Big news! We officially put our house on the market last week! All of the hard work we’ve put in the past 3 weeks has totally paid off – it looks bright and fresh and is ready for it’s big debut! I have no doubt that it’ll sell quickly, and we can make our final transition from the Suburbs to a life of Sailing.
We thought it would be fun to see the before & after pics and reflect a bit on this time in our lives. Had we know 5 years ago when we bought the house that we’d be selling it to buy a boat and go sailing, we’d think we were crazy. Isn’t it funny how life just works out that way? I’m sure we’ll be sitting on our boat in the bright blue waters of the Caribbean one day reflecting back on the house and our time in the suburbs, imagining a life that would be very different from our current course.
So, without further ado..
Here’s the house when we first bought it back in 2009 (not sure why is has 2013 MRIS on the photos!). 100 Hatton Drive. Pretty much zero curb appeal going on here. In fact, I almost didn’t get out of the car it was so ugly. Come to find out that it was actually painted pink back when it was built in 1960, so I guess the algae green was sort of an upgrade. Take a look at the ivy starting to grow up the left side of the house. I guess that was considered the “garden”?
But four years later (and a lot of sweat and blisters), we were able to clean, paint, plant and glam it up. Isn’t it charming? That red door just says “Why, hello! Why don’t you come on in and take a look around?”
This is the not so impressive backyard. It was so overgrown and buggy we needed a machete and a malaria shot just to get around back there. A giant bush covered about half of the back patio… we didn’t even realize it was under there until about 3 months after we bought the house. See that lacrosse goal hiding out in the bush? We STILL were finding lacrosse balls up until the day we moved out.
We tried our hardest to clean up the backyard and discovered in the process, just how big it actually was. All of that overgrowth was hiding some pretty prime real estate. The fire pit was made from bricks we found randomly in the yard… talk about new uses for old things!
Let’s compare this to our current “yard”. The one where there’s no grass to cut, leaves to rake or weeds to pull.
Going inside, we were pleasantly surprised to see the vaulted ceilings, ginormous wood burning fireplace and hardwood floors that were in great shape. Definitely a redemption from the initial thoughts from the outside. Still a little tough on the eyes, but we knew it had good bones and a lot of potential. We just had to look past that green artificial turf that was glued to the outdoor patio. You can sort of see it thru the slider…
Some paint and accessories were all that it took to turn this great living space from zero to hero. Oh yeah, and the lighting. Lighting is everything (according to Matt).
Here’s the same space during our hey day. Look at all of the stuff we had! I thought it looked all homey when we were there, but looking back at it now, it feels so cluttered with knicknacks. My, we really have stripped down our life, haven’t we?
I suppose this would be considered our current living room. You can fit our entire salon/galley area in about half of that space. And here we thought that the house was so small when we moved in!
Here’s a look at the Master Bedroom Before / After compared to our Current Bedroom:
The second bedroom. No before shot, but I can assure you it wouldn’t do it any favors if we did have one to show. This was Matt’s room when we lived here. Not as in, where he slept, but where he kept his things. We have slightly different standards of organization and having two separate spaces has saved us from countless arguments over the years. Hence the reason why we went with a catamaran… 2 hulls, 4 rooms. And that, my friends, is the secret to our happy marriage.
Bathroom #1. I really wish we had a before shot of this room with the peach and brown tiles and the mildew-y shower. It was a scary, scary place. We gutted the entire room down to the studs and rebuilt everything. Our small head with it’s handheld shower is a definite downgrade to this space.
Bathroom #2. With all of it’s original vintage charm.
Our current bathroom. We still don’t shower on the boat, mostly because we have great facilities at the marina.
And finally, behold – the best part of the house: a vintage 1960’s kitchen. This thing looked like it had been in a time capsule from 50 years ago, save for the slightly newer appliances. Yes, those are metal cabinets, linoleum flooring, and Formica counter tops – complete with the metallic boomerang “atomic” print. Total June Cleaver style.
This is the after. We wanted to gut the entire space like we did the bathroom and just go crazy in here, but lack of time/money/motivation prevented us from actually going thru with it. So we painted and installed a new tile floor and counter top which made it livable during our time there. Oh, yes – and the lighting of course 🙂
Compare that with our current kitchen
And finally the basement. Matt added all of that great lighting so it wasn’t the scary basement everyone is afraid to walk down into to get to the laundry. And we painted, ’cause we were already on a roll so why not?
We consider the two storage lockers in the very front of each hull the basement area. Not nearly as big and clean, but then again, we don’t have nearly as much to store.
So that about wraps it up. We had some really fun times in the house and made a lot of great friends while we were there. I’ll admit that I’m more sentimental than I thought I’d be at this point, but the thought of being free of all ties (and mortgages!) and able to finally dive into our adventure helps sooth the sting. I heard a cool saying the other day that I think would apply to our situation:
“you can’t explore the ocean if you always keep your eyes on the shore”