I mentioned last week how hard it was to find an affordable home to buy. We feel very lucky to have found ours. I was practically addicted to the MLS for a couple months, looking for anything that had some potential. We had narrowed it down to two general areas that we wanted to live, downtown, or Sugarhouse. Sugarhouse is a neighborhood about 10 minutes from downtown that has a hip and unique little shopping district and lots of trendy little tutor homes. Its not exactly the place to find a good deal on a home, but it is a great place to live. We ended up getting a home in what I call Sugarhood, which is just west a couple blocks of the nice Sugarhouse area. Its a transitional area that has a lot of potential. Our home was a total steal at $106,000. It was on the market for some time in the $120 range but not selling, so the owner changed it to for sale by owner and dropped the price. Of course there is a reason it was not selling (there always is). Our house is just under 700 square feet, small even by Sugarhouse standards, and situated on a 30' wide lot that leaves both neighbors houses less than about 5' from our side windows. The lot is a decent size however, around .11 acres with alley access to the back yard. Now that we knew we wanted it, we had to face our first obstacle, financing. I work as a nurse, and make OK money, but have zero credit history. The logical thing to do in this situation is get a FHA loan. Unfortunately our house had an area where the wood siding came in direct contact with the soil, so FHA wouldn't even touch us. My wife some good credit history from some school loans she had, but we found that if we were to use her credit score, we had to use her income, which was about half mine at the time. We had to claim me as the unemployed spouse in order to get the loan, and ended up with not the most favorable rates. Eventually after jumping through enough hoops we got approved and closed on the house almost a year ago from today. We knew we had a lot of work ahead of us to make the house what we wanted it to be, but it felt good to finally be homeowners. Now we just had to figure out how we could make it into something modern and affordable.