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22 February 2007

Holy 'hardwood floors and timeless mouldings' Batman,

I think we're buying a house! 

My head is still spinning and I'm not quite sure whether to be happy or very, very scared, but the offer we made yesterday on the 'fixer-upper' (in Wallingford, for those of you in the Seattle area) has been accepted.

It's been a pretty strange week.  We started off on Monday ready to make an offer on one house and here we are on Thursday having bought an entirely different house altogether.  And I'd convinced myself that a 'fixer' would be far too much work, and now here I am with a fixer on my hands.

Would you like to have a look round?

On the plus side it's got a beautiful panelled dining room and living room which don't need a lot of work (will have to do something about the bright red fireplace though)  

and a funky roof terrace overlooking Lake Union with a 360 degree view of this and on a clear day the mountains to the east.


On the downside, the whole upper storey looks like a sauna with wood panelling all over the walls and ceilings, which we're going to have to rip out (do you Americans really like this sort of thing?).

The kitchens (yes, there's one on each floor, I think it used to be divided into flats) and bathrooms also need to be remodelled, and the basement needs to be finished and the small backyard needs to be landscaped. So there's plenty to do.  Oh and the outside of the house really needs to be painted because I really don't like this green AT ALL and there's an awful lot of it.

But all in all I'm getting very excited. Please continue keeping your fingers crossed that our inspection doesn't throw up all sorts of structural nasties which mean we'll have to pull out.  But if things go according to plan we're going to be moving on March 22nd.


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How exciting - it looks like a great house to do up! That moving date is so SOON - do sales move much more quickly over there than they do back in the UK?

Hey - Great house - It's so wonderfully different back here in London. I love it. There's so much rooooom!

Wow what a view - congratulations!

Looking forward to seeing the makeover.

Yes things do seem to move quicker here. Basically you exchange contracts when the offer is agreed, so now no one else can put in a higher offer. But the contract is full of 'subject tos' which means we can still pull out or renegotiate if we find something wrong, particularly in the survey which you only do at this stage. So still plenty of things could go wrong...

Leela, I know - I'm wondering how we'll cope moving back to London to something which is a quarter of the size for twice the price...

Congrats - it's a fabulous house, with a wonderful view! And it will be gorgeous by the time you're finished with it! (As for all that paneling, that's not strictly an American thing. This one hates paneling, other than the wonderful Arts and Crafts paneling/molding from William Morris days or the decorative paneling from Frank Lloyd Wright). You're going to have such fun making it your own!

That's gorgeous! And Wallingford too, so you have a good neighborhood. I am also not so much with the paneling, but will confess to liking the green on the outside quite a bit. What color do you think it will become? Can't wait to see what you do with it, and good luck with that whole home-buying process!

You see, it's interesting that you like the green. I think I'm just not used to green houses - it's not a very usual colour in the UK. I was thinking that it might end up two tone grey or maybe a lighter grey-blue but I haven't really thought that far ahead yet.

I'm going to have to be careful with this because we are intending to sell up after a few years and I don't want to make something which is too 'British' and which no one American will buy.

So, I'm going to need lots of advice!

Love the house - it will be beautiful - good luck! Can't stand the sauna effect either. Am really interested to hear your thoughts on the difference in decorating styles - I was looking at houses in Maine (only via the web) and was surprised at how many had loads of panelling or other choices I wouldn't have made. (Although I should point out here that my house is a complete mess... but anyway...) I guess I like plain backgrounds with paintings, cushions, rugs etc used for patterns and highlights. I admire people who can mix and match patterns, but I like things more peaceful...

Can't work out if I don't like the green per se or if it just looks a bit dour in the absence of other colours, flowers, lawn etc. I think a grey/blue would be lovely, and lighter, and go better with lovely plants in pots...

Have just realised that I would LOVE to move, so am enjoying yours vicariously. :-)


Blame our scandinavian roots here in the PNW for the sauna thing. Looks like fun. Glad you'll be able to keep the hubby busy on his weekends! :)

Congratulations, Paola. What a great house! I can hardly wait to see what you do with it. Landscaping looks like a priority to me, but it'll be fun. Gardening in Seattle is similar to the UK: lots of fanatics, and somewhat the same plant palette. I must agree with IHF on the green, it looks good to me. Good luck with the purchase process.

Finally having a blog read catch up and woooweeee your big news! Well done, so exciting and what an amazing house, the space and view in particular. Utterly envy that roof terrace!

Having read the post and the comments so far here's my tuppence into the hat...
Orangy pine always a yuk, but painted white, much nicer (tho again, that's the beach hut lover in me) and means when you sell potential buyers who love the sauna look can get excited about stripping it back to the original, er, orangeyness!

As for the outside green, I rather like it, but also like the sound of your possible repaint colours, and you do have to make it into something you can love as you walk up to your door. Go for it.

But- potential problem, if you make it too gorgeous maybe you won't want to come back to the UK!

The hardwood floors look so beautiful!

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