In early July, 2013, Emily called me (I was visiting Florida at the time) and asked me if I wanted to hear two crazy ideas. Crazy idea number one was to do a Come Visit Cleveland weekend through a conglomerate of CDCs (Community Development Corps) in the city. She found about about it through a facebook friend of hers and they still had spots open. Her other, even crazier idea was to buy a house in Cleveland. The same organization hosting the visit weekend offered a program to attract people to move into the city by offering houses at $6500. Her idea was that we should buy a house and rehab it.
We’ve been saving towards buying a house, but I’d always imagined it would have been a turnkey ready property further out from the city. I never in a million years imagined myself living in Cleveland proper. Emily’s Crazy Idea gained momentum over the following month. We looked at the houses they offered through the program, decided on one, and went through the application process. We were approved by the committee that oversees the program, and the rest looks a lot like buying any property (something we’ve never done before). As I write this, we’ve officially owned the property for 11 days.
Many of our friends and family have been interested in the project, either to see what’s going on with the progress or to lend a hand. My hope is this blog will keep everyone in the loop and also provide a record of our experience. We’re enthusiastic amateurs. In my mind, the point of this whole thing is not so much to get a cheap house that we fix up, but rather to learn how houses work and what goes into them. This is house school. I suppose the smart way to go about this would be to take some classes in structural engineering, plumbing, electrical, etc etc etc, but I’ve always preferred a calculated dive into the deep end.