When the Chris & Claude Co. started we had this hard core vision of walking alongside people wanting to update their space. And that’s primarily what we did. On weekends and evenings we would work on personal reno properties in the city. But the whole trajectory of our company was to renovate other people’s houses. The trajectory has changed.
And if you’ve been with us any length of time, you’ll recognize- we are still figuring out who we are and what we do best. After a few hunky dory years of that we realized that we could either serve our clients what they wanted or create spaces that people didn’t even know they wanted. We opted for the second option. #controlissues.
What we do now enables me to work from home with the kiddos and the team to thrive and grow and carry the load at our properties. It really was a win-win. And we didn’t look back. Until… meet Jeremie and Hailey.
In 2017 our company worked with Char Company to get a brand and a logo and some super great advice. And that’s when we became pals with Hailey, Char Co’s head honcho.
Side tangent- Char and her team were an incredible company, walking alongside us and truly helping us to figure out (and keep figuring out) who in the hum we even are. They helped us narrow down a few of our crazy dreams and focus on those.
Hailey was instrumental in that process. And when Jeremie and Hailey got engaged they came knocking on our door. We trusted them and they trusted us. And we were super, super pumped to start searching for their home!
Not recommended for newlyweds- but Jeremie and Hailey were crazy enough to go buy a home that needed major renovation. They got it into their heads that they wanted the crummiest fixer upper they could find. And we gladly complied, as good real estate agents should, of course.
And here’s where the compromise came in. That crummy house needed major TLC and Jeremie and Hailey were too cool to say no to. So we decided that with our current workload at the time and having a past of working with them, we would renovate a space for a client again. Spoiler alert- we had no regrets.
Hailey and our team worked together on the design of the unfinished attic space and the first floor, deciding to leave the second floor for Jeremie and Hailey to complete at a later time. It was really a joy to tackle this process. Unlike some of our past experiences, Hailey knew her design style and had a good one. 😉 She loved the Scandinavian/boho feel with subtle pops of colors like robins egg blue. Her style really captured who they are as a couple and while Hailey drove the design style, we were given freedom in the actual, real life design. Becca and I created a powerpoint of design options for Jeremie and Hailey to choose their favorites from. This gave us the freedom to make the design choices we felt were best, while still leaving the final decision in the hands of the client. View the slides below.
Their kitchen was special. There was no way around the fact that the long and narrow kitchen would be just that- long and narrow. Perhaps the technical term for that is galley kitchen, dunno… But we made it all work with a custom build island. Hailey bit the bullet and had that island painted the perfect shade of robins egg blue. And the amazing marble tile we got at an outlet is actually from Italy. No lie.
My favorite part of the kitchen is the pantry door. They had a smallish pantry that had a door that did not hit the cool meter high enough to salvage. But I happened to have this old wooden ship door with a round glass window in it that I scored at an auction years ago. (don’t ask) It had been hiding in our basement and was an almost perfect fit for the pantry door.
Jeremie and Hailey were incredible champs throughout the whole project. They started their renovations during engagement and continued a few months into their marriage. After their honeymoon, they moved into a second floor bedroom and lived without a kitchen while we kept on working day after day. Warning- not recommended for newlyweds, unless you’re as chill and amazing as Jeremie and Hailey.
We think this is a really happy story with some really amazing after pictures to show for it.
Fixing up a home can look glamorous in some ways- kinda polished like Chip and Jo and their streamlined renovations with maybe one, well-placed, timely and easily solvable hiccup. But they can actually be really challenging, especially for individuals planning a wedding and then moving in as newlyweds. Is challenging the right word? Maybe daunting.
So two questions- how was this achievable financially and mentally?
Jeremie and Hailey used the FHA203k rehab loan to fund the purchase and repairs of their home. This was the most streamlined option for them to close on the home and start repairs. Nor did they need a second mortgage to finance repairs. There are some differing guidelines for this type of loan. The Full 203k addresses any kind of changes- including major ones like structural changes. And there’s no repair limit as long as the entire loan is below FHA’s maximum loan amount for that region. The Streamline 203k program on the other hand will finance for repairs, maxing up to $35,000.
The 203k loan can gives individuals the ability to purchase a house, pay for repairs and have instant equity. Now without getting into more technical jargon- head to this article to get a full breakdown of the process of applying for and operating under a 203k loan.
Know that it will be a challenge. Renovating a home is always a challenging, dirty, stressful task- but more so if you’re going through huge life adjusting changes. Take your time, make decisions together and be flexible. This could either be the worst way to begin a marriage, or a bonding experience. It’s up to you really.
Moral of the story- you young couples, starry eyed and ready to take on a fixer upper, do not be naïve. Recognize the challenges, be wise with your finances, work with a top-rate real estate agent (no mentioning any names at all) and choose to have fun with it.
Chris and I renovated our home during our engagement, and it inspired us to start our own company. So, don’t use us as the blueprint- but just saying- doing hard things together makes for a strong marriage.
Jeremie and Hailey, thanks for your grace and your trust and your adventurous spirits. Your home was a pleasure to renovate and design. And you people were a pleasure to work with.
We’re so grateful to sell homes under Kingsway Realty- a truly stellar agency serving Lancaster and surrounding counties. Shout out to the support system they provide so we can keep doing what we love doing- getting you home. 🙂
Renovated and Designed by The Chris & Claude Co.
Photographed by Maddie Broderick