Our New (Old) House + A New (Young) Family Member
There’s plenty advice out there for first time home owners, and of course, we took none of it. We learn our lessons the hard way–for better or worse– and in hindsight, I feel a little embarrassed about how high my expectations were. To our realtor, Tyler, and broker, Joe: Thank you for talking me off the ledge and schooling me on the repercussions of the 2008 housing market. I blame my ignorance on watching too much HGTV.
In the end, all the advice proves to be right. We didn’t get the house we wanted, but luck and timing and fate and The Big Guy up stairs had plans for us. Is our new house in our ideal neighborhood? No. Did it meet everything on our wish list? Not exactly. Was it move-in ready AND within budget? No and No. Do we love this house (and the neighborhood) more than we could have imagined? YES.
What we did end up purchasing is a passion project both Joe and I are equally excited about. We spent a long time talking about what really mattered (to us) in a home, and found that we were really looking for the same three things: 1). a home with character, 2). a home in a safe neighborhood, and 3). a home we could afford on one income. We also knew we wanted to put our own “stamp” on the place, and that it would be more rewarding to renovate a space with a few modern updates than to move into some else’s pride and joy.
So we bought an old house that needs a little bit of TLC and a lot of updates. Some could call it a fixer upper, but really, it’s a dull diamond in a great neighborhood that needs a little polishing. I’ll just need to get use to having paint in my hair for the next few years.
I’ve put together a video tour of some of our bigger projects, so you can see a little bit more of the house from my point of view. I’ll warn you: these videos are terrible quality! I’m really looking forward to sharing these projects with you (produced in a much better way!). It’ll be a slow and tedious process, and honestly, neither Joe or myself is very handy. It should prove to be comedy in itself.
OK! On to the tour. Up first are the rooms that sold us on the house.
Selling Feature One: The Living Room. Great bones in here!
Selling Feature Two: The Sun Porch. This space has so much potential.
Selling Feature Three: An open layout in an older home! We love that the dining room opens to the living room.
Now, the projects!
Project One: The Foyer. We plan to repaint, replace the light fixture, fix our sticky door, and install a bathroom on the first floor! It’s common in homes built in the 1920s to have only one upstairs bathroom, but luckily we have a large closet that will serve perfectly as a powder room. More details in the video below!
Project Two: Spruce up the kitchen! This includes painting our breakfast nook, removing corked flooring, painting cabinets, putting in new counter tops, new sink, and new appliances. Wait till you see the stove I’ve been cooking on! I had to split the video into two segments because I’m a really fantastic videographer. Ha. Eventually we may knock out a wall to open the kitchen up into the dining room.
Project Three: The entire upstairs. The biggest project? Remodel the bathroom. This is my least favorite room in the house. You can’t really see it in the video, but the tile is cracked beyond repair and the grout is really dirty. We also have a lot of painting to do upstairs and our master bedroom is a blank slate. We have so much more space to furnish! We also plan to finish the attic. We discovered the attic has huge 16ft ceilings and beautiful exposed beams. We’re hoping to finish that space by using the extra space in our master to put in a small staircase. I wish I had photos to share with you; this space will be my favorite!
Project Four: Raise the best puppy we can in our new home! Everybody, meet Winnie Bear Peters. She loves to cuddle, is very curious, and a quick learner. The kennel training is underway, so we haven’t been sleeping much. But it’s worth it; we love her so much!
Note: I’d like to keep the location and neighborhood of our home private! Thanks for understanding.