July 21, 2012 by megmstephens
This might be the third or so blog that I have started in my life. It’s always so intimidating- what do I have to say that is important? Or that someone else might be interested in reading? And the hardest part is coming up with a title. I feel like the future success of the blog could hang in the balance if you don’t pick a good one. I agonize over layouts, colors, and all the details that just get in the way of actually blogging.
I hope that this time around I will stick with the blog. I have a pretty cool project going on at the moment and for the foreseeable future, which will be my topic. I think part of the reason that none of my other attempts at blogging stuck were because I wasn’t doing anything that was interesting to others. I was bored with myself, actually. About a year ago I started to fix that. I didn’t want my life to be a series of phases where I was just waiting around for the next phase to start and not doing the things I have always wanted to do.
It started with wanting to focus on getting out of debt. Once you are no longer financially obligated to anyone, your time and your life can really become your own. Debt is really the reason that we drone through the days and weeks, trading our time for dollars that we give to someone else. I kept thinking to myself, what would I choose to do with my days if I didn’t have to work? And the answer was always about creating something. I have a long list of crafty-type things that I have picked up and set back down over the years, starting with quilting and ending most recently with crocheting. I was never happy with those types of creating so my phases didn’t last long. What I really wanted to do was build houses. Or renovate houses. Or both.
Trying to reduce debt meant that Husband and I sold our house in late 2011 to move close to my workplace. After commuting an hour each way for 3 years, walking 2 blocks seems luxurious. I gained back 10 hours a week by cutting down the commute, and we’re saving a ton on gas and even sold our second car, so we only have one car between the two of us now. With all this extra time I regained, I was getting antsy to find something to pour my energy into. And more importantly, I wanted to make tangible progress towards my goal of building a house from the ground up someday.
I happened to be on the Realtor.com website in mid-May, 2012, looking at a house that someone I knew was buying. A tired-looking and mistreated house came up at the top of the list, with an asking price of $7,900, while I was trying to find the friend’s house. It was close to my work, potentially very charming from the outside, and within reach for us to pay cash for it. Husband and I had made a promise to each other when we sold our first house that we would never enter into so much debt for a house again. And here was the seemingly-perfect project for me to make some progress towards my dreams and not cause us to be unstable financially.
So I bought that house on June 1st, for a final total of $7,200. In the future, when it is fixed up and finished, we could potentially be living there only having to pay our utilities. For now, though, it needs a lot of work and I spent a lot of my spare time is spent right now measuring twice and sometimes making some cuts. I’ll be updating this blog as I go along through the renovations. My next post will have lots of pictures of the house, but for now I’ll just post this:
*Lems is a friend of mine who told me I could do better after starting a crappy photobucket account for pictures of this house. He encouraged me to find something that would work for the topic and do a better job of sharing our progress, problems, and successes. Thanks for reminding me that settling for less than your best is not an option, Lems!