In response to numerous requests from Loyal Readers, here is a picture of the future Casa TL-and-Wife.
There are a lot more pictures I've got, but they're of either an empty interior or the present owner's stuff, so that's not so interesting. But the front porch should give you some idea of what we're getting in to. The house is the second-to-last house on a cul-de-sac. It sits on a fairly small lot, less than a quarter acre. The current owner reports to us that it takes him between half an hour and forty-five minutes to mow the entire lawn with a push mower (which he is including in the purchase price since he is moving into an apartment and will not need it).
There is a fenced-in back yard (for the doggies) and some nice if ordinary landscaping out front. Inside, it's a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit. It has a wide-open kitchen design. In back there is a small screened-in porch and an extension of the concrete pad. There are horseshoe pits in back, too -- which I'm sure the dogs will enjoy digging in. We will probably use at least one of the bedrooms for an office, although with the laptop I am less dependent upon having a particular area to do my work than is The Wife -- who also has enjoyed using the laptop when we've gone mobile.
The Wife and I are talking pretty seriously about putting in a Pergo floor in place of the existing builder-standard carpeting. It looks nicer, is easier to maintain (especially when there are lots of critters shedding fur) and will add value to the house in substantially excess of the cost of materials. We have had lots of fantasies about extending the kitchen counter, either longer or in a penninsula. But for the time being, we're probably just going to paint and Pergo, and maybe update the light fixtures. That's enough to get us started and it will certainly elevate the appearance of the house above the "starter home" look.