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Sporadically Sara: Buying a Home

By Staff | Mar 25, 2016

Last summer Tyler and I decided to buy a house in Grand Forks. I have been living in Grand Forks for over 10 years now and had been renting an apartment the entire time. We decided that we were ready to put down roots here. Once we found a house that we loved, we put an offer on it and were lucky enough to get it! The housing market in Grand Forks at that time was crazy; you would have to make an offer on a house after just a few minutes of looking at it, or else you would risk losing it. Once we got all of the paperwork done with the bank and finally closed on the house we were more than ready to move into our new home.

I remember the day we moved into the house; it was so exciting for us and it was also the hottest day we had had that summer so far. Tyler and I moved pretty much everything into the house by ourselves. The only things we got help with was the bedroom set. For that we called in a friend with more muscles than me. Once we got settled into the house we started making it our own. Luckily the house is not a fixer upper, but there were things that we wanted to change like paint and flooring to start with. The house was built in the seventies and has been kept in really good shape so we were very lucky when it came to the condition of everything. The previous owners were very diligent about keeping records of pretty much everything they ever did to the house. Every single paint color that they ever used was still in the original cans in the garage. The manual and receipt for every single appliance is all together in a nice neat folder for us. It was amazing the things they still had records of, probably the most amazing was the records of the plants in the yard. They were avid gardeners and had mapped out the entire front and back yard. They had every seed packet they used, and where it was planted. They also wrote down what plants were perennials and which ones weren’t. The back yard was absolutely beautiful but if there is one thing that I am not, it would be a gardener. I love to look at beautiful flowers and gardens but I would prefer to have nothing to do with the planting, weeding or watering of flowers and gardens.

One of the first things we had to buy for the house was a lawnmower, and Tyler and I both had very different ideas of what a lawnmower should be. If you know where my parents live, you know that we have what I would classify as a LARGE yard. I have put in many hours of mowing in my life. Tyler, on the other hand, grew up in town and has only ever mowed a small yard. He thought we should buy an electric mower! To be honest I had never even heard of such a thing until he started explaining to me that you just plug it in like a vacuum and work around the cord! When I got done laughing I explained that we would not be mowing around an electrical cord and that was pure craziness. My parents have been through their fair share of push mowers, and one thing we have learned is the more simple the machine the better. Tyler was pretty adamant about this electric lawnmower, so I let him buy one. We bought one with a battery pack instead of the cord and on the first pass across the yard the battery died and the bag needed to be emptied. That was the end of the electric mower business. We returned the electric one for a gas powered mower and we have been very happy with our choice ever since.

We have painted walls and made lots of other improvements to our house since we moved in. We learned how to install laminate flooring, replace light switches and we cut down pretty much every tree in the front and back yard. There were so many trees in the back yard that the coverage was so great we don’t have grass in about a third of our yard. So we have taken those trees out and will be planting grass sometime soon. We took an old ceiling fan out and replaced it a few weeks ago. We called a friend for this project since it involved electrical work. We figured we better not attack this one alone. Of course this small job turned into an all night project even with someone that knew what they were doing at the lead. We had light switches that were turning on lights that they had never turned on before. The new light we installed was on and wouldn’t shut off until you shut the breaker off for almost the entire upstairs. After a few hours we finally got it all figured out and successfully didn’t burn the house down.

We have enjoyed our house and all the adventures that have come along with it so far and are really looking forward to growing our family in this house. It is not just a house anymore. It is a home, our home. I know we have so much more to learn about house ownership and we are excited for the future.

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