I was chatting with a co-worker the other day about how we just got granite countertops installed over the weekend and how I was working on switching out all the plumbing fixtures at the same time. We started talking about the different view-points people have on buying homes - how some people look for move-in ready homes whereas others look for fixer-uppers - and I mentioned to him that we purchased our house because it was pretty much move in ready.We knew we needed some little things like window coverings and paint, but didn't expect any major changes.
It's funny how that all changes once you move in. We retiled the whole house - which involved ripping out old tile and laminate. We painted a number of the rooms and still have more to paint. We tore out the glass retainer on one of the showers in the master. We painted the whole outside of the house. We relayed sod out front. We installed a red-oak tree out front. We filled in planks on the fence to convert it back to a privacy fence (from a garden fence on one side) and restained the whole thing. We changed out almost all the lights (and fans), but still have a few left. We made a built-in, in-wall media cabinet, mounted the LCD, and started the rest of the home-theater. And the list keeps going!
The more I reflect on it though, these are all really cosmetic things. Laura watches a ton of HGTV, TLC, and other similar networks and on all those shows they always talk about making sure you love the layout and other "fixed" parts of the - not the paint on the walls, the carpet on the floor, or other cosmetic items. The floorplan of the house was somewhat a trade-off for both parties involved (Laura and I). I wanted a new, large, two-story home with large cielings. Laura wanted a more traditional home, with aged character, and was happy with one story.
We looked at a lot of homes with our first realtor, but never really clicked with her. After going out with our second realtor, the home we are in now was one of the first (if not the first) home we looked at. It has a great location - between both our offices, not too suburban but definitely not urban, good proximity to our friends, scenic canals, parks, aquatic center, etc. It's a two story with large open cielings, which I was interested in, but it's smaller than what I was looking for at 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. It really is a great layout though - with the master bedroom downstairs with a massive attached master bath suite. The floorplan fits our style perfectly and we've been adding our touches on everything to make it fit us just right!