Yep. We took the plummet, I mean plunge. (Think Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space.) We bought a major fixer upper. And not to be indelicate, but the former owner was by most definitions a hoarder. As sad as that is, it also quite literally adds layers to renovating a home.
Initially, we simply wanted to take advantage of the low mortgage rates like many San Diegans (we’ve been renting for years now, due to the unstable housing market) and find something we could make our own. Boy did we. Because absolutely everything from the light switches and light fixtures to the faucets and door frames needed replacing, refurbishing, or redesigned. So, for better or worse, it will be all ours.
We did get a good deal, which allowed us to sink, I mean put in a healthy renovation budget, with a goal of having it all paid for within a year…so we are watching our dollars and cents carefully. We’re also monitoring our stress levels and relationships, because anyone who has ever attempted to renovate knows it can test even the most stable of marriages! Since we are not living on property while doing the major renovations, I think we are relatively safe. (Though there have been some moments of irritability over styles. Not decorating styles, decision making styles. Believe it or not, the woman in this scenario is less picky – hilarious.) In my husband’s defense though, he has great taste (look who he married), so I shouldn’t be so impatient with the length of time (often a full lunar cylce) it takes him to decide on something, say a paint color.
In any event, so far so good. Now, one of the things we’ve done to nuture our family relationships is really make the kids feel it’s their home and their project too. They have been instrumental in selecting plumbing for their shared bathroom, tile backsplash and the paint colors for their rooms. I’ve also circumvented all child labor laws and put them to work in the back yard to help skirt some of the expenses that will come with the professional landscaper we so desperately will need to hire.
Another thing we’ve done, is included them in cabinetry choices, flooring and paint colors for the rest of the house. Now we emphasize we hold the purse strings, so we get the final say. And as anyone who has met a child knows – their wish lists are long…so it does take some patience on our end too. We have to remind them often we have a budget, we cannot build a waterslide/zip line/tetherball three ring circus in the yard. It’s our hope, that despite their immediate disappointment, over the long term they’ll see it takes saving, hard work and time to achieve your goals.
Stay with me, I will be sharing some of my storage ideas with the help of experts, favorite places to find unique pieces for the home and how to tear down a house and build up the house of your dreams… and more importantly the family who occupies it.
Wish us luck!!!!