2019 Renovations and Other Homeowner Things: Part 1 [Feat. Mike]

repairman doing screw drilling
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People of the wife’s blog,

I have some juicy updates on the house and renovations.

When we purchased our house in October, we knew a renovation had been started and not finished. However, we were not given the full story.

I asked around and the story behind it is that the homeowner passed away and the house sat vacant for a few months. Then the homeowner’s grand-daughter needed a place to stay so she started renting the house from her dad and two aunts. Later they decided to  renovate the house to sell later. About a year before we looked at the house, the grand-daughter decided to move west and nobody thought anything of it. Until January when a pipe burst in the living room, so they repaired the damage and decided they just wanted out of the house. One sister wanted out so bad she made the other two siblings buy her out.

That is the story of why we have new flooring downstairs.

Now on our end.

Man do I not make enough money. With the house, credit card and Jeep payments I’m carrying around a lot of debt. But I was a good boy and built excellent credit in college by having the good fortune of paid internships and a strong cattle market. So I have decent interest rates and doable payments. Again, I was a good boy and landed a sweet job in a high-demand field in the sweet state of Montana – albeit at the lower end of the salary my friends have gotten, but that is neither here nor there. So after tax, health care, and pension my income is enough for bills, food, gas, Sunday breakfast and work snacks.

My hope was that my tax refund would cover my credit card debt with the leftover money going toward renovating the house, but life doesn’t always go the way you want. My grandparent’s house had a medium sized fire and while nobody was hurt the roof is pretty bad, so a good chunk of any tax money I get back will probably go to help them out. So for now it looks like any major renovations or hobby projects will have to wait. Unless of course I get a lot of overtime this year.

Anyway, this concludes my 2019 Home Renovations Report.

Mike

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My Newlywed Morning Routine

Hello Everyone!

Since I finally have my own house it seemed like it is finally appropriate to write this post. I have lived in my home for about two weeks and so far it has been my dream house! You guys, this place has a dishwasher, a washing machine, a dryer and a ton of linen closets!! If you have been reading my blog, then you know those are pretty much the only things I wanted in my house.

I could not be more thrilled to live here with my husband which has made all the mundane tasks of housekeeping seem so much more fun. So here is my morning routine and to be quite honest, I have been having such a blast every day even though all I’ve been doing is boring chores.

I usually wake up around 8am. I’m not sure if that is early or late but it works for me.

Then I just lay around for a minute or two like everyone else and contemplate whether or not I actually need to get out of bed.

After I loose the argument with myself about why staying in bed all day is better than cleaning the house, I get up, brush my teeth, and make some coffee.

While I’m drinking my coffee, I usually check on my blog to see how its doing. If I have any comments or new follows I’ll reply and check out their blogs. This is also when I will write if I’m feeling creative enough.

Next I pick up the house and wash any dishes left over from breakfast or last night’s dinner if I was too lazy to do them the night before. I also wipe down my counters and make my bed because nobody wants to get into an unmade bed at the end of the day.

After that I will pick out my outfit and shower. I don’t think I need to explain this step of the day because everyone does it.

Then I put on my 5 minute face and decide what to make for lunch. If Mike comes home, its usually a little more elaborate but if its just me then I usually eat a sandwich or leftovers.

After that I take something out of the freezer to start thawing for dinner and I clean up after lunch.

Then my morning routine is over so I just sit around for a few minutes and try to read a blog post or two.

So there you have it! That is my morning routine and next week I think I will post an afternoon or evening routine. But you guys, I’ve been having a bit of a creative slump recently so if you have any ideas about what I should write about please feel free to comment and let me know!

* Photo from Free WordPress Library

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5 Things Nobody Tells First Time Homeowners

Hello everyone!

It’s official! Mike and I are homeowners!!

We signed all the paperwork on Friday and were moved in on Saturday. By moved in, I mean all our stuff was moved out of our apartment and put into a pile at the house. I have everything unpacked except a box of books I kept from my college days and I honestly haven’t found a place for those to go yet so they are still in a box. I could keep talking about the process of unpacking but I already did in my other post Settling In.

Anyway, please excuse my rambling intro. Today I’m going to tell you all about some of the unexpected side effects of becoming a homeowner.

  1. It’s fills you with an equal dose of freedom and dread. – You can put the pictures wherever you want and nobody will tell you that you aren’t getting a security deposit back because you used picture nails instead of sticky hooks. At the same time, you’re responsible for buying and changing the lightbulbs when they burn out and all the lightbulbs will eventually burn out.
  2. Moving is tough. – I have mentioned this in other blogs but this is the third time my husband and I have moved in our first year of marriage. We pretty much have it down to a science now, but the process of packing up all your belongings and hauling them to an empty house just to put them away into unfamiliar places hasn’t gotten any less exhausting.
  3. It can bring you closer to your partner. – Of course I married Mike because I was head over heals in love with him and super close to him. However I would just like to say that this year has been packed full of experiences that have brought us even closer and buying a house together is definitely one of them.
  4. You will have to go to the store a lot. – So far we have been constantly making lists of stuff we forgot we needed and running back and forth to the store. I cannot stress this enough, budget in a little extra money for a lawn mower or hedge trimmers or a hammer? And any other things that houses need that apartments don’t.
  5. You will love your new house. – I obviously like my house or I wouldn’t have bought it, but the more time I spend here hanging pictures and making it more homey the more I support our decision to become homeowners and the more I love the house.

So there you have it folks! The 5 unexpected side effects of becoming homeowners that I have discovered in week one of being a homeowner.

Don’t hesitate to leave a comment about your housing experiences, I would love to know if I should be prepared for anything else!

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Help! We Accidentally Bought a House..

Hello everyone!

We are buying a house!

When we moved here, my husband and I were given two weeks to find a place to move into. We did and so far I don’t really care for the apartment we are currently in for a number of reasons. This post won’t be a list of reasons why I don’t like where we are currently living, it will serve as an informal First Time Home Owners Guide on How to Buy a House.

Step 1: Have a conversation with your partner. Here is how the conversation between my husband and I roughly went.

Husband: “Do you think we should buy a house?”

Wife: “Not really. I thought we wanted to move again in a year or two?”

Husband: “We do, but our rent currently costs more than a mortgage payment would, so do you think we should buy a house?”

Wife: “I guess if it will be cheeper, sure!”

Step 2: Go buy a house. We spent about a month or so trying to figure out how to buy a house before we realized we didn’t know what we were doing. Then we gave up and hired a relator.

Step 3: Tour all the houses your relater picks out. This is the most fun part because we would mostly just hem-and-haw about the housing options.

Step 4: Go to the bank. We had to do this because I realized that my husband was actually serious and not joking about wanting to buy a house.

Step 5: Settle for a house that is actually in your price range. We looked at a lot of houses that we could afford that needed a lot of work, but there were also some good ones. So we ended up picking the best most affordable one and its actually a pretty good house.

Step 6: Panic because you don’t have enough for the down payment and closing costs. My husband and I did this for about a week before we realized that we had enough money because people gave us money at our wedding and we had already been saving up to buy a house.

Step 7: Make an offer on the house. This was pretty complicated so unfortunately I have already forgotten most of the important things you are supposed to do during this part of the home buying process.

Step 8: Go to the bank a lot more. We ended up going to the bank a ton because there is a lot of paperwork and its hard to get everything done in one bank appointment.

Step 9: Have a home inspection and get your house appraised. I don’t really know how to explain what those things are, but they’re important so we did them. We learned that our house is livable and expensive.

Step 10: Realize that you need home owners insurance. This step made my husband and I a little nervous because we sort of forgot we needed it. But we found some pretty affordable quotes and everything ended up working out.

Step 11: Keep going back to the bank a lot. I think banks like paperwork and somehow they always seem to always have more no matter how times you’ve previously gone in.

Step 12: Move into your new house. Even though we haven’t moved in yet, I am not looking forward to this. I forgot how much work it is to move and how exhausting it is to unpack everything.

Step 13: Adopt a dog or a cat. This is probably the most important step in the home buying process because everyone needs a dog or a cat. We currently live in a pet free apartment so I cannot wait to move so we can adopt a puppy, dog, cat, or maybe all three!

Step 14: Live happily ever after! Or at least live happily ever after until you decide to move again.. We probably will end up moving again sometime in the next 5 to 10 years but I secretly am hoping that we don’t because its a lot of work and I’m pretty lazy.

So that is pretty much the story of how we became home owners.

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Settling In

Hello Everyone!

After being in our new house for a few days, I have had time to reflect on the process of getting settled into a new home. I thought packing up a house was a big enough chore, but I did not prepare myself for the task of trying to find a useful place for everything Mike and I were unpacking.

There are still boxes sitting in the living room, waiting to be gone through. For now I have decided to drape a tablecloth over them to make our home look a little less cluttered.

To make matters more exciting, Mike and I didn’t own any furniture except a bed when we moved. The reason we are such minimalists is because the last home we lived in was furnished and the one we just moved into is not.

If you ever have the opportunity to furnish a home, you will find that it is pretty expensive. So we have decided to look at thrift stores for things like tables and dressers. We did go to Walmart and buy the cheapest folding chairs they had so we didn’t have to sit on the floor.

I have also found that there are about a million other things to do when you first move into a new house besides the obvious tasks. For example, finding a good internet provider, registering our cars for parking, and applying for a new post office box. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Even though we are almost completely unpacked, I think the hardest part of this experience was figuring out where to hang the pictures and deciding where I would put everything away.

* Photo from Free WordPress Library

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House Hunting

Hello everyone!

Since moving into the middle of nowhere Montana, I have come to measure civilization by the number of Walmarts a town or city has. This may seem a little weird, but where we are currently living there are about ten small towns scattered throughout the abyss and the closest Walmart is a two and a half hour drive away. The most exciting part of this post is that we are moving to the closest town in the region with a Walmart!

This past Friday Mike and I left the house at about 7am and drove to meet with a couple of rental management agencies to tour a few apartments and houses. About the same time we left the house, the sun began to rise and I felt like we were driving into a new beginning.

Unfortunately house hunting ended up not being as exciting as I expected. Mike and I learned that there are only two sections in the whole town. One is called the “good” side of town and the other is called the “bad” side of town. Even with this distinction, it seemed to me that the houses in both sides of town had an equal amount of neglect.

Our first rental management agent took us to an apartment complex that had been the town’s first post office before being converted into a hotel. A while later someone decided to convert it into an apartment complex which was located in the “bad” side of town. The building was a little on the rickety side, but there was a one bedroom apartment available that was in better shape than the houses we toured in the “good” side of town.

We met with a second rental management agent who had a number of houses and trailers available, but decided not to show us because they were in pretty tough shape and she didn’t want us living in any of them. All the homes she managed were in the “good” side of town.

She did have a two bedroom house with an older woman living in the basement that we were a little interested in. If we decided to live there, we would be prohibited from walking too loudly because it would bother the lady downstairs. Another issue was that the previous renter had just moved out and had left the place in shambles so there was a lot of repairs that needed to be done before someone could move in.

After meeting with both people, Mike and I decided to talk things over. We went to Walmart for some packing supplies and then decided to drive home. Even though it was March there was a winter storm warning for later that day, but we hoped we would be able to beat it.

Boy were we wrong. It started snowing casually and then the wind started to howl. Before we knew it we were driving home in a blizzard. To make things even more exciting there was a semi-truck jack-knifed in the middle of the road. After about an hour, we finally made it about 10 miles down the road.

When we finally made it to the next town over, we had to stop at a gas station to scrap a few inches of snow and ice off our headlights, taillights, and windshield. We drove in the same conditions for another couple of hours and after that, the sun came out. Eventually it stoped snowing and we were able to drive back to the house without anything else exciting happening.

Now we are just waiting to see if there will have a house for us to move into next week.

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Character Building Experiences

Hello everyone!

This is my very first blog. If anyone has any comments, please feel free to say hi!

I would like to give an example definition of the term “character building experience”. In only a few short months as a newlywed, I have had many different character building experiences. This is the story of one of my very first experiences.

In the picture above is the very first house that my husband and I lived in together as a married couple. Just so you have a little background information, I was raised in a home with very traditional values. Because of this, my husband and I didn’t live together before we got married. Instead he moved to Montana after college for a job opportunity and got a house. I finished my degree, then we got married and I moved in.

Since I had not seen the house before I arrived, I thought we would be living in an apartment. Perhaps this thought was brought on by a sense of false newlywed optimism. Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when Mike drove up after the honeymoon, parked the car and cheerfully said “Honey! We’re home!”

Once I got over the shock of the outside appearance, I found that I was able to enjoy living in it. It’s in a pretty great neighborhood where everyone is friendly and welcoming. Plus there are two bedrooms, and a pretty decent sized living room.

One night after we had settled in a little, Mike and I were watching the news. There was a pretty big winter storm warning and I jokingly told my dear husband that since we lived underground we probably had the safest house in the whole town. The next day as I helped Mike shovel his way out of the house to the car I thought to myself if this had been a tornado, we would have been totally safe.

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