Monday, February 23, 2015

My First "Home Sweet Home"

I was an eager young college grad in 2005 ( was that already 10 years ago?!) with a drive to be successful.  I had a job lined up in public accounting that I was committed to starting in 2006 after I finished graduate school.

So I moved up to Dallas and subleased an apartment for a couple months while I searched for a condo with my realtor.  Yeah...a single, 22-year-old buying her first home with no income yet.  Sounds crazy and honestly, it was.  I had no business buying a condo yet, but this was back when they'd give a loan to anyone - even a graduate student with no income.  Thankfully, I knew that I had a good job lined up that I'd start in a year and would have no problem paying the mortgage.

After searching for a couple of months, I closed on the purchase of a cute 1,221 sq ft condo in North Dallas and loved it!

This was the first home that I could call my own.  It was also the first place after leaving my parents' home that felt like "home" - do you know what I mean?  I felt comforted when I got home, felt like it was my little space of the world that I could be me and just relax.

There were so many good memories that happened in this condo.

I graduated with my masters degree here, got my sweet little Luci dog, had many roommates throughout the years, threw many parties, laughed, cried, cooked, started my first post-college job, dated, went through break-ups, decorated, had visitors and eventually planned my wedding here.

First, I'll show you some of the renovations that we made, then give you a tour at the bottom of this post.

I had carpet for years.  The condo was built in 1982 and they LOVED carpet back then.  It was even in my bathrooms.  Right before I sold it in 2013, Kevin (we were dating at the time) and my parents helped tear up the carpet and we laid laminate (that I think totally looks like hardwood).  We also had tile laid in the bathrooms upstairs and re-carpeted the bedrooms.

Finished product of the living room:

That one time that a plumber caught my condo on fire and the hot firefighters came to put it out...

Now here's a little tour of my condo... (this is right before putting it on the market so the bedrooms are very plain).  I had taken all of my decor down and painted the walls a neutral color.

 This is what the master bedroom looked like before I had to stage it...

 I have so many great memories from living in that condo.  I spent 8 years there.  It'll always hold a special part of my heart.  It's where I became the woman that I am today.

I'm sharing this post as a part of Compass's Starter Stories series.  Compass is a real estate platform that connects people searching for apartments with the neighborhood that fits their personality in NYC and Washington D.C.  I wish Dallas had this type of service when I moved there years ago.  I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this series.

Tell me about your first home - house, apartment, condo, etc.  Other than the place that you were raised, where would you consider to be your "starter" home?  I'd love to hear stories!


  1. Theres something so special about your first place. Whether it be big or small it was yours. I love the flooring! How in the world did your plumber catch your condo on fire?? That's crazy!

  2. Your condo was amazing and you know what it's awesome that you were able to take on that kind of responsibility at such a young age!! I have such high hopes for our first bought home together that I'm afraid I'll never find it...I blame pinterest and HGTV lol!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  3. Oh my gosh! It's sweet to look back isn't it?

    And how cool that you bought the condo all by yourself! That's an amazing thing.

  4. It's crazy how something as simple as wood floors can instantly make the place look so much better!! Looks like you had a lot of fun memories there :)

  5. I'm IMPRESSED!!! We switched out the carpet for hardwoods and it made such a difference!!! Loooooove your decor! What a sweet house and a sweet memory!

  6. I remember the days when carpet was in bathrooms. My grandparents' house was like that for YEARS. Makes no sense at all haha

  7. What a GREAT little place! We desperately need to rip out the carpets but I'm terrified by the cost and work haha

  8. love your new place. I have been trying to de clutter my place lol .. looks good . Its so nice to have a place thats your own

  9. Your place looks great and I'm sure it will only get greater as time goes on too!

    Our first apartment actually came with the hardwood floors! I was ok with it because our bedroom had carpet so I didn't have to wake up and get my toes cold. I really want the same for our house. I'll keep convincing the hubs for it.

    Ruling the Ortiz Kingdom

  10. aww what a fun post! That was a great space for just you- perfect! Makes me miss my first apartment and I wish I had taken photos!

  11. I think this is the first time I've seen your old condo. I love that you guys did the work yourselves. We did the same thing to mine; gutting it to the studs and starting over. And we both started in our places the same way. Young 22 year olds. :)

  12. Thanks for the tour of your first home!! ...& what a wonderful home it was! :) I'm sure putting this post together brought back so many sweet memories!! It'll be great to have that special place documented here to look back on and smile! Fun post, Kelli! :) XxOo

  13. Lady, I have tried to comment on this post 3 times now! Crossing my fingers this one goes through now that I'm back home with decent internet! :) What a fun tour!! While I would very much like to put in some hard work to make a place my own, my husband is the complete opposite and would like it to be move-in-ready... and since I'm not a handy-gal, we go his route ;)

  14. What a great condo! It looks so homey for just having got out of college!

    XO Chloe
    A Latte Lipstick

  15. Removing the carpeting and putting down wood flooring is the ideal way to get a condo ready for potential buyers. Throw rugs with a splash of color create an instant focal point for the room; your multi-color rug highlights the seating area, making the living room appear cozy and inviting to people who are shopping for a new home.

    Hayden Farley @ Malibu Real Estate Agents

  16. What a nice story to read about and I am happy that you found the home that is right for you. I've been working diligently with a local agent myself and am hopeful in finding what I need to make my own dreams come true. I know that an agent is specialized in finding what a person needs in real estate.

    Rupert @ Gulf Shores Real Estate And Homes


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