In 2011, we decided it was time to move out of our respective parents’ houses and get a place of our own. We faced the great rent-or-buy debate, and after weighing our options and taking a peek at what was available on both sides, we opted to buy our first home.
I’ve been an avid HGTV viewer for years, and even though I’ve always known that those shows skewed reality, I didn’t really know what we were in for! I shudder thinking back on some of the houses we toured in our journey. One literally looked like the setting of a horror movie. The current owners of another didn’t bother cleaning cat droppings off the basement floor (nice little treat for our realtor’s foot). There was another that I had fallen in love with based on MLS photos, only to be completely dismayed upon visiting the house. The list went on. I had begun to worry that we were being too picky, but despite that, we didn’t want to settle for something that didn’t feel right.
Finally I found a new listing of a (surprisingly) newer house. I had always imagined buying an older home that needed some TLC — renovating and decorating it to create a fabulous home. That’s still a dream of mine, but our first house is a perfect stepping stone. And we’ve found that even a newer (14 years old at the time of purchase) home presented opportunity for change and improvement.
The semi-detached house was a former rental that had basically been “reset” to a basic starting point. The situation had its pros (newly installed laminate flooring, freshly painted walls, etc.) and cons (most of the changes were cheap and, therefore, sloppy).
But the layout worked for us, and we LOVED the massive backyard. Yes, it didn’t have some of the features we had hoped for (like the elusive garage or a walk-in closet), but it was the perfect starting point for us. This has allowed us to develop a sense of exactly what we want for our next house!