Two Years in Our House

February 22, 2016

My realtor texted me (and sent the sweetest card) earlier this month to wish use a happy two year “House Anniversary”. And today, this week, this month, it is happy. We’re finally working on some fun projects (as opposed to things like: a new furnace, 22 feet of sewer line, a hot water heater, etc.), and we can finally see the work we’re doing, instead of it being buried underground or hidden in the basement, or deep inside our walls. I was going to take some better progress photos for you, but we’re in the middle of working on our pantry, and there are dried goods stacked all over our home. Once we get a couple of those projects taken care of, I’ll be back with an update!

On the outside, our home looks much like it did on the day we bought it. This photo, taken in all the December snow, looks very similar to the weekend we got the keys. We tried to *not* do much work to the house the first year we lived there, because we wanted to get a feel for the place. We tore out a bunch of dead plants/weeds, but haven’t replaced them yet. We did replace the front door last fall, and it’s GORGEOUS. We found a lovely door, and I finished it out myself. It was a lot of work, but looks amazing. It got cold before I could paint the trim, so that still needs work (and yes, I blurred our address out). We’ve got new windows for up top, and once those are replaced, I can plant things in the flower beds.


Since we bought our home as foreclosure, there were no appliances in it. In the past two years, we’ve purchased a fridge, stove, washer & dryer. We also replaced the furnace, and the hot water heater. Oh, and 22 feet of sewer line (photo below). Which is why we don’t have a dishwasher yet – haha. 🙁 After being unable to pee in my own home for almost a week, I am very very grateful for indoor pluming, and I know that dishwasher is coming soon. PRO TIP: Unless you buy a house with brand new sewer and water lines, and there aren’t any trees nearby, I’d recommend getting extra insurance on your sewer and water lines. You don’t need to know how terrible it is when these things don’t work.


We’ve tried to reclaim some of the backyard from the weeds that had taken over while it was empty. I’ve spent countless hours digging up weeds and trying to keep the grass alive. We built a couple of the raised beds, and grew a bumper crop of tomatoes and zucchini last summer, which is all due to the fact that H put the garden water on a timer. Those tomatoes (in the front bed) were almost 5 feet tall by the end of the year (this photo was in May). In contrast, our first summer here, I grew one tomato plant, and got 2 tomatoes.


We haven’t done much work to our upstairs, although we did tear out the carpet in my office last spring. I got a little bit demo happy, and also decided to tear apart the built in bookcase (I can hear you all freaking out, but it wasn’t original) because the back sounded funny. Turns out, in the early 1950s, there was a CLOSET here. They covered it up and put in a larger closet on the other side of the room. I know this, because we found monopoly money in here which is from the first run of the game (pre 1953), plus a pencil with the name of a girl who lived here then. This room is on the to do list for 2016!


Last fall, we wanted to do a little work on our living room. Which spiraled into a lot of work. This is apparently the story of home renovation. It went from “fix the walls and paint” to all new electrical, a new door, and so much more. BUT! The living room is done, except for the built-in bookcases, and some trim needing paint, which now that it’s warming up, we’ll work on. Using a table saw in the snow isn’t fun. This was taken after we’d rewired everything, and we were working on skim coating all the walls.


This year, we’ve already redone our bathroom! We’re also working on the pantry, and have quite a few projects planned for 2016. I’m planning to update more with non-phone photos, but if you want to follow along with more of our renovation stuff, check out my Instagram feed.


Leave a Reply

photo of the author, she has dark wavy hair, brown glasses, and red lipstick on. She is wearing a grey shirt.


Servus! I’m Emily and you’ve found my little corner of the internet, where I write about travel, intentionally living with less stuff, and living as a German-American family in Munich, Germany.  Want to know more?