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A Diamond in the Rough

Are you ready to make the leap from renter to home owner? Congratulations! Purchasing a house is a big step and for some it can be absolutely terrifying. In order to make searching for your next home a little less strenuous I will tell you my true story and some things I have learned along the way.

It all began when my husband and I were looking to purchase a house after returning to our hometown. With two young children and 2 dogs, my husband and I needed a place to settle. We came across our current home by fluke on the way to viewing another a few blocks away. We had taken the wrong street and seen this insignificant looking home for sale, with a big backyard. At the time we kept driving.

After being disappointed at the original viewing that day we asked our realtor about the house a few blocks away. Low and behold it was empty! Our agent called the listing realtor and immediately got the OK to see it.

WOW! Can we say blast from the past! When we opened the front door we were met with 70’s décor, including but not limited to shag carpet on both the floor and in some cased the wall, mix & matched paneling and lighting that was out of this world, literally! You may be asking yourself why we even bothered.

The house itself was gently live in by the original owners, the roof was only 3 years old and the house itself was built solid. The back yard was HUGE and located in the area we wanted. After making our important “pro’s & con’s list” my husband and I realized all of the cons were only cosmetic. The changes we wanted were relatively inexpensive to do. For example: under the paneling there was already gyprock screaming to be painted. The lighting could be changed and the shag carpet pulled up.

We had a great opportunity to make this house OURS without having to build and start from scratch. Do you want to know then best part? We bid on this house $40,000.00 under the original asking price and guess what? They accepted our bid! Do you know why? The house sat on the market for just over a year without offers because no one could see the potential behind the paneling and shag carpet. I’m glad we did!

The moral of this story:

Do not be too picky when searching on-line: If you can see beyond the dated décor, snatch the home up and make it yours. If I would have seen this home online I would not be telling this story but I am glad I have learned my lesson.

Thinks can be changed: You may be surprised in your painting ability and will feel a real sense of accomplishment when you step back and look at the finished product.

Never renovated before and you’re not an interior designer? Don’t worry, neither are we but there is a wealth of free information out there online or from department stores like Home Depot. I kept a file folder loaded with pictures I had torn out of flyers and printed from the internet of colors, styles and fixtures I liked. From this we copied the idea or found cost efficient alternatives in order to replicate the style.

Do some research: We did our homework and were familiar with the housing market by looking at a ton of homes and going to open houses. By purchasing a home that wasn’t up to date, my husband and I ended up with low mortgage payments and instant equity. Having said that, you should always have your potential home looked at by a professional inspector before you make the purchase.

I hope that this true story has given your something to consider when purchasing your next property. Good Luck and I hope you find your diamond in the rough!

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask

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