So after only a short visit to Michigan of 10 days, including 5 days on the road, we are back in Oklahoma! The weather wasn't terrible up in Michigan so the house hunt wasn't terrible. We probably looked at 40-50 homes in 5 days. I hate to say this and hopefully I don't make anyone mad, but Michigan is stuck in the 70's, don't ya know! Almost every house we went into had light wood cabinets, orange or green carpet, paneling, and other outdated fixtures. Yuck!
We started at our pink dream house, and it was beautiful! However, the neighborhood was not the area I wanted to be alone in daylight or night time. So we said goodbye, ran to our cars, and drove quickly away. There were many beautiful, inexpensive homes in this area, but running to my car with gun drawn with two kids in tow didn't seem like something I wanted to do everyday! So, we moved on to other areas and homes at the top of our price range. I hated this, because I'm super frugal and did not want to spend this kind of money on a home that still needed updates, but knew that this might be our only option to be able to live in a safe neighborhood.
Our search continued, I went back through time, 90's, 80s, 70's homes and even older outdated homes were thrown into the mix. Nothing really stood out to us. It was very disappointing.....until, one afternoon, the realtor took us to Roosevelt Park! A beautiful town one square mile big in the middle of Muskegon. Homes were beautiful, yards were manicured, playgrounds and parks were in every block, and children and families on spring break were out walking and playing....now this was my kind of neighborhood!
We started to look at homes, most still in the disco era and at the top of our price range. Finally, we came to two wonderful cape cod homes that were to die for. All the updates had been done, we would still need to paint and change some minor things, but these homes were like dream homes compared to what we had seen over the past 5 days. The only problem was that they were really small and at the high end of our budget......could I overcome my thrifty-ness and put an offer in???? We said we would think about them, pray about them, but we still wanted to continue to look at other homes in the area.
So after looking at 6 other homes in this area, she finally took us to two repo homes that were the same style of cape cod homes that we really liked only 1 block away from the two we were praying about. These homes needed carpet, paint, and other minor improvements (like door handles, who takes door handles?) and were only $50,000 each. They were adorable, needed some love, and best of all, we could really, really afford these homes AND could afford to remodel them just how we wanted! One was brown and one was red brick with white siding and shutters. Our wonderful realtor called her office to get more info on the homes and was told that an offer had been put in on the brown sided home, but that the brick house was still available! It was closer to the large park and community center and had nicer homes around it, but they were both perfect.
We left the realtor and went to lunch to talk. We discussed all the homes, their prices, what they needed, and how much time we had. While it would have been nice to walk right into a home and only change paint colors, we didn't feel that that was the best use of the money God had blessed us with to buy our first home. While those homes were nice, they weren't $50,000 nicer or any bigger than these two homes and it wasn't going to take even $10,000 of repairs to make one of these homes our dream home.
So we put in an offer of $45,000 on the cute little red brick house.....and our offer was accepted!!
It has a large living room and dining room, two cute bedrooms on the main level, a huge basement that is half finished in, a huge area in the laundry room for me to have all my sewing and crafting supplies, and the top floor is a large master suite! And.....there is NO paneling, hehe!
So now we just have to wait for our paperwork to be finalized and to get our closing date and then we get to start the fun work!! I can't wait to watch Tom paint, lay flooring, and of course, put on new door handles, while I supervise from the pregnancy throne, hehe! There are many other small things we want to do over the next year to update everything for resale and with a super small mortgage payment every month, we can afford to take the balance of what we had budgeted toward it and put it toward improvements and savings!!
I think that we are most excited about having a home just how we want it while spending our money wisely. We really feel that God blessed us by giving us this wonderful home and hopefully everything will continue to go smoothly. Luckily being a property manager of apartments for the past 3 years has given me experience in many home improvement projects so there are many things we can do on our own and save even more money (isn't God great that He puts you in such learning experiences when you only think you are in a crappy job?). Well, sorry this was so long, but we are excited! I can't wait to post "after" pictures and show off our hard work! Keep us in your prayers!