21 March 2014


Here we go. We're going to attempt to get "caught up" in here.
This is going to be a long story.
So around the end of the summer 2012, Phil and I decided we were going to buy a house.
Which was scary, for a few reasons:
1 - Buying a house is scary.
2 - Buying a house is expensive.
3 - We knew we wanted to get pregnant sometime "soon."
4 - Having a baby is scary. And expensive.
5 - I didn't want to be committed to Utah. At all.
6 - Unknowns, unknowns, unknowns.
Our plan was to get an investment property,
preferably with a basement apartment that we could rent out.
Which made me feel a lot better about it, because we wouldn't be looking for a "dream home" or anything that we were committed to live in for any length of time.
So we started saving up, and in the spring of 2013 we started getting more serious about looking.
We asked my Uncle Lance to be our agent, and got to work.
It was an interesting process - every decision was based on the numbers - it was a very unemotional purchase. 
We had some pretty specific criteria to fit our goals, and ended up finding a great house!
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Four bedrooms upstairs, two bedrooms in the basement apartment.
Beautiful park right across the street, great neighborhood, close to schools/freeway, granite countertops, two-car garage...Not a bad rental.
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(this was post-painting...it used to be a bright yellow on the top half and sky-blue on the bottom
don't ask me why)

With this particular house, it made more sense for us to live in the basement and rent out the upstairs,
since we could collect a lot more money for a 4-bedroom house than a 2-bedroom basement apartment.
So we started the craziness.
We put in our offer, did a little negotiating, and with a little magic by Uncle Lance, managed to close in just a few weeks at the beginning of June with a very small down payment, which was nice because we had quite a bit of work to do on the basement.
So we left our ward of four years (which was one of the hardest things EVER)
and moved in.
Photo: Guess who got the keys to their HOUSE today?!?!??!
This was a tricky stage. We had construction and remodeling going on downstairs.
Where we were "living."
Which meant we were ACTUALLY living upstairs.
With all our boxes of stuff, which we couldn't unpack because of the work being done.
While we were trying to show the house for renters.
While we were also painting the upstairs.
(I'm really mad I can't find any better before-pictures...there were some scary wall colors going on)
Photo: Unexpected home expense #1. Cuz I'm awesome.
It didn't work.
It ended up sitting empty for a few months.
(Which was financially hard, but convenient for the times we had family come into town.)
In the basement we did:
gut and replace the kitchen cabinets and countertops, all new appliances (except fridge)
custom shelving for the walk-in closet (yep, in the basement)
piping/plumbing for a washer/dryer
trim/finishing work, repair of drywall, door-framing
custom tile landing at the front door
LOTS of painting.

We finally got all the work done and got our crap downstairs,
and within a few weeks we found the perfect tenants!
A cute empty-nester couple from Wyoming.
We totally love them, and they've been great.
They're hardly ever home, and don't have any kids or pets to be thumping around upstairs.
It's nice.
After spending a small fortune on the remodeling, we were happy to finally start MAKING money.

The A/C died. Had to be replaced.
Luckily we got the home warranty.
There was WIND.

Two sections of our fence blew over in one weekend.
So Phil got to "get his handy on"
and recruited some help from the family and our neighbors.

Ask anyone from Utah about "that one crazy rainstorm."
I was reffing at a volleyball tournament, and Phil called me right as I got off.
It was flooding the basement from the window well and door.

 About 18 inches high.

 Our super-nice neighbor saved the day!!
He and Phil were wringing out towels for hours!
 So we got to move all the furniture out of the living room and master bedroom.
Which is, like, the whole apartment.
 And we laid the mattress on the floor of the second bedroom.
Until we could get the carpet replaced.

 And we had to relocate the fishtank
and created what I liked to call the "hillbilly fishtank"
It was classy.
So then we started making arrangements to get the carpet done,
so we could re-set up our living room and bedroom and finish settling in.

Phil found this in the bathroom.

 Turns out, the pipe that drains pretty much EVERYTHING from the upstairs
had a leak in it.
Yep, bathroom water.
 So we had to hire specialists to rip out all the drywall and sterilize the framework.
Cuz there was sewage water all over.
And then the plumber fixed the pipe.
And then we had to hire OTHER guys to put the drywall back up.

 So our bathroom was out of commission.
AND the living room.
AND the bedroom.
We finally got the bathroom back together.
Then we got new padding for the carpet and got it re-assembled.
And moved back into our normal bedroom.
And THEN we started collecting rent money.

It was a tough four or five months.
People kept asking "Do you LOVE your new house?!?!"
No, we didn't.
But we knew that we WOULD. One day.

And now we do.
Even though we live in a little basement apartment.
It's not the dream home, but it's ours.
We'll call it home for a little while.
And hopefully in a few years we'll have another one or two, and they'll help pay for the dream house.
In California????....

1 comment:

  1. Props to you for handling all that while pregos! You guys are CHAMPS!!