Hi! You’re reading a blog about home renovation, and this is the first post! Wanna hear a story?
For fun, let’s start somewhere near the beginning. My husband and I bought our first home in January 2013. We were newly married, had just moved back to the town we grew up in, and we were wide-eyed and bushy-tailed! We had been living in NYC apartments and then a condo in Nashville, so 1350 square feet of home ownership felt like a dream come true.
With a budget of almost nothing, we slowly made the 1954 Cape Cod our own. Over the course of 3 years, we refinished the hardwood floors (never again!), painted every inch, removed aluminum awnings, replaced porch columns, gutted & renovated two bathrooms (you shouldn’t even be able to use so few words to say that!), knocked down a wall, built a closet, replaced lighting, replaced doorknobs, installed heaters, landscaped, removed a chain link fence and waged war on dandelions! We were weekend warriors, spending most Saturdays at Home Depot and the Restore, and we were happiest with paint on our hair and dust in our clothes. Click to see more before & afters from our first house!
Just when the house was getting to be just right, an opportunity fell into our laps that we couldn’t ignore. The house next door to our best friends was for sale. In our dream neighborhood. A real estate hot spot. Undervalued. Not yet listed. A total fixer upper! A diamond in the rough! Almost a bungalow! Here’s an important detail: I was nearing 5 months pregnant when we decided to buy the house, a process which took nearly 3 months. What kind of person downsizes to a fixer upper when they are 8 months pregnant? I do, I guess. It was not an easy decision to make, and I’m sure we will have several episodes of “what the hell were we thinking?” but we’re doing it!
The 1940-built brick cottage is all of 850 square feet, but sitting on an unfinished basement of pure potential. The house has been uninhabited for 6 years, and was partially gutted in recent years. It needs major work: electrical, A/C, plumbing, waterproofing the basement, new windows, chimney repair, a kitchen (there isn’t one), a bathroom (mostly gutted), not to mention cleaning, cosmetic updates, landscaping, and paint all around. Click to see the BEFORE tour!
So here we are. We close in a couple of weeks, and will then embark on a whirlwind of renovations before we move in about 4 weeks later. Our goal is to get the house to a liveable condition before baby makes his/her entrance in late June.
If this situation sounds like a hellish nightmare to you, then you might be on the wrong website. Or maybe you’re a reasonable human and I’m not. But if you found yourself nodding your head while you read this post, and maybe thinking, “let’s see some before pictures already!”, then stick around. You might like it here!