Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 19: The end times are near! aka The appraisal is in a week!

Oh my dear sweet goodness! I have so much to share and so little time to actually sit down and share it!

The appraisal is in a week. And I'm sure I haven't been as clear as I could be about how it came to be that we have a LOT to do before that happens.

When we originally made the plan to have AO purchase the house, and our friends in Lansing do the work, we ironed out a budget that made sense for all parties. We would get the house for the amount we could afford, AO would get somewhere definitive to live (and a year of free rent) with folks she could stand for the most part and our house flipping friends would get the profit margin they needed to be sustainable.

Apparently the whole budget thing, when it comes to renovations- especially on super old houses, is pretty much a pretty little pipe dream that renovators tell themselves will be something they can actually adhere to before a project begins.

 We will return this to its original glory!

By creating a gigantic blow up of this picture and placing it in front of the house- which will definitely be within budget.

So by the time we moved out here and the house was still very much in its full construction zone glory, the budget was pretty much already blown. We had even increased our buying budget by $11k to put in a brand new boiler, but alas- the significant issues with the old electrical stuff and water damage had blown through the other thousands of dollars that had been alloted to renovate the house.

To be fair, we definitely did our part in making the renovations a bit more costly than they needed to be. We wanted a guest room that had it's own bathroom so we could do AirBnB eventually, and we had a new kitchen put in where there was previously only a bedroom on the first floor. (Although I am one million percent certain that it is in the location of the original kitchen) But when it came time to discuss how we were going to get across the finish line, the sheer number of projects far outweighed our renovation team's financial capabilities. 

We had ourselves a good ol' sit down to talk about exactly what needed to be done in order to get the house up to snuff to not only be valued at $100k over what it was purchased for, but also so that it would pass an FHA appraisal - which looks at the safety of the property as well.  

So in all of our eagerness to get the house finished and our lives back to ourselves, we (I) might have been a little overzealous in the commitments we (I) made to projects that we had the handiness to complete in time for the appraisal. 

I can take an old cabinet...

And let James hold a powertool for a photo op....

And magically turn it into a hidden kitty litter box!

TA DA!!!!

Of course, we wouldn't commit to all the big stuff like electrical issues and repairing ceilings and stuff, but there were things we could do. Most of the projects that we (it was definitely just me, James has no blame in this) claimed we could complete were of the painting variety. There was some shelf making - which was finally finished in the kitchen - but for the most part, just painting.  Every. Damn. Room. In. The. House.

That might not sound so bad, but with my type of awesome ADHD/Anxiety brain, painting even a small mudroom turns into a magnificent chore. I need to research it on Pinterest and read 20 articles about tips of what to do and not do, then watch the beginning of 5 youtube videos. I have to go to the store 3 times to get all the supplies I might possibly need and then spend a long time arranging them to be available- and of course all of this is over the course of weeks because I'm working full time and raising kids and all that in between.

Isn't Jerome's school magnificent? I guess I'll just count my blessings that I'm not painting it.

And there goes Bucky - off to preschool to be someone else's distraction, I mean inspiration! 

When it's finally time to paint, I carefully follow all the steps: wash down the walls, fill even the tiniest holes with spackle, wait for that to dry, sand it, wash the walls again, tape everything, put down drop cloths meticulously, paint a coat, wash out the paint supplies, read how how long the dry time is on the paint and wait way longer than that, paint another coat and then wash it all again, curse the fact that I no longer can grow fingernails and maybe do another coat. It's exhausting!  

But look how good this one wall that took 2 months to complete turned out!!!

When AO got to town, we had a nice painting planning session and she just got down to work! She does this thing where she just don't give a shit and paints massive amounts of space in an astonishing amount of time!  The stuff she is painting is looking fabulous too- so it's not like she's just slapping it on, she's just a beast and doesn't get hung up on the small stuff. 

And she looks like a goddamn ballerina while she's doing it! 

So I've been trying to follow her lead by not following all the steps quite so carefully. The results are livable. Not perfect, but better, so that's enough. And more importantly, they are getting done in the time frame that needs to be done. 


The mudroom did take a full weekend. But the top color turned out to be a really ugly brown when I first put it on, so I had to mix it up a little. 

This ugly door?

BOOM! Ugly no more!

Hideous faux brick wall?

Not in my office!

I actually laid down a primer on all the other walls in my office today in one night! #smallvictories

The painting might be getting easier, but the sheer amount of it that we should be getting done to have the best appraisal by next week, is still super daunting. In addition to that, we are borrowing a neighbor's pressure washer to blast the outside of the house, painting and staining all the outside stairs and railings and maybe we'll get a picture or two up on the walls to make it look all nice-like. 

The appraisal is a huge deal for me- and I know that it usually is the sellers who should be worried, but I know that no matter what, this is my home now and I'd really prefer for us to get it right the first time so I'm not out $500 and more time of my house not being my house. 

Ultimately, I really want this all to be over so I can have a well earned "lazy week" or maybe even a full "lazy month" where all I have to do is normal living stuff like working (in my still really new position that has tons of stuff to learn and create all the time!!) and raising my kids and making good food and crocheting little washcloths for my new kitchen. 

The fun thing is- even if the appraisal goes alright and we can all take a minute to relax- 2 days later I'm flying back home to do my very first visit back for work!  While I'm super excited to get back to all my Oregon peeps, I might be even more excited for how much I will sleep on the plane on the way there- I sure will need it! 


Wish me luck!!!



p.s. to all my instagram friends- i'm super sorry that pretty much all the pics i've posted are ones i already posted. i knew it would be a miracle if i got another blog posted anytime soon, so i've just been trying to share the really good stuff as it happens!  at least i added some of my super awesome dialogue to sweeten the blog readin' deal, eh? 

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