Our house, circa 2001.
To start off the Small Home Living series, I thought I'd share how we ended up here. My husband and I started dating in high school - in 1996. Yes, you can do the math and see how old we are. :) He graduated from college in May of 2000, and I followed in December of 2000. He lived in an apartment after graduation, and I still lived at home with my parents.
Matt decided to start looking for a house after about a year of living in the apartment. He wanted to get a cat or two, and plus, everyone kept saying how he was wasting rent money on an apartment. He could pay the same amount for a house and build equity. You've heard that story, I'm sure. So he started looking for a house. We weren't engaged at the time and didn't plan to live together, so while I went with him to look at some of the houses, I left the decision up to him. Some of the houses we looked at were pretty rough.
The kitchen, before. :)
After several months of looking, everyone was getting a bit frustrated that he hadn't found anything. So when he looked at the house pictured above, he was encouraged to buy it. The price was right and the real estate market was very different than it was now. "Starter" homes in his price range were going really quickly. He put in a bid, and ended up buying the house.
The first thing he did was pretty much gut the entire house. Repainted, recarpeted, etc. He redid the bathroom and fixed up the entire house. It took him awhile, but he learned so much and did a great job on it. I think it was definitely more than he bargained for, though.
We got engaged in 2003 and married in 2004. He was still finishing up some projects the week we got married, in fact. After we got married, I moved into this small, much improved home.