In the beginning…

5 02 2010

As some of you know, John and I purchased a not so nice townhome back in 2007.  To say it was a “fixer upper” would be an understatement.  It was built in the 60’s and from what we can figure it was “revamped” in the 80’s (little bit of carpet-little bit of paint) but that was about all she wrote—until we purchased it 20 some years later.

When we made the list of things we wanted in a house we were NOT looking for a 4 bedroom fixer upper.  Funny thing is I don’t really remember what we were looking for but I am thinking we were in the market for a 2 bedroom condo, freshly painted, nice grounds with low HOA, and a pool/hot tub area with nothing further than 10 mile to the beach.  So we went to a couple open houses, drove around looking at others from the outside and came to the conclusion that everyone that lives in California has really small homes-and must be okay with it because that is what they grew up knowing!  John and I (mid-westerners that we are) already felt like we were living on top of each other in our 2 bedroom apartment and it was bigger than some of the places we were looking at.  Enter the idea to look at fixer uppers that were larger so they would be in our price range.  The house we bought was the first “fixer” we looked at and on the first tour I only made it thru the ground floor and half of the upper floor before I had to leave the premises.  When we entered there were stockings hanging from the fireplace (it was at least halfway thru April), a pile of clothes stacked in the corner that was at least up to my waist and dirty, dirty, dirty everywhere you looked.  I don’t think the place had been truly cleaned since…well I don’t know that it was ever cleaned.  But, for some reason the bathroom really grossed me out and I HAD to leave.  So as soon as we were outside I looked at John and he looked at me-but they were two totally different reactions and I knew this was going to be trouble.  I’ve attached a photo-a re-enactment made just for your viewing pleasure.

Anyway, John was excited that it was a 4 bedroom with plenty of space for the 2 of us and he was up for such a fix up challenge (he grew up with parents that owned rental property and were always fixing them up).  I, however, was less enthusiastic.  I could be the president of the “starting off a project, getting distracted and not coming back to it” club and John is a chronic procrastinator.  Trust me, two virtues that do not win us any awards.  All I could see was getting the house, starting the revamp and living in a half done house for 10 years until we were ready to sell.  At that point we would get our rears in gear and finish everything and never really get to experience our 1st home finished.  Needless to say, I thought it was a HORRIBLE idea.  That was until John began listing off all the good qualities of the place.  It certainly had great bones, it had everything off our list minus the hot tub and it was an end unit with a really quite neighborhood.  Now this is where he got me to take a second look at the place.

John “You could personally pick out every finish.”

Sharon “Really?”

John “Well we will need to start from scratch.”

Sharon “I’ll think about it.”  What I was really thinking was HECK YEAH!!

So we returned to the dump.  This time I saved the upstairs bathroom for last (that way when I was done looking at all the *nasty* shower gunk I could leave.)  Now we bought the house before short sales and foreclosures were all the rage and since this house was in a short sale position soon to be a foreclosed we had to act quickly.  We put in an offer and waited.  They countered, we countered and the house was ours, every little dirt speck.  Champagne party ensued.  Then the real work began…This was the condition of the house upon our official inspection.  I snapped a few pictures so I could remember why I was so grossed out during our initial visit. Enjoy.

The Living Room

Dining Room/Kitchen/Laundry/ Would have a Powder Room as well but I was too scared to look at it

The Master Bedroom

The Master Bathroom

Both Bedrooms (2 on the left are now my office and the one one the right is a guest room)

The Nursery & Hallway

The Outside

Keep your eyes open for what we did next to our little abode (it’ll be coming up in the next couple of weeks.)  I am hoping to do a little step by step in our transformation process and show you how a little elbow grease goes a long way in making a house, a home.  So, now that you have seen how our little home started off-have you ever lived in a fixer upper?  A place that needed so much work you didn’t know where to begin?  One of the apartments I lived in had the kitchen set up so the washer was on the far left, followed by the stove and then the dryer was on the right smack dab in the middle of the kitchen-but that is a story for anther day?!  I want to hear about your horror stories of fixing up a dump. It makes me feel better in a weird, twisted sort of way!

Have a great weekend.

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19 02 2010
Taking down the popcorn. « MA-DE

[…] Right, we just finished up how we obtained such a great starter home *sigh*.  You can catch up here if you missed that […]

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