The extent of my home improvement skills stop at interior paint, because you get to pick colors and put them on the wall, and that is fun. And reversible. I once tried to use a small power drill and was told that I was scaring people. David can handle a power tool or two, but to be honest, we would rather take side jobs doing other things and pay someone else to do maintenance and projects around our house. Anyhoo, that is why we wanted a pristine, turn-key property that we could move right into and make our own…the fun way, with furnishings, people!
That being said, the minute I entered our 900 square foot, 3/1 ranch and smelled the fresh paint and new carpet, I was ready to throw down a full price offer. After having seen what our money could get us elsewhere, that is exactly what we did. We came in right on-budget. We gave up a second bath for a brand-new renovated interior and exterior (save the back yard). As the whole world knows, California has more than it’s share of foreclosed properties. This allowed us to actually be able to afford to purchase our place here in Nor Cal, which was previously valued at nearly twice the price we paid…pre-reno. However, don’t get crazy. It’s STILL California, and the demand here for entry-level homes is still hot. We had to beat out five other offers to win this humble little abode, which we did by going in full price and not asking for closing costs.
What I love:
- The smallness makes our mortgage and utility bills manageable.
- It is a lot of fun to be able to decorate each nook and cranny without it being a five year process.
- It is super easy to clean. I can usually deep clean the entire house in a couple of hours, which I do, every Friday! I function so much better when my house is spotless.
- It’s simple, 60’s ranch charm reminds me of the little 3/1 house we lived in when I was a wee girl. In which my parents had six children and kept in gleaming condition. Yes, with one bathroom. (Isn’t it amazing how what we “need” in a home has blown up so much over the past decade?)
- It forces me to be organized (like I’m not obsessively organized already) and not to keep things we don’t need (which I never do anyways). But it’s a great excuse for both.
- My neat freak adores the new squeaky-cleanness of the reno work and finishes. They’re the low end, Home Depot ones. But hey, it’s our first house.
What I don’t love quite as much:
- We don’t have a dedicated guest bedroom because we have a pretty serious home office, aka, Mission Control. (Dave works from home. Trade-off). So guests get to sleep on our comfy sectional and pile their luggage wherever it may land.
- It’s hard to entertain. Our entertaining space is limited to the eat-in kitchen and our living room, and not much space for kiddos to go when friends come over. Soon, we will have an outdoor space though.
- No linen closet. I have to store my extra blankets in plastic bins in my storage area in my garage.
- One bathroom. That’s pretty self-explanatory.
- The back yard. It was the one thing that was not renovated when we moved in. Whoever lived here before poured a little concrete…on about half of the the back yard space. Why. We may never know. It was attacked with a jack-hammer shortly after moving in. (I suppose that all men, no matter how much they detest home projects will jump at the chance to demolish just about anything.)
We love our little nest. Small, yes. Humble, maybe. But as my mom likes to say, “it’s our little piece of the world.”