Buying a Condo =)

As you may have read in Banana Life, this summer, Justin and I bought a condo.  For those of you who own a house or a condo – you know how stressful of an experience this can be.  For those of you who are only a couple of years out of college – and new to the work force.. well this can be especially draining.

For those of you who do not yet own a house or a condo – you will find out just how stressful this experience can be.

We searched forever – in one particular location.  It is the location that worked best for us – we work in opposite directions – and we wanted something that would provide each of us with semi-similar commutes. (I definitely won the better commute to work in the end, but we all already know what a great guy Justin is – so he would obviously rather sit in traffic then have sweet lil’ ole me sit in traffic 🙂 ! )

What was most difficult was finding something that we liked – that was in our price range – AND was in a good area.  I can’t tell you how greatful I am that Justin and I drove through the neighborhoods of potential condos at NIGHT – so we could see what it was like.  That literally crossed a majority of our contenders off the list.  Safety was of utmost importance.

Then, Justin found a place.  He thought it was awesome. He was so thrilled about it – sent me pictures (we lived more than an hour apart at this point) – and I was feelin’ it too. So, without even seeing it (I know.. I am crazy) we decided to put in an offer. We REALLY low-balled it. But.. IT WAS ACCEPTED. Seriously – we were getting an awesome deal.

We were so excited. Meeting with lawyers, realtors, talking with banks.. the whole 9-yards.  Signing contracts, deposits.. etc.  We thought we had scored the deal of a lifetime.

Key word: Thought.  About a week later – I received a phone call from Justin.

“We lost the condo. Someone put in a better offer – so he is backing out on us – or asking for our best offer.”

What? Seriously? Is that legal? We SIGNED a contract. We put down a DEPOSIT. Heartbroken. Tears pouring out of the eyes.
Never had I experienced such elation and such heartbreak in such a small period of time – over the same exact thing.  Holy Rollercoaster of emotions.  This place was move in ready – it was perfect.

Or so I thought.

Our realtor wisely advised us to just back out. Something sketchy was going on.  While it was not technically illegal for the seller to back out – it was kind of unethical and immoral. We heeded her advice – and took a look at a few more units in the same complex.

We found our baby.  We got a great deal.  Was it move in ready? No. There was a lot we wanted to do (and still want to do) to fix it up.

But – WE did the work… WE made it our own.  So when we come home every night – we know it was our blood, sweat, and tears that went into making this place our own.  No “move-in” ready condo could provide that type of comfort.

So to sum up the experience..Everything happens for a reason – in all aspects of life.  What you think is a great heartbreak – or a failure.. is really just a small opening for a better opportunity to sneak in the door.  

While we still have a lot of things on our “to do” list, we have knocked off  a few major things so far:

  • Ripped out an entire 950+ sq ft of carpeting (I did this ALL by myself :), thank you very much”
  • Install laminent flooring (Justin & his Dad)
  • Painted ALL the walls, ceiling, and woodwork
  • Changed a few light fixtures
  • Purchased ALL new furniture

Those tasks – set us back a few dollars – but doing the work ourselves definitely saved us a lot of money as well.  These are things that we still need/want to do … hopefully sometime in the near future:

  • New kitchen appliances
  • Resurface Kitchen cabinets (I want to do them white .. am thinking of doing it this summer.. any suggestions.. I’ve heard it is a real pain!)
  • New kitchen countertop
  • New window treatments (we are really just too lazy to do this one :x)
  • More wall decorations (we’ve been looking, but are bargain buyers, too!)
  • New light fixtures in the bathroom
  • Grill/Bistro Set for the Patio

I know, I know – I can talk a good game about what was done – but I am seriosuly impressed with how different the place looks…and I am SURE you want some proof. So, without further ado.. I present to you, my friends.. 


All of the carpet I tore up!

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Eat - In before..



Heaviest Piece of Furniture EVER

Living Room Before


Office/Guest Room Before


Bedroom Before



Full Bath - Before


S0 those are the main before and after pictures.  There have been some slight changes (like added pictures) since these photos were taken.. but this is pretty much the way our condo looks no!

Do you own a condo house? How was your experience in house hunting?  Any DIY projects you are looking to do soon??


20 responses to “Buying a Condo =)

  1. Wow, you guys made this place look amazing!

    My fiance’ purchased a house before we met but hasn’t worked on it since then (last May!), so while I’m wedding planning, he’s in charge of making sure we have somewhere to live in September. His dad is pretty handy as well, but I can’t wait to see the final result.

    • How awesome.. wedding – and a newly renovated house! You will have to post pictures of the end result.
      It is funny – Justin is not handy at all.. I did a lot of the work – while both me and his dad kind of guided him along. He is getting much better – and wants to be handy! So his willingness to learn is a plus!

  2. What a difference! You guys did a great job with the renovations. Can you come do mine now? 🙂

    I bought a condo 1.5 years ago… it took 6 MONTHS to close on, but totally worth it.

    • I really enjoyed doing them! But it got to the point where enough was enough! Taking a break. and will probably do more over the summer!

      6 months – yikes. Glad it was worth it in the end though!

  3. I really love the color of your kitchen cabinets as is. I think you may want to update the hardware a bit, but otherwise I think they are really pretty. Refinishing cabinets can be a pain, but really worth it in the end because you get exactly what you want. You will have to strip the finish off of them and sand them, but I have seen it done and it looks great. It does take a bit of time to do, but if you don’t mind your kitchen looking a little, well, eclectic, for a bit, it’s worth it. You guys have done a great job fixing it up, thanks for sharing the pictures! 🙂

  4. Awesome job on all the fixin’ up! What a difference the wood flooring makes! It makes it look larger and more airy. I love wood floors!!

    We built our own home almost a year ago (we’ve lived in our house a year at the end of May). That was a stressful process as well, but it could have been worse. My dad is a Contractor so he built our home. We had some issues w/ the loan about 2wks before we were supposed to close. that was very stressful and quite dramatic.

    We want to add a back patio to our house..which requires quite a bit of work. We live in a flood zone, so we live in a stilt house. Hubs wants to add a patio to the 2nd floor (where we live) ..and that requires a lot of work.. There are a few other things he wants to do downstairs in his garage (man cave). You can see the pictures of the house right before we moved in here .. I should add some updated pictures, huh.

    • Yikes – I bet the issues two weeks before closing were stress! How cool to get to really personalize a new contruction! Your pictures are beautiful! Love the double sinks and the shower.. they are amazing. I love the white in your kitchen toO! I want my cabinets white!

      I know what you mean about updating too.. these after pics were taken as soon as we finished the changes. There are differences now..but I was just TOO LAZY to snap new shots last night!

  5. Buying a place is EXTREMELY stressful. It makes me terrified of the stress of selling.
    It looks like it worked out for you guys because the pictures are amazing! I love the floors!

  6. What an interesting post! I really liked learning all about the buying process.. I had no idea what all went into it! I like your kitchen 🙂

  7. I rent and have rented since graduating from school 5 years ago. It sucks in some ways because I feel like my money is going nowhere, but its really nice when something breaks just to call my landlord and they fix it with a $0 out of pocket cost for me!

    • That is so true! We haven’t had to do any major fixes yet (knock on wood) – but it must be so convenient to have a landlord fix things! It is nice to be in a condo and not a house tho – bc we still don’t have to do the yard work.. or the shoveling.. or anything like that. 🙂

  8. OMG this looks amazing! I love that you did all that work yourselves, and it looks excellent. I hope me and the bf can do that one day too, we’re saving up to look to start buying starting next year. Great work!

  9. FUn pictures! We will own a home soon, we hope 🙂

  10. Your place is looking wonderful, your hard work has definitely paid off 🙂

    We still rent and probably will for a few more years mainly because we’re moving around so much still. I am hoping to get a bigger apartment or townhouse possibly with a yard when we next move which is soon we just have no idea where to! 😛

  11. My parents had a very similar experience when trying to buy a cottage this year. It was so depressing when they found out the day before closing that a bunch of stuff at the cottage was illegally built and would need to be redone. I keep saying everything happens for a reason, and I’m just waiting for them to find the perfect cottage!

  12. I love that you got to make your home YOUR OWN!!! Not that the other condo wouldn’t have worked, but you got to CHOOSE with this one what you wanted. 🙂

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