We bought a house!

Okay let me back up.

In May 2014, we bought a house!


We actually put an offer in on the house in October 2013, but it was sold as a short sale and the process was as bad as realtors on HGTV say it is, if not worse. But the house was a steal, in an unbelievable neighborhood within a great town, super short commute to NY Penn Station, you know, pretty much perfect.

Except it was in rough shape.

These were the original real estate listing photos. They didn’t scare us. Sure, there were some really really questionable paint colors and decor choices, but we’ve painted rooms before. No biggie.

Our plan was to stay in our Jersey City condo, which we were renting month-to-month at this point, while we tackled some bigger projects:

  • refinishing all the floors
  • gutting the only full bathroom
  • adding a dishwasher to the kitchen
  • installing a fence

But then our landlords’ sold our condo. And suddenly we had to be out by July 1st. It was April and we still didn’t know if and when we would close on this house.

The next several weeks were full of drama, coming up with, executing and then canceling back-up plans. We endured some 11(,000,000,000)th hour drama but actually did close on May 23, 2014.

@bvac #mirathedog and I just bought this.

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We only had 5 weeks to get any projects we wanted to tackle completed before we moved in on June 29th. At the time, it felt like we significantly scaled back our plans, but in hindsight, we absolutely did not.

We refinished all the wood floors in the house:



Demo’ed the bathroom, got some drywall up, installed the tub, tiled and had a pipe that shot water at us:


And in order to add the dishwasher to the kitchen, we had to figure out how to extend the counter top. So it seemed logical to just replace all the counters. And if we were doing that, why not get a new sink since the one we were inheriting was shallow and very scratched, old porcelain. And maybe I should just sand down the bad paint job on the cabinets. And add new molding to the cabinet faces. Add new hardware – because if I had to look at the knife, fork and spoon hardware that was currently in place one more day…..

So our kitchen looked like this on move in day:


I thought about restarting this blog for when we got our first house. And if we live in JC while tackling these projects I might have had the energy to do so. But first 10 months or so of living here was really hard. We had some really big life stuff happen totally outside of all these projects, and had to find a way forward with less money than we initially planned, while living life without a really functional kitchen or full bath for that duration.

Its now November 2015. After 18 months of owning our home, our kitchen is now 90% done, as is our full bath. Our dining room, living room, sunroom, and offices (right now Bryan and I each have our own offices!) are painted, including all the trim, which needed to be sanded (and sanded and sanded and sanded) before we added a 100th layer of paint to them. We’ve replaced the roof, installed a fence, and got the house painted.


We came through that previously mentioned life stuff. Travelled to Italy with one of our best friends. Life was really feeling good over here.

And then two weeks ago, I got laid off from my job of three years.

So, while I figure out whats next for me professionally, I want to document all the work we’ve done to get here. Maybe blogging will stick this time?