Last summer was a whirlwind of a season for Team Achorn. We spent most of the Spring looking at houses at a casual pace, then picked up speed when a seller’s agent called saying that a place we had made an offer on months ago was available again. We quickly resubmitted our offer and just over a month later we were closing on a three family property in Dorchester. That very afternoon we started renovations on the uninhabitable third floor unit that we needed to move into within a month.
Our routine for the next month was: Wake up and pack our work clothes, lunches, and dinners before driving an hour to our 8-5 jobs. When 5PM hit we would run downstairs and microwave our dinners (meal prepping is amazing), change into our grubby clothes, and eat on the way to the new house. Once we got there we dove into whatever dirty work needed to get done that day. We scraped popcorn ceilings, ripped and replaced flooring, trim, and paint in every room, replaced appliances, and tore apart the bathroom until it got too dark to work and we had to head home to shower, sleep, and do it all again. Eventually we replaced all the light fixtures so we could work even later! On weekends Steve’s dad would come stay and help us with the projects that were a little beyond us: electrical work, replacing the kitchen sink and bathroom fan, etc.
Two days prior to our required move out date, and one week prior to our wedding, which was also very DIY, we finally had a reasonably livable space. We continued to live with a chop saw in our living room for another month as Steve finished the flooring and we switched into full wedding mode. Looking back I’m amazed at what we accomplished in that short time with little planning and even less prior experience with any of the work we completed.
We knew what we were getting ourselves into with our renovation for the most part, although the water heater that burst within two weeks of us taking ownership was a little bit of a shock! In retrospect, though, there are some things we would recommend to first time home buyers to make their process a lot easier than ours. We’d like to use this website as a platform to offer our words of advice, and lessons learned as home buyers, landlords, and investors. If you have any questions or want to chat about anything you see here don’t hesitate to reach out!