We bought another “fixer-upper” this week. If you’re wondering, it’s actually nothing like the HGTV show. There are more cuss words involved in the real thing. A lot more cuss words. I know that family and friends think we’re crazy, some have said as much. This isn’t the first time I’ve lived in a house that had projects though. It’s not the first time my husband and I have shrugged off the crazy comments and taken the unconventional route to home buying, and it won’t be the last.
In fact, I grew up in several fixer-uppers and those experiences built character like I’m sure my parents never realized it would. It built me in ways that I couldn’t see in the moment. It was annoying at the time. Everyone else lived in a “finished” house. I remember being embarrassed to invite certain friends over because rooms were constantly mid-project at my house. My parents would wake my siblings and me up early on a Saturdays to learn, build skills, and establish an appreciation for the home that we lived in. How dare they! I grew to appreciate those experiences as I got older. In high school and college, I began to see the vision behind what had seemed annoying, and downright cruel, as a teenager. Looking back now I treasure those weekends. They are full of memories. Lots of sweat and tears and arguing with my siblings, but tons of memories.
I hope for all of that for my son now as we continue down the road of raising children in a fixer upper. It’s not always the most comfortable, it’s definitely not glamorous, but neither is life. I hope it builds his appreciation for the hard work that goes into building a home. I hope it shows him that doing the work no one else wants to do pays off. I hope he learns humility, gratitude, and work ethic. I know that these experiences will help him become a successful adult, because they were so foundational for me.
Taking a less traditional approach to home ownership and living among renovations has it’s downfalls. Yes, there are weekends you have to say no. Outings with friends are missed. There’s money to be spent. LOTS of money to be spent. There’s that feeling of being in constant limbo. Your nights are spent searching through boxes for kitchen items to make dinner only to remember that the kitchen electricity is shut off anyway and you order a pizza.
There’s frustration, irritation, and arguing with your spouse. You both question why you even married each other in the first place. A child is crying in the background for more snacks. Everyone is hungry and tired. It’s a true test of marriage. A huge dose of real life.
It’s not glamorous. It’s disgusting and dirty, exhausting, and frustrating most days. It’s also affirming, strengthening, and satisfying. It builds such a sense of fulfillment. Ripping apart and building back the place that you spend your days and nights as a family, there’s nothing like it.
Oh yeah, there’s money to be made as well. Can’t beat buying the house no one else wants, putting in some sweat equity, and selling it down the road. Definitely recommend that part. #payingoffstudentloansFAST
Living in a fixer-upper is definitely not for everyone, but it’s absolutely for my family.