July 16, 2015

Home ownership: not for the faint of heart

Before I get too far down the road of home ownership and lest I forget the overwhelming angst of what our house now feels like, I thought I'd better type out a little note to my future self about buying a house that needs "fixing up".

It's been one month exactly since we bought our little home, and let me tell you, fixing up a house is not for the faint of heart. And as it stands, I very much am faint of heart. This house has been a steeeep learning curve for us. A good one! And an overwhelming one. And before I begin, Brian has already dubbed me the Debbie Downer of this whole charade, so beware. He on the other hand, is absolutely in love with this project of a house and is already thinking about the next house we're going to fix up. Hence this post - to remind myself should that "next one" ever arrive.

As it stands, the house has had a huge gaping hole in it for the last week and what looks like will be another full week into the future.


I haven't decided if the hole in the wall is more or less discouraging than when we took out almost all the flooring and could see the lovely little ground staring back at us.  It's one thing to buy a house that needs some tlc and whole other thing to then tear into that house and make it look even worse than when you bought it. No one really ever explains that in the all the glory of DIY blogging and HGTV. And I clearly went into this buy of a house seeing all of the potential and not a whole lot of reality. It all just seemed so easy. Blogs make it look so darn easy. Before we closed on the house I was telling a friend about it and she laughed and said, "Sounds like you just need a new house." Yes. Yes we did. 

Now that I've taken a month to take in all this house processing, I think I'm getting to the end of the tunnel and catching a glimpse of light. And seriously - it's been a month. I do realize most home renovation/fixer uppers can take MONTHS, and that is why I'm clearly a weakling at this. You could say it's been a little fixer upper culture shock for me these last few weeks. 

BUT that little glimpse of light I mentioned has come in the forms of the floors  - they were finished this week. Which also means the house no longer smells. Admittedly the smell seemed like the biggest hurdle we were going to have to get over with this house. I wasn't going to live in a house that smelled, and we most certainly weren't going to be able to sell a house that smelled. So for a while it felt like this big IF was hanging over our heads. 


What IF this smell never comes out? 


But it did, and it's gone, and I've finally let out my baited breath to breathe a little. 

Thankfully this house was a low risk for us (as much as any house can be a low risk) and we lucked out on a lot of things we newbie homeowners had no idea even mattered. The low risk was good for when things like termites (minimal!) showed up and also when the contractor told us we needed to bleach the entire bathroom and we told him I already had. We knew most of the big ticket items on the house were taken care of and in good shape, and we figured we'd be hit with a few surprises. And all in all things are going to shake out pretty well and be fine. It just didn't feel like that when we filled a dumpster the size of our house with our house. 

Tonight Brian is spending another sweaty night over at the house chipping out tile for what has now become a partial bathroom makeover. And I'm fairly certain we'll be moving in in two weeks whether that bathroom is done or not, whether we have doors hung or not, and whether we have painted the kitchen cabinets or not. That huge gaping hole, however, will most definitely be filled in, and that is all that really matters, right - exterior walls to call it a house? 

Right?






4 comments:

  1. Reading your post makes me want to go watch the movie George Washington Slept Here. It's a wonderful old movie about a couple that buys a fixer-upper in the country and has a lot of mishaps while trying to fix it up. Good luck with the house! I hope the renovations go well from this point on.

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  2. Reading your post makes me want to go watch the movie George Washington Slept Here. It's a wonderful old movie about a couple that buys a fixer-upper in the country and has a lot of mishaps while trying to fix it up. Good luck with the house! I hope the renovations go well from this point on.

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  3. Oh man! My husband and I are starting the process of buying a house and he's dying for a fixer upper but I don't know if I'm tough enough for that whole process! I'm glad you at least have fresh smelling floors now! :)

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  4. Thankfully this house was a low risk for us (as much as any house can be a low risk) and we lucked out on a lot of things we newbie homeowners had no idea even mattered. The low risk was good for when things like termites (minimal!) showed up and also when the contractor told us we needed to bleach the entire bathroom and we told him I already had. We knew most of the big ticket items on the house were taken care of and in good shape, and we figured we'd be hit with a few surprises. home fixerour house.

    ReplyDelete