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Day 47: Suffering from multiple personalities

January 6, 2012

My house-hunter persona split its personality again today. This particular one’s been slowly chipping away at the others, trying to push herself into the limelight ever since I started thinking about adding cabinets to the Brooklyn Street house.

She broke free a bit more once I walked through the Ottawa Hills house. There’s work that needs to be done cosmetically and maybe down the road I’d convert the attic into living space. In the past week or so I’ve looked at a couple houses with a nice layout and a great exterior in a great location, but the interior is a dump. Yesterday I mentioned that great interior decorating or home staging suckers people like me into falling in love with a home, despite major drawbacks (Big Yellow!). If I was impulsive, an offer would be on the table right now. Thank God I’m not (at least in this case).

Well, Ms. Renovation came out in full-force today, joining Miss Perfect, Miss Condo, Miss Neighborhood and Ms. Investment in the ring to duke it out for the first McNabb home.

Miss Condo got knocked out a long time ago, but every once in a while she emerges for a fleeting moment.

Miss Perfect has been dominant, insistent on finding a home in a great neighborhood that is not in need of any cosmetic updates or major maintenance costs (like a new furnace or roof).

Ms. Investment is willing to trade off some major desired features, like a back yard, for a great deal in my dream neighborhood.

Miss Neighborhood took me on a tour of nearly ever house for sale in nearly every desirable neighborhood in Grand Rapids. After the hunt started for condos in Forest Hills, of course. The house hunt took me from Fulton Heights to Eastown to Creston to East Grand Rapids to Alger Heights to Ottawa Hills and now to a handful a few nice streets in unnamed neighborhoods.

And now there’s Ms. Renovation. She and Ms. Investment get along really well. And it all started with another conversation I had with a friend about buying a fixer upper. I don’t have that kind of time, I said. But paired with a few flipped houses that I’ve seen lately and a brewing enthusiasm for adding my own touch to a home, he raised a few great points. If I find something structurally sound, $10k would go a long way cosmetically and maybe a bit structurally, as well. This way I get exactly what I’m looking for and definitely increase the home’s value. He threw in a bit about having contractors do the work for me and never having to lift a finger.

I have absolutely no idea what that would cost, but it struck a chord with me – or Ms. Renovation, that is. Which is shocking. If you know me, you know I’m a bit frugal. 🙂 But this stuff, among much more, started to make a lot of sense…

If I pursue this, it’ll be my fifth launch of a house hunt. But the thought of another round of looking at dozens of houses plus researching the cost of renovations is exhausting.

Anyone else experience conflicting personalities while searching for your home?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Steph permalink
    January 7, 2012 9:41 pm

    I was Ms. Renovation! Definitely a lot of work, but I felt it was worth it in the end!

    • January 8, 2012 10:21 pm

      I want to come see your house one of these days!!

  2. January 7, 2012 10:34 pm

    Kara, we looked at over 90 houses in a year and a half and made 5 offers. It was exhausting and so time consuming, and we went throguh the very same things you are. The right house finally
    Came along and we are thankful we were so picky. I hope something comes along for
    You soon! Love this blog series, keep it up!

    • January 8, 2012 10:21 pm

      I keep hearing similar stories which gives me hope. But right now, I am soooo housed-out. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Katie K permalink
    January 8, 2012 10:12 am

    Hey Kara, you know I’m an interior designer right? I’d be happy to help you out with some design decisions if you need it. I love that stuff!

    Also my dad is a builder with tons of good connections for contractors if you need any work done. I used several of them personally and know they would do good work for a fair price. Just let me know if you need help

    • January 8, 2012 10:24 pm

      I didn’t realize you were an interior designer. I definitely won’t forget that this time. Maybe we’ll even be neighbors, too!


  1. Day 49: Crazy talk « Unfolding the Story of My Life

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