Hello Readers! We are Carla Tony, and we would like to welcome you to Cheapest House on the Block, a place where we share and you can share everything about your home ownership experience and do it yourself home improvement projects.
For me, it all started back in the fall of 2009 when I was looking for my first place to call home. No matter what everyone says, I found that to be a very difficult task, even though I live in a comparatively small city of about 150,000 people in Colorado, it was difficult to decide about the right location, different neighborhoods, house types, layouts, cost and many more.
I looked at not less than fifty different properties. Luckily, at that point, I had an idea of what neighborhood I wanted to live in and what type of property I liked the most — one-story ranches.
After that, the problem was that ranches seem to be harder to find and more expensive than two-story houses, especially (obviously) in the neighborhoods I liked the most. Another thing was that most of them were huge for me, five bedrooms and three baths anyone? 2000+ square feet? I got frustrated and stopped looking.
I would continue searching online from time to time, I would also get “new matching properties” on my email every few days. Call me picky, but there I was, weeks and months later and I had not found what I was looking for!
A year later, yes, a year, in the fall of 2010, one property showed up on my search results, it was a 1300 square foot, three bedroom and two baths one-story ranch in one of the neighborhoods I was considering. As you may have already guessed it, it was the cheapest one on the block, I was sold! Well, not really, I had to go take a look at it first. It was a newer, early-2000s built house in good condition, I made an offer, and after some negotiation with the seller they finally accepted it, the inspection went well, they approved my loan and in mid-January 2011 I was finally a proud home owner!
MOVING TO THE NEW PLACE & MY FIRST FEW DO IT YOURSELF HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS
Due to some work commitments, I was not able to move to my new home until March first, I didn’t have much furniture, so I ended up making the move by myself. Immediately after moving, I felt the need to start improving the place. As soon as it started to warm up a bit, in April, I completed my first home improvement project ever! I was very proud of myself and I remember boasting and texting pictures of it to my friends and family, they all wanted to hire me.
I completed a few more projects within the next few months, I ended up rehabbing the backyard landscape, remodeling the kitchen and laying tile in the bathrooms and laundry room areas. I had a lot more projects in mind but at the same time, I also started to think about moving to a nicer neighborhood.
LOOKING FOR AND FINDING A NEW HOUSE IN A NICER NEIGHBORHOOD
It all started once again in the fall of 2013, I was lucky – if you want to call it that way – this time, within a few weeks, one house came on the market. It was a late-2000s-built, about the same size one-story ranch with a more open, nicer floor plan and a way better (to me at least) central location, after all, isn’t it about location, location, location when it comes to real estate?
Do not worry, though, this house was also the cheapest one on the block! By a big margin actually, as it is surrounded by way bigger and expensive ones. This time, however, I knew better about what I was getting into, the house had a lot of potential, but it was going to take a lot of work to make it look the way I wanted.
I made an offer, once again, after some negotiation, it was accepted, the inspection went well, they approved my loan and right after New Year’s 2014 I was, for the second time, a proud home owner! Why do I keep buying and moving to new places during the winter? Although many people would argue that you can find better deals at that time of the year, I would say that it was just the way things worked out.
2016 UPDATE: WEDDING AND NEW HOME
In January 2016, I married the love of my life, Carla. I should confess that she’s been the single greatest contributor to the creation and development of this blog. Even before our wedding day, she not only supported and encouraged me when I came up with the idea, but she’s also helped me out with several projects to date. It is no coincidence that she enjoys working on DIY projects as much as I do.
Soon after our wedding day, we moved to our ‘Forever Home’. As crazy as that may sound to some, we believe that we should not need to move ever again! The good news is that this house also needs A LOT of work, which we are completely looking forward to completing, and present to you as we progress.
IMPROVING THE NEW *FOREVER HOME*
On this blog, we show you the few projects I completed on my first and second houses. However, the main focus is to show you the projects we’ve worked on and the ones we’re working on – sometimes more than one at the same time – on our current house. The goal is to share our progress and ideas, hear and learn from your opinions and have a friendly discussion about our different home improvement and do-it-yourself projects.
Thanks for stopping by, we hope that you enjoy going through our projects as much as we do working on them!
Carla & Tony