We Bought A 1920's Fixer-Upper! Why, Yes... We Are Completely Nuts!

My friends, after what seems like forever and a day, FTD and I bought a house. Needless to say, we are so excited... And scared as can be. This place is three times the size of our shoebox condo and twice the monthly payment, but OH MY GOODNESS it has everything we want, including a huge backyard to release the beast (Ollie) into! SO. SO. SO. SO EXCITED!


Clearly, its a fixer upper...  and when I say "fixer-upper" I mean, needs more TLC than a guy suffering from a common cold. Our little slice of 1920's heaven has wallpaper everywhere, hardwood that are pristine in some rooms, but then desperate for restoration in others--some genius glued vinyl to them in the 60's-- and throughout the house there are fixtures that I'm pretty sure Christopher Columbus brought over with him---I'm totally using them too! Even though there are a few updates, for the most part, this house has barely been updated since the 60's. There's even an old converted oil lamp in the kitchen, and even a crystal chandelier hanging in this strange side room FTD and I have no idea what to do with.  You all this place is the goods. We have been looking at some great Hinkley lighting which may be our next addition for a fresh update.  

After the home inspection FTD and I went home, first I threw up from all of the things the house needed, then made a list of the repairs and cosmetic upgrades needed to make this place move-in ready. The list was three pages long and estimated to cost near 10k-- if we have it done professionally. Yes, Ten Thousand American Dollars needed to move in.

Do we have that? Hell, no! We just bought a house!

Due to our financially strapped situation, we will have to get very creative with the needed renovations. So, while that is bad news for us, it's REALLY good news for those of you interested in DIY... shared by two clowns; One clown with lots and lots of DIY experience (FTD--restored two victorian mansions in OZ) and one that has absolutely NO clue what the hell is going on (ME-restored... um... well... I can make... um... That wall paper, I can take that down.)!
How cute is that fireplace???
Over the next few months prepare to be wowed with some DIY awesomeness!  We plan to even video some of the DIY moments just in case they are funny enough to submit to America's Funniest Home Videos so we can win the 10k we need to avoid any further DIY embarrassment!  For example, we need a privacy fence. One we cannot afford. So FTD being the ever resourceful one that he is, has found that we can buy Bamboo fencing that will somehow magically roll out around the existing chain link fence to give me the privacy I need, at a third of the cost of a wood fence. Who knew?!
 I can already tell "rolling out our privacy fence" will be SUPER DUPER FUNNY! very informative to those interested.

In addition to the fear of the rather large mortgage payment and the three page renovation list with the 10k price tag, I am also worried about how Ollie will take to the move. All he has ever known is his little room in the shoebox. I already told FTD before we move in, I want to make Ollie's new room look EXACTLY like his current room. I want him to wake up in the middle of the night in the new house and see familiar things. I also want him to love this home as much as I do, so I am trying to do everything I can to make him comfortable. Every time Ollie and I go over to the house or even drive by it, we have a big talk about how it's Ollie's new house with his new blue bedroom room and BIG backyard for swings and slides. I am sure after a couple of weeks he will get settled...

Today, we bask in the glory of finding our perfect little slice of home. Tomorrow, we figure out how in the hell we are going to get the ugliest vinyl floor the 60's ever spit out unglued from a once beautiful hardwood floor... WHOO HOOO I cannot wait!!!


Who glues that to hardwood???





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April is an award-winning writer, blogger and proud debut novelist - The Devlyn Disguise. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more about April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

18 comments:

Alissa said...

LOVE IT!!! Love the chandeliers and light fixtures and the arched hallway... ahhh it's so beautiful! I wish I lived closer and could help you paint or rip up vinyl. Congrats!!

Words for Worms said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I live in a little gingerbread house built in '39. It has its moments, but we love it. Learn from our mistakes (or rather, the mistakes of the people who owed our house before us) if you have any intention of finishing a basement, waterproof it FIRST. Long, expensive story. Can't wait to hear about your adventures in DIY! PS- I LOVE that fireplace!!!

April FirstTimeMom said...

THANK YOU!!! We are so excited. It will certainly be a labor of love...

April FirstTimeMom said...

Oooh a gingerbread house! LOVE IT! the basement was finished, and like your previous owners, did not waterproof so well. There is a lovely crack we are already planning to contend with. Still, SO EXCITED!! And thank you, I love the fire place too.

Molley Mills said...

Oh I'm so excited for you guys! So much fun and tears and renovation arguments! Ollie will be totally fine! Kids adjust super fast! Just make sure the yard is totally secure ;) Well done. FTD will be in his element... Aussie DIY is a beauty to behold, you have NO IDEA

Ercy said...

Congratulations to your new home! Can't wait to see the after pics!

Victoria - WTPP said...

Congratulations..so excited for you all. Ive fell in love with a house that needs a fair amount of work (new carpets/décor everywhere etc) as it is terribly outdated and..bright red! And despite it being sooo under budget due to this my OH just wont let me :( Like you I fell in love with outside..cant wait to see updates!

April FirstTimeMom said...

Oh, yes. I am very very very scared. The bamboo fence is only the beginning...

April FirstTimeMom said...

Thanks, Ercy!! I cannot wait to see the after pics either...

April FirstTimeMom said...

Thank you, Victoria!! That's us, if this house did not need so much 'love' we would not have been able to afford it. The neighborhood alone is epic... We are so stoked!

Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families said...

Congratulations, it looks like the house has some charming features and I can't wait to see your DIY projects. ;)

Caroline Liebeknecht said...

Congrats!! Please check whats under your tiles. Sometimes the black backings were made from asbestos. Just worth looking into before getting the chisle and hammer out!

April FirstTimeMom said...

Thanks, Christy! I cannot wait to start ripping down wallpaper!

April FirstTimeMom said...

Hi Caroline! You are absolutely right. During the home inspection we found two small rooms that have asbestos tiles and a couple of spots in the basement where Asbestos tape was used. BOTH are at the very top of our priority list. We are having a company come in a remove those for us before we even begin our part of the work. Because of these hidden issues, we are staying in our current home for a month while the more sensitive renovations are completed. I want the house Asbestos and C02 free before I move Ollie or any of his things in!

Cindia said...

Lol at the common cold joke. But I can see why you fell in love with the house. It is indeed a beauty!

http://simplycindia.blogspot.com

Stacey OneFunnyMotha said...

Congrats! Looks like a beautiful home (aside from that vinyl). The first house my husband & I bought was a 1920's fixer upper, too. It had tons of charm, but we had to do EVERYTHING on it when we moved in. The floors were a wreck, all the windows had to be replaced, the yard was so overgrown you could barely see the house. And, we didn't have any extra cash either. We did most of the work ourselves - even built our own deck. It's nice to do that stuff - once. But only once. But it is nice to be proud of what a lovely home you made it. Good luck! (Oh and I just wrote about how we were gonna do a big reno to it & chronicle all the mishaps, but then we decided to move.)

AussieMummy said...

Congratulations! Love, love, love this!! What a beautiful home it will be when you've finished doing it up. So happy for you guys!

Chrissy said...

The house is absolutely beautiful. I don't think your nuts at all. I am sure it will take some work to get it the way you would like it. I feel like there is nothing to match a house with character even if it takes some work. All the best to you both. Chrissy

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