26 March 2013

The House

So, things are going well with the process of getting this house.  A couple weeks ago we signed the final paperwork on the house, so it's official.  And last week we filled out some more official paperwork to get the ball rolling on the loan, and locked in the interest rate.

On Friday morning we had our inspection, and it went really well.  I went along and took some measurements of some of the rooms (in case we happen to get any furniture before we get moved in) and snapped a few photos, but I didn't really have time to take many pictures before the inspection was done and the inspector was ready to do the walk-through.  The inspector asked us how we were lucky enough to find this house -- he said this is the best inspection he's had in years.  I'd say we're pretty blessed, since both this house and our house back in New York both had really good inspections.  The inspector showed me a few things around the house that were very informative (Did you know that newer houses have something called an AFI in the bedrooms that is similar to a GFI in a kitchen or bathroom, except the AFIs shut things down if there happens to be a frayed extension cord or something getting overheated.  He showed me a few little blue buttons on the electrical panel to push in case the power won't go on in any of the bedrooms -- he said many people don't know about that and they call an electrician, when all they need to do is push a button).  We also learned from the homeowner that with a tankless water heater you need to replace the filter yearly (Unfortunately they learned from experience that apparently there is so much silt in the water that if you don't replace the filter regularly it will overheat and you will have to replace the entire water heater after just a couple of years -- too bad for them, but at least we get a newer water heater and we can learn from their mistake).  But really there weren't many problems on the inspection at all -- there's a carbon monoxide detector in the downstairs bedroom and the inspector said we should move it out to the hallway (but it's just battery powered, so we don't have to worry about any wires and it'll be easy to move).  And there's a little part we need to pick up for a few dollars at Home Depot to attach to the damper in the fireplace so that if the gas gets left on it will go up the chimney and not into the house.  We'll need to trim some plants growing right up around the AC unit, so it will have more air flow and will run more efficiently.  I think the biggest thing was that some of the sprinklers weren't automatically going back down on their own after they were run, but I don't think even that is a very hard fix.  So we sure are blessed.  Plus, it was fun to be there for the inspection to see the house again, notice a few details I hadn't seen before (or had forgotten since the open house), and confirm that this is going to be a really great house for us.

They are supposed to be doing the appraisal on the house sometime soon.  We're quite interested to find out just how much the house appraises for because we wrote a little contingency into our offer that stated that if the house happened to appraise for less than we offered on it, then we would pay a lower amount -- so we're kind of hoping it appraises for a little less than we offered so we can save a bit of money to be able to get some points to buy down the interest rate on the loan, and maybe even have some left over for some furniture.

And today we got a package of papers that is about 3 or 4 inches thick from our escrow company.  A few are forms we need to sign, but most of it was pages and pages of details about the neighborhood and the homeowner's association (some of it applied to our home, but lots of it was more general info, with tons of legal wording which took quite a while to go through).  We did learn a few interesting things from our reading, though.  Get this: "Areas in and around the community were previously used for World War II-era military training purposes.  Some training rounds have been found and are known to exist in the open space and canyon areas, and may underlie other areas of the community."  Apparently back in 2004 "the Army Corps of Engineers concluded that the presence of training rounds did not present significant risk and did not warrant a government response."  But builders hired some professionals anyway to do an extensive survey and remove any military training rounds in and around the community, and they removed approx. 100,000 pounds of practice rounds from the area.  Crazy, huh?  I never would have thought of anything like that being here, around this super safe neighborhood.  Kind of makes you wonder what kinds of things may be buried in your neighborhood, huh?  Oh, and it looks like part of the large open area south of the Del Sur neighborhood is slotted for a golf course and a hotel or lodge (but who knows if those plans will actually go through or not).

So now we're just waiting until it's time to move in.  Our closing date is scheduled for April 29th, so that's pretty exciting.  The boys are really looking forward to walking to school once we get moved in.  And I am looking forward to unpacking our storage unit -- can you imagine how excited the boys are going to be when we unpack their books, toys, and stuffed animals?  I'm thinking of just getting out a new set of toys once each month -- it would be like Christmas every month for a year.    :)

Oh, and this is kind of fun.  Michael and I happened to be looking at the sales prices of other recently sold houses in the same part of the development to compare prices of houses, and I noticed that there were three other houses that were the exact same model as ours that had all sold recently enough that they still had photos posted on a real estate website online.  So I thought I'd look at some of those photos to possibly get some ideas for how they have decorated or they layout of their furniture.  It was kind of fun, and I got a couple ideas I hadn't thought of before:

Master Bedroom:
As you can see from this picture of our master bedroom above -- the house is very nice, but the pictures could be a little better (the pictures from the MLS listing make the house look a little darker and smaller than it feels in real life).  

As you can see from these pictures of other master bedrooms from the same floorplan of house, the room has plenty of space and light.  

(And I love this color scheme, although we probably couldn't do this paint color with the color of the carpets in our house.  At the same time, I think that our darker carpets will not show up dirt nearly as much as the lighter carpets in this other house.  Isn't this a pretty bed too?)

Our kitchen.  
It's funny, because I was thinking it would be cool to have a couple of the cabinets in the kitchen have glass doors, and wondered how that would look -- then I saw they had done this in this house on the cabinets next to the stove, and it looks nice.  And I don't always go for the subway tile backsplash, but I do think they did a very nice job with it in this kitchen.  
I've been thinking a square table would fit perfectly in this space -- and I've wondered if maybe stools would be cute at it instead of chairs.  But I can't decide if a normal table or a counter-height table would be better -- a counter-height table might block the view of the island, but then again a counter-height table might feel more like it fits in the space because it would be the same height and a similar size as the island.  Still don't know on that one.

Family Room:
They didn't actually include a picture of the family room in the MLS listing of our house, so this is one from the kitchen that shows the family room in the background.
It looks like that spot in our house where they have the tv mounted on the wall with the built in cabinet below it was originally an open alcove.

Here they've done a white built in entertainment center.
And in this one the built in is brown wood to match the kitchen cabinets.  Plus this one has a larger wood fireplace mantel in white, which I like (we could add something like that ourselves if we ever wanted to -- it wouldn't be the first time we built a mantel piece ourselves).

Back Yard:
Our back yard is just right with a patio, grass, and a large area in back for a garden (it's larger than it looks in the picture -- I measured the garden area and it's something like 21 feet x 8 feet -- plenty big for any kind of garden we'd want to plant).
This one's just about the same as ours, except it doesn't have a garden in the back, and it has a built in grill over on the side of the patio.  I was actually thinking that would be a good place for a grill, even before I saw this picture.  (The only thing about that is our yard has a fountain just behind where the grill would be if we put it there, but maybe we could rearrange things a bit).
And this yard is pretty, but no grass.  Don't these yards look great with trees -- I think trees are one of the first things to plant.  I'll have to go to a nursery and find out what types of trees grow the quickest in San Diego.

And our little courtyard will be a nice little place to sit and read a book (it looks smaller in the photo than it does in real life).  It even has a little fountain in the planting area just beyond the chair that's really hard to see in the picture.  The fountain is nice to listen to.

But I think our courtyard might feel larger if we trimmed back a few of the bushes a little (and if we always looked at it through a wide-angle lens).  :)   I love this little skinny patio cover (I look at that and think I could probably even build something like that myself) -- just imagine this patio cover with wisteria flowers vining up it and a cute little light hanging down from the center.  

Anyway, it's always fun to plan and come up with new ideas.  But for now we're just really excited to be moving in before too long, and unpacking, and getting settled.

1 comment:

Tricia said...

How exciting!!! I'm so glad you got the house and all is looking well. :)