Sunday, September 1, 2013


Alright people. We have some news to share...:-D Can you guess what it is?

We're moving. There's a story here, and isn't there always?

Well, lets start off with the biggest news first, and then you can read on for the details, if you want them. We bought a house.

I'll give you a pic, and then you can read on for the crazy story...
This is the house - We'll call it the Willow house. We closed on this home this past Wednesday. It's 1900sq ft, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, on about a 1/2 acre, with a little lake/pond.

Story time - We've been house hunting for awhile now, like, about a year. That has added to our busy-ness, most definitely. I haven't posted anything about it, because there was nothing significant to tell. But it's been a long time coming. Brian has spent HOURS upon hours (like, hundreds of them) looking at foreclosures, auctions and short sales online. We've gone to see tons of houses in person, and we've put offers on probably about 12 of them. Nothing has worked out until now - let me just say, doing all of this is like a full time job. It's very time consuming, and kinda hard too - mining out the gems (great area, great school districts, valued higher than sale cost + repairs/improvements). Brian has basically turned pro in this department - he can find the deals and the not-deals. He knows the costs and time tables of repairs. He knows what is important and not, etc. He's learned a lot through this process, and has mined out some optimal homes! (Some of which we adored and are bummed out that they didn't work out:-) Our real estate agent, and friend, Cathy is amazing, truly she is. We found her by accident, online, when we were house hunting for our Hugo house nine years ago. And she was one of the best things that's ever happened to us! She is wonderful all around, and extremely knowledgeable. You won't get a bad deal with her in charge. So we not only have a great agent, but a great friend. Together, they make a great team, Cathy & Brian - house hunters extraordinaire:-)
A joke, and a congratulatory gift for closing on the Willow house - during the closing process, Brian's last name was mistaken for Darla by the lawyer, and so they had a document sent over to us for Mr. Brian Darla, starting out Dear Mr. Darla. haha!!

So how is this feasible and why are we doing it? Well, you know we couldn't afford to buy another house on our own - but Brian has been offered the opportunity to buy an undervalued home, and fix it up, from an investor. Any profits from eventual sale of home will be split between investor (for supplying the money up-front), and Brian (for doing all the work involved). That's the why & how - we're doing it to make some money, someday, {this is the goal}.

The crazy side-story that isn't over yet -
This is house number #2 - We'll call it the Unser house. We are in the process of negotiating on this house. It's 2100sq ft, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and has a detached double car garage with a full 2nd story above it
We were only intending to do one house at a time, not two - but both were great deals and came about in very unique ways, we were scheduled to close on Unser house on Sept 17th (pending home inspections etc)...and honestly the inspections didn't go as well as we'd hoped. Everything is fixable...but it necessitates us lowering our offering price, and so we'll have to see if the bank will accept that, based on the findings of the inspections. (This is a foreclosure). So, there is a very real chance that we won't get this house at all - we'll have to keep you posted!

There are a lot of moving parts, and different scenarios at play here, depending on if we get both homes, or just the Willow one.

So moving forward - we're keeping our Hugo (current) house, and will continue to rent out the upper floor, and will now rent out the main floor also. And we still have our other cute little rental, we'll call that one Nott, so we can keep it all straight, hah! Although I will miss Hugo house greatly (more on this in another post), moving affords us the chance for - a little extra space (Hugo main floor is about 1100sq ft, 3 bdrms, 1 bath), income from the rental while we fix up both Unser and Willow, and it puts us quite close to our church, which is something we desired also. Yes, we're moving to Chesapeake!!

The plans: there is nothing "wrong" with Willow house, it is not current or modern (pink wallpaper, some wood paneling in rooms, etc), but in fine shape generally. It is a perfect rental, and so we will rent it out for now.

Unser house...aka the Crap House. It will need more attention and work, right off the bat. We will live in this one. We call it the crap house, as there is literally poop on the carpet! I don't think I've ever seen carpet so nasty, and trust me, it'll be gone before we move in!

(If we don't get Unser, then we move into Willow)

Hugo house - we will finish up the kitchen remodel and a few other things, and we'll rent it out also - that will leave us living in 1 house while managing either 3 or 4 rentals (Hugo house, Hugo apt, Nott & Willow being the 4th if that works out).
Like we don't have anything else to do, har har.

I should probably learn how to use power tools. Then I'd be more helpful all around:-) I will continue to watch Sonny & May everyday, but will no longer watch Ardyn & new baby Alice...because the move takes us out of the way, convenience wise, to care for them.

Stay tuned for updates under the Renovations label. Whenever we make something prettier, I'll post before & afters!

And I know you're dying for the pics! I will label them Willow or Unser, so you can keep it straight. Twin houses are confusing, I know:-) Remember, Unser is not yet a done deal, but Willow is already officially ours - and we've already moved some boxes in!

Willow House - The little lake (I might peronsally consider it more of a pond, although it's touted as a lake), makes for a very scenic and serene back yard. Apparently, there's fishing!

Willow House - My hairy hooligans

Willow House - Kitchen

Willow House - living room, and dining room behind that

Willow house - den or family room

Willow house - screened in porch
Unser house - the "barn". It's a double garage, with a full 2nd story above it. This is perfect for a workshop, which will be very much needed, given all the work we'll be doing on houses!

Unser house - aka, the Crap House. It doesn't look too bad in the pics, but it's bad. Absolutely not habitable in it's current state. There will be a bit of demo going on  immediately, if close on this house.

Unser house - Other side of kitchen

Unser House - This is the "finished garage" you can see the big window from the front of the house

Unser house - a very big backyard! and fully fenced!

Unser house - living room and the dining room behind that. Interestingly enough, outside of Unser being a little bit larger than Willow - they have IDENTICAL layouts to them. It's kinda funny!

One of the bedrooms. That is mold on the wall, yes. The inspections show that once the drywall is torn out and replaced, mold issue will be resolved. It is not pervasive/under the house etc, just on the surface in this room.
So, we'll update once we know more about Unser house, and pray for our sanity as we work through all the craziness that is dealing with lots of houses, decisions, fixes, repairs, etc!


  1. Oh wow! How fun for you guys! We'll miss having you so close though :(

  2. Wow! That's great! You're going to be really busy for awhile but it will be awesome when it's all finished!!