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Buying a Condo =)

Posted Apr 28 2011 8:30am

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?

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