We’ve closed and we’re starting to move in! We are excited and just thrilled with the house. It’s has that brand new house smell (polyurethane) and while it is our dream home, it has not been without its drama, right off the bat.
As we closed, the builder said that he was not happy with the final coat of poly on the hardwoods. The flooring contractor is going to need to come and sand and then re-apply the top coat on the bottom floor. Bummer. We proceeded with the closing, as we didn’t want to have one last coat of polyurethane be anything that held up the closing.
Plus, after closing we would vastly simplify our relationship with our lender, which I could not wait for. I needed a giant stack of cash for the house, and I would like to pay him monthly for the privilege. This is the relationship I needed and longed for.
I mean, I realize that getting a mortgage a couple years ago was a bit too easy, but the pendulum has swung. Hard. It’s not that we couldn’t get the loan, but the scrutiny is unreal. I haven’t had anybody watch my funds like that since…. ever. Even when I bought my last house. Even when Sarah and I planned our wedding and honeymoon 10 years ago before either of us had a real job. Even when I was doing computer repair for beer money at Tech and fishing quarters out of the couch. Not even close. We had to justify accounts that weren’t ours. I had to sign an affidavit stating that I am not and have never gone by Josh M. Carter, who has a warrant out for his arrest for skipping out on a house note and stealing chickens or whatever. I had to sign another affidavit that my in-laws credit card was in fact theirs, and not ours. I can’t tell you how many times I had to call the lender in the middle of the night to re-affirm that I pay my credit card bill off every month. And then I’d have to prove that the money that was automatically drafted out of my account to go to “American Express” ended up going to a company called “American Express” to pay my “American Express” credit card bill. Oh man, seriously? Sold something on Craigslist of eBay didja? Where did that money come from? eBay? A coat of Polyurethane wasn’t stopping this train. This needed to end.
So we closed! Poly be dammed.
And the last coat of polyurethane did look good. It did! But what didn’t look too hot was the stain that they sanded all the way through, the paint drippings from touch-up paint that they trapped between coats of polyurethane, and the touch-up pen that they used to hide the paint drips and spots and long edges of boards. Not happy.
After discussing the options with the builder and his real estate agent, we really had no good options other than sand down and re-do. So that’s what we did, and we didn’t let anybody else other than the flooring crew in the house. They took the finish all the way off and got down to the bare oak, then built it back up. It cost us a week and 2 weekends. But it’s right now, and it’s gorgeous. They did a better job on this floor than any other floor that I’ve seen. They probably didn’t want to have to do it again. Me either.
So now it’s done and we’ve started cleaning. Top to bottom, scrubbing walls, vacuuming floors, getting construction dust out of lights and ceiling fans and nooks and crannies. It’s slow work because my level of cleaning is borderline obsessive. The bathrooms take me hours and hours. I scrape up small bits of grout, paint, and goo. I’ve got rags and buckets and razor blades and putty knives and screw drivers and 3M pads and the soft kind of 3M pads and Frogtape. I also drink a lot of beer and push my little iPhone speaker as loud is it will go. Playlist is pretty predictable – Zeppelin I, Zeppelin II, Zeppelin III….
But check out those pictures! That’s the outside of our new home! We’ve got about the same size back yard as we have now, but the front yard is dramatically bigger. In the picture above with the back of the house, you can see the Middle School practice field at the pine trees across the street. You will see that we have no pine trees in our yard or sweet gums. We ripped them all out to lay down grass and put in maples, dogwoods, cherry blossom trees, and even a ginkgo. We left our nice magnolias, beech, dogwoods, and oaks, so hopefully they’ll get big soon with all the light that now reaches them. I’ve made a small project out of upkeep on the plants that I’ll share with you too.
In the meantime, you’ll notice that I haven’t posted any internal pictures yet. There’s a reason. And a story. Of course there is.