It has been two years since we made the craziest decision of our lives at the time. Purchasing this fixer upper was a choice we intended on making, but actually following through and signing on the dotted line is a difficult concept to swallow.
With our first round at “flipping” our first home, Brody was a baby – we were living with Dans parents, and life as we knew it was far simpler. We could rest assured knowing the Brody was asleep with Nana keeping an eye while we pulled all nighters with Dan’s dad busting a move on the house. Dan’s Dad did entirely all of the nitty gritty work – we were newbies, and taking it all in, learning as we went along side of him. Oh, this house holds so many sweet memories of the boys as babies ..
After the initial 3 month renovation was over, we moved in, Brody turned ONE and we spent the next four years customizing that house into a home. It was a fantastic learning experience, with plenty of ups and downs – but that tiny 1,100 square foot home was just enough for us to handle, financially and emotionally. You can take a quick tour of the house HERE – we ended up not selling that year, and painted the exterior of the house and re-listing it the following fall, when it sold in the dead of winter!
We moved out of this house, moved in with my parents this round and had not a freaking clue where our next house was. We knew the city we wanted to buy in, but the fact of the matter was that 95% of the homes there were FAR from where our budget would allow. We knew we needed to find a fixer upper, we wanted that, but it was frightening to think of how desperate of a house we would have to give a chance to be able to afford the neighborhoods we desired.
We passed up the opportunity to look at our current house a few times with our realtor – it was close to the turn pike and we just couldn’t wrap our heads around it all. So, we pushed on. We spent months looking, and it was getting beyond stressful. There we were, two kids, Brody’s recent Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis and we felt homeless ( I know, we were not ). It was time to suck up our turn pike pride and give the house a peek.
Not two feet into the foyer it took for Dan and I to know that this was it — We had switched realtors at the time, so this was the first house she showed us and we told her right then and there that we were positive this was it, but she could show us more. The SPACE. A 2,500 square foot home felt huge to us. At our old house you could run the main living area in 1/2 a second. The reclaimed barn beams, the traditional dining room, the large bedrooms – We saw nothing short of potential
The boys were so excited about their new house, and were quite the troopers, and the grandparents, for helping out a ton during the renovation process. This house, just like the last was unlivable. Filthy is an understatement, rooms missing flooring, a basement wall that was collapsing, cat feces everywhere … it was a disaster.
We were so proud that we could handle so many of the renovations ourselves this time around, but it never hurt to call Papa. The boys are his right hand men and we never take his help and experience for granted. He has taught us so much, and gotten us to where we are at in this flipping house world. We spent plenty of lunch hours at this little tikes table, ha, this brings it all back. And look how tiny the boys are! Just two years ago, my oh my have they grown!
In the past two years we have taken on an even greater love for renovating homes, I love to get my hands dirty right with Dan and could spend hours a day dreaming up spaces. Not being able to paint this pregnancy is killing me, it is my zen place and I cannot wait to pick up a brush and tackle some rooms this summer.
Best of all, we recently had our home appraised. Curious as to value we have given our home since we got our hands on it. We never want to go too far over the top, always making sure we will get a return on our money. It was a risky move paying for an appraisal, they run nearly $500. Without our kitchen being completely refinished, we still have our nasty orange tile, our bathrooms were put on hold over the winter when Brody relasped – OY. I could go on.
BUT. The results came in, and we felt just as anxious as the couples on Maury finding our their paternity test. With the projects we have completed and where we stand, we have raised this homes value just shy of $100,000. Not that it is all about the money, but it sure is. HA. It feels so good to know we will make a turn on our investment, years from now when the kids are off in college and Dan and I want to spend our days golfing at a resort 🙂
So, my advice to you — This whole “fixer upper” trend is hot and heavy right now. It is all over the t.v., every DIY network out there is just roaring with these flips. Just because you watch it doesn’t mean it is easy, or even the right path for you. It takes a great deal of patience, more than I could come close to mustering up at times, and an immense amount of love for the home you purchase.
Whether the house you buy is a piece of junk, brand new build, or just needs a fresh coat of paint. Own it, love it, and it will love you back.
Ours just had to make us work extra hard to get it where it’s at, and that’s ok.
It’s all worth it.