I should prep you that this post is full of terrible photos, but the story of our first house has such a huge impact on us that I have to share it. It was 2005. I was 20, and Nick was 19 (almost 20) when we bought our first place. We tried to buy a house before we got married, but there weren’t many options on our tiny budget. We were in college full time and worked part time. (Read: We were poor yet still oddly interested in owning real estate.)
We had a short apartment lease and a mere 10 months after we tied the knot this gem popped up on the market right when our home search resumed. (This photo is from our inspection report. Yes I have the inspection report for the house we bought in 2005 but no good photos of my house.) We looked at tons of terrible houses. This one was on the market for a day when we looked at it.
Specs: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 994 square feet, split bedrooms, huge back yard
Hilarious aside when we walked around we were oohing and awing then said, “Where’s the 3rd bedroom?” We wrote an offer that day. There were multiple offers since it was completely refinished inside and priced much lower than market value for a quick sell. Spoiler alert they took ours because they liked that we were a young couple not an investor looking for a rental property. It was one of those meant to be things.
Even though everything was new in the house – paint, cabinets, flooring – all new but definitely not our style. There was lots of peachy brown. Early 2000s neutral happening all over that 994 square feet.
That’s my little sister (who is now 19!!!), our friend Chase (the talent behind this - scroll down to mine), me (representing UT Arlington), and my mom/realtor.
Here’s the other side of the living room just to give you some idea of how small it is. Use my sister for scale. The fireplace is straight up peach. I think this is a classic example of when you pick a paint color with a swatch without sampling it especially when you are going for earthy neutral via a brown tone.
You might be wondering why the house was completely redone and then priced so low. Well word on the street is the seller’s son lived in the house but was having some personal problems that led to some disagreements in the family. Then the house was vandalized. I don’t know how true any of that is, but the fact is everything was replaced and the seller wanted out.
The kitchen cabinets were a strange sort of dead flesh tone that was equal parts terrifying and repulsive. The wall color wasn’t helping that out any. The appliances were bisque but new, so that was a plus. There was a small window over the sink.
Our monthly payment was like $600 which was less than we could have rented a one bedroom apartment even an on campus apartment. It might seem crazy to buy a house on 2 part time incomes while in college, but it was the best decision we ever made.
This (and the first picture) were taken at my sister’s wedding in Mexico about 2 weeks before the real start to the story behind our first house…