A voyage of discovery

We received keys to the new house late Monday, and got in there first thing Tuesday morning, or so we thought. We actually arrive about 2 hours after the cleaning crew that our wonderful realtor had hired on our behalf. They were well into things, and had a loooong way to go. Have we mentioned that this house needs some love?

After a marathon performance by the cleaners, Dina & I returned and put in some very rewarding work pulling up carpets. We knew there were hardwoods underneath, but it didn’t make the reveal any less fun. Before:


And after:


Pretty good! We now have a whole lot of carpet tack strips and staples to pull up, but it’s satisfying and goes pretty quick. Our weapon of choice for the tack strips:


And a needle-nosed pliers works perfectly for the staples. One room down, three and a half (hallway) more to go!

Opening & Closing

Today is when we officially become homeowners! After just a little last-minute scrambling, we got a cashier’s check to the escrow and title company on Friday, and signed a giant stack of paperwork on Saturday. We’re told it’ll all get filed at the courthouse today. We’ll get the keys tonight and start pulling up carpets tomorrow!

We also took a trip on Saturday to get the truck’s emissions tested (a prerequisite to registration in King County). Given its propensity to spew a nice puff of smoke whenever it starts up, we were dubious, and the cheerful gentleman running the test station gave us absolutely no hints about the outcome until he handed us a piece of paper: pass!

The only other concern about the truck is the near constant squeaking that I think I’ve identified as the bearings in the air/smog pump. A new part is on its way, and hopefully we’ll be in business.

Achievement unlocked: truck ownership

As previously noted, our new place is a fixer upper, and we anticipate quite a few trips to the dump, Home Depot, getting stuff off Craigslist, etc. Sure, we could borrow a friend’s van or rent a truck (apparently, Handy Andy is the place to go), but where’s the fun in that? Plus, I work from home most of the time, and Dina drives the car to work most days. So yesterday, we drove out to Monroe and bought this beaut:

Dodge Dakota 4×4, V8, long bed

As much as we can rationalize the decision, this was an emotional purchase, a response to our romantic (?) vision of home ownership.

Hopefully, the truck isn’t as much of a fixer as the house…

In the beginning…

Well, let’s start somewhere in the middle, actually.

Seattle, at the moment, is experiencing what I believe is officially termed “real estate madness” – housings selling for 20% over the asking price, asking prices that seem astronomical to begin with, cash offers, no inspection or financing contingencies, and so on. We absolutely count ourselves lucky that we had our fourth offer accepted. Some friends last year put in 10 offers (!) before landing a home.

(We are, of course, privileged and fortunate to be in a position to buy a house in the first place – not something to take for granted by any means.)

So after a couple months of “grazing” the listings on Redfin, and a few more months of concerted hunting, we put in an offer on quite a fixer upper in the Phinney/Greenwood area of Seattle. The pictures from the listing (below) don’t quite capture the state of affairs. Our real estate agent (Georgia Selfridge, who we would unconditionally recommend, by the way), coined the term “ugly but sturdy” for our search. We know the first half is true of our new place, and we really hope the second is, too!

We get the keys next week, and the fun begins in earnest.