Friday, May 28, 2010

Meet the New Homeowners! (Part 1)

I am posting this with my HTC Hero phone from the set of a TV film (in between takes) that is being filmed in downtown Portland. The hour is getting very late and remote blogging is tedious, so please overlook any misspellings or awkward phrasings.

We finally did it! Cinco de Mayo is no longer solely a celebration of Summer's (my little sister) birthday or Mexico's independence.

May 5th now marks our independence from apartment living. We bought our first house!!

About two weeks ago, which was more than eight weeks after we submitted a bid on our house in Beaverton (in addition to the initial six weeks
IMAG0001.jpg of house hunting), the home loan funded and Diana our realtor handed me the keys as I finished my Delta work shift at PDX Airport. Both Shawn our mortgage broker and Diana agreed that buying a HUD house with an FHA loan resulted in one of the most complicated home purchases that they had ever seen. It was worth it, though!

Kathy and I had initially agreed that we didn't want to bother with a fixer-upper, but she fell in love with the house when we first toured it on March 7th
(and also later that month with our parents). IMG_4984.JPG
This house was actually my second choice, but I needed no persuasion other than the look on Kathy's face as we walked from room to room. How could I resist?

With a roomy floor plan and a 1/3 acre lot (check out the back yard!), this three bedroom/ two bathroom home stole our hearts. Both the appraiser and the building inspector whom we hired assured us that the recommended repairs were numerous (my dad compiled a seven page list of action items) but minor. Aside from some weathered exterior siding and considerable dry rot in the master bathroom, the house is solid.

Bo, as I lovingly call my dad, had been meticulously helping us track the financial portion of the transaction ever since we first made the offer on the house.
Once I got the house keys, Bo eagerly accepted our offer to spearhead the lion's share of the necessary clean-up/ repairs prior to our move-in date. Bo has been putting in long hours each day to fix up our house, even while Kathy and I are working our day jobs and serving in student ministry.

After Bo replaced the locks, we started the work by scraping the toxic "popcorn" texture off of the ceilings of the family room and kitchen.
We were covered in white powder and debris at the end of each day.

The following Saturday, we invited our friends and church family over for a clean-up day to prepare for the next round of work. We are so grateful for good friends! Amy, Allen, Bo, Eleanor, Gary, Kenny, Peggy, Tom, Wendy, and our friends Mike and Kym dropped by to help us out for the day, and some of them helped out during the week, too. We scrubbed the windows and walls (who knew that they were actually white underneath?)...

...pulled blackberry bushes (Kym and Gary are outside my window in this photo)...

...killed weeds...

...and started taping off areas that of the rooms that needed to be protected from our painting project the following week.

In addition to all of his hard work, Bo also met with my friend Mike to plan out some of the upcoming plumbing fixes.

Diana our realtor even sent some pizzas over to us for lunch!

It's a shame that we didn't take any adequate "before" pictures… the house had been severely neglected by the previous owner (even before he was evicted), and it originally looked pretty nasty. It seemed like a totally different house (the interior, anyway) by the time we headed back to our apartment that evening.

My film shoot is about to wrap for the night/ early morning, so I will give an update on our priming and painting in an upcoming post. I plan to upload some photos to this post when I get home [Update: Photos added 5/29/10]. There are only two more days until we move in!


joeyjenna2 said...

Love the house, Garth & Kathy. We're so very happy for U! Such a pretty and cozy home! Love the yard, 2! -Jenna

Garth Hamilton said...

We loved the house from the beginning, but it's growing on us more and more each day. We've been doing so much interior remodeling that the previous owner would barely recognize it.

I can't wait to have you guys over!