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Our First Home - A Foreclosure

It was November of 1993 when I started on my own search for a home. Months before, I had seen a picture in the newspaper of a two-story looking home and posted the picture on my refrigerator. My hopes were to one day be one of the first home buyers and have a home similar to the picture.

I began my search with a real estate agent and looked at many homes which were not what I wanted. Until the day we stumbled across a home which seemed too nice for us to afford. How crazy was was the same house I had posted a picture of on my refrigerator just months before.

My real estate agent could not get in the house as it was being foreclosed and the owner of the house would not let us in. The real estate agent wouldn't give me the paperwork of the bank who now took over the house.

I was very disappointed as this house was in a fabulous neighborhood and the asking price was within our price range but still a bit high for our budget.

That evening, I was looking over the house specs from the sheet the real estate agent gave me. He did not realize that the name of the bank was on the sheet so I called the woman at the bank and told her that I wanted the house. She said, "but you have not even seen the house" to which I replied, "I don't care, we want it".

My husband and I looked at the house and loved it. It had a huge back yard, very modern kitchen and huge master bedroom. Although the other two rooms were small but it did not was what we wanted!

It had a double wide garage fitting 3 cars and built-in cabinets in the garage as well as built-in cabinets in the den as well as a "bar". So, with a few hundred dollars down, we closed on the house in late November and moved in the house in January 1994 with a baby and his older sister. We are still there today and had 3 more kids to share it with!

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Buying a Fixer-Upper Home

When my family decided to move, we agreed we wanted a smaller house, something charming and “cozy”. This meant that we looked for months because anything that wasn’t huge was extremely small.

We had several options, but there seemed to be something wrong with each of them. Finally, we decided to go with our gut instinct. As it turns out, this was the house that needed the most work.

The house was adorable on the outside with a big bay window in front, a nice little porch, and plenty of yard for flowers and plants and such. However, the inside was a completely different story.

The kitchen had brown linoleum that sounded like velcro when we walked across it. The living room had poofy white carpet, white walls, white built-ins, white popcorn ceiling, white everything. The hallways were okay, but the bedrooms had the same poofy white carpeting. With the exception that in the bedrooms it was dirty and needed replacing.

In a lot of ways, it looked like a nightmare. However, we bought it.

We spent a lot of time replacing carpet and knocking out a wall to make a doorway. We added on to the closet to make it a walk-in. We also had to put down tile in the bathroom and kitchen because of the horrible linoleum. This is where we thought it would end. We were wrong.

The kitchen wall caved in because they walled up a chimney, spewing bricks over and around the kitchen table. The upper part of the bathroom shower began to collapse because they didn’t use the right kind of sheet rock.

The bathroom floor began to sink because they didn’t use the right kind of joists underneath. Overall, it was kind of a nightmare, but we still love the house. Our real estate agent even brought us a cute decorative plant as a housewarming gift for all the trouble.

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