It has been an odd sort of two weeks.
Last week I was in Florida visiting my family. We had a pretty good time despite it being a billion degrees (then again, it was a billion degrees everywhere on the east coast, so there was no escaping it) and I learned what it's like to live in various degrees of sweaty. I'm not sure how Florida people do it, but good on them.
Anyway, a very unexpected thing happened. My grandparents (who recently sold two of their seasonal properties and bought a year-round house near my parents in Florida) gave both my brother and I checks for $5,000 each.
Completely unexpected, more than completely surprised, and even more grateful.
Apparently, they had extra cash from the sale of their properties and weren't really sure what to do with the extra. After talking with my parents, they decided to give us the cash since we both had bought houses in the last year that... for lack of a better phrase... need some love.
Immediately I was on edge, thinking "what is wrong... is there something that they're not telling me?" but they assured me that everything was fine and that they just wanted to help out. To be honest, there's a part of me that's still apprehensive because this is not normal. Then again, they've never sold two properties and bought one before.
A good chunk of my trip involved watching countless hours of DIY Network and HGTV (since we don't have cable at the house I rarely get to watch it) and just drooling over all the projects I could do. Of course being handed a big ol' wad of cash didn't help my brain from wandering wildly either.
After getting back to NY and settling in, Garry and I discussed different projects to work on. Right now there are three major things that need to be done. 1. Attic, 2. First floor bath, 3. Basement
Now $5,000 won't cover all of that (especially the basement as we need to install subfloor, a half bath and a myriad of other things), but it will certainly cover installing drywall in the attic, new windows and possibly some flooring. Thankfully we have some very handy friends that are knowledgeable drywall-hangers so labor costs won't be more than a slightly-elaborate bbq. Yay!
We still haven't decided whether or not we want to install a bath (it would end up being a 3/4 bath), but if we do, the demo to the drywall we'd install would be minimal considering where everything would be. We just need to figure it out before we do flooring. We will need to get a contractor to come in to help us decide what we need to do (and how much it will cost) to put a 3/4 bath upstairs - basically we need to know if it's going to actually be worth the money we'll be spending and if it will actually look good and not just be a cramped "closet" bath.
So on the project list for now is getting the window folks to come and install new attic windows and purchase the drywall. Since Garry is working crazy hours the rest of the month we won't get started on the project until sometime in August, but buy the end of September we're going to have a finished attic! Sweet!
As for the bathroom, we're going to put that on hold for a little while. The finish we put on the bathtub is chipping (awesome) and we're contemplating replacing the tub altogether. Boo. We also need to redo the tile on the surround - which when you're buying 60 sq ft of tile it gets expensive quickly. Luckily I've found some ceramic options that are rather pretty, but we haven't made any decisions just yet.