I did it. I bought a house. It was a foreclosure and it's most definitely a fixer. I love it.
There are some pretty obvious problems from the get-go: I have half a garage door (the previous owner's daughter drove through it) and no gutters on the house. I have a new roof . . . but no roof vents.
I have ELEVEN arbor vitae in front of the house, which makes my house look like a crumbling, dilapidated fortress, a house where the ladies of Grey Gardens would be comfortable.
ELEVEN, you guys. Who plants that many in the front of their house? Inside the house I have some electrical issues (bad splices in the attic, my electrical box has no cover, I seem to have bare wires poking out in places), and a lot of deferred maintenance issues to address. Basically, there are a lot of little things that the former owner should have been doing, but he got distracted by the game on TV . . . or something . . . and it never happened.
The house was empty for three or four years, depending on which neighbor you talk to. The basement smells like mildew and the sink in the bathroom doesn't work. Every room has been painted two different colors, and none of those colors seem to reach the corners. The wood floors are pretty thrashed. The deck off the master bedroom is rotting. In every single room they covered the windows with some sort of window film, which left a blackish residue once it was removed.
It's so beautiful.
The wraparound windows. The arches! The coved ceilings. It still has the original art deco tile in the bathroom.
It needs a lot of work but I'm excited to do it. I'll be documenting my projects here, as I'll be doing most of it myself. I have some money, thanks to the government first-time homebuyer credit, some very gracious friends, and an electric drill my brother gave me. I also found a hammer in one of the kitchen drawers. So there's that, too.