Monday, June 18, 2012

We Bought a House!!! (almost)

As many of you know, we went to Las Vegas over Memorial Day to buy a house. Talk about close calls. Troy flew into Vegas on wednesday the 27th and I arrived the next evening. We were both leaving monday morning. 4 days of house hunting. That's it. No pressure right?

We had made plans to stay with some friends that we had met at Troy's training in San Antonio, Dan and Holly Miller, on thursday and friday night. Troy made arrangements to stay at the Luxor Hotel (the Egyptian pyramid hotel on the strip) for saturday and sunday night. We were optimistically hoping that we would be done house hunting by saturday and could have relaxation vacation time starting saturday afternoon after only house hunting all day friday and saturday morning. SUCCESS!!

We met our realtor Leisl on Friday morning at 10am. She had made arrangements for us to see models in new developments. After doing some research about the area and viewing several school district ratings, we decided that building was the best option. The housing markets in Las Vegas hit a peak in 2005 and then crashed (along with the rest of the market). For us, this meant that homes that had previously sold for 400k+ were now selling for a whopping 100k. The "nice" and "safe" neighborhoods were now in a situation where the "riff-raff" were moving into the big homes because they were more affordable. The school and safety ratings had gone down down down. This left us with the option of moving further from "the strip" and towards Troy's new base (with the Indian Springs label) seen here:

We were looking build in the FAR northwest area called Providence. There are tons of COVERED parks, a YMCA that we get to use for free because Troy's base is SO far and there are no amenities there for families, and the schools are rated a bit higher than the other areas.

ANYWAY - we had appointments to go meet with 5 different builders on friday. The first 2 offices were a total bust. Based on our timeline, we wanted to be in our home by no later than September 1st. The office administrators looked at their builder maps and stated

1.) There was nothing available already under construction with our needs to be ready at that time.

2.) They could not build anything from dirt that would be ready by our desired move in date.

Well sugar. Onto builder #3. Where we came across this beauty.

They had 10+ more to choose from in various stages of build from framing to all the way done and ready to move in. Awesome. There was a house on a corner lot and the couple who designed/built it had backed out last minute for personal reasons but it was good to go. As far as lots go in Vegas it was HUGE.

Let me give you a mental picture of what MOST yards are like in Vegas. Picture this. You walk out the sliding back door. You can literally lean out the door and do push ups on the back fence. No space for a swing set. Or a pool. Or to do yoga. The side yard is big enough for the air conditioner. Thank God for that because you need some cool air. But that's it.

THIS yard is about 40 feet from back door to the fence. And because it is a side lot, the left side is the same size. It's huge for Vegas. Troy was sold. Literally.

BUT we still had to go to 2 more builders. The 4th was ok. The 5th one had a floor plan that made us giddy.

And to top it off, the office administrator said that they had a corner lot. After seeing the corner lot in the 3rd builder we were all "YES!! This is the house!" Then we go to the house to look at it. Wop Wop...same kind of lot as a majority of Vegas houses. What a downer.

By the end of the day, we were SOLD on the other house with the big lot at builder 3. So we went back and made a deposit to show INTENT of coming back to make an offer and sign paperwork the next day, Saturday morning. Here is a picture of the front of the house:

Here is what you see when you walk in the front door with the steps to go up (to the master and master bath, 2 other bedrooms, another full bathroom, the laundry and a loft) on the right (pay no mind to our friend's son or gawk at him because he's so adorable):

Here is a view of the kitchen, looking back towards the front door. You can also see Troy and our realtor Leisl:

Here is the view at the top of the stairs looking towards the loft and 2 bedrooms and the bathroom:

Here is the laundry room off the loft:

Our master bathroom connects the bedroom to the closet so here is a couple pics of the bathroom:

And here is an up close shot of the kitchen stuff so you can see the colors and details:

So those are the high spots in terms of pictures of the house. The people who "designed" it and then backed out at escrow picked several things we would not have done, but mostly things that we like a lot. For example, we requested that all the doors be changed from this:

To this, called a Santa Fe Plank door:

We are also changing all the door knobs, hinges, and the hanging fixtures from silver to oil rubbed bronze. We also requested the builder install a garage door opener...because really?? Why wouldn't the people who built the house put one in? SO weird. We are going to have to buy blinds and ceiling fans as well. The ceilings in every single room literally look like a pot light with a light bulb screwed into it. Kind of weird. And those are high priority items because:

1. It's hot and we need some circulating air and
2. It's hot and we need to block out the sunlight

We will definitely keep you updated on purchase choices for this as well installation. We don't have a ton (or any) of experience with DIY projects so my Dad (HI DAD!!!) will be assisting with some of these projects right off the bat.

We also plan to install a pool at some point. EEEEEE! Scary big project but again:

1. It's hot and
2. It's good for resale value

SO to refresh your memory, here is the layout of the house we bought:

You can see all the optional upgrades listed on the sheet. We have the extra cabinets (3 up and 3 down) in the kitchen and the double sinks in the master bath and full bath upstairs. The downstairs extra room is another bedroom and the 1/2 bath down is upgraded to a full bath with a shower. The loft is open. The master bedroom also has the option of a "master retreat." We are not crazy about that change in the floor plan because 1. We NEVER "hang out" in our room, not even to watch TV so that seems like wasted space and 2. We would rather have the extra bedroom. We asked the builder to put the wall and closet back in but they said that we would have to pay out of pocket for that. She also said that it would cost us more to use their builder to do it than to get a general contractor to do it down the line. So we decided that we'll try the master suite option for a while (or have it be Optimus's room) and if we aren't feelin' in, we can either hire a general contractor to do it or convince my Dad to help us do it (HI DAD!!!).

We are most excited about the backyard because there is space to have a pool (yay) AND a yard for little ones to play. Double points to Troy for insisting on the big yard. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), we have a hard core Homeowners Association. We have to have our yard landscaped within a year of purchase (um hello what about saving for our pool???) and have everything approved through them. BUT having a hardcore HOA saves us from having pink houses and ugly landscaping in our neighborhood which is good :) So we'll see how all this pans out.

Now you know what's up with the house situation. We are doing a remote close on June 26th and Leisel is doing the final walk through for us. We are hoping to having household goods delivered August 20th. Because we haven't had our stuff since February. Do the math...that's 6 months. And we're living in TLF. Can't wait :)


  1. I love the front of the house and your kitchen is to die for!!! I like the layout too!!! I'm so excited for you guys and can't wait to see it in person one day soon!!

    1. YAY!! We are excited about the kitchen too :) I can't wait for you to come visit! Vegas baby!


Thanks for reading!