Be It Ever So Humble…

…We’ve Finally Got a Home.

I’ve been feeling a bit too overwhelmed to create blog posts lately and have just been updating Facebook. Then I realized that not all of the people who read this blog are also on Facebook, so to update you:

We bought a house. It’s more or less right across the street from the kids’ school. It’s a tri-level, with 4 but technically 5 bedrooms (one room doesn’t have a closet and has a door to the backyard, but we’re going to use it as a bedroom). The yard has an ancient sandbox that needs some rehab work, and a mature apple tree that has lovely little sweet apples.

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By far the most unusual feature of the house is the finished crawl space in the lower level, which we refer to as the “play cave”. The previous owners had finished it with drywall and carpet for their kids to play there. We hope to do the same, but we’ll have to do some work down there first. Last weekend, when we got the keys, we found a wet area down there, around the furnace. We think that rain got in through an exterior vent that was pointed upward when the previous owners replaced the furnace for us. Anyway, we’re concerned about mildew and might need to rip out the carpet. And we’d like to put in a real wall and door under there to block off the furnace from the kids’ space.

The other lovely homeowning adventure we’ve already experienced was with the hot water heater. It sits in the downstairs bathroom in a little curtained recess in the wall beside the clothes washer and dryer. Yesterday we had the gas company come out to turn the gas back on, for the furnace and the hot water. Turns out the water heater violated city code in not being sufficiently separated from the living space, and the chimney that had been shared by the water heater and furnace was no longer up to code with the new furnace! At one point we had the city inspector and the furnace installer there; then a bit later we had two water heater installers plus an electrician to install a new electric water heater; earlier in the day we had two delivery men bring the washer and dryer! So it was a very expensive, Grand Central Station day at the Anthrohaus. We were also informed by the inspector that the water softener was cracked, so we’ll be buying one of those pretty soon too (we have incredibly hard water: Anthropapa told me that the existing water heater, which we think is only about 4 years old, literally had rocks in the bottom!).

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We took advantage of the $8,000 tax credit (or will, when we get the money) to either pay off credit cards or pay off the appliances we had to buy. I’m excited to think that by next year our finances will be much more positive and under control, even as we take on this larger debt. We can add value to the home, as the kitchen needs refinishing and the yards need work. We’re also excited by the neighborhood, which is quiet and has tons of kids. I am sad to report, however, that the neighborhood has CC&Rs that prohibit backyard chickens!

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18 Comments

Filed under Family, Homemaking, life

18 responses to “Be It Ever So Humble…

  1. Congrats! It’s so hard finding those unexpected blips, isn’t it?

  2. Oh the joys of home ownership. Blessings on your new home.

  3. Kurt Werle

    Make friends with your neighbors and see if you can get an exception for the chickens. It’s worth a shot.

  4. Welcome to your new home! Hope it brings you happiness though, sadly, no chickens.

  5. Congratulations on the new house! That’s very exciting.

  6. Lisa Zahn

    Congratulations on the new home! I hope you don’t have any more surprises to repair! Your furnace installer should certainly have known the water heater vent would no longer be up to code when he installed the furnace. When we had our new furnace installed, they put in a new vent for the furnace (out the wall, ugly!) and left only the water heater to vent up the chimney. That’s MN code anyway.

  7. Congratulations – sounds like oodles of wonderful space – and all yours! Am very happy and excited for you. Love the idea of the playspace – how much headroom is there?

  8. Congrats, that sounds great (despite having to update the water heater and the like — there’s always something). Who is lucky enough to get a bedroom with a door to the backyard?! I’d have loved that as a kid.

  9. Eve

    I guess you’ll just have to keep those chickens in the front yard! Congratulations again.

  10. Congratulations on your new home. Too bad you got such an instant introduction to the joys of home ownership! We just had to replace our freezer not that long ago; fortunately we have never had our hot water heater leak or anything like that. Still, there is always something calling for attention.

    Getting your financial lives on an even keel must be great. I know it sure gave us some peace of mind when the economy tanked to know that we were essentially debt free.

  11. Nana

    no, no, no! your house was inspected to determine if there were any repairs needed! Under HUD guidelines for FHA insured loans, you should not have had to pay for any repairs which the inspection failed to note. as I recall there was some sort of gizmo which had been installed pointing the wrong way and should have been an item which the sellers paid to correct. it is in one of the photos you sent me. anyway, you need to contact HUD about any repairs you paid for for any items which were not up to code… i am sending you some Nana MOJO so you can get a refund from HUD.

  12. Congratulations on the new home. Just keep telling yourself, “It is worth it!” It really is. There is a feeling like none other in knowing that this space is really yours.
    I enjoyed reading your blog, nice to meet you.
    Kat

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