Friday, March 18, 2011

The Sycamore House

It was towards the end of January this year when Seth and I decided we should start looking for a house. Our apartment lease wasn't up until the end of July, but we figured we'd get a jump start on looking to see what was available and to give ourselves more opportunity to find a good deal. With all the short-sale homes on the market and the likelihood we'd end up with a fixer-upper, there was a good chance it'd be a while before anything serious happened.

We found an awesome realtor, Heather Higgs, who seemed as excited as we were about house hunting (seriously... she was AWESOME). We spent our evenings looking at homes on Utah Real Estate and planning outings to go look at the treasures we'd found. (By the way, Google Maps is the best tool ever for house hunting!)

Fairly early on we found a cute little house we deemed the "Sycamore House." It was a cute little house in a nice cul-de-sac here in Layton. It seemed to have all the things we were looking for: a semi-private yard, two car garage, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a large kitchen. And it had a huge Sycamore tree in the backyard. I have a small crush on Sycamore trees, so I was immediately enamored with the property. Especially because it was in the lower end of our price range!

For a couple days we mulled over what to do and eventually decided to put our first offer on a house. To our surprise the first bank accepted our offer within a week. And then the second one accepted it a couple weeks later with the stipulation that we had to close on it within a month. AHHH! This was definitely happening way faster than we ever thought it would!

The few weeks that followed were filled with discussions of paint colors and flooring options as well as trips to the hardware store & home shows to price all the different things we would surely need to fix the place up. We wanted to be ready to get to work once all the papers were signed. While the house wasn't a total disaster, it would definitely need a face-lift before moving time came.

And after what seemed like the longest month ever, we finally closed today! Woohoo! The Sycamore House is now ours and the adventure begins!

Which brings us to what you've all been waiting for: THE PICTURES! I wanted to capture the "before"  pictures of this house so you could all admire our handywork and excellent taste in tapestries when you see it finished. Actually, I'm begging you to admire it so I don't burst into tears about choosing the wrong color of taupe (you can tell your significant other/friends how much you hate it later).

The Sycamore House (BEFORE)

Back deck... they got a little carried away with the gazebos. There's also an above ground pool. Yippee.

 Living Room: The paint and floor aren't in as good of shape as they look.

Kitchen: The cabinets are disgusting. I don't think they've ever been cleaned...

 The counter by the fridge space is falling off the wall. And there's really not much cabinet space despite the large size of the kitchen.

The paint job in here pretty much sucks. All the white paint in the house could use another coat. And I hate this brown.

Family Room: There's some missing tiles on the fireplace hearth and the room definitely needs paint, carpet, and new window coverings.

Another view of the family room. See that old furnace? Yeah, it'll probably have to be replaced...

 Downstairs Bathroom: Lovely shade of blue, eh?

Downstairs Bedroom: This is a nice large room, but it definitely needs some paint, carpet, and blinds. Oh and probably a new ceiling tile or two.

Master Bedroom:  Needs some new carpet, paint, and some curtains!

 Master Bedroom: One small closet for the master bedroom, that's a problem!

Upstairs Bedroom/Office: It looks nice but the paint job sucks. As does the carpet.

Downstairs Bedroom #2: Yucky paint and carpet. And those curtains have got to go.

Downstairs Bedroom #2: I don't know why, but there are no closet doors in this whole house. (That flower is a nice touch though...)

Laundry Room: Very laundry roomy. I'll definitely be doing a spider check in here...

So there you have it. The new Hanson home! There are a few other things that may need to be fixed later such as the swamp cooler, garage doors, and aluminum windows, but it's not so bad.  Despite all of its many flaws, once we get done with it I think it will be great! We're really looking forward to all the extra space and LIGHT! We'll finally be able to have people over and not eat on t.v. trays! Woohoo!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Obsession with Trains and Trout Continues...

This winter has proved to be very busy. Ok mainly just the last month or so. I'm not going to get into details yet, but a house hunting endeavor has been sucking up all my time. I realized how bad it was when I went to write the February book reviews post and realized I'd only finished one book. Sad. And my computer is on the fritz. And then somebody stole Sexyterra's license plate. It's been a mess. Which is why this weekend was so great.

For the first time this winter I actually got in some fly fishing. Yes, I went ice fishing several times, but it's just not the same. This weekend I got to put on my waders TWICE. And I even caught a few browns. Man I've missed those little guys (who may or may not have inspired some decorating ideas...).  Plus, have I told you how beautiful it is up on the Weber River? What? I have? A million times you say? Ok I know. I'm obsessed. But look at this... how could I not be?

Posted up at a good spot and caught these guys all day!

Seth fishing on the bridge as a train passes.

I don't think anyone could be more handsome holding a fish. It's unpossible. (Heidi, I stole your word!)

Ok fine I'll stop. Even though you're probably begging for more because I've left you high and dry for so long. It's not my fault. But I promise there is more to come. Some time. Not really sure when, but hopefully soon. Who am I kidding... the craziness is only just beginning...