Leah Behr: We Bought A Fixer Upper!

We Bought A Fixer Upper!

After 3 long months and a crazy roller coaster ride, we are finally closed on this home! We are going to be in renovations for the next 3 months, turning this dingy, dated Victorian into a beautiful modern farmhouse. For those wondering, we'll be hanging on to our current home, and using it as a rental. (We've always dreamed of being land barons and slowing building our portfolio through Real Estate.) The home we are buying is actually right next door to our current home, and our 3rd house on the SAME street since we've been married, which is pretty funny. 
Some of you may know that Brandon and I had big dreams to build a 3 car garage with an apartment over it, in our own backyard. We had been working on that project for years, spending a lot of time and money on this dream. The day before we met with our fourth contractor - that told us what we wanted to do was actually insanely expensive, our neighbor's house went up for sale. Brandon has dreamed of this house and acquiring it, since the day we moved in next door. I, on the other hand, had heard rumors of how much work it needed, from friends that had previously previewed the home, and I had zero interest. Still, I agreed to go tour the home with him. My resistance changed the second we walked in, and I instantly knew this was the right move for us. More importantly, it felt like God was wanting us to take this step. The timing of it all was too perfect, with us finding out about the garage around the same time this house went up for sale. You know what they say...when one door closes, another one opens.

It was a for sale by owner, which made the transaction pretty challenging from the start. (It's like, hi...use a Realtor people. Also, hi...use me. #shamelessplug) We negotiated with the seller for 10 days before we finally got a signed contract. We kept praying that if this is what God wanted for us, He would make that clear and if he didn't He would shut that door. I swear to you that we didn't see anybody else stop and look at this house the entire time we were negotiating (we live next door so it was easy to see what was going on) and the day we went under contract SOOOOO many people stopped and took down the number on the sign, from there on out.

The home was strictly sold as is, so we had to do all our due diligence on the front end. We starting inspections, and meeting contractors to figure out how much the remodel would cost. I have to be honest, coming off the coattails of having spent a ton of time and money on a project that didn't work out, I was a little nervous to jump into something else that was risky. I just really didn't want to waste any more money on something that was going to be too much to take on, again. I just really kept praying that God would make it clear if he didn't want this home for us.

 We found out the sewer line needed to be replaced, as well as the roof, along with some structural work that needs to be done. And of course, the home was sold as is, so....all of this work falls on us. Still I didn't take these to be signs that the home wasn't for us, just all things we had to consider in the overall renovation budget. The numbers still made sense, so we kept moving forward.

The real plot twist happened when we did a meth test and it came back positive. Yes...a METH test.

As a Realtor, I always recommend meth tests on homes to my clients because you just never know what's going on in a home, so we took our own advice and did one on the house we bought. What's crazy is I actually never in a million years thought it would be in the actual house that had it, because the tenants that lived there were the sweetest people ever. There is a detached garage that has a tenant and I had suspicions about that space, but it turns out, it was positive IN the actual house. It's weird because I don't for a second believe that the tenants I knew were doing that, but it just goes to show that you never know what's really going on in a home, or the history of it. When the test came positive, we asked the seller to take care of it. (By law, they have to.) But, we didn't find out until like 5 days before closing that the home was properly remediated and PASSED the clearance test, so that we could close. I think that's why I've been so nervous to share anything about the house, because I just had no clue if the issue would get cleared up and we could actually close.

Now the house is officially ours, and we are starting months of pretty intense renovations. I can't wait to share our journey with you. I'll obviously be sharing a lot on Instagram, but will be documenting it all here as well.
Let me know if you have any quesitons about the process or even any tips! I'm also in search of a good hashtag to use, so let me know if you have any suggestions, in the comments below!


  1. This is so exciting, I love getting stuck in a good project, can't wait to see how you develop it!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  2. Congrats on the house! I'm sure it will be absolutely stunning when it's finished, and so awesome it's on the same street as your a last house - that will certainly make moving easy!
    Chic on the Cheap

  3. Congrats girl! Excited for you all. As realtors I feel like this is totally your thing! I cannot believe that about the meth!!!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  4. Oh my goodness, how scary there were drugs in the house - good job you got it tested! glad it's yours int he end and you can look forward to fixing it up :)

    Hope that you've had a wonderful start to 2019 so far! :)
    Away From The Blue Blog

  5. Ahhhh CONGRATS! Love how you're "keeping it in the neighborhood", and can't wait to see all the before and afters. So exciting <3
    Green Fashionista

  6. How exciting! I'd love to do this someday when I'm ready to settle in a house.

    K A T E L A T E L Y || fashion + lifestyle blog

  7. I can just tell that house is a diamond in the rough! I can't wait to see how it all turns out! What a crazy ride! Glad it worked out for you!

  8. This is super exciting dear! That meth test is scary, thanks for this headsup. Nevertheless, congrats on the house!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com


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