I was in love with this house the second we drove by, it was in the perfect little neighborhood for raising a family and it seemed like a feasible project. In fact, nearly every day after we found the house I drove by it on my way home... I was smitten, large bushes and peeling paint did nothing to deter me.
But we couldn't afford it (don't you hate it when that happens?). My mom told me about friends who had written a note to the seller and ended up getting a great deal on their home. So I wrote one to give to the seller with the offer (I took out her name in certain places):
We have been looking at your house on the real estate website nearly every day since it was put on the market. We couldn’t afford your asking price so we never scheduled a showing… although we haven’t been able get your house out of our mind. The reason we came to look at the house, and have proceeded to make an offer is because it is exactly the type of house and neighborhood in which we want to raise a family. We got married about four months ago and work in the community. AJ is a seventh grade history teacher and cross-country coach at Manchester-Essex Middle School and Jen works at Gordon College as the event planner for the Development and Alumni office. We would like to start a family within the next year and a half and see ourselves staying in this house and community for a long time.
We sincerely hope we didn’t offend you with this offer, and if we did we are so sorry, we just can’t afford more than the current offer. Thank you for considering and we wish you well no matter what you decide.
AJ and Jen Migonis
Our offer was accepted the next day with the only contingency being that she wouldn't lower the price if things were found in the home inspection. This is what we had prayed would happen...we saw it as a miracle because we offered $45k less than the asking price!
Once we moved in on February 1, 2010 we took down the bushes because they were blocking all sorts of natural light. It looks very barren right now without landscaping, we would love to put a front porch on the house and don't want to waste money putting in bushes that we are going to take out this summer. Since the photo was taken we removed the shutters and painted the house Martha Stewart's Cumulus Cloud.
From our driveway leading into our back patio (although, now, there is currently about a foot of snow covering this area and not a leaf in site...).
1600 square feet
2 good size bedrooms, one very tiny bedroom (our nursery)
1 very small bath (about 5 ft x 5 ft)
a living room and a kitchen
We scheduled our House Warming Party three weeks after we moved in to make ourselves get a few projects done quickly. Here are some before and in-progress photos:
BATHROOM IN PROGRESS
We have done most of the renovations to this room but it's not complete... yet... finish details are still on the list.
BATHROOM SOURCE LIST:
Paint: Benjamin Moore's Harbor Gray | Curtain:made here with HGTV Color Study Berry Fabric| Bath mat: Marshalls | Shower curtain: Nautica | Penny tile: Overstock.com | Sink and Toilet: Kohler from Home Depot | Floor Tile: Home Depot | Bathroom Shelf: made here out of a floor joist board, towels from Tahari (from Marshalls) on it | Bathroom Mirror: Home Goods | Curtain rod, toilet paper holder: Home Goods
KITCHEN IN PROGRESS
KITCHEN SOURCE LIST
Cabinets: Home Depot, Thomasville line
Countertops: Bianca Cararra but we picked it out through Doyans Appliance in Gloucester. I went to a marble / granite warehouse in Woburn to pick it out.
Knobs and Pulls: Home Depot | Oven and Microwave: GE from Home Depot | Fridge: Maytag from Home Depot | Sink: Franke from Home Depot | Faucet: Moen from Home Depot | Stovetop: Maytag from Home Depot | Floors: Dark Walnut hardwood by Joe Floors (based around the Manchester area) | Kitchen table: Craigslist | Chairs: IKEA | Barstools: Christmas Tree Shops | Blue rugs: Pottery Barn, Malika rug | Paint: Kitchen: Martha Stewart's Driftwood Gray and Hallway: MS's Sandpiper
LIVING ROOM BEFORE
while previous owner lived there
LIVING ROOM IN PROGRESS
It's amazing what a few changes will do! We painted the dark wall Benjamin Moore's Vanilla Ice-Cream and added a door to improve the flow of the downstairs to one end of the living room. Our own furniture and light accessories definitely have helped make the space feel more beachy.
LIVING ROOM SOURCE LIST:
Couch: out of business store
Black table and Coffee Table: Pottery Barn
Rug: West Elm via Craigslist
Tan chairs: Overstock.com
White chairs: IKEA
Mirror and End table: Savers thrift store
Console: AJ built it
Black Jelly Cabinet, Fern planter, Trunk and Birdcage: side of the road
Paris map: All Posters.com
GUEST BEDROOM BEFORE
With the 1800s wallpaper:
DREW'S BIG BOY ROOM IN PROGRESS
The other angle is coming shortly, although, to be honest, it's still a mess with stuff from transitioning out of a guest room / office.
The "before" was taken from the listing website before we purchased the house.
DREW'S NURSERY AFTER
I have this incredible mobile that my Dad made for Drew but Drew, in one of his excitable moments, ripped it down. You can check it out here until I can fix it and hang it up again.
NURSERY SOURCE LIST:
Bedding and Rug: Pottery Barn | Chair: IKEA | Curtains: Target | Curtain Rod: Job Lot | Crib and changing table: Bedrooms store on Rt. 1 |
Ships Wheel: Christmas Tree Shops | Mobile: My dad made it
BABY GIRL'S NURSERY STAGE TWO: IN PROGRESS
We are expecting a little girl on April 5 so we are in the process of making one of my favorite spaces in the house a little more feminine. The room will be in lavender and white and I'm dying to see how it turns out!
The space is really going to pop with the bits of color we have planned.
Above the crib I framed portions of my favorite children's story, Miss Rumphius, and we added a sheepskin rug to cover the majority of the unfortunate painted linoleum flooring.
MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE
Picture a linoleum floor in yellow. Yellow walls. Yellow trim. And then picture all of it incredible dirty. This photo sort of does it justice.
MASTER BEDROOM IN PROGRESS
Bed frame: made by AJ and myself here
Headboard: made by myself here
Mirrors: Christmas Tree Shops
Pink Pillow: IKEA
Shams: West Elm Shower curtains (post here)
Key: Swank: home store in Hamilton, NY
Curtains: West Elm shower curtains (post here)
Frames: AC Moore (post here on the photographs)
Silver Frames: Linen and Things
Fireplace: Home Depot (we painted it)
Thanks for joining me on a tour of our home! I'm so glad you have stopped by!
Please, send me an email and introduce yourself... you have no idea how much your emails make my day... and maybe it's because I'm at home with a toddler who isn't saying much and I want adult conversation. :)