We all remember our first time buying a home. I often think back to what made my husband and I fall in love with our first home and I can narrow it down to one word– potential. I had no idea what kind of passion this little fixer-upper would create inside of us or the path that it would set us on, but I am so happy that she was our first.
Since that first purchase, we found three additional family homes with that same potential. We have moved so frequently because, along with finding a passion for transforming these homes, we also discovered our love for making money. Is it ok to say that out loud?! Of course, we loved all of our homes in Denver, but we recognized early on that we could grow our wealth quickly if we refused to subscribe to the idea of a “forever” home. We know that it is not the house you live in that makes a home and this mindset has given us the courage to continue buying these quirky homes and creating beautiful, functional spaces.
All four of our family homes had been sitting on the market for months prior to us making an offer and because they sat on the market, they also came with distressed sellers who were ready to get rid of the property. When we found a property with little competition and motivated sellers, we saw dollar signs. This was especially beneficial for us in a competitive real estate market like Denver, CO. We spent two years living in, and renovating, each home; then, once we hit that two-year mark, we could sell the property and not pay capital gains taxes, which again, put more money in our pocket. It became addicting to see how quickly we could sell our homes once we made the updates. All of our Denver homes received multiple offers within 24 hours of hitting the market.
It was exciting for us to find and transform these homes that no one seemed to want. While most home buyers saw these undesirable quirks as a deal-breaker, we saw them as an opportunity. It’s clear that we fall in love with homes that require some vision, sweat equity, and have money-making potential, but I have identified three additional elements that make us fall in love with our homes even more. These three elements are the location, layout and character details.
The location of a home is a common factor for many potential homebuyers and it is no different for us. You can change the characteristics of a house but you can’t change an undesirable location. In the earlier years of our marriage, we valued walkability and proximity to downtown. Our first two homes were only a few blocks from a neighborhood main street with restaurants and shopping. It was such a treat to be able to walk to our favorite breakfast spots on the weekends. As our family grew, space and school districts became more important than walkability. Our third home did not offer walkable restaurants, but we were attracted to the accessibility of a large park across the street. Our current home is located in a great school district in a centralized location of our city.
The layout of a home is another popular factor for homebuyers. These days, homebuyers value open-concept layouts, especially with the kitchen. Again, this is no different for our family, but we are comfortable making some of those changes if the potential is there. We can easily see that open-concept design if a wall needs to be removed or a bathroom layout needs to be re-arranged. We love the challenge of figuring out how to maximize functionality in every area of our home. Many homebuyers struggle to visualize how they would live in a space if it is not staged for them. In our third home, we arranged the previously formal living room into our adult family room and turned the original family room into a playroom for the kids. The unused basement was transformed into a guest suite.
The final feature that’s a common theme within all of our homes, is character. I have never been drawn to newly built homes and always find myself navigating towards older homes. There is something special about creating a space that is uniquely yours. Our current home has gorgeous crown molding with a unique front foyer highlighting a curved staircase and a beautiful cedar-shake roof. Breathing new life into homes that need a little love is what we do best.
My husband and I are truly lucky that we are on the same page when it comes to homes that we love. We have created so many lasting memories as a couple and as parents working on projects in our homes. Everyone should love the home they live in and feel inspired by it every day.