The term “upper fixer” was something I first heard about on You Tube. In Germany, we call houses like that “renovierungsbedürftig” and for my whole adult life I was determined to NEVER buy one.
Well, I did.
Maybe not in the exact meaning of the term, which is, just in case you are as clueless as I was: “A place that needs a lot of work and/or a lot of money to become habitable.” But still close enough.
You might know already that we bought a house in December 2015. It is the house I grew up in, which is why we bought it in the first place.
The whole decision was, in fact, not very reasonable. I mean, we bought the house and then started looking for jobs nearby. It should have been the other way round. And then there is that:
The house is big
It is way too big for a family of four. Good thing we are a family of six now, as we share the space with my parents, but I admit that it is probably still too big for a family of six. Don´t worry, we manage to fill every single room, Mari Kondo would probably have a heart attack should she ever come for a visit.
The house is old
Not old old (Heidelberg was founded in 1196, so there are other really old buildings here), but old enough to be a handful.
It was build in 1922, an urban villa with a spacious garden. Sounds beautiful? It is! And it calls for constant renovation.
Of course we had a plan when we moved in: We´d take up a big loan, have everything done before moving day and then live in peace for the next twenty years.
Shortly after the renovation started, a pipe burst in one of the walls. We had it fixed. About a month later, another pipe burst, at another place. We had it fixed. Then, a few weeks in…
Yes. A pipe burst. So we decided to have all the piping and plumbing redone, just to be safe.
That was a huge chunk of unplanned expenses, and when we found out that the roof wasn´t, in fact, in perfect condition, and that the thermal isolation underneath was for the most part destroyed, it became evident that the big loan was indeed needed for those things.
Which means: We would need to do the rest ourselves.
And by we I mean Mr, Loca, myself and you, because there is no way I am not dragging you into this. After all trouble shared is trouble halved!
First up: The “stairs of doom”!