Saturday, April 30, 2011

Welcome to the Parkland Project

Hello World! This is the story of a young couple who after some hard times, had a dream of owning their own home. After the Great Recession, two humbling job losses and career changes, this is how we rebuilt both our lives and our spirits to create our own "American Dream".

The Parkland Project

So who are we? And bear with me, the story is all for the best.

I'm Maureen and my boyfriend Max (possible other blogger if I can get him to be involved and, if so, I will edit all his posts since he is a horrible speller) have know each other for 5 years now (times flies when you are having fun). We met May 26th, of 2006 after my very first Milwaukee Brewers game vs. the Minnesota Twins. I attended school at Winona State University in Minnesota (go Warriors!) but have always been a Wisconsin girl at heart so I like to cheer against any Minnesota team. I had just moved to Milwaukee a couple of months prior and knew very little people here other than my roommates, one of which was my sorority (Delta Phi Epsilon sista foreva!) sister Kate from WSU who had transferred to UW-Milwaukee. After the game, I took a risk and met a man I met on Facebook who was affiliated with Tau Kappa Epsilon at UW-M, a fraternity I was a sweetheart for at my own college. Long story short, Max was out with that guy that night and after chatting we found out we only lived half a block from each other. We started hanging out and after the summer started dating.

Max and Maureen 2006

After about 6 months of fun, Max took an internship at Interpol in DC. We tried the long distance thing but ended up breaking up over changing life paths.

Flash forward a year and a half to the summer of 2008. I get a call out of the blue from Max. He had been living in New Mexico working as a border patrol agent and was now moving back to Wisconsin and wanted to hang out. I was hesitant but agreed. SO glad I did since we basically instantly started dating again. So after a couple of jobs losses and career path changes here we are happily living together.

Max and Moe today

I changed our little family dynamic in September of 2009 when I adopted the cutest/laziest terrier-mix ever, Turk. And yes, he is named after Turk on Scrubs. He is mostly here for comic relief.

At 4 months, Turk Anderson.

So what is The Parkland Project?

We looked at our already tight finances and decided we didn't want to throw our money away on rent anymore. So what to do? One positive thing from the recession was, well at least for home buyers and I feel horrible if anyone who reads this lost their home, that housing has become a complete and utter buyers market. With so many people foreclosed on and so many banks just sitting on properties, the cost of buying a home as a young person looked very attractive. So we decided we were going to put a little sweat-equity in and buy a foreclosed home.

After about a month of searching we found our home; a two bedroom, 1.5 bath ranch-style with a two car garage for $84,000. According to Max's parents, they paid nearly the same for their home in 1980. Thirty years later and one giant recession and that's what you can get a house for. Of course the place needs a little work but that's where the fun and the "project" come in.

So join us as we embark on the next chapter in our lives, massive home renovation!
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