We have finally moved in! Here is what we think of this new adventure.
Words fail to describe all the hurdles we had to go through over the last three months to buy this house. Everything from bank delays, to sellers trying to change the terms, to re-dividing the land. But, finally we are in. Now what? Originally I thought we would hit the ground running. In reality, I needed a couple of days to decompress but, time slows for no house renovation. Who knew that buying a fixer upper would be so stressful! 😉 We did spend the first two days unpacking everything from the storage units. Well, not unpacking exactly. We took all the items from the units and moved them into the garage and barn but didn’t unpack anything except for the essentials: A couple of items for the kitchen, our mattress, bedside tables, two lights, and a few items of clothing. Other than that everything is staying packed up until renovations are done. Ultimately we will be shuffling from room to room as the work goes on so we need to keep our footprint light in the house for the moment.
Strangely enough, Bobby and I were able to get through the home buying process almost unscathed relationship wise. Not going to lie it really tested our ability to negotiate with one another. I’m thankful that when I shut down, mostly becoming too overwhelmed by packing everything up, Bobby was able to pick up the extra weight (pun intended) and carry on for the two of us. At the time it made me feel like I was being lazy but I know a time will come, probably during unpacking, that the opposite will be required. I suppose that is part of being in a relationship after all. However, I have not quite grown used to all the trips to Lowes. My patience for this is just about as thin as his is looking at tile and wallpaper samples.
So what is next? Now that we have had some downtime and have been able to clean up the house a bit to habitable status we can finally start renovations. First up is installing a washer and dryer that work but in order to do that we need to strip the flooring in the mud room, run new electric and plumbing and tear our the ceiling so that it can be repaired. So really not much at all 😉 Oh, and I’m already choosing which animals are going to call Long Hill Farm home but shhh don’t tell Bobby! He thinks we already have too much going on at the moment.
My loving wife asked me to keep this post short and sweet, owing to the fact that I’ve been long-winded with explanations at least once or twice in the past. So here we go – post 1!
We closed on Long Hill Farm, and after months of planning, waiting, going back and forth with the lender, sellers, and attorneys the actual closing was somewhat anti-climactic. It’s not as if I was expecting balloons or confetti to fall from the ceiling while the cast of ‘This Old House’ presented a “Closing of the Year” award, but I at least anticipated one moment of grandeur as the ink from my gel pen painted my signature upon document after document! Be that as it may, we did seal the deal and as I glanced over at Cait I could see it in her eyes: “it’s go time”!
When we arrived at the farm, the trailers were there. 1, 2, 3 of them – all in a row.
All three obscuring the varying bits and pieces that filled our former home.
All three jam-packed tight to the brim!
All three busting.at.the.seams!!
I was eager to begin but recalled some of the impulsive packing techniques I employed just one month earlier – It was payback time for the storage crates.
And really, unpacking wasn’t so bad. Three garage bays and a monstrosity of a vacant barn meant plenty of space for all our boxes, furniture, tools, and workbenches. Oh yes, and my pride and joy: the stack of scrap wood that I’ve been collecting for the past six years. It may be hard to understand the joy I felt as I neatly organized my scrap into individual piles in the barn – by species, size, whether it had been decoratively milled – if you didn’t experience the workshop I had set-up in the previous house: single garage bay, two large work benches, commercial table saw, and about a ton of scrap piled up on three shelves… I’ll say this: If you ever have an opportunity to set up shop in a 4,000 sq ft barn, I highly recommend it.
Right, so unpacking. Unpacking came and went with neither injury nor strain. Cait’s parents pitched in and that made all the difference. The four of us breezed through it in under four hours which left us plenty of time to do what we enjoy the most: discussing renovation.
We have ambitious goals for this property, and I’d be lying if I said we have every detail narrowed down. Part of what I love about home renovation is the freedom to pivot from the set plan when inspiration strikes along the way. Knowing Cait, inspiration will strike most every day!
I’m really looking forward to it.
Kristin Valentino says
Dear Bobby and Cait…. Congratulations to you both on this huge, but exciting adventure! This will, once again, be a tremendous work of love that you will be able to look back on with great pride and comfort as Long Hill Farm turns out to be another dream come true! Moving and unpacking, well, to say the least is a challenge in itself, not to mention going to settlement and closure that can/will test anyone’s patience, no matter what. I remember building my first home in 1993 at the young age of 38 – omg! I had no idea how much work, stress, and finally peace, could happen on such an adventure. I learned a lot at that time, most of which the two of you have already learned on your first “dreamhouse” that turned out to be magnificent! While everything may not go exactly as planned, if you always remember “dreams come true for those who work while they dream…” all will turn out with the twists and turns that may pop up – but PATIENCE is the answer…calm, cool, and collected! I am so proud of you both for “stepping out of the box” to accomplish and make your dream come true… You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers throughout this journey and I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines! Much love to you both! Aunt Kristin