May 2009: closing day
We bought our first home in May 2009 after one year of marriage and have been fixing it up ever since. To say it was a “fixer upper” may be an understatement- depending on who you talk to. For us, it was a fun project that we could undertake together. We were so fortunate to have heard about this home through Jared’s mom who knew the daughter (a Baylor bear!) of the lady who was thinking about selling. The house was never officially listed. It was in a location that we assumed we would not be able to afford, it only had one bathroom and it needed some TLC. We definitely had our doubts. We didn’t love the house the first time we looked at it, but we were able to see potential past the cosmetic upgrades. After looking at a lot of homes that winter and spring, it really became obvious that this was the perfect first home for us. We were also fortunate enough to have my dad as our realtor who did not let us pay him, and we qualified for the first-time homebuyer’s $8,000 credit — the one you don’t have to repay! Literally, the government sent us a check in the mail one day, which I still cannot believe! That credit is what we used to make all of the initial upgrades before we moved in. We got the home for a great price considering what other homes in this neighborhood sell for. We had a little less than a month and a half from the day we closed (May 12) to the day we moved in (June 28) to make it “live-able”. We couldn’t have done it in that quick of a time period without Jared’s sub-contractor skills and without the help of our wonderful family who we definitely put to work. Jared coordinated all of the people we hired, and their timelines were down to the day. We did a lot ourselves like paint, peel wallpaper, remove tile, remove the styrofoam tile ceilings (yes, this could be another blog post!), take down wall paneling, remove bushes, remove window bars, and a lot more. We hired out the tape and float of cracks, drywall, texture, tiling, back door installation, raising of the dining room floor with wood floor installation, all the electrical work and the wood floor refinishing. Whew. I’ll post more before and after photos in the future. I can’t imagine us living anywhere else, and truthfully, a big part of me never wants to move again, even though we’ll outgrow the house eventually.