You know when you have a dream? The kind that lingers in your brain, slowly simmering on the back burner waiting to be indulged? Mine falls under the name Fixer Upper. I watch HGTV & DIY shows with the same enthusiasm most people watch major sporting events ("NO! I can't believe they replaced those original subway tiles in the hall bath! What a bad call!). Renovating a home is an undertaking I've always entertained- would I do it? In a heartbeat. Could I do it? I hover somewhere between confidence and crushing self-doubt. Sure, I can paint walls, but could I completely rejuvenate a space from the studs on up? Did I want to take that leap of faith only to realize I had no wings and fail miserably?
Luckily I married a awesome man who shares the same dream. Aaron is a mechanically minded man who brings reality and CAD drawings to my wild and crazy ideas. Whenever I have my head in the clouds, he's got both feet on the ground.
The condensed version of our story is as follows: We met in high school and we had a baby. Never mind that it sounds super scandalous (or that we dated for 6 years and enjoyed two years of married life as a couple before we had said baby); its the version Aaron finds the most amusing. Somewhere in there, we both went to college, adopted a dog, and lived for a hot minute in the Deep South (Alabama). Now, we're adding a new chapter to our story. We are officially proud home owners. We own a dump.
I believe the listing said it "needed TLC". It's the whole "fixer upper" package- missing plumbing, a previous squirrel infestation, and a literal cabinet door currently covers a huge hole in the kitchen ceiling. Quaint. We visionary type people have a slightly more pleasant word for the (unsettling) condition of our home: potential. Never mind that there is a carpet covered cat scratching post built directly onto the landing upstairs.The house just felt right. It gave off a vibe that said "I could be everything you'd ever want in a home if you just gave me a little love". So with eyes wide open, we jumped into the project of a lifetime. A whole house renovation. After 6 years of standing vacant, our little home on 10th Ave is being primed for an overhaul.
Virginia Lee Burton wrote a book called "The Little House"- a kids book that Addie and I have read many times.. It's about a little house in the country but as the city grows and surrounds the house, it is abandoned and forgotten.
She looked shabby... though she was just as good a house as ever underneath. Then one fine morning in Spring along came the great-great-grandaughter of the man who built the Little House so well. She saw the shabby Little House, but she didn't hurry by. She said to her husband, "That looks just like the Little House my grandmother lived in when she was a little girl, only that Little House was way out in the country." They found out it was the very same house, so they went to the Movers to see if the Little House could be moved. The Movers said, "Sure, this house is a good as ever..."
There are a few major differences (we're 5 minutes from I-95, the Little House was in the pristine countryside) but all in all we feel the same way about our home as the great-great-grandaughter did- the house on 10th is just as good a house as ever. Built in 1923, the house is nearly 100 years old. But underneath the falling plaster, it's a solid built house, a house we're excited to make our home. Here's to an new adventure... and hoping we don't find any more dead animals under the deck...
photos of the house in the condition we purchased it- "as-is"
Following along on Instagram? Look for #HessFixerUpper