Friday, September 22, 2006

Painting myself into a corner

Well, still trying to sell the house. Nobody wants my lovely house! So we spent the past 3 days painting the basement to brighten it up a bit. We had previously painted it dark blue, to optimize the movie-viewing experience. But apparently people were complaining it was "too dark" so we painted it beige. Tuesday night was shopping and taping edges. The paint store people scoffed at us when we wondered if we'd need two rolls of tape ("I've painted 6 rooms and I still have tape left!" said the one girl.). So we bought one roll of tape, and ran out.

Wednesday night we primed. I'd done some investigation on the internet about whether priming was necessary or not. The general consensus was that it was, because we were going from a dark colour to a light colour. I have very bad memories of right after we moved into our current house. The previous owners had painted what is now our office, but for them was their daughter's room, Pepto-Bismol pink. I have nothing against Pepto-Bismol, but I don't think it makes for a very appealing room colour. We decided to paint it pale yellow. After 3 coats it was STILL looking patchy. We ended up having to buy a wallpaper border and install it at the top of the room because we could not get the top edges to look at all decent. So this time, we primed.

Thursday I took the afternoon off work, and we painted. The primer *really* helped. We did one coat and then went around and did a few touch-ups, and it looks great. I highly recommend priming.

I'd post before and after pictures, but we didn't take any.

We've also dropped the price a bit, and our agent is putting an ad in the Toronto Star, which has huge circulation, so hopefully that will help.

In other news, both Kenneth and I have gotten the same cold at exactly the same time. It's kind of weird. So rather than spending our weekend hiking, which was the original plan, we're thinking matinee movies (because there are open houses both Saturday and Sunday afternoons) and general vegging out.

Friday, September 01, 2006

House stuff

I haven't posted in ages, because I've been too busy stressing out and cleaning my house non-stop.

We bought a new house! Up top, in my flickr photostream, you can see pictures of it. It's much closer to work than our current house - instead of a half hour drive, it's a half hour walk. OK, so the commute time will still be more or less the same (although, in the evenings, it generally takes me at least 40-45 minutes to drive home). I'll be getting automatic exercise daily. And I really think it will help me to feel better. I've been having lots of chronic muscle pain lately, which I think is aggravated by the fact that my life consists of: drive to work, sit at a desk all day, drive home, sit on a couch and watch TV, sleep. Too much sitting! I'm hoping adding in an hour walk per day will help loosen me up and rid me of some of this annoying pain.

The tradeoff for moving closer to work is that instead of having a modern 2-storey house built in 1997, we're buying a bungalow that was built in the 50's, and it's costing more. The new house (the bungalow) will need a bit of work, but I really like it, and it's in a great location with a big yard. We need to do the following things almost immediately:
  • Have the basement waterproofed. There are signs of minor moisture damage in the basement and we want to stop that trend before it goes any further.
  • Get a new furnace. The current furnace is 35 years old, according to the home inspector, and he says that they have a normal lifespan of 30 years.
  • Have the attic insulated more, and install more venting. I really think this is a priority as it will save us a bunch on heating this winter.
  • Buy a washing machine. It doesn't have one.

Things we'd like to do, but can wait:

  • Refinish or replace the hardwood flooring on the main floor. It's pretty scratched up. I don't mind it so much, but Kenneth is adamant that he wants it fixed. Ideally we'd do this before we move in, while the house is still empty. It would be a bitch to have to move all the furniture into the basement or something so they could re-do the floors. It covers the living/dining, hallway, and all 3 bedrooms. I'd like to do bamboo. Kenneth would like a dark colour. Maybe we can compromise on a dark coloured bamboo.
  • Remodel the bathroom on the main floor. It has 70's style dark yellow fixtures, and an ugly dark yellow tile floor.
  • Remove the wallpaper and paint the living/dining/hallway.
  • Buy a new fridge. The existing one is a little old and a little small.
  • Buy a new dishwasher. The existing one is a little old. But we'll see how it works before making any decisions in that department.
  • Buy new window coverings. The existing ones are pretty old and ugly.
  • Buy new light fixtures. We've got some *seriously* ugly light fixtures, dude.
  • Buy a bunch of topsoil and roto-till the back yard to get rid of the weeds.

There may be more things I'm not thinking of but those are the main ones. So it's going to be a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it in the end. And I'll get to walk to work! We'll also be saving a bunch of money in terms of day-to-day living. I'll get to terminate my $100/mo parking contract at work. We'll sell one of the cars, which means that's one less car to insure and maintain and gas up. Kenneth is thinking of taking the bus to school instead of the car, so if he does that, we could even insure the car as "casual" instead of "commuter" which would save a bit of money. I'm also thinking of terminating my gym membership because we have lots of weights at home, and why should I log all my gym gear to the gym to work out when I can do it at home? Right now, my motivation is because the commute is a lot shorter if I drive in first thing to go to the gym. But if I'm walking, the commute will be the same either way. I could just work out at home, shower, and then walk to work. Oh, and we will probably be moving Oct 27, or thereabouts. That's our official closing date for now.

That's all I have to say about the new house for now. Then we come to the old house. I need to sell it! I do NOT want to be in a position where I have to beg my dad to co-sign for a mortgage with me because I haven't sold my old house at the time I get the mortgage for the new house! He already told me he'll do that if I need him to, but come on. I'm 34 years old. I don't want my dad co-signing anything for me.