Monday, January 10, 2011


Really, I never thought I would be the kind of person to get excited about lighting.

But recently I am all about some industrial looking lighting. I find that porcelain or enameled industrial lights in green or white are pretty easy to come by. When I stumbled upon these copper beauties on Etsy, and I was smitten. The copper is just a touch different, and a little warmer.

I will need to have the light rewired, but it will be so nice with a wood table, and our birch wallpaper! It is officially the first new purchase for our new house!

Oh, and yay! We got the house! It was a long, drawn-out process, but everything is settled now. Electrical is updated, the oil line is soon to be fixed, and hopefully the radon will be no more by the time we move in. We will close at the end of February, but for now there will be lots of meetings, signings, and many questions to be answered. First order of business once we own this house: Goodbye mauve carpet, hello hardwoods.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hard Ball

Trying to buy a house is tough business.

Dave and I have been home hunting for months - at first passively, then actively. We looked all over - Beverly, Salem, Marblehead, Newburyport (which is a dream but too far from the city), Hingham, Belmont, Arlington, Concord (too expensive), and then finally Maynard.

I accidentally stumbled upon Maynard on a trip to an apple orchard in Stow, which is one town over from Maynard. I loved the area. There are lots of farms and orchards, lots of nature, a cute little town center. I took Dave out there one day so we could look at a few open houses, and to my surprise he loved it too. We met with a realtor and started looking much more seriously.

At first our realtor sent us to a few open houses, wanting to know our feedback so we could give her a solid idea of what we were looking for. After that she took us out to see a handful of homes in a single day, which left our heads spinning a bit. One of the homes we looked at we really liked, but it seemed like too much of a project.

The home in question has mauve and baby blue carpeting, a baby blue bathroom, old lady wallpaper, oil heat, and a lovely original 80's kitchen. But it also has a lot of things we have been looking for. It is a single family ranch with 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, well-maintained, and central air!

The home in question also has an offer on it - made by Dave and I. The process has been like pulling teeth so far, primarily because this house is an estate. Three children are dealing with the sale of a home that their parents built in the 80's as their retirement home. I would only expect this to be an emotional sale for these kids, but good lord . . .

We have gone through inspections, and there were a few red flags waived - which we anticipated. The roof, hot water heater, a furnace are all near the end of their life span. Hello, Big Money. There were also some issues raised with out of date electrical, some small leaks, and an out-of-date oil line that MUST be updated. Oh, and our radon test? Terrible. The results were 14.4 and 14.6 pCi/L. Now, I don't really know what the hell this means as far as measurements go, but the EPA limit on radon in households is 4.0pCi/L. EEK!

The problem is that the estate holders are fighting us every step of the way. Everything we ask them to repair they somehow take as a personal jab at their deceased parents. First it was the amount of money we offered them for the home ("an insult to [their] parents"), then it was asking them to fix the electrical. From what I understand, their father was an electrician. Therefore, asking them to fix electrical problems that were raised by the home inspector is also a slight towards their father.

Oh, bother.

We are in a bit of a holding pattern now. Who knows what will happen. We have tried very hard to not get emotionally involved in this home, because you never know what will happen. But of course, I already started picking things out for our house:

Cute things for Baby Wall's room . . .

And some nice lighting . . .

Perhaps a Julia Child inspired pegboard in the kitchen . . .

This wallpaper for the dining room . . .

With this table (minus the bench) . . .

Fingers crossed.