Finding the Perfect House

I knew once my parents were on board with me buying a house (which took them a while, since they didn’t want me to move out), I’d be unstoppable! And that fateful day came along one Thursday in January when I was working with the production crew at The Home Depot. We had been there all day taping the Best New Products segment with Jodi Marks. Around 1 pm or so, I got an email from my mom with several house listings she had solicited from her good friend who just happened to be a Realtor.

So I quickly scanned the listings for areas of town I was interested in, omitting ones that were too far out of my price range. Mom, being always persistent, followed up with a text, “Do you want to go look at that house in Springhill at 3:30?” …Um I guess so. I hadn’t even looked at the listing yet. So I met her, Dad, a sister, and the Realtor, Julia, at this mystery house. It was a little outside the price range I had been looking at, but Mom insisted we “just check it out.”

We walked through the house very objectively, as Dad had taught me. It certainly needed a lot of work, but that’s something you tend to overlook when your dad has owned a construction company for 32 years. It was small, a little unkempt, but in the perfect location for a city-girl-at-heart like myself. Julia gave us the run down on amenities, square footage (1,188), and estimated monthly mortgage payment. (Eeekk a mortgage?!) Then we calmly and coolly left.

Dad could not contain his excitement. He could not believe the house was so structurally sound and in great shape despite its age and apparent lack of upkeep over the last few years. It had everything I needed in a house—a fenced yard and location, location, location. So after recalculating closing costs, monthly expenses outside of the mortgage, and my monthly earnings; my parents suggested I proceed with putting an offer on the house.

Before doing so, Dad and I made an appointment with the Realtor to give the house a more thorough walk through, without the distraction of Mom pointing out the less important, but obvious, flaws with the house. We also needed to check the heater, air conditioner, water supply and gas functions. Dad came in handy once again with his inspection business background. I was amazed how he was able to look past the superficial, freshly painted walls and focus on the underlying issues that could mean big problems down the road, of which there was only one!

After garnering Dad’s approval, we followed our Realtor, Julia, to her office to draw up the paperwork for my offer! And that began the endless stacks of paper I had to sign throughout the process of making the house all mine. And like most of life’s big moments, no life-changing decision is complete without a celebratory meal! That’s when Dad and I headed to the cute little café across the street from my potential new home, which was the first time of many, to eat and begin the anxiety-ridden process of waiting to hear if my offer was accepted.


  1. Hi Chelsea,

    I just caught the first episode this morning. It is *great* to see a show focused on a modest fixer-upper versus some 5 bedroom mansion! I consider renovating an older home like that the ultimate in recycling. Some sweat equity on your part and you’ll be way ahead. I am so impressed you began saving at 15!!! Keep up that mentality – pay for renovations as you go along, and pay off the house early. You’ll be ahead of the vast majority, and really enjoy your home.

    Can’t wait to see the rest of the series, I set it up to record on the DVR so I won’t miss it.


  2. Great job on the show. Like us we bought our house three years ago. Our first house. We have found a daimond in the rough. We have done some work on the house needed for a 25 year old house. Nothing cosmetic either. We dont have a large budget, but our plans are grand. Anyway, I look forward to seeing how a simple home can be made beautiful for the real people who dont have a lot of money. I look forward to reading your blog and catching up with your dad’s website and your blog and watching the show.

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