Da house so far

Tight budgets, a new dog, football season and the arrival of the holidays has kept us from really digging into work on the house. Here's some of the main level so far (warning: it's messy because I built a cabinet for the powder room, have wedding thank you note paraphernalia on the dining room table, etc.).

Powder room progress

WOOOO HOOO I painted the powder room tonight! Another coat is going on tomorrow as my pup watches, then the husband will get home to do the hard stuff! I'm bouncing around my den with a beer because I'm so happy with the color! Don't worry - only half the wall is painted because we're putting up beadboard that'll be 3 or 4 feet high.

Eight Point Prancer

We've seen deer in our backyard - a doe and a fawn, and a buck here and there but this guy was big! He doesn't look like much from the picture we captured from the front porch. But that's because we were in such awe that we were unable to get the camera fast enough. But he was so pretty!

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

So the deadline to get the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit is rapidly approaching. In order to be eligible for the credit, you must close on your house by Dec. 1, 2009. But just to be on the safe side, try to close before that date.

Although I already closed on my house in July, my best friend is in the process of buying her house located about 8 miles from mine. So I'm doing my best to tell her all the things I didn't know or understand when I got into the home buying process. I'm no mortgage or real estate expert so these things should serve as talking points for you and your realtor, seller, and mortgage lender.
  • If you already filed your taxes for 2008 and buy a house in 2009, you can amend your 2008 tax return to get the $8000 tax credit sooner! I think we're using ours to build a new deck!
  • If you have a debt to income ratio of greater than 41%, then you'll most likely need to get an FHA mortgage loan.
  • MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium) is required to be paid on FHA loans. This amount is equivalent to 1.5% of your loan amount that gets tacked on the the total (no, it makes no sense). Then you have to pay 0.5% (of loan amount over 12 months) in monthly mortgage insurance payments usually til you've paid for over 20% of your home.
  • PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) refers to mortgage insurance for conventional loans. You'll have to pay this if you put down less than 20% and it's usually less than MIP on FHA loans.

Old Wallpaper = My Enemy

Ok, for those people who think removing old wallpaper will be easy....I warn you, it is not. The wallpaper in my teeny tiny powder room (it's literally 3' by 5', maybe smaller) is a prime example. It's original wallpaper that was installed in 1979.

Since we're planning on putting up beadboard, I only have to remove about half of the wallpaper and its adhesive. One thing I didn't know is that it's much more difficult to remove adhesive once you've already peeled off the wallpaper on top of it. I finally got it all off last night but I now have to go back and sand the walls, fill the holes and dents I made with sheetrock spackle and then sand again.

Our other plans include:
  1. Painting the top portion of the walls a light green color
  2. Removing the tile and installing hardwood floors
  3. Putting up the beadboard and molding
  4. Installing a new pedestal sink and light fixtures
  5. Refinishing an old mirror to go above the sink
One problem I encountered yesterday was a leak from the powder room to the garage it touches. I'm not sure if it's from the steamer or due to all the soapy water I was using to wet the wallpaper adhesive, but I'm worried that it's ruining the sub-flooring beneath the tile. Oh no.....

Before Pictures Part 2

Tile for kitchen
Master bath
Master vanity
Guest bath
Powder room

Before Pictures Part 1

Dining room
Breakfast area of kitchen + Realtor
Living room looking to the front yard/forest
Living room looking from the front door

Old House Web

I love this site: http://www.oldhouseweb.com/

And I've found some helpful info on how to take on my first big task at the new ole house - removing the nasty wallpaper in all of the bathrooms. Grrrr. Wish me luck!


Preclosing Pictures of Our Home

This is the front of the house. When you walk in the front door, the formal living room is on the right, coat closet on your immediate left, stairs leading up to the bedrooms to the left, and kitchen straight ahead.

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us in the landscaping department. Lucky for me, James works in the landscape/building supply industry. We may have to take down some trees but whatever we cut down will be used either as mulch or for building materials. Our goal is to be as 'green' as possible in fixing up our house.

Here's some of the rest of our house:

Loan Approval

I got some exciting news today - I learned that I was approved for a mortgage! Now that I actually know that the house will be our's (my fiancé's and mine), I'm beginning to think about decorating, redesigning, remodeling, refinishing, etc.