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Software techie and professional seamstress.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Why?

No one has asked me this yet, but I figure someone might be wondering why I chose to buy a newly built house over one I could buy much cheaper and renovate. I thought about, it since my ex and I did that twice and then built our own place here in Texas, with our own hands and the help of two fantastic guys from Guatemala, Oscar and Eddy.

Here's the list of features that won me over:
whole-house blown-in insulation and the option to upgrade ceiling insulation to R42
Double-glazed, UV tinted windows
9' ceilings throughout
Externally vented exhaust fan in kitchen
HVAC equipment located at side front of house, away from all living spaces
option to add outlets during build process(I'll add counter-height outlets in the den and secondary bedrooms)
covered patio (as in, under the roofline) I've really enjoyed the covered patio here at the apartment, and more importantly, so has Gabby.

On a more practical level, I'm much older now and though doing work on a house myself would be good exercise, I've decided I'm better off letting professionals build my house and I'll focus on building my technicals skills and expanding my sewing business again. I'll focus on custom bridal and alterations and teaching. I should have plenty of space for a couple of students in the new house, and a much better office space.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

and Then Things Got Even More Interesting...

My friend, Leslie, likes to say, "If you want something done, ask Juliette to do it."

The Bloke starting seriously encouraging me to buy house a few weeks ago. Just over a week ago, I decided to go for it. I started looking online, got an idea of what I could qualify for, and made an appointment with his realtor to look at "pre-owned" houses on Sunday. I completed a pre-qualification with her mortgage broker.
I'd already mentally rennovated a dozen houses by Saturday morning, but noticed that anything in my range that looked decent only lasted a few days before going into contract.
So Saturday morning I headed out to look at some new communities. Four, to be exact. What I realized was that the things that were really important would be difficult and costly, if not impossible, in an existing house (mind you, these are all build in the 70's and 80's).
I came home exhausted, checked in with The Bloke and went to take a nap. I didn't sleep. I had a foreboding sense of impending loss, that if I didn't move immediately, I'd miss out on this opportunity.
I asked The Bloke if he'd think me crazy for heading back and putting a deposit on a place. He said I should jump at the opportunity.

Soooo, less than 10 days after deciding to buy a house, I bought one.

Now, before you tell me I'm an idiot or that I'm rash and reckless, my ex-husband and I owned three primary homes (one built with our own hands and the help of two great guys from Guatemala, the other two we did massive rennovations on), two vacation homes and two investment properties with a partner. I know a few things about houses and building, and I have personally done framing, drywall and texturing, tiling and light electrical. I know how to use power tools. I also know how much work it all is, and that I'd be better off advancing my technicals skills and rebuilding my sewing business while professionals build me a house.

I get to focus on the fun stuff--flooring, finishes, paint colors (which I will do myself) and avoid the all too familar mess of living in a construction zone.
If you're interested in that sort of thing, here's my Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/SewSewNerdy/juliettes-new-digs/

and here's my list so far of upgrades by catgory:

"I can't believe I have to pay extra for this since it doesn't really seem optional":

Sprinklers
Gutters

"I could live without this if I didn't live in Texas":
Plumbing for water softener
Wiring for ceiling fans
Ceiling insulation upgrade to R42

"It's Gabby's house, too":
Sliding glass door (to accommodate pet door)
Extend Covered Patio, add ceiling fan (okay, this is at least as much for me, but Gabby does love to sit on the patio)

"If I going through all this, the place should reflect my fantastic style and taste":
Hardwood floors in all "non-wet" areas
Marginal lite windows
Painted shaker-style cabinets
Upgraded tub with tile surround
Craftsman style front door
Bullnose finished corners

"This would be a major pain to do myself":
Plumbing for Utility sink in garage
Garage door opener
exterior outlet

So this is how a house can start at 'the low 200,000's!!! and end up in the high 400,000's. Just kidding--it's not THAT bad, but sheesh, this stuff adds up FAST.

More to come--I've got six months to obsess about this stuff.
Juliette
What the hell am I doing?