We bought our first house in November 2007. It was a small fixer upper bungalow in Williamsburg, Ontario that had been possessed by the bank. The house was in very rough shape, but it was a great price. We never even saw the house before be bought it, but my father-in-law was our real estate agent and we totally trusted him with this house.
The previous owner had dogs and there was a big ugly fence in the front yard. We took the fence down pretty soon after we got possession.
Entering the front door was the living room to the right and the dining room straight ahead.
The living room was complete with water damaged laminate flooring, lace curtains, and bullet holes in the wall. We eventually took down that stub wall, replaced the front window, and replaced the laminate flooring with hardwood. In the dining room we replaced the patio door and took down the tile that was on the wall.
The kitchen was around the corner from the dining area. The cupboards really weren’t too bad, but everything was so dirty and dark. The house even came with bonus dishes in the dishwasher.
The upstairs bathroom was one of the nicest rooms in the house, other than the gold plastic mirror and light fixture. And the vanity was chewed by the dogs so we did replace that eventually.
This was the smallest bedroom. I think this was where the dogs slept, because that carpet was pretty nasty.
The second bedroom really wasn’t too bad other than the paint colour and lack of trim.
The master bedroom was painted two shades of orange and there was a hole in the wall where a tv had been. That fireplace was kind of nice, but after it almost caught fire one day we decided it was safer to remove it.
Off the kitchen was the stairs to the basement. The carpet was dirty, and there was pink striped wallpaper on the walls. This wallpaper was so hard to remove that we ended up just tearing out the drywall and installing new drywall. We took up the carpet and Tony tiled the stairs.
The basement bedroom was quite large. We eventually moved a wall to make the bedroom smaller and the family room bigger. The bottom 4 feet of drywall was missing in the whole basement. We think the previous owner had a flood and took the insurance money rather than fixing the drywall.
The basement living area used to have a granny suite. There was a complete kitchen with pretty nice cabinets. We used these cabinets upstairs in the kitchen renovation.
The basement bathroom was also the laundry room. It was nice to have two working toilets in the house, however there was not much privacy.
The exterior of the house was pretty bad. There was no deck and the patio doors were boarded up. The shed was in very bad shape and a total eyesore.
As ugly and rough as the house looked, it was a solid house and the price was one that we could afford at that point in our lives. This was a great starter home and we learned so much about home renovation. In August 2010 we had our first child, Nathan. And then a year later, in August 2011, we sold the house and moved a little closer to Ottawa.
To see the “after” pictures of our first house, you can check out: