My husband and I have a nasty habit. We buy fixer-uppers…every time! Sure some of these homes just need a coat of paint, a little wallpaper removal, maybe just a little TLC. However, these are not the houses we buy, we buy the houses that look so “charming from the outside” and “have good bones” and every other cliché you hear on HGTV.
Our very first house was a 1904 bungalow that we picked up as a FSBO. The kitchen had a washer and dryer in it with 4 different kinds of cabinets, the insulation was newspaper, with knob and tube everywhere…but we LOVED that house and we had the remodel bug ever since. Did I mention we had 2 kids during the 4 years that we resurrected that house? Stupidest. Idea. Ever. My first son was born while we were remodeling the kitchen, the joke was which was going to come first the baby or the countertops? (For the record, it was the baby.) My second son was born while we were finishing the basement, the joke with that one was whether the baby was going to come before the egress window, thankfully the window came first!
The front of our charming little bungalow, the day we moved in.
After all of our hard work, the day we moved out.
Flash forward, 3 years and 4 houses later, we did it again. This time we picked up a 1986 charmer. By charmer I mean original carpet, golden oak, brass hardware, and wallpaper EVERY WHERE! We did a few things to try and knock the 80’s out of it, but really we found ourselves back at a familiar crossroad. Do we remodel again or do we stick a sign in the yard and move into something new?
Remodeling can be scary. Finding a good contractor can be scary, (which is a topic for a different day). It’s a dirty, dusty job and if you have never been through one, you might think it would just be easier to call your local realtor (Hello!) and move on to greener pastures, and for most that is exactly what happens. I will admit, we almost did that this time. I wasn’t ready to take on a 10 week-whole house remodel, but then again I REALLY didn’t want to move. The little fact that I forgot is that all of your crap moves from one room to the other when you remodel and everything is under 6 inches of dust.
So why do it?? For us, it is simply to make our house a home. The equity is a great bonus so when it’s time to sell, the nice down payment sure is handy!
The other perk is I have “a guy” for just about everything…plumber, general contractor, concrete, electrician…you name it, we have probably tackled that project and I am never stingy with phone numbers! In my opinion, it is always a good thing to have a girl who knows “a guy”!