Fixer Upper


Brooke and I have been trying to buy a while. We got the bug almost a year ago when I started working at Voltage. Banks don’t sell entrepreneurs homes, so I figure I had better take advantage of this opportunity while I have it (not that I’m planning to leave Voltage any time soon, because I’m still having fun and learning a ton).

Our first attempt to buy was with a cute little house in Lafayette with a small rental on the 2nd floor. We were a little nervous about the outdated look of the interior, but loved the price and the possibility to offset our mortgage with rental income. Our dreams were dashed when we tested the house for meth and it came back positive. I really think meth is a bigger problem these days than people want to think.

We spent the next 6 months pursuing just about every house in Lafayette that had a big room for our annual parties, a back yard for our boys, a storage room for our food, and a garage to keep us from scrapping our cars in the morning. Nothing was on the market and the two offers we made in that time didn’t work out. Our real estate agent said he’d never seen a time when less houses were on the market in this city. It seemed like we couldn’t catch a break and Brooke was getting tired of the emotional roller coaster.

About a month ago we found a house that fit our checklist. Could this be the one? The problem: it was in horrible condition. It smelled like a dog kennel, it didn’t have any flooring, and much of the kitchen was broken, not to mention the paint was the perfect shade of pink that makes you want to puke 🙂

The owners were selling it as is, which meant that we’d either have to pay cash for the house, or we’d have to do some improvements after loan approval and before closing. Luckily, we work with a great loan officer who knew of a special FHA loan that would allow us to improve the property using our down payment.

We put in an offer which we think competed mostly with offers from investors. We were very excited when they accepted ours. I credit this to our awesome real estate agent who knew exactly the price we should offer. We then went on a mad dash to inspect the home. We tested for asbestos and meth, both came back negative. Yay! We also did a general inspection that didn’t uncover anything too concerning. The appraisal came back at a number we could live with and we got loan approval last Friday. Everything just fell into place.

With loan approval, the work started. Brooke and I took a couple days off to scrape popcorn ceilings, remove wall paper, and clean and prep the floors. The good news is that with a some long days and late nights we got the house ready for painting, which started today. The bad news is that we uncovered a serious mouse problem. You’d think my wife would be more put out by this than I am, but she says this is something our ancestors dealt with for thousands of years. 🙂 That said, I’ll be launching an all out war with them over the next couple weeks and I must have victory before we move in.

After the painting is done tomorrow, we’ll be installing floors next week and moving in early May. I don’t get excited easily, but I have to admit, I’m starting to feel the excitement.

I’m curious if our house buying story pretty typical. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

About The Author

Ben currently works as a senior developer and technical business consultant outside of Boulder, Colorado.

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About Buink

Buink Web Development is a development shop founded in 2009 by Ben Buie. For years, Ben built and modified web assets for clients in Utah. In 2011, he moved the company to Colorado and in 2015 he started taking on new clients full-time.

Buink’s Core Values:

  • Cost effective technology (with business strategy in mind)
  • Eloquent, maintainable code
  • Responsive and transparent communication

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Dave G.
Dave G.
14:05 13 Aug 23
Buink is a great place to work, as well as a great place to have quality software written. I originally contracted Buink for some web development, and it worked out so well we began working together on many different projects. Definitely an honest transparent company that needs to be considered for... your software more
Dru M.
Dru M.
15:41 25 Mar 21
Ben’s a super responsive, thoughtful, sharp and all around great guy to work with. Excellent with his trade. I’d recommend him to anyone. Thanks Ben!
Seth L.
Seth L.
21:36 29 Jun 19
Ben and team are incredible to work with. They are reliable and proficient. I'd highly recommend hiring them for web development work. SethVOLTAGE
Craig A.
Craig A.
20:50 18 Jun 19
It was a pleasure to work with Ben and his team. It is rare to find such attention to high standards of coding and devops.
Lexi S.
Lexi S.
15:36 18 Jun 19
Grateful to have Ben and his team as such a capable, reliable partner for completing client work!
Tom S.
Tom S.
13:18 14 Jun 19
I reached out to Buink after finding Ben’s name in a local developer/consultant listing in 2017, and I have to say, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Buink. Ben consistently understands not just the development task laid in front of him but the business application behind the task. I’ve... never felt more comfortable with a development team than I do with Buink. I truly feel Ben and his team are integral partners in the success of my more
Marilyn F.
Marilyn F.
22:47 13 May 19
I could not recommend Buink Web Development more highly. Ben and his team have recently developed a budgeting app for me (both web and IOS). I have had the opportunity of working with them for over a year and I am extremely happy with the results.I would say that the biggest plus for me is that I... trust Ben completely. From the very first, Ben has helped me make decisions that were in the best interest of my company. I have never felt like he is taking advantage of me. Ben does his best to keep the whole process very open and upfront. I have really appreciated that.I tell people all the time that I love my developers. And I do. I'm very happy that I chose to use Buink to develop my apps. It was the best business decision I could have made.If you are looking for someone to develop a website or app, I strongly suggest choosing Buink Web Development. They are fantastic!Marilyn Ference, President, Defend Your Money, LLCread more
James Landon B.
James Landon B.
01:33 28 Aug 18
Great company to help with all your web design needs!
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