The Fixer-Upper

In a couple of weeks Chris and I will celebrate our second anniversary of inhabiting the Lindsay house. A lot has happened in two years.

When we decided to buy a house two springs ago, we knew we’d either be purchasing a condo, a tiny home or a fixer-upper. This was an investment, and a fixer-upper seemed like something we could tackle. So, with tiny Jonathan growing in my tummy, we bought Lindsay and made big plans.

LindsayAin’t she a looker? Summer ’09

Most of Lindsay’s needs were cosmetic (uh, paint job anyone?), and of course we thought we could do everything oh-so-fast. Needless to say, things didn’t happen just the way we planned them to. Though Chris had his summer off and I was able to work on the house evenings and weekends, there was a LOT to do. Just to make the place livable we had to clean and paint every surface (cigarette smoke and dirt covered nearly everything) and that was before we moved in. Then there was a leak in the roof, an entire room to gut and re-do, carpet was pulled up, plumbing issues fixed, etc, etc, etc.

I hated our house for the first many months of being a homeowner. But gradually, gradually me and Lindsay made friends. I think finishing our big back room helped to smooth things over between us.

Now that we’re two years into owning a fixer-upper, I’ve realized a few lessons that maybe I should have figured out before we started this game.

  • Plans change! When we first bought our house, I had a list of things that we would need to fix/change. Half of those are complete, half are still to be checked off. More pressing needs come up as you start the remodeling process.
  • Remodeling is exhausting. If Chris and I had boundless energy, we’d have everything in our house just the way we like it. Since we don’t and hard physical work is well, hard, we’ve got lots of plans that are still plans.
  • Fixer-uppers are time consuming. What happened to all of those free evenings and weekends we had when we were apartment dwellers? Oh yeah, we’re spending them on the roof, on the lawn, in the basement and anywhere else that needs work.
  • Remodeling is rewarding. All of the sweat equity Chris and I have invested into our house has paid off (if only to make me and Lindsay get along). What a joy it is to see the changes!
  • Sometimes DIY is foolish. Full-time employment + marriage + kids + life + DIY home projects = disaster. At some point Chris and I realized that we couldn’t do all of our projects ourselves and retain our Christian virtues. That’s when spending a little bit of money on a pro is a FANTASTIC idea.
Do we regret buying a dump of a house? No way. We’ve learned a lot, now really do enjoy our house, have gotten much more house than we could have afforded otherwise and can hopefully use our home to bless others. Has it been an easy road? No way. But by God’s grace we’ll keep carrying on with the stewardship of our little house, make it better for the next owners and learn a lot in the process.

Lindsay Summer '11                              Still lots to do, but doesn’t her makeover make a difference? Summer ’11
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7 Responses to The Fixer-Upper

  1. Sister Stephanie says:

    Shes lookin pretty good. Travis and I have been house hunting for a while now and while we found some really nice ones, they always seem to be just out of bounds of our loan limit. We are currently bidding on a FanniMae home, which the only thing wrong with it is that it got reposessed. Its ready to move in and perfectly livable with no needs for the major upgrades we’ve seen in alot of these older homes we are looking at. Ill let you know how it goes on this end.

  2. Rachel B. says:

    You all have done SUCH a splendid job! I’d say it’s also been quite the sanctifying experience, eh?

    Way to go, Peeks!

    • acloserpeek says:

      Definitely sanctifying. Thanks for the encouragement! Sometimes I still look around and get down because of the long, long list of things yet to do.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Our first house needed a lot of work, paint, carpets, windows, drywall etc. I remember all of the hard work, but it is a great feeling to be able to look around and see everything you have done. Enjoy the process 🙂 It looks great!!!

    Rebecca Townsend

  4. Jim Comfort says:

    Where’s the pics of the backyard?

    Dad

  5. Terra says:

    It looks fantastic! I’m very proud of the job you’ve done. Especially Christopher…I remember when he couldn’t change his wiper blades 🙂

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