it's okay to play with your food

Friday, August 15, 2008


So I have to buy a refrigerator. The house doesn't come with one. In my original offer, I asked for one (and a washer/dryer). In my counter-counter offer, I took all appliances off the table. It worked, since he accepted the offer. It just means I am suddenly in the market for a fridge.

For some reason, this feels more adult to me than buying a house.

If I had my druthers (and around $4K), I would get a Northstar:

I have neither my druthers nor $4K. Instead, I have fairly low standards and $200.

I have a few options on the table. I could always purchase one from a Lowes/Sears/Home Depot kind of place. But that doesn't feel super great with me, especially since I am trying to furnish the majority of the house with used things. And they tend to be more than $200.

My friends Kate and Dom told me about a place that buys used appliances and refurbs them: Appliance Warehouse ( I spoke to the owner yesterday and he was super friendly. It helps that I want a basic unit: white, freezer on top, nothing fancy or special needed. I just need to figure out all the different door measurements, though we will most likely have to take the fridge doors off its hinges to get it in the house. Philadelphia rowhomes are notorious for their narrow doorways.

He actually said he had a nice unit coming in next Friday (with an ice maker! how adult is that???) that would probably work. Cost: around $200.

Another possibility is buying one off of a client of my real estate agent's. The client is closing on a house later this month and wants to get all stainless steel appliances for the house. The fridge is fine, but just not the right look. My agent thinks that might be able to come my way for around $100. We still haven't heard back from the client.

I just want something that will keep my food cold. That's really it.

If you have my druthers and $4K...

If you have a sense of social responsibility and a budget...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Too close for comfort

So today was a rather intense day. I've been going back and forth with the seller since yesterday, negotiating on various repairs identified during the inspection. He was playing hardball. I was playing hardball. The reality is, I understand that owning a home means assuming a great deal of responsibility. And I know that I will be responsible for repairs and maintenance starting on day 1 of ownership. I feel psychologically, emotionally and even financially prepared to take this on. However, I was not comfortable dealing with certain issues, specifically those related to shoddy work done by the seller during the rehab process.

My agent advised me to walk away. I cried at my desk at work. My agent totally went to bat for me with the seller and we finally came to an agreement.

I don't particularly like roller coasters, including the emotional ones.

But we are back on track and things are moving forward. The repairs must be complete by August 15th, at which time I will reinspect the property with my agent. Providing all is in good shape, we are still set to close on August 22nd.

But it reminded me of how important it is to maintain emotional distance from the house. I could have walked away if I needed to, but I didn't want to. I really didn't want to. And things are still tenuous, so while I need to make plans, I also need to be ready for anything.

That said, I'm still thinking about colors for the kitchen. Damn it. This is pretty hard.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kitchen To Do List

1- Repaint walls
2- Purchase fridge
3- Remove cabinet doors (maybe...)
4- Buy/create more counterspace
5- Utilize wall space
6- Knock down the wall between living room and kitchen; install an island

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Home inspection was this past week and all went very well. No major issues with either the foundation or the roof, but many little things I'm currently negotiating with the seller. It also gave me the opportunity to take more photos of the house, the kitchen in particular.

It's a rectangular floor plan, with black and white subway tiles on the wall, ceramic floor tiles and 3 large windows. It also holds lots of room for potential.

Back door leading out to patio

Looking in from the living room

Corner where fridge will go

Things I love about the kitchen: the natural light, the retro tiling, and the possibility of knocking down the wall between the kitchen and living room and adding an island, thus opening up the floor plan, letting in more light throughout the first floor and adding much needed counter/socializing space. That project won't happen for at least another year. In the meantime, I'm looking to paint the space, buy a fridge and figure out some creative ways to maximize space.

Ideas, anyone?