Monday, May 20, 2013


We bought a house! We closed on it last week, after picking this one out in late February. Buying a house wasn't really a priority for us in the short term future, but after looking around the housing market in Florida, there really isn't a better time to buy than now. Really low interest rates, lots of homes below market value, and many motivated sellers. Another big selling point for us is our house payments will be lower than our rent, and our house is twice the size of our apartment, plus we will have a yard and no loud neighbors downstairs!  

This house is in Panama City Beach, about 10 miles from where we are living now. Big surprise, it is a project house. Needs some love and attention. It wasn't a foreclosure, but we looked at a few foreclosures while hunting that were in better shape than this house. We picked this one because it was the best value for the money in our range and it feels like it will be a good investment for us. Also after some renovations and a little time, hopefully a nice return when we come to sell it. We also liked the layout, large wooded lot, and neighborhood too. It has a secluded feel to it, even though being less than a mile to Gulf. We aren't moving into it immediately, we plan to do some remodeling before moving in mid to late summer.  We have a couple months left to our lease and it would be nice to do some of the remodeling in a empty house.

So here is a brief tour. Some pictures are a little fuzzy but you will be seeing many more pictures of this place in the coming months. :-)
Front door, with an attached garage to the right. The front yard is nice sized, but I forgot to take pictures of it.

 Ugh. This is the master bath. One of the rooms needing a face lift. This and the second bath have exterior stone siding cemented onto the shower walls. SO WEIRD. No idea how one would keep that clean over time. Sure will be a pain in the ass removing it, but worth it.

 Master bath vanity and sink area. There is carpet in this part of the bathroom. Ick.

Master bedroom. Nice and large with 2 big closets.

 And patio doors that walk out to the back yard from the master bedroom. I like that. Don't like the big ugly wave outside the doors, but more on that later in the tour.

Second bathroom. Stone siding shower in this one too, but not as grimey condition. This bathroom is nicer of the 2 so I think this one will be done after the master bath.

Laundry room. Needs flooring, nice washer and dryer though. Leads out to the attached garage.

Second bedroom, little smaller than master.

Hallway that leads to the bedrooms, laundry, and hall closet.

The backyard and the commanding wave. That is a storage shed with some original artwork on it. Not our tastes really... oh well. That is what paint is for! I like having a storage shed, but I don't like it there, outside the bedroom. Have to think about a solution for that yet.

View from the shed. The white blossoming crawling plant is Confederate Jasmine. Smells amazing. I guess it blooms in the spring.

And the wave continues on the side of the shed. Don't think you can read it, but it says, "Ride the Tsunami" in the water. Surfers...

Another blooming tree in the yard. Looks lilac-y.

 View from the other side the of back yard, looking at the sliding doors that lead into the living room.

Surf Life.

Around from the back deck area, there is more decking (more decrepit though) that leads around the house to another side patio area and a gate to the front of the house.

Cypress tree I think. And I think we have 2 of them. The yard on this side leads to a small creek/ditch, that leads down the road to a lake by the ocean.

There is a lot of pruning and trimming to be done. We want to open up the yard by the ditch. We have quite a variety of trees and plants in the yard. It will be fun discovering them all, once things get trimmed back to a tame size. There is a citrus tree too, I think it is a orange. So cool. I am also excited about getting bird feeders set up. I think we will have a lot of birds with our yard. The cats will be excited too. They love watching the bird feeders and they have been without since we left Wisconsin.

Back indoors. The back deck leads into the large living room. 

It is big. More of that stone siding on benches along the wall. Those aren't staying. We plan to have our living  area in one section, with a dining area near the corner by the kitchen and still have space left over for our computers and desks in another corner, without feeling too cramped.

The kitchen. The cabinets and counters are about shot; cracked, warped, and crumbling. So this room is high on the renovate list.

And back to the hallway from the living room to the front door. Stay tuned for progress!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Ride

Another ride to St. Andrews again today, with a detour to the Grand Lagoon Farmer's Market. Came home with some cucumbers. Went there looking for pita bread from the pita lady, but she wasn't there this week. I'll find her next time, it is mother's day after all. My bike was recently out of commission again with a flat tire. Same one I had fixed 2 months ago. The helpful guy at the bike shop informed me Sand Burrs are my culprit, small pickers that stick my tire and eventually creates a leak. He recommended putting in an extra heavy duty tube in my tire. We'll see how it holds up. My back tire has not been stricken with leaks so far, but the burs love chewing my front tire.

A hunting Heron


Hello Buddy
 I ran across this turtle in one of the park's parking lots. 2 ladies and I were admiring him and decided we should move him off the pavement into the safety of the protected grassy dunes. I think this is a Florida Softshell turtle, judging by it's nose and shell. Zachary ran into a large alligator turtle on his lunch break earlier in the week. I'll try to remember to post his picture of it later.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hey You

Quee made a new friend tonight.