We just purchased a new home, well definitely not new it’s 22 years old and a fixer-upper. And as the money keeps flowing out, I have to say we are enjoying seeing the progress. It’s bringing us back to our first house we purchased over 25 years ago. Back then, as first-time home buyers we put $4K down we wanted that house so much it was $71K and it seemed like $500K. But we got it and that purchase would pave the way to where we are now.
Fast forward 28 years and we have owned more than 12 different properties. What we have learned from each one is that you have to do certain things to make the house your own. But always keep in mind resale as well as making a profit on the home, just in case you need to sell.
And the advice I would give clients when I was a real estate agent is “never fall in love with a home” you will invariably pay too much.
For our current home, however, I did not follow that advice, we did pay too much and we did fall in love. 😂
The main reason for this is that this particular property had some unique characteristics. It was the hidden gem in our area, and not everyone would recognize it initially because it also had some issues. But in a hot market, we had to act quickly to scoop it up.
This home is located on a quiet country road that is off the beaten path and very scenic, we have almost an acre of land, and the house has a modern farmhouse exterior that really adds to the cottage charm. Twenty-two years ago it was built totally as a custom home and has some features that make it special. It’s tucked away in the low country of South Carolina, farmhouse-style BEFORE farmhouse was a thing. The home has real heart pine floors, a wrap-around screened-in porch, and oozing with charm.
These features along with improvements that we are making will be a good return/investment if we decide to sell. However, there are no plans for that but you really need to always keep that in mind.
Items that we have done since we purchased 3 months ago were maintenance-type things that were way overdue but will get the home current so we bring it back and add to the value. The HVAC and water heater were original, (22 years old) so had to be addressed almost immediately. We decided to take it a step further and move the ductwork from the ceiling to under the house and cut floor vents to really cool/heat more efficiently. Spending the extra money and thinking long term will be a feature that will provide comfort, but also bring the home to current and acceptable standards.
We upgraded the water heater again the current one was original. We added a laundry room, remodeled the master bath, in the process of painting the whole interior. Upped my game by adding curb appeal to the exterior landscaping by adding grass, shrubbery, shutters, and window boxes. The list is long, but every time we check off something we add 3 more items.
The neighbors are pleased and giving us the thumbs up when driving by our low country cottage, as I have named her. I had never named our home before so this one is the keeper for (in my mind) ever.
So besides location, location, location look for unique upgrades, lot size, exterior features that you can build upon. The importance of finding that hidden gem and making it your own will always bring rewards in the end.