The story of finding our fixer-upper is an interesting one. As we’ve mentioned, both Zach and I owned our own homes, and both have renters (aka roommates). We weren’t looking for a house to move into together – we were looking for an investment property.
Our relationship hasn’t even hit the one-year mark yet, so buying a house together is a bit crazy. But buying an investment property together, well, we’d both have a business interest even if we broke up so it was a risk we were willing to take.
Zach’s friend, Other Zach, is a realtor so we started looking at houses in the Atlanta area that would be good investment properties, either as a crashpad or rental.*
- Zach is the absolute best realtor. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Atlanta area we cannot recommend him enough.
- A crashpad is a specific type of rental, kind of AirBnB meets rent-by-the-room specific to the airline industry. Pilots or flight attendants who are based in Atlanta but don’t live here need somewhere to stay a few times a month every month. They rent a bed in a house to “crash” at when they have an early morning flight out or late arriving flight in.
We were looking for a mild fixer upper (i.e. needs some cosmetic changes but nothing too drastic) close to amenities at a good price with at least three bedrooms. We looked at probably 30 houses over a couple months. Then one day our last house of the day was Mildred House. We walked around and looked at each other and realized we loved this house.
Now, I love my house, Beatrice Bungalow, so it took a lot to make me want to leave her. Mildred House was the only one that accomplished that. It’s a single owner 1960s brick ranch with a full basement that includes TWO workshop spaces (the one thing Beatrice was lacking) and an apartment in the basement (remember how we both like rental income?), it’s on a quiet street, close to work, in a cute walkable neighborhood and had good bones but needed some cosmetic work (oh how we underestimated that, but you’ll see).
We fell in love, but not for an investment property. We resisted at first and almost put an offer in on a rental property instead, as planned, but we couldn’t shake Millie. We went back to see her and put an offer in, on the fourth day it was on the market. It was rejected, not because they didn’t like our offer but because “they weren’t ready to sell.” Hmm. So, we waited, we negotiated, we waited some more, we followed up, we heard nothing, we followed up again, we went on vacation, we gave up.
Then, they finally came back to us over a month later and said we were “the right buyers” but they had a full-price offer. So, we offered full price. Can’t put a price on love right? (You can, it was $189,900 – we’re going to be pretty candid about money on this blog!)
So, after months of ups and downs we closed on a house that we were going to move into. Together. Like, as in living together! But, we both wanted to keep our houses – both are in up-and-coming areas where the value is growing, plus it’s nice to have a backup plan because, ya know, the relationship is still pretty new. Zach has already rented out his house to a wonderful family (also friends). Beatrice will become a crashpad (she’s the perfect layout and location, which seems so obvious now). Both of our roommates will be moving to the new house with us – Zach’s roomie K is living in the house with us and my roomie T will take the apartment.
This post kind of took a turn, so let’s just end it here, yes?