The Good, The Bad, and The Okayish: Musings on Four Years of Home Ownership

In April, we’ll have been in here for 4 years. It’s crazy how time passes us by. It feels like it was only last week we signed the papers and received our keys.

Saying that we’ve had our share of ups and downs would be an understatement. If you’ve been following our journey thus far you’ll understand why. But looking back on where we’ve been and where we’re going, I’d like to share a few thoughts with you.

In hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have bought this particular house and instead waited for something that would have been less work. But with most of the houses in this area being too far out of our range of affordability, this seemed like a great opportunity. (Asking $250k for a shoebox of a 2-bedroom house with almost no kitchen is unrealistic. Also, when the short person has to duck to get down the stairs into the basement there’s a major problem.) As stated in my first post here, we were so sure no major work was needed in the house, beyond taking down wallpaper and broken tiles, paint, and those ‘homey touches’. Boy, were we wrong.

In fact, we often joke about passing up on one of the houses we toured – a beautiful house with loads of potential but in need of serious repairs. With holes in the walls, the ceiling, and even missing plumbing, it would have required a 203(k) Rehabilitation or Title 1 loan. I’m almost certain neither of those would have provided enough money for all the work required.

img_20180121_123303762317369206.jpgAs I’ve stated before, we really are learning a lot about remodeling. It’s a giant pain in the rear most of the time, but when your budget is limited, you do what you can. This house has forced us both to think outside the box and reach for our inner DIY-er. I never would have imagined in one hundred years that we’d own not only multiple hand held power tools but a miter saw and stand (which still terrifies me to use but someday I will conquer it!)

Yes, there are some days I regret this buy and other days where I’m thankful for it. I think part of that is the ups and downs of home ownership. But as with any major project, there are going to be a lot more ‘hate it’ days then ‘love it’ ones.

I find that the most difficult part of doing the work ourselves is when you hit the lull between inspiration. Those moments when your drive to work is lackluster or lacking altogether. Those are the moments when discouragement sets in. We’ve come so far, and yet it feels like there is still so much to do, simply at the cosmetic level. And being that this isn’t our forever house, sometimes it’s difficult to justify some of these major remodels.

In spite of all the work we’ve done, it feels as if we’ve barely put a dent in it all. Granted, a lot of what we did has been demolition and sometimes things move along slower than we anticipated. The first floor isn’t finished yet and there’s still so much left to be done on the rest of the house to even get it “resale worthy”.

But this is our home, and it may still be a few years before we can permanently remove the (invisible) ‘under construction’ sign from our doorway. All in all, though, I wouldn’t trade this experience away for, well…almost anything.

Moving into this next year of home ownership, we hope to be able to share more of our progess with you (assuming we make progress!) and I will do my best to keep you updated a bit more regularly.

Until the next time…careful where you swing that hammer!
–Love from the residents of Parkside Twin

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