In the past month, we’ve progressed to essentially 100% complete. A few minor things and some touch-up work remain but, for the most part, the house is now complete.
Progress has been quick with much of the past month spent with interior and exterior work happening in parallel:
As of today, landscaping/exterior work is complete except for some small fence work. We’ll be doing a few additional things in the future to build out the slope in the backyard but that’s most likely a project for next year:
The post-drywall interior has also come a long way in the past month:
We’ve planned our move for the week of the 24th. Until then, it’s time to get busy packing and prepping to vacate the apartment.
After the siding was finished, the gutters and gas meter were installed before painting. At this point, all exterior painting is complete pending some touch-up work.
On the interior, all drywall work is complete with texture and first coat of paint on. After next steps (cabinets and flooring), we’ll have another coat of paint to ensure good coverage and to capture any damage from the flooring/cabinet installation.
The driveway is being prepped for pouring and the yard has been prepped for sod and landscaping. We met with the landscaper POC last week to discuss our plans for the yard. I suspect we’ll have the driveway poured within a week and landscaping will follow a week after that. This leaves us with finishing up the interior over the next four weeks — installing flooring, cabinets, counters, light fixtures, and the air conditioner. We’re still on schedule. Seeing as we’ll be moving from a small, single bedroom apartment, our next few weekends will be focused on appliance and furniture shopping.
Over the past month, we’ve had the roof, windows/doors, garage floor, wiring/electrical, plumbing, and most of the siding added.
Our outdoor room is starting to shape up with the fireplace being installed. I was hesitant about the loss of interior square footage due to the outdoor room but I have to say that as it comes together, it’s becoming one of my most liked features of the house.
As the electrical and plumbing work wraps up, the next steps will be to finish the siding and putting up the drywall. Our move day is still planned for late October; we’re right on schedule.
We met with the builder on Sunday to settle on the final aspects of our build/fixtures/exterior facade and met with our realtor today to review and sign the purchase agreement. At this point, we’re in contract and awaiting permits from the city to start construction. Depending on the length of the permit process, we hope to start construction about five weeks from today and take the keys on October 26th.
We struggled with picking a location but ultimately decided to go for a larger lot located at the end of the street. Wooded areas surround two sides, a protected wetland sits in the front across the street, and we’ll have a neighbor on one side.
Panorama of our lot (several lots neighbor ours)
The final rendering, floor plan, and house placement on the lot:
After living in a ~550 sq/ft apartment in downtown Seattle for close to two years, we decided to accept the commute and take the plunge into home buying. We used Redfin to book several home tours (~30-40) over the course of several weekends. Our experience was that it the Redfin associates were hit and miss. Some of the associates went above and beyond, knowing the neighborhoods, comps, and even doing a lightweight inspection of crawlspaces and attics looking for signs of fire/water/rodent/structural damage. Others sat quietly aside while we walked the house. In the end, I’d recommend Redfin to those window shopping, familiar with neighborhoods/location, or veteran home buyers. I appreciate that they’re not paid on direct commission so their feedback is more honest and real than the conventional real-estate agent. The downside to this is that Redfin associates may not be as driven to find the right house for you.
After touring countless homes and driving around for hours every weekend looking at open houses, we came across a builder with model plans available to tour. Immediately after seeing the models, we knew we’d found what we’d been looking for. A few more open houses later (for due diligence), we decided to go back to the builder to see if we were still as excited by these homes as we were. At this point, we engaged a realtor to ensure we had someone giving us the right advice and counseling. We compared floor plans and locations for hours on end before reaching full agreement on all aspects of our build.
Exterior rendering of our build
Tomorrow morning, we’ll take our first step by putting up some earnest funds, confirming our build site, and agreeing on the details of our build with the builder. Here’s hoping we’ll break ground around April 10th!