New House Overview Part 1

Welcome to our new house!!

It’s an unusual design–there are four levels, but they’re all half-levels. And there are lots of doors! No open concept anywhere–which I love! It’s five bedrooms, two bedrooms, attached garage, and nice yard. I think it’s 2400ish square feet. (I’m going to do a room-by-room tour in a separate post since this got long.)

This house was built in 1969 and one of the owners actually designed it. We are only the second owners! There are a lot of original elements but plenty has been updated. The kitchen has been totally redone, the basement seems fresh, new carpet downstairs, lots had been painted. They also had a brand-new furnace and water heater, and we split the cost of a new roof during our purchase of the home.

Here is a long video tour of the entire empty house.

Some of the upstairs floors are still original, I think. The bathrooms have their original fans and dials. (They also didn’t work when we moved in, but A worked hard and found a way to fix them!)  The garage has its original inspection sticker! The sliding door is installed backward. The front door is very original, as evidenced by the 70s yellow wavy glass and doorknob placement that is weirdly far from the edge. The rest of the windows and doors seem original too.

The whole house is painted fresh and white, and the kitchen is bright and white. I haaaate a brown kitchen and busy patterned dark countertops. [Obviously this wouldn’t be a dealbreaker in a house, but I am happy that I don’t have to hate my kitchen. 🙂 ] This kitchen has white cabinets, white marbled quartz counters, white backsplash, and lots of natural light. Ooh, and a pantry! I was afraid we wouldn’t have enough cabinet space because there are technically fewer than in our old house, but I didn’t realize that these cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling, so all the cabinets are actually bigger. Plus those tall, full length cabinets are fantastic and store a ton. And the pantry!! We added two shelves and it holds so much stuff–things that previously we’d stored on open shelves in our old house (which looked messy and unorganized). Things are still fairly messy and not well organized…but now it’s behind a door! (Sometime we’ll spend a few hours organizing it.)

The five bedrooms are all fairly small. The master bedroom is much smaller than our previous ones (our previous rental had a HUGE master bedroom, and our last apartment in Brooklyn also had a very large master). That is one of the main ‘sacrifices’  of this house. I think it’s worth it though. It does have a small walk in closet, which also holds our dresser. It’s not an ideal use of space, so someday we’ll do a whole closet renovation. But it works for now. The room downstairs that E is in is actually a bit bigger (it’s 12×12), and M’s room has a walk-in closet that’s bigger than ours.

We have two bathrooms, down from three before. More than one bathroom was an absolute necessity and most older Portland homes have only one! The upstairs one has a double vanity, which is a wonderful bonus. This bathroom was mostly updated–new counter and sinks and floors and maybe tile? Original lights and huge storage vanity. PLUS there’s a linen closet IN the bathroom, AND another one just outside the bathroom! The downstairs bathroom is not nearly as shiny. The counter and sink look new.

The attached garage was high on our wish list too. This one seems to be a two-car garage, but it is a tight fit and we have enough stuff to prevent a second car actually parking in there. That is not great. Our old house had a very large garage and a large unfinished basement, so we had a TON of storage. Which we didn’t need right at first, moving from a one bedroom apartment. But over the course of seven years, we added a lot of holiday decoration (we are up to like four bins of Christmas and two of Halloween), plus I took back all the things I’d been storage at each of my parent’s houses. Plus four bikes and a treadmill. So it was all a lot more than I realized! It took some time with help to organize everything and pare down a bit, but now it’s all pretty good. It’ll be a lot better once I get all the donation stuff out of there though. It’s been a huge pile on one side for over a month now…

We had to buy some new appliances since the house only came with a dishwasher, stove and microwave. We have never bought appliances before, and it was exciting but also daunting and stressful to try and choose. So many options and features and reviews! We ended up buying everything at Costco and were able to take advantage of October Columbus Day sales. The fridge is a GE french door and most notably has a water and ice dispenser! Also, we have really noticed a difference in how fresh things stay. I wasn’t expecting that! The washer/dryer are high-efficiency Samsung. The washer drum is HUGE (and no agitator) and holds a ton of clothes.

Here’s a funny note–all these new appliances sing! The fridge sings some notes when you press the function buttons. The washer and dryer both sing a few notes when you press the power on and off, and they each have a longer song when their cycle is complete.

A. spent a lot of time coordinating things in between signing our offer and moving in. (Thank goodness our new house is only five minutes away from our old house! He could pop by quickly and easily.) The inspection, the repairs, calling some additional repairs in, and delivery of the appliances. The refrigerator DID NOT FIT through the front door. It also did not fit through the back door! They took the doors off the fridge and it *still* did not fit. So A got a handyman to come out–on a whole different day–and help him take off the back door and then get the fridge actually in place. Many hours of work and worry went into that fridge! So worth it though.

Next up I’ll have pictures of each room!