Most of us have heard Joanna Gaines speak the magic words, “Are YOU ready to take on a fixer upper?” Chip and Joanna have captivated America with their fun personalities and home designing talents on Fixer Upper. Every time I watched an episode I thought to myself, “Yes!! I would love to do that!” I loved seeing a house transform into a home. 

Well… We are now in the middle of our own fixer upper ‘episode’ and I am starting to ask myself if I was really ready to take on such a big project. 

Were We Ready to Take on a Fixer Upper?

Our family of five currently lives in a little craftsman bungalow ‘in town’, as we Nebraskans say. Several years ago we began to keep an eye out for an acreage that would give us more space for our family. We wanted a bigger house, more privacy, and room for our children to run and play outside. I grew up on a farm and I have missed seeing the sunrises and sunsets for which Nebraska is famous. I miss seeing the stars at night. I miss having a yard bigger than a postage stamp. I couldn’t wait for the day when we would find the perfect fixer upper and move out of town.

In February we officially purchased a 3.5 acre property that we absolutely love. There are so many trees, a huge yard, a GARAGE (we only have a carport!), and a large outbuilding. And, of course, a house.

Were We Ready to Take on a Fixer Upper?

The house is a little bigger than our current home and it was not in terrible condition when we bought it. As with any older home there were things that needed to be done before moving in, like replacing carpet, repainting, and a major deep cleaning. There were major things that had already been done, like new siding and windows. And then there are the things we want to do, like adding a bathroom and taking out an entire wall. No big deal. 

Were We Ready to Take on a Fixer Upper?

So many projects, so little time! We’ve been working on our new house for several months and we’ve only put a dent in our to-do list. We’re trying to balance work, our kids, preparing our current home to sell, and getting the new house ready for our family. It’s more challenging than I had anticipated. 

It’s so easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed but I try to remind myself about the positive aspects.

  • This property is a huge blessing. It checks almost all of the items on our ‘must-have’ list and we are thankful that God led us to this decision.
  • We own our current home, so we are not juggling two mortgages while we are working on the new house. There is no rush to move and we don’t have to have a set move-in date. It will happen soon. Or at least soon-ish!
  • The wall is out and the opening looks and feels fantastic. This was a big project and we’re so excited to see the progress!

Were We Ready to Take on a Fixer Upper?

  • Paint covers a multitude of sins. Down the road we will be doing major renovations (an addition, a new kitchen, new drywall) but for now we are trying to keep it simple. Two coats of paint is a quick way to see each a room refreshed!

Were We Ready to Take on a Fixer Upper?

I will miss a lot of things about living in town. We love our neighborhood (minus the very busy street we live on) and we enjoy having friends and family drop by. We are very close to the library, museum, and several beautiful parks. I enjoy sitting on my porch and going on walks with my kids. Moving out of town will be a big change, and I’m glad to have this time of transition to prepare myself. Lord willing, we will move into our fixer upper soon and begin making the house a home!


Rachel Gnagy

Rachel Gnagy is a wife, mother, photographer, coffee lover, and book nerd. She and her husband, Samuel, have four precious children, two boys and two girls. Rachel is a work-from-home-mom, running a small photography and graphic design business. She has been writing for Her View From Home since 2012 and loves the opportunity to communicate with other women.