moving update

April 28, 2018 | Comments Off

We moved to Pennsylvania in February 2017, so we’ve been here just over a year. It was late October/early November 2016 when Mark said that we could finally start looking for a one-story the following summer. Well, I, of course, got excited and started looking for houses right away so I could see what was out there in our budget. We weren’t even sure at first if we wanted to stay in NJ or cross the bridge into PA, but we definitely wanted to be closer to Mark’s job. We decided to go to Pennsylvania pretty quickly, but I forget exactly why; I think maybe it was a tax issue. Anyway, we almost bought the first house we looked at. It was right near a train station, and it had a pool. There wasn’t a lot of closet space or a garage, so storage was a concern. Adding crown molding and redoing the fireplace were things that would have eventually needed done. The deciding factor to pass on it entirely came when we found out that we couldn’t add a screened-in porch off of the kitchen, and that was the only possible place to do so. The permit wouldn’t have been granted, so we asked the realtor for more houses to look at. There were only two on that extensive list that looked as nice as we wanted. We narrowed it down to one and had a look two days after we got the listing. After that, we got the house pretty quickly because they wanted someone who didn’t have any contingencies, and that was us!

The only things this house needed were for it to be painted and the bathrooms to be updated. It has tons of storage (so much so that I thought we’d never fill it all, but somehow we did, even after purging), crown molding, a nice fireplace, and a sunroom with a brick wall and heated floors. Also, there are two train stations within walking distance. In hindsight, I wish I had been around for more of the bathroom design. I would have made the shower bench shorter and the entire shower itself shorter too; if I get any fatter, I will be unable to squeeze in towards the sink and toilet. And, in the second bathroom, I am not sure I should have put tile on the walls; I could have left them bare or maybe put up some wainscoting. I didn’t know about the limited space in the first bathroom until I saw it basically finished. I only came up here on the day we saw it, on the day we had inspectors and contractors over, on the day of the final walk-thru, and the day I thought we were moving in. It turned out the contractor needed another two days before we could really move in. That sucked because everything at the old house was packed, and we had the internet shut off on the day we thought we were leaving. Speaking of the contractor, he was pretty awesome in that he opened up allllll my packages that I had bought and shipped here. He’d take pictures and/or tell me if it was what I expected and so on. My pedestal sink came without the base, and a few other things came broken, so his doing that was a great help. We had an insane issue with the black vanity needed for the second bathroom. Every single one we would order would end up not being in stock after the fact. Over and over, someone would realize that they didn’t have any left on shipment day. It got down to the wire because of all the cancellations, and the contractor needed it by a certain date. The ones I really wanted weren’t even going to be in stock until two to three months after we were all moved in. So, yeah, that was super frustrating. What was cute was when he’d open certain packages, take a picture, and ask what it was. Hahah. For example, I had ordered a grey pouf and had to explain that it was a “nothing” and would simply just sit on a rug or someplace.

I’m pretty proud that I decorated this entire house from my bed due to my chronic pain, minus a maximum of three shopping trips. During those quick trips, we picked out the living room, dining room, and master bedroom furniture at one store, and we also shopped for odds and ends at bed, bath, and beyond, target, the christmas tree shop, and home goods. I definitely think that I did a fucking great job picking out most of this stuff online. Sure, there were a couple of things that didn’t quite fit size-wise, but it wasn’t a major catastrophe. The one thing I definitely do regret has to do with my bedding. See, I found the cutest comforter online. It was very bright and reminded me of my friend’s apartment that was so colorful and had lots of vibrant pieces she brought back with her from a trip to India. Then I decided to paint my bedroom walls the same pretty purple color that was found in the comforter. After its first wash, though, it faded. I stupidly ordered a second one. After a cat puked on it, I washed it – and it faded as well. I went on a hunt for other comforters that would match my walls. Honestly, I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on trying to make a color match. I found a storage bench that went perfectly, so it was super frustrating to not find the right bedding. Trust me, I’ve spent hours searching and holding possible contenders up to my walls. I finally found one comforter that matched pretty closely even after a wash, but my cleaner accidentally got bleach on it. And, of course, it’s out of stock everywhere. I found something else that’s sort of close, and I’m reluctantly dealing with it. Ha. I suppose down the road I could go all white or all grey and try to do something with that. I don’t know. It’s truly been the bane of my existence! Another thing I like about the house is the yard. The flowers and plants that come up are gorgeous, but paying for the maintenance (weeding/mulching) is super expensive. At some point the railings need painted, and I’d like to paint the fence white too. There have been just two previous owners, and the last couple were wealthy and put a lot into the house (two additions) and the yard. This year I’m taking pictures as things bloom, and I’ll post an album at the end of the year.

We are renting out our last house, and that’s a nice supplemental income to have. The tenants have been decent, thankfully; I’ve heard some scary stories! The first ones were a dentist and a blogger, and they stayed for a year. The newest ones, a grandmom and her granddaughters/foster kids, look like they may want to stay for a couple of years. So there’s that. We are about forty-five minutes away from that house, so Mark can go there easily when need be.

And there are a few new house fun facts. First, the house directly across the street has been vacant for over 25 years as its owner is in the CIA and just needs to have a residence listed. Second, Bill Cosby’s house is about a five minute walk from ours; I heard helicopters flying overhead the day his verdict came in. And, finally, we’ve been dealing with house construction – but not ours. The lot directly behind ours burned down a few years ago, and it’s currently being rebuilt. The weird thing is that this house is directly facing us. Most houses face out towards the road, but this one is looking right into our kitchen. I can’t wait until I don’t have to hear construction noises and builders screaming at each other,

Lastly, click here for house pictures! Since these were taken, my bedding has changed multiple times, we got a red outdoor umbrella for the patio table, and I replaced the table runner on the dining room table with one more my style (because lace? what was I thinking? ew. #notninety). This house was a looooong time coming!

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