The author closed her home in September 2020 (Photo courtesy of Kate Wood)

I walked through over 20 homes in person and scrolled through who knows how many more online. Finally, in September 2020, I closed a 1740s Cape Cod-style home in eastern Connecticut that needed a lot of love (you read that right, it’s almost 300 years old). It had a lot of period charm, a large lot with lots of mature trees, but if he had been ready to move in I doubt I could have afforded it.

This low initial sticker price may come at a cost, which Monica Lee and her partner Dan Hart also found for the repairman they purchased just outside of Washington, DC “We Found a Home in Takoma Park which was ridiculously cheap, but it was unlivable, ”says Lee. In August 2020, the couple bought the house, which Lee said had been unoccupied for about 10 years, with a FHA 203 (k) loan covering the cost of the mortgage as well as their renovation project.

The logistics of their loan turned out to be more difficult than expected. “I worked for the government, I get permissions, I thought I was going there with my eyes wide open and I could get things done,” Lee says. Red tape and contractors’ security concerns have pushed the couple’s timeline again and again, but Lee says, “You learn a lot. You feel like you’ve accomplished something. I’ll feel like we love it. the House.”


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