HOMEGIRL: Home Sweet Home

I moved out of my condo this past weekend and it was bittersweet. I never really liked it. It was a fixer-upper in a really nice area and I knew I would never be able to afford otherwise, so I bit the bullet. I was in over my head so I asked my ex-boyfriend for contractors to help me. Unfortunately my ex did not know that the people he recommended were drug abusers. They ultimately left my place half done, stealing my refrigerator and stove and selling them for drugs. My ex and I eventually fell out because somehow he felt I had taken advantage of HIM. I don’t know how, since I was the victim.

Left in a bind, only my mother, who’s hundreds of miles away, sent me to a family friend who happens to be a contractor and lives in my area. This man saves the day! Fixes everything that was half done including putting up my new ceiling, refinishes my hardwood floors, assembles my new kitchen (I lived there for a month with no kitchen), etc.

Things really began to come along. My place was beginning to look more like a home instead of a shell. But I still hated it. I was embarrassed by my home. Though lots of work had been done, it still looked old and dingy. I didn’t invite people over and to this day only a handful of people have seen my place. When people would come, they would rave about the décor and all the work I had done. But I knew the truth. The ride was bumpy from the beginning and I never got over it. I am still hurt. So almost 2 years later, I am moving out. I am renting it to a nice young girl moving to the big city who absolutely LOVES my place. She has sent pictures of it to her entire family and they have fallen in love. She brought her mother once and they just fawned over it. So why don’t I see the same thing? Maybe my entire experience’s purpose was to let someone else enjoy my house.

So here are today’s lessons:
Lesson 1: Never feel pressured to buy something you aren’t 100% sure about. Buying a home is like a marriage. Don’t settle.

Lesson 2: Never ask an ex that wants to get back with you to help you with renovations.

Lesson 3: When investigating contractors, get references AND go see their work.

Lesson 4: One person’s trash can be someone else’s treasure.

So it is here, with you ladies, that I say goodbye to Blanchard Terrace. Thanks for the memories and lessons, as hard as they were.


If you like Zoe’s tips, check out the rest of her renovation posts here.

Last 5 posts by Parlour

  • finkies

    i totally feel you (well, except i’m a renter) — a few years ago i found what i thought was a gem — a studio/ one bedroom on the edge of the neighborhood i had wished i lived in — with its own private entrance and garden — all for under $1k with utilities included (in bk)! even though it wasn’t finished, i trusted the owner and signed a lease and moved in. well, he never finished anything he said he was, the garden was more like a junk yard, and i ended up moving out cause of a critter infestation. i could have stayed and put in the work myself, but i wasn’t getting what i was promised and i was done with my landlords janky ways. *sigh*