No. of Recommendations: 3

You wrote, Only $39k?

Well I did say it was it was relatively minor, yes?

Of course in some parts of Texas and Oklahoma I could buy an entire house for that. Land is fairly cheap there and the building industry there is full of (relative to here) low-cost labor, much of it from south of the border. Buying a plot of land and building new for $100K or so isn't that uncommon in North Texas.

In any case, my "renovation" originally only involved fixing one minor structural issue. Some idiot had cut through a floor joist in the crawlspace and failed to support it. Originally it was just supposed to be paint throughout (including refinishing a built-in bookcase in the library), a new stair-rail cap, rerouting some duct work and addressing a few other minor issues. Nothing major at all - just prepping a house for move-in that hadn't been quite "turn-key" ready.

I didn't buy this house for it to be a "project" I could renovate; but I will readily admit there were (and are) some issues with the space as well. My intention was to buy something "reasonably" priced for the area and move in as quickly as possible. I had a fixed deadline of 60 days from the start of my move before my temporary corporate housing benefit ended. That set an upper limit on how much I wanted to spend in terms of time. I needed to be in before Thanksgiving, or I'd need to rent other digs.

Also, when I set out to make this purchase, I had identified $90K in total I could use toward a house. Had I bought a much cheaper house I could have done more in renovation, time permitting. As it was, I decided after the purchase that I had the time (and money) to take on some of the less important updates to the house.

In the end, the time ran over - we moved in even though parts of the house were still unpainted - as did the money. As for money, because some of the preferred stock in my taxable account was called early I happened to have cash on-hand without having to dip into my e-fund, so I did the floors and just kept going when the drainage, crawlspace and roofing issues were identified. (Taking out a second lien just to make a place move-in ready was out of the question.)

We do have more projects to do with this house though. It's only seen a minor kitchen and master bath update since it was built in '87.

Next up: We need to put in a closet organization system. The master closet is large, but a very odd shape and standard closet organizers don't fit well. The previous owner let a lot of that space go to waste. That probably means I'm going to be buying some power tools and building something myself soon.

After that:
- Expand the master bath shower. (Small and wastes space.)
- Add an upper cabinet (over the toilet) to all 3 bathrooms. (Completely wasted space there.)
- Repaint, reface or replace the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
(The finish on all the cabinets is ruined / peeling.)
The kitchen also has room for some additional upper cabinets (more wasted space).
The existing cabinets seem to be stock, builder-grade oak cabinets (I found identical ones at Home Depot).

That is all in my "5-year plan".

Beyond that, aj485 wants me to push a wall out into the current garage area to encompass the space occupied by the furnace and hot water heater. Doing that creates a proper mud and/or laundry room and potentially could be used to expand usable kitchen space. In the process we'd upgrade the hot water heater to a hybrid. The hybrid water heater would be a small wall-mount unit and she thinks we can move the furnace into the crawlspace. There is nearly 7' of clearance down there, mostly wasted. Worse-case, the furnace might require abatement (such as building a separately ventilated enclosure in the crawlspace).

Also aj485 bought a house as well...

So don't worry. You're not the only one on this board helping (or planning to help) the economy by spending (too much) money on renovation work. ;-)

- Joel
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