Why THIS Blog?

As this blog gains momentum, many of you have asked me why I choose to post about home decor, renovations and diy projects, since they aren't exactly in either of our fields.

When I began this blog, it was entirely about real estate.  As a real estate broker, I find this topic riveting... but I learned to understand that not everyone wakes up in the morning thinking about the real estate market.  :)  While I am passionate about my real estate related posts, I also love anything to do with homes.  Corey shares this passion in many ways since he works in electrical.

One of my favourite parts of my job is helping people to find their dream home.  It's even on my business cards!  Now, "dream home" may have a different meaning for everyone and, in the hot Toronto market, budget is usually the main restrictive factor.  I haven't met a single buyer or seller who wouldn't change something about their home if they had the budget to do so.

I am hoping that this blog inspires some of you to work with what you have and within your budgets to make your own dream home and to see through our example that "perfect" doesn't happen overnight.  Our goal was to "get in" to the housing market and we looked for things that we wouldn't be able to change: good location, lot size, parking, etc.  Everything else could be changed down the road.

Our own story is very typical of young buyers.  We didn't have unlimited budgets (quite the contrary) and we were even more limited in terms of qualifying for a mortgage because I'm self-employed.  Our budget was modest but we wanted a house in the city (of a decent size and with a yard for The Bark) and we were willing to put in some elbow grease to whip it into shape. 

Here are a couple of posts outlining our (very short) search:
Finding Our Dream Home (Part 1)
Finding Our Dream Home (Part 2)

In the end, we found a house (for less than many people spend on a condo in Toronto) which happens to be in a great neighbourhood and meets most of our criteria.  For what it's worth, I was my easiest client (go figure) but Corey may have been my toughest.  That's right!  My easygoing boyfriend can be very opinionated... even when we're looking at houses and I'm the expert.  In the end, we agreed and it was lucky since I have no idea what would have happened if we hadn't! :) 

We knew from the start that the house would require a couple of pricey jobs for us to feel comfortable like duct work and floor refinishing so we made a smaller down payment so that we could invest some cash into our house right away.  We made sacrifices along the way and I am learning (for the first time) to live with an older kitchen.

Now that the immediate expenses are out of the way, we are taking our time and budgeting for larger projects while trying to personalize our home inexpensively.  Corey and I are both very good at our jobs and we just love coming home and working on something related to, but different from what we've been doing all day at work.  I get to see lovely homes and get inspiration at work all day and I come home with tons of ideas.  Typically I ask myself: Would this add value to our home?  (Not necessarily market or monetary value but sometimes just functionality or beauty.) Can we make it?  Can I find a vintage version?  Which way is more affordable?  So, I think of most of the ideas but Corey's talents are often what makes them (the larger ones, at least) possible. 

Sometimes I think I'm crazy to be making a headboard when we should be patching holes and covering the ducts but this house isn't going to be finished for a while and some little indulgences give us the motivation to keep going.  Even in our condo, when our entire kitchen had been ripped out and the debris was sitting on the balcony and we'd had a flood so our new flooring had been removed and basically, the entire place was falling apart... we bought a gorgeous rain shower head for the main washroom!  It seemed silly but that little bit of luxury helped keep us going throughout the renovation.  We're kind of applying that principal to the house and finishing one room at a time... So we'll likely be enjoying our finished dining room before we're even able to shower upstairs.

And so, I'll be blogging about our own journey and renovation, budget decorating, diy projects, our lives and (if you'll indulge me) a little about real estate as well.  I'm learning a lot from Corey as we continue to work on the house and I'm hoping to share it with all of you.  One of the best things about Corey is how fearless he is about projects: If he doesn't know how to do something, he just shrugs and says he'll just look it up.  I'm trying to adopt that attitude myself and, if I don't possess a particular skill required to complete a project, I'll just learn it.  Everything's on the internet now, anyway.  :)

Thank you all for reading and your continued support!
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