Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bad Real Estate Photos

After waiting 3 months from our latest floor plan change, we finally received our quote from the builder today. I asked if it was at least in the ballpark of our budget and he said "sort of". Oh, it's just ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS OVER BUDGET. Sexy Nerd is diligently reworking our design to lower the cost. Many drastic changes and many hours later, he has saved an entire $9,035.

While he scrimps and saves, I'm browsing real estate listings. My search hasn't been very reassuring, to say the least:

This is the most terrifying cozy mountain lodge I've ever seen.

What did they spill on this carpet??

It's so hard to choose the perfect flooring. Let's just get them all!

Apparently, this broken TV (computer monitor?) comes with the house.

Flamingos and tropical fish in the middle of the desert? Sure. I don't know if it quite fits the 1.3 million dollar asking price though.

This is on every listing photo...I guess so I won't steal them to share on my blog? Because, obviously, this one is such a high quality photo that it's in need of protecting.

Ummm, maybe try not taking all the listing photos for your multi-million dollar home with your cell phone?

Bread boxes!
The property value must have tanked when the low-carb craze hit.

 Tasteful bedroom...or S&M dungeon?

 This one is actually very nice. Supposedly, this is the private backyard and the pond is stocked with scrumptious, self-replenishing trout, which the homeowner loves to catch and enjoy for dinner. The home is also gorgeous and it's listed for just $299,000. It has been sitting on the market for nearly a year. Bait and switch?

 It's a good thing they pointed it out, or I'd have been super confused.

The Labeler strikes again, clearing up any confusion over the purpose of this room containing a sink, fridge, microwave, and toaster oven. Thank you, Labeler! You have truly saved the day.

When listing your home for sale, sometimes less is more.

Can you imagine telling your builder "Carpet the house, but leave this strip of dirt for me. I have big plans for it!"?

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, I have another whole page of bad real estate listings.

You know, $143,965 $142,765 (Sexy Nerd found another $1,200!) over budget suddenly doesn't seem so bad.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Weak Cup of Coffee

My day isn't off to a great start. I got about ZERO hours of sleep last night. It was one of those situations where you can't sleep because you have so many other things to do, but then you end up not sleeping anyway, so you may as well have just stayed up after all.

Sexy Nerd is away on a business trip, which means making the morning coffee fell to me. He'll be home today and not a moment too soon. Grinding the beans, measuring the water, changing the filter, all before I've had any caffeine...that's what I have a husband for! I poured a packet of liquid creamer and some Torani Salted Caramel syrup into a mug, added my finally-brewed coffee, and sat down for a speedy breakfast before running off to work. I mentally checked off the things I need to take care of before Sexy Nerd gets home.

The house is still a mess, the dogs need to be fed, the tortoises need their humidifier water replaced, (oh, by the way, Sexy Nerd has an aquarium of tortoises now) today is my last day to get to Smith's and Albertsons before their specials change...


My first sip of coffee wasn't what I'd been expecting. I had brewed the weakest cup ever, tasting of nothing but watered down cream and sugar. If there had been another cup of coffee around, it would have laughed at it. Looking at the dishwater beige liquid in front of me, I realized my mistake.


I had never added my freshly-ground beans to the coffee maker.
It's going to be a loooong day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Custom Bathroom Ideas

While designing our custom mountain home, our biggest fear has been that we might build something boring. I mean, we don't want to end up with a crazy, zero resale value house, but what's the point of going through the hair-graying experience of building if we're just going to end up with something everyone else has already done?

The design process has taken a looooong time for this house!

There are 3 bedrooms and each is connected to its own bathroom. We still have a few tweaks to make before finally breaking ground, but here are our bathroom floor plans so far:

Guest Bathroom/Mudroom Bathroom
I'd like to have a stunning mural behind the shower, framed with real curtains. The floor to ceiling window is going to be stained glass, which will reflect in the mirror across from it.

Guest Bathroom/Hallway Bathroom
Whether you have the door open or closed, it's impossible to see the toilet from outside the bathroom. There is going to be a river rock stripe leading from the hallway door up the shower wall. Another river rock stripe, in a contrasting color, will lead from the bedroom door up the sink wall. The two colors will be mixed and matched where they intersect.

Master Bathroom (AKA the best bathroom ever!)
It's his and hers bathrooms/closets connected by the shower. I hope we've made my closet big enough...

The builder tried to convince us to also include his and hers toilets, but Sexy Nerd is the one who always cleans the toilets in our house (sucker!) and that would be pretty hard to get away with if I had one of my own.

Settling on a floor plan was difficult, but the real challenge comes next - finding money to pay for all these crazy bathrooms choosing decor. Here are a few photos from my Hallway Bathroom ideas folder.

Seamlessly blending all 8 of these into one cohesive design should be easy peasy, right?

Luckily, I've found a tremendous website for unique bathroom fixtures, Decor Planet, along with reviews from people who have installed them in their own homes. Just look at some of the eye-catching bathroom vanities they sell:

The TOTO Waza Miyabi Plum Tree bathroom vanity. There's no way I could get away with this if Sexy Nerd and I were sharing the master bathroom! I'm picturing a dainty mirror hung behind it on a silky pink ribbon.

 I love the mix of modern and rustic in this Fresca bathroom vanity. It's just right for my river rock hallway bathroom. We're curving the wall where it meets the floor, rather than just doing a clean edge like in this photo, and I think a short bathroom vanity will really show it off.

This Unico Fresca Bathroom Vanity isn't quite to my taste, but I love the countertop. It's all a continuous piece of glass, including the double sinks! How amazing is that?
 Sexy Nerd and I have waffled back and forth on including a farmhouse sink in our kitchen (the current decision is that we're not going to have one...although maybe we should...). I never even considered having one in a bathroom! Did you know that was even an option?

Four bathroom vanities. Three bathrooms. I can't wait for our Paa-ko home to finally exist!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Waterfall House

A while back, Sexy Nerd and I had the opportunity to purchase a unique house in our dream neighborhood, Glenwood Hills. It had a charming bridge to the double front doors, incredible views of Albuquerque, and an interior practically glowing in natural light, but also a few flaws. The cosmetic fixes, such as a new kitchen, new bathrooms, new walls, new everything, we could tackle, but there were also severe structural issues.

After much debate, (and finding the skeleton of a bat inside the house) we decided it wasn't a good fit for us. Still, I wonder if we made the right choice. We drive by it sometimes and see that the new owners are slowly destroying it, little by little. They cleared every living thing from the yard, leaving just a wasteland of hot dirt, and replaced the garage doors with ones that are super-boring. The house needs a modern, contemporary face lift - boring garage doors are all wrong!

We should have just purchased it. I mean, where else are you going to find a house with a waterfall, built right into the side of a mountain?

It starts out nice enough.

Sexy Nerd could fix this.

The sellers rolled out the welcome mat for us.

This doesn't seem quite right.

Are wires and cables supposed to stretch across here?

I've never seen stucco ooze before.

Okay, so there were a few iffy things going on outside. When you walked through the front doors though, it was gorgeous. The wood! The light! The openness!

I had big plans for this old bathroom.

And even bigger plans for this old kitchen (I was going to move it downstairs, so it would be with the living area and garage instead of the bedrooms).

But it's hard to fix a balcony that's falling down. 
(Side note: Looking through these photos, I can't help feeling that we all should have left our shoes on.)

And, of course, there was the biggest challenge of all...

The waterfall.

If you looked over the railing after walking through the front door, this is what you saw.

 I don't think it ever successfully worked as a waterfall, but that's what the original homeowners had intended, back in the days of wet bars and wood paneling.
It was just a very, very special house.
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