Thursday, May 5, 2011

Are you handy?

Kathie Means, ftw. That line still gets tossed around. Four years later, I'll go ahead and say it: I'm handy. Really handy.

I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, though. I just took what I knew, applied it to what I didn't know, and hoped for the best. And while the best may be the result—the jury's still out on that one—it seems to be working out so far.

It doesn't look like this anymore.
It seemed like an awesome idea to me at the time: buy a junk house, fix it up, live there a while, sell the house, and...sell the house, and then...move to Huntsville, Texas Cheyenne, Wyoming let's face it, those last few steps are going to have to wait. It seemed like it would make a fun-to-live story, but as it turns out, the story is really more a set of individual stories strung together—stories which, looking back, aren't all that much fun to relive, and were often flat-out miserable while they were being made. Yet somehow they all end well. Kind of like getting lapped in a 400 meter dash while having your dad film the whole thing and then learning afterward that all of the other runners used steroids and that you're actually the winner. The medal is great, even though the memory isn't.

With an asking price of $15k and a sale price south of that, Kathie must have really made a killing on our house. Representing both the seller and the buyer? Boom. Take the rest of the month off. She's in three of the pictures in our “pre-purchase pictures” folder, and her expression in two of those pictures looks like a combination of concern and “I'm cold.” I remember that day. I was cold, too.

But I also knew that I had a limited income at the time. I knew that I had construction experience and that my mind would make up for what I hadn't yet done. I knew that I was about to become a husband and—hopefully, at some point—a father. And the only way I could see leveraging a limited income into a responsible way of providing for a family was to use and develop the heck out of my skills until I'd turned a junk house into something useful.

What follows in the coming weeks and/or months will be the telling of that story. It's actually pretty entertaining. Follow along as a bungalow built in 1910 becomes new again!