Read on for the latest news in real estate in Wayne, Nebraska and the surrounding communities as well as useful tips for buying and selling your home. Bonus features include a look into the good, the bad, and the ugly of homeownership as shared by blog author, homeowner, property manager, and real estate broker, Trisha Peters.
Welcome Home.

Friday, March 20, 2015

At a Standstill...

Today is the first day of Spring.  Warmer weather and more daylight to get stuff done, right? A friend asked me two days ago why I hadn't posted any recent updates on our bathroom remodeling project.  Well, to be honest, progress has been slow.  No, let me rephrase that, progress has come to a complete halt.  We can't even blame the unnamed home improvement store because the materials have been stacked up against the wall in our basement family room since late February.  This photo shows where we are at currently (and have been for some time):
Notice all the glue on the walls
The builder loved glue
Someday we'll be back to fully functional

Don't get me wrong, it's not that we don't want to be working on this, but when it's 70 degrees outside, a wagon ride around the block with an almost 2-year old sounds a bit more exciting.  When I really want to spice things up, my family and I take on a large bunch of rowdy yearling cattle after work to see if we can time the head gate on the squeeze chute just right so we can insert an ear tag before they decide to run straight through.  Laugh if you want, but it's not so funny when your sorting the whole herd for the second time to catch those two lovely ladies who managed to sneak through the first time.

Despite the after work shenanigans, the at work demands have been increasing steadily since the first of year.  We've been working overtime trying to keep up with the volume of new listings, showings, and sales the past few weeks.  So, if the shower isn't getting installed it might be because of this,
1006 Brooke Drive (Sale Pending)
 or this,
719 Hillside Drive (Sale Pending)
 maybe this one too,
1000 & 1002 Sunnyview Drive
 here's another good one,
905 Lincoln Street
 or possibly this,
105 West 4th Street
 this one for sure,
57745 847th Road, Wayne
 don't forget this little guy,
307 West 1st Street
 and you're sure to love this one,
920 Douglas Street
 and this beauty, too!
502 West 1st Street
But don't forget about these moments,
Logan calls baby lambs "pigs." I can't make this stuff up.

Nobody at 1st Realty could have guessed it wasn't spring yet by the volume of home sales and listings we have experienced during this first quarter of 2015.  So far this year we have had nine closings, which is, by far, the most closings we've seen during the first quarter in the last five years.  And, not surprisingly, we have more come (keep watching for updates)!

For the time being, the improvements on our home will just have to wait. My husband and I have more important things to do at our jobs and with our family farming operations at the present time.
Tonight, we get to work with these lovely ladies to get them prepped for baby calves set to arrive in about 12 days (or sooner).  As all of you expecting mothers will understand, these bosses are "nesting" now, so let's hope they cooperate with those of us messing up their typical evening routine.  For me, it's a little needed outdoor therapy.  I'll keep you posted on how things are going, but don't be surprised if we are talking selling, buying, and baby calves rather than remodeling at least in the near future.  Welcome Home.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Here We Go Again

It seems as if homeownership has a certain ebb and flow as the years go by.  Some years seem rather mundane with not many changes occurring in the landscape of life while others seem to hit you with ten projects needing done all at once.  My husband and I started our quest in homeownership with a major remodeling project, and after a short hiatus to start our family, we are back at it again.  This time, we are taking on the basement.

Before Demo
My husband and I have been carefully watching a developing bulge in our basement shower wall for about a year's time. It is a unique shower in that the builders of the home made it partially out of concrete block.  The other half was fashioned out of plain old sheetrock and some sort of laminate wall covering that isn't designed to repel water the way a shower insert should.  Over the last three years, that wall covering has slowly deteriorated and started to absorb and retain water during each shower.  Plus, it is lime green.  All in all, it has seen better days.

Shortly after the first of the year, I mentioned to him that we should do something about it.  His response was, "So long as it's done by planting time.  Once that hits, I'm out!"  Take it from me, if this thing drags on through planting and calving season, I might just be out!

The project started out with quite a bit of internet research on customizable shower remodeling inserts.  Let's just say that options are limited, and the inserts aren't manufactured here in Nebraska.  We found a product that seemed like something a do-it-yourself-er could install and a nearby home improvement store distributed, so that's where we set our sights.  We started taking measurements and making a list of the supplies we would need to get started.

Then, we made our first trip to the home improvement store, which shall remain unnamed, to start getting some more ideas and prices.  The only thing we came home with that night was defeat.  So many things to pick from, yet nothing in a complete package.  Everything would need to be retrofitted or pieced together to work properly due to the abnormal size of our shower and the complicated network of pipes, electrical wiring and duct work hiding in our basement ceiling.  We were back to the drawing board to decide what we needed to do to make the master plan pan out.

By the next weekend, we had regrouped and regained some confidence after going over our options and gathering ideas from our resident handy-people.  Off we went to the unnamed home improvement store to buy our supplies and get this thing started.  Thinking that we had everything figured out, we started in the plumbing and bath section to get the shower ordered.  Fun fact: did you know that a plain white shower insert costs far more than one that is supposed to imitate travertine?  Neither did we.  Our simple plan to buy a plain white shower insert was then turned into a 20 minute debate over which design to special order.  Plus, you have the buy the shower kit.  And, the trim kit.  And, the adhesive kit.  Attention product manufacturers: When something has "kit" in the name to start with, put everything in the "kit" rather than making three other "kits" to go with it!  Ridiculous.

From there, we moved on to the lighting section which killed another hour picking out which type of recessed lighting to put in the basement.  Fun fact: did you know that recessed lights cannot be purchased as a "kit?"  Neither did we.  First you have to pick out the style of cans that you want to use, then you pick out the inserts/trim to go with them, and then you pick out the lightbulbs to go with those.  But, be careful, my friends.  Some of the trim inserts come with built-in LED bulbs these days.

Two and a half hours after arriving, we were forced out of the store by the repeated requests coming over the intercom that the store would be closing in 5 minutes and we needed to head to the checkouts immediately.  The greeter literally locked the doors behind us.  Three things were clear at this point: 1) we were easily going over budget on this project 2) we had a tired, screaming toddler who wanted chicken nuggets and 3) his mother wanted a margarita.  Both of which my husband quickly found.

As a saving grace, we started demo this past week, and my husband is already liking the added space in the bathroom from taking out a large closet that he used mainly to hang up his towel.  Nonetheless, upon opening up the side of the shower showing evidence of the water seepage, we found that the hot water line is leaking in addition to the shower walls.  Removal of the sheeting behind the toilet also revealed evidence of seepage from some secret surprise still buried behind the moldy sheetrock that is not only nailed, but glued onto the studs as well.  It's as if the builder was thinking to himself, "Good luck to the schmucks that wanna tear this wall off. Muahhahahahaha!"  Everytime I remove sheetrock at our house, I feel like Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes as she takes a sledgehammer to the bedroom wall and yells "Towanda!"

At this point, I can't make any guarantees the neighbors won't hear some yelling throughout the course of this project, but so long as they hear "Towanda," rest assured everything is going OK.  Welcome Home.