Thursday, April 12, 2018

Our adventures in real estate

Classify this under "most frequently asked questions." I promised this post, but I've struggled making it interesting and relatable, even if building a home is not part of your dream.

Instead, I'll start with our story:

Once upon a time there was a boy who owned a downtown condo. He unexpectedly fell in love with a girl, who didn't embrace his bachelor pad despite her best efforts to change it. So shortly after they wed, they purchased a 1920s home north of the city. After touching every room in the house to make it their own, they took a chance on an unfinished, shell-of-a-new-build in short sale during the real estate downturn. They embarked on a year-long journey to finish the interior (think cabinets, counters, flooring, plumbing and lighting fixtures, hardware, paint...and the list goes on). Despite, or perhaps because of it's grandeur, it never fit quite right; so when the timing was right, they sold. Fresh off a high of having sold to the now-former Milwaukee Bucks coach (and maybe feeling just a little too much validation in her design abilities), and facing few other options, they decided, once again, to custom build what they wanted. This time tearing down an existing home and building new in its entirety. Hard lessons were learned (all documented on this blog, but later removed after a legal scare), but they thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the adventure. They now happily live in their forever home with their three beautiful children.

The end (for now).

Point being, when someone asks me how we did it, I always begin with, "we didn't start here." It's been an exhilarating journey, one that I've fell head over heels in love with.

As a long-time lover of design, I started my career in advertising, later dabbling in graphic design. So consistent with my previous job requirements, I had a vision for our home from the start. So much so that I could close my eyes and imagine myself walking through the finished house, simplifying the selection process. If you're beginning a similar project, but worry about the process, enlist a designer or creative friend to help. Often times, it's far less expensive than the cost of a mistake (additionally, he/she can act as a third party consultant/negotiator when dealing with the contractor).

Once you have a vision, do not sway from it. This is where being a little headstrong will serve you well. You can ask my builder about that one. Ha! See your vision through to the end.

I once read that for all visions to become reality there are three requirements: creativity, perseverance, and actions. I wholeheartedly agree. The ability think creatively was one aspect of the design/build process, but even more so, perseverance and action proved to be of the utmost importance this go around. It was a true labor of love, but one that fills me with such pride.

Have you remodeled or built your home? What did you find most challenging/rewarding?

I'm looking forward to sharing more building and design details with you in this space. What topics interest you? What specific questions do you have?

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