laurapants: Craft, Cooking, Creativity

The House

Posted on January 27, 2018 by

I mentioned that we bought a house.

White house with steep shake roof and wide green lawn

We bought this monstrosity beauty two years ago this month. It all happened kind of quickly: In December, 2016, Sean determined that it was very likely interest rates were going to go up and that we should buy a house before that happened. We started looking, and ended up making an offer on the first house we saw. In late January, we signed our lives away, and by the end of February we were moving in.

It did turn out to be smart timing because, while we did spend probably more than we should have, housing prices have since skyrocketed in Sonoma County. Coastal California is a rough place for real estate. Everything is staggeringly overpriced, and after the fires we experienced here this past October, it has gotten even worse.

You may not be able to tell from the front, but this house is really big. It has four bedrooms, an office, a living room AND family room, a sunroom, and an enormous workshop. It’s on a third of an acre backing up to a creek, and there is a lot of stuff growing on that land. Like, A LOT of stuff.

Birds-eye view of an overgrown backyard with large raised beds and lots of trees

The family who owned the house previously lived here for 51 years. And hadn’t done any re-decorating for the last 30. The house is in good shape, but it needs attention in a few key areas: We need a new roof, and probably a new furnace in the next few years. Not to mention removal of the excessive wall paper, wood paneling, shag carpeting, 80s-era brown kitchen tile and appliances, silly putty-colored paint, horrendous curtains, terrible chandeliers, and, oh, did I mention wall paper. Oh, and we need to put some serious energy into maintaining and re-doing the landscaping in both the front and backyards.

We definitely bought off more than we could chew. To be honest, this house has kind of been dragging me down lately. It feels like we never have the time or money to make the improvements that we need and want to make, we argue about what those improvements should be, and we’re a little bit muddling through the basic house maintenance stuff that neither of us has much experience with, like cleaning gutters and replacing air filters and cleaning chimneys and and and and and.

Part of my reason for jump starting this little blog is to rediscover my motivation to work on the house. When we first moved in we made some good progress right away, and then fell into the doldrums and haven’t done much else since, other than attempt to keep entropy at bay.

I don’t want to overwhelm y’all and try to cover our whole house story between then and now, so I’m going to break this up a bit. But if you want to see the transformation (oh god, I hope) of a 1960s ranch with a 1980s interior into the cool, modern house of our dreams, stay tuned.

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