Well, it’s more of a ranch than a farm. 😉
Since my last post on this blog (exactly a year ago today), we moved back to Nevada and bought a house! Yay! I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me to be able to say that, so let me just say it again. We bought a house! We moved in July.
Not only that, but we bought a house on an acre of land with a big barn, corrals, a pump house (we have our own well), a potting shed, a dog run and a huge 4-car garage (that is now Mike’s shop). It’s so unreal. Sometimes I drive up to the house and it hits me again and I’m so happy!
We had been thinking of moving back for quite a while. Before moving to the SF Bay area for 2 years, we had lived in Northern Nevada for over 9 years. We didn’t think we would miss this area, but it turns out that every time we returned for a visit, it felt like we were returning home. Our 20 year-old son lives in Reno and we still have lots of friends in the Reno/Tahoe/Truckee area, so we visited a bunch. Plus, the cost of living in the SF Bay area was just unbelievable. We moved there because that’s where the work was, but there was no way we could ever (or would want to) buy a house there. We rented a small house with a great view, but I think our view now (of the beautiful Sierras) rivals the old bay view. The schools there were good, but the overcrowding was getting to be a real issue. The schools here are just as good and in some ways, better. I do miss my bay area friends though. They are moms I met through school or the neighborhood and my former co-workers. Luckily, I still chat with them on the phone, via email and on Facebook.
Anyway… we started the process of looking at houses (online) at the beginning of the year. We decided to go ahead with serious looking at the end of March. We spent the month of May driving up on weekends to look at houses. We looked at a lot of houses. Every one of them was a foreclosure. It wasn’t because we only wanted to look at foreclosures, but because that’s what there was. We did have some other houses on our to-see list, but they were short sales and those were taking 6-18 months to close and we did not have that kind of time.
The house we bought, was the last house we looked at. It had been on our list, but we hadn’t made it out to look at it. We only had so much time on the weekends to actually tour houses and this one kept getting moved down on our list. Why you ask? Well, we did most of our preliminary house research online. In the listing photos, the living room/kitchen area views made it look like a mobile home. The previous owners had removed the original walls and doorway that separated the living room from the kitchen/dining area. The end result makes those rooms more “open”, but it also makes it look more like a trailer. When we finally saw the house, we saw that the photos looked different then the real thing. We loved the house and immediately made an offer. We’re planning to put some character back into that area with a half-wall bookcase and wood trim separating those rooms. Something that fits with the original style of the house.
Our house is over 70 years old. It was a two bedroom, one bath house. The previous owners added on a big family room (with pellet stove), a large full bathroom, the huge garage, and 3 separate wood decks in 2005. The house has almost all of the original interior doors and hardware. We love the ball hinges and the crystal door knobs! We also uncovered the beautiful original hardwood floors when we tore out the carpet in the bedrooms, living room and hallway! We are planning to take out the very ugly blue sculpted carpet in the family room, when we have it in the budget to put in new flooring. Because it’s not original, the family room has only plywood sub-floor under that “taste specific” carpet! We want to take out all the tile in the kitchen, hallway and mudroom also. We’re pretty sure the original hardwood still runs under the tile. That’s on our long term plan.
The previous owners also remodeled the kitchen a few years ago. The oak cabinets are nice, at least the bones of the cabinets are. They’re pretty well made cabinets (for mass production), have good slides, slide-out shelves and a corner lazy susan. The doors aren’t our style, but we’re going to replace those (I happen to know an awesome craftsman). We’ve already discussed removing all of the cabinets and reworking them into a better layout. We can even reuse the solid surface counter tops. When the previous owners remodeled the kitchen, they closed up one of the entrances to the hallway. They closed it up and put the refrigerator in it’s place! According to our neighbor (who has lived in her house for 30 years), there used to be an archway into the hallway (like the one in the entrance to the master bedroom). We want to regain access to the bedrooms from the other side of the house and, hopefully, uncover the arch. We have tons of ideas and plan to stay in this house forever.
I’m so glad to be blogging again. I’ll be posting more soon. Thanks for reading this!