After 18 years of living in my parents' house, 4 years of living away at school, 2 years of bouncing around California, and 2 years of renting back in Mass., I finally purchased my own place in June 2007. It has served me well over the past several years. Going through the whole process of purchasing a property was a great learning experience, as were the years that followed. I've always been mindful of finances but having a monthly mortgage payment made me even more so. The responsibilities that come along with owning are obviously great, but I felt as though those responsibilities were rewards for a lot of hard work and mostly good decisions.
I lucked out and didn't have any work to do once I moved into my new nest. The three-family house was recently renovated and my unit wasn't anything fancy but it more than met my needs for that stage of my life.
The kitchen was clean - that was more than I can say for most of the other places I looked at. I'll miss the gas stove - our new house has electric. Boo. The rest of the kitchen was new-n-nice but not really my style. I knew I was only going to be spending a few years in this condo so I never intended on throwing money into upgrades. My first purchase for the new house was a new washer/dryer. Despite the fact that I rarely do laundry, they are two of the loves of my life. After much debate, we decided to leave them for our new tenants. Oh, I didn't mention that? Long story but we took my condo off the market and will be renting it out instead. Um, that wasn't a long story at all - it was actually pretty damn short. I have faith that I will find a new washer and dryer that I will love equally as much and that Joe will use as much as he did these ones. Besides, they look so happy and at-home where they are now. I wouldn't want to ruin that for them. (See them over there in that precious little pantry nook? They are Whirlpool Duets in case you were wondering.)
Another one of the few purchases I made for my new place was a dining room table. I've never needed one before but now that I officially had a dining room, it seemed like a good time to get one. With the help of a friend's employee discount, I got this beauty along with it's bench counterpart. This sucker is NOT staying. I'd throw this thing on my back and carry it to each new place we move if I have to. (I can say that because I don't plan on moving again. Moving sucks. Our new house is perfect and has plenty of room to grow.) The dining room also has a nice built-in that stored tons of booze. These old houses have great character and I'm glad they maintained all the original woodwork and charm when they made renovations. They even kept that stained-glass window...love it. The guy that lived on the 3rd floor removed his and replaced it with a fugly casement window. I have no idea why. He's an odd bird...and might be a candidate for his own designated blog post. Unless something ridiculously awesome was on TV, I ate dinner in here every night...until a few months ago when it became a landing ground for a carseat, diaper bag, mail, jackets, and storage boxes. Here's the dining room and my Big Sur - paired with two super-old chairs that came from my grandparent's house.
When there was a ridiculously good show on and it was before 8pm on a school night, I'd watch it in my living room. This was the only room that I made any real changes to since I moved in. Nothing major - I just painted the walls a warm tan to keep my place from looking too crack-house-ish. (The walls in the kitchen, bath, and hallway are light light cream and the dining room and bedrooms are a light light grey.) The trunk is another find from my grandparent's house - I just got a piece of glass cut to put on top for added stability and protection. The big couch was put together inside of the condo. It was too big to fit up the narrow, winding staircase - although the movers tried and managed to bust holes in three walls and rip the original couch. Luckily, the store replaced the couch and had a company come and actually put it together for me. I can't wait to take a hacksaw to that thing once we are ready to move out. The matching loveseat was already moved out when this picture was taken. The brown chair/ottoman is coming with us. It won't go with our new living room scheme but its comfy as hell and, aside from where the cats scratched it up, it's pretty pretty. We'll probably put it in one of our two guest bedrooms until future offspring force us to chuck it. Oh, and those windows let in tons of light and allowed me to snoop on my neighbors for hours of entertainment.
I moved into this place on July 1, 2007. I think it was the hottest day of the year - at least it seemed that way. After lugging boxes and furniture up a few flights of stairs a few trillion times, I made a deal with myself that I would unpack just until 7pm and then reward myself with a relaxing bath in my new jacuzzi tub. 7pm rolled around, I filled up the tub with the hottest water possible and eased myself into the water. Just before I pushed the button to activate the jets, I had a brilliant idea to put a few drops of moisturizing body wash into the water. I turned on the jets, laid back, and less than 4 seconds later realized I was overflowing the tub with suds and water. I immediately got out and spent the next 45 minutes cleaning soap and water off my bathroom floor and trying to wash away a tub full of bubbles. I cried and went to bed.
That leaves the two bedrooms. I tried to keep my bedroom as simple as possible. I hate clutter. Yeh, I have three piles of both clean and dirty clothes on the floor right now, but I hate clutter. My bedroom doesn't look like anything special but it is special. I got engaged in this room, I'm pretty sure James was conceived in this room, my water broke in this room, and I've cuddled with my fiance and son in this room.
Then there's the second bedroom. Throughout the past 3.5 years, this room has been a roommate's bedroom, a guest room, a closet, an office, a giant coat rack, and James' room. Again, we kept this room pretty simple. The memories we will forever have of our little guy playing, sleeping, pooping, singing, dancing, screaming, and laughing have better served us than fancy nursery decor ever will. Also, we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl so everything stayed neutral. I have big plans for his new bedroom though.
So there it is, my first place. It has been a pleasure living in you but I'm beyond excited to move and get started on our first place.