Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"befores" - jes

I must say, the six months I spent sanding, scraping, priming, and sweating for Artisan Painting, Inc. has already paid off. Known as "Sandy" by the crew, working for my Dad was a really good way for me to motivate myself into graduate school. Still I love that when I'm painting, I know what I'm doing. I'm not all the way through, but I've got colors up on the walls of two rooms and it make the house feel like our house. The white walls weren't ours, but the blue, green, and yellow ones are.

I'm glad I'm on the way to being a teacher, but there is something I truly love about cutting in a ceiling, picking out paint, using a roller, patching up holes left by three inch long nails that the previous occupants used twenty at a time to nail ratty blankets to the window sills throughout the entire house. (I'm collecting all the hardware to remember those holes by). It's meditative. I can listen to NPR and the hours fly past.

Seeing the white walls taken over by creamy yellows, soft blues, and bright greens is so exciting. I got a whole room done before Marshall brought me lunch. Plus he loves the colors so far. I'm in charge of all things painting in our home. Marshall truly doesn't like painting, which is perfectly fine with me, because there's no way I'm getting any where near a law mower and that's a year-round thing. Once we get electricity on, I'll post after pictures.

fire, water, and air - jes

To start with, I finally remembered to take a picture of the front of my adorable little fixer-upper. The garage has been converted into a huge living area with an awesome wood-burning fire place. I love the red brick. There are two blue bricks to the left when you walk into the house. Those are thanks for elementary aged Marshall and little sister Annie, who decided that if they only painted one each, they wouldn't get in trouble.

I cannot wait to fill all of the flower beds with plants, and to get some more grass growing in the empty spots. The neighborhood is nice. Humble, cute little homes that for the most part are well-kept. The neighbors are glad we're fixing things up. Renters just don't have the motivation (which I can attest to, since until now I've been there) to fix things up when they know it's only temporary.

Before things can be fixed up though, you really need to have gas, water, and electricity.

Okay, I never just imagined that utilities happened by magic, but I've never in my life moved into a place that didn't already have those things turned on. When the pilot lights are lit, the disposal is running, and the toilet can flush, then it starts to feel like a house. We got our gas on yesterday. I had to be home from 8-5 (and possibly after five because that's how O.N.G. works. I was there, with just Rocket, without my car because Marshall needed to bring me lunch, without my phone because I forgot to plug it in, with the possibility of being there for ten hours.

Fortunately the O.N.G. man showed up early.
"They just don't put any wood on matches any more."
"Well ya'll must be the only guys who use em."
"That's the truth, we hafta try and get em in bulk."

And poof! We have hot water.

I just never really thought about the magic utilities that come from the city and make our house livable. I cannot wait to actually see the bathroom with the lights on (so I can clean the heck out of it and take a bath). Keeping my fingers crossed that the electricity pops on today. And maybe that there aren't too many thunderstorms.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

$$$ - The Stress of it ALL - bre

It is one thing after another. Owning a home is one of the number one stressors of people today…people told me this before we bought the house. I believed them, but of course I was still living in a somewhat idealistic it won’t happen to me world.
Money stress #1
 When we first started looking for a house we were looking under the pretense that we would have the down payment covered by down payment assistance programs. After two months of looking, we found our house! We worked with our realtor to put in an offer. The offer was in negotiations when we started communicating with our loan officer again about the logistics of things. It was at that point that our loan officer discovered a very important mistake she made: we didn’t qualify for down payment assistance. It was a simple phone call for her to figure out her mistake; a phone call she could have made 2 months earlier and saved us the trouble of looking for a home we no longer could afford.
Luckily, God had other plans. We ended up scraping together a down payment, which lowered our potential interest rate. This ended up being a HUGE blessing. Not to mention, we left our loan officer for a better, more professional company.
Money Stress #2
Lowes trip, after Lowes trip Matt and I are realizing how much money we are spending on getting the house looking the way we want before we will be comfortable in it. From tools, to paint supplies to area rugs, Lowes has received a LOT of business from the Oberdicks.
Money Stress #3
Appliances and furniture!! The previous owners left us their refrigerator! However, we do not have a washer or dryer. Before we moved in to the house Matt and I looked at every appliance store (used and new) in the Tulsa area. Washers and Dryers are just too dang expensive!! After many hours of searching, Matt and I have been blessed with not one, but two sets of free appliances. We will have these two washers and two dryers this weekend.  Hopefully one works for us, and we can bless Jes and Marshal with the others!
Hopefully money stress ends with #3

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

step 1: taming the wilderness - jes

We had a lot of work to do this weekend. Thankfully it was a beautiful Oklahoma spring weekend. Despite the hurricane strength winds on Sunday. One thing to do was cut up a tree's worth of fire wood after we'd hauled the rest of the tree off.

I also constructed my first compost pile ever. The neighbors are turning out to be extremely helpful, and one of them helped me cut the posts for the project. He even cut angles on the ends of the wood to make hammering them into the ground easier. I'm glad we're getting some use out of a few of the leaves that hadn't been raked in seven years.

It may be a bit premature, but we grabbed a few plants at Lowe's and I stuck them in the small flower bed in the front of the house. I wanted to see some color there, and I'm glad I planted them. Can't wait to start work on the inside of the house.

How it came to be - bre

I have wanted to move into a house for a while now. Apartment living is not bad, don’t get me wrong; it’s actually quite nice to not have to maintain a yard, as well as have your air vents changed for you! I think it was this Christmas time when I was really ready to be in a home, not an apartment. I wanted a house to put lights on, and my own snowy yard. NOT TO MENTION a driveway that I can shovel, JUST FOR ME; not shoveling 6 parking spots for my greedy neighbors to take. 

I am a teacher, and Matt is a youth pastor…needless to say we don’t have a ton of money. The only way we were going to be able to look for houses was if we could get down payment assistance. We qualified for a Teacher Bond (we thought, that story later). Thus began our 2 month search for a house.
Our realtor, Scott Hildebrandt, began showing us houses. I was so excited about the first 5-10 homes, but then I started getting realistic. I started thinking about what things were important to me in a home. The search narrowed in criteria, and broadened in location. There were some nice homes, and some dumps.
Matt and I searched from January 1, 2011, to February 28, 2011. We put an offer on a home we thought was just perfect for us. It was not rejected; instead the seller came back with an increased asking price! – That was not our house. 

Our apartment lease was ending; we would have to be out by March 28. Luckily, we found the perfect house just before spring break! My mom and dad found it online, and Scott set up a viewing. Matt saw the house and called me to come see it. I knew the instant I saw it, that that was our home!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How it came to be - Jes

It happened somewhat by chance. M's mom decided she no longer wanted to deal with renting out a house while living in another state. We let her know we'd take it, dealt with the bank a bit to keep it from foreclosure, and bam, there it was. I'd only seen it once before when I went by with M to check on some things between renters. We weren't planning on buying a house right away, since we really couldn't afford one until this house happened along.

Last weekend was only the second time I've seen the place. We spent two days raking, cutting fire wood, loading the truck with stuff for the dumpster and stuff for the green dump.  We me neighbors and fixed fences. M mowed the lawn.

We're making progress.