In 2003, friends of ours that used to buy HUD repos to flip, told us about a little house they thought we might be interested in. Our daughter had just recently gotten married and moved to Peoria and our son was engaged and about to move to Ecuador. So, yes, we did want to downsize and simplify our life going in to our retirement years.
The house, which was built in 1971, needed a lot of work, but the price was low enough that we knew we could buy the house, completely remodel it and pretty much break even after the sale of the doublewide mobile home we lived in. And, because bidding as owner occupants got preference over investors, we got the little 1100 square foot house easily for around $27,000. Then the work began.
The bathrooms and kitchen needed complete guts and remodeling. The rest of the house needed mostly cosmetic things like paint and refinishing the floors; we put in all new windows. We replaced some of the wiring and all of the plumbing. And, since the huge tree in the front yard had taken over the septic system, we had to get the tree out and put in a whole new septic system. We also removed most of the other trees because they were either diseased or hazardously located for being in a hurricane-prone zone.
After moving in, we did some other projects like getting a new roof, trimming the house with vinyl siding – as well as having a front porch and back patio with overhang built, and having a big 20×24 foot detached vinyl sided garage built. It’s been a work in progress, but we’ve have really enjoyed our little retirement house. And, since I love DIY and remodeling, I’ve had fun over the last 13 years working on one project or another.
So, that’s a little background of our home. I’ll take you through the changes, one room at a time. And, of course there will be more updates, since I do redecorating every couple years as my taste changes. Poor Papa just goes along with the show – as long as I keep within our budget by doing it myself – and I don’t ask him to do anything. haha
This is the backyard when we first bought the house. Of course the huge pine tree on the right was the first to go. Which was just a mess anyway. Three other pines in the back were cut down as well as two more trees in the front. I insisted on keeping the small one on the left for a little shade for our future patio. Sadly, it ended up coming down the first hurricane – thankfully falling away from the house.
The photos below were shortly after we got the inside done and moved in. Of course there was still a lot to do on the outside, but I started the landscaping, put new black vinyl shutters on, new doors and new windows. We poured a patio in back to hold the pitiful hot tub. I know it all looks pitiful – but keep reading – it’s come a long way since then.
How It Looks Today