Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Before Tour of Our House

Since I've had my blog a little over a month, I thought it was high time I put a house tour of one of our houses on here. I was thinking about putting before and after pics of one of the upper or lower apartments, so I got out my 20 or so SD cards and started looking through them.

The first one I put in had pictures of baby nephews and nieces, holidays, our pets...I thought there would be nothing on it since everyone looked so young but then up popped pictures of our house that we live in now. Wow did I luck out on that one. I can't believe I found pictures on the first SD card I looked at! So I decided I would just do a before tour of our house instead of spending, what could be a good hour, looking for apartment pictures.

I had taken pictures of our house right after our offer was accepted, right after we signed, during construction and right after we moved in. These pictures are of all of that. I will post more on our home currently in the near future since I have upcoming posts pertaining to how it looks now. Plus this is already A LOT of pictures to look at.

Here's our house on closing day March 2010.

 This is the picture we used on our housewarming cards from September 2010. We didn't have anybody handy to take the picture so I put the timer on the camera and stuck it in the mail box and booked it back, grabbed Harley (she looks so thrilled doesn't she?) and smiled. Worked like a charm.

 We didn't do too much on the outside of our house except change the ugly brass light fixtures, plant some planters and put out a marble table and chairs. I also ripped the hideous curtains off the sidelights and put up awesome window clings that look like frosted glass. Well that makes it sound cheap. They're definitely upgraded, high quality window clings that haven't budged an inch since I put them up.

Our house was a foreclosure that had been flooded and was full of mold, in my about me I explain everything (so check it out if you haven't already. Don't worry I'll wait).

The mold was only on the drywall (apparently mold loves the paper on drywall, who knew?) so it had to go, but thankfully we could keep all the woodwork!

The 2 story entryway with the beautiful banister that I've always wanted was not in too bad of shape.

With the drywall torn off you can see straight into the living room.

The view from the dining room. We actually talked about leaving this open, for about two seconds. You can see into the front room/play room.

The view from the upstairs hallway into what is now our spare room. Ok I'll be honest it's really a catchall junk room. Doesn't everyone have one of those?? You can also see our tub in our master bath.

After all the drywall was torn off the whole house was de-molded (that's probably not a real word) I don't remember the specifics of this procedure because we could not go into the house during the mold abatement process so I didn't see it firsthand. Since I didn't physically see it and it was such a long time ago I don't recall many details of the process, just that it definitely was done by professionals and that our house was now safe to live in and mold free.

Then clean, white, new drywall was put up.

This is the upstairs hallway when you first come up the stairs. The guest bedroom to the left and Jackson's bathroom straight ahead.

A view of the front window and door. Wow those curtains are uuugly.

Here is the foyer painted and somewhat decorated. We painted the entryway (boy was that terrifying since I'm afraid of heights) and the kitchen together and I came by myself after work and painted the 1/2 bath and master bedroom before we moved in.

The mirror is just propped up on the foyer table since we had literally just moved in maybe a month before I took these pics. Don't mind me in my pj's (even though these are my favorite pair) this is literally the only good entryway pic I had from when we first moved.

We replaced a few of our brass boob lights with classier boob lights in oil rubbed bronze. The rest throughout the house will probably eventually get spray painted oil rubbed bronze. We also replaced the hideous chandelier (you know the one, classic builder grade, giant brass boob light that doesn't even deserve to be called a chandelier) with an oil rubbed bronze real chandelier that I found on clearance on Lowe's website.

Jackson's room is to the left painted a shocking shade of magenta and the spare room to the right. That nice little girl who slept in the pink room left us some lovely crayon drawings on the garage walls and all over the grout on the kitchen floor.

Here's a view into our master closets and master bathroom. Notice I said closets, that is what sold this house for me, my own walk in closet without Cory's clothes piled on the floor. Just kidding! It's definitely one of the better perks of this house though.

Our sweet jacuzzi tub (with the ugliest knobs ever) still works great even after all this house went through.

It looks a million times better with new drywall. I didn't take any pictures of the upstairs after we moved in since none of the rooms were touched except our bedroom and, I'll be honest, our bedroom is always a mess so no pictures...yet.

This is the front room/playroom. The little girl colored on the walls in here too and it was painted over (poorly) with white paint.

The finished front room which we put a couch, loveseat, plant table and grandfather clock in. We never used this room until Jackson came along and we turned it into a playroom.

Yep one step away from an old lady living room.

Here's the before dining room. If you've never seen mold in a house before (I hadn't) it's pretty disturbing and disgusting. We did not go around running our fingers along the walls or licking it or anything. Instead I literally walked around with my arms hugging my chest pretty much the whole time when we first saw it, afraid to walk anywhere near the mold.

Mold repulses me. I gag every time I have to throw away moldy food. Sometimes I'll just throw the Tupperware away rather than clean moldy dishes (only the cheap plastic dishes of course).

A view from the dining room into the living room (I wanted to call it the "family room" but Cory insisted we call it the living room because we do a lot of living aka TV watching in there).

A view of the new drywall up in the dining and living room.

We bought a chandelier off Craigslist for in the dining room. I don't remember what we spent but it was very cheap! Craigslist definitely has some hidden (affordable) treasures.

Here's the moldy living room. Our realtor totally did his job talking us into this house. He explained how the drywall could be removed, the mold abated, new drywall put up and bam, we'd have a brand new beautiful, livable house. People do it all the time. We could get a 203K loan that would cover all the contractor costs and we wouldn't have to do a thing. Which is exactly what we did.

Our realtor called us less than a week after we viewed the property saying that there was an offer on the table so if we wanted to make an offer we had to do it now. We discussed it and although we were both extremely nervous and way out of our element, we decided to put in an offer. We could see the immense potential in the house.

When our offer was accepted I was so excited and happy! Then my realtor called me the next day on my way to work and said, don't worry just yet but the copy of the acceptance the bank sent is from the competing was the builder for the subdivision and his offer was a cash offer of $5,000 less than ours.

I was devastated.

Then he called me back shortly after and told me the bank said, no, no we got the house, they sent the wrong paperwork. Whew. I still can't believe we got this house! Especially considering cash is king in real estate.

The only decoration we put up in the living room was of course, the TV. The only real logical place for the TV was above the fireplace so we had those gorgeous, flowing wires hanging all over the place until some genius (he's a millionaire now surely) thought up wireless TV service. We could no longer use our huge entertainment center so we resorted to using cardboard boxes as a table for our DVR. We're very resourceful people.

Here's a view of the patio door/kitchen table area. The previous owners painted this area peach.
It looks lovely covered in mold.

We brought over our patio table that we also purchased from Craigslist for a steal (I think it was $20 or $30). We thought we would be nice and put a seating/break area for the contractor and his employees. Actually we had no where else to put it so we brought it straight to the house after we bought it.

We bought the chandelier for the kitchen at Menard's for around $40 on sale. Our kitchen table is my favorite Craigslist find to date. It was exactly the look I wanted for our kitchen and it was a great price too (of course) but I can't remember how much exactly.

Looking at the before pictures of our kitchen I find it odd that all the open cabinet doors are the one's with mystery stains on them...

Part of the ceiling must have fallen due to the flooding that also caused the mold.

Here you can see some of the staining that looks like the letter M and I. No matter what cleaning method I tried, I could not get these stains off.

The previous owners did a good job packing up all their belongings including the refrigerator, stove, microwave and the entire garage door opener system. They did however leave us a dishwasher, a dog kennel, some ceramic tile that matches the tile in the house (big score there), a receipt for a money order to Mexico and apparently the prescription on the kitchen counter.

We painted our kitchen before they put the cabinets back in because we knew it would be way easier than maneuvering around bulky cabinets.

You can see some of the weird stains on the cabinet doors in these finished pictures. I actually tried to take the pictures so you couldn't really see them. You can also see the lonely chicken (50 cents from a garage sale) that started my chicken theme up in the corner. 

It took our contractor and various other workers 3 months to complete our house. Purchasing a house with mold is definitely not for the faint of heart. It was a risky decision on our part but it has worked out tremendously. I'm so glad we decided to go for it!

Disclaimer: I am definitely not a mold expert. I couldn't tell you the first thing about cleaning/clearing out mold. We did however have mold experts abate our home of mold and mold spores. It is completely safe to live in our home. We have lived here for almost 5 years and none of us has any health complications due to mold nor has anyone who has visited or stayed here. I would never live in a house that would endanger me or my family.


  1. OMG!! Thank goodness you saw a light at the end of the tunnel!
    Your kitchen is gorgeous!

  2. Thanks Linda! I'm actually in the process of remodeling my kitchen right now!

  3. I'm here from Dwellings of the Heart, and I always enjoy home tours......but yours wasn't exactly what I was expecting! OMGosh, Sherri, I'm in awe that you were able to see past that mold -- EEEK! The changes you've made are just wonderful. We bought our home 3 years ago, not a short sale, but our realtor let us look at a few, & then said we were not going to go that route. We are older, so going through that kind of stress would have been a lot. The ones that we did look at had shutters torn out, sinks & toilets were literally ripped out of the floor, & I'm sure several small children were given a handful of permanent ink markers and told to go write on every surface they wanted. Thankfully we found a good home for us, and while we haven't had to do as much work as you, the diys just never! Good luck to you on any future projects, and WELCOME to blogland!

  4. Thank you Carol!! It was stressful at first when we bought our house because we had absolutely no idea what we were doing or what to expect!! I think we've been very lucky to have everything turn out as nice as it did! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words!

  5. Buying or renovating, it can be so stressful! Everything is turning out nicely for you, so glad! Thanks for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  6. Thank you Cindy! Thanks for stopping by too!


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