Do We Have What it Takes to Take on a Fixer-Upper?

We just bought our 5th home in 12 years of marriage! Four of our homes were “fixer-uppers”. We really don’t intend on buying “fixers”, or buying and selling houses so often. It’s just always worked out that way for some reason or another. For anyone who doesn’t know, we lost our home in the Paradise Camp Fire 18 months ago today.

Our most recent home purchase was probably the smoothest sale we’ve ever experienced. Which was truly a gift from God because I was not in the right frame of mind for dealing with the stress that is usually involved in a real estate transaction. I think it’s because deciding to buy another house puts a proverbial nail in the coffin of losing our last house in the fire. I have been comparing everything we have looked at over the past 16 months to the house we lost. Absolutely nothing can compete with the memory I have of that house. And honestly, the house itself and the stuff inside it wasn’t all that great. But the memories that were held within its walls are priceless. The birthday parties, play dates, Thanksgiving dinners, marking the kids heights on the walls, stargazing on the back deck, jumping on the trampoline, planting a garden, chopping wood, watching wildlife, family Bible studies, baby showers, etc… etc… etc… Somehow the physical structure, and the things, and the memories, and the dreams all get tangled up in my head. They blend together and the emotions over one get attached to them all. Even though it might not be true, it feels like letting go of the house and buying another one is somehow going to dim the memories. Letting go is hard.

On top of that whole emotional roller coaster, we have been walking around with a big chip on our shoulders. Because we lost our home in the fire, we felt like we deserved a better house than the one we had before. We wanted a newer house, a bigger house, a bigger yard, a better view, you get the idea. The truth is, we are just like anyone else, we deserve what we can find in our price range… and that’s what we got… and it’s a bit of a “fixer”.

Now to be clear, I’m not talking about anything major. The house is structurally solid. It has been beautifully and lovingly cared for by its previous owners. We won’t be taking on any big construction projects. There are just a few aesthetic things that don’t fit exactly what we were looking for. It the upcoming weeks I’ll plan on showing you some before and after photos of our remodel projects. I’m sure we will learn many things along the way.

Our first project is removing a few kitchen cabinets to open up the space between the kitchen, family room and dinette. I just looked up the word “dinette” and it refers to a small space near the kitchen for informal dining. You see that? I learned something already!

Kitchen – Before

As always, thank y’all so much for reading, following, or stopping by for a visit!

🏡 Have you ever done a house remodeling project? If so, what was it or which project was your favorite?

🏡 Do you have any tips or advice before we get started?

16 thoughts on “Do We Have What it Takes to Take on a Fixer-Upper?

  1. It must be so difficult to let go. You will always cherish those memories. But, congratulations, friend! I am glad the sale went smoothly and I think that space will be beautiful after you open it up 🙂 I have never done home reno, I don’t know if I’m brave enough! Best of luck!!

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  2. We’ve done two total renovations our home in Chiswick, West London and our current home in France. I managed the projects and do lots of planning and preparation beforehand because changing things once work has started = extra expense. I brought both projects in on budget. My husband steers well clear. Workmen, of course, like to refer to the « man of the house » but I always make it clear that I’m the one who needs to be happy with their work, as I’m the one paying the bills. I try to develop a good working relationship with the trades so that we can continue to work together in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow Sheree that’s impressive!
      What a great tip to develop good relationships with whomever is doing work in your home. I love that! My husband has a friend who is not only a great friend but also a very gifted general contractor. When he’s not already booked a year in advance, he squeezes us in for a project or two!

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  3. Congratulations! I have lived in two houses that needed re-models. Two which were near 100 years old. The only advice I can give to any project is that “you can’t eat an elephant in one bite.” I remember re-painting kitchen cabinets THREE times (the 2nd time because I changed my mind on the color–go figure, and the 3rd, the countertop came in and the colors were NOT what I had expected with the color I secondly picked out–oh my!). And now….I have the R.V. 😉 I lived in the same two houses for 13 years. And then moved 6 times in 10 years. I’ll be sending prayers! What exciting times!

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    1. lol 😂 great tip K! It is never a good idea to try and eat an elephant in one bite! I will definitely keep that in mind because I often look at a whole herd of elephants and try to fit them all on a salad plate!

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  4. Since I am a newer subscriber, I wasn’t aware that your previous house burned down until the last post (or so). That is sad; however, all those memories there are simply wonderful. Best wishes in your new home. I look forward to seeing your projects – especially the before and after pictures. I am a big fan of HGTV – especially Fixer Upper and Home Town. I like the ones which are more practical and don’t cost an arm and a leg. Good luck and enjoy the day!

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    1. Thank you Betty!
      I also enjoy “Fixer Upper” and I just saw “Hidden Potential” the other night on Hulu. I recently purchased the book “Homebody” by Joanna Gains for inspiration as well. I just love her!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love Joanna Gains, too. We visited Waco, and I do have a post about it, titled “Chambers on a run to Waco”. I hope to visit there again one day, and we hope to visit Laurel (Home Town) in September. Have fun with your new home!

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  5. Now that you are settling in just think of the celebrations you will have to look forward to in this home. All I can say is you have the right guy for versatility. Push forward. Think “adventure” to a phase or a challenge. And the first celebration in this new home is (drum roll please), Mother’s Day! Yippee! You are the first honoree in the new home! Ta-Da.

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  6. You communicated beautifully your loss and what you’re processing. It made me so teary-eyed. So hard . Praying that great healing will continue to come to you all as you can continue to step ahead. I love that you still have each of those treasured memories and they will not be taken from you. Love !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for that compliment. One of the reasons I blog, is to help me process all these intense emotions. I hope and pray that my ramblings might help someone else who feels something similar.
      Thank you 💕 for being an inspiring fellow blogger!

      Liked by 2 people

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