April 28 - First-time Homebuyer
Being a first-time homebuyer in this market was… a little crazy to say the least! I started working as Wendy’s assistant last July and started learning all about Real Estate from a back-end, bystanders point of view. It wasn’t until November of 2020 when Wendy helped enroll me in a Real Estate Pre-License course to get the process of getting my license started. At the beginning of January, I was finally fully licensed and ready to jump right in.
My first venture into real estate happened to be finding a home for me and my boyfriend, Chandler! I got to be my own guinea pig! After submitting four different offers, and going to see countless homes all over the Treasure Valley, we finally found a little townhouse in Boise that needed a LOT of work.
It was well below our set budget, which felt refreshing after months of finding nothing but rising prices and starting to get priced out of the market. When we went to see the house for the first time, I have to say, it took a bit of imagination to see the potential. The place was a mess, it smelled awful, and needed more than just a little TLC. But being the eager, young couple we are, we of course snatched it right up.
After we officially closed on February 19th, we got right to work. We immediately ripped all of the gross carpets up, painted odor and stain-blocking KILZ on the cat pee-stained subfloors, sold the kitchen appliances, and the stairlift that came with the home and started cleaning EVERYTHING. I spent an entire day scrubbing splattered grossness off of every surface in the home. Walls, cupboards, etc. We hired an asbestos remediation company to scrape the old popcorn ceiling, and a contractor to tear down a wall (which we had been told was load-bearing, but turned out to be an addition) that closed off the living room and blocked that beautiful, natural brick wall. Chandler’s dad drove down to help us replace our breaker box and update some electrical work in the house. We also hired a tile worker to lay tile in our bathroom, and another contractor to level our uneven bathroom floors, and install our new tub and shower. Once that was done, Chandler hung new drywall in the bathroom, and I got to work painting. I bought 14 gallons of white paint and slapped it all over the walls. After the painting was finally complete, Chandler installed our new laminate wood flooring! Finally, it’s all starting to look like a real house.
Writing it all out makes the process sound much easier, but of course, no home renovation goes as smoothly as you think it will, and not without many delays and holdups. Our initial move-in date was March 26, (which was the day we had to be out of our rental.) Our landlord graciously allowed us to stay an additional few days until the 31st, but our house still didn’t have floors or a bathroom so we packed up and moved in with a friend of ours. Finally, on April 17th, the day we finally laid the last piece of flooring, we moved in. Everything took longer than we had expected, the painting alone took a few weeks to complete, and floors, another few weeks. We both work full time and haven’t taken a single weekend off in the past eight weeks.
We still have baseboards to do, doors to hang, a few appliances to install, and a house to unpack, but we’re getting there! It’s been such a fun adventure and an amazing learning experience for me. And that’s the story of two people that have no clue what they’re doing, utilizing YouTube’s help on most things, renovating a home (mostly) all on their own.