One of the many things I’m most excited about with this new website and blog duo is that I finally get to share a little more about our adventure in homeownership. Colton and I bought our first home, on Canyon Drive, in April of 2012 after looking at something like one thousand different properties. We had made unsuccessful full-price offers on five separate houses, and by the time Colton left for Afghanistan in February of 2012, I don’t know that he really cared what type of house we came away with, so long as we finally got one.
Fortunately for us, from the start Colton and I shared the same dreams and goals when it came to house hunting. We both knew we wanted something old, with character, that hadn’t been updated. We wanted a place in moderate disrepair, with good bones, and with need for a complete interior overhaul. We knew there was a substantial difference between wanting a kitchen remodel and needing a foundation replaced, and we were definitely shooting for the former.
What we ended up with was a 1942 home in the historic area of town with a newer roof and a solid foundation. It was a perfectly livable house with an overflowing amount of charm.
We also found ourselves with...
- unsealed windows that absolutely, positively could not been seen through (complimentary privacy glass?!)
- functional electrical in only a quarter of the home
- lead paint. lots of lead paint.
- an oil furnace that is really old and really expensive
- zero ceiling, wall, or sub-floor insulation
- olive linoleum from a nauseating 1970’s kitchen update
- a terrible exterior paint job that left neighbors wishing they’d bought a house in another city entirely
And truth be told, it was absolutely perfect.
Simply put, The Canyon Estate was our dream home. It was a fixer upper and, to us, a blank slate to make our house into just the home we wanted it to be. Things don’t always work, but we accept them as just another quirk we can make our own. For a period of about six months the church repeatedly asked if they could adopt our home as their annual summer charity project. It’s funny what happens when you buy a fixer upper and wait to do any fixing until you have the cash. People start to beg you to let them do the work themselves, as if it physically pains them to look at the state of disrepair your house is in.
For nearly two years we’ve been chipping away on the giant to-do list that is our new, old home. We’ve learned repairs always go slower and require more money than we initially estimate. And for some reason aesthetic updates don’t take quite the priority we thought they would upon move-in. I thought we would immediately replace windows and paint the house after closing, but when a new fence for our firstborn pup took priority, the windows, and thus the paint, were put off until we had the pennies. Which evidently was over an entire year away.
I’m excited to share a little of our adventure in the Canyon Estate with you. It’s fun, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we like waiting until we comfortably (and without any additional stress) have the financial ability to make repairs on the house.
And as it turns out, most times that means we’re completely okay living in a home that the neighborhood church fervently insists upon adopting.