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Day 48: The symbology of silverware

January 7, 2012

Meet Sara, my first guest blogger and one of my oldest friends (we met in second grade). She closed and moved in to her new home just under a month ago. I thought it’d be interesting to share another perspective of being a first-time homeowner, particularly since our experiences were quite different. Sara and her husband, Josh, learned a lot, but my favorite three: paint is expensive, wallpaper is truly a pain, and parents are a blessing. So here she is… thanks, Sara!

The happy homeowners

Learning the ropes
During the house hunt, it was hard not to just settle, because I wanted to be in a house so bad! We definitely learned to be patient. In the end, I learned that I would most likely not find a home that had EVERYTHING that I wanted in our price range. We learned to ask a lot of questions… about the roof, furnace, etc. When it came time to put an offer in and go through the closing process I was surprised by the amount of time, meetings and information needed to get through all the paperwork. But I did not put in as much time as Kara researching mortgage lenders, inspectors or realtors. I went with the first person recommended to me with everything and moved on. Perhaps a mistake, but I will never know the difference.

The hunt
As we were hunting for houses Josh and I looked for totally different things. He focused on where his bar would be, the size of the garage and kitchen (he’s the cook), and the age of the roof and furnace. I, however, was focused on a finished walk-out basesment, nice deck with stairs, decent size closets and a two-stall attached garage. I was also very persistent on a private backyard with very few neighbors. Well, that desire went right out the window when I walked into our now new home! The rest of the house had everything I was looking for, so I settled with living in a neighborhood with houses in my backyard.

Relationship test
Looking at houses caused some tension in our relationship because I didn’t mind working on a house and making it our own, whereas Josh preferred to do little work. It was difficult for Josh to overlook the Victorian curtains, wallpaper, ugly furniture, junk on the walls, etc. He was looking for a newer home that was updated and move-in ready. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to find the style home I wanted in the newer homes. I was willing to paint and do minor repairs to update something older. Like most marriages, I got my way 😉 and we bought an older house. We had a ton of wallpaper to tear down and every room in the house needed paint.

Handing over the keys
It was so exciting to go to our closing meeting! We packed the car with some of our stuff, planned to grab dinner and our dog afterward then head to OUR HOME!!! After the meeting, we met the previous homeowners, an older couple that wanted a bigger yard and a barn. They answered our questions then handed us the set of keys and garage door opener. Yay! We were pumped – except for the fact that our two-stall garage only came with one garage door opener. Minor, but disappointing. It was amazing, however, to push the garage door opener and pull our car right in. That first night in our house we ate Subway on the counter, I did cartwheels in the living room, I set up the Christmas tree and Josh set up our dining room table and chairs. We spent every evening there since we closed painting and pulling down wallpaper.

Painting isn’t as easy as it looks
The next night we could have been the newlyweds on the Lowe’s commercial that don’t have a clue what they are doing. We figured we would get the first coat of paint on our living room one night after work. How hard can it be?  So we jumped right in. I trimmed one wall as Josh worked on the other. We layed a couple tarps over the carpet and started painting.

Thank goodness my parents happened to stop by. My dad looked at us like we were crazy! “What are you doing? There are holes in the wall. You still have all the oulet covers on. You have drip marks already. Have you ever painted?”

After a crash course on filling the holes with plaster, sanding them down, prepping the whole room even before you open the paint, having enough light to see what you were doing, we were off to a much better start the following Saturday when both of my parents came to help us paint.

She's got this painting thing down pat.

Work, work, work
As our updating continues we have learned that paint is expensive, wallpaper is truly a pain and parents are a blessing. Just one week after we moved in we hosted our first party for my mom’s birthday and it was fantastic. Our lazy Saturdays have turned into painting a room or closet, organizing the tubs in the basement and cleaning out the garage. We wouldn’t change it for the world it has been so fun seeing how much paint can change a room and deciding together which drawer the silverware should go in. Owning a home is a lot of work, but it is also so much fun.

Thanks, Sara! I saw their new home the weekend after they got the keys and it’s a great house. Their living room had its first coat of paint. I can’t wait to go back to see how much things have changed.

The first time I read this through, picturing cartwheels in the living room and the paint story gave me a good laugh. It made me really excited for my own first night at home. The second time I read it, I caught the line about deciding together which drawer the silverware should go in. Awww, how sweet. And then I realized it’s the polar opposite of my experience. I’ve got a few go-to people that I can call to bounce ideas off (I don’t know what I’d do without them), but there’s not one person that knows every bit and piece.

I have a feeling Josh and Sara learned a lot about compromise through this process. Me, well, it’s pretty much just the Kara show. I’m sure once I find a house there will be many memorable moments, but the simple delight in deciding where to put my silverware – in other words, togetherness – won’t be one of them. That is, unless Calin suddenly decides he’s interested in helping me make decisions…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sara permalink
    January 8, 2012 9:42 pm

    I love it! Thanks for letting me be your first guest! I am sure I will have many more stories to share!

  2. January 8, 2012 10:19 pm

    Can’t wait to hear them!

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