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Monday, February 4, 2008

Where Have All the Beer and Donuts Gone

Some work we had done in our kitchen is one of the reasons we decided we better try to save pennies where we could. Here's a view of our kitchen back when we bought beer and donuts at will:

And here's a look at it now, not a beer or donut in sight:

New countertops, see? Yes, I am way-excited, cost notwithstanding. I do still wonder sometimes if this was the wisest move financially, but anytime I really start to have doubts I somehow feel utterly convicted that this was the best thing we could've done for resale value, even if the value isn't so much in the amount of the sale but in the sale itself. In this, uh, buyers' market, to put it mildly.

I had this feeling solidified when the guys who did the counters said quite a bit of their current work is in houses that are for sale, which I personally found depressing. I really can't imagine what my mentality toward home improvements would be like if I knew I was going to live in a house indefinitely. But since we already know we will be here for four years at the most (which means our house will be up for sale exactly three years from now) I do know that if I'm going to end up forking out the bucks for a home improvement, I want to do it in plenty of time to enjoy it for awhile myself first.

Replacing the counters wasn't nearly as big of a deal as you might think. Because we didn't so much replace them as simply reface them. No demolition and much less cost. Though not free, naturally.

But going back to the resale, the countertop guy also mentioned what a great neighborhood we live in, and how in a normal market when a house in this neighborhood goes up for sale it doesn't last a week. Something I find no less than astonishing since houses that were for sale on our street when we moved in five months ago are still for sale, and this house itself had been on the market for almost six months when we made our offer.

But it reminded me of a comment our realtor made, almost to herself, when this house came up on our list to look at that day. Oh, this is a lovely neighborhood...houses always sell really well here. Me, I took one look at the white carpet in the living room and thought blech. Not for me, neighborhood or no.

So his comment solidified my feeling that we were very, very lucky to get this house. (Though these things aren't always about luck, are they?) And it gave me hope. Because if John gets this little special assignment thing that he's planning to put in for we could actually be moving much, much sooner. Though that is so tomorrow that I can't even bear blogging about it yet. Needless to say we have mixed emotions about it all: it is an assignment that he has coveted for some time; but we are, um, liking it here, and liking this lovely home we were so "lucky" to get, so it would not be a hardship, not at all, to stay here for the full tour, career disappointment or no.

In the meantime we will hope the housing market rebounds and will continue to make home improvements as we can, both energy and financially wise. The next step in the kitchen will be to get the microwave off the countertop. But that will, uh, have to wait a bit, $ince an even bigger motivator for being thrifty has been sitting in our garage for the last several days, waiting for friendlier weather.

The window guys were finally able to work today, starting upstairs where I figure the bulk of the heat from our wonderful fireplace insert gets sucked out right into the sky. This seemed the logical place to begin since the forecasted rain may very well keep them from finishing all 19 windows until later in the week. Here they are in Conner's room: Or another perspective...
It's still a soggy-wet, misty day, but blissfully downpour-free, so far. Hmmm....those bushes need trimmed, don't they?

I know you all are so excited about all this window news and talk about the housing market. But frankly, when you're spending this much money on something it just kind of seems worth mentioning. And pray for no rain. At least for one more day.

(Oh, and talk about kitchen countertops is exciting, I don't care who you are. And if you don't agree then, frankly, you don't belong here and I have no idea why you've even read this far.)


Anonymous said...

Lovely kitchen!! And, hey, I'd give anything for new windows right now, so I hear you!!

Carmen said...

Your kitchen looks great! Did you also get new lighting because that looks different too? Did you use granite transformation?

Jolyn said...

No, we are still definitely needing new lighting. What you're kind of seeing is the lack of the plastic sheath-thing that covered the original lighting, so we kind of have the "industrial" look going on.

We did use granite transformations. I linked to them if you click on "reface" up above.

Mary Alice said...

ooohhh..your kitchen is so pretty and so big. Mine is so tiny I have to keep my mixer and my mixing bowls, baking pans and such down in the cellar. It takes about 4 trips up and down to even start a baking process.

bubandpie said...

Wow, what a difference. Those countertops are spectacular.