When Mindy and I first moved to Colorado, we spent $400,000 on a nice house. We had just completed a huge remodel and wanted a place that didn’t need any work. We’d enjoy Colorado life.
But we weren’t happy with our new neighborhood. Many of our neighbors didn’t share our values. The high school kids who lived around us had nicer cars than us. No one mowed their own lawn, shoveled snow, or cleaned their own homes. Some of the guys in the neighborhood had fancy motorcycles and it seemed like the only thing they ever did with them was rev them up loudly in the driveway. Chimps competing for alpha male status.
Mindy and I were not happy. We put our new place back on the market and move back to the Midwest.
But the housing market wasn’t so great back then, so our place sat. And sat. And sat.
A couple of months later, I discovered Mr. Money Mustache. I was having a bad time at work, so MMM’s words were an epiphany:
Holy crap! While we don’t have enough money for me to quit now, we’re not far away either!
At the end of 2012, I met MMM in person. He gave us a tour of Longmont which seemed to fit us well. Mindy and I still weren’t completely sold, but we decided to move to Longmont on a trial basis.
We bought a home there, but instead of something shiny and new, we went with a fixer-upper. I’d put some sweat equity into it to speed up my march to FIRE. If we didn’t like our new town, we’d just sell it and move back. But we quickly figured out that we liked Longmont.
The project suffered from scope creep. Initially, we were like:
Let’s remodel the kitchen and bathroom.
A couple of months later:
Let’s pop the top!
And then, we bought another project place:
This one also turned out to be bigger than I planned. Solar panels, a curved deck, and a fancy pergola weren’t in the original plans:
In prior homes, I rehabbed to make money. It was simply a way to speed up my journey to financial independence. But I came to realize that I like working with my hands. There are also a lot of puzzles to figure out, so you get to flex your brain too which is also very rewarding.
Oops I Did It Again
And look, we just bought another one. We were walking around the neighborhood when we stumbled on another place that needed a lot of TLC. We’ll fix it up with the long-term goal of moving into it. This isn’t nearly as big of a project as our previous ones but will give me something fun to do this fall.
I’m going to film our progress and release a new video every week. We hope to finish this one in two to three months. If you care to follow along, I’ll be posting new videos here. In the meantime, here’s the first one:
Time to go to work!
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High FI podcast:
- Facebook: Facebook group and page
- YouTube: My channel is mostly devoted to home improvement, but I have some other material coming up soon too.
- Instagram: Pretty pictures of dinosaurs, sunsets, and nail guns!
- Twitter: Spontaneous, often insane, ramblings
- Coworking space: On the surface, MMM HQ is a coworking space. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re really building community. The members of MMM HQ are some of the finest people I know.
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