We bought our house just over 5 years ago. At the time we were living in a one bedroom apartment with a 2 year old and a newborn. You might think that space was our main impetus to move, but really it was the 2 tortuously bad neighbors who made us miserable night and day. One mostly night, one mostly day, but either way it added up to super sucky bad. Had they not been so horrid we would have put off leaving for quite a bit longer. We had spent 3 years turning our apartment from a garbage laden dump (literally) into a space we loved plus we still fit quite nicely even with 4 of us inside. We really didn't want to move, but then neighbor 1 or 2, sometimes both, would remind us why we really had to go. We started looking at larger apartments and, in the end, with the sounds of our neighbors ringing in our ears, decided a house with a yard was our best option. And because I had already spent enough time pregnant or with a brand new baby renovating the apartment we quickly moved on from the idea of another fixer upper to something ready to go.
I saw the listing for this house literally on the way to the hospital to have baby 2 and thought it would be the house. Several weeks later when we were ready to actually buy a house, it was still there. As soon as I walked through the door I'd like to say I still knew it was the house for us. But instead I immediately saw that if we bought this house I would spend the next several years and way too much money fixing everything that had been done. It was being sold as totally "done", but they left off the badly at the end of the description. I knew it literally as soon as I stepped foot into the side door and it went downhill from there. Not much is worse when house shopping than paying for a totally renovated house and having to re-renovate it from top to bottom. And yet we still bought it. We decided we would give it 3 years, save it from the mess the previous owners had made and then move on.
It's now more than 5 years later and we are still here. We love this house now. We are beginning to wish we had a horrid neighbor or 2 to help push us out of our pretty house, but so far none of them will oblige. We have managed to eek out 2 extra years, but now we really need to move on to the next house. This time a real fixer upper that screams help me from the street. We still fit just fine and everyone is happy here, so it's a bit harder to trade pretty and bright for super yuck and lots of work. However, trade it we must. Why? I'm not always sure.
Here are the before shots. As bad as these pictures look to me now, I have to say that the house really looked (and smelled) so much worse in person.