After hunting for a house that checked off all of his requirements, Anthony realized that his best option was jumping on a house that was well within his budget, but needed a little work. Armed with an architectural background and a small loan from his bank, he was able to transform his new home in under a year.
From Anthony: For my own house I had searched all over the city and couldn't find something I liked in a location and price range I could afford. I had looked at one house in the right location, but it was a real dog, so I passed on it and kept looking. But after not finding anything else that met my criteria, I decided that since this one was inexpensive I would bite the bullet and go ahead and get a renovation loan so I could give it a transformation. Every other house I have owned I have had to do major work on, and at this stage of my life I wanted something move-in ready, but no such luck . . . But now I am very happy with my home.
I got an FHA 203K loan, which required hiring a licensed contractor to do the work. The work period is six months, but I got two extensions to get the work finished. I did some of the interior work myself.
I was able to be on the neighborhood house tour the spring after the renovation was done. Everyone loved it!
Anthony's words of advice: You have to make trade-offs. I wanted a working fireplace, but I also wanted quality wood clad windows. So my major trade-off in the project was to get the quality windows instead. At some point I can install gas logs in my ornamental fireplace.
Budget: $55,000, included gut rehab of first floor of the house.
Time Frame: 8 months.
Thank you so much, Anthony!