(n.) Cabindo: A condo on a lake, among tall old trees. Half cabin, half condo. My first home. This is a running journal of the renovations, projects, and general shoestring budget craziness.


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About Me

The Gist of it
The Cabindo is a 1,200 sqft, 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath condo; right on a lake in a woodsy little park-like corner of the DC suburban sprawl.
It is my first home purchase, and I snatched the keys from the closing agent about 9 months ago (think Kevin Costner in Prince of Thieves with that melon [6:50]).
Really, Wells Fargo bought it and the cats and I get to crash here in exchange for regular checks over the next 30 years.
Though I don't plan on actually living here that long; I'd like to own the place for an extended period of time, perhaps as a rental property one day. We'll see.
For the time being, I've been investing a tremendous amount of elbow work, and a couple dolla dolla bills, to make it an updated and comfortable home.

Comfort level: quite acceptable

The Real Estate Part
My bf and I had been hunting for a house to buy together, and even though we were under contract for a place that amazingly checked all the boxes for both of us; in the end the plan changed and we didn't go to closing. I was about as far from 'happy camper' at that point as possible, but it was truly the right time to buy, and I was going to do so: accomplice or not.
I had been casually keeping an eye on the condo market as well though, and just knew something special would come along.
Lo and behold, at the same time as the house fiasco, my wonderful, but not-showing-well unit, had been languishing on the market for several weeks. The ancient appliances and out of date bathroom seemed to be scaring people away. Their loss. Since I was familiar with the local offerings, I knew this place was exactly what and where I wanted to be, so I didn't need to 'wait and see what else was out there' (hate that phrase), or come to any sort of agreeance with a 2nd mortgage signatory: this was the one. This was MY place.

thanks again for the pictures, MRIS

The seller was really friendly and actually a real estate agent in my agent's office. What luck! It made negotiations easy, and we scheduled closing asap; which turned out to be the same day that I'd initially been slated to close on the house-that-wasn't. Oh irony, thank you for being you.
A 30 day timeline, as well as a super shisty appraiser who insanely undervalued the place; resulted in me parting ways with the vast majority of my bank accounts' contents. My 401k was shaking at the knees, but remained unscathed in the fray. Ugghh..... oh well.
Because of that and my thrifty nature in general (excepting shoes); all my projects have a miniscule budget, and are done myself. The only paid professional I've used was a plummer to install the dishwasher. Unless feeding my ever-helpful father counts as payment, but I don't think so.
Though this is not how I thought the picture of my first time home ownership would look a year ago: I couldn't be more pleased with how everything worked out.

happy moments of this work in progress:
friends in inconvenient places
a deep seeded home depot addiction
working with my hands
a roof over my head & a comfy bed under it
tasty treats

Genetic Predisposition
My grandfather was a carpenter. My other grandfather was an engineer. My aforementioned Dad is a man of tools, knowledge, and a spark for building and doing. Happily, I seem to have inhered some of the traits that made these men who and what they are, and I take pride in continuing their legacies of precision (most days), and craftsmanship.
I love to renovate, craft, build, bake, sew, and generally DIY my home and the things in it a little better, piece by piece.

projects, projects, projects!
a ton down, a whole bunch to go

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