April 24, 2006

Chaos is Restored

After all the painting, cleaning, fixing and other preparations, the neighborhood tour went very well on Saturday.

Friday night we had a babysitter and went to a pre-tour party for all the owners of homes on the tour. This involved getting a quick tour of all the houses that would be open the next day. We were too tired to make it through them all, but the ones we did see were all neat. They included two small bungalows with really nifty colors and funky modern art, a ultra modern condo with a tower that made Justin dream of mounting a red eye into it and having a Sauron room,anda huge Victorian house that has just been completely remodelled and I found jaw-droppingly beautiful, but it's $750,000 asking price is a wee bit above what I imagine I will ever pay for any house.

Justin and I both woke up early on Saturday morning and did a few last minute things like sweeping the front walk, painting some trim on the porch columns, and marking a few rooms as being not on display. Then we went to a pre-tour breakfast so that we wouldn't have to cook at home, after which I took The Middle Girl off to her friend's house for a birthday party and the day and another friend of ours came and got the other two. We'd taken our dog to the kennel on Friday, so that the house wouldn't be covered in mud and dog hair after it was cleaned and because had the dog remained during the tour, he would have gone insane with joy at the thought of all those new people to jump on.

The tour started at 11 and since we were one of the later homes on the list, we didn't have any one show up until about 11:20. After that there was a pretty steady stream of visitors. The people who renovated our house and whom we've talked to a few times came to see the place which was great. They thought the place looked really good and we found out a few things -- such as where our kitchen cabinets, which we'd always suspected had been salvaged from somewhere had come from and where the fireplace mantels that used to be in our house went (they are now in the possession of the mother of the two brothers who put in most of the work) . We had pictures on display of what the house looked like before it had been renovated in 1990, when we bought it in 2002 and what it looks like today. Those were a big hit with a lot of tour takers.

I surprised and pleased to hear probably half a dozen people say that ours was their favorite house on the tour. Most of them said they appreciated that it looked like a house in which people actually lived. It was cleaner than usual, but we didn't go out of our way to hide the Legos and other stuff like that. I did hide anything I thought people might be interested in making off with, but we don't have much that people would want to make off with anyway, so that hadn't taken long. We had several people ask if we travelled a lot, because our living room is a collection mostly of stuff picked up in our earlier lives like when Justin lived in Taiwan and I when I was in Europe during college. It's our travel room, even though we haven't been any where since we came back from Alaska. I was also surprised by how many people loved the table cloth I had on the kitchen table (which looks like a quilt top). I think they were all disappointed when they asked where I got it and I told them TJ Maxx. I think they were expecting something fancier or more exotic.

By the time the last people came through at 5, I was worn out. The kids came home about 5:30 and then there was an after party and dinner at another house that night.

All in all, it was a lot of fun, the tour raised necessary funds for the neighborhood and community center, and although I always get a bit of house envy seeing where everyone else lives, I wasn't embarrassed to be on the tour with either the bigger and fancier places or the artsier, funkier places.

Here are the pictures of the inside of the house, all neat and clean and tour ready.


The house looks absolutely lovely! I can't believe you had the energy to do all you did while pregnant. And now you get to relax and enjoy it. I love the color in the dining room.

Posted by: Diane at April 24, 2006 01:43 PM

Outstanding! I'm really glad it was such a big success.

Posted by: RP at April 24, 2006 03:04 PM

The difference between the pre-renovation photos and today is really stunning. You both should be very proud of the exceptional work you've done.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 24, 2006 03:27 PM

I absolutely love your kitchen. It looks very warm and inviting, but also seems spacious.

And I love the colors you've chosen for the different rooms. Your house looks wonderful!

Posted by: angie at April 24, 2006 05:29 PM

The whole house looks warm and livable. No wonder people liked it.

And I was wrong. That's my favorite painting downstairs.

Posted by: Janis at April 25, 2006 06:04 AM

You house looks fabulous.

And where I live 750,000 won't get you anything special at all ;-)

Posted by: chris at April 25, 2006 06:44 AM

Thank you, everybody!

And Chris, there is a reason I don't live where you live. :)

Posted by: Jordana at April 25, 2006 07:45 AM

Jordana, you have such a cozy and lovely home! Thank you so much for sharing the photos:) I love all the wall colors you've chosen and I especially love the kitchen and dining room. Your house truly looks like "home sweet home" and I'd choose it over a fancy house anyday!

I wish I could have seen it in person...if the tour was just one week later or earlier, I could have, lol!

Posted by: Twilightmama at April 25, 2006 08:33 AM

How beautiful! I love the colors you've chosen -- and the house is obviously much larger than it looks from the outside.


Posted by: Grouchy Old Yorkie Lady at April 26, 2006 08:59 AM

We bought our first house 23 years ago. The last time we bought a house (five years ago), we paid more than five times what we paid for that first house. You might not be imagining that you will pay $750K for a house in today's dollars, but if you move a couple times in your next 23 years, especially towards the latter end of that period...

But you're probably not planning to move, are you? Who knows?Maybe you won't. :-)

Posted by: Patricia at April 26, 2006 11:09 PM

It's true, Patricia, that one never knows what housing will cost in the future. When I was born, my parents sold their first house in Pasadena, CA and bought another one a few blocks away. It cost them $35,000. Now my parents state categorically that they will never buy a car that costs more than their first house.

It's also the case that the house we live in and have owned for almost four years is would be out of our price range if we were shopping today. Our budget hasn't changed drastically since we bought our house, but the market in our neighborhood has. Still the $750K price tag is about $300,000 above any other house in the neighborhood's recent selling price, which is what makes it so shocking to me.

Posted by: Jordana at April 27, 2006 06:58 AM