Home Ownership Chapter 1: I’m a South Philly Home Owner

DIY, Uncategorized

“Insert quote about life being busy and getting in the way, work draing and consuming my life, etc…” Now that that is out of the way…

But seriously, I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus, no excuses but life just got busy. And its about to get busier, but this time I’m going to document it. I officially became a home owner last month and well, I took on a little bit of a fixer upper; not a Chip and Jo fixer upper but it needs a little love and care to make it into my home. So that’s why I’m back, I want to be able to look back myself but I also want to share some of my progress with you.


So a little bit of background on my homeownership.. I started looking at houses in Philadelphia over the summer. I must have looked at 50 houses; which to some may seem like nothing and to other might seem like a whole lot. I didn’t limit myself to location so I was all over the place. I saw houses that were recent renos, which some people would have fallen in love with, and I saw some just terrible, terrible places, that if I were in Waco, I may have let Chip and Jo handle for me, but never would have taken on myself. My main goal was I didn’t want a cookie cutter house, and I wanted something with character and charm something that I could make my own without feeling guilty about pulling down brand new cookie cutter tile that was just put up. And that’s when I found my cute little house, with just enough charm but not too much work that my dad would tell me I was on my own. See, I’m lucky enough to have family in all the different trades and a dad, who I still think can do anything.

I put an offer in the week before Thanksgiving and made settlement the week before Christmas, which if you don’t know anything about buying a house, is an incredibly fast closing, especially when you take into account the holidays. I didn’t know a lot myself about the process but I had to learn quickly along the way.

Tip #1 for the new homeowner: Pay for the online home buyer course. BEFORE you even start looking at houses.

With the mortgage I went with, I ended up having to take an online course anyway, and boy, did I wish I had taken it sooner. The course started with looking for a house and covered everything to even after buying it. It was extremely helpful, I just wish I had taken it sooner.

The process from offer to settlement was so extremely long but so extremely short at the same time. I was stressed out one day and then anxious for it to move faster the next. I had some hiccups throughout the process but everything turned out great in the end.

Tip #2: Read the Do’s and Don’ts letter you receive from the mortgage company and don’t make large purchases before you settle. #blackfridaydeal

Tip #3: Try to not schedule your settlement 9am the morning after your company holiday party. #justonemorechildishnight

Regardless of my hiccups, I’m a homeowner; and super excited to see what comes of my cute little house. So stayed tuned for some of the projects I have coming up, there’s a lot.

For now, here are a few before shots, see all the charm..?!?

My livingroom/diningroom with structural archway and awesome wrought iron railing.


My larger than most South Philly homes kitchen. I’ve got big plans for this room. Expect many posts on this one.

I’ve got 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths (very unusual for South Philly).


You’ll notice that super old carpet, which will be coming up and the not so great asbestos tile, which is also under that super old carpet.

And then my half good attempt at a modern bathroom #1 and the love-it-or-hate-it bathroom #2. I hate it.



Super excited about the road ahead but also slightly unsettling when its all laid out.

Stayed tuned for many posts to come, I promise you. There will be many DIY projects in my future.