The last home we bought (and later sold) was a foreclosure. We first lost it in an open HUD auction, but later won it by sealed bid.The home had been stripped of everything that could be removed - light fixtures, switch-plates, you name it. Even the carpet was ripped up in most of the house.
What we thought was the foundation for a storage building in the backyard turned out to be a swimming pool covered with rebar and plywood...and partially filled with thick, green, slimy water.
I was afraid of what we'd find hidden in that water.
But we wanted this house. I was pregnant and we could see this would be a great home for a growing family. That backyard had so much potential, even before we realized it had a swimming pool! We bid high to make sure it became ours...and we never intended to leave.
Famous last words, right?
My husband, Tom, is a master handyman, but even with him doing most of the work, we put a lot of money into the house before we sold it ten years later. New carpet, light fixtures, switch plates, paint, French doors to replace the back door, a laundry room with cabinets, custom bookshelves filling the walls on either side of the fireplace...the list goes on. I can't even remember most of it.
Out back, we planted crape myrtles and miniature roses. A deep covered deck ran the length of the house. After acid-cleaning the pool, Tom built a beautiful curving fence around it and the foundation for a gazebo. The kids also had a cool tree fort and swing set.
It was tough to leave that house. It's where we raised our three children for ten years. Christmases. Birthdays. Swimming parties. So many memories and so much time, money, and effort went into making it a home.
We weren't just emotionally attached: we also wanted to get some of the money back we had sunk into that home over the years, so we argued with our Realtor about the price. Bless her heart, she gave up and listed it higher than the comps suggested for our neighborhood.
Thank goodness, the right buyer came along who recognized the house had great features that would cost a lot more anywhere else. But now that I'm seeing it from the perspective of a Realtor, I know we just got lucky.
But I still dread the day we have to sell this home we built from the foundation up...
What about you? Have you made any of these mistakes?
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