I suppose I should probably talk about how Nathaniel and I came to be homeowners before I jump into these pictures about how we’ve changed the place in the first few months we’ve been here. It wasn’t necessarily part of the plan (we had just – August 1 – signed a one-year lease at our adorable little house in SW Portland); we sort of just kept taking the next step to see what would happen – and two months after we first saw the house we were moving into it!
Because I am me and I have notes about almost everything, I can say that we first went to walk around the house on November 5. We walked the trail through the park behind the house and fell in love with the area, so I got in touch through Zillow a few days later. On the 12th, we got to see the inside and didn’t think too much of it (we had never really looked at a house with the intention of making an offer before; in fact, we had only toured the inside of four or five homes for sale in the Portland area), but the realtor said we could begin the pre-approval process that day. We were like, “Sure! That’ll be a fun experiment!” Aaand then we got a call that night letting us know we were pre-approved. That was a huge surprise! But now that I know more about the process, I kind of understand that that pre-approval didn’t really mean much. It was definitely encouraging, though.
On the 25th, with both sets of our parents in town for Thanksgiving, we looked at the inside of the house again and walked around the neighborhood. The next day, I got an email from Zillow saying the house had been listed as a rental. This wasn’t a huge surprise as the house had been on the market for a couple of months and it had been a rental for at least the past few years. But two days later, we learned that the house already had a tenant! We made an offer that night (the 28th). The next day, the owners countered with 15 above our offer – 5 above their asking price. Apparently, renting the home was better cash flow for them. We came back with our highest offer (up 10) and it was accepted!
We had an inspection on December 1. Three big things came up but they definitely weren’t deal-breakers – it was the fact that the house was in complete disarray that totally threw us off. Not only had the tenants already moved in, it looked like they were in the process of moving out. We were so disappointed and felt so bad for the family that we could only imagine was now displaced after having just moved in – and around Christmastime.
The next three weeks were a lot of appointments about mortgage options and insurance (the house is in a flood plain so we needed flood insurance), and vacating our rental. In the end, we lost our entire (huge) security deposit on the rental – but so much of it had nothing to do with breaking our lease. That’s a whole other story that I’m just glad is behind us. On December 29, we signed all the documents, and officially closed on the house on January 2. We got the keys in the evening and pretty much immediately went to work (mostly ripping vinyl decals off the walls and peeling up so many layers of shelf-liner all over the house).
I have to acknowledge that we were so, so fortunate to have financial support from both our families – and to have Nat’s parents come out to help us paint and move! None of this would have been possible without their help. The four of us painted every single wall and ceiling (closets included) – white (you can see we had walls that were dark purple/black, bright red, bright orange, lime green, pink, and yellow). And now you can see the before-and-after: bedrooms and main bathroom edition! The “before” photos were taken right before Christmas and the “after” photos were taken on April 19, so we’ve actually made a few more changes in the six weeks since then.
“Master” bedroom – all of the bedrooms are pretty small (I like that!).
Guest bedroom – we’ve had guests twice already and it checks out ☺️
Office – Nathaniel built shelves for my At Rest pieces in the closet and it worked out so well. I sold the huge flat file I had just bought! It was too big.
Bathroom – this is the one we use every day. There are a lot of ~renovations~ we’d like to do in here, but we have THE REST OF OUR LIVES to do it!!
Pictures from the rest of the house coming soon.