Monday, August 1, 2016

Our Fixer Upper

Team Southards closed on a home in Ohio! What an almost 2-year journey this has been. We never imagined it would take so long to find a home here, it has been quite an experience. The home is a complete fixer upper, in fact if I would have seen this house 2 years ago I would thought this was a great opportunity for someone else, but we aren't renovation people and this house is a dump!  Well, we now own the dump.

I started a post with all the details and lessons we have learned these last 2 years, but it is taking awhile to finish up. (One of those posts you actual put thought and reflection in to). So I am jumping ahead to this house and will finish that post later.

The home was a foreclosed Fannie Mae property. The back story is the home was built in 1973 by a retired cop. It is a very solid built, brick wrapped home. Everyone who knows homes and has walked through this home talks about how solid it is.  The gentleman and his wife who built the home, took great care of the home (inside and out, we are told it had the most beautiful flower gardens) for over 30 years, until passing away and leaving the home to their son. Unfortunately the son was not able to maintain the home and the bank took it back at the beginning of this year.

Listing picture
I saw the home listed for a couple weeks before we even looked at it. The first picture on the listing was not very appealing. Being a Fannie Mae home, the pictures were poor and there were no pictures of the property. There was also no sign posted in the front yard. I believe if there was a sign in the yard, the home would have had more traffic. People would see the property and be interested in the opportunity. The listing price was also in a range that those who could afford that price, could not afford the amount of money needed for renovations.  There are many brick ranches built in the early 70's in this area, so this home's listing could have been easily seen and quickly passed over. I did that a few times, before I started looking further into this property.

When we finally walked through the home, I was so excited! A few of the selling points for me. Those front windows you can see in the picture are 6 feet tall! All the windows in the house are very generously sized. There is one wall dividing the kitchen and the living area that I knew we could take down that would allow for an open floor plan. I could stand in the kitchen and see the whole front and back yard. The property is 4 acres but is narrow so it can all be seen from inside the living area. Looking at the google maps picture, the road is at the very bottom of the picture and our property runs along the tree line. Our home is set between 100-150 yards off the road. We own the whole woods behind our home, to the top of the picture.

I also had a vision to vault the ceilings in the kitchen/dining/living area. We are waiting for quotes this week to find out if that is a reality or not. I would really love to vault the ceilings but not at the expense of breaking our renovation budget.

Besides the property, the open concept potential and the windows, the last selling point for me was walking into the mudroom. The garage and mudroom were added in the 80's. Very few new homes have such a large mudroom, let alone a modest ranch built in the 70's. For a family with kids, this is amazing! In our current rental we have been in since moving to Ohio, the door from the garage is right into our family room/kitchen area. I hung 3M hooks trying to find temporary systems for our family, but half of them have fallen down and we have a constant battle with back packs, shoes and jackets in the winter. The mudroom had me sold.

It is a 2300 sq ft ranch with a full unfinished basement that we plan on finishing and adding a bedroom and bathroom for guests. There are 3 generous bedrooms upstairs. The boys will be sharing and the girls will be sharing.

I will do another post soon with renovations plans, and finish up more of the whole housing story. But without further ado, here are the before pics of "The Dump" (the bank did clean the house up before they listed it, so it isn't as bad as it could have been)

Looking out from house to front yard - trees are full or leaves now, this was taken a few months ago

View of backyard from deck

Front room to the right when you walk in front door. Those are the 6 foot windows! Gold shag carpet

Looking back towards the front door

Kitchen on the back side of the front room wall

The door to the right is the mudroom/laundry room and the railing is for the basement stairs

Looking towards the kitchen from the 1/2 bath at the end of the mudroom. Garage door to left and door to backyard to the right.
Hall towards bedrooms - left of the front door
Girls room with cherry red carpet

Boys room with avocado green carpet

Kids bathroom complete with a blue tub and blue carpet!
Master bedroom

Master bedroom with Barney purple carpet!

Master bathroom that is the size of a postage stamp. I do not think someone could enter the tiny shower to the right while someone was going to the bathroom
Full unfinished basement with a shuffle board
I am happy to say that almost EVERYTHING will be stripped out of this house! Demo started this past weekend!


  1. That looks like a ton of fun turning it into your own! Very happy for you guys. Any plans for the land?

  2. So excited to follow your Reno process!!! Hope you keep posting about it! Miss you all! Xoxox