Day 1: Foreclosure

home renoJamie and I searched for months to find a home to raise our daughter who was soon on the way.  We searched four cities surrounding Savannah, GA where we had called home for the past year.  We finally fell in love with a quaint coastal, suburban town just south of the big city.  To start this 31 day challenge of our home renovation I should first share the condition of our home when we purchased it.  The home was not listed online for sale on the local MLS and it was not on any home search engines.  I happened to stumble upon it when looking at foreclosures to see if their were an good deals out there.  Our realtor could not even find it after I sent her the address.  It was an online auction and you had to bid on it to purchase it.  It was in really poor cosmetic condition as you will see in the pictures below.  The bones of the house and structure were great.  It was foundationally sound.  Trust me, we had about five guys come out to make sure.  You had to really look beyond the cosmetic damage and see the potential.  We knew it would be a big undertaking with a baby due in a little over a month but the price was so great that it was hard to pass up.  The drive up to the house is amazing and our neighbors are all on water.  We purchased a cute little white house on the corner of a long dirt road.

drivewaySo many horrible stories were told to us by all the neighbors who hated the previous owners.  Apparently the guy who lived here was a meth head who, after his nasty divorce had a new woman move in each month with her kids.  The divorce caused a lot of police calls for domestic disputes.  He couldn’t keep a job but tried to fix cars and paint boats so their were dozens of tools in the yard.  Their were two sons who shot BB guns at everything!  The poor siding of the house had BB holes shot all threw it.  They would have parties past 3 am our neighbors said.  They would hear gunshots late at night.  A neighbor told us he had spent all of his family money on drugs and partying so the house went into foreclosure after living in it for 10 years.  He had thousands of dollars of unpaid bills.  The worst was the water bill.  He had gone a really long  time not paying it and had illegally squatted in the house after it went into foreclosure.  The water company had to come out on numerous occasions to put locks on the water meter because he kept cutting them off to have running water while he squatted.  It took us forever to get the water turned back on and for them to put the pipes back in.


Dead and overgrown bushes concealed the inner beauty of our home.

IMG_0752IMG_0750IMG_0762IMG_0761     Their were random splashes of paint on the walls and floors.IMG_0756 copyIMG_0753

The kitchen needed major updating from the old, basic cabinets to the nasty appliances that were mostly broken. They had filled in the window over the sink that looked out to the backyard and back patio because they enclosed that space to be another bedroom.  They didn’t even finish.IMG_0769

I love the windows in the eat-in of the kitchen but the site outside makes you want to shut the nasty blinds.


The master bedroom had the most promise to me.  Besides all of the holes in the wall from hanging way too many things and the half finished flooring, it had a lot of potential.  It is a very spacious room and has french doors that lead to the back screened-in patio.

My favorite project (NOT!) was taking down the hundreds of strips of torn wallpaper.  They had hand shredded and torn the wallpaper into strips and then basically hodge-podged it on the walls surrounded the master toilet.  I don’t even think they used wallpaper sealant.


I love how he laid the engineered floor wrong and not staggered.  He also choose a different color for each room.  Mix ‘n match.  Fun.  NOT!!!  Gives me a headache.


The stairs were half nasty stained carpet that had a terrible odor, and half unfinished enginered wood.

IMG_0804IMG_0810 IMG_0805 There are three bedrooms upstairs and this one was a pretty large one. It has a walk in closet and nice windows.IMG_0817
The little girls room had Disney stickers all over the walls and doors which was cute.  What was not cute were the obscenities someone had etched into the wall.  Disgusting, filthy words were carved into the wall and it took a lot of drywall putty and paint to make them disappear.  Of all rooms to do that they choose a babies room.  So wrong.


I call this the blood room.  Really scary, blood red.  It was an unfinished attic/crawl space that the guy living here before halfway finished into a bedroom.  It has a step down (almost the drop of two steps) to walk into it with unfinished drywall for the door way.  The walls were put up terribly and the air conditioning unit for upstairs was not meant to support this extra room.

One nice thing was the huge two car garage.  One of my must-haves when house hunting was a garage and this one already had built in work benches.  Even had a peg board with hooks.  Just a power wash of the garage floor and some heavy elbow grease and the garage could be a very usable space.  They even had three steel shelving units and shelves installed on the walls.


Being on an acre is so nice but a lot had to be done to clean it all up.  We had a lot of dead pine trees and trash thrown everywhere!  Four trips to the dump later, we cleared all of the trash and broken glass from our yard.  Apparently the people living her before us threw all of their belongings into the yard that they could not fit into their van as they left.  We have had three trees fall since moving.  Two of them have knocked out panels of our fence that we had to reinstall.  Hopefully we can get it all cleared out soon so I have some piece of mind.  I would hate for a stupid tree to fall on my house.


The house actually looked yellow/sinus green.  It is a white house but it obviously had not been power washed for years.  Spiderwebs encased the whole house. My worse nightmare. The home originally had a long back porch that spanned the whole width of the house.  They apparently needed another bedroom so they enclosed half of it.  So now, there is only one door to lead to the backyard which is through the master bedroom. Who wants to take uncooked, raw beef through your bedroom to go grill outside?  I sure don’t.  The enclosed area where the porch used to be is not really big enough to turn it into a room or dinning area so we have to use it as a storage/pantry area.


Tomorrow I will start showing you the transformation of our home into what it is today.  It will be a whole month of seeing the updates and renovations.  It was a long process but well worth it.
Hope you check back and enjoy!



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