Buying a little fixer upper cottage instead of traveling was not the initial plan, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect!
The initial plan was to travel again, but instead we bought a house! Now that our mortgage is paid off, that plan hasn’t changed. But, we still have to finish renovating the house! Hence~ we continue on this fixer upper journey down the road.
MAKING PLANS TO TRAVEL BEFORE THE PANDEMIC
Going back to 2019, we were getting the itch to leave again. I actually had that in my mind before we knew there was a pandemic coming. I was thinking, how about we leave in March 2020. This was probably back in October 2019.
I was thinking in my head, this might be a good amount of time to prepare because we were just living in an apartment. So it wouldn’t be that difficult. It’s not like we would have had to sell a house or anything. We could just get rid of a lot of things and leave our apartment and we had several months to plan.
Well, that was like the height of the pandemic where they practically sent everyone home from work and I was also sent home from work. The whole world pretty much shut down.
PURCHASING THE HOME BEFORE SHUTDOWN
We ended up purchasing the home in February 2020. That’s when we officially got the key to our new (old) home! We were first time home buyers at the time.
When we walked into our house for the first time since the open house, it was a bit scary. Especially since we knew beforehand that it was a fixer upper and we weren’t completely sure what we were getting ourselves into.
We actually ended up buying our home right before the whole shutdown happened. So, at that time the interest rates were so low. We got a really great deal on our interest and got a 15 year mortgage. Knowing that we would pay it off sooner or at least hoping that we would, but not really sure if that could actually happen.
Then March came around. And when everything shutdown, we were like, thank goodness we were able to buy a home and get locked into a really good interest rate. Especially since everyone in the apartment complex that we were living in, which was pretty large, would also be working from home and staying at home. I mean, walls are thin in apartments. And even more so when you have someone above you and on the sides of you, and everyone is at home all the time!
So, we were like, wow~ we got in at just the right time because now we could go and have our own house without sharing walls and ceilings with people. What a perfect opportunity! I was working from home so we could spend the time to renovate the house without having to worry about getting ready to go to my corporate job.
DID WE MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION
After we made an offer on the house and were accepted, a bit of fear or regret crept in and we wondered if we had made the right decision.
I didn’t know if we were in trouble. Would this be a blessing or a burden?
This was the first time we ever tried to buy a house and first offer we ever made on one! Since our offer was accepted, we weren’t sure if it was because we’re the biggest suckers or if we were blessed.
This was the first house we even looked at and the first realtor we ever worked with. And here we are three years later, continuing the journey. The best part~ is that we are DEBT FREE!
HOW WE FOUND THE PERFECT LITTLE COTTAGE
Going back to how we even got this house. After Nate told me that we should probably wait to travel and buy a home instead, I panicked for a moment. Like, what are we doing! This is no small commitment. Are we making the right decision? This is crazy!
First of all, I’m thinking, we’re very minimalist and simple living type people. You know, simple living in small spaces. That is what we have done. We’ve lived out of backpacks and we’ve lived in very simple and tiny studios in Korea. And when we’ve traveled the world, we stayed in little apartments, rooms, or where ever we were given a bed.
This includes our beautiful little handmade studio loft in Hawaii too! Simple, small, and for the most part~ all that we needed.
LESS THAN 1,000 SQ FT PLEASE
We’re in Texas and everything is bigger here. I was a little nervous because I didn’t want a 2,000 or 3,000 sq ft house and have to fill it with furniture. The idea of spending more money just stressed me out because I knew that we really just wanted to leave and travel eventually.
So, why would we buy a house and then buy more stuff to fill an empty house? But then I was thinking, if we could find a house that’s under 1,000 sq ft that would be perfect!
One day, Nate was like, there’s a house I have my eye on and it’s in this little area that we really like. A downtown historical district. He wanted to go check it out, but I wasn’t really sure about it. Then thought well, it wouldn’t hurt to just see it.
When we came to check out the open house, we both were shocked and didn’t expect it to be in the location and neighborhood that it’s in. And it was this cute little tiny cottage in a historic district. It was right by the downtown, park, train station, farmers market, and like everything.
One thing we were right about, is that it was dilapidated though! It was definitely a fixer upper. Even the open house ad for it said something about bringing your fixer upper skills to invest in this cute little charming home. This was our opportunity to learn a lot of new things!
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEOS
Thanks for joining us on this journey! We hope that you will find inspiration watching us learn as we go while we’re attempting to renovate and rebuild this old small historic cottage mostly on our own. Stay tuned for more progress updates ahead!
You can also watch a video about this here.
To see more adventures of our tiny fixer upper journey, click on the links below.