A budget-friendly DIY & lifestyle blog

Monday, August 22, 2016


Well, plans have changed folks.

 Backing up a little - last December we bought a 3,000 sq. ft. (6 bed, 3 bath) split-level fixer upper that was built in the 70s - the perfect investment home - an outdated interior and exterior in a perfect jaw-dropping location. We partnered with my brother to purchase the home, tackle the DIY renovations and share in the potential profit and, in turn, became roommates overnight. Plus, he added a Mrs. during the process. Four adults, two kids and a cat under one roof - it was a reality tv show waiting to happen.

Fast forward 12 months, we're still co-habitating and we've managed to make the single kitchen work through family dinners, but it's definitely added stress to the whole dynamic. It's the classic roommate struggle. From differing schedules and eating habits, family dinners don't always work which means someone's either using the kitchen when someone else had planned to or when you just wanted a little peace and quiet. Plus, it's been tough for the newly married couple to feel like they have a place of their own and aren't imposing on us upstairs - same goes for sharing the laundry just the other way around.

After living on our own for the past 10 years sans roommates, it's definitely been a learning experience. So it's not much of a stretch that our first priority is adding a mother-in-law kitchen downstairs. With our first big project in the works we've already experienced a few hiccups - mostly caused by communication issues. Everyone was wary of our decision to partner and with good reason as tackling a DIY renovation project has been known to cause breakdowns in a marriage. While we successfully made it through our own DIY home renovation, it's a completely different story when you throw another couple into the mix.

No matter how much we thought we were on the same page, there continued to be issues and our communication was our #1 culprit. From budget, to timeline, to end goals, we've had miscommunications along the way and have had to make a cognizant effort to sit down, talk through differences and make compromises. Unfortunately, we still couldn't see eye to eye on a number of design and budget choices, timeline or end goals. Plus, Josh and I could envision living here for years down the road with our family and so our "investment/flip house" was really our dream family house. So, we pivoted. We're now the sole owners of the house although my brother and his wife are still living downstairs and saving for their own dream home where they can grow their family. We're still working on a MIL kitchen so they have their own space and aren't jockeying for time with our whole family who, let's face it, takes up a bulk of the space.

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