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Our First House

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Our First House - Page Text Content

S: Our First House - 2010

BC: Home


1: Home | The story of our beautiful home from start to finish.

2: The Hunt When we first started looking for a house we looked at short sales & foreclosures. We were able to weed through the majority of the houses based on what we saw of them online, but we were surprised to find that even the ones that we thought we liked were horrifying in person. (Extra large mason jars with floating body parts anyone?) We were starting to feel a little discouraged. Then our Realtor was out of town one weekend so we decided to look at some new construction on our own. On Saturday, August 14th we saw about 5 communities and we still didn't find anything that we really liked, not to mention anything that was realistically in our price range. It was starting to get late and we were burnt out, but Tiffany really wanted to check out one last community, especially since we were already right across the street. We had checked it out online ahead of time and knew that we were really only interested in one model: the Verona. Tiffany said it was a sign, since that was the name of the area she grew up in. Wouldn't you know, we walked in and knew it was the one right away. We sat down with Megan, the sales lady, to talk numbers. Over the next week we went back to look at the model a few more times and ran the numbers over, and over, and over again. We knew it was a little more than we were originally intending to spend, but decided that it was worth it and that we could make it work. On Saturday, August 21st we signed the contract!

3: SOLD! | Just an empty lot for now. | Placing a sold button on the sales map for lot 68.

4: Stats: 2,178 square feet 3 bedrooms + den + loft 2.5 bathrooms 2 car garage | Floor Plans

5: On Monday, September 13th we had our design center appointment with Dotty, who was wonderfully patient and helpful. | Design Center | She was able to pick up on our personalities and styles and guide us in the right direction. Although we were there for 8 hours, we left feeling confidant of our choices.

6: Weekly Visits | October 8th Today was the first day we actually saw any activity on our lot. They set up the wooden layout for our house to prepare for the trenching and grading of the land. Two weeks prior to this we had a date night and at the end of the night we decided to check on our "house". We sat in the car parked in front of the lot and joked that our house was a beautiful one bathroom home with a pool. Later Tiffany's dad told us he had used our bathroom while he went by to check on the house on one of his many bike rides. We all got a good laugh out of it. | These were our first family pictures on the lot.

7: Our construction sign went up with the first markings of our address!

8: October 15th For some reason we weren't expecting much to change this week. Things have seemed to move so slowly up until this point that it was surprising to visually see that things indeed had been done this week. The underground plumbing and trenching were completed to prepare for the pouring of the slab. | After we walked around for a while pretending like we knew what we were examining, we took Kennedy to play in "her park" for the very first time. The static she got in her hair while going down the slides was hysterical!

9: October 22nd | The day it really hit us, they are actually going to build our house here! We have a foundation!

10: October 25th | October 26th | October 30th | Framing Week

11: We went to visit the house each day this week. We were so surprised with how quickly things came together and we went from having a concrete slab to a fully framed house we could walk around in. | October 27th | October 28th | November 1st

12: November 12th This week we got internet, gas, and bathtubs! It's starting to get dark earlier so we will have to try to start coming earlier so we can actually see inside. | November 7th This week we got windows, plumbing and electrical!

13: November 14th Not much changed since we visited 2 days earlier, but we had to come back earlier in the day to look around while we had more light. | November 18th We had our frame walk with our construction superintendent to go over the features of our house and make sure there were no major problems or things that were missed.

14: Frame Walk November 18th | Looking in to our family room from the garage. | Our storage closet under the stairs. Jim had them omit a small wall to maximize our space. | Here is Jim, our superintendent telling us how to operate our fire sprinkler system.

15: A decorative nook in our main living space. | Standing in Kennedy's room looking into her bathroom. | Standing in Kennedy's room looking into the second bedroom. | A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.

16: December 4th This week things didn't look much different on the outside, but on the inside we got drywall! It really looks like a house now! | December 9th This week they started the stucco process and hung some of the doors. | December 12th We now have stucco, interior doors, trim, and paint, and some exterior paint (although they made some mistakes with it).

17: Kitchen | Family Room | Loft | Front entry into kitchen | Stairs

18: This week we got our cabinets and light fixtures installed! We love them! However, see the dark spot in our ceiling? It wasn't visible to the naked eye, but my camera picked it up. We noticed it when we took the picture but then we forgot about it. More on that later. | December 18th

19: This was not a scheduled visit day to the house, but Will was able to concoct a plan to get Tiffany over to the home site for an "emergency"... | December 22nd

20: He Proposed! | Will's Story I struggled for weeks on how I wanted to do it. First, I wanted to talk to Tiffany's parents, but finding a time to do so while I had Kennedy and Tiffany was difficult. I wanted to assure them that I loved Tiffany very much, but not only that, I wanted them to be a part of my life and know that their sense of family meant a great deal to me. I wanted to convey how lucky I was and also how grateful I was for them for my own sake and for Kennedy's. I was going to vow that Tiffany would be happy or at least try my utmost to make sure that she was. Now how to do it? I had always imagined proposing to Tiffany. I wanted to do it in Wisconsin but given the timing and cost of the ring itself it seemed unfeasible. I wanted to do it on the square. I had remembered being there and feelings I had with her while being there. I felt not only in love but truly loved just to be there. I felt honored that I and I alone had been the only one to be taken there with her. I felt as though it was our own special place. It was a truly magical place as she often described and now that I had been there I too had felt its magic. It gave me the feeling of togetherness, this feeling of belonging and almost a sense of family. Although I could not go there I wanted my proposal to embody those feelings I had while there. It wasn't my first idea or my tenth. I had planned it a million ways: On the beach of California; on a special hot air balloon date. Even a couple of ideas Tiffany had already guessed and told me not to do that. I wanted something that would embody the feelings I had when I was with Tiffany in Wisconsin on that square. I wanted my proposal to center on a feeling of home, and seeing as we had just bought a house together I felt this was my best choice. Now I am not going to lie, I was scared. I knew it was pretty much in the bag seeing as Tiffany had picked her own ring, but maybe she was having doubts. I decided to wait a bit. I wanted to do it before Christmas but after Thanksgiving. I contacted Megan Kellis, our real estate agent working for Shea, the company that built our home, and told her I wanted to purpose at my soon to be completed house. She gave me a range of dates of when people were going to be in and out of the house. So I chose the date Wednesday December 22, 2010.

21: It didn't go quite as I had planned. Megan, through various phone calls and conversations, had assured me that tiling for our house was to begin the 23rd, so when I asked her about the 22nd and she said that would work I was excited. I told Megan to tell Tiffany that there was a problem with some of the landscaping options in our backyard. In particular the location of the 3 trees in our back yard. I had told Megan she needed to call Tiffany and tell her there was an emergency and that we needed to tell the landscapers where to plant the trees that day. Tiffany, in panic mode, calls me telling me what I had just told Megan to say in an email. I told her I would meet her after work around 4 in the afternoon. I raced over there with the ring in hand and got to the house only to find that the tilers had started a day earlier and, not only that, they did not speak English. I told Megan and she got them to leave while I did my proposal for fifteen minutes, but this time not in the house but on the back patio. The tile had just been laid and could not be walked on. I sprinkled my rose petals on the outside west edge of the house and waited. I had a few note cards of my proposal in my pocket so I started to view those over as I waited with much anticipation. Around 15 minutes before Tiffany called me and asked me where I was. I told her I was on the road stuck in traffic, which was a lie, I was with Megan going over my proposal and waiting for the workers to be cleared out. It was a somewhat wet day so I made some excuse that I needed to focus on the roads rather than talk and drive. I went down to the house, set up my rose petals in a trail and waited. At which point Tiffany called again and I told her I was at the house. She asked that I wait for her before going into the backyard to which I said no and which made Tiffany mad, but it was no matter, for I knew if she was getting her ring out of this she would be happy. She came around the corner, I could hear her, so I dropped to one knee and I gave my proposal. I told her I would always love her and that even though I make mistakes, as long as she is willing to give me the chance to make them up to her that I would do so. I told her she was an amazing woman deserving of much happiness and although I had learned a lot about who she was, I didn't know nearly anything. I knew that I would enjoy spending the rest of my life with her trying to know who she was. I then asked her if she would marry me and she said yes. She gave me a big hug and kiss. I then made a crack about not going into the backyard with her which, she tells me, she guessed I might have been planning to propose. I personally like to think she had no idea, but at the same time she knows almost everything and that is a wonderful thing to have. I felt elated and excited to tell everyone and finally felt I had found my better half. I love her very much and hope she will always be by my side.

22: { | { | LOVE | Tiffany's Story Will and I had already been to jewelry stores to pick out a ring, and I knew he already had one on layaway, so the idea of a proposal was not a complete shock to me, but I had no idea when, where, or how he would pop the question. This was certainly not expected at all! He had asked me to keep December 23rd open on my calendar, because he wanted to do something that day, but he wouldn't tell me what. I have always accused him of being horrible at surprises because he always gets so excited he can't keep it to himself, so I figured that would be the day he would propose. Little did I know what was about to happen! I got a call from Megan, our sales lady with Shea, telling us the landscapers were in the neighborhood planting and if we wanted to come we could show them exactly where we wanted them to plant the trees in the back yard. She said we would have to come before about 4:00 though or they would be gone. She also told me they don't normally let people pick where to put the back yard trees since they are free, they just evenly space them out, but she thought we might like to choose. I said I didn't think it was a big deal since our back yard wasn't really big, and we would probably just want them evenly spaced out anyway, but that I would call Will and see what he wanted to do. I figured there was no way he would be able to drop everything at work and leave immediately anyway, but I told her I would call her right back. Well, when I called Will he was very adamant that he did want to go to the house and talk to them. Again, I didn't see the importance so I was slightly irritated, but I loved going to see the house, so it was just another excuse to drive there again. I tried calling Will on the drive there, and felt like he was just sort of short and rude. He told me he was there and he was going to go in. I told him I was just around the corner so just hold on one second, but instead he hung up on me. At this point I was getting more and more upset with the way he was acting. When I pulled up his truck was parked across the street and was still running, but he was nowhere to be seen. I started to walk down the side of the house to get to the back yard, but was having trouble avoiding the footings they had recently poured for the block wall. As I was dodging things on my way back I saw some flower petals in the dirt, but it was windy out, so I didn't think much of it and figured a neighbor's plants were just blowing into our yard. I did notice there were no landscapers or trees anywhere around.

23: This is where it seems like time started moving in slow motion, the more steps I took the more flower petals I started to see. Then I started to realize they weren't bougainvillea petals, they were rose petals. All of a sudden it hit me what was going on. I took two more steps, and around the corner there was Will on the patio down on one knee. The tears were instantly flowing. What happened next is a bit of a blur. He gave a beautiful speech about how much he loves me, how much I have improved his life, and how he wants to be with me for the rest of his life. Then he brought out my ring and placed it on my finger. It was perfect. Later we laughed about how he had it all set up with Shea ahead of time, and that day was supposed to be free of workers, but the tile guys showed up a day early. It was pretty funny to hear his recount of how he tried to ask them to turn their saws off so he could propose to his girlfriend when they only spoke Spanish. He was disappointed because he wanted to propose inside our house, and also because the wind kept blowing out his candles. I still think it was perfect though. He really did a good job throwing me off and surprising me after all!

24: December 29th Remember that dark spot on our ceiling? It was a drywall patch that wasn't quite dry yet. This is the day that Jim told us a story that we will never forget. Apparently a neighbor lost her cat and was desperately looking for him. We had even seen the posters on the mailboxes offering a reward, but never stopped to really take a look seeing as we didn't live in the neighborhood yet anyway. Well Jim told us that she had a feeling that her cat was trapped and she felt sure he was trapped in our house. His response was to think she was a crazy cat lady, since she was only going on a "feeling". Well, when the cabinet guy came to hang our cabinets in the kitchen, he heard a scratching noise coming from the walls. Yep, it was the cat! He was trapped in our house at the drywall stage more than three weeks prior. 50 some holes in our brand new drywall later and they got him out alive. Now if anything goes wrong in our house, we blame the curse of the black cat. | Tile, counter tops, sinks, and dishwasher are in!

25: January 6th We got a garage door and a driveway! Only three more weeks till move in day!

26: January 11th | Almost done with the paint job! | January 18th Getting excited to move in! | WHEN A HOUSE BECOMES A HOME

27: January 21st Almost done, although they put the wrong landscaping in. Exactly one week until moving day! | January 31st | All done and we've moved in!

28: our home

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  • By: Tiffany G.
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  • Title: Our First House
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  • Started: about 5 years ago
  • Updated: over 3 years ago

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