1…. 5 years ago today we moved into our very first (and only) house.
2…. On this day, in 2001, my husband and I were busy pulling out all of the carpets in the house so that we could sand and refinish all of the beautiful white oak hardwood floors. Did I say that we kept our apartment for an extra month so that we could complete some renovations?
3…. My brother-in-law came up from Chicago to give us a hand and he helped my husband put some ceiling fans up in three rooms. A heat wave had set in and we didn’t have any air-conditioning! The ceiling fans helped a lot.
4…. At some point during that first day I took a sledge hammer and started knocking out one of the walls in our tiny living room. A contractor friend of ours and my husband helped too.
5…. We took down a total of 5 walls between the entry, living room, dining room and stairway hall. Yes, we checked that no walls were structual first. That’s why our friend the contractor was there.
6…. We had met ALL of our neighbors the evening before when we first entered our new home. At least 15 of them. We also learned that the former owners who had lived in the house before us weren’t all that friendly, and that many of the neighbors had never seen the inside of our house. Well, that started an avalanche of people just dropping by over the next month to peek inside trying to find out what we were up to (as if the noise and the big white cloud of dust coming from the windows and open doors wouldn’t tell them!). That gave us a good opportunity to find out just how odd a few of them were. Oh boy, that was just the start.
7…. During that first month Chris and I repaired the ceiling and floors in the living room / dining room where the walls had been, refinished the floors by sanding them and putting 5 coats of polyurethane on them (they’re beautiful!), and painted every room in the house.
8…. I ended up taking a couple more weeks off work to finish some of the renovations and to await the duct work people, whom we needed desperately in order to move the heating ducts in the living room. You see, when I knocked out some walls I knocked out a wall that had a heating duct in it that went up to our master bedroom. That meant no heat for us in the winter! And yes I knew I was knocking it out when I did it, I just didn’t think it would take approximately 6 weeks before we could get a duct work company to come out and do the work for us.
9…. During our month of preparing the house for our move we also had an electrician come in and replace all the old knob and tube wiring. Did I say our house was built in 1927 yet? It’s old but it was in very good shape.
10…. There are only three closets in our house, and only one is a decent size. Think about it. How many closets do you have in your house and aren’t they all full?
11…. By the time we were ready to move into our home at the end of July 2001 I was a mess. I’d been working on our house for 18+ hours a day, during a heatwave with no air-conditioning. I was stressed and over-tired, and I’d lost at least 20 pounds (at least 10 pounds too much). The move went well, but it was a stress I didn’t handle well, and I ended up in tears many times throughout that day.
12…. We were so excited to own our first home. I’d been cooped up in a tiny junior one bedroom apartment for far too long. I was happy to have the extra space and a place to call my own. I was also ecstatic about having a backyard. I was going to plant a lot of veggies in it and even had some started in containers prior to our move. This is ironic because now my “veggie” garden is a major flower garden and the veggies are grown in containers – again. LOL
13…. We just renewed our mortgage for a very good rate, but our original deal was the best! We had a variable rate mortgage at 1.5 % below prime for the first six months, and then 0.5% below prime for the rest of the mortgage term. Which means our for our first 6 months we lucked out because the interest rates were so low. We were only paying 0.5% interest! That’ll never happen again. As a result of our low interest rates and our down payment we’ve already managed to pay off approximately 45% of the cost of our house.
14. A bonus entry – Within less than a year of our move we had both changed jobs and were working at the hospital that is only three blocks from our home. We walk to work. How sweet is that? Especially now that the gas prices are so high? We only fill our car up every two or three weeks! and since we don’t drive it daily we were able to lower our insurance on it since it’s only used for casual driving. Another bonus. Getting this house turned out to be one of the best things that has happened to us.
Oh yeah … we’re still renovating, even after 5 years and all the work we did at the start and through the first year or two. The tin ceiling will be going up in the living room / dining room within the next two weeks. That’s going to look fantastic. Hmmm maybe I should start yet another site? Maybe a renovation one? LOL
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