Monday, October 7, 2013

31 Days to Buying a Neglected House.......and living to tell about it !

Thirty One Days to buying a Neglected House and living to tell about it
I'm sure if my husband were to start this series, it would start with logical things like budget, structural issues and other major concerns. I don't have much concern with those things, although, through this process I have come to respect them much more.  I will touch on all lessons learned, helpful hints, and the brutal truth of what you are in for. Along with some hilarious stories to remind you that laughter is the best medicine.
First things first
Find the neighborhood-for me school is the number on reason I purchase a house. Location to work is a close second.  I watched our neighborhood for six months, stalking sales to determine the best price to pay.  Most houses stayed on the market for 4 days before pending.  Our house was on the market for 5 months before I even begged-arm wrestled- Hubby into seeing it.  The neighborhood was on the high side of my budget so a fixer upper was what I needed.
Our house had all the features I required : pool, space, great neighborhood, fantastic schools.  This was a winner in my book.
The next six months proved to be a learning experience, stressful and although, the words never left his lips -many I told you so looks came my way.
Step one:
Seeing the potential:
This house had great bones-sadly the bones were made of wood and 25 years old with termites!
It had a pool-all be it needing to be re-plastered. It was a water in the ground.
It had plantation shutters, I pretty much bought this house for the shutters ;)
House Day One:
 First Budget item: If your future house needs landscaping this is not a cheap project.  Trimming trees and ripping them out is a big job.  The cost for our small amount of work was triple what I budgeted.
 This is a picture from the realtor laying on her belly, the house was not visible from the street
 The after:  This is still a very much in progress picture.  We did put down grass and ripped out all sango palms.  I updated exterior lights and painted the bay window and trim around the door.  I had planned to paint all the trim but tree trimming and landscape ate into that year ;)
Street view: Our garage is around the corner and I will share that post next week.

Stay tuned.....

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