Friday, January 17, 2014

A New Year...A New HOUSE!



I BOUGHT A HOUSE (said to the tune of "i'm on a boat")

Allow me to back up...

I have been renting for about 8 years now, throwing money to landlords each month, living in crappy housing paying for the convenience of location. When I say crappy I don't think you fully understand. Allow me to draw a few verbal pictures. In college, myself and my best 11 friends moved into a house, it was a block from campus and a block from the bars so it was basically a no-brainier we were going to move in. The room I was in was actually pretty nice, with a semi-legit closet and a bay window. We lived there for two years before running for the hills. In that two years the front ground level window was never secure, if someone forgot their keys they would pry it open and come on it. Super convenient, super not safe. The basement, oh the basement. First, it had an octopus (gravity) heating system which scared me (both in looks and the asbestos looming) each time I attempted laundry. Oh, and the laundry ruined about 5 loads of laundry in that time (shredded clothes, clothes with black sludge on it? what?). I now have trust issues with every laundry machine. The summer after I moved out the ceiling in one of the bedrooms caved in and an army of squirrels invaded. Dodged a bullet?

Fast forward to my recent residence. Which is a few blocks from a lake and equal distance to bars (sensing a trend with bars here?!) I'd say it's about 2 steps up on the shotty residence scale. The foundation is sinking in this house (the fridge has a 1" thick shim under it), which is not ideal, but something I can handle. There are "2" bathrooms. The second bathroom is a joke, and basically just a toilet. I have to use the tub as a sink because obviously the sink is clogged. In order unclog it, our 'fix-it' guy will have to tear out the wall. Can't wait to see that happen (cue a slow contractor with potential asbestos in the wall and water everywhere).

Also, I wanna build/fix/decorate/renovate everything while not spending money in a rental. It's an odd conundrum I am in, with the only viable solution is to put on my adult pants and sign a bajillion papers.  

I started casually looking at homes close to the city. On Sundays I'd go through open houses to get a feel for the area, price ranges for amenities, and scope out what kind of house I wanted. You see, I didn't want a 'finished house,' obviously. I have seen a definite distinction in this area (Minneapolis) where homes are 'fixed up' or fixed up. The 'fixed up' homes have shotty paint jobs (thanks for improperly painting the kitchen cabinets! I love the paint drips and sticky doors...), incomplete trim work (which is a tell tale sign that there are other items skipped), and a slew of other issues that I'd have to redo upon acquiring the house. There is nothing worse than redoing shotty work. 

Then there are the homes which are fixed up. These have jacked up prices for the area, so turning a profit would be tricky when I'd go to sell. The LAST thing I wanted to do (after copious amounts of student loans hanging over my future) would be to have the potential to lose money on such a large purchase. 

So the search went on, for longer than I thought it would. But it was WELL worth the wait. You see, I found a house. Many people have been asking me why this house? What finally made you want to make an offer? What stood out about this one?

Well, many things, and as I continue to think about the house the list just keeps growing:
-Location: The house is located in the city I have been looking at, and is close to highways for easy access to work (shorter commute!) and it's on the greenway system in Minneapolis to force me to bike more!

-It's not fixed up, at all: The previous owners were an elderly couple who hadn't touched the house in years. The house comes with blue and red carpet in the bathrooms, orange carpet in the basement, and wood paneling everywhere. Which i'm sure is the reason it sat on the market for so long, and the price kept dropping until it magically fit into my budget!

-It's a DIY dream: Not only are all the updates needed attainable for me to do myself, there is a tricked out workshop in the basement. The previous owner must have been a wood worker. This room has a built in shop vac and storage for days. This area also has a walk out to the two car garage in the back. 

You see, the potential in this house was far greater than any other home I had toured before. Sitting back in a cute quaint neighborhood it was a no-brainer (although stressful!) to make an offer. Which, was accepted! So, as of this evening, this little gem is mine.


Dusty dingy carpet, your days are numbered. And I see you paneling, you are next. 




Cheers to 2014!


Prepare yourself for an overload of before and after pictures, and little house projects along the way!

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