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 A man hammering a nail into wood with a drill resting beside him with text above him.
Mickey and I have never been afriad of a little sweat equity… well, I do more of the “You are doing a great job!” while he does more of the sweat equity, but together, we make a good team and we aren’t afraid of a good DIY job.

Today, I’m working with SunTrust for this sponsored post to talk about buying a new home. Once you find the home of your dreams, it is then up to you to turn it into a house that YOU truly love. For us, we go into a home purchase with the hope that we will find a “fixer upper” that needs work. It is a project that allows us to get a home cheaper and put our own touches into it, until it becomes the home of our dreams… when you are looking for a true Guide to Home Buying, SunTrust can help.

Owning a home is a huge financial milestone and with it comes confidence (financial confidence). You never want to buy more than you can afford, or one that needs more work that you have the time or money to fix. Mickey and I have had all of our mortgages through SunTrust Mortgage. They have a team of experts that will help you find the best mortgage for you. They give you the tools, info & resources to help you find your next home or get a mortgage on a home that you love.

When Mickey and I bought our first house, we were the first owners and we built it ourselves. We picked the colors, the style, the kitchen cabinets, etc… The best part? We picked the base-model and then we did the rest of the work ourselves.

Mickey and my dad built a screened in porch, Mickey added chair rail in the house and painted a room a day. If a project came up and Mickey didn’t know how to do it, like laying a patio, he researched it until he figured it out and then he did it himself. I never worried, because he is a perfectionist through & through, so I knew it would be great.

There are a few jobs that we can’t do ourselves, like having our carpeting removed and hardwoods installed, but most of the projects in our home are DIY jobs and we are happy to save them money and have it just how we want it.

Mickey’s latest project is his laundry room renovation. I love it!

Here is the before:

A white counter with a cabinet above it.

And another one:
A white counter with a wicker basket on it.

After Mickey cut and added shiplap, built a countertop out of wood, built floating shelves, painted, turned several vanities into a giant storage area… we have the beautiful after photo:

A laundry counter and shelving above it with small items on them.

He has started to do this to renovate room in our house. The bathroom was next, followed by our kitchen. He has really transformed the feel of our house with a little money and a lot of his time. To him, it was worth it.

How did we decide to do it ourselves over hiring someone? Mickey told me once that “The pride that you feel knowing that you did it yourself is something you can’t beat. To know that you took the time to do something like this to make your family happy is the best feeling.”

So… he usually does the projects in our house, and we are all grateful for it. I love walking into the mudroom and knowing that he built it from scratch. I love walking into the laundry room to know that he did it just for me. His DIY jobs don’t go un-noticed. The kids & I notice them and appreciate them.

Simple changes can really make a house feel like a home. When you put your own personality in a home, it goes from a place to live, to a place that you want to be – a place that makes you smile.

Here is how we determine whether a project is worth tackling on our own or outsourcing to the experts:
1- Will it cost more to do it ourselves than to hire someone?

2- Will the time spent be worth it? For example, if I spend 6 hours painting a room that someone else could paint in one hour, will the money spent have been worth my time? Would I rather hire a sitter for 6 hours or hire a painter for one? Would I rather spend that 6 hours with my family or spend the money on the one?

3- Will I want to re-do it in the future? If I am going to pay $2,000 for new countertops, with the intention of doing them again in a few years, it isn’t worth it to me. However, if I plan on keeping htem fo

4- Could someone get hurt? If Mickey says that he can “easily” paint our two-story foyer, I’m going to have to step in & say “just spend the money” because I would rather spend money than risk him falling off of a later and ending up hurt. It’s not a risk I am willing to take.

My ultimate tip is to look at these things and price out your projects BEFORE you purchase a home. Check out Your Guide to Home Buying for tips on this. I have made the mistake of being seriously interested in a home, only to get home and add up my “projects” to realize that they were WAY more than I was willing to spend… which leads me to number 5:

5- Is this going to improve your home value? If your home is valued at $200,000 and you spend $50,000 on projects, like a fully-renovated kitchen and new flooring, will your value go up to $250,000 or will it stay at $200,000, because of the area that you live in. This is something to consider before jumping into a project- DIY or not

White sheet of paper with text.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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