In the summer of ‘15 we bought our first house and oh-boy it needs some work! We were driving around with our two boys (Peter & Henry) aimlessly, as we often do (our daughter Anna hadn’t been born yet), when we decided to swing past the back side of the old Geauga Lake. My husband had never seen it, and I was reminiscing of the crowded parking lot when I was little.
Driving South on 306, we spotted a small house with a Howard Hanna sign in the front yard. Paul told me to check the price so I pulled out my phone and checked. Zillow showed an ask of $155k with 2 acres and there was an open house scheduled for the very next day; so we went.
Before we walked in he told me not to get excited… so I didn’t. I barely paid attention. When we got back into the car, much to my shock he said to me, very matter-of-fact like, “We’re buying it.”
I was shocked. I had a million questions in my head. Can we afford it? Is it in good shape? Are the bedrooms too small? How do you even buy a house?! Of course if you know my husband, you know that he’s as stubborn as a mule. Simply not knowing how to do something is never a factor in his decision making and once he has his mind set to do it, he does it. I just hope he’s joking when he says he wants to buy chickens next spring...
So over the next several months we bought the house & moved in, Peter started preschool and I gave birth to my daughter Anna Elizabeth. It seemed like a whirlwind that went by so quick, I can barely remember. It turned out we could afford the house, it is in good shape (just outdated for the most part), and the bedrooms are small but cozy & fit perfectly with our very young small family. We turned our attention to making it our own.
Since we had plenty of summer left, we said goodbye spider infested rock bed; hello cedar mulch and paver edge! We made several trips to the new Menards in Warren to get cheap pavers and mulch in our minivan; always stopping at Dollar General in Parkman on the way back for cookies. It feels like we’ve already started some great family traditions.
The boys were so much help. They had a lot of fun putting rocks in buckets and finding spiders and watching daddy squish them. Thankfully and unknown to us, buying the house meant we got some awesome neighbors too! Mike taught us how to shoot a bow and arrow, throw spears and often times just showed up to help Paul work. Mike even helped out with mowing our yard since we haven’t been able to afford a lawn mower yet. We couldn’t have asked for such wonderful neighbors!
To further dress up the front of the house, I lashed some 1 x 4” boards together, stained them dark walnut (my favorite) and Paul attached them to the side of the windows. They were SO cheap and make such an improvement over the cheap faded vinyl ones that were up originally. Over Christmas I dressed them up with some strips of red burlap and wreaths I got from Michaels. I was a little worried about the red color bleeding on my new shutters, but I just took them down last week and I didn’t have any issues. There is a little red staining beneath my shutters on the siding, but it’s barely noticeable.
It’s been a mild winter, but now we’ve turned our focus inside the house and I can’t wait to show off some more projects we’ve done. Next week I'll post about our three (it was four) interior windows, our new workshop and a few other projects we're working on!
Thanks for reading!