Monday, September 3, 2012

New Job, New House and New Adventures!

Hi All! As most of you know Shawn has finally received orders and will be transferring in December! It can't get here soon enough! He is really excited as are we!

Ok, enough with the exclamation points.

His current job has been pretty tough on us so we are hoping this next job brings him much more happiness.  We also hope he can actually attend a few of the kid's events.  For almost 3 years now he has missed just about every school or preschool event that they have had.  What a downer it's been.  However, we have been told that the next job will be much more family friendly! That is of course when he is home. There will be times when he is gone with little to no notice so when they are home the command tries to give them time with family.  It's going to be quite an adventure for us and we are ready for it!

Now we have decided to buy and boy has this been an experience! Trying to look at a ton of houses with 3 kids running around proved to be much more difficult than we thought. The empty houses weren't too bad but most were still occupied and keeping little hands off of other peoples things was tough.  More than once a child would disappear only to find them using the bathroom! Alas, nothing was broken so we are happy for that.

Now we have decided to build a home that we can grow into and make our own.  Choosing to buy a new construction was not one taken lightly.  I know how easy it is to rack up a huge amount on options and add-ons so I was quite reluctant to go this route. It was at the nudging of Shawn to at least take a look that got us to this point.  I am no fool and know the model homes are designed with all of the bells and whistles but boy were they gorgeous! I instantly fell in love and was hooked! Now comes deciding what was a "want" vs. "need" and what we could do later on our own for less. Being a one income family means we have to do a lot more with less.  One thing I new from the beginning is that I wanted our house to be different from the homes around us. There are certain things I can change and others I can not.  For instance, the colors of the siding and shutters all come in packages so no matter what there are going to be other homes around us that look just like ours. They do this to keep a uniformed look throughout and while it's kind of a pain I do appreciate it.  Knowing a bright avocado green house with pink shutters isn't going to pop up next to mine makes me happy.

While most of the house already came with an upgrade of sorts there are some things that needed to be added.  All of the fixtures were "upgraded" to chrome (included in the price of the home) so we don't have to deal with a ton of brass thank goodness. Carpeting throughout most and vinyl in areas such as kitchen and bathrooms.  These are things I look forward to replacing on our own, in our own time and using what we like. When looking at the builder's options they were limited and quite expensive.  Why pay $2500 for flooring in one room for a low grade hardwood (and the nicer stuff was even more expensive)? Shawn and I could do it on our own for much less and be able to choose from tons of options.  Do we know how to do it? NOPE! We will figure it out though!  I think the only upgrade we are going to do though is the kitchen cabinets. Let's face it, builder grade cabinets are unattractive and date your kitchen from the start. Removing cabinets from walls is just not something we would be comfortable doing at this point so we will leave this one thing to the professionals and pay for the upgrade. All appliances that come with the home will be used or sold so that we can purchase what we want at an interest free rate and pay off within a year. No sense in tacking all of that on to our mortgage for then next 30 years and paying triple for something that will be replaced a few times within the 30 yrs.

Alas, the things we "need" are still quite expensive so we have gone over each item with a fine tooth comb and analyzed cost savings for diy items vs. having the builder do it when building the home. In this area having a walk out basement is something that carries great value.  Should we need to sell, this will be a bonus however, it comes at a great cost. 10K to be exact.  Whew! That one hurt! Next we have my dream porch which cost much more than the walkout basement.  Trust me we weighed this one heavily but in the end we didn't feel it was an option for many reasons.  So we have narrowed it down to the bare essentials and are happy with what we have chosen. Again, with having only one income the list must be short.

Now we wait 5-6 months for our home to be finished and believe me I will be planning each and every room! I already have several of the rooms planned out! I  already bought my very first GOOD piece of furniture and it is solid wood! A beautiful buffet that was in this gentleman's family for over 40 yrs as he told me and it is in wonderful shape. A little sanding and some paint and this baby is going to shine! I have wanted one of these for years and the price was always in the 500-600 range for a used one.  Would you guess I paid $60 for this one? I am just giddy about it!  I can't wait to post before and after pictures of it for you all to see!  We don't need much for the new house as our furniture all works well and looks great.  Just a few pieces here and there for certain areas of the home and we will be set.

The hardest part for me is being patient! Being patient with the building process is ok but being patient with getting everything just how I want it is another story! There is going to be so much to get done! The fence, the deck, patio, painting, closet storage, landscaping, floors, tiling, back splash...the list goes on and on! I want it all done now! Ha! If only money wasn't an option.  We would still do it all ourselves but at least we could get it all done right away.

That's all we have for now.  For those of you that cared to read through this, we appreciate it.  We know you are happy for us.  There are those that we thought were close to us that seem not to care for whatever reason and that is fine. Yes, we notice these things. It hurts but what can you do. We shall move on with those who love us and are genuinely excited for us. The meaning of "Family" is something that seems to be changing for us and we are ok with it. Being a military family can have that effect.  We raise our glasses to those of you who have called us with excitement, sent messages or come over to celebrate! We appreciate you!

Finally, here is a picture of what our new home will look like! This is a model so there will be garage doors there instead of the white double doors which are being used as an office. The basement will be fully finished but you can only see that level from the back of the house.

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