Monday, March 14, 2011

home renovation: location, location, location

19 months ago Karl and I bought our house. It's the first house we've ever owned.

There were two big reasons we chose this house - and a lot of little ones - but two big ones.

First, location. Upon returning from our two years in Germany residing in a little village a 10 minute walk from a larger town, down the street from a lovely Biergarten, a couple of blocks away from a self-serve stand with fresh produce and flowers and home-canned goods, with our apartment overlooking a nature preserve on one side and the Black Forest on the other...well, we learned we liked the small-town life. The last several months we were there we got rid of our car and loved biking everywhere and taking the train everywhere else. So we also wanted to live somewhere where a car wasn't such a necessity...or at lease not more than one car

Once Karl got settled in his new job, we decided to live in the outskirts of the Houston suburbs in the little city of Katy. Katy proper, not Katy suburbia (or Old Katy as we say around here). And we chose an older neighborhood right in the heart of everything and everywhere we needed to be.

The historical city center is a 15 minute walk away, the church we attend is two blocks away, the public library is one block away, a big park with a community pool and duck pond and fish pond and miniature golf and playgrounds is three blocks away, and Axel's future elementary school is three blocks the other direction. The town is very small-town while being very accessible to the major city of Houston...I like big cities, too. Axel and I walk to the library once a week, we walk to church as a family every Sunday, we bike around town sometimes and walk to the park to play and swim regularly.

This is really the biggest reason we bought this was the only affordable house in our preferred neighborhood and for that reason alone I love this house!

The other big reason we bought this house is because it's ugly. It's ugly and we know we can make it pretty! Make it just the way we like it and hopefully someday make a buck or two in the resale.

The house was built in 1978 and it looks it. The few so-called updates that have been done to the house since then are just as ugly and obviously done by someone who didn't really know what they were doing. (Although fortunately the previous owners did put on new siding, a new roof, and install new windows and used good materials doing it so those big jobs are done.) Karl and I have always wanted to renovate and fix-up our own house so finding an ugly gem was just what we wanted!

We're doing all the work ourselves and don't have a lot of money to work with so it's all going slowly as we work and save and work and save...but slowly it is getting done. And yes, my very talented husband is doing most of the work. He hates painting though and I like it so I'm in charge of that and we do design together but mostly it's his amazing talents on show here.

Room by room I'll be showing off our ugly befores and beautiful afters as we stay tuned!

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