers on doorway....it's just really thick baseboard that has been slapped up. Trust me, this house is looking to be in better shape in these pictures than in real life.

The main upstairs bathroom.  Could that accordion door thing be any uglier?


The garage. It's MASSIVE!  I see more furniture projects in my future in this space.

garage

The backyard.  I am slightly concerned that I might get swallowed up by the overgrown vegetation back there!  There is even a hot tub....which looks like it hasn't seen any attention for many years, but we are going to try our darndest to get it running again.

back yard

Upstairs there are 4 bedrooms and another bathroom off of the master bedroom.  Sorry, no pics!

So there you have it.  We are crazy happy and can't wait to get in there and get going.  Are you ready to follow along on this journey?  I have a feeling I won't be short on blogging material for about the next 5 years!

I promise once we take possession (soon!!!) that I will record a video tour so you can get the full feel of our new pad.


35 comments:

  1. Congratulations! How exciting for all of you. My neighbourhood is built in the 70's also and in comparison to the new neighbourhoods, I'd take an older house any day. Fin and Dief are going to have a ball in that yard!

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  2. oh i am so excited for you! my house was also built in 79. it was a good year for weird wood treatments..... ;)

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  3. Oh wow Kelly! Looks like a great place, tons of potential there. I just know that y'all will make it great.

    We went the foreclosure route too [ours was built in 1989], so I know all about taking a gamble. As for replacing the heating system - we had to do that in ours as well.

    Do you live in an area where you can [or more to the point, would you even want to] burn wood? If so, an outside wood furnace/boiler might be an option.
    That's what we actually did and we use it to heat our home and our hot water too. Our unit was even built and manufactured in Canada.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, there is a lot of potential...it's just all the work of getting it there. I am not sure if in the city we are allowed to do a wood furnace...plus, it get so cold here that I am not sure it would be a viable option. Interesting to look into though. This house actually has 2 furnaces - one for the main floor and one for the upper floor. The upper floor furnace is brand new, it's the main floor that we have to replace. At least we have a few months before winter to figure it all out!

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  4. fantastic space!!! we just purchased a 1970's home with all of the original features-its been a fun project

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    1. That's awesome! I will have to pop over to your blog and check it out!

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  5. Congratulations! I can see why you chose it. It looks like great usable space, just in need of a little pretty ;)
    Looking forward to see how you guys tackle it!

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    1. Thank you! I agree...it's just in need of pretty!

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  6. Oh my gosh!!! Congratulations!!!! I love the fireplace and the built ins by the fireplace - please tell me you're keeping that!!! I am excited to follow along on your journey! I'm so happy for you!!! That backyard looks like it's going to be pretty awesome too! That garage is ginormous!! I'm super jealous! We don't have a garage right now, but when we move (in approximately five years) a garage is definitely going to be on my must have list!! I feel like not having a garage is part of the reason that I can't re-purpose as much furniture as I want - there's no where to do it. =[ Anyway, congrats congrats congrats!!!

    A side note - if you can get all that stuff done, like flooring and walls, before you move in DO IT. We had originally planned on doing that with our house but we got too happy and moved in right away and let me tell you - it is hard to do all of that stuff with a furnished house. I know it can be done but having to do all the extra work - like moving furniture, etc. - makes procrastination on the project kick in and then you've been in your house two years and realize that you haven't done nearly as much as you said you were going to do BEFORE you moved in... Don't ask me how I know this... Ha!

    Runt
    runtspickins@yahoo.com
    www.runtspickins.wordpress.com

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    1. haha. I totally agree about getting some of the stuff done ahead of time. Once we take possession we are going to put our heads down and get as much done as we possibly can...once I move furniture in I don't want to move it out for flooring! Just wait until your baby comes...then you will never want to move anything. :)
      As for the built in....we are debating. They aren't in very good shape. I'd like to keep part of them and then build a sort of bench on either side, but we'll have to wait until we can really take a better look at them. I love the fireplace, so that's definitely staying....although the brick might get painted!

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  7. Oh what a great house with SO MUCH potential! The kitchen is gonna be fantastic and that fireplace! Love a wood burning fireplace. I can't wait to follow along as you fix- er- up!

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    1. Thank you! I love the wood burning fire place too! It's such a nice feature of older homes since you can't put them in new homes any more. Thanks for the comment!

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  8. Wow! That is a great house with a ton of potential! The garage is great and I love the backyard. I know you will apply your magic and cannot wait to see all the future projects on here! ;) Congrats again!

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    1. Thanks Jesse! Isn't the garage huge? We just about figured we could live in the garage!

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  9. Congratulations!! All I can see when I look at this house is potential.

    A few random thoughts/comments: My rental also has that baseboard over our master closet. Lazy door framing is not stylish! Haha. Is the fireplace hearth hovering? I've never seen that before. The outdoor space is beautiful. I love the covered deck. :)

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    1. Thank you! Well I guess I am sort of glad that we aren't the only ones with baseboard as a headers...but am sort of sad that there are other people in the world who thought that was a good idea!
      And yes, the hearth is hovering...it's very, very strange. Not sure what we are going to do about that.
      Thanks for the comment!

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  10. Congratulations! Can't wait to see you put your mark on it. :)

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  11. So exciting. I love moving - not so often - into a new place. What I don't like is spending money $$$, I love painting and would LOVE to do things on my own, like fixing tile and other things like that.

    Maybe in my next life?

    www.mamaandthecity.com

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  12. I'm so excited for you. I can just imagine being in your shoes. How do you sleep at night with all the ideas running through your mind? Be careful scraping the popcorn off the ceiling, it might have asbestos in it. I for one am not going to be missing any of your upcoming posts. Will love to walk this walk with you. It will be so rewarding for you. Just think, with two furnaces the lower level could be an income unit years down the road. Ah, the potential. :-)
    Sandra

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    1. Thanks Sandra. Luckily when I am stressed I actually sleep....I guess that's a bonus because I have been sleeping A LOT lately. I will definitely check about the asbestos in the ceiling - I hadn't heard of that. i am more worried that when we scrape it all off the ceiling underneath won't be done nicely. Sometimes I know the joints aren't finished nice and smooth since they know the popcorn is going on. Thanks for the comment!

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  13. Oooh! I'm in love with the fireplace! The whole house looks like it has really great potential. Good job!

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  14. I'm so excited for you and can totally see the potential. I can't wait to see all your upcoming projects and transformations. I'm so jealous of you huge garage ;)
    Are you going to rip out walls too?

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    1. Thanks Julia! Well, we are going to 'modify' one wall for now, and will probably take out more down the road. We have 4 bedrooms upstairs and the hallway is really narrow. Our plan is to completely open up the doorway on the 4th bedroom so when you come up the stairs it feels more like a loft area than a bedroom. We will leave the header at the top so that we can close it back off if we ever need to. We also want to take a wall out in the back entry to make a bigger mudroom (combine the laundry room and entry), but we found out that it's load bearing, so it's going to be a bit more expensive than we had originally anticipated....so...that one is on hold for now and we will live with it for a few years. I'd also really like to take half of the wall out between the kitchen and dining room, but will leave that for when we reno the kitchen...and who knows when that will be!

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  15. looks pretty good!! so looking forwards to see how you decorate your house!

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  16. Yay, how exciting! You're going to make that place soooo gorgeous, I'm sure!!

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  17. So much potential. Excited to see the makeover unfold! Congrats!

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  18. Exciting! Congratulations, and good luck with your makeover. I'm with Shauna, I'm looking forward to seeing it all unfold!

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  19. Big congrats - gorgeous place! I can't wait to see how you personalize it.

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  20. So excited for you!! Can't wait to see what you do with the place!!

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  21. Congratulations!!!! This is oh-so-incredible!!! I'm thrilled for you! I can't wait to see more pictures. This house has so much potential!! Can I request a floor plan? Wishing you loads of memories and happiness in your new home! xoxo

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    1. Thank you. I can't wait to take more pictures - I am quite anxious to get in there again! Yes, of course you can request a floor plan! Actually, my husband was just making one online today (prior to your request!). We are just waiting to confirm if we will be removing a few walls and then I am happy to post it...so stay tuned!

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  22. Congrats! Glad no one scooped it up before you could decide it was the house for you! Can't wait to see more pics in the future!

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  23. So exciting, Kelly!! Your new place looks like it is BURSTING with potential :) I honestly can't wait to see what you do with it! I know everyone hates moving, but I have a major love for settling into a new place.

    BTW, I owe you an email (Rona!) and will try to get it out to you today. I'm off work early, but am dealing with a tile colour mess-up that is giving me a serious headache. Long weekend here we come!

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