Now for a trip down memory lane (which comes just in time because my fellow renovating chica over at DIY Diva just asked me about how we landed our sweet ass Picardy house :) ) It all started a little more than a year ago.....
(can you get paid to take roadtrips? If you could, then we'd be RICH)
Then the summer rolled around. I was busy with my last year of school (6 yr plan, don't judge me! :) ) and Chris was busy with work, but we really started talking about ACTUALLY buying a house together. "We're WAY busy," we thought, but why not make our lives even MORE crazy? :) So we started looking around casually, first with the help of my brother who sent us some listings (he has his license, but is more of a developer and not an agent). We made HUNDREDS of dots on a map of Oakland of houses we'd seen and areas that we liked. We started talking about the idea with all of our sets of parents and everyone was extremely supportive and excited for us (afterall my parents built their first house with a one year old toddling around).
Then it came time to get a little serious. Chris' aunt referred us to an AMAZING agent, Jackie Care with Pacific Union (she is truly truly amazing and was SO supportive, informative and determined during our house hunting process) and we really started thinking that buying a house together could become a reality. My dad joined the hunt with us and was really helpful and informative and answered a lot of questions for us along the way.
(good thing our kitchen doesn't look like this anymore)
(I have no idea WHAT you're talking about)
But a couple days went by and my dad and Chris were busy one afternoon and Jackie had a great house she thought we should check out on Picardy Drive, so I went out after class to look at it with her. I fell in love. The street was amazing (all the houses look like little castles and are actually called Storybook Homes), the house was amazing (actually not really, but it had a LOT of potential), so I knew my dad and Chris had to come check it out. A few days later we all went out with Jackie to look at it again. It was an early October evening, still warm out, and kids from nearby houses were running around playing together. I LOVED the neighborhood (Chris likes to joke that it's, "Like 1960s America without the blatant racism," because all the kids play together, the neighbors talk and laugh together...it really has a great community vibe).
(it still makes me swoon a year later...even if it still needs a lot of work)
So we decided to put in an offer. But the house needed A LOT of work...A LOT. Nearly every single room in the house needed to be redone, and not cosmetically redone, but the plumbing and electrical throughtout the house needed to be replaced, dry rot needed to be addressed, a new roof was needed, a strange addition in the back needed to be properly supported, a few rooms would need to be completely gutted...the list went on. Jackie, Chris and my dad all warned me about how much work this house needed, but I was determined to own this little castle. So we put in an offer and waited...and waited...and waited.
(Chris on his hitchhiking trip when he was in college)
(my what an inviting front door that is)
(breaking a big pane of glass is one of the more fun jobs)
Now that it's been a year I go back and forth about how much we've gotten done. Sometimes, I'm amazed with what we've done, and sometimes I think, where did all the time go because we didn't get anything done! It has really been a labor of love. Picardy has caused many tears, curse words, yelling, and uncontrolled frustration and anger. But it has also been absolutely amazing. Chris and I have learned so much about ourselves and each other and it has been a priceless experience to work together on such a rewarding project together day after day.
(I know, how cheesy is that?)
Here's to a succesful second year!