Staying Right Where We Are | Home Updates

When we bought our house five years ago, our plan was to stay here 7-10 years {or until we had our first babe} and then look for something bigger. Clocking in at just over 1300 sq feet, we knew that we would eventually outgrow our ranch-style home. We moved in, fell in love with the quiet neighborhood and location of our house, and at one point, even talked about tearing down it down and rebuilding.

And then we went to Rwanda. While Cory’s mindset had already shifted from his trip in 2013, we’re a team and he knew I had to go myself to fully understand where he was coming from. We visited homes where multiple families lived in single room houses without furniture or even power. You can’t come back from that and not appreciate the wonderful home we’ve been blessed with.

On that same subject, the way we look at our finances has also changed. Before Rwanda, our ultimate goal financially was wealth building. How can we make ourselves more money? And while we still practice the Dave Ramsey principles and will always make sure our needs {not wants!} and future are taken care of, our end goal isn’t to have the biggest house and a million dollars. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but we have friends family in Rwanda that need help now and feel like it would be selfish to save, or spend, in excess. Please don’t think that I’m saying you shouldn’t save for the future because we strongly believe in living a debt free life and will never stop investing in our future. Just imagine the freedom we will have when this little ‘ole house is paid off. 

House before

All that said, we decided to stay right where we are and make this house work for us. Will it get tight? I’m sure it will one day, but families all over the world raise their children in smaller homes than ours. Plus, she’s got some great bones! Since we never thought this would be our forever home, (which of course it still may not be but we plan to stay significantly longer), we were cautious about the money we spent to update it. However, if we are gonna stay and eventually raise a family here, we know there are some things that have to be updated. 

Master Bedroom:
Find duvet cover
Make curtains
Find lamps and paint (here)
Paint mirror
Find dresser and paint (here)
Get smaller hamper
Decide on headboard and build
Paint nightstands
Find frames and other decor
Find a rug
Expand closet into half bathroom

Guest Bedroom:
Find new bedding
Make curtains
Decide on painting furniture

Remodel half bath (here)
Recaulk and touch up half bathroom
Expand and remodel full bath (partial here)
Add a full bathroom onto master bedroom

Laundry Room:
Make one!
Turn current laundry back into a linen closet

Move and remodel kitchen
New appliances

Living Room:
Redo fireplace
Paint the walls
Replace fan
Find a rug

Dining Room:
Paint china cabinet
Build a new table

Replace all doors and door knobs so they match {we’ve only got two more to do!}
Refinish floors in darker stain
Paint the ceiling and beams

Finish shop and make it an office/craft room
Paint outside of house and shop
Replace patio
New roof
New windows
Add a front porch

Obviously, we still have a lot to do and we will definitely break these down into phases so we can afford to make the changes. Some of them we may never get to and I’m sure this list will expand over time but it’s a great starting place.

12 thoughts on “Staying Right Where We Are | Home Updates

  1. I like that you told your story of how your mindset has changed recently. For me, personally, I know I couldn’t be comfortable with a lifestyle aimed at “Building Wealth.” I will enjoy and appreciate the beautiful homes and more luxurious belongings of friends and relatives who are comfortable in more of the “American Dream” sort of lifestyle–but it’s not a fit for my heart, my dreams, and the people I love so very much.
    My parents live in a 1000 sq ft. apartment–even back when all 7 of us kids were still at home, we were able to make it work! Now they only have 5 kids living with them so things are gradually getting more roomy–living overseas definitely makes you realize how much extra space most American homes have. It’s not a bad thing, but it is good to recognize that extra space is a luxury not afforded to many.

  2. i think this is awesome. i understand where you are coming from, definitely. although i have never been to rwanda or anything like that, the whole ‘in excess’ have a bigger everything lifestyle has never sat well with me. we live in a 1200 or so sqft house and it is plenty big enough. it’s bigger than the house i grew up in, and i was fine. children do not need excess, they do not need queen size beds when they are 5. they do not need a separate playroom and their own rooms and spaces. thats what the outdoors is for. that being said, we will move before we have kids but only because of the area. i don’t want anything bigger. for the reasons i said, but also because the mortgage on a smaller home is less, and so are the utility bills lol. also, i agree with you – i don’t care what anyone else does, or if they have all the things i said my children don’t need – i think everyone needs to focus on themselves and not worry about what others do. i just know what i want out of life, and it isn’t a 3000 sq ft house that i’ll be paying off till i die.

  3. You have such a cute house! that is great that you can stay there and make it work. We own a 2 bedroom condo, and although it’s large for a condo, it’s still a small space. But we would rather have more financial freedom, than be stuck with a big mortgage, so we have decided to stay there for a few more years, build up some equity, and at least have 1 kid there. It feels tight at times, but I think we have too much stuff. So I’m working on eliminating things we don’t need and finding ways to better organize what we do need so we can live there a little longer and be comfortable. Can’t wait to hear more updates!

  4. I absolutely love this.

    We’ve recently had this same discussion and mind shift as well. Our house is 1600 sq ft and we tried to move two different times last year. God closed those doors to us and we realized, you know what? We love this house. It isn’t perfect, but we can make it ours and choose to love where we are. And like you said, the idea of paying it off in a reasonable time is such a huge huge blessing and option!! So, like you guys, we have our list too of things to update and change and make our own slowly, over time…

    and yeah. It makes me happy :)

  5. I love the story behind this. I’ve obviously never met y’all in person but you seem like some pretty cool peeps. :) I think more people need to go to Rwanda or a country like that and see what other people are living in and how blessed they really are to have what they have.

    Anywho, great story girl and I can’t wait to see all the changes y’all are making!

  6. I think that’s awesome! I’m sure that trip was eye-opening and really made you appreciate what you have. Looking forward to following along with the updates you make to this house! I’m sure it’ll turn out great and you’ll never want to leave!

  7. Good for you guys! I wish we could do the same thing but the location of our home is killing us! So we’re going to have to start fresh soon and that is such a scary thought when your so comfortable with where you are! :) Can’t wait to see the updates your making in your home!

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