Our first house was a fixer upper. It had hardwood floors underneath worn tiles and original bead board in the kitchen behind 80s paneling and avocado appliances. It “rained” in the living room when we flushed the upstairs toilet….that was a surprise we found right after we closed on the house and began to remove the drop ceiling. We had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into, but we shrugged our shoulders and finished our celebratory champagne straight from the bottle.
Looking back, the best thing about buying a fixer as a first time home buyer was that we were clueless. While I don’t advocate jumping into a situation like this with reckless abandon, it turned out to be one of the greatest learning experiences of my life so far. I sometimes dismiss opportunities before giving them a chance. I over think things, or avoid them altogether because of fear of the unknown. In his book, “I Shall Not Hate“, Izzeldin Abuelaish wrote “you shouldn’t hate something you don’t know, because it may turn out to be the bearer of your greatest good fortune.”
Researching, planning and anticipating every possible outcome in a situation are some of my strengths and most of the time these traits serve me well. But, if I approached the purchase of my first home that way, I would have walked away. Somewhere between peeling wallpaper, removing the damaged lathe and plaster ceiling to fix that plumbing leak and scraping glue off floors, I found strengths I didn’t know I had and my passion for real estate was born. Just like that, our little fixer turned out to be one of the bearers of my good fortune.