The end of my summer in 2016 was spent rushing from property to property in the city of Chicago, trying to beat out developers who were paying cash for properties in the hopes of becoming the proud owners of a single family home. Condo-life in Edgewater was wearing thin, and my husband and I needed more space than our one bedroom and living/dining/kitchen open floor plan could provide. But if I’m being really honest, I was sick of putting clothes on every time the dogs needed to go outside.
It was a seller’s market that summer, properties were going contingent within a week of being listed, and we were all but guaranteed to pay well over list price for anything decent. If we saw something with potential our realtor wrote up an offer that same day. We lost the first two properties to other offers: one was an interesting situation and the other was an all cash offer from a developer. We almost gave up the hunt.At the beginning of September, a yellow brick bungalow built in 1924 came on the market. It had an exciting amount of original trim and an original stained glass window. Its first day on the market my realtor and I headed over to check it out and about an hour later I was calling my husband: “We’re making an offer.” By Labor Day weekend our offer was accepted. He didn’t even see the bungalow until inspection day.After closing, we took the keys and headed to our new-to-us home. The first thing I did was tear out the carpet to inspect the original oak hardwood floors. They were rough. Years of old carpet padding ground into them left them speckled and discolored, even after sanding… but I was determined to embrace the challenge of refinishing them anyway.
One evening in January 2017, I decided to start an Instagram account for the bungalow. I had no idea what I was doing but I was determined to share this journey with whomever was out there. Today, the account is a place where I’ve connected with other bungalow owners, around Chicago and around the world, met new friends, and gotten inspired by so many amazing people! A blog just felt like the next step in this journey because, well… can you imagine this post as a caption on IG? Hell no.Renovating a house on a shoe-string budget isn’t easy. My husband and I both work and I attend classes full time, so project timelines tend to get stretched out and shoved to the weekends. Even so, I’ve learned a lot in the past year and a half, and hopefully I can share some of that knowledge here. Living in this bungalow has inspired me get out of my comfort zone, learn new skills, embrace challenges, and get really creative and efficient with my blue sky ideas. So with all that said, welcome to the bungalow!