This house is now a home

Derrick Knutson
Derrick Knutson

My wife and I first started looking for houses about two years ago. It started out as an exciting process with lots of “Oh, I like that,” and “Who the heck would do that to their house?” kind of comments.

After a while, it gets kind of frustrating; we probably looked at about 30 houses over the two years before we were in a position where we were able to buy.

We found a house we really loved and put in an offer on it earlier this year.

That offer was accepted, and we moved in about two weeks ago.

Since college, I’ve lived in three rental places — one apartment and two townhomes — and getting into those dwellings was a fairly easy process.

It was pretty much, “Do you have enough money to pay rent? OK, here are the keys.”

Buying our first house was much different. It involved dealing with a real estate agent, a listing agent, a mortgage company, a homeowners insurance agent, the county assessor and other people.

I knew we wouldn’t be in for an “OK, here are the keys” type of situation, but I was kind of surprised by the amount of paperwork one has to sign nowadays to get into a house. I think there’s enough of it to use as insulation for a decent-sized home.

It was about a two-month process of filling out paperwork, waiting and going through multiple credit checks before we were able to close.

The process has been worth it, though, in my estimation. When we got the keys after closing and walked into our house for the first time, it felt like home.

Since then, we’ve been doing multiple things to make it feel more like home, like moving all of our stuff there, un-boxing it and finding places to put it.

I’ve even tried on my “handy man” cap with a few early home-improvement projects. Most have been with the aid of my dad, who is far better at manly things like sawing and measuring than I am, but my wife and I took one project on ourselves a few days ago: Installing a fancy double shower curtain she bought.

We read the instructions on the box, I drilled the holes and we screwed it in after putting anchors in the drywall.

My wife stepped back and said, “It’s crooked.”

Our — I’m saying “our” because both she and I measured it before drilling the holes — measuring skills must have been slightly off. I measured it again, and one side was about 1.5 inches higher than the other.

She wanted to bring it back and get a simpler one, but I was already committed to this project. I took it out of the one side of the wall, raised it the needed amount, and then muscled a few screws through it and into a stud in the wall. After sliding a cap on the end, the screws were no longer visible, and the shower rod was sturdy.

There was just one problem: There were two, very noticeable, quarter-inch holes in the wall where I took out the screws and anchors.

The solution to this dilemma was wood filler, my old friend in high school wood shop.

We bought some Spackle from the hardware store, I filled the holes and painted over them, and now they’re hardly noticeable.

These two dots on the wall now serve as a memory, which will be one of the first of many in our home. I’m just hoping not a lot of those memories involve holes in the walls.

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