There’s no place like home.
I can say wholeheartedly that there is no place like our place. Brian and I purchased this quirky gem in 2014.
2707 Square Feet
.35 acre wooded lot on a beautiful cul-de-sac
2 car garage
When we bought Old House, we agreed that this was our five-year-plan house. We knew it needed a lot of work and we thought that for the first home we purchased together, it would be good for us to learn the ropes and do a lot of the work ourselves. However, we have a completely realistic understanding of our own handyman abilities – we knew we would need to hire out the tough stuff.
We made a list of what we wanted to get done and we were off to the races. We took one week off work immediately after closing and knocked out a few major items in that time. We got the roof replaced, removed all the upstairs carpet, sealed the subfloor to remediate a pet odor problem from the previous owner, got new carpet, removed wallpaper in 7 rooms (including FOUR layers in the kitchen: ugh), trimmed some trees that were completely obscuring the house from the street, and got a big jump start on painting the super dark wood trim white. We also repainted every single interior room. In addition, we actually moved into our new home from our condo a couple of miles away. All things said and done, it was an extremely productive week.
Over the years, we’ve adopted pets, fostered rescues, gone on many vacations, changed jobs, gotten married, had major medical events…you know, life. So here we are, with one year left in our five-year goal timeline, and a LOT of work left to do.
In keeping with our five year plan and our personal style of running full speed at our goals, we went ahead and got the ball rolling on our next endeavor. We purchased a half acre lot in a custom neighborhood nearby with the intention of building our forever-or-at-least-a-long-time home.
So right now, we own a beautiful home that we’ve made major improvements to but still needs a lot of love, and a beautiful vacant lot.
Would I recommend purchasing an expensive plot of land when you have no idea if your existing home is even going to sell and have no concrete plans as to what you’re actually going to build on it?
Hey, why not? YOLO!
I’m kidding – sort of. We worked hard to insulate ourselves and minimize risk when we purchased our current home to make sure we were enabling ourselves to make our next move. When we purchased Old House, we weren’t married. We’d been dating for years and had lived together for about a year and a half. Knowing that we weren’t married and didn’t have any legal obligation to each other, we made the decision to base our budget on a single income (mine – the lower of our two incomes) so that if things didn’t work out between the two of us, either of us would be able to refinance alone and keep the home if we so desired. Ideally, we would just sell the house in that scenario but Brian and I both entered the workforce around 2008, so we were keenly aware of how external factors could impact a financial plan.
In retrospect – this was the right move for us. It’s worked out well and we’ve loved our years here. This path has allowed us to spend money on travel, our wedding, our friends and family, all while still saving up, investing in improvements to our home, and overall – living a life without major financial stress.
Over the course of the next year, we’re going to be wrapping up projects on Old House, and making decisions and starting the build process of New House. We’re really excited to have this blog as a record when it’s all said and done. It’s going to be a very busy year.