25 March 2011


hey all!

i promise I will be back in the blog world soon.

we've had some drama with OUR (good news!) new house!
1. clogged sewage drain (aka poopy toilet paper in our basement. fabulous)
[insert annoyance]
2. clogged sewage drain... 24 hours later. And a 10,000 quote. pipe collapse.
[insert off and on freak outs that include lots of tears and irrational comments]
3. not. our pipes aren't collapsed. the first guy just guessed. not yet. a few years. maybe never. we'll see
4. messed up laundry stuff.
5. we love our family. they helped us in staying same. everything now works. i can pee. and do laundry. and wash clothes. and dishes... well, Kevin can. I hate doing dishes. punk pup can have his toilet drinks b/c the bowl refills. life is good.

now we're in! And getting settled and unpacked... we have so much stuff! goodwill is getting some hefty donations... and craigslist so great finds!

we're looking at different room set ups. deciding on what furniture we need to start thrifting/craigslisting and what is a good investment (sectional w/ a sleeper?) picking out color specifics. painted our dining room.

pictures WILL come. Promise. tonight we are doing nothing. nothing. taking a breako. and lovin' it.

Hope you're enjoying yours.
love you all.
for loving me and my inconsistency w/ this thing. someday it will get going. someday.

ps lisa leonard is doing a FAB giveaway I want in our house

04 March 2011

The initial plans...

As we're getting closer to CLOSING DAY (March 17), and we've got through the logistics, I have been planning what 'feel' I want each room to have... which is HIGHLY connected to color choices. I figured it will be fun to document the WHOLE process! So today it begins!

I have done a very rough sketch of the floor plan in the new house. We'll get to the upstairs later... it has my studio, which I will be making no decisions on any time soon, considering it has to be PERFECT :)

Living room: You walk into the living, which I want to be relaxed and inviting. Teal is the perfect choice for this one color room... blues are supposed to cause your body to create more calming chemicals and greens is the easiest color to look at. Thought the combo would be the perfect choice for the first room you see!

Dining room: The living room opens to the dining room, therefore this color needed to coordinate. We are going for a wine color (as previously discussed). No psychology behind this choice. We saw a home that had a BEAUTIFUL wine colored dining room and that was it. We just knew. Color love at first sight. Neither Kev and I are lovers (or even likers) of purple, so finding that perfect shade will be crucial.  It will also need to go well with our dark hardwood floors, so that the room isn't too dark. We intend to counter the rich colors with distressed white accents... buffet, curtains, my black and white wall mural, a fabulous table and mismatched white chairs to insure the room doesn't feel stuffy, but is a great mix between beautiful, yet casual.

Guest room: This room was inspired from these napkins. Loved the vintage feel, yet still had some great colors in there. 

I still have an obsession with fun bright colors with Turquoise as my base. So my kitchen is going to take on the fun funky hodge podge tone, like our rental house had throughout. I still LOVE this look, so I had to incorporate it somewhere. It's inspired by this great find at Old Time Pottery. What's wonderful is there's a DOOR between the kitchen in the dining room! Meaning it doesn't have to be all matchy matchy! 

So there you have it! The initial color plans for the new house! Can't wait to show the exact ways we choose to incorporate them as we go! 

02 March 2011

House Hunting/Buying 101: The deal and logistics.

On with our House Hunt/Buying 101...
(I can't wait to get to the decorating of the house instead of the buying process... the fun stuff is coming!)

Now that our inspections and renegotiations were finished, we get to get the appraisal!
Here's what we learned about appraisals:
There was some sketchy appraisals before the economy downfall... some would get paid to give a certain appraisal price. That was a major part in our housing market downfall, inflated house prices while the economy was going down, and bad-a-boom! Ick-i-ness. Bad for the economy; good for us... until we have to re-sell.
So now, the trend is to appraise homes to the lowest possible realistic appraisal. SO, we wait. The general consensus by our real estate agent and inspector is that we'll be right on the money. But, the 'worst' situation would actually be good for us; our house could get appraised for less than our contract price, meaning we'd get a lower price! We're planning on our contract price; but we can dream!
Our appraisal is TBD when our financing is final...

As discussed, when you start your search, you get pre-approved. Then, when you find the house, you have to gather LOTS of paper work. I mean LOTS of it. That's where we're at now.

All that to say, get ready to get bank statements from months and months before, paycheck stubs, and tax papers for 2 years prior. Especially as newly-weds, we had a lot of gathering from our parents and personal filing to do.

We're FINALLY done with the boring stuff... we'll keep ya posted on the outcome of our appraisal! Next up, the FUN STUFF!!!! Friday, I'll share my initial visions for our downstairs color scheme. Can't WAIT!

28 February 2011

House Hunting/Buying 101: The process

YAY! We found a great one, that matched up with much of our list! In our price range!

The next step was to put in an offer on the house. Their asking price was $124,900.
We started out low at $117K w/ closing costs and a home warranty. They countered w/ $124,000.
Us: $119K+ Home Warranty and Closing Costs
Them: $123,500
Us: $121K + H.W. and CC
Them: $123K; It's as low as we'll go.
Us: We can't. We need 122K. + H.W. and CC
Them: Ok.

YAY! Next step: Inspection.
We had an INCREDIBLE inspector! In the KC area and need a rec? Ask! He's amazing and thorough and honest on whether things matter or not... etc.
Of course, since our house was built in 1937, and because our roof and windows were brand new, our biggest concerns were in the basement.
Here's what he found:

  • cracked wastepipe... AKA where your bodily 'waste' goes.
  • a gas leak
  • no vent for our washing machine.
  • loose floor joist... AKA what holds your floors up.
  • and a few quirky things that were inconsequential, including a vintage rum bottle
  • Upstairs
    •  he found some switched electrical switches and a 'dead' wall of electricity in our dining room
    • we found a shotty fix on a bathroom sink
    • on the same sink, the faucet was improperly installed
    • the bathtub leaked
    • the toilets were loose
    • the kitchen sink had a slight upwards slope on a pipe (their supposed to slope down)
Here's the good news:
  • Our inspector said it was in FANTASTIC shape for its age and price.
  • The foundation was in wonderful shape!
  • We have a stone basement, which turns out to be the best kind.
  • Our inspector didn't recommend a ($150) radon test because it is a 'walk out' basement b/c of our garage.
  • No mold! 
  • Minute water leakage, which can be easily fixed by extending our front gutter
The bad news: 
  • It wasn't move-in ready... those things must be fixed. Who wants to have to explain the 'stench' in their basement... coming from some pipe... that comes from the toilet. 
SO, we went back to negotiations.
Turns out, there was a fall out with the plumbing contractor and the rest of our buyers (a small company of contractors). They were unaware of the terrible job on the house.
We still asked for everything to be fixed, because not to be cold hearted, but their fall-out has little to do with us. (We learned quickly to make this a business transaction. We had to work to not be pressured by different situations of our sellers.) 
Because of this and a few other interesting turn of events, and resistance to fix the house to city code, we needed to come up with a motto. "This house is a convenience, not a necessity". We LOVE the house; great updates, great location, great size, great aesthetics. However, we aren't out of our agreement with our landlord and won't be until closing. Our current house is cute, but small. Close to family, but not close to work. In a comfort zone, but we're ready to branch out. Bottom line: It works. We're not homeless. We have no crunching time line. This house is convenient. Not necessary. 

This helped us get through the rest of the process better. 
1) We knew we could/would walk if we needed to.
2) We LOVE the house, the location, and the change, so we're motivated.
3) But we wouldn't budge on city code, no matter how 'unnecessary' it was. See #1. 

SO, eventually (after about 15 negotiations and 3 different 'resolution' contracts) things were fixed to our liking, but we did budge on a few things but got our house!

Next: What we 'budged' on. What we were firm about. Next step: Appraisal and financing.

24 February 2011

House Hunting/Buying 101: The lists

Anyone else out there house hunting?

Us Borns are learning as we go. Had no idea about mortgage's, interest rates, negotiations, offers, nada. So, if there are any other escrow-virgins, we decided to share what we're learning along the way.

Here's our experience step by step:
1) In January, our friends recommended a fabulous Realtor. (Always go with a recommendation if you can!) We met with her to see some homes and shared with her our initial stipulations.
  • a cute older home that was not a $$ pit.
  • 3+ bedroom
  • 2 bath
  • fenced in yard
  • attached garage
  • alarm system
  • in a not-terrible part of the city
2) Financing: we saw our realtor's mortgage company and after hearing about their rates and reading a few reviews on service, we landed on a mortgage company. They were very thorough in directing exactly what paperwork we needed and when we needed it. After applying for pre-qualification, we we determined our budget. We set our top budget lower than our approval, to make our actual budget comfortable. New stipulation:
  • $100-$120K budget
3) After seeing around 15 homes, and viewing 100+ online, we learned we would need to choose size or location. Either we get a GIGANTIC home in the proverbial 'hood'. OR we get a smaller home where I can go walk Punk Pup and be reasonably safe. Once we started looking with this in mind we learned what we could and couldn't live without. Our new list looked like this:
  • an updated older home.
  • 2-3 bed
  • 1-1 1/2 bath
  • fenced yard
  • a close walk from garage to house
  • in outskirts of nice neighborhoods
  • $100-120,000 budget
3) After looking at a pricey fixer-upper, we stumbled upon a cute little house just blocks from Mr. Man's school and a short walk to a well-known neighborhood, Brookside. Here's how it has matched up:
  • Built in 1937, but newly updated (new roof, windows, A/C, heater, water heater, and electrical)
  • 3 bed
  • 1 1/2 bath
  • fenced yard
  • basement garage
  • just south-west of Brookside (63rd Ter)
  • $117 when closing costs and home warranty were deducted.
  • fresh neutral coat of paint all throughout
  • walk-in pantry
  • walk-in closet
  • fridge
  • BEAUTIFUL original, refinished hardwood floors.
  • blocks from Kev's schools (maybe we can be a 1 car family! Cut costs AND tree hugger friendliness)
  • grocery store in walking distance.

  • more important: local coffee shop (w/ good coffee) in walking distance!
  • good school district if ever we have Baby Born's joining the scene.
We decided to put in an offer!
Comin' up: Saturday  (er... I mean Monday) I'll post our negotiating process and our attitudes toward the process.

14 February 2011


I am getting to my snow day projects...

Fabulous zipper pouches! I have been experimenting and tweaking this tutorial, to come up with the perfect bag. I've also been experimenting with some different stamping art on the front... I can't wait to try a DIY stamp that Cortney showed me... but haven't got that good yet.

I have a few more done, but haven't snapped the pictures yet. 

You get the idea :) Hope you enjoyed!
The goal is to be to set up shop this summer... after my dream-of-a studio is all set up in action... as opposed to taking over the kitchen table... all the time. 

13 February 2011

Reasons we're excited to move.

1) Letting our poor pup outside into a fenced-in backyard, as opposed to this method:

2) More room to organize...  we get just a peek at the pantry!
lovin' the floor to ceiling cabinets!
even I can get organized!
3) We get to paint!! I'm not too sure why, but I'm super excited about our dining room. We're thinking about one of these bad boys... Different but all fall into the 'wine' coloring. Can't wait to put all the swatches on the walls and stare!

4) Redoing more furniture. 
love the white vintage table.
or maybe one of these in a big dining room table version.
I'm dreaming of one of these to put in our living or dining room... Mmm. Individual place settings.
Bajillions of labels for serious organization.

5)A craft room! All to myself!! No more sharing with the guest room! (taken from Heather Bailey's blog)

all crafts 12 Beautiful Crafting Rooms {diy}

ps. thanks google images