March 31, 2010

Still no real update to the offer

update on the offer-

Realtor "Did you say you spent $1,100 a year in oil or was it 1,100 gallons of oil a year?"
Us "$1,100"

Or really I have a oil pool in the backyard that I like to take daily laps in.

March 30, 2010

Fun Fact- Painting kinda sucks

I hate painting our house.

Now that I'm thinking back over all the years and improvements we've done to the house, there is not one room that either didn't reduce me to tears or put me in the crappiest mood ever while or after painting. The bedroom literally made me cry while I was painting the trim. First go round with the living room practically drove me insane with fury. There is just something about these walls (or is it older homes in general?) that makes painting practically the most epic chore ever.

Maybe its the lumpiness of the old paint underneath, created long ago by owners that didn't care to wipe up the drips. I also think its the wave of the paneling underneath that bothers me as I skim over it with my paint roller. Really though, its the feeling that I'm not doing it right and I'm just high glossing over the problem for a little lipstick touch up. I want to rip the trim off and strip it down! Get those decades ( century?) old paint lumps heat gunned off! Shine up the door hardware and make it gleam. But I know that I really can't do that with this house. Because of lack of time and money. and mostly because of the for sale sign on the front lawn.

Which brings me to my great Wtown house regret. I didn't care much when we first bought it and as a result I really didn't do a lot of work to the house. Always I saw the great potential! And it was a little bit of my vision and hard work went into the house. Mainly I just lived in the house, dealing with the trials and pitfalls of living in an older and under heavy construction home. Sometimes the renovations were harder to deal with than others, but I kept dealing with them as I went on with life as a full time college student and part time mall worker.

Most of the blood, sweat and tears shed here in the Wtown house belong to Pete. He's the one that really brought this house back from the brink. Its only been these last few years that I've really involved myself in our houses and I've found that I love it! Truly love breaking a sweat and getting down and dirty with the renovations. I wish I could go back to 21 yr old college Junior me and say- see that door your painting, don't just paint it, strip it down! I'd also advise against the blond hair stage of life...

I know its never to late, which is why I am fixing certain peeves I have about this house still. Even with the house on the market I do have to live here for who even knows how much longer, so I should do those little (and not so little) touches its going to take for me to really feel like I've put something more into the house and am happy with continuing on with living here.

Which is why I decided to get off my butt and paint the living room, something I've wanted to do for a very long time but was always talked out of or didn't have the time for. The time was still not there, but got squeezed it in. My back, legs, forearms and hands are all killing me after an exhausting 16 hours of work. How does the room look now? Bright and bigger that is for sure! And 95% done, because I didn't buy the right kind of paint for the trim. I'm still not sure if I'm just the slowest painter in the world, or if old houses really are harder to paint?!

March 29, 2010

People who say that paint is the cheapest and easier way to transform a room should stick a paint brush in their eye. The worst part is, I'm so guilty of saying that exact phrase. From now I'm sticking with drinking a bottle of wine is the cheapest and fastest way to make your room look different. Cause painting this house is a painful pain in my rear end...

Just another monday...

I'm on the final 10% for finishing the paint job in the living room and the final stretch always gives me the hardest run for the money. Good thing we have a showing tomorrow to motivate me to get the job done tonight!

No word on the offer/counter offer.

March 28, 2010

No offer update...

No real update on the offer/counter offer. We countered Friday morning. Friday night Pete received a phone call back from our Realtor relaying the buyers questions about what our monthly utility bills were and could they please see a copy of the survey? Saturday morning all the correct bill info was provided by us, and I'm pretty sure our Realtor passed on the copy of our land survey that he has on file.

Right now I'm painting the living room.

It took an entire gallon of primer to cover the maroon.

Loving the brighter look already.

March 26, 2010

Got Offer?

Last night Pete told me those words I've been dieing to hear for quite some time.

"We got an offer"

Then there was... silence. No screaming and crying. I didn't run to the fridge and pop the champagne in celebration. Just more like "could you grab the couch I'm moving so I can fish the leg that fell off out from underneath".

I was in the middle of prepping the living room for painting. Highly ironic indeed that finally after years of wanting to change to the living room color, I finally get off my duff to pick a color and am all set to paint the same night we get an offer that might result in the sell of our house. If I knew that committing to paint the living room was all it took, well I would have bought the paint months ago!

Side Note- on the way home from buying the paint I saw a Bald Eagle flying! My mouth dropped open, such a majestic animal.

We did counter, and our Realtors will call with the counter this morning, but I'm not offended by their offer. Although I wouldn't really be offended by any offer. Buyers are allowed to offer what it is they want to pay and think the house is worth! I'm surprisingly calm and 'meh' about the negotiation stage and getting an offer as a whole. I guess I realize that I just need to let everything follow the process and we'll see if it ends up with the keys in their hands.

March 22, 2010

Crate and Barrel Outlet

My sister let me in on one of the great secrets of the Garden State a while back. No, not the location of Jersey Shore 2, but an even more fantastic local that is a short detour off the turnpike and a mere 15 minutes from Mastori's Diner. Stuff yourself full of cinnamon bread and then drive right over... to the Crate and Barrel Outlet in Cranbury NJ!

Walk in and unleash your inner deal hunter. Anything you've been eyeballing over at C&B? Good chance you'll be able to find it at the outlet. Place settings? Wine glasses? Grab a basket and start to stock up. Have Monday free- head over for an extra 10% off your purchase! The outlet is laid out almost identical to a regular C&B store, with neat displays showcasing all the different wares. I know a lot of people sometimes shy at the idea of outlet shopping because they can't shop when the store is a jumbled mess. If you are one of those people (and I am not, give me a box to root through for a good deal and I'm as happy as a pig in mud) then rest assured you'll have no problem shopping in this outlet. In addition to the well organized store, there is also a deeper discounted warehouse section. I guess you would call it the scratch and dent selection. As you can see, it is still nice and neat for easy shopping.

This coffee table almost found its way into our car, I could just barely resist its $99 price tag for the open look of the glass but industrial feel of the metal. But alas, we didn't really need it what with our house on the market and it would just mean more furniture to eventually move. Tha coffee table stayed in the store.

We did however snag the recycled glass tumblers that were on clearance for about a dollar each. They are going to replace our previous casual glasses, leftovers from Pete's 2002 fraternity formal. So classy. Can't wait to pour some margaritas in our new glasses this summer!

Drooling over the Petrie Sofa? They had four of them there while I was shopping about, and I think they were about 40% off the retail price.

Awesome wall of pillows. I was loving all the different colors and patterns.

We both liked and debated buying this hutch/bookcase piece. In the end I felt like I'd have to put some tall legs on it in order to really like it, and that we really have no need for it now. So this also got passed over. Out of the entire store I felt like the dining tables were the best deal overall. They had tons in really good condition and for cheap prices.

Off season at the beach

When we bought the beach condo we really thought that we'd be there almost every weekend in the summer, so why would we rent it out all season long? Ah the naive minds of two twenty somethings. That first summer of owning the condo, we made it down to the beach a whopping three times. Between working and being elbow deep in our Wtown house renovations we quickly learned that as much as we loved the beach, we just didn't (don't) have time to be beach bums every weekend in the summer.

With that realization under our belts we made the decision to rent the unit out all summer season long. Which leaves our time to enjoy the condo and the beach in the off season. As much as most people might say "oh man that sucks" it really doesn't! We can not believe how much we LOVE being down in the off season. We knew we'd love having a place at the beach, but really couldn't have predicted how great it would be to go there Sep- May!

Usually there are still a couple of good beach weather weekends in early fall, so if we're craving a little sun worship that gets to happen on a relatively empty beach, especially compared with the summer crowds. Nothing like laying out enjoying the sun and a good book while wearing spf100+ and not having anyone around you! Plus, after a certain date we can take Nala to the beach and boards and she just loves playing ball on the beach!

There is also a great beauty in the off season and the emptiness of the usually bustling town. It leaves us free to explore around town during the day and have quiet nights cuddled up watching a movie. We grow so accustomed to having no wait at our favorite restaurants and the low traffic that it does come as a little bit of a shock when the weather warms up and people start showing up on weekends again. I can't even imagine how the beach locals must feel when that happens!

We can enjoy a sunset at the park overlooking the bay - all by ourselves!

The final great thing about the off season- our condo buildings remains rather unoccupied. Which means we get our prime parking spot, away from other cars because my husband is a freak about door dings, and don't have to worry about hogging the staircase as we run construction equipment up to the condo.

Don't get me wrong, I love summer. And there is nothing like waking up on a steamy July morning a block from the ocean. But I've also fallen a little bit in love with the off season down the shore.

March 18, 2010

Just a quick walk...

Bad news for my wallet. My new job is a mere 10 minute walk to a Anthropologie, I do not know how I am going to resist the siren song of the store calling me over on nice days that beg for a lunch time walk in the city. Especially since I just signed up for the Anthro card today...

Do I have any Philly readers? Any suggestions on other fun stores in the city I should check out? I'd love to find some new places to visit during lunch. Thrift- Antiques- Fabric- Home Decor- Salvage-ect...


March 15, 2010

Too much rain. Need sunshine.

New Jersey was a rainy mo fo this weekend.

I briefly entertained the notion of dressing up like a pirate and setting sail for the Spice Isles via my the lake down the street, but decided it wouldn't be prudent to step outside when tree branches were snapping off like it was their job because of the wind. Or to go into the basement, because basements skeeve me the flip out in general. Especially ours. Yuck. Plus who really wants to see pictures of a my basement? I'd have to cover up all the dead bodies.

So- as a break from all the nasty weather I've been staring at pictures of our honeymoon, which took place in May 2008. What I wouldn't give to jump on a plane right.this.minute and fly out there again...


Back to reality Monday.

Miss writing to everyone lots.

ps- It rained two full days of our honeymoon. We still had a blast.

March 10, 2010

update- showing, bathroom and new job news!

Sorry about going MIA lately.

Right now I'm sitting pretty in my spanking brand new (to me) cubicle at my new job! The last weeks at my old job meant a lot of loose ends to tie up, which resulted in longer hours and when you added on the hour + commute home late at night... well I just wasn't up for much of anything besides chilling like villain on my couch after work.

This new job will require an adjustment period but I hope it goes smoothly, once I get up to speed here I should be able to take advantage of my new reduced commuting time and blog more during the evenings. New commute is a cool hour of driving less than the old one which averaged about 2.5-3 hours a day in the car. Now I'm looking at 1.5-2! Its like I found more hours in the day.

In house news- we had a showing this morning. Keep your toes crossed.

The bathroom at the beach condo is going along swimmingly well. I can hardly stand how nicely everything is coming together! All the final details and tasks are being worked on and we should be able to finish everything up in one more weekend. I'll barf excitement if that happens! Not many pictures from our last weekend efforts on the bathroom though. I kept forgetting to take pictures. Something to do with straight up forgetfulness, hunger and being woken up from a nap.

March 5, 2010

What is left to-do in the bathroom...

Sometimes I blurt things out that don't make much sense. Thankfully Pete has been with me long enough ( over 8 years!) that he can usually figure what train of thought I was on and follow it to understand what my point originally was.

For example: Pete was driving around aimlessly in a parking lot while looking for a empty space. In the process of doing so he goes way way past the store we wanted to go in. I blurt out "Where are you?" Make sense?! Not really right? Because I was sitting in the passenger seat and he was clearly sitting right next to me in the drivers seat. What I meant to say was " The store is back there so where are you going?"

Along those nonsensical lines are the times I tell Pete that I'm just "Thinking out loud" when we're in the middle of a discussion. Which is when he likes to inform me that is called "Talking" or "a conversation" if someone else is present. Someone he thinks he is hil.arious but really everyone knows who the real funny one in this relationship is.

And that long intro was just to explain the following

Thinking out loud thoughts...

What is left to do with our beach condo bathroom renovation:

- Tile/grout the accent wall.

There is a little nook wall space and we decided that it would add a really nice look to tile it. Lowe's sells a smaller 2"x2" version of the tiles we put on the floor and we've opted to use those for the wall since its such a small space we wanted to keep a bit of consistency and flow in the room.

- Hang the mirror

Pete made the mirror frame it looks really good! I can't wait to get it up as I think its going to add such a nice detail to the room.

- Acid wash the floor

That is going to make sure the floor is clean and ready for the next step.

- Seal the grout

Mucho important! We didn't do that in our bathroom at home and within a year our white grout turned gray. It took a carpet steam cleaner and lots of scrubbing to get the grout back to white. The grout in this bathroom is a nice light almond color, which will hide sand and dirt really well, but we want to be sure that clean up is a breeze!

- Install cabinet shelves

I'm iffy on the shelving we have. Pete made it and while it does look really nice I'm just not sold 100% on it yet for the space.

- Hang art

I'm also not 100% on this as well. But the bathroom does need a little something extra in spots, so we'll see how I feel when the whole room comes together.

- Put up new shower curtain

Ok, this I love! We picked up a fantastic white fabric curtain and these adorable little holders to replace the previous lighthouses. I can't wait to get these up! They are really going to help make the room.

- Finishing painting the door

- Touch up paint on the wall

The epic struggle to get the sink vanity into place left its mark on parts of the wall. I also have to touch up the trim where I filled in all the nail holes and mitered parts.

-Figure out Bathing Suit station above shower.

Since the condo is a block and a half from the beach there are likely going to be renters who will run upstairs while still in there wet suits and jump right into the shower to rinse off the sand and salt. We'd like to give them a place to hang the suits so they don't hang them on the towel hooks that touch the drywall and would then drip salt water/chlorine down the wall. A little over protective of our walls , yes I know, but I don't feel like having to deal with a potential mold/warping issue because of it.

March 3, 2010

lowering the bar- again.

We met with our realtors last night. Unfortunately the real estate market is still headed down down down in our area. Which means that the comps have lowered drastically (again). So in order to stay competitive- and believe you me we are- we lowered the price of our house again.

Here is where I could say that it was painful or piss and moan about how unfair it is that our house hasn't sold yet. Or how our house is one of the only ones in the price range that doesn't need TLC and is move in ready. Then I could mention that we are the biggest house of all the comps and have the biggest yard, along with the nicest two car garage.

But you know what.

I'm not going to gripe (that much) about all this because such is life right now. We're in a million times better housing situation than so many other people across this nation facing foreclosures, bankruptcy and loans that are way over valued. Our house, while it is a pain to have on the market, isn't really holding us back from anything else or our other plans right now. We're still going forward with renovating the Wee house and can't wait until we can move in there to call it home.

Can you tell I'm still riding an optimism buzz?

March 2, 2010

Why hello March

Months that weren't that productive for us on the house front- February.

Between it being a shorter month and the record amounts of snowfall that physically blocked us from even getting inside the Wee house...we just didn't get over there to do the work like we wanted to. Also, I don't know if you've ever been inside a half torn out house in the dead of winter but it is friggen COLD.

Despite setting up the funny propane heater (that looks slightly like R2D2) you just really don't get that lovely all over warm feeling ever when renovating in the middle of winter. Only when standing directly next to the heater while scorching your face do you feel a little balmy. Sure you might be sweating your butt off while your working hard at pulling up shag carpeting, but your fingers and toes will get frozen solid despite your layers of socks and thin wool gloves that are under the work gear. Don't even get me started on the snot that happens...

This spring and once the weather warms up a little bit we will resume working our tails off on the Wee house. Right now our focus is mainly on getting the Wtown house sold and finishing up the bathroom renovation of the beach house. Lot of things on both those fronts that need to get done- there is never a shortage of stuff that we need to do, just the time to do it in!