Friday, October 30, 2015

We bought a house!! {The Before Tour}

We are finally first time homeowners!!
To a soon-to-be-lovely fixer upper.
At the end of August we closed on the house that we had been trying to get since we moved back up north this spring. Because it was bank owned and on it's way to being foreclosed, it was a long process. My patience grew, and I kept telling God that I trusted Him and His plan and would try not to be too heart-broken if He decided it wasn't the house for us.
But, it was!

We officially moved in two weeks ago (yeah, that's how NOT move in ready it was).
Looking back, it is so clear that everything happened in God's perfect timing.
In our time of waiting we were able to save up a lot more  $$ (which was really needed), and we discovered a cabin in our area that was being torn down. The owners were looking for someone to take the project of demoing out the good stuff and paying a small price for it.

So, for $850 plus labor we were able to get tons of newer (90's) Anderson windows, including a huge bay window, a sliding glass door, interior closet doors, a utility sink, two toilets, a bathtub/shower, a bathroom sink and vanity, AND all the solid pine kitchen cabinets.
Yeah. Amazingly good deal.

I keep thinking of the amount of money we would have started spending to get that stuff new if we had closed at an earlier date. And God was like, "Just hold on, I've got a good deal for you first!"
All the big things that needed replacing in this neglected 1975 home were at that cabin for us!

And as the song goes...

He's a good, good Father.

So are you ready for the tour!?? 

This pictures was taken literally 10 minutes after we closed at the bank.
Matt's boss was at the house dropping off the dump trailer and was able to capture the magical moment of me being carried over the threshold by my love!

The front of the house - view from the road.

Why yes, that is an old milk jug attached to the Shepard's hook.

You thought there were only two large, overgrown pine trees in the front yard, didn't you?
There's three.

Okay, just take a walk right straight up our side walk to the front door. ;)

The charming front door.
Note the bird's nest in our light and small tree growing from the gutters. :) 

Okay, come on in!

Right away we have the living room off to the right.
I wish I could accurately explain the pleasant aroma...

*An old, carpeted house that has been locked up for the last couple of years...and during that time the pipes burst and water went everywhere.*

That was the smell when you walked in the door.  

On a more positive note, I absolutely love all the natural light that the living room gets!

As you tour, you will see that every room comes complete with its own granny-esque valance. 

Now from the living room into the dining area/kitchen.

There is no real dining room, just this little nook with shattered glass all over the floor.
Eventually this set of windows will become the sliding glass door that will lead out to the deck.

The kitchen! I had planned on repainting these cabinets white, but they ended up being in worse shape than I thought, so I'm really glad we were able to get the pine ones from the cabin (they are in the process of being painted white).

Check out that sweet (probably original) dishwasher!!

The most disgusting stove ever. I'm not sure if it was ever cleaned in the last 10 years.
It's now at the dump and we found a sweet new(er) one at the re-store!

The fridge is actually quite nice and newer! 
Yay for one good appliance!

A gigantic blue bra in my cupboard! 
There were several signs that people were living/partying here when it was abandoned and before the cops secured it up. :/ 

Don't be fooled, that is not real parquet flooring. Just peal and stick!

The view down the hallway from the dining area. 
Pretty sweet light fixtures, huh?

Bedroom #1. 
Each bedroom came with it's own gigantic, 70's chandelier-style ceiling fan.
My tall husband walked right into them!
(They've all been replaced with some basic ceiling mount lights, and the rooms feel like they have a lot more height now, just by changing that!)

The bathroom!
See the cracked toilet??
I thought it was really annoying how they put "winterized" notes on all of the plumbing since it was already too late and all the pipes had already burst by the time it was winterized. As I ripped them off I kept thinking, "IT DOESN'T MATTER!!"
The damage had already been done.

My beautiful yellow tub!
Hopefully Rustoleum's tub and tile kit will have no problem fixing that.

I won't even tell you how many gigantic dead spiders were in that shower curtain...

Why thank you for winterizing the cracked-in-half toilet.
^ Sar. Cas. M.

The squatters left us some toilet paper, so that was nice. ;)
I keep wondering if they were living here before or after the toilets cracked... hmm.

Oh, hey there.
Just some happy HOMEOWNERS!

Bedroom #2.
This is the biggest bedroom...even bigger than the master.
Blackened walls from the heater that was being used by the squatters camping out here.

We are currently set up in this bedroom. 
It was the first to have it's floors done.

I almost forgot what it looked like!
We have come a long way already. Stay tuned for a "Middle Tour" post!

Bedroom #3.
The master! Yes, this itty-bitty thing. 
I will make it work.

The master closets lead into the mini master bath.

This chimney in one of the closets is going to get smashed out, and that will gain a little more space!


Master bath.
This toilet has no bottom. It just drops straight down where the hole usually is.
But, broken pipes and heating = a better deal on a house. :)

Another nice window...I do love all the natural light this house gets.

The world's smallest shower.
The spot to the left of it (which is a 2nd linen closet from the hall) has been knocked out and we will be tiling our own shower that will be a little bigger...eventually.

And the view back down the hallway from the master bedroom.
The door all the way straight ahead through the dining area goes down to the basement.

Now, lets check out the yard.
For being in town, I LOVE our location. 
This neighborhood is so quiet that it almost feels like we are in the country. 
Plus, the lot to the left of the house is all wooded. This picture shows our neighbor to the right.

Our wrap around deck. Very nice and large but will have to be redone eventually.

Back side of the deck.

View of the back yard from the deck.
Check out the knee-high grass!

The right side of the house.
Don't worry, I'll get to all those weird windows in a second...

So...... clever... right?

Okay, we actually have no idea why these are all here or what they were thinking. 
But they sure are a conversation starter.

The backside of the house.
We hope to extend the deck over to the other side more, and when we reside the house we will go all the way to the ground, which I think will make it look a lot bigger.

The tuck-under garage.

Husband got in trouble because I told him not to touch anything before I got a "before" picture of it.
He already had the garage cleaned out by the time I got down there!

That is all stuff that was in the garage!

creepy and sooo dirty, but we have an automatic garage door opener!!

Now, lets head into the (what used to be finished) side of the basement.

Off to the left is the future laundry room/utility room.
The ceiling in there was a spider mansion. I spent half an hour with the shop vac trying to suck up all the webs, and it barely made a dent.

One side of the basement that will eventually be made into another bedroom.

The other side of the basement had a super cool carpeted bar.

As soon as I was done taking these pictures, we went to town. All the wet/moldy ceiling tiles came down and the carpet padding went out and the bar got demolished.

We literally got to work right away, and we have gotten so much stuff done in the last 2 months. 
Still a lot to do, but looking back at these photos, the place almost seems unrecognizable! 

The extremely nice gift basket our realtor gave us. It was filled with so many goodies!
I thought it was so sweet of him to give us this, especially because our house wasn't a very big purchase. 

Well folks, there you have it! 
Thanks for taking the (long!!) tour!

Feel free to follow along to slowly start seeing the "afters" of each room. 

We love our little home and feel so blessed to be homeowners at such a young age.
It has been so fun working on it...for real, we like this stuff! haha

Thanks again for stopping by the blog!



  1. Congratulations, Olivia and to your spouse too! Wow! Your home needs more love than mine! xoxo A first that I have seen in blog land. :) You sound so happy. You are so right about Restore and Stardust (Goodwill's version), and that is great that you found that cabin with the good cabinets. It will take a lot of work, and there will be tears somedays, but you will be so proud when its done. Blessings to both of you. I look forward to seeing more. It's going to be so cute when you put all your special touches on it, because it really is cute from the street. xoxo Su

    1. Thank you Su! I know, we are a little crazy, but we really have been enjoying ourselves so far! :) And thanks for letting me know about Stardust...I will have to search to see where the nearest one is to us - it sounds great!

  2. Yay! I can't wait to see what it looks like now and then when you are all done. It looks like such a sweet place and perfect for you! We are in the middle of moving right now and I am so ready to be done. Hopefully today we get it all done so we can enjoy our new house. Good luck!


    1. Congrats on your new house!! It is a lot of work to move...but does feel so good to just "be home". Thanks for your sweet words Trisha! :)

  3. Congratulations! I am so excited to see what you do! I'm especially looking forward to seeing you reuse the great finds you've mentioned.

    Your house is very similar to my house. We bought it in 1989 as newlyweds & hope to stay here for the rest of our lives. It's on a beautiful 5 acre lake-front lot. Talk about waiting for God's timing. :) We are NOT very good diy's though. We've paid for most things to be done & we waited until we reached the empty nest to make most changes(our house was in much better shape than yours when we bought it!).

    I follow your blog already & am looking forward to future posts!

    1. Thanks Jenny! I am so excited to be able to reuse all the goodies too :) And thankfully, my husband is a great DIY-er, so that has helped save us a lot of money! Thanks so much for following along; I hope to post a few pictures of our progress soon :)

  4. Congratulations! You have so much work to do, but I am sure in the end it will be perfect.

    1. lol, yes we do! A lot of the hard stuff is already done, but the list seems never ending... we hope it is close to perfect! :) Thanks Marijana

  5. Congratulations, you'll have so much fun making this yours! It sure is creepy right now though... you are a brave soul! :o)


    1. HAHA! This made me laugh...yes, it was sooo creepy! was mostly the price and location that attracted us to it ;) Thanks Tania!

  6. I am new to your site but feel compelled to follow along now and see your house progress. Love your faith and energy.

    1. Yay! So glad to have you following along...It definitely helps motivate me to do projects when I know that people are waiting to see the progress. Thanks Wendy :)

  7. So exciting to own your first home and this one has some good potential! Looking forward to seeing your journey as you share it with us!

  8. Buying your first house - such an exciting and scary time.

    We are in our third home and have been here for 18 years. We have done so much and still have so much to do.

    Enjoy the journey!

  9. I really enjoyed the tour of your home. Its so nice to see a project thats more realistic. So many of the homes featured in magazines and blogs are way out of my price range. I am looking forward to watching your progress.

  10. Love that huge tree in the front of the house. Don't ever think of chopping it down. Not only will it give you privacy, you will be amazed how much shade it will cast on your house when the hottest part of summer rolls in. It looks like you guys already found your dream house, enjoy the many years of memories ahead.