Sherman-Williams’ new Chip-It! tool

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Choosing colors for your home can be exhausting.  And trying to match the colors of your favorite painting or quilt or flower (or the other way ‘around, matching a pillow to the color of your walls) usually means a run to all the different paint stores trying to find a match. Or, worse, carrying that pillow around with you – been there, done that.

Sherman-Williams just made that job easier!  They have a little bookmarklet you add to your toolbar and when you see a color you like online, you can click on the Chip It! tool, drag it to the picture and it will provide you with chips for the colors in that window!

Very cool – plus you can go to the Chip It! website and upload photos and the tool with provide color chips.

Its not perfect.  I uploaded some random photos I already had to see what it would do.

The tool chose the colors it wanted but not all the colors represented.  Chip It! gives you 5 chips regardless of the number of colors in the picture.  So your new-favorite color might not be one of those it chooses.

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In the above photo, the tool completely missed the turquoise.

In the photo below, the tool decided no one in their right mind would paint a room all those different colors of brown, so it gave me a couple, plus a gray and then added the blue from the top left corner of the picture.

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By the way, the above photo is a floor in the new Exploratorium in San Francisco.  The wood is from all over the world, very striking.  So many beautiful woodgrains and colors!

This photo below was the most disappointing.  It ignored the predominate green on the box!

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Oh, well, I still think this tool is worth checking out.  It did a pretty good job on this photo.

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But it didn’t give me the darker pink, only the lighter one.  And it added black, of which there was very little in this photo.  I thought that was a little strange.

I even uploaded this photo twice to see if some algorithm in the program might change and give me a different pallet of colors…no.

One you have an account on the Chip It! site, you’ll have access to all your colors from your tablet or smartphone.  You won’t have to carry all those chips around with you anymore.

Of course the color-matching is only as good as the color monitor you’re using, but you knew that, right?  ;-)

Almost random thoughts on design

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The design process is one of give and take.  You want white, she wants cream, they want expansive, you want cozy, we want a great room and you want a formal dining room.

And during the design process, you will make many decisions – some tiny, some large - which lead to a finished product.  But someone looking at the finished design, whether it be a house or a fork, doesn’t have the perspective of all those decisions previously made.  The critique could be insightful but most of the time?  Its not helpful.

That said, here are some pictures and my humble thoughts on the design, heehee.

Take the picture at the top.  During the kitchen remodel, those posts either had to stay or a beam put up in their place – they are structural supports.  So, what can you do?  Why, make them interesting!  This is a good example of making the best of things.  Switching out to a support beam would have been much more destructive of the existing space and could have cost a pretty penny.

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Now, look at this picture.  Not a very exciting kitchen, but its OK.  Now find the red pan on the counter and scan upwards to the ceiling.  See the open beams?  What is that curly pipe?  WHAT?!?  That’s the sewer pipe under the toilet?  Ewww!   I’da camouflaged that, you can be sure!

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Here is a bathroom that has been squeezed into the attic space.  They removed the crawl space to get some head height.  Discussions about the sense of removing insulating value aside, this is a pretty imaginative solution to making tiny spaces work.  Look to the right and there are the shower heads.  No separate shower stall, there wasn’t room.  Nifty idea, I think!  If you’re worried about getting the toilet paper wet, there are holders available from boat supply places where the rolls are completely protected from water, yet easily accessible.

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In this tiny bathroom, a coat rack serves as towel and robe rack.  Great idea, but I’d be tripping over the wide angled legs all the time.  Better to have a rack with a flat round base.

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Are you starting to see a lot of undercounter curtains like this?  Reminiscent of Granny’s kitchen.  I don’t have an opinion about it, do you?  I DO have an opinion about the open racks above the sink.  It just looks messy.  And busy.  And dusty. 

 

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What with all the ‘no fire’ days this winter, we haven’t been able to use our fireplaces very much, have we.  This is a striking use of the space, don’t you think?  Simple, sleek and the shell reminds us of warm summer days to come.

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This is a lovely idea, too, although sticking the box out into the room is awkward.  I’m guessing they covered over the firebox opening to keep out drafts (or its a fake mantle).  Fill a box or basket with tiny white lights and pinecones or kindling and you’ve got a warm, lovely, warming ‘fire’.  OK, not so warm but definitely warming…

 

Oh, yeah, I must admit that most of the pics are from Houzz.  If you’re looking forward to a remodeling project or you’re just a lookiloo, its a fascinating trip into other people’s homes.  Inspiration abounds. Be warned, you can lose a lot of time wandering around this alternate reality -better set a timer so you come up for air ;-)

 

Trash cans are ugly!

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…not to mention expensive!  You can drop $80 on a silver can that is chrome and sleek but doesn’t blend with your décor.  Not to mention separating trash from recycling.

I’d rather have the trash under the sink but getting to it is awkward when someone is at the sink – excuse me / scootscoot-out-of-the-way-trying-not-to-get-soapy-water-on-the-floor!

Well, THIS is my under-the-sink.

Garbage disposal and water filter leave little room for anything else!

Garbage disposal and water filter leave little room for anything else!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With children living at home it was best to have the MOST efficient, obvious, yet hideous, solution in order to have the kids remember to throw their trash away and to recycle cardboard, milk cartons, bottles, etc.

Which resulted in this:

100% accessible and visible at all times!

100% accessible and visible at all times!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gray is for trash and blue is for recycling…smart, I know ;-)  We don’t compost, do you?  I think I feel guilty about that, but I’m not sure.

Anyway, with the kids gone and mostly, now, people are used to recycling – at least around here they are – we didn’t want the nasty-looking cans sitting out but also didn’t want the sleek chrome-which-doesn’t-match-our-décor bins.  Our décor is warm wood and rattan in a tropical motif.

We had an epiphany!  Which resulted in this:

Its a repurposed laundry bin!

It holds more than the previous open plastic bins and look:

It has 2 compartments - trash and recycling.

It has 2 compartments – trash and recycling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We drop plastic kitchen trash bags down inside – each compartment came with a liner so the white bags don’t show through.

Peek inside...

Peek inside…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my hubby attached S clips – 4 to a compartment and opened up at one end, so we can slide in the trash bag which stays in place perfectly.

See the S clip?  Maybe 'clip' isn't the right word, but you can get them at hardware stores...shaped like a figure 8.

See the S clip? Maybe ‘clip’ isn’t the right word, but you can get them at hardware stores…shaped like a figure 8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another picture:

This is a better shot of the S thingy.

This is a better shot of the S thingy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We just push the metal prong through the plastic bag and the pull-tie of the bag helps keep it in place, although it doesn’t get much strain anyway since the fit is so perfect!

to THIS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After using it a couple times, I realized it needed a handle, so I took an unused curtain tie-back and slipped it between the weave of the lid and used a twisty-tie to hold it in place!

Who invented the trusty twisty-tie?

Who invented the trusty twisty-tie?

Although part of me thinks a leather strap would look cool.

Although part of me thinks a leather strap would look cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

from this...

from this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...to this!  Pretty nice, eh?  No more unsightly bins.

…to this! Pretty nice, eh? No more unsightly bins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, don’t pay any attention to the floor…we have boxes of eucalyptus flooring in the garage, which is what the rest of the house has (except the bedrooms) and which will be installed in the kitchen in a year or so when we remodel it.  Or maybe in two years… ;-)

What color should a Tiki Hut be?

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We bought a house.

Rather than buying a fixer-upper to move into, renovate and sell in a couple years, we decided to buy a house in an area to which we’d love to retire (and to which the grandkids, which currently number in the oughts will really, really, really want to come!  We are very forward-thinking, aren’t we.)

 

Long story short, we bought a fixer in Discovery Bay, about 95 minutes north of us.  It’s a community of homes built around a golf course or lake and with canals which connect to the Delta.

The house is about 1800sf, 1 story, on a lovely canal, well, its not a canal, more of a baby bay.

This is an aerial view of the area, but not our bay.

This is an aerial view of the area, but not our bay.

Below is our list of musts and wants, which changed from side to side – must to want and vice-versa, depending on how glorious or meager the item was in a particular house.

- great room

- deep water dock

- 1 story

- space for a pool table

- large deck

- not in a pinched area, fighting for dock space

-  3 bedroom, 2 bathroom minimum

- sunset views

List of deal-killers

- no dock

- 2 story

- major fixer-upper

Yeah, its a small list.  There weren’t a lot of homes in our price range.

Being a contractor and an Architect – plus having done a number of large and small projects on our own homes – Rick (me, too) is very comfortable with homes needing work.  But there are items that would simply bust our budget, like needing a new roof or having foundation issues.  Any house we bought would have to need mostly cosmetic work.

And…we found one!  It has perfectly functional bathrooms and kitchen, which is important so we can wait to redo them in a few years…plus replace the windows then, too.

The view from our deck.

The view from our deck.

So, what are we doing now?  Repainting, that’s for sure.  The inside is mostly white and the living room is a mushroom-gray color but too dark for the space and not my fave color, anyway.

Boring mushroomy-gray, see?

Boring mushroomy-gray, see?

I love yellow walls, pale pale yellow, like buttercream.  It goes with so many other colors you can accent with – turquoise, orange, leafy greens, white, black, browns, even gray.  Done!

However, I don’t want the entire house to be one color, then again, I don’t want every room to be a different color.  A small house feels cut up if all rooms are unique colors, I think.  Better to have a cohesive plan, yes?

All trim is white.  The kitchen cabinets (to be replaced later) are white so they’ll look more like they were part of the plan.  The wainscoting (how IS that word pronounced) in the hall and the bathrooms so those will be white, too. 

Unfortunately, when I say ‘white’, paint suppliers say ‘dove’ or ‘ice’ or ‘lace’.  I want the purest, most whitey-white I can find and it doesn’t exist, which is frustrating.  The brightest white I can find simply isn’t WHITE!  Its off-white…not-white…virtually-white, nevertheless, those are my choices, so I buck up and pick the one closest to a true white.

But, behold!  Sherwin-Williams does make a brilliant white for ceilings.  I can’t get it in any type but flat, so I’ve have to live with barely-white everywhere else.  At least the ceilings will be WHITE.

Now to find another color for some of the rooms.  I love the color next to the buttercream on the color chip strip.  Its darker, a warm golden beige.  Gorgeous.  Walking around the house, I decide that the entry will be the darker color.  You’ll walk from the entry to the living room, and the living room opens up in space and the lighter color.  The hall will be the darker color and you’ll walk from the wall to the bedrooms, which will lighten up.  Lighter color in the bedrooms also allows for more variety in the decorations.

Now, all I need is a color for the yucky painted-brick fireplace.  Since the TV will be placed over the fireplace, I don’t want a big black blob on that brick.  Better to have a darker, complimentary and not matchy-matchy color so the TV is a bit more blendy, without disappearing completely.  So, the fireplace brick is now a lovely brown.  It is lovely, just don’t be changing any diapers there, it might call for an uncomplimentary comparison.

Now, we turn our gaze to the floors.  I swear (and my relatives, Johnny and Celeste, support me in this) that the carpet can be saved with a good cleaning and I have the phone number to Stanley Steemers already programmed into my cellphone.

My husband swears that it cannot be saved.  He has nothing to support this theory except for puppy-dog eyes.  I yield.

Carpet choices are easier when its only the bedrooms and they are all the same color.  I ask the carpet installer, Neil from Checkered Flag, which manufacturers he prefers.  He gives me some pointers and steers me away from a particular brand that he says will stretch too much over time and he’ll have to keep coming back each year to pull it tight again.

Shopping for carpet isn’t too difficult, there are a lot of choices but I am fine with a color that looks good with the pain, isn’t too dark or too light and is, maybe, on sale.  See?  I’m pretty easy.  I was a lot pickier when choosing a carpet for our office, for some reason.

I don’t want something that is a nightmare to clean or vacuum, either.  Those fancy loopy piles that remind me of a Komondor?

Looks just like a rug I saw for sale a couple weeks ago!

Looks just like a rug I saw for sale a couple weeks ago!

Nope.  That extreme shag carpet?  Too easy to lose Legos in that stuff!  And then where are your toes?  In your hand, as you hop around muttering X%*#@! after stepping on one!

I’m not cheap when it comes to the carpet padding.  A better padding will make a less-expensive carpet feel just as appealing to your toes as the crazy-pricey one.

Carpet?  Done!  Its called Sweet Tea, but I think sweet tea has a stronger reddish color.  This carpet is more of an Arnold Palmer.

Yeah, way red.

Yeah, way red.

Still too orangey...where DO they get the names for colors?

Still too orangey…where DO they get the names for colors?

Flooring…we won’t have carpet in the main rooms.  We’d like hard-working hardwood floors.  We’ve had oak and bamboo thus far.  I like oak but I’m tired of it.  Bored with the grain – we have it in our office/house so I’d really like to get something different.

We put bamboo in our office entry, which has held up very well but I’m not fond of the unremarkable caramel color.  The colors we really like are in a stranded type of bamboo, which is strings of bamboo shredded from the stalk and then bonded together.  Bamboo comes in 5 basic colors:  naked pale, blah caramel, cinnamon, brown and very dark brown.

While the patterns of bamboo are very interesting in all of its varieties (flat boards, end, side or stranded), we really liked the stranded variety with its stripy, tiger look of dark and light browns.  Its a very busy pattern, too.  I think I’d like it more for cabinets or doors, ooh that would be cool!

Wow!

Wow!

Then we saw this Eucalyptus floor and fell in love with it.  It has a marvelous wood grain and it wasn’t the cheapest choice, either, so there.  And, side note, it is my niece Roni’s favorite tree.

Isn't it pretty?

Isn’t it pretty?

Most of the time, we make our list of finishes (tile vs stone vs granite, paint color, chrome vs bronze vs nickel, pendant lighting vs track vs wall sconce vs ceiling fan…and so on and so forth), knowing that little is actually set in concrete.  We see something we like (perhaps a shower curtain) and the entire room can change to accommodate it in an instant.  And that is exactly what happened.  But that is for a different post.

Its better to be flexible when choosing your finishes.  Keep your options open.  BUT, on the other hand, don’t keep putting off your decisions and second-guessing yourself.  Research but don’t get brain fry and freeze into immobility.  Make your purchase and accept that you might have been able to save a few bucks if only you had worded your Google search a little differently.  Put a check mark by that item and move on.

The same thing applies if you discover an item you want is no longer in stock or won’t come in time.  Don’t mope about it, move on.

While I’m on my soapbox, here’s another lesson I’ve learned with the multiple projects we’ve done:  Timing is not under my control.  I can’t force painters, suppliers, weather, work and so on to fall under my command.

The wood flooring was stuck at the Port of Oakland for some strange reason – delaying installation for a week.  The painters didn’t begin when I thought they would, they took a job between quoting ours and my signing the contract, so that delayed the carpet installation for a week.  Our ski boat is in the shop and the shop is swamped with work so we are in a long queu and probably won’t be done in time for our Labor Day Weekend.

I'm not sure this was the best purchase we've ever made >sigh<

I’m not sure this was the best purchase we’ve ever made >sigh<

I learned a loooong time ago that whenever I push, I lose…oh, I might win the battle, but I lose the war.  THere are things useen at work here…stress, for instance.  Relationships, too.  And sometimes, the delay for me ends up working out better somehow…like a store losing my order but now I found something better for less.  Its not the destination, its the journey.  

Now if I could just figure out why the paint in the hallway looks just like Harvest Gold from the 1970′s! 

Not at ALL the right color!!!

Not at ALL the right color!!!

Its hideous and I can’t figure out why.  The other rooms don’t look like that!  ?!?!?  Well, I’m not gonna stress about it.  I can always repaint it, right?  ;-)

My Mother-in-Law

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 Ha!  I knew that would get your attention!  This post isn’t about my Mom-in-Law, what kind of a blog do you think this is?

Its about shopping…but keep reading anyway, k?

I hate shopping  >sigh<

My mom-in-law, Jan, is a whiz at sewing.  She has a mag (and expensive) big-time Serger machine and loves to do quilts and special embroidery.  The machine is pretty amazing and she’s pretty amazing with it.

Jan wants to put Rick’s company logo on a shirt for his birthday, which is right around the corner.  It’s a lovely idea and, although she gave me plenty of warning, I haven’t found the time to go buy the shirts.  Maybe I haven’t ‘found’ the time because I hate shopping, didn’t I mention that?

There’s a VanHeusen outlet store right down the freeway at The Great Mall.  And that’s one reason why I haven’t gone shopping – that place is huge!  It takes planning with a travel agent to make your way around it.

Anytime I shop I have done 1 of 2 things:  I’ve decided to go on the spur-of-the-moment OR I’ve given myself a pep talk for days ahead of time.  I’ll wake up in the morning “ok, tonight would be a good time to go get those shirts” and all day long I’ll dread the evening chore and put it off.

I’ll wake up the next morning and say “ok, tomorrow would be a good time to go get those shirts” and all day I’ll think to myself “ok, tomorrow WOULD be a good time to go get those shirts”.  Then I’ll wake up the following day and say “oh, pooh, I have to go get those shirts”…so I won’t go get the shirts.

Now, if I happened to be driving by the Great Mall with nothing on my mind and notice that I’m actually driving by the Great Mall, I might say to myself “hey, I can go get those shirts right now!”  But, I don’t often drive by the Great Mall so the odds of that happening are slim.  And, truth be told, I have never-want-to-leave-my-house syndrome, so I’m perfectly happy never leaving my house.  Especially now that the weather is nice and I have lovely patio furniture under a tarp – I know its a parking lot but the garden is gorgeous – and I’ve learned to ‘turn off’ the airplanes and LiteRail and police sirens that are the serenade of downtown living.

But, I digress…

Finally, after a few reminder emails and a call from Jan, I got the BRILLIANT idea of buying it online and having it shipped to her!  I am so smart!  I have been to that store enough times to know exactly what Rick wants – so I bought 2 of them!

Such a relief not to have to go shopping…at least for the shirts.  We’re out of coffee and running low on TP ;-)

Missing the ‘automatic’ in automatic sprinklers…

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Our automatic sprinklers were put in about 11 years ago.  After a few years we noticed that the system was cycling twice on the ‘on’ days.  We set and reset and reset the darn controller and experimented with various settings to no avail.

So we turned it off.

Now we manually turn on the valves and usually forget to do it, resulting in droopy, brownish plants – matching my thumb.

Up to now, I’ve been watering the back “yard” by hand.  I put the word in quotes because its mostly parking lot, since we live above our office.  But we have a 3’ strip all the way around it with roses and palm trees and roses and jasmine and roses and day lilies and roses.  I enjoy watering by hand, for the most part.  It’s nice being outside and the roses are gorgeous (except in February after they’ve been pruned to within an inch of their lives).

But I had a lot to do last Sunday and I’d been outdoors all day Saturday at a yard sale fundraiser and was feeling a little withered, so I turned on a valve and set the timer for 30 minutes – hey, it was in the 90s the day before so the plants needed extra refreshment.

The valves are set in a plastic porch-bench-storage thing we put there to protect them from people knocking into them.  We couldn’t figure out why the valves kept getting broken, turned out the waste collection guy was pulling the bins over them in the early morning darkness…

30 minutes later I turn off that valve and turn on another one and it frickin’ pops off in my hand!

Cr*p, did I break it?  Cr*pcr*pcr*p (although a different word might have slipped out at the time).

I cover the spray of water with my hand and look at the valve.  Thank heaven, I just unscrewed it too far, unscrewed it right off.

Trying to screw that darn thing back on proved absolutely impossible!  Picture me squatting next to the valves (actually, don’t), head drenched, holding the water and wires out of the way and trying to screw the head back on.  No, No, NO!  Total frustration!  Who designed these stupid things!!!

I have no idea how to get the water to turn off so I stomp away from the blankety-blank valves and try to think.  Yikes, the water spout is about 20 feet high!  I stomp back to the valves and slam the plastic bench cover down over it.  There!  That’ll teach it.

Not quite like this...but close!

Not quite like this…but close!

Phooey, I can’t leave it like that and I’ve very peeved that I can’t do this by myself.  I hate having to call for help.

However, no other inspiration comes to me so I call Rick (who is working on his sailboat up in a drydock in Napa (http://MyBudgetYacht.wordpress.com) …how do I shut off the blasted water so I can screw the valve head back on?  Oh, that’s right, there’s a shut-off valve hose bib at the front of the house.

 Now you can picture me kneeling in front of the hose bib, trying to push/pull the lever that hasn’t been touched in years!  I am determined that I can do this BY MYSELF!  I’ve turned into a 3 year-old.

I’m probably more careful than I need to be with the water valve but I really, really DON’T want to break off the pipe but it seems pretty flimsy as it rattles back and forth.

Success!  >whew<  Water is off and I head back to the sprinkler valve.  And, my, how easy that turned out to be.  Screwing on the valve handle is a no-brainer when you don’t have a hundred pounds of water pressure fighting you!

We really need to get a new controller and have some repair work done on the system.  The drip-line?  The drippy tips flipped off years ago and some of the little hoses flew off.  The drip-line hose itself has big holes in it and one of the sprinkler tops broke and the water burbles out instead of spraying.  Not only that but the sprinklers pop up out of the ground and do their thing, slowly but surely working their way off-center until they’re spraying into the street or the sidewalk.  Every few days we have to realign them!  Seriously, there has to be a better system than what we have (and there probably is but we were pretty cheap when we had it installed since we were doing the office renovation out-of-pocket and that’s probably the reason for the problems, right?)

 I guess I’ll have to call someone about fixing this.  I did talk to our mow-n-blow guy about it but sprinkler systems aren’t his specialty.  Well, in the famous and paraphrased words of Scarlett O’Hara “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”  Which is how deferred maintenance gets deferred ;-)

Inspect this!

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The next step in the escrow process is getting an inspection of the house.  Even though an official home inspection isn’t required by our mortgage company AND even though Rick could do much of the inspection himself (as a Structural Engineer and Architect), we wanted fresh, unbiased eyes on the house to see what we otherwise might miss.

Our real estate agent recommended Elite Home Inspection.  Jeff’s son, Brett, is in the biz, too, and guess who gets to climb under houses and into attics?  Yep, the young’un.

The purpose of a home inspection is to look into all the nooks and crannies of a home and test all the systems.  Does the A/C actually cool the air?  Does the dishwasher come on?  Does the gas stove light up?  How are the seals on the dual-pane windows?  Evidence of a roof leak?  Are there smoke detectors where there should be smoke detectors?  And so on and so forth.

It’s a great way to find out what you’ll be in for when you get the keys to the house – or to renegotiate the purchase agreement – or to find out if you should to back out of the deal.  For this house, the only way we’d back out is if we found out the house is sliding into a sinkhole…something big that would keep the mortgage company from funding.  Most little things we can deal with ourselves, such as a sprinkler control leaking or getting rid of ivy – such an invasive little cuss!  Once Rick went to visit a potential client and they had ivy coming into their family room – INTO the house through a hole in the wall…they thought that was the cutest thing!  Ivy is destructive, people, burn it, burn it all!

In this pic the ivy has been pulled off and this is left.  It will take a knife and sandpaper to get it all off!

In this pic the ivy has been pulled off and this remains. It will take a knife and sandpaper to get it all off!

But I digress…

In some areas, and for some types of loans, things like broken windows, evidence of termites or a missing toilet would have to be fixed/mitigated/replaced prior to the loan funding.  Anything that might make a house unlivable – like a nonfunctioning bathroom, duh.

We do have to provide a pest report to the loan company, which has been scheduled for the next couple days, if I remember correctly.  At that point, we’ll find out if we have to have someone come and treat the house for termites and whether it’s a simple deal or we have to tent the house.  I say ‘we’ because we are going into this ‘As Is’ sale with a full understanding that it is ‘As Is’, not like SOME people who don’t understand what ‘As Is’ actually means!  And, yes, I’m talking to you, previous-buyer-who-acted-like-termites-never-happened-in-your-world-ever.

Those tunnels are left by the termites eating their way through the wood.

Those tunnels are left by the termites eating their way through the wood.

Those little brownish pellets look like grains of sand.  You might a little pile of them on the floor, by a tiny hole...we did (not this house, tho)

Those little brownish pellets look like grains of sand. You might a little pile of them on the floor, by a tiny hole…we did (not this house, tho)

Oh, before I forget, when/if you ever have termites mitigated at your home, make sure that the evidence of droppings or mud casings or whatever are swept away.  I have had 2 instances where the termites were dealt with via tenting and/or spraying and the detritus wasn’t removed.  Meaning, of course, that the next inspector sees it and notes ‘evidence of termites’ on his report and the cycle repeats.

Anyway, we have a ton of ivy to get rid of, tons of it all around the deck and starting up the side of the house.  It’s beautiful, isn’t it, on a college clocktower but not on a house with wood siding!  It’ll tear it up, tiny bit by tiny bit…

The Tower at San Jose Statue University.  Lovely

The Tower at San Jose Statue University. Lovely

Based on the report – which was provided a speedy 2 hours later!  – we have a leaky sprinkler control and the A/C doesn’t cool down as far as it should – and the day wasn’t even very hot.  So, we know that we’ll be repairing or replacing the HVAC system in the next year or 2 or 5.   Plus some other little things we’ll be dealing with that cause us no grief at all, like cleaning out the gutters.

I asked the people who live there now – very nice granddad, dad (and his girlfriend) and son – what items might belong to them so we’d know what we’d have to replace;  i.e. the fridge might be theirs since sometimes tenants have to provide their own.  They said only the fish in the pond and the potted plants!  Whoo-hoo!  That means the ceiling fans, the clothes washer and dryer, the refrigerator AND the hot-tub stay?!?  Awesome!

Of course, one never knows for sure until one gets the keys – maybe the actual owners will haul something away (even though all that info is supposed to be included in the purchase agreement – what is excluded from the sale, that is to say).

While the inspection is going on I go into each room and take notes about lighting, paint, carpet, linoleum, etc.  Pretty much everything needs paint, but there aren’t big holes in the walls that I can see.  The tile work in the master bath shower is lovely!  The tile in the kitchen?  Not so much.  Its beige with dark brown grout.  On white cabinets.  >sigh<  I can never get away from dark brown grout, can I.  Well, the counters aren’t not too bad as far as chips go; there are only a couple small ones that I could see.  It could be worse – this I can live with.  And the carpet merely needs cleaning, at least for now we can live with it, as well – its beige, it’ll go with whatever furniture we scrounge up.

This is NOT the carpet...but we expected to have to buy a place like this.

This is NOT the carpet…but we expected to have to buy a place like this.

As Rick and I wander around the house taking measurements and notes, we are surprised to find things in even better condition than we remembered.  The tile in the entry is great!

This is NOT the bathroom!  We feel so lucky to have found a house in such good condition!

This is NOT the bathroom! We feel so lucky to have found a house in such good condition!

I’m afraid to get excited.  And Rick?  Well, of course, he has already designed a new kitchen with more windows!  It’s what he does, poor guy, he simply can’t help redesigning things.

We won’t be redoing the kitchen anytime soon, though.  Based on the estimate our bank has given us for the cost of the sale, most all that we’ve saved will go to the down payment, so it’s a good thing we don’t have to buy a washer/dryer!  Remember when I said we’d be scrounging up furniture?  We have no furniture for this house except for a dining room table!  My mom did offer us her family room loveseat, with its green and pink plaid cushions…  Which we are happy to take, yes, we are! ;-)

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