Open House

We started our journey to find a house in March of 2011. Our lease on our apartment was coming up to an end and if we wanted to resign we would have to be locked in for another year. That really didn't sound appealing since we did not know if we wanted to buy a house or not within that year. That brought up the idea, why not just try and buy a house now? It was a novel idea with the housing market being a complete buyers market after the housing crash.

We knew going in we could only afford a house $100,000 or less so we began looking at foreclosures in the northern Milwaukee suburbs. We wanted to find something in the Brown Deer area since it was still close to downtown and yet far enough out we could still enjoy some peace and quiet. We literally didn't where to start other than that.

Max contacted the "bank of Dad" and made an agreement to have $10,000 for a down payment and any house repairs at the same interest rate the bank ends up giving us. This gave us some play room and we began our search. We found a buyers agent, Jeremy Rynders, to help us with our search. For those of you who don't know what a buyers agent is (since we didn't), they are basically a middle man who can show you any property on the market, you pay them nothing, then they get commission from the final sale from the seller. Win-win for you! Jeremy sent a huge list of homes in the area we wanted that were in our price range. 

We ended up seeing about seven or eight but when we saw this one we were overjoyed. The kitchen was the selling point. It was huge with tons of cabinet space. Max and I looked at each other and just knew. They were asking $84,000 for it which was a steal to begin with. I asked Jeremy what a realistic offer would be and he said $82,000 and we went with it. He sweetened the deal buy writing in the contract that the seller would pay $1,500 of the closing costs dropping the price to $80,500 for us (almost $20,000 below our budget!). Our offer was accepted on March 14, 2011. 

The only catch with the house was since it was a foreclosure not owned by a bank but by the federal government's Housing and Urban Development office we had a lot of red tape to get through to get through. After a month a half of running around getting crazy papers signed and getting things tried to get approved for a house we didn't own, we were getting really overwhelmed.

Our apartment lease ended on April 30th, 2011 and we were officially homeless until we could close the following week May 6th, 2011. We were very fortunate to have wonderful friends Dustyn and Tiffany who took us and Turk as extended house guests. It was great to finally get the keys (then change the locks).

And the story begins!

Front Yard - Before

Front Yard - Progress

Backyard - Before

Backyard - Progress

Living Room - Before

Living Room - Progress

Kitchen - Before

Kitchen - Progess

Bathroom - Before

Bathroom - Progress

Master Bedroom - Before

Master Bedroom - Progress

Guest Bedroom/Office - Before

Guest Bedroom/Office - Progress

Half Bath - Before

Half Bath - Progess

Basement - Before

Basement - Progress

Garage - Before

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