Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Home Inspection Updates and my {DIY} Address Wreath!

Today we had our home inspection and everything went pretty well, especially taking into consideration that this property is a foreclosure. I was prepared for the worst that's for sure but we only had a few issues here and there and nothing that surprised us.

The biggest issue we have to deal with is the moldy basement, aka Matt's man cave. After inspecting the mold situation this morning and then discovering that none of Harry Homeowner's work on the basement was done properly to begin with we've decided it would be best to just gut the basement and start over. We don't plan on finishing the basement right away since my "honey-do" list is already miles long but we'll get to it in a couple years. Unfortunately, Matt's man cave will probably become a playroom by then but he's being a great sport about it!

               We're still so excited that we've found our first place and we can't wait to move in! 

                                         Now my chandelier finally has a place to call home!
                                           It can be bought here! I snatched this baby up
                                           a few months ago because Pottery Barn had it on
                                           sale for 20% off and free shipping!
 ...and to celebrate passing the home inspection I decided to attempt my first DIY project! I've been inspired by all of the cute wreaths I've seen on my favorite site ever, Pinterest! For anyone that isn't pinning on Pinterest you don't know what you're missing, you have to join, you will LOVE it!

                                                         My inspiration came from here:

                                                          First, you will need these supplies:

                                                Then cut all of the flowers off of the stems:

                                               Then spray paint the letter and numbers:

                                              Then spray paint them again when you change
                                              your mind on the color. (Just kidding, but I did
                                              repaint mine because the black didn't pop enough
                                              against the dark wreath so keep that in mind when
                                              choosing colors!)

                            Then hot glue everything on (I'm sorry I'm a bad blogger and I don't
                            have a picture of this step!)

            And tada! You have your very own custom wreath (hubby not included)
            I had to add a B on mine though because I'm obsessed with anything
            that has an initial or monogram! 

                                        ...and a close up of my wreath, I can't wait until I can hang it up!

Monday, November 21, 2011

One Step Closer...

                                                                      GOOD NEWS...
                                 We are happy to report that we are UNDER CONTRACT!!

                    We're just waiting to hear back from the bank when the home inspection is!!

ALMOST time to celebrate!

       We were hoping it would be before Black Friday because we really need shiny new

          ...but we may just buy them on Black Friday anyway if their return policy is still the same!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Go Navy!

Go Navy! Beat San Jose State!
We interrupt our regularly scheduled program of buying a home to bring you a post of a Bernhardt Family obsession: Navy football! Today at 4 p.m. the Navy Midshipmen will take on the San Jose State Spartans! To keep our bowl game hopes alive we need a win today and on December 10th when we take on Army at FedEx Field. Let's Go Navy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pins and Needles

Can the home search just be over already?! We are on pins and needles and I don't think we can take much more of this!

After seeing house number three we decided it just wasn't the right fit for us after all. 

Sorry, house number three, we know there's someone out there who will love you!
We left there feeling a little disappointed and wondering if we were ever going to find our first home. We decided to go back to Admiral Heights and ride around the community as we discussed what we should do next. As we rode around Admiral Heights we really loved the charm it had to offer but something still didn't sit right. We both came to the conclusion that this wasn't the one and we needed to pull our offer and continue looking (wahhh!)

Bye, bye house number one. You're a charming little thing but you just weren't "the one"

As luck would have it, earlier that morning as I was stalking Redfin's site (just like I do EVERY morning) I came across a foreclosure that looked really nice. I was a little worried that they only showed the exterior of the home but I decided to keep it on the back burner just in case.

Foreclosure in Black Walnut Cove

Back yard with an awesome deck!

Since Matthew and I were back to square one we decided to take a tour of the foreclosure...and we LOVED it. I mean LOVED it. It was even better than we imagined when we stepped inside and it had THREE WHOLE FLOORS of living space! Does it need work? Yes, of course but what foreclosure doesn't? And it's really only floors, paint, and a few appliances but for the price it's a STEAL.

We submitted an offer on Tuesday (sorry I'm just now blogging about this) and we heard back that there had been a third offer submitted and we needed to provide them with our "best and final offer." We decided to offer 5k more than the asking price so we could stay competitive and increase our odds of getting the home!

We were notified by e-mail that the bank has accepted our offer and now they need even more paperwork to make the deal official. We submitted all 800 pages of the contract along with our certified check this morning and we are ANXIOUSLY awaiting for the bank to sign those documents so we can have a ratified contract! Keep your fingers crossed for us, please!

Will this be our new neighborhood?!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Aruba, Jamaica ooh I wanna take ya!

In exactly ONE month the hubby and I will be honeymooning in Aruba and we can't wait!

                                          We're staying at the Marriot Resort:

                                           And we plan on spending lots of time here:
                                            Enjoying one of these:

I hope everyone is having a happy Monday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action!

Phew, what an exhausting two days we’ve had filming for “My First Place.” Matthew and I were anxiously awaiting to get this show on the road (pun intended) but after just two days of filming we’re so happy we have a much needed day off.

We first met the HGTV production crew at a lovely rancher in Admiral Heights Friday morning. Before we could begin the crew gave us a quick wardrobe check making sure we were wearing bright, solid colors without logos and/or wrinkles! Sounds easy, right? Well it wasn’t for me. Before this whole process started with HGTV I never realized just how many black/gray/brown/dark clothes I had in my winter wardrobe-eeek. The night before filming I had to make a mad dash to the outlets and buy a few brightly colored shirts to wear during filming, problem was, we ended up filming more scenes this weekend than I originally thought so I was scrambling through my closet hoping to find more outfits.

After our wardrobe check was done we had to get  mic’ed up and started on our pre-house hunt interviews. Matthew and I had to individually answer about 4 or 5 questions detailing what exactly we were doing. Although these interviews were supposed to be short and sweet, anytime a car, airplane, ambulance or marching band (I’m not making the last one up, it really happened on Saturday) was in the background we had to stop and answer all over again. It’s actually a lot harder than you’d think because sometimes you’d just give a great quick witted response then quickly forget what you said and fumble over the same question when it was repeated. Ideally, these interviews would be best conducted inside but part of HGTV’s goal is to capture the overall feel of the town so it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

Okay, so our wardrobes have been checked, we’ve been mic’ed for the show and we’ve completed our interviews now it’s time to get inside and begin the house tour, right?! Nope, not yet! I know, I know it’s crazy how much thought goes into even the littlest things, as much as I wanted to believe my Real Housewives reality shows were real I’m now seeing how scripted everything is. (To my RHONJ fans, all I can think about is Teresa’s table flip a few seasons back. During the time I was convinced that it was a heat-of-the-moment argument that escalated way too quickly but now (sigh) I think it was totally planned. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch TV the same way again.) Anyway, before we were allowed to go inside the darn house and start filming we had to shoot the “drive up” scene. Basically, HGTV just wanted us along with our real estate agent to drive up to the property while discussing the house stats (listing price, days on the market, bedrooms, etc.) As simple as driving up, discussing the house stats and getting out of the car may seem it’s really anything but. We had to do seven, yep seven, whole drive up takes until they felt we looked the most natural, which is really difficult when you still haven’t gotten used to having a film crew closely following you around. I mean how can you not look at the camera when as soon as you get out of the car the camera is pointed right at you?!

Alas, we were finally able to enter the house, hallelujah! Once inside we spent approximately three hours filming a little more than 1300 square feet. I remember thinking to myself “this is the only time I’ve ever been happy to have a limited budget for a home, I couldn’t imagine having to film in a large home, we’d be there for days and days!”

Filming inside the house was a lot of fun but it took time to make sure the rooms were lit properly, the camera man had the correct angle and of course that Matthew and I along with our real estate agent were able to say the right things WITHOUT looking at the camera. All in all we had a great two days filming and we’re excited to continue the home buying journey with HGTV! We looked at a total of two homes, made an offer on one home, found out that the seller countered our offer and now we’ve got some thinking to do. We decided not to counter the seller back right away even though I think HGTV was disappointed that we didn’t. Instead Matthew and I are going to an open house today before we make anymore decisions. I’ve had my eye on a home that is priced a little more than the home we made an offer on but it’s larger and move-in ready (brand new bathrooms, granite counter tops, beautifully landscaped backyard with privacy fence, etc.) 

We were hoping to get the home in Admiral Heights for less than the listing price since the bathrooms need to be totally gutted (everything is blue-toilet, sink, tub, etc), the kitchen appliances are older than me and overall the house needs some TLC, but it doesn’t seem like the seller is as willing to come down in price as much as we’d like. Before we make a counter offer we wanted to see if spending about 30k more for a move in ready home with all the updates is a smarter way to go. Buying a home is such a huge decision and we’re really hoping to find the home that’s going to give us the most bang for our buck (isn’t that a show on HGTV, too?) 

                                                                         Quick Recap:

-Friday morning we toured this home here:

-Friday afternoon we all went to lunch for a much needed break

-Friday late afternoon we went to our real estate agent’s office and made an offer on the home we toured 

-Saturday morning we toured this home here:

-We loved the fact that it was so close to the Navy football stadium but we didn’t like the overall layout

-Saturday afternoon we all went to lunch then headed over to a waterfront restaurant to find out the seller’s response to our offer 

-Saturday evening we went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate two days of filming and for making a little bit of progress in the home buying process

-Sunday afternoon* we’re looking at this potential home that’s at the top of our budget but move in ready:
* You may be wondering why we toured one home, made an offer, then toured another home. I know it seems so out of order because well, it is out of order, but HGTV is just going to edit it back so it really looks like we saw 3 homes then made an offer etc, etc. HGTV really only wants to follow us on two home tours then whenever we do end up buying a home they will film that house as a our third house tour. HGTV realizes that it’s impossible to only look at three homes so they let us look for homes off camera which is what we’re doing today-and since I won’t be on camera today I’m wearing an ALL black outfit and I couldn’t be more thrilled :) PS-don’t they say the camera adds 10 pounds?! And isn’t black supposed to be a slimming color?! Not cool, HGTV, not cool!

I wish we were able to snap pictures of all four scenes this weekend but there just wasn't any time. Here are two pictures from our very last scene of the weekend! 

Not the best pictures but at least you get an idea!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Newlyweds!

Hi there, we're the newlyweds Sarah and Matthew! It's amazing how quickly time flies, just one month ago today we were tying the knot in lovely St. Michaels, Maryland surrounded by our wonderful family and friends! Although it's only been a month since we said our I do's we've already experienced some pretty awesome things as husband and wife.

Some of you may already know that we're looking for our very first love nest, a place to call our own and eventually start a family! We're excited for the home buying process and we know it's going to be a roller coaster of emotion filled with ups and downs but we're ready for the ride! Joining us on that ride is HGTV's "My First Place", yep, the television show! A little over a month ago we applied to be on HGTV'S "My First Place" and after going through the process with the network we found out that we've been selected. To say we're excited is an understatement, it's going to be one of the coolest experiences and we're so honored HGTV has chosen us! We hope you follow along during our home buying process, and don't worry you're all invited to our viewing party! Watch out Kim K, there's a new reality star in town and unlike your marriage mine's the real deal...too soon?! Sorry Kimmy, I didn't mean it.

Well that's all for now but in the mean time I'll leave you with a sneak peek of wedding pictures our fabulous photographer, Amy Raab, just sent...and don't worry there's plenty more to come!