Getting a new house is exciting, fun, and, well, challenging! Even when a home is move-in ready, there is all the bustle of packing, unpacking and finding places to put familiar things in unfamiliar places.
When the home is NOT move-in ready, that adds another dimension entirely!
We bought a bigger house in the same neighborhood (location, location, location!). In order to do that, we paid more than had we moved elsewhere (our b-i-l sells foreclosure/ renovated homes) for similar size with more yard and better condition. Staying here eliminated the need to start over socially, and kept us close to my elderly mother’s apartment to see her often.
We knew going in to this home that we would be doing work on it: we wanted to turn the separate -entrance basement into an apartment.
What we didn’t realize was that we would become nomads for two months!
Our living area of the home needed a lot of work we hadn’t anticipated: new flooring (warped floorboards from water damage), new paint to cover torn sheetrock, improved lighting. Then we noticed that the countertop was melted down to the wood by the stove, so new countertops too!
While the sheetrock, electrical, painting and flooring work was done, we moved from hotel to friend’s camper to Airbnb to b-i-l’s cabin 75 minutes away–quite a lot of traveling!
Admittedly, we prolonged the process a month by choosing a gorgeous grey bamboo hardwood flooring–did you know it needs to acclimate FOUR WEEKS to adjust to Utah’s dry desert conditions?
After seven weeks, our flooring–carpet and bamboo–was finally installed, walls painted, and lighting completed. We moved in. Sort of. We have a bed in the bedroom. A piano in the parlor. Everything else is in storage. Why?
Still no countertops, sinks, nor water hooked up to toilets! It felt like camping to use a bathtub as a sink, with no countertops, and the toilet flushed by pouring into it a bucket of water (from a tub faucet). My husband got a long-enough water connector so we had self-flushing toilets within two days!
It turned out that having Mother practically next door came in very handy while camping in our home. What luxury to use her washer and dryer, kitchen, and TV with couches, which she graciously shared. Sweet! (She lived with us for a year before this so we are on great terms. We also give her gifts and do nice things for her to make this temporary situation “win-win” for her as well as for us, intruding on her space as little as possible.)
Later this week our granite countertops will be installed. With sinks! Then we will be ready to really move in our household belongings from the two PODS in our driveway, where they sat since the twelfth of August, two months ago.
But before the countertops get put back, I am frantically painting the cabinets! The light oak clashed with the grey floors. So the cabinets get painted dark grey to match. White doors and trim. Quite an adventure for a novice refinisher like me!
While it will be nice to really settle in and enjoy our new home, I already talk to my husband about our NEXT home when we sell this one in a few years… He closes his eyes, puts a hand to his head and shakes it slowly: “Not another ‘new’ house!”