|On our new front porch on closing day|
Yes we did! We bought a house!
I've been keeping this tiny (ok, huge) piece of news under wraps for awhile, but now that everything has been finalized, papers have been signed and the keys are in our hands, I can share our biggest project YET here on the blog. We bought a row house in Philadelphia, and are well on our way to fixing this place up and making it our own. I've been dreaming of a project like this for so long and can't wait to share the play-by-play with y'all.
So, do you want to know more?
Here are a few facts about the house:
- It's a two-story, three bedroom, one bathroom row house (plus an unfinished basement).
- The previous owners lived in the house for nearly 50 years and raised three kids in it.
- It's around 85 years old.
- It needs some serious love (we've given ourselves a timeline of one month to make it livable - pressure's on!).
But let's be real - what you really want to see are some photos, am I right? I snapped a bunch the day we closed while it was completely empty before renovations began.
Let's start on the first floor. I'll share some of our plans along the way - every surface needs to be touched/worked on before the big move. The renovations have been underway for about two weeks and we've made a lot of progress, but still have a ways to go!
From the front door, you walk straight into the living room opens up to the dining room. The kitchen is in the very back through the doorway you see below.
There's exposed brick along the whole right side of the stairs and down the upstairs hallway - isn't it cool? The woman who lived here before us chipped off all the original plaster by hand to expose it. Goodness, I can't imagine how long that took!
Heading into the dining room, there are two closets (one of which leads to the basement) - or should I say were two closets. We ripped them out on day one of renovations because they really make that space feel more closed in than it is. In a row house, the more open you can make it, the better in my book, so adios closets! There is plenty of storage elsewhere, so we don't think we'll miss them.
The kitchen is at the back of the house and is a nice size. It's not in very good shape, but it's fully functional.
That wraps up the first floor!
So what work will happen on this floor?
- Rip up the old carpet (it's in way worse condition in person than in you can see in photos) and replacing the flooring throughout with hardwood.
- Paint every surface.
- Replace light fixtures.
- Add a dishwasher.
- Open the kitchen up to the dining room to make the whole floor open concept.
- Renovate the kitchen - that's probably a "phase two" project (again, it's in way worse condition in person than in photos and the layout is not ideal).
Heading down the hallway all to the back, you reach the back bedroom. This will be my office. It gets tons of natural light since it has windows on two sides, which helps make it a place you want to be all day! It also has kind of a weird layout making it tricky to know where to put a bed.
Two of the walls are painted a dark red - not necessarily my favorite color :).
Heading back out and down the hallway, the next door down leads to the middle bedroom, which will be our guest room.
It's pretty much a white rectangle - a blank slate, if you will. Not much to talk about here!
Going out into the hallway again, the last two doors lead to the bathroom and the master bedroom (front bedroom).
Hello purple bathroom! It's special. But, to its credit, it does have a linen closet, which we've never had in any other place we've lived. Yay!
Lastly, we have the master bedroom. It's a great size and gets lots of light from that bank of three windows.
The paint color leaves a little to be desired - I've dubbed it "poop brown." Nice mental image, huh?
So what work is happening on this floor?
- Rip up old carpet and replace the flooring throughout with hardwood.
- Paint every surface.
- Replace light fixtures.
I'll wrap up this long post with one other important thing you should know about this month-long sprint to get this house move-in ready: we couldn't have taken this project on without the help of my father-in-law. He's a general contractor and we're doing all the work with his help. He has generously given us a month of his time to do some major projects for us. Seriously, we could not have done this renovation without him! I'm up there helping out pretty much every day after work and on the weekends, but he's doing the majority of the work. We're so grateful to have him!
I'll be back later this week to show you another set of photos of the house - the real estate photos! It's one thing to see "before" of an empty house, but the real estate photos will give you a sense of what we saw when we went to see the house with our real estate agent (James Price of Coldwell Banker - I couldn't recommend him enough if you're in Philly!). This house sat on the market for awhile, and after you see the photos, you might be able to guess why...