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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

"Before" Tour of Our House

I look back at these photos and wonder how we even signed the offer to purchase this place. Many other people came through the doors of this house and turned away. How did we see past the red carpets, the mahogany everything, the arched doorways and the maze that was the basement. How did we see past all of the w.o.r.k. and know that it was going to be worth it? Where the hell did we get the energy and optimism to take this on from?

It was all because of the neighbourhood. Matt taught me along time ago that the way to get ahead in real estate was to buy the ugliest house on the street. Well, that we did. The North End of St. Catharines consists of streets with established trees arching over the roads, family neighbourhoods where kids play in the streets and the waterfront trail is only a couple of steps away. We knew we were purchasing more than the house, we were purchasing the lifestyle that came with it.

It should be said that this house was not our first renovation. We knew that projects would take much longer than they seemed, we already had a list of trades we could count on for certain tasks, and we were in the position to hold our last home for a couple of months to give us time to get this place to a somewhat livable condition. We definitely could have used more time though. We moved into this house a week out from having a working shower, and had our bedroom set up in the dining room for a solid month before we could move the furniture into our actual bedroom. We would laugh at night when the ice machine in the freezer would choose 3am as a good time to make ice, and would squint as the sun shone brightly through the front window completely blinding us first thing in the morning. It was a bit of a nightmare, but like most hard times, I look back on this situation now with fond memories. Would I do it again? No way. But I'm very glad that we took this chance and now call this house our home.

Without further adieu, the photos that I took right after we received the keys to our oasis.

It's worth noting that we purchased the house when it was still winter, and gardens were not seen until this day. You can see the transformation of the backyard here.

The main floor. This entire house involved us making it look even worse before the dust settled and it became our home. Ripping out carpets and taking down wallpaper was just the beginning. I will have detailed posts in the future highlighting the changes in different rooms, there were too many to list here.

I remember the first time seeing this house, we walked downstairs, and I stopped dead in my tracks. I looked at Matt and said "I don't see it anymore.."he responded with "just look at the four walls. Everything will be gone except the four outside walls" and he was right. I included this in my laundry room makeover post, but this is a rough, not to scale whatsoever look at how the floor plan changed since that day.

Thankfully, four years later, I can say that our home looks nothing like these photos anymore, but I think it's so important to remind ourselves where we started. As I look at projects all around the house that are half completed, I sometimes get overwhelmed with the "to do" list that is never ending, but these photos put it all in perspective. I'll take paint touch-ups and shelves needing to be hung up in the kitchen over the state of the house we started with any day.

If you want to stay up to date with before & after posts, be sure to enter your email in the subscription box, and follow along on Instagram. We're always working on something...

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