The husband and I made the decision to buy a house last year. While this is always a big decision, it was an even bigger decision for us, since we are currently living as far as you could possibly live from our families and still be in the continental United States. We moved two years ago for what has been a good career move, but it’s been tough to be so far away from everyone. After just over a year of renting in a very expensive city, we saw very quickly that 1) the job was working out and we would be here for awhile, and 2) it is MUCH less expensive to own than rent where we live. A big part of the decision was also realizing that we actually really like to renovate/repair/generally improve our surroundings! So, let’s skip past the long and ridiculous process that is home buying (particularly in a crazy, fast-moving market where you have mere hours to put in an offer), and check out the original pictures of our house! We ended up finding a neglected duplex built in 1947 that had a few things going for it – a decent addition (making the kitchen a nice size), the fact that it is located on a dead end road, is walking distance to the metro, and has a huge park right outside the back gate. Disclaimer: none of the furniture/decor is mine. All of these images were taken by our realtor before we closed on the house.
Welcome to the jungle!
Come on in…
Take it all in: the extra glossy mint green walls, the exposed electrical panel…
…yes, this really is my entire entryway/living room. See that doorway? That is where the addition and kitchen begin, thankfully. Can you imagine nothing but the 815 total square feet with no addition?? Crazy.
Entering the addition and the dining area/kitchen:
At least they thought lots of windows were a good idea. They kept the exposed brick AND didn’t paint it! Score. The brick used to be the back side of the house.
Why they thought a ceiling fan was a great choice for a kitchen, right over the food prep area, I’ll never know. I can’t wait to rip it down.
Lovely plastic cabinetry. Plywood with tile for countertops. I mean, every girl’s dream, right? In all honesty, this kitchen was MUCH better looking than many of the houses we looked at. Let’s not even discuss how long we considered putting an offer in on the house that smelled like several rotting dead animals decided to throw a kegger in the basement and never cleaned it up. And we will just ignore the fact that the price of this house would buy a gorgeous mansion anywhere else in the country … MOVING ON… 🙂
Heading to the basement:
Unfortunately, we can’t light the stove (for a myriad of reasons). Especially since there is no other heat source in the basement. But hey, since this is our TV/entertainment room, curling up in a full cocoon of blankets is
required always fun!
Laundry and bonus/storage room, right off the entertainment room. One week after we moved in, the flooding started. Like, get your waders on flooding, use the shop vac to try to suck up all the water flooding, build a barrier to direct the water to the sump pump flooding, stay up all night and go to work without sleeping flooding. Yay! Fortunately, a lot of research and $7,000 later, our basement no longer floods. Unfortunately, that $7k was all function and no form – everything looks almost exactly the same. But hey, no more flooding…!
This picture doesn’t do it justice. By that, I mean this picture looks a lot better than reality. What you see is… the entire bathroom. You can just make out the edge of the sink – it is extremely small. The tile job looks like someone threw grout, tile, and dynamite into the bathroom and called it a day. I avoid this bathroom at all costs.
Our bedroom – not huge, but not tiny, either. The closet leaves
a lot something to be desired, but what can you expect for a house built in 1947? Apparently, everyone from 1947 had 2 outfits. And they were always wearing one of them.
Office: Nearly identical to our bedroom, just slightly smaller. It has a significantly smaller closet. Whoever was in this room probably had just the one outfit. Laundry day was awkward for everyone.
Upstairs bathroom – not bad.
That was also before we realized that there were huge chips in the bathtub that are now rusting. Oh, and before we figured out the previous owner didn’t feel like cleaning the grout in the shower, so they of course decided to put MORE grout over the old grout. Because new grout > old grout, amiright?? Which means the new grout routinely flakes and chips off.
Also before we realized that the toilet tank was completely cracked, broken and leaking on the right side. Upon further inspection, we found (of course) a LARGE ROCK in the toilet tank. Of course. That rock is now dubbed my “toilet rock,” and sits next to the pansies in the front yard. I try to make the best of things.
And that brings us to my favorite part of our house: the backyard.
The yard is mostly a big, pretty, split level deck. Nothing was landscaped when we bought it, but we quickly decided we wouldn’t put any grass in the backyard since there is a huge park behind our fence with all the lawn we need. My awesome mother-in-law came last fall and beautifully landscaped our entire property – I can hardly wait for spring to see it all fill in and bloom! I can see pretty string lights, an outside dining table, and lots of BBQs in our future.
Because weekends are for multiple Home Depot runs,