House Hunting Adventures

So if you caught my last post, you know that Justin and I are going to buy a house!

Omg so exciting, I know, guys I basically haven't slept a wink since we started this house buying adventure cause it's just too much to take in.

But I digress, so anyway last post I talked about our wants vs our needs and all that good stuff. Since then, we've been pre-approved that way we can make an offer right when we spot a keeper. Also, we've decided to keep it in a specific zip code (because we live here now & love it) so location is basically locked down. This narrows down the hunt & that helps us to stay focused on what we're looking for.

We've seen about 6 houses so far, but the first 3 we looked at were night showings so I didn't grab any pics (bad blogger, I know). I only took pictures of day 2 house hunting so without further ado, here's the houses we've seen so far!

House #1-

Cute house, pretty standard looking for the subdivisions here in Florida. I love the brick accents.

Here's a shot of the living room which is directly down the hall from the front door. You can't tell in this picture really but it was quite small, with no real defined area. I wasn't a fan.
Those sliding glass doors lead to the sunroom, but we'll come back to that. First, let's check out the kitchen...

Super odd shape. The living room is just on the other side of that pass through above the sink, and this island area curves inward so it's really narrow between it and the fridge area. I wish I grabbed a better picture to show you but at this point I just really wasn't ~feeling~ this house's vibe.

Off of the living room, behind that slightly ajar door is the master bedroom. 


This shot was from the back of the master facing back towards the living/kitchen area. There was also the master bath which was probably the high point of this house.

I liked the river stone details but the tile wasn't my thang. Anyway let's go back to that sunroom are now.



Loved it! If you remember from our wants/needs list an outdoor space was a big want and this house definitely has that. I love how the sunroom opens up onto a patio, and the little fenced in dog kennel would be great for us with both our puppies. One problem we have now is not being able to let the dogs just hang out in the back cause they run along the fence ruining the grass. It's a habit we just can't break (partly cause the neighbor's dog encourages them). If we had a kennel like this we would be able to let them just hang back there.

Verdict: not for us

It's a cute house for our price range, and some features are nice like the backyard. But it's very close to its neighbors, I hate the tile, and I hate the layout which is something you just can't change. I didn't even include pictures of the other 2 bedrooms cause they were tiny. Justin definitely liked it way more than me, but it's still a pass.

House #2- 


Potential. That's the one word I'd use to describe this house. It was literally one house down from House 1, and this neighborhood is the bombbbbbb.


Also, shagadelic. That's the other word I'd use to describe this place, as in, "this carpet is so shagadelic baby." 

So from the entrance there's stairs leading to the loft space, a bathroom, and two guest rooms that are down the hallway to your left. To the right of the entrance you can see the living room, tiled dining room beyond that, and immediately to the dining room's left is the kitchen. The master is also on the first floor past the kitchen. 



That wall in the kitchen with the two doors is the pantry and it was a huge point of contention between Justin and I. He absolutely hated it and was all "why would anyone put this giant door in the middle of the kitchen?" Which I totally get, it's dumb especially because when you open the doors it blocks everything. However, it wasn't a deal breaker for me just a wall that needs to be knocked down.

Let's go upstairs though, here's a better view of the entrance from the top of the stairs. The door to the right of the front leads to the garage.



My loft area. Swoon. I loved this space, it would be my office/library area and I would spend all my days here.

Here's the living room looking down from the loft. That giant window was another point of contention. Obviously it's not my favorite. I don't know why people here in FL insist on awkward window shapes, but again it definitely wasn't a deal breaker for me. Jus hated it. Also, please squint your eyes & look away from the dirt of the ceiling fan. I have no idea why I felt the need to capture it for y'all.


Lastly, here's the outside. Not great, not terrible. It had my concrete slab so I was good, and it was big enough not to be on top of the neighbors.



Verdict: for me, but definitely not for Justin (still holding out hope though)

I absolutely LOVE this house, but sadly my husband just didn't. He hated the window, the floors, the kitchen wall (he positively loathed that wall). 

I loved the layout, the location, the loft. I loved the potential, I loved how giant the bedrooms were and the fact that EACH ONE HAD THEIR OWN WALK IN CLOSET. Yes, you read that correctly. Every single room had their own giant walk in. I also loved that it had been sitting on the market for over 100 days so a lowball offer would have been permissible. Plus it was already far under our max budget, in a great neighborhood meaning we could build equity rather quickly with some updates.

However, ya just can't buy a house that you both don't agree on. Justin does have a point too, we have no clue how easy it'd be to tear down that wall or if it's load bearing or not. And his major concern is that he's going to be going on deployments fairly soon and rather busy even when he's home, so putting in all new floors plus other work is not something he wants to do. 

C'est la vie, on to the final house of this tour!

House #3- 


I tried to narrow down the pictures but it was hard, there's a lot to see. So, I'll try to keep my quips to a minimum this time.


Source: Zillow

Immediately to the left, is this cute little room. I think it's supposed to be a formal living or dining room but it would probably end up being my office. I love the plantation shutters, doors, and mouldings.

Source: Zillow

The office then connects to the kitchen...

Source: Zillow



It also has this breakfast nook space that would be our main dining area. I really dislike the recessed window but just because it's an odd shape and not low enough to the ground to make a window seat. So it's a bit awk.

Source: Zillow 

Now back down the hallway, we have the living room.



~look back at it~
Over this way is a hall bathroom with the guest bedrooms on either side.


Opposite that, on the other side of the living room is the master. And boyyyy is it big. My photography skills don't really showcase it's grandeur but just trust me, it's like a super elegant, kinda mean french lady or something. Nobody is gonna understand that metaphor but that's okay.


And lemme just show you the best part:


ALL. THE. CLOSET. SPACE. yaaaaaaaaaas, mine mine mine.

Oh and the master bath is pretty huge too, but again my photography skills are lacking here.



Lastly, the backyard. 



It definitely needs work. There's a lot of scary, man-eating brush that needs to be taken down. It looks like the fence could use a good power wash & repair. And, for me to enjoy it, there has definitely gotta be some kinda deck/patio built. But it's a good size, fenced in for the dogs, and has potential.

Verdict: definite possibility

We both really liked this house. It's a foreclosure but owned by a smaller, local credit union so they've done a good job fixing it up & according to our realtors are very nice people to work with. I didn't like how the kitchen is closed off to the rest of the house, and there wasn't much natural light. Beside that I loved the layout of the bedrooms, my office, the floors, and the neighborhood is great. It's not even on the market right now, but our realtors have ~connections~ which is why we got to see it. So, if we really like it putting in an offer now before it goes on the market would be best.

Ugh decisions, decisions. Should we put an offer in & swipe it up or wait to see if anything better comes along? Which do you guys like best? 

I'll be back with updates as we get them! Hopefully soon! As always thanks for reading, especially when the post is long enough to be considered an epic saga ;)

My Big Fat Great Announcement!

HEY GUYS! No time for catch up quite yet because we have some BIG news!

Can you guess what it is?

Can ya?

No? Okay, well...

WE'RE BUYING A HOUSE!


I'm so excited, literally jumping up and down as I write this.

Before we delve into all the deets about house hunting, how are you guys?!? It has been foreeeeeeever since I've checked in. I could make a million excuses as to why I gave up on the blog after only about .3 seconds but basically it all boils down to the fact school started again for me.

Lemme just say, the first semester back after taking a whole year off is r o u g h.

I got through; now spring semester is already here and I'm still busy as ever. But honestly who isn't? I really just wanted to document this whole house buying process cause ummm yeah it's not everyday you get to go HOUSE SHOPPING. Seriously, biggest, scariest, most exciting & expensive thing I'll ever purchase. 

Until of course Jus and I make it big and buy our own private island or jet plane or whateve. But right now it's a house, that's the biggest thing ever and I wanted to share it with y'all!

(and by y'all, I clearly mean my fam & like 2 friends back home who might actually read this)

So, without further ado let's talk house hunting. Have you ever been through anything more stressful?? Me either! It really takes soooo much pre-planning before you even step into a house, then you have to act with ninja quickness about the biggest decision of your life, then it's probably gonna take another month of you second guessing and worrying before the keys are yours.

Fun!

Justin and I have been in that planning stage for a while now. After talking about the benefits of renting vs. owning we decided about six months ago we wanted to buy. Obviously we had to wait a while though because our rental lease isn't up until April. So we've had plenty of time to research neighborhoods, price range, and realtors. Other great things you might do in this time is fix your credit, decrease your debt to income ratio, or save money! We didn't really have to worry about most of these because Jus has great credit, we have almost no debt, and we timed buying a house with tax return/reenlistment bonus :)

Enough boring talk though, the super fun stuff is actual house hunting and touring!! So first step to do that is making a list of needs vs wants. Here's ours:


*we're going to be using a VA loan for this house (cause it's awesome) and they have higher expectations for the house's condition. So ya gotta find that sweet spot between fixer upper and passable VA inspection

*our current backyard is sandy, with sand spikes which are terrible little barbs that stick to you and break off in your foot. They've been known to cause even the saltiest of grown men to weep uncontrollably. So the next house has to have some sort of livable space in the back. Nice grass, or the potential for nice grass or a deck/patio/concrete slab. Honestly my expectations aren't that high just something.

*I want a pool, Justin does NOT want to maintain a pool. Best compromise? An HOA with a community pool.

So with this list in mind, we started our search!! And boy did we find some winners, but this post is already way too long and I doubt most of you are even still here. If ya are, come check back in Saturday when I show you what houses we've seen/are considering!!

(Also, pleaseeee pardon the complete post with no pictures. I swear to the blogging gods I'll come back tomorrow and add some random cute ones of my puppies or something.)

Free Fall Printables For Your Home

Goooood lord it has been a while since I've posted!

But, hey! What's up? How are you guys!?

I feel a little guilty about not posting in a month, not that I really think people hang around just waiting to read my blog. But I left with so many empty promises! Promises of a gallery wall, fall printables, and a random tv console built by my amazing husband that I should have probably posted a tutorial of.

So I'm back to remedy some of those things! 

But first a bit of honesty: the reason I haven't posted in so long is that for one, school started. This is my first semester studying at University of North Florida (#swoop) and I totally LOVE it. The school's amazing, my classes are challenging but not overwhelming, and I'm really in love with everything. However, it's still college. I still have a ton of homework every day and field experiences to do when I'm not actually in class. So, the blog definitely got put on the back burner.

More so than just classes starting though, I just really haven't felt like decorating. No inspiration or motivation or anything has struck me. I haven't wanted to spray paint frames like I need to for the gallery wall. I haven't wanted to go thrifting. Really just nothing's been going on. 

Have you guys had this problem?

Part of the problem for me is that we don't own this house and we're not planning to renew our lease. So in about 6 months we're outta here, and I don't feel like wasting time, money, or energy on a house that we're not gonna be in for long. But that's silly because Justin's in the Navy and this is not gonna be our last temporary home, I just can't seem to find the motivation to decorate these temporary places.

The other problem is that we don't have a ton of friends down here so nobody really comes over. All the people who I love thrift shopping with or showing my new decor to are all back home in CT. Decorating or shopping for decor without them here just makes me homesick.

So anyway, it's hard to write a blog post about nothing (although I seem to be doing pretty well so far). It's even harder to post pretty pictures when your house isn't perfectly put together like every other big blogger's. But, I started this and I'm gonna keep it going because I think it's good for me. It's nice to have a place to get thoughts out, plus every time I think of deleting the blog some stranger comments on an old post with so much love that I just can't.

Thank you guys sooooo much for that!! I can't begin to explain how amazing it is when someone I've never met and don't know wishes me luck in our new marriage or just has such kind words for my projects. It melts my heart every. single. time.

And for all your wonderfulness I'm gonna wrap up this long-winded, random post with something useful:

FREE FALL PRINTABLES!! 


This is when you shout hoorayyyy! and not finallyyyyy, jeeze emily it's already October fall is basically over. Am I the only one who thinks that's how it feels in the blogosphere since everyone has their fall home tours done in like August now?? 

Anywhoooo, I posted this one on instagram oh just a measly 5 weeks ago but here it is along with the rest finally! Just follow the link, download, print & frame for perfect fall decorations!


I gave y'all plenty of options here so you can give thanks no matter your house's color scheme #priorities.





As always thank you so much for sticking with me on these long posts and being so understanding about this busy life, you guys are the best! 

I'll try to post more often or to at least have something interesting to post about when I do. I always always always read & respond to comments so let me know what y'all have been up to below!! Any other college students out there? Has life been crazy for y'all with kids going back to school?


DIY Wooden Sign Wall Art

Guys guess what?!

I made something. I did something, finally. Like something I'm actually excited to share with you all. 



You might have seen me post on Instagram about the making of a gallery wall....

Well...

I'd like to say "here it is, take a good long look! isn't it pretty?" But unfortunately I haven't been that productive. I did, however, make one little aspect of the gallery wall: a french script wooden sign!

The absolute best part of this project? It. was. fo' freeeeee (read that in Fat Amy's voice, please).