June 10, 2015
Two and a half years ago we returned to the neighborhood I grew up in to raise our family close to my parents, good schools and a thriving suburban city that is commute friendly. The homes in the neighborhood were built in the 1960s and 1970s and vary at their current state of updating to modern times.
I spent a year looking for the best buy. We looked at many houses. Some had literally not been touched since the 1960s – yellow, orange, olive and shag. Some still screamed of the 1980s and 90s. Others had been grabbed up by investors and modernized.
We found a diamond in the rough just as the market bottomed out. It was a foreclosure and it was a great deal that already has increased in equity considerably. The home sits on a corner lot, is houses away from the swim & tennis, and a short walk to the elementary and high schools, as well as my parent’s home.
On the flip side, the home needs some major updates. The outside needs painting, new siding, windows, and a front door at minimum.
Inside, the main level needs a big update. Currently the kitchen has purple Corian and laminate counters with a painted plywood backsplash. One bathroom has a 1970s orange and yellow design that needs to go. Systems need updated, new flooring and painting everywhere are other needs.
Since moving in we have replaced the roof, put in a skylight and cleared out a massively overgrown yard, planted grass, and installed a fence.
We are now ready to begin renovation. We think. Neither of us have handled a renovation on our own (though my parents were always in some stage of renovation). Aside from cosmetic changes, we have never undertaken anything like this in our previous homes. We have kids, dogs and jobs to juggle.
There are so many decisions to be made and research to conduct. It is a huge undertaking for our already overwhelming lives, but it is a chance to enhance our investment, while making a simple, functional, pleasing living space for our family.
In preparation for the renovation, I am analyzing everything we own and taking stock. My new mantra is have nothing in your home you do not find useful, to be beautiful or to bring you joy. Useless knick knacks, old toys, things we might use someday have to go. No new junk unless it fits a specific and immediate purpose. So the clearing, sorting and packing has begun.
Have nothing in your home you do not find useful, to be beautiful or to bring you joy.
I am hoping you will join us on our renovation journey! If you have any tips for us, please share in the comments below!