The Cheapest House

In 2010, I moved to Middle Tennessee with my wife and two small boys from the Big Island of Hawaii. After first being displaced from our rental house by the Nashville Flood in May 2010, a few months later ,we bought our first house.

Actually, we bought an abandoned building from a bank on foreclosure. It was rough. It wasn’t even habitable when we signed the papers. The basement was thick with mold. The drywall needed to be finished or patched from water damage. The back door was rotted out of the jamb. The roof was leaking.

After a month of cleaning, painting, and patching, we moved in. Whether or not it was safe to inhabit is still up for debate.

Why did we buy such a “unique” property? After living on the Big Island where we would never have been able to afford the mortgage on any property, I had it in my mind that I was going to buy the cheapest house I could find. That’s exactly what we did.

After a home equity loan, and the hardest working 7 years of my life, our 3,400 square foot brick “castle” is valued at nearly 8 times what we paid for it.

My Real Education

In the process, I learned framing, electrical, plumbing, drywall, flooring, insulation, hanging doors and windows, painting, trim and baseboards, etc. I did it all. I had help when I could afford it, but this project was fueled largely by my blood, my sweat, and my tears. Literally. Working on the house during the day and going to my full-time job at night.

Somewhere between burping babies, cooking three meals a day, and taking care of our (you guessed it) 4 Sons, my wife found time to help too, a lot actually. Especially toward the end when she could tell I was losing touch with sanity. She knows her way around a brush and roller. You better believe that!

 I watched countless YouTube videos, read "How To" articles, referred to home improvement books, hired a contractor as a consultant and talked to county Code Inspectors. 

I was driven by a relentless pursuit of “doing it right.” Even if it took more time and cost more money, I had to do it right, because I want it to last and I don’t want to have to do it again!

Home Inspector

When I began my Real Estate Home Inspection training, I was almost giddy. “I already know most of this stuff!” I flew through the 200 question National Exam in half the allotted time. I needed a score of 500 to pass. I got a 627.

I’m telling you all of this because for the first time in my life, I am truly excited about going to work! I love what I do and I’m good at it.

My Motivation for Helping You

While we were in the middle of our renovation a few years ago drowning in work and choking on sawdust, my wife and I began to talk about a way we could eventually help other couples navigate what we were going through with our old house.

You may be looking for a new house that is maintenance free. Or maybe you’re willing to take on a house that just needs some updating. Or maybe you’re crazy and are looking to buy a house like my wife and I did that will cost you less than a new car upfront, but you will pay later in time and repairs.

Let's Keep in Touch

I hope you will keep in touch. I’d love to hear of home improvement victories, and be a crying shoulder for those frustrating moments. I get it. I’ve been there.

Thanks for trusting me to advise you through your home buying or selling process.

Looking forward to Inspecting for you,

Kristofer Gray