Can you give me a small intro on yourself?
33, a new SAHM, married with 2 toddlers.
How many states have you lived in so far?
4, NY, SC, GA, NC
How long have you lived in North Carolina?
A year and one month
What made you & your husband move here? Better job opportunity for him & wanted a more young family friendly area
How many houses did you& your husband look at before you purchased your home? Originally there were probably about 20 houses I liked. When we were ready to actually start looking at houses only 5 of them were still on the market. I started looking at houses way before we were ready to buy just to get an idea of what was out there in our price range.
These pictures were taken July 22, 2017. How long have you lived in your home? Since the second week in May of this year.
What were the "must haves" on your list? Or were you both pretty open to anything as long as you both agreed on a home? We had to have a large enough backyard for the kids to play in, at least 4 bedrooms, open concept, an office space for him, within 30 minutes of his job, in a good neighborhood, not far away from grocery stores, and somewhat updated.
What sold you on this house? There were actually two houses that we tried to get before this one. This one came on the market some time after the other two didn't work out. It had almost everything we wanted and there weren't really any other choices.
How do you like the neighborhood? We actually love the neighborhood. Everyone has been very welcoming. My gripe is the pool should be bigger than what it is, but we do have the option to put in our own with our neighbors permission.
Since this is your second time purchasing a home was the process any different than the first time you bought a house? Did you learn anything new about the process? This time was different because I knew what to expect. I learned that area we live in was a sellers market so you had to move fast.
How many rooms & bathrooms does it have? There are 4 bedrooms, 1 additional bonus room and 4 & 1/2 baths
How many DIY projects did you complete so far? About 6, two canvas projects, guest room welcome/wifi password decor, toiletry bucket, clock, and a mud room like area near the front door.
What was your favorite DIY project? The clock...it didn't come out exactly as I would have liked it to but I had fun making it.
Which took the longest? The clock took the longest since it had to be painted.
Which one was the hardest? The map canvas was definitely the hardest. I had to take one poster and evenly cut it to fit across 3 canvases.
Which room is your favorite? The media room, it's comfy & fun.
You said you budgeted for everything & made "dream boards" for the rooms, did you stick to the boards you drew up or veered off of some of them? The basics stayed the same from my dream boards but the decor changed due to the budget being lowered due to us putting more money down on the house than we initially anticipated. I plan on getting the decor items from my boards over time.
I love the idea of having a "media room". & I love how you've decorated it already. However, you stated it's not complete yet, what more did you want to add to this room? One of my rows of posters are extremely shorter than the others so I want to do another row under that so it evens out. We plan on getting a larger TV, shelves for our DVDs, and an entertainment system. We also are going to do a mini concession type stand.
What's a typical day like in your home? We wake up have breakfast, the boys headed off to their playroom and I go into the media room. We then read and do some educational activities. Then we have lunch. After that I'll put on a TV show they watch to get them to mellow out for nap time. When they wake we have snacks. My husband normally comes home sometime after this. Me and the boys head outside to play for a bit then back inside to start & then have dinner. Then it's bath time and off to bed. On the weekends we do some family activities together like bike rides or we walk around and tour landmarks around us.
What do you love most about your new home? I love the space and how updated it is.
On Pinterest (I love Pinterest) I've seen something similar to the "toiletries" jar you have in your guest bathroom. I think everyone who has a guest bathroom should do something similar. What does your jar contain in it? Shower caps, toothpaste, mouth wash, tooth brushes, mini shower gels for males and female, lotion, and facial wipes.
What advice do you have for someone buying a house? Pick a realistic budget & stick to it. DON'T look at houses you can't afford. I did not allow our realtor to show us any houses that was over our maximum budget. No need to waste your time getting your hopes up by looking at something you can't afford or will struggle to pay for.
What's a realistic budget? If you can't afford the maximum amount you're approved for by the bank don't use that as your maximum. When we were deciding on a budget we took in account other monthly expenses such as utilities, car notes, groceries, gas, my husband's student loans, cell phone bill, cable/internet, leisure spending and savings. We paid cash for our furniture but if you plan on getting new furniture and financing it that's something else you might want to account for. Once we accounted for those the max loan we got approved for was way above what we could actually afford.
Also, I see people getting disappointed because they have unrealistic expectations when they go searching for a house. Once you decide on a realistic budget you should search a local realtors website so you can see what types of houses, upgrades, schools, and amenities are available in your price range. You might want hard wood floors throughout, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, coffered ceilings, tray ceilings but those might not be standard in your price range. You can't expect a home owner who has their house priced at market value to come down 50k because you want what you can't afford.