Sorry, I've been busy with a new project. Kristen and I had been seriously considering buying a new home. We've been house hunting on and off for about a year, then got real serious in January. We weren't finding any houses that met our criteria, at least not that we could afford.
We needed four bedrooms. My father visits from Kentucky several times each year, and we needed a guest room or guest house.
I need an office. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to work at home with two three-year-olds, and no door on my office.
It had to be a wheelchair accessible home, either a very large ranch-style, or two floors with an elevator. We considered building a nice two story until we found out that good elevators add $20,000 to construction without increasing the value of a new house.
Finally, a realtor pointed out a huge ranch home. It had four bedrooms, an office space, a large yard, and a swimming pool. We made an appointment for the next Friday.
Thursday night at 9:30 the realtor called to say another couple made an offer. They were holding the offer until the next day, so we could see it.
We went to the showing, and knew it was ideal. In seven hours we toured the home, secured financing and a pre-approval letter, and made an offer. Twelve hours later, our offer was accepted... then mild panic set in.
If you ever make a quick decision to spend a quarter of a million dollars, mild panic is natural. Major panic is natural. But, life is good.
Over the next couple days, I'll fill you in on details, with complete tutorials including:
How to buy a house in seven hours
How to secure financing with no income and no assets
How to fire your realtor
How to get mortgage companies competing for your business
How to go hopelessly in debt and still have an excellent credit score
Meanwhile... here's photos of our new home.
Holy Crap...we bought a HOUSE!!
Buying a new home wasn't on our agenda for last weekend, but that's what we did. We had been shopping for a new house, and even considered building, but weren't finding anything large enough without breaking the budget.
Here's lots of photos of the new house. You'll see plenty of interior photos. Enjoy.
Northumberland is along PA Route 11 coming 50 miles north from Harrisburg. The house is 4 miles north of Northumberland, just off PA Route 11.
Here's a little closer view of Northumberland. Our house is directly under the red star.
The view of our new house from the driveway, toward the front door. The house has a narrow stone sidewalk over gravel. We will have to build a gradual ramp from the driveway to the front door (behind that tree).
We like the interesting windows and roof line. They also angled the siding on the gabled parts of the house.
Standing in front of the front door, you can see a nice porch and the garage.
This gate is on the left end of the house and leads to the backyard. The front yard is nice and large sloping toward the house. The backyard slopes away allowing for a walkout basement. We have over 8/10 of an acre. A nice big yard for two kids!
The living room
Coming in the front door is the little entry hall. To the right (out of view) is the hallway to the bedrooms. Straight ahead is a dining room, which we will use as a family room.
To the left of the entry is a huge 34 x 13 room. We will use this as living room and dining room.
Here's the family room again. The French doors open out onto a deck balcony.
The kitchen and dining room
The kitchen is large and absolutely beautiful. It's electric cooking, but that is the only negative thing. Lots of cupboard space and a nice pantry.
Next to the kitchen is a breakfast area with a nice large window. A great place to eat your Cherrios. Beyond the dinette you can see the doorway to the office.
The kitchen exits into the living room at the far end. Currently, there is a banister separating the living room into two smaller rooms. They used this for a dining room. We will probably use it for dining too, but might remove the banister.
Jason's office is large with laminate flooring. (the red rug is an area rug, that the owner's will take). He loves the office, except for the small window. He's already dreaming of a giant glass wall.
The office has a half-bath with laundry hook-ups. We may move the laundry to the basement and Jason can use it for storage. We know Jason has lots to store!
There is also an exit from the office into the garage. We will have to ramp it, so Jason will have two exits. The basement door also exits from the office.
Beds and Baths
Ainsley gets her own room with a big window and pink carpeting.
Jason gets one too, in green. We honestly don't envision them sleeping in separate rooms for a while, but at least we now have a place to say, "Go to your room!" that they can't continue to fight with each other.
This is the very small guest room. We hope very small guests come to visit.
This is a very big master bedroom!
There are several bathrooms, but this one will be called "Kristen's sanctuary". This should make up for not owning a bathtub for the past five years. It has a whirlpool tub, walk-in closet, a shower stall and a lock on the door; everything a mommy needs to relax.
Come out the family room doors onto the deck. As we said, the ground falls away behind the house so the deck is almost a story up.
Looking off the deck to the right is a large fenced backyard. The fences are split rail, but have wire to keep dogs and kids in. (Kristie says "what dogs?!")
To the left of the deck is another lower deck and the swimming pool. It looks a little chilly now, but it will be great this Spring. Pool parties will be every Tuesday and the third Saturday of each month, BYOB (Bring your own burgers).
Here's a couple more views of the pool and deck as seen from Jason's office window. The house in the background is 40 Manor Drive and listed at $280,000 in case any of you want to become neighbors.
Two days after we bought the house, Kristie exclaimed, "Holy crap! We have a pool!" Thus, the naming of this page.
Finally, we have a full basement. Lots of storage (shelves and stuff). And a big place for kids to play.
One of the great features of our house is a ground level walk out basement, so Jason can even get downstairs. He literally can get everywhere in the house!!! His wife and children haven't decided for certain if this is a blessing. The little room to the right is the facilities management department, with water heater, water softener, furnace, sump pump, breaker boxes and even a toilet. You can come in from the backyard. Please keep the P out of the OOL!
Kristen, Jason Andrew, Ainsley Grace and I feel so blessed. This house, this home, will truly be a place that we can make memories and live comfortably for many years to come. We hope it becomes a welcoming happy place, not only to live in, but also to visit.