I think it’s actually kind of nice for the hubs and brings back a lot of memories.
He loved his grandmother so much and spent a lot of time in this house growing up. The thing is, for the longest time, this home was a museum and storage room of sorts.
Every time one of hubs’ siblings would move or have an over-stuffed apartment, they’d store their belongings here.
So, when we found out that we’d have about 5-6 months in between moving home from Grenada and then moving to the next location, we asked my in laws if we could stay in the house since no one was living there.
Of course, they had quite a bit of work to do renovating it and really worked hard to ensure the house was clean and ready for people to live in it. No one has slept in this house for 15 years! We’re so grateful for all the hard work they put into getting it ready for us because now we have a place all our own that we can bring our babies into for the first few weeks of their lives.
My in laws didn’t want to spend extensively on a renovation since we wouldn’t be living here long term, so they used a lot of frugal techniques to get it ready to go. We love what they did for us, and here are some tips for keeping things frugal and under budget when it comes to renovations:
1. Resist The Tendency to Over-Improve
Although my in laws went back and forth over whether to add a second bathroom, they decided not to. It was probably for the best since like I said, we’re only going to be living here temporarily, and bathrooms are expensive!
2. Remember That Paint Does Wonders
Cleaning the walls, painting closets, fixing cracks, and in general sprucing things up were all inexpensive fixes that only took a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of time. My in laws even helped me paint the nursery so now it’s all ready for the beans.
3. Refinish Floors By Yourself
My in laws could have hired a professional to refinish wood floors but instead my father in law rented a sander and he and my brother in law slowly but carefully did it all themselves. It was a huge labor of love, and the floors look really, really great.
4. Refresh Cabinets
Although a new home buyer might want to replace the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, they were still in decent, workable condition. My mother in law just cleaned them, put in new drawer liners, and spray painted all of the cabinet knobs to make sure they looked new. After living in less than 300 sq ft in Grenada for almost 3 years, we think this whole living-in-a-house thing is quite the luxury.
Overall, the renovations really helped make this house the perfect home to bring home our twins. (You can see a little sneak peek of the nursery in the picture above!) Plus, if you want to do something similar, I just learned that you can actually get something called a 203k loan which you can use to renovate and refinance your house (usually mortgages don’t allow for a renovation loan.) This is great for people who want to improve a new-to-them home, a foreclosure, or the one they already have. Of course, if you go that route, still try to keep things simple and frugal. Remember, we never really need as much as we think!
Are you interested in renovating your house? Do you plan to do it mostly yourself or hire a professional?