DIY Home Remodel #2
The second house we purchased was a small house really close to downtown. We wanted to be able to walk everywhere and be close to where Ryan was going to school and where I was working at the time. Again, it was a bit of a fixer-upper and necessary to do a full DIY home remodel.
The picture above is of the living room–where you spend the majority of the time with a young family. And it was s.m.a.l.l. Not to mention, the mantel was NOT going to cut it. (I have a thing with mantels…can you tell?)
I’m pretty sure I cried when I saw the kitchen for the first time. It was everything we had just gotten rid of in the last house and I knew how much time/work/money it would take to do it again.
The only light fixture left in the house was this awful one. And the blue. And the stains on the carpet. Gross.
Again, notice the low counter, the AWFUL colors, and the ugly countertop.
The grass had been left to die.
We knew we had our work cut out for us with this home remodel in order to turn this house into a home, but it had HUGE potential. And besides, buying fixer-uppers is what we do best. It’s not for the faint of heart though.
Some things to be careful of or be aware of when you buy a distressed property or foreclosed home…
1. Usually, you are buying the house As Is. That means that no matter what the home inspection says, you are responsible for it. With that said, don’t skip the house inspection!
2. Things may be missing that you weren’t planning on. Prior home owners may have stripped the house and independently sold all the appliances, light fixtures, or even the kitchen cabinets. In our case, almost all of the outlet covers were gone (weird?!). All of the poles in the closets were gone (again…weird!). Most of the light fixtures were gone. There was about 2 lightbulbs in the entire house.
3. Don’t expect it to be clean. Ours was so dirty I could have puked. Actually, I may have. I was so upset by the condition of the house when we walked in as new owners that I honestly don’t remember what I said or did that first-walk through. I had to remind myself though that sometimes it’s not just dirt. You may have to sort through and dispose of much more than just dirt (garbage, old clothes or toys, broken furniture, rotting food, etc).
4. If you have to pay someone else to do all the work, the “great deal” quickly becomes not so great. You can get some great deals if you buy a distressed property, just make sure you factor in any professional help you anticipate needing to your overall costs and make sure it still feels like a good deal. Hence the main reason we DIY. We can’t afford to pay someone else to do it. That, and Ryan is very talented at what he does so we know that it will be done well and it’s nice to put our own touches on the home.