Lesson learned, education that I hope we'll never again have to act upon: when you buy a foreclosure, whoever owned it before you may not have been as careful about the maintenance of the house as you would like. You might see the surface things--like the kitchen floor that looks like it hasn't been cleaned in 5 years, but hey, you can clean that--but there are a lot of hidden things that don't pop up on inspection and you don't find out about until after you've moved in and are making payments.
Things like...the previous owner was an apparent DIY sort of person where electrical wiring is concerned. And you may have to have an electrician come out more than once to stop the sound of zzzzt happening when you flip a light switch (or to fix and entire room, as happened about a month after we moved in...)
But then cabinets start to crack, and counters start to fracture. And you start really looking at things, and realize structurally, things are not as sound as they should be.
They're also kind of ugly. With all the lights on, you can really see how faded the finish is on the cabinets; nothing looks really dirty, per se, but it all looks very old and very tired, and when you think about it you realize the house is 20 years old and this is all original and contractor grade materials, and it was never cared for properly.
Replacing the kitchen becomes not a want but pretty much a necessity, lest the cracks become fissures and swallow the first kitty to walk across them.
So...yeah. It's about time to replace the cabinets and counters and floor in the kitchen.
On one hand, I really really really don't want to do this because it will be a pain in the asterisk and I'm not in favor of pain, but on the other...we could have a kitchen I won't be embarrassed about.
We've found the company to do it, I think. Measurements have been taken, we have a really good idea of the colors we want, and Monday we're going to their showroom to see what they have to offer. We're not committed yet, no official contracts have been signed, but...
It would be a shame if the kitchen ate a kitty.