First-Time Homeowners

It’s official… Brian and I are homeowners!

Don’t worry, this isn’t some newly constructed McMansion… no, we purchased a used home. Used, most recently by us as renters for the past four years. Before that, it was used by my Grandparents for over 50 years. (It’s the very house where they raised my mother and her five siblings). Prior to my grandparents, the house was used by a family named McGinnis who left Pittsburgh for sunny Florida after only eight snowy winters. And, from what I can piece together, the home’s original owners sold the house after an ugly and scandalous (for those days anyway) divorce.

Needless to say… the home’s history is palpable.

But, as with any used home – as charming as its story may be, it comes with countless possibilities for updates and improvements.

Here’s our list:
• Pull up carpet and install wood floors on the first floor
• painting (first floor)
• replace windows
• replace exterior siding
• update bathroom
• remodel kitchen
• exterior landscaping

Which brings me to the question at the center of this post:

Do home improvements count as new purchases?

Can we install new floors? If so, does it have to be reclaimed wood? What about painting? Does paint count as a tangible item? Can I pay someone to landscape, even if they purchase new supplies to complete the job? Should I just wait until 2011 and use this year to plan and find the best deals? Or, do I blatantly cheat and have Brian pay for everything?

When Courtney and I set down the rules for this project, we knew there would be gray areas like this that would need more contemplation. (I just didn’t think I would come to such a crossroads in the first month!).

So, I turn to you for guidance. What do you think… Does “nothing new for a year” include home improvements?


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