Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Our Journey Home: This is where we started.

When I tell people we are building a home, I usually get something along the lines of:

"Have you lost your mind? I hope your marriage survives this." 
"Aren't you so excited?  You are going to have so much fun handpicking every single thing for your new house!" 

I agree with both so I just nod and say "pretty much" to either. Because they're both true, and honestly I do feel like it will put a tiny bit of strain on my marriage but we will have fun during the process as well.  Devin & I have similar tastes when it comes to what we want, and we've already renovated an older home without killing each we should be golden when it comes to building one from the ground up.  I hope.

I have always found blogs about building and renovating homes really interesting.  Especially the honest, detailed ones.  Maybe because we have renovated one in the past, and are building one now...I don't know.  I just know it's pretty neat to watch the whole process unfold from the ground up and I've learned a lot from 'building bloggers.' 

I'm not a huge fan of telling our financial biz to the world, but I think it's super helpful when the cost breakdown and steps are shown on these blogs, so newbies can get a general idea of what they will have to dish out for everything before they decide to take the leap into building a home.  Plus, all of this info is in the local paper so if you know us...all you have to do is look up the local deed transfers and building permit records and it will be right there in plain sight.  So since I have no control over that and it's already out there for the locals to see, I might as well share it on here too.

I am going to be honest and detailed with my posts about our new home.  I plan on venting all of my frustrations and whining about the crappy parts, as well as spewing my excitement and showing off the exciting parts.   I will reveal every single detail on here, and I hope you don't puke because you get sick of hearing about it.  Bear with me people, it's going to be a long ride...but I hope you'll come along because I'm so excited that my insides are freaking back flipping right now.

So this is where I'm going to start.  How did we get here? 

Devin traveled with a nuclear company for 3 years before we got married and built his credit and saved enough money to buy and renovate this home.  Just a charming little 1200sqft fixer upper in the middle of town for $94,000.  It needed everything re-done.  But we saw the potential, and since I was a Junior in college with a part time job...he took the plunge and bought it on his own at the age of 20. 
(This is the best picture I could find of it because we didn't take any pics pre-renovation.  I know, not smart.)
A new roof, new windows, new doors, new railings, duct work, heat pump, landscaping, stacked rock fireplace & gas logs, privacy fence, stripped and renovated interior, concrete driveway, stamped concrete sidewalk, 300sqft addition plus so much more later. 
We had this....



It turned into a charming and cozy home and we enjoyed it for 5 years before we started feeling like we had outgrown it.  It was hard for me to handle the idea of possibly letting it go because it was our first home.  All of our first memories with Kollyns are there, and our heart was there.  But I knew we would have to move on eventually, and the idea of 1500 more sqft plus closet space and storage (which we had none of) was pretty appealing to me.

We listed it in April of 2013 with a realtor and it was sold by August for $155,000.  Based on the unsteadiness of the current market, we got one heck of an amazing price for our home and I was happy to let it go for 155.  But if you take into account the fact that we spent almost $50,000 renovating it, and refinanced once to cut down the mortgage term, then paid the realtor... we didn't really make much of a profit.  But we did clear a good amount of money to use for our new home, plus the low house payment while we lived there allowed us to save a lot as well.

I have my husband to thank for getting us started off right at a young age and investing our money into something we could sell for a return later.  Renovating was a pain in the butt and I hope we never have to do that again, but I'm very thankful we were able to get out of our home what we put into it. 

And that's why we are able to build right now. YAY!

And for now we are living in a rather gigantic empty house owned by one of our family members, so we don't have to pay rent and we are able to save money while we build.  It makes me miss our cozy little house...I'll always miss it.  But I'm getting pretty excited about all of the memories we will make in the new one. :)

Next Up:  Choosing Land & House Plans


sara said...

You guys did such a great job -- I'm definitely looking forward to following your journey here. There is so much I'd like to do to our current house, but for now have to live vicariously through people like you :)

Hillary Quinn said...

AhhhMAzing! Look at that transformation, that's seriously amazing. I love it. And y'all did it together and are now building a new home together. Not much better than that :) I agree, I'm also vicariously living through you so please document to your little hearts desire!!

Kelsey Almond said...

Thank you Sara! I'm so glad you will be following along with me! This is SUCH a learning process for me! I also need honest opinions so when I start throwing around ideas for the new house feel free to give me some input! :))

Kelsey Almond said...

Yayy! So glad you liked our reno work. It was quite an undertaking but we learned so much! And it did grow our relationship alot! Please do, and I'm calling on you too...I need opinions throughout this process! I'm counting on ya girlfriend! :))

Amy Kruszec said...

I'm excited for ya'll! I love all things HGTV and home décor so this is right up my alley. Your hubby is very smart for doing those things early on! You guys are blessed to have the opportunity to save while it is being built as well, so don't worry! You may experience normal minor stressors during this process but even if it is a not so minor stressor, you guys have each other! Can't wait to see what you guys do because judging from your first home it is going to be awesome! Good luck, I will keep you guys in my prayers that this will be a happy process with no hiccups for a very deserving couple!

Kelsey Almond said...

Amy, you are awesome! Thank you! I'm so excited but I know it will really work on our patience! ;) We will definitely grow together through this exciting yet decision-filled season, and I think I'm prepared to deal with the stressors (I hope)! But I'm excited to look back on here once it's all said and done and remember my thought processes and re-watch the whole journey as it unfolds! So happy you'll be joining me! :)