On Sunday, our ship came in.
In celebration, I bought:
1) Underwear. The state of anyone’s skivies really isn’t any else’s beeswax, but I just have to share, I’m so happy.
2) Dark Chocolate Low-Glycemic Coconut Milk Ice Cream. I’ve been jonesin for ice cream and the third store we tried this afternoon had my special ice cream. Persistence paid off. Mmm, mmm, mmmmmmm.
3) A house.
Seriously! We closed on the house today! We’re homeowners!
Here are some pics of the house, taken in March, with other people’s stuff in it:
Street view. The house was built in 1906. The construction is excellent – straight, tight roof; excellent foundation.
Inside the front porch. We think that this was a later addition, built circa 1920s.
The entry and stairs. The boot bench opens up for shoe storage. Yucky carpet on stairs.
The floors, as you see, are Southern Yellow Pine, though many of the floors have carpet over the wood. We prefer wood to (dreadful, hateful) carpet and will be having the (detestable, non-kid-friendly, non-potty-training-friendly) carpet removed and the floors refinished. Before we arrive on August 8th. Yep. Say a prayer and stop laughing at us.
Original wood columns and light sconces separating the living and dining rooms. That much of the wood in this house is in its original condition is super-awesome and super-rare.
Bay window in dining room. All the windows in the house appear to be original. Note the Redneck Repair for storm windows. We’re having new windows (or nice storms so as to keep the historic windows – we’re undecided) installed. Thank you, dear bank, for the money. No, really. Thank you.
Kitchen. That cupboard straight ahead is an original built-in. It’s huge. At the far right of the picture is the door to the walk-in pantry. (!) The molding by the fridge will be repaired soon. We’re also getting new appliances. What we are not getting are…
… new cabinets to replace the monument to the 1970s this kitchen has got going on. We’re not buying this house with Monopoly money, you know? I’m planning to paint them. And I’m sure we’ll figure out the countertop at some point – if I settle for standard whats-it-called, it’s not a terribly expensive replacement.
Notice – no dishwasher.
Notice – the need for an island or something.
Future plans, check.
The upstairs is where things begin to get interesting. The house was converted into a two-family home some years ago, and the previous owners were unable to completely convert it back. Upstairs, then, has the vestiges of a kitchen…
…in the back bedroom. Say goodbye to the cupboards and the linoleum. The hole in the wall is staying, though, because some people (My dad; The Professor.) think that any little boy would totally dig having his very own hole in the wall. I mean, it’s a hole!
Clearly I am not a boy.
The upstairs bathroom, being original to the house, does not accommodate a shower above its awesome clawfoot tub…
…which is fine for us (the downstairs bath has a shower), but was not fine when the house was a two-family residence. Someone brilliant (no doubt) thought the solution to this dilemma was to put a stand-alone shower stall…
…in the corner of the middle bedroom. Ghetto shower in the middle of a ghetto bedroom.
Toilet and sink and tub in bathroom… shower in bedroom.
(This was not the only house in Michigan with this stand-alone solution. One of the houses we looked at had a stand-alone toilet in an upstairs closet, and the sink on the landing of the stairs. Why? I don’t know.)
It probably goes without saying that the shower is going bye-bye. The floor underneath will be repaired and refinished with the rest of the floors in the house.
In addition to removing the shower, we’re having the chintzy paneling taken off the walls in the front and middle bedrooms and having the plaster underneath restored – that, or having dry wall put up.
View from the top of the stairs:
I love the stairs. Perhaps my favorite feature. As mentioned before, the carpet is going, going, gone. It’d be awesome to restore the stairs to the original wood, but I’m not crazy enough yet to remove all that paint by hand.
Stats on the house:
Main floor – living, dining, eat-in kitchen; one bedroom (future office), one 3/4 bath, entry, enclosed porch
Second floor – three bedrooms, one historic bath with historic claw foot tub and no shower, awesome stairs with awesome landing
Other – “Michigan” (half) basement with laundry, detached garage that’s barely standing in the back yard, small city lot just waiting for some gardening love.
Mortgage payment – lower than any rent payment we paid when living in Maryland. Hello, depressed Michigan housing market working in our favor.
We love our new home. Congratulations, us.