Monday, January 17, 2011

Our Big Project

We did it.

We bought our fixer-upper.

This is something that Greg and I have wanted to do for a while now. Call us HGTV addicts, we got roped into the idea of buying a fixer-upper and putting our own sweat, blood, tears, and (of course) money into it and having something in the end that is really and truly OURS!

It was a dream that we had before we were married and we did look at several possibilities 4 years ago when we did the house hunt the first time but at that time our finances prevented us from acting on any of those. But fast forward 4 years to a vastly different housing market, a budget that passed the newly-wed phase, and a variety of DIY projects we had accomplished in our first house (a 10 year old duplex) and our dream seemed a little more feasible.

I don't even remember how the conversation came up, but one day in the midst of talking about cloth diapers or something random like that, my friend mentioned that there was a house for sale down the street from them and we should buy it. I looked it up on Zillow and instantly found myself arranging our furniture in it.

It was a 1957 all brick ranch sitting on nearly an acre of land. Located in a quiet, safe neighborhood which was ideally located to cut Greg's work commute in half while still keeping us close to our family and church.

And my hopes skyrocketed when Greg actually wanted to call the agent and check it out. (I am the impulsive one and Greg is the strong and steady one that ensures we don't make any large stupid decisions.) If he was open to seeing it, then we were half way to moving already.

To make a long series of events short: we went to see it, put our house on the market that same week, sold our house in two and half months, moved in with Greg's parents, bought our new house, and now we are in the process of doing some much needed renovations before we move in.

Much needed is a little bit of an understatement. The house is over 50 years old and not much updating has been done to it over the years. We quickly identified 3 things that we wanted to accomplish before we moved in:
  • The kitchen needed to be updated. The kitchen (11x16) is a good size, but (apparently as was common in the 50's) the laundry machines and water heater were taking up a large part of the valuable wall space. We devised a plan to create a laundry room (see bullet #2) and move those large appliances out. With those gone, we will rearrange the kitchen, install new cabinets and add a dishwasher in order to make the best use of the space we have.
  • The screened in porch will now be a laundry room. There was a screened in porch right off the kitchen and while it would have been used, it will be so much more valuable to us as a laundry room/mudroom. By framing it out and adding it to the square footage of the house we now have 120 square feet more of incredibly functional space. Plus it gives us more space in the kitchen.
  • Our last big project will be refinishing the floors. When we first visited the house, all but the kitchen, bathroom and living room were carpeted. The carpet was about 10 years old and in definite need of replacing but the hardwood floors in the living room gave us hope. Sure enough, all but one bedroom had hardwoods underneath so we ripped up the carpets and we'll sand and re-stain all the hardwood.
So that's quite a list of projects . . . but we're hopeful, a little bit naive, and full of energy. At least we were. But this little blog will be a way for us to document the changes and for all 5 people who will read this a way to see some Before and Afters and sympathize with our in progress shots and stories!


Jeanie said...

so glad to see a picture...its beautiful. just perfect. Zach will LOVE that land. so happy for you guys and looking forward to seeing it in person.

The Honea Pad said...

I guess I am 1 of the 5. I'm so glad you are documenting the changes this way!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I can't wait to see more pictures as your house dream is realized!!

Mary said...

I am glad you are doing this blog:) can't wait to see the house!

Babs said...

Love it! I am ready to help when you need me. I love DIY as you know and I love your ideas. Can't wait to see them all unfold and you make this place a real home for you!!