It’s finally here, my FIRST HOME TOUR! I’m so beyond excited to share with you my journey of buying my first home and decorating it too! Let me tell you, it was definitely not easy as I thought it was going to be. Call it an emotional roller coaster if you will, the whole process was so time consuming and equally frustrating but when it finally came together, it was honestly the best feeling ever. Now that I think about it, it’s was exactly like an HGTV show, ha!
So like most young professionals, my journey started out in a trendy neighborhood of Chicago, where I was living and paying a ridiculously high amount of rent just to live in a tiny apartment. I believe it was only 190 sq. feet (See my Lincoln Park Rental). Clearly it was all about location and less about comfort and space. So after 14 months there, the property management decided to increase my rent even more than what I was paying, and I guess that was when it hit me that I really needed to stop paying for someone else’s mortgage when I could pay my own. In addition, if just ventured back to the suburbs, I could definitely get more space for my money. I know you’re thinking I’m crazy for leaving the city, and moving back to the ‘burbs. However the ‘burbs I’m originally were literally 20 minutes away, so it really wasn’t a big stretch to go back. So there you have it, an idea was born and I was on a mission to purchase my first home, and let me tell you when I put my mind to something, there’s no stopping me!
So how did I execute this wonderful idea? I really needed to make some lifestyle changes, and be really conscience of my spending and savings. I even bit the bullet and moved back in with my parents for 8 months to save. It was definitely a unique experience and I don’t recommend it for everyone, believe me it was really hard at times but it really gave me an opportunity to evaluate my habits and prep me for the responsibility of home ownership. So when I finally reached my financial goals, I was able to start house-hunting with a great mind-set!
Unknown to my knowledge about seasonality, I started looking for homes in the winter time. The inventory wasn’t great, and the properties I loved were not anything I could even afford. It was very discouraging at first, until I decided to change my search from single family homes to condominiums. This opened up a lot of potential places and got the ball rolling for me to actually submit offers. However just when I thought the hard part was over, another roadblock occurred. There’s was weeks of going back and forth with sellers, and many disappointments of offers not getting answered or even accepted. The loan process as also another nuisance with a lot of paper work involved. However at the end, when I was just about to give up, the stars miraculously aligned and I finally bought my first home!
I was really fortunate to get a beautiful turn-key (real estate jargon for places that don’t require any remodeling) 2 bedroom, 2 bath condominium of Morton Grove, IL. It had everything I was looking for; spacious 1200 sq. ft., hardwood floors, granite counter top, open concept living area, large master bedroom, in-unit laundry room, indoor heated parking (a must our brutal winters), and really close to a commuter train for a daily 25-minute ride to work in downtown Chicago. Honestly I was so surprised to get all these things with my humble budget, but it’s a true testament that patience is a virtue that leads to amazing outcomes. See, exactly like an episode of an HGTV show! So dramatic!
Now that I finally got my dream home, it was time to get down to business and decorate! So I don’t have any formal training in interior design. I figured I’ve done decor for parties and wedding events, and those turned out great. Not to mention, I also watch a lot of HGTV shows and view countless amounts of decor inspiration on Pinterest. So how bad can it be? To my surprise it was actually an amazing experience! I basically found another outlet to be creative and make something beautiful that I could create and share.
My inspiration for my home was 50 shades of Gray! No, not the actual movie (get your mind out of the gutter lol), but more-so the neutral color palette that goes with everything. I wanted my space to comfortable and cozy. So with that in-mind, I started with painting my walls with both light and dark shades of gray for contrast. After I got a good foundation, I went shopping! I did stay true to my budget values and went for economically-friendly options versus the fancier brand names. I was able to get more bang for my buck and it ended up being just as great, if not better and I didn’t have to spend so much money on great timeless pieces.
Here are my top 6 places to get beautiful furniture/decor on a budget:
- Joss & Main: Beautiful Home Decor, Beautifully Priced
- Wayfair.com – Online Home Store for Furniture, Decor, Outdoors …
- Overstock.com: Online Shopping – Bedding, Furniture, Electronics …
- HomeGoods | Blog | Unique Home Decor and Affordable Home
- IKEA- Home furnishings, kitchens, appliances, sofas, beds, mattresses
- Target : Expect More. Pay Less.
So enough of the chit-chat, let’s get this show on the road and start the tour! Oh yeah, this is my first home #MADEBYMOI 🙂
Guest Bedroom (only room with color)
Master Bathroom/Laundry Room
It’s very bittersweet to announce, on September 27, 2016, I sold my beautiful home. Like everything I’ve experienced with owning a home, it was totally unexpected and fast. I didn’t anticipate it would have gone under contract within 24 hours of actually showing my place at open house. I didn’t even have time to marinate in my decision to even sell my home. However sometimes in life, it just happens like this and you have to just trust life’s plan and go with it, only good things can come. I have a lot of exciting things in the works as we speak, and will be sharing it with you all shortly! In the meantime, I leave you with these famous last word… There’s no place like HOME!