in which I drive you nuts with pictures of OUR NEW HOUSE.

After having our house on the market for a month (which I know isn’t that long at all, especially in the market right now, but OMG IT FELT LIKE AN ETERNITY) we finally got an offer last week while we were at the beach and now have an agreement on our house. Which means! We’re moving in like, 8 weeks or so. TO THIS.

(The pictures aren’t the greatest, but they’ll do for now. They’re from the realty website!)

front of the house

The front of the house- complete with a (fake) balcony over the front porch, off of the bedroom that will be Maggie’s. It really drives Dan nuts that it’s just a pretend one.


Welcome to the entry! It’s big! And bright! Hardwood floors! After 5 years of our teeny tiny entry that requires some advanced yoga maneuvering in order for anyone carrying more than a small purse to enter the house, this will be very very nice.

dining room

The dining room. We are so getting rid of the light fixture. Not that it’s ugly (the exact same light is actually in the entry way- 2 for one sale, I guess?) But it’s just way too big and fancy for the room.

living room

The ginormous living room. SERIOUSLY. It looks big in these pictures partly because they use a wide-angle lens to take the pictures, but no joke, it’s huge. I’m not entirely sure what we’re going to fill it with yet. Probably Maggie’s toys, at least for a while. And maybe my little writing desk in the corner? And at some point, couches.


The kitchen. Pretty standard- the cabinets are really nice and there are lots of them. I love the island! Not a huge fan of the countertops or the appliances, but they definitely don’t need replaced right away. And that bulkhead thing on the ceiling above the island is probably going to go at some point, it serves no purpose that we can tell and makes the room seem kind of closed in.

kitchen again

Another view of the kitchen. Going to need to get a little table for in here!

butler's pantry

Butler’s pantry in between the kitchen and dining room- this I LOVE. Extra counter space, storage, and on the right side of this picture is the FIRST FLOOR LAUNDRY. OMG.

Side story: Originally we (okay, full disclosure: it was really just me) were planning to buy a brand new washer and dryer when we moved to a new house. We bought a set used when we moved 5 years ago, and they were already 4 or 5 years old. Well, the cats broke our dryer and we had to buy a new one, so now our dryer is kind of new, but the washer is getting old. So we thought, hey! Include those with the sale of the house! And I can get some of those fancy new ones that dry your clothes in 5 minutes and you can wash a gazillion towels at once! Except: the buyers of our house don’t need a washer and dryer. SO BOO. I get to keep them. There goes my excuse to buy nice shiny new ones.

Maybe I can invite the cats back to break the dryer again. hee. JUST KIDDING.

family room

On to the family room! I love love love the wood floors. And the windows. And the hugeness of it all.

Dan’s litmus test while we were house hunting was this: Can we have a Steeler party in this room? We have a pretty large family- both sides, actually- and until now it’s been hard to have more than 10 or so people in our house (though I did have a baby shower last year with 25 women and kids and wow was that a tight fit!) (that’s what she said.) We saw a lot of houses where we loved a lot of things, but the living room and family rooms were just way too small. This one? Is lovely and spacious and we are very much looking forward to hosting our first Steeler party there. Good thing we move in right before the season starts! woo!

family room

master bedroom

Upstairs! The master bedroom- more wood floors (swoon!) and get this: we each have our OWN WALK-IN CLOSETS. SERIOUSLY. ONE ALL TO MYSELF. You have no idea how excited I am about this. Growing up, I had about 3 feet of closet space for my clothes, plus one drawer, plus one of those cardboard drawer organizer things. Then I went to college and had maybe a little more space than that. And even now in our house, we share a normal sized closet, so I have about 3 feet for hanging stuff, 1 small dresser, and the shelf space under my clothes in the closet. Dan’s stuff is always TOUCHING MINE and everything falls out because it’s over-stuffed and my drawers don’t shut so there are bra straps and tshirts sticking out all the time… a whole closet to myself? I AM ALL OVER THAT.

master bath

Master bath- garden tub, shower stall, we each have our own sink (!!!!) and vanity, and there’s a nice big closet for storage. AND A WINDOW. The floor is a little meh– vinyl, but it’s not ugly vinyl so we’ll keep it for a while. Eventually we’ll probably upgrade the counter tops and sinks to boost the fancy-ness of it all, but that’s way down the road.

Our bathroom situation now: I use the main bathroom in the hall, and Dan uses our ridiculously tiny ‘master’ bathroom (I say ‘master’ in quotes because seriously? You can barely turn around in there. Every time I sit on the toilet, I end up hitting my head on the wall when I go to stand up.

Maggie's room!!

Maggie’s room! Can you guess why? ha! Eventually I’ll probably paint to tone down the pink (SO MUCH PINK) But she’ll like it for now and maybe when she gets a little older and is in her toddler bed, we can pick out new bedding and redecorate everything to match. But until then, MOVE IN READY!

bedroom #3

Another bedroom. Ready to go for a boy! ha No immediate plans for that yet, and I’d probably redecorate for a new baby anyway. But it’s a nice size room and right across the hall from the master, so it will work great for a nursery when the time comes.

bedroom #4

Fourth bedroom- a little small, but I love the window seat. This will probably be an office.

upstairs bathroom

Upstairs bathroom. Not really much to say here. It’s a bathroom! yay!

powder room

Powder room off of the kitchen. I am super excited to be able to direct guests into a bathroom that doesn’t have our toothbrushes out on the counter.


This. THIS IS WHAT SOLD US. The yard is fantastic. It’s private and level and huge. For the area where we live, trying to find a yard with all three in our price range seemed impossible. When we found it, we were hooked.


The deck is pathetic. Please don’t laugh at it, you’ll hurt its feelings. It’s small and doesn’t even have steps down to the yard. That will be Major Project #1. I have plans, baby.

Not pictured: The unfinished basement (that’s the door in the picture of the deck). We’re contemplating adding a 5th bedroom down there (more for resale than anything else), definitely a powder room and a game room, possibly a fireplace. I think it’s large enough to do all of these things if we arrange it right. In the meantime, it’s big and clean and square, so it will work for Dan’s gym equipment and storage until we save up to do something awesome down there.

So! There it is. The inspection is this Friday morning, and I don’t anticipate any major issues- the house is only 5 years old. Once our inspection is finished, our buyers will schedule their inspection of our house. And unless there are any dramatic issues there (hopefully none, but you never know) and as long as everyone’s mortgage stuff goes through okay, we’ll be closing on both houses August 14.

I am starting to get really excited. I wasn’t letting myself get excited because we really didn’t know if it would happen, even after we found the house. It all came about rather unexpectedly- finding a house we liked this much in the school district we wanted with all of the features we were looking for so quickly? Seemed impossible. But it happened and we are so so happy.

So who wants to come help us move?


  1. Crystal

    June 17, 2009 11:24 pm

    The house looks great. And spacious. It looks almost as if you could get lost in there.

  2. Jamie

    June 18, 2009 5:34 am

    It is beautiful! I am so jealous but in a good way! :) I have to wait until my husband retires from the military before we can get a big beautiful house like that. That isn’t for a long time. Have fun decorating! :)

  3. sandy

    June 18, 2009 6:28 am

    Holy hell, I can’t even comprehend a house of that size. It looks amazing! All that counterspace in the kitchen… I’m frothing at the mouth!

  4. Kelly

    June 18, 2009 7:40 am

    Oh my, so nice! Do you know who the builder was? Love the yard! Burgh Moms & Kids party at your house! :)

    • Jen

      June 18, 2009 8:11 am

      The builder was Heartland- they do a lot of building in the area over
      here. And yes, I’d definitely be willing to host a Burgh Moms & Kids party this fall :) :)

  5. Irene

    June 18, 2009 8:29 am

    Wow!! I absolutely LOVE it!! The wood floors and huge windows are gorgeous! Just perfect!!!!


  6. the husband / mortgage payer

    June 18, 2009 8:50 am

    You forgot to mention the three car garage, ie the beer closet…

  7. Priscilla

    June 18, 2009 9:02 am

    Jen (and Dan) the house is so gorgeous! I’m happy that you found everything and more that you wanted in this house. The yard is great!! What I love about the area is that Maggie will have other kids to play with when she is older but the neighborhood isn’t too big. A nice balance for kids and parents.
    If you guys need any help with anything, just let us know, we are always willing to help out! :) Especially in such a fab house!

    • Jen

      June 18, 2009 9:11 am

      Thanks so much!!! We were originally very torn about living in a development vs. a house on its own property, because we really hate having neighbors RIGHT THERE. But we really like the idea of kids being around to play with. So when we found a great lot with space around the house, we were so excited! They are tough to come by, for sure.

  8. Steph

    June 18, 2009 9:09 am

    OMG. Did you win the lottery? hah
    I can’t believe you’ll have a living room AND a family room. SPOILED! And 4 bedrooms? Walkin closets? OMG drool. I’m like crying right now. hah :)

    If you guys thought your old house was small, come visit us in Toronto one day.. our whole house is a closet :P

    Great job. You guys are going to have a great time there!

  9. Nicole

    June 18, 2009 9:10 am

    That house is GORGEOUS! I like to take this as a sign that if my husband and I are good and buy something small to start with eventually we’ll wind up being able to upgrade to a beautiful home like this!

    Glad to hear it’s looking like this is going to happen for you.

  10. Karen

    June 18, 2009 9:40 am

    That home is just beautiful! Congrats!!!

  11. Susan

    June 18, 2009 9:51 am

    Beautiful place, Jen! I’ll be in the market next year…so maybe send me an email and let me know if it’s still in your same area as before, or where I can get me one of those! :)

    Glad it worked out on your timetable, too. I have my fingers crossed for us…

  12. san

    June 18, 2009 10:54 am

    Wow, you can’t be serious… this house is GORGEOUS and HUGE!


  13. Sarah-Jean

    June 18, 2009 2:28 pm

    That house is beautiful!!! I am so jealous!!! We’ve been trying to buy a house for 2 years and every single time, it falls through for one reason or another. We found the perfect house 3 times, and each time we lost it. I think it’s great that you found something you love and actually could get it!!! It must be a wonderful feeling.


  14. ambitions mrs

    June 18, 2009 5:30 pm

    Looks so awesome! I don’t want to hear anymore complaining about having your house on the market for a month! :)

    • Jen

      June 18, 2009 6:28 pm

      haha I know, I know :) The most stressful part wasn’t so much the showings- I got the hang of that pretty quick, knowing what I needed to clean up, etc. But the stressful part was the not knowing if we’d sell in time and lose our agreement on the new house. It felt soooo long at the time, but yeah a month is really not long at all ;) I hope you guys have some luck soon!

  15. Melissa

    June 18, 2009 6:16 pm

    HOLY. CRAP. It is beautiful!!!! I am totally jealous, but like everyone else said, it’s in a good way. ;) You guys have worked your butts off for this and your kids are going to be VERY lucky to grow up here, especially with all the thought you put into school district, etc. I am still shaking my head over the pictures. (OOO, CLOSETS… :)

    I would certainly offer my help, except I sort of can’t lift heavy stuff, not to mention that I might fall into a drooling catatonic state and never leave… LOL!

  16. samantha jo campen

    June 18, 2009 8:09 pm

    Yup, SO JEALOUS but of course in a good way.

    I’d be freaked out about FILLING that huge house with furniture OMG. How many square feet? I’m a nerd with that stuff.

    I’d help you move if I lived in your state!

    • Jen

      June 18, 2009 9:15 pm

      Actually in PA, they don’t report total square footage. Some weird legal thing about every architect/builder having different estimates and ideas about what constitutes living space, etc. So they just list room sizes instead. So I honestly have no idea the square footage! But it is big and trust me, there will be several very empty rooms for quite a while! ha

  17. jesser

    June 19, 2009 12:32 am

    *JEALOUS*!!!! That is an awesome house. Huge congrats.

  18. sparkyd

    June 19, 2009 12:33 pm

    Oh my. Yes, have to say I’m jealous (but also in that happy for you way). For me it’s mostly because we just gave up our big gorgeous house (with oversize 2-car garage and detached 3-car garage) on 2 acres to move closer to the city and lower our debt. We still have a nice house but it is tiny in comparison to our old one (and your new one!)with neighbors way closer than you’ve got there and a decent-for-the-burbs but still kind of small backyard. We have the opposite problem you have with furtniture – ours doesn’t fit. Not that we have too much of it, it’s just big stuff because we had big spaces before. We’re still figuring out how to arrange things so it looks half decent. Here is where I remind myself that we are better off now, close to daycare/school/parks/friends/other amenities of life. Deep cleansing breath…

    On a completely different note, it is interesting how real estate transactions work in different places. It seems so weird to me that neither house inspection has been done yet and that both houses close on the same day. How on earth do you get out in time and clean and everything? I live in Ontario, Canada, and we didn’t even look for a new house until we had a solid offer on ours because you greatly decrease your bargaining power if you make your purchase conditional on a sale. Here inspections and any other conditions are completed/waived within 2 weeks or less of the parties reaching an agreement. And you usually give yourself at least a couple of days to move before handing over the keys. So different. Live and learn.

    • Jen

      June 19, 2009 12:48 pm

      There are actually a lot of different ways you can do house selling/buying- our agent always says, whatever the buyer & seller will agree to, it can be done! And you are right, we definitely decreased our bargaining power by not selling ours first (or even having it on the market!) but we wanted to wait because we knew it would take us longer to find something we liked than it would take us to sell. And we were right- only 4 weeks to sell, and about 2 months of looking for a new house. We didn’t want to feel rushed or pressured, or end up homeless by selling our house quickly and not having anywhere to move! heh For us, it was the right method- we didn’t *have* to move immediately, so if they hadn’t accepted our offer on the new house, we would have just kept looking or maybe would have decided to put ours on the market anyway to see what happens- essentially, we bought ourselves 4 extra weeks by them accepting our offer. We paid a bit more than we would have if we hadn’t had a contingency, but we were okay with that, it was still well within our budget and plan. And also, it was honestly a surprise to all of us that they even accepted our offer at all- we got lucky! I think in the market right now, it’s really hard to guess what people will do. Which makes the stress level nice & high :)

      For inspections, our inspection on the new house was required to be done within 15 days of an agreement on our house- whenever that should happen. So ours will be done early next week (they’re doing radon tests, etc over the weekend, we should have the report back Monday) then after that, our buyers have 20 days to get theirs done. It was just a little goofy in our case because everything hinged upon when we sold our house. Now the clock is running so we’re scrambling for mortgage application (needs done by Tuesday!) and the inspections… once those are done, it’s just packing and waiting!

      As for closing on the same day, apparently it’s done all the time, at least around here. We have to close on our old house first, because we’re using the cash from the profit on this house as down payment on the mortgage for the new house. We could ‘rent back’ the house from our buyers for a couple of days, but it’s just as easy to load up the moving truck in the morning, have the first closing and the 2nd closing after that, then everyone switches keys and we’re all good to go by the afternoon. It will be crazy I’m sure, but moving is insane no matter when you do it I think :) Should make for good blog fodder! ha!

      Funny how you have the opposite problem of furniture not fitting! We’re never happy, are we? ;) I’m sure once you’re settled into your new place, you’ll grow to love it. It would be tough though to go from such a big area for living space to small area… but there are trade-offs with location, schools, etc. We would LOVE to have even more private land (couple of acres, private driveway, etc) but we also like the idea of close neighbors for the kid(s) to play with as they grow up. Everything is a trade-off!

  19. Becca

    June 19, 2009 1:00 pm

    OMG. *drool* It looks great!

  20. Dana

    June 19, 2009 1:02 pm

    The house is gorgeous! So happy for you guys :)

  21. 3carnations

    June 19, 2009 2:38 pm

    Another big new house for a blogger. Congrats! It’s beautiful.

    If it doesn’t have steps to the yard, I’m pretty sure it’s a balcony, not a deck. ;-)

  22. Jennifer C

    June 19, 2009 2:39 pm

    Oh, how gorgeous! I am so envious of the yard, too – one thing I really miss, living in the city. Congratulations!

  23. Nichole

    June 19, 2009 5:22 pm

    Congratulations!! the house is beatiful!!!

  24. Laura

    June 19, 2009 7:00 pm

    SO pretty, Jen! I love it! I hope you plan on living here forever, because I have to tell you, once you go with two sinks in your master bathroom, you can NEVER, EVER go back. :) (But what I wouldn’t give to not have to share my bathtub with a poopy little boy butt, I can not tell you.)

  25. Laura

    June 19, 2009 7:02 pm

    Also, I have a serious question – I keep seeing people who are getting huge yards of GRASS and love them – do people out there have to water their lawns? Because we have to move our sprinklers twice whenever we water and that’s two times too many for me. Whenever I see a big span of lawn like that, I get a twitch, haha. I *hate* having a yard, but maybe it’s because it’s just so much work in the desert? Does it really stay green like that?

    • Jen

      June 19, 2009 7:54 pm

      ha :) Some people water their lawns, but not many. It mostly stays green until July or August- after that, it’s usually too hot & dry and most lawns get pretty brown. But from April to June, it’s not that hot and we get a decent amount of rain- and even when it is hot, it’s HUMID hot, not like the heat you guys have out there. We’ve never watered ours and it’s usually pretty nice until mid-summer.

  26. Caity

    June 19, 2009 8:01 pm

    OH MY GOSH!!!!! It is AMAZING! You must be so happy! I love it so much!!!!!

  27. Burgh Baby

    June 21, 2009 12:14 am


    I still love it. A lot.

  28. Burgh Baby

    June 23, 2009 12:16 pm

    Alexis was going over her room requests (again) last night, and her description made me pull up this post. *THAT* That is the room she wants. The one that looks like a pink blob exploded in it.


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