Monday, September 3, 2018

Our New Home

Our house. Front yard.We are still in the process of settling down, so it is still hard to find the time and energy to actually sit down, write things up and prepare pictures. Things are changing in the house on the daily basis as we’re making it cozier and homier.

Back yard from the far edge.The house that we ended up buying is located in Ridgefield, not Redding. We are quite happy that it worked out this way in the end.

Back yard. Flat grassy area.The schools are stellar. Ridgefield has a lot of nice benefits for residents, including a decently priced pass for a town lake and all year round access to town pools among other things. It has a great, big, modern library. The schools are simply excellent — from elementary to middle to high. All are rated 9 and higher. Really top notch schools.

From the side. Our garages.A small aside — all the pictures were taken in our first days in the house, so nothing is close to done or orderly. It’s a complete mess. And there are a lot of places for improvement — giving an evil look to the closet. But hopefully future posts will illustrate more and more transformations as we get settled in. It is already looking very different as I write this post since we have put our personal touch on things.

Our driveway.We’re located centrally between the centers of Ridgefield, Redding and Bethel, although I think Redding doesn’t really have much of a downtown of any kind. Town lake and beach is a 2 minute drive from our house. The lake is situated in between the mountains and is very picturesque.

Patio.The house itself has 4 bedrooms — this was one of our requirements. One for us, two for kids and a guest bedroom — so our parents could come and stay as long as they wanted. It also gives us an ability to host people with overnight stays. In addition to that there is a lot extra space for inflatable mattresses and such.

Covered porch.Out all the houses that we have seen this was the only one that actually had both — a covered porch and a nice patio. We’ve been eating a lot on our porch. Not going to get a lot of use during the winter, but during summer month it’s been very pleasant to dine in the open air. And just several days ago we acquired a nice wood-burning fire-pit that kids cooked marshmallows on.

Covered, screened porch.Even though bedroom are on a smaller size it has three large living, family rooms. We decided to use the fireplace room for our main TV watching air. Our bottom living room is going to be a playroom for the kids and will house our Peloton. And we’re not quite sure what to do with the last one yet.

Grill on the uncovered part of the porch.The house has a huge kitchen — at least compared to what we’re used to — with a nice L shaped bar stand that we can eat at as a family. Alёna can be doing stuff in the kitchen and be with us all at the same time — this is a great feature.

Empty family room with a wood-burning fireplace.As I said, our very first purchase for the house was a grill. We opted in for Weber Genesis II propane grill for the easy of use as opposed to coal. In fact in our month and a half here we’ve used up a full tank of propane already and are on our second one now. It has actually been a pleasure to host friends and family for full weekends with sleepovers — something that we never could do before.

Our kitchen with granite counter tops.First major project that we did was replace the whole septic system. It took a week — we had a full crew of people working from 7 to 4 daily. The new system has a life time of 40 years. Full concrete install with leaching field being built right on the edge of the woods.

Bar top kitchen counter and living room.That’s one thing that we won’t have to worry about ever, hopefully. They did dig up pretty much most of our front yard and backyard. Grass seeds were placed after the work was done, so our yards are still recovering, although new grass did come in fairly quickly.

Bottom floor, right after the move.The photos in the post have been taken right after our move, so a lot of stuff is in a complete disarray. But since then we’ve made a lot of progress in settling in a getting things in order. So I have a lot of material for future posts.

Bottom floor living room -- play room for the kids.Also as I mentioned the house has both a patio and a covered porch. There is also an uncovered portion of the porch for the grill, which is a very nice touch — something that we haven’t seen at other houses we looked at. It’s nice to be able to cook and talk to the people at the same time — not being far away with the grill.

Main bathroom.When we originally looked at this property it had a built into concrete basketball ring and it had a trampoline in the back yard with a hole under it. Although trampoline had a rip in it, which I thought might not be fixable. But we still were excited that our kids will get to play with all that.

Our brand new trampoline. Kids love it.The basketball ring is still there, but we discovered right before the closing that the trampoline is gone and a hole is completed filled in.

Front of the house.So soon after our move we ordered a brand new 15″ trampoline1. Although we had to wait for quite a bit for all the septic work to be done. But now it is constructed and kids and their friends enjoy it very much.

Master closet. Original form. Separate post for transformation is coming.Another surprising thing was how all the neighbors started coming over and introducing themselves. We have amassed a collection of wine from all these visits. It was very unusual having come from Brooklyn to experience it. We seem to be surrounded by nice people.

Arosha's room. Original form.So having been here for a month and a half we’re enjoying it very much. I keep saying that we live in “a vacation” kind of deal. Obviously there are more things to deal with as opposed to an apartment, but I think we’re adapting nicely, so far.

Hallway to the bedroom. Fairly ugly staircase light, before we replaced it.

  1. Skywalker 15-feet round trampoline and enclosure with spring pad — $329.99. []
1
1

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

BMW 4 Series Coupe

BMW 4 Series Coupe.One of the things that we had to do after moving to suburbia was getting a second car. If one car in Brooklyn was more than enough, life out here is impossible without several. We decided to keep our Mercedes for the time being as it is almost paid out as a family car and lease a second fancy car for my work commute and general driving.

LED headlights.We’ve ended up doing something that we couldn’t really do before — get a coupe — 2 door sports car. My two primary choices were BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-class. The problem with C-class ended up it being redesigned and still unreleased and we couldn’t really wait.

Profile.I kept picking Snapper Rocks Blue Metallic color for BMW that I kept building out it being my favorite color. But it costing extra money I was ready to settle for a simple black. Two colors that I really didn’t want was white and silver. Everything else I was OK with.

Apple CarPlay.Another new thing was that we finally could afford to lease the car as the yearly mileage would significantly go down. It made sense to try to find 2018 model. A new 2019 was already out, but there were absolutely no changes made to the car. And since BMW wanted to get rid of 2018 models they had nice incentives going.

Debaged.When I came to the dealership the search revealed that there were only four 2018 cars left in the North East.

19 inch wheels.Two of them were white. No go. One was dark gray, but sadly it lacked some options that I really wanted — like Apple CarPlay and premium sound system. And than the dealer says — the last one is sadly very bright blue. I made a sad face and said that I guess I’ll have to settle down for that, while I was quietly jumping excitedly inside.

19 inch wheels with M logo.The car ended up being equipped with BMW M package, which was also somewhat exciting. It had M suspension, M wheels, M steering wheel and M body parts. It had Heads-Up display and parking assistant which I really didn’t care for and it was lacking a digital cluster which I somewhat wanted, but these weren’t deal breakers.

Interior.It had LED headlight option which was a must. It has all-wheel-drive, which is another must in Ridgefield especially. And it has a full leather interior among other things.

BMW logo.Before going further I have to admit that I had to settle down for a 4 cylinder turbo engine, instead of a 6 cylinder one. It was just too much money having spent so much on everything else related to the house. But to my surprise this is probably one of the most fun cars to drive that I had. I guess little weight of the car combined with a high tech 4 cylinder turbo results in a very exciting package — surprising indeed.

Profile.I think I got a decent deal on the car as well. I pushed it to 15% off MSRP which I’m quite happy about.

Signature angel eyes.Also since we re-registered our Mercedes to Connecticut our combined insurance for both cars ended up being the same as our Mercedes was in Brooklyn. It’s not much of a surprise that it came out lower, knowing that Brooklyn insurance is one of the highest in the country. I just didn’t expect it not to go up at all.

M logo.We had to wait for about a week for the car to get shipped up from Virginia, but I love it. I think it’s the most gorgeous car I have ever owned. And I got SO many compliments on the color already. Now I’m just waiting for iOS 12 the most exciting feature of which was Apple allowing third party maps such as Waze to be available on CarPlay.

Engine.P.S. I had the car debaged by the dealer as I really hate how xDrive (AWD) logo looks. Since that was getting removed I got the rest of the lettering also removed. Makes for a nice clean look.

Leave a comment

O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin