Do you dream of owning a home that you can both afford and love?
It sounds cheesy, but I’ve been chasing the American dream since I can remember. I moved a lot growing up, and never really felt attached any particular house, so the idea of sticking with one house and making it our own was overwhelming to me at first. I just always thought that once I got sick of this house and we were making more money we’d buy another house. Repeat every 5-6 years.
With hard work and prayers, I’m now realizing how much smarter it is financially for us to stay in our current home and make it our own. Right now we live in a cape style house and have recently come up some concrete (no pun intended!) plans to convert our house into a colonial.
Construction is set to start circa fall 2016/summer 2017. Check out my pinterest board (Green Street) for the floor plans we have.
In the meantime, we are still plugging away on house projects that won’t be torn apart once construction starts. Mostly we’re ignoring our second level and focusing on the yard, kitchen and living room. If Mr. A and his father were not so handy, there is no way we would be able to afford grad school x 2 and home reno.
The take away message is don’t bite off more than you can chew with a house- but make sure you can envision the end result. Maybe your house isn’t your dream home, but pick small projects, buy painting for dummies, and watch endless Youtube videos. I’m not the handiest person, but you learn. You make mistakes but it’s about the journey.
I can’t wait for the day that J and I are sitting on our (currently non existent) patio sipping wine and taking in all that we accomplished on our home. There is just something so rewarding to doing it yourself.
Here are few pictures of the home reno we’ve done so far. How do you budget for home projects? Are you a do-er or do you hire contractors? I’d love to see your projects of #homereno!
The one rule we always follow is: Put all costs on the credit card to help rack up points and pay it off every month.
The never ending fence project. Started Fall 2014- still not done. But progress! J and I disagreed about this fence for weeks- I wanted this fence, he wanted a solid fence. I won. For perspective- he is 6’3. That’s how tall the fence is. Why would we need this to be solid? I was afraid at 5’1 I’d feel like I’m in a prison.
Remember me saying we had two (not one) old sewer tanks to remove? Here’s the big hole. We saved tons of money but pumping them out ourselves (with a pump of course) and J broke up all the concrete himself. It still costs us extra for tool rental and to dispose of the concrete, but nothing close to the $3,000 we were quoted by contractors.
We took down the wall between our kitchen and dining room. The picture is standing in the dining room- below is standing in the kitchen. Ignore ugly cabinets- those deserve their own post. Only cost was the sheet rock, dumpster, wood for beam, tool rental and paint.