In our 20s, we renovated our first house in Nashville, Tennessee.
The real estate market was hot, and if something in our price range seemed too good to be true, it’s because it was. The “unique master suite” in the affordable bungalow was actually a carpeted garage with an exposed toilet in the corner and a hot tub by the bed. Instead, we bought another house that hadn’t been updated in decades. The washer and dryer sat on the linoleum floor in the middle of the kitchen—which provided convenient surface space for preparing dinner. When someone flushed upstairs, they had to run downstairs to turn the faucet on, or else hear the most god-awful sound come through the galvanized pipes.
We moved to Florida and bought a historic Victorian cottage, but it desperately needed a master bathroom and closet. The house didn’t have any hallways, and every room opened to at least two others. Ourmaster bedroom had a total of five exits. I lay in bed imagining old Scooby-Doo episodes with Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma chasing one another through all five doors.
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