Welcome To Our Abandoned, Ranch-Style Home

They say to buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. We took their advice.

Two months in, I still can’t decide if we’re crazy or brave.

You know that feeling when someone accidentally walks in on you while you’re in the bathroom? The panicked “hey hey hey” that rises up to let them know, “dude, you don’t want to see what you’re about to see.”

That’s the feeling I have about showing you our house. I’m not ready, it’s not pretty, but hey it’s happening.

I’m breaking the ice and am giving you a glimpse into our new home! This isn’t the polished home tour I was hoping for and I’ll explain why in a minute. It’s been a wild ride and I hope you’ll be gracious and feel welcomed into our real life as we navigate this new-to-us home.

Home Details

Ta-da! We bought a lime green, 90’s, ranch-style home with 2500sqft, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an unfinished basement. It has a large backyard with garden boxes already installed. I instantly loved the green and blue funky exterior with orange brick. Plus, a front porch and a front facing driveway are major perks.

living room, dining, kitchen, and basement stairs. painting in progress.

The kitchen and dining room are a more central part of this home compared to our previous home. I’ve always wanted a kitchen window looking into the backyard too.

The finished upstairs is 1200sqft. The unfinished basement will become multiple guest spaces, another family room, a kitchenette, an additional bathroom, and possibly an office space. I’d like to eventually move our laundry room to the basement to expand our small kitchen.

kitchen and laundry room to the right

Unfortunately, the house is in much worse condition than we expected.

We had grand plans to replace the floors, purchase new furniture, or finish the basement right away, but our closing costs were higher than expected at the last minute and there were some major issues we had to address to get our house comfortable first.

entryway painting in progress

We bought an abandoned home?!

We found out from a neighbor that the house has been sitting empty… for a year. And before that, the family living here neglected it hard core.

We had no idea when we bought the home, but definitely see evidence of that now that we’re living in it.

Our initial excitement about the house wore off within a few days once we realized the scope of work it needed. I wouldn’t say we regret choosing this house, but we’ve been feeling overwhelmed.

living room styling and blanket fort in progress

The day we moved in our basement flooded.

We quickly discovered that our AC, dishwasher, and dryer were broken too. There was something smelly and melted in the washing machine. The interior floors were so dirty our feet were turning black at the end of the day. Kitchen cabinets and drawers were broken. The kitchen cabinets were so sticky I couldn’t unpack moving boxes until I wiped them clean.

The “new flooring” and trim are all poorly installed, chipping, and cracking. Everything needs a few coats of paint on it and a good scrub. There’s a lot of work ahead of us in this house!

The neighborhood pool we were promised access to enlightened us that we were misinformed and couldn’t join. The yard is full of broken glass, broken toys, sand, and pure weeds.

We knew the house would need some help, but we didn’t expect it to be this bad.

hall bathroom

Updating Progress

Fast forward to today our home is feeling almost functional and clean.

We planted grass seed in the backyard and fixed our major appliances. Every day we tackle something to repair or replace. The Giving Everything A Coat Of Paint Marathon has begun.

We’re still unpacking, settling on the right layouts, and picking out furniture for the day we can afford it. We’re a little stuck with what we have in terms of furniture because of all the major fixes this house needed right away and higher closing costs. It’s not the best fit but we’ll make it work.

primary bedroom
bedroom 3
fresh paint in the primary bathroom made it slightly better

I’m feeling less panicked about making everything look/feel better for now. I’m ready to slow down and take my time designing and updating our home for the long term.

So WHY did we choose this house?!

Answer: the price, the neighborhood, the schools, and the city! I love love love the area we’re in. My friend wisely said you can change lots about your home, but you can’t change the neighborhood.

This home checked lots of boxes for me. Front porch, big yard, 1800+ sqft, front driveway, established neighborhood, close to a city, close to open spaces/hiking, quality windows, over 20 years old, in our budget, and more.

flooded basement

There’s tons of potential to increase the financial value of this home, but also for it to be a place we enjoy as a family for years to come.

The more projects we do, the more walls we paint, the more lights we replace, it will feel more like us. Building a home, making it our own, establishing roots here.

so. many. weeds. when we moved in.
prepping for grass seed and adding additional flower beds

We’ll be fixing up this house, one project at a time. With an ordinary budget and doing the work ourselves.

We’ve already done a few projects this summer that I can’t wait to show you. Follow along on Instagram for daily project updates!

sneak peak of our kids’ new room

We truly believe there’s so much good that will come from this house. It’s takes vision, but I trust we’ll get there. Cosmetic issues are fixable, but neighborhoods and cities aren’t easily changed. We’ll make this home our own. I tried not to hold too tightly to finding “the perfect house” and I love where we ended up.

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