The one where we lie to everyone and buy a house in secret…again…

I had a plan.  The plan was that I was going to tell you the story of our house closing in all its horror over the course of a week…which I did.  Then, the following Monday I was going to come back and let you all in on a big secret.  I was going to tell you a new story…one of a new house and a closing that went much more smoothly.  Sadly, my timing ended up not working out so I posted about a lot of other junk in the meantime.

But…I’m here to finally let you all in on the secret…

After five very long years of searching, J and I finally bought a house in Connecticut!

And we didn’t tell anyone until after the closing!


You know…because we are all tricky like that. 

Luckily this story is much shorter and less painful that the last story.  Here’s what happened…

About 8 months ago our realtor sent us a listing for a house.  We loved the neighborhood and the property, but the house looked really small and the price looked really big.  We passed.  Fast forward through us switching brokers and then switching back again.  Our broker once again sent us the listing…but with a much lower price.  Suddenly, the house seemed much nicer.

We went to look at it and fell head over heels in love with the neighborhood and the backyard…which is ginormous.  The house was actually much bigger than it had appeared in the photos and while it’s not our dream house, we immediately saw the potential to turn it into our dream house. 

We made an offer…

The seller countered…

We countered their counter…and so on and so forth until we’d both reached our final numbers. 

Those numbers were really far apart.  So we passed…again.

Then we went to see the house where J got attacked by the cat.  We liked it and were considering making an offer on it.  While we were at the Giants’ game that Sunday we got a phone call from the realtor telling us that sellers of the first house were willing to come down to within $5,000 of our asking price.

We agreed to the price and we had a deal. 

There was a little bit of drama over the credits we asked for after the inspection to fix things like broken windows and missing railings, but we got over the drama pretty fast and things moved right along.

We went to contract, got a mortgage and set a closing date.  It was super smooth. 

Until last Wednesday…the night before the closing…when it snowed…12 inches. 

J and I were awake and pacing the house until 3AM, staring out the windows, watching the snow.  When we woke up at 7AM we heard that I-95…the main highway in CT…was closed due to weather.  We freaked.  You see…if we didn’t close that day we were going to lose our mortgage committment and our awesomely low interest rate.  We did not want to lose our awesomely low rate…so we threatened everyone that they’d better show up to the closing…OR ELSE!

I’m not sure what we were going to do if they chose the “or else” option, but luckily it didn’t come to that.  We were delayed a few hours, but everyone managed to show up, we signed everything and we soon had the keys in our hot little hands. 

J signing while I realtor looks on.

J holding the keys...which were hanging off a non-skid paperclip!

Like with our last house purchase, we decided not to tell anyone until after the fact.  After what happened last time, we were pretty nervous about the whole process and we thought it would be easier on us if no one knew until after it was a done deal. 

On Saturday morning, we called everyone to tell them.  My mother was not amused that we’d kept a secret again and when she came over that night she punched me in the arm…repeatedly.  Luckily, she doesn’t punch very hard.  My dad just cracked up and was really excited for us.  Marcus and Marisa think we’re totally nuts with out secrets, but they were excited for us too…until Marcus found out he had to move furniture…then he was less excited.  They all came over for dinner and they really liked the house .

We stayed there for the weekend and will be staying there only on weekends until after tax season is over and we have more time to move and get settled.  We are going to do small weekend projects for now and get things fixed up and ready for us to move in.  We are also going to continue to fix up the house that crack built and, hopefully, get it rented by early May.  Sadly, the market sucks too much for us to try to sell at this point. 

While I’d love to have each and every one of you over to see the house in person, I realize that’s not possible.  Instead, I will take you on a photo tour…

This is the front of the house.  As you can see…it’s not symmetrical!  However, someday soon it will be.  We are planning a renovation that will include adding a full second floor and more bedrooms…you know for all those kids and two-legged dogs with wheels that we are going to have soon.  I think J and I should apply to be on Dream House so our escapades in renovation can be seen by millions.  It would be very entertaining.

Inside, we will start with the TV room.  The bay window looks out over a brook and the view is really pretty.

This is the other side of the TV room…you know, where the TV is supposed to go.  Unfortunately, buying a TV with J is no easy endeavor and requires much shopping around and research and more shopping around.  So we don’t have a TV yet.  But we have cable all ready to go!

This is the door to the TV room, which I removed in order to bring the couches into the room. 

Unfortunately, they still didn’t fit through the door …so they are in the living room for now. 

The dining room…with no table.  Instead of bringing up a table on one of the many trips he made, J brought up the bedroom furniture for the guest room.  Thank goodness!  Because furniture for a bedroom no one is going to use is so much more important than a table.  Also, I’ve walked directly into that chandelier about 4 times so far.  The table is the first thing getting loaded into the truck this weekend.

These are the tray tables I had to buy to make up for the lack of an actual table. 

This is the breakfast room…which also has no table.  As you can see, Sofie has taken it over with her wee-wee pad instead.  The glass door leads out to the deck…

Which was covered in ice…and the backyard…

Which was covered in snow.  These pictures don’t do justice to the yard at all.  It’s massive and it’s gorgeous when everything is blooming.

And here is the master bedroom…with the two princesses laying all over the bed.  As you can see, they had no problem making themselves at home in the new house. 

For whatever reason, I took zero pictures of the kitchen.  I also don’t have good pictures of the master bath or the upstairs.  I do have one of J shoveling snow…off the roof! 

Who knew you have to shovel snow off the roof?  Not me.  J asked me if I wanted to go out and help, but I’m not completely crazy, so I stayed inside and watched through the window…holding the phone the whole time in case J fell off the roof and I had to call 911.  ‘Cause I’m all helpful like that!

 The closing went smoothly, but that was about the only thing that did.  I have some great stories of misadventure from the weekend.  Like how I got stuck at Target and how we had no pillows…stay tuned…

Do you like the new house?  Do you think we are nuts to have kept it a secret? Do you want to come and visit…we do have furniture in the guest room?


  1. SHANA!!!!! Congratulations! You are SO CHEEKY keeping secrets from us! I seriously LOVE your new house. It’s beautiful :) I can’t believe you didn’t take any pics of the kitchen yet. My fav part! Awwwww, and it looks like the dogs are settling in nicely, too (and they will be ecstatic with that backyard!).


  2. Whoa, great news. The first thing I thought when I saw the picture of the house is, “uh oh, that’s not symettrical”. Ever since I heard you wanted a symettrical house I try to find houses around Gbo that are perfectly symettrical. There are not that many. Anyway, congrats. I’m getting really in to the home decor and DIY stuff lately. I’m just not very good at it. So unless you want your paint to look really uneven, you probably would not want my services.

    • There is a smudge of paint on the ceiling in my bedroom that’s been there since I painted the walls three years ago. It drives me nuts…not that I’ve ever fixed it. Also, in my old apartment, the line between the ceiling and wall was never even enough so I put up crown molding to cover it.

  3. OMG congratulations!!! What a big deal. And what a beautiful big house. Yay you!

  4. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I like that you keep it secret. I am totally the person that would do that – I don’t like to get my hopes up or other people’s if I’m not SURE about something!

    The house is SO cute and I can’t wait to see all that you guys do to it.

    I have never, ever shoveled off the roof but it does make perfect sense! Way to go J, my boyfriend’s father, a roofer would be proud, although disappointed because he wouldn’t be able to work on your roof 😉

    I’m so happy for you guys!! And the pups!

  5. OH and PS-Did J’s legs get cold from shoveling snow in shorts???

  6. Woo hoo – I was right…most exciting post ever!
    Your new home is lovely, and you know what I noticed? How far away your neighbours are through all those trees 😉 Awesome.
    Wilzie keeps saying that you shouldn’t have to shovel your roof because the snow actually offers more insulation…but after he told me that several times, we started hearing CRACKs and BOOMs coming from outside. He went to buy a roof rake the next day.
    And, if that’s an offer, I will be there in a heartbeat to sleep in your guestroom and eat off your tray tables.
    Congrats to you and J!

    • Yes, the neighbors are super far away. But they are also super nice! It’s sort of the best of everything.

      And yes, the snow offers more insulation…until the weight of the snow causes the roof to collapse. Then it gets pretty cold inside!

      That was totally an offer and I expect to see you and Wilzie in my guest room before the end of 2011!

  7. I KNEW IT! When I read yesterday I thought well, she’s either bought a house or she’s preggo… and since you posted too recently about 2-legged dogs with wheels I thought that would be REALLY sneaky of you… TOO sneaky in fact so I decided it was definitely house.
    It’s BEAUTIFUL very conneticut. But I just have one small question… how did you post a picture of J shovelling snow off the roof in shorts and make absolutely no comment about it? Like he was completely appropriately dressed for the task and the climate. What a crazy.

    • Nope…not preggo…yet! Though I plan to be very sneaky about that too.

      And sadly, J shoveling the snow in shorts is not that unusual. He’s all crazy like that.

  8. BAhahaha just saw the tags – HILARIOUS I take back any concern I had.

  9. OH MY GOSH… wow!!! Ya’ll are downright crazy. But I love it. Congratulations!

  10. I love the house, but I know once you all get your renovating hands on it, I’m going LUUUURRRVVVEEE it. And that backyard is ahhhhmazing!! A tiny bit of spray paint and we can have a full length football field for a “friendly” game of powder puff. Also, I think J may be just a bit off his rocker. Maybe this is just the deep south talking but…shorts…in a foot of snow?? I’m more than a little worried about his mental state.

    What else….I’m not sure if we put this together yet, but we pretty much have the same bedroom furniture. Our bedside tables are just a little different, but yeah, same bed.

    And why yes, I think I will come stay in your guest room. Thank you so much for the invite. ;-D


    • You think J “might” be off his rocker? There’s still a question? The man’s totally nuts.

      The guest room is awaiting your arrival!

  11. Congratulations!! I love your new house! It looks very nice and I can’t wait to see pics as you update. I don’t think you’re crazy for keeping a secret. After only 2 weeks of house hunting, I’m beginning to understand why you would. However, when you have children, I’m not sure secrets will be the best policy, just sayin’.

    • Well, we’ll have to tell people eventually when I get pregnant…you know, because otherwise they’d just think I was getting oddly fat!

      I’m so excited for you guys to find your house. I know it’s getting stressful for you, but it’s worth it in the end.

  12. Grats! I like it! I think it’s fantastic that you kept the secret! It makes it all personal and intimate for you guys!

    Wait…you have to shovel snow off the roof? wth? I didn’t know that, but hubs better get his rear up on the ladder asap!

    • Exactly…we were able to have a few days to just enjoy the house together before we had to share it with everyone. Which was great for us.

      Apparently, you don’t always have to shovel the roof. But the way our roof was pitched and the freezing weather was not helping the snow melt. We were also staring down the possibility of 2 more feet. J figured better safe than sorry. This was an aspect of owning a home with which I was not familiar.

  13. Congrats on the new house! Looking forward to pictures of the finished “guest quarters” 😉

    Shovelling in shorts?? If he had a beer and some bacon when he came in we may have to make him an honorary Hoser!

    • Forget pictures of the guest room…you guys are just going to have to come and see it for yourselves.

      And there was no bacon, but there was beer!

  14. I am sitting here with your Mom and I am amazed that you kept the secret and your house looks fabulous – congratulations and you go girl! See you soon unless winter goes to july.

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