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  • Writer's pictureSummer

We bought a house!

Home ownership is no joke. Before our wedding, Caleb and I hadn’t even started looking at homes - we were focused on saving for the wedding and the honeymoon. We knew that we were done renting and wanted to buy something sooner than later, we just didn’t know how soon it would actually be. After our honeymoon in August is when we seriously started looking at houses. We went to multiple open homes to get a feel for what was available in our area. After a couple months of looking we got a bit discouraged because of what we were finding for the price in the area we were in. Being an interior designer can be a blessing and a curse as I have a tendency to pick everything apart. It was a hard pill to swallow thinking about paying well over a million dollars for a home that not only we did not love but would then require a considerable amount of renovation.

At that point, we realized that we needed to broaden our horizons and look for a place further away but was still close enough for Caleb to commute. Then it happened, Caleb woke me up one Saturday morning to show me a listing for this perfect home. It had lots of upgrades, had an amazing back yard, and was listed at a reasonable price. We literally felt like we struck gold so of course Caleb called the real estate agent immediately to find out more information and after a few minutes into the phone call the agent asked, “you sound really young, do you mind me asking your age?” Yes, it was a 55+ community, of course. We learned our lesson to read the fine print! In all honestly, we probably would have fit into the community perfectly! So, our dreams were crushed. Just kidding. Not only is that a funny story to tell but we are now so grateful to have found that listing because it brought us to the area that we are in now, the East Bay.

The following weekend after the 55+ community mixup, we decided to drive to the bay to check out some new builds in the area. We visited a couple communities and one home stood out to both of us immediately and we got excited. If you know me you know, I don’t get excited about much, so it was a big deal that I found a home that I was actually able to envision our future in. When we decided the community was for us, I picked out our home when it was just a slab. I just had this distinct feeling that this is where our future home would sit. From that point on it was a long haul but we made it and are finally living in our new home!

Moving into a home is a challenge no matter what, there’s packing and getting settled, but a new build comes with its own set of challenges. If I were to make a pros and cons list, the pros would well outweigh the cons, but there are a few things that you may not think about being unfinished like our garage walls, for example. We had the option to upgrade this in the design center phase but we decided against it. Instead, after closing on the house we hired a local contractor to have the walls and ceiling sanded down and painted before we moved in. After that Caleb did the epoxy floor. Another challenge when you move in to a new build is there are no window coverings. So bye bye privacy! We did get temporary paper blinds from Amazon, and they work for now while we wait for our Roman shades to arrive. We also have an unfinished back yard and that will eventually get done, but the fun part about it is that we get to design it completely ourselves and create something we love.

If you get into a new build early enough you can go to a design center to pick out all of your finishes. During the design phase of the home I had my list of must have immediate upgrades and then the longer list of upgrades that we will do gradually over time. The main areas that we upgraded were hardwood floors in all the main living spaces, kitchen cabinets up to the ceiling, replaced the microwave with a hood vent and hid the microwave in the island, installed quartz countertops, got an upgraded fireplace surround, and had porcelain tile installed in all of the bathrooms. Our longer list of projects include installing new faucets and shower heads in the primary bathroom and upgrading the builder basic sheet mirrors and light fixtures in all of the bathrooms. We will also work on installing new light fixtures in the entryway, above the dining room table, and in our bathroom. Our big project for now is of course finishing the backyard and as always with home ownership, there will be endless little projects along the way!

I can’t wait for you all to follow along with us on this journey. I’ll share products and tips with you that I discover along the way as we design and remodel our new build.

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