This is the suburban Minneapolis house that I bought (all by myself) in 1997. I signed the purchase agreement, and a few days later my parents came up to see it. I took them on a tour, and they tried to convince me to get out of the deal before the closing date. Looking at the exterior, you can probably see why.
What you can’t see here is the interior, which had been completely redone. New carpet, custom cabinets in the kitchen, hardwood floors in the bedrooms, and a glass block window in the tub/shower. It looked nice, and I liked it even though it was only 640 square feet. Yep, it was TINY!
I dreamt about this house last night. In my dream, J.P. and I had bought the house back . . . apparently without looking at it. When we moved in, we found that the kitchen counters were too low. They were about table-height, and the sink was only about 18 inches off the floor. How am I supposed to do dishes in that sink?!? (The house didn’t have a dishwasher when I lived there.)
Then I noticed that someone had installed a dishwasher. They’d cut a hole in the wall about three feet off the ground and stuck the dishwasher in it. No trim around it, no water source, nothing. Just shoved it right in there until the door was flush with the wall. I’m not sure how the whole dream came about, but it was weird.
When I actually lived there, I did make some improvements to the outside. My parents and their neighbors helped me paint the exterior, I had new windows installed, and I got rid of those horrible shrubs and did some other things around the yard. Here’s what the house looked like on the day I moved out (click either picture to view the Flickr notes and see exactly what was done):
Because my parents thought the place was a dump (they weren’t completely wrong), I worried the entire time that I lived there. What if I can’t sell it? What if no one wants to buy it? What if I take a loss on the sale? What if, what if, what if?
Here’s a question I didn’t consider: What if it sells the first day it’s on the market? I shouldn’t have worried all that time, because that’s exactly what happened. It went for $5,000 more than the asking price, and $33,600 more than I’d bought it for three years earlier. I was so relieved! And the profit enabled J.P. and me to buy the house we have now.