My story of rebuilding is about a house on Alvar Street that was flooded by the failure of the city's levees during Hurricane Katrina. Because of the storm and subsequent flooding, the interior was gutted to just a shell, the roof was holey, and many of the windows and the front doors were damaged or missing, but even in its disrepair, I loved it at first sight anyway.
I have always wanted to own my own home. I took homeowners classes, worked on my credit, learned house renovation skills, and saved up. I had contractors and inspectors check out the property to make sure it was able to be affordably and realistically renovated. I saw that the old New Orleans house was a "diamond in the rough". I used all of my savings to buy the house and the adjacent lot.
Since I used all of my money to buy it, I had to take out a loan to rebuild. I was confident in my credit, but I soon found that the lenders were mainly looking at my income, and in so were only willing to lend only half of what contractors said it would cost to fully renovate. I used the house and lot as equity and got the best loan I could find.
I am using the funds I have to do the best I can to bring this lovely New Orleans diamond out of "the rough". My concern is that the house has to be completed and have a certificate of occupation as well as approval of the renovations by my lender by the end of March 2013, or soon after, if it's not up to par, the entire house and lot will be taken by the bank. That would mean I would lose my money, my home, and my dream.
I have been working on my home for around a year on an extremely tight budget. I have called in many favors from friends, shopped hard for skilled and affordable contractors, purchased restored/repurposed old building materials and have garnered donated supplies off of Craigslist as much as possible to make my house a place for me to call home.
So here's where I call on YOU to help: I still need a kitchen, insulation, an air conditioner, and floors. I still need a toilet, a shower, and a bathroom sink. I need a hot water heater and drywall. I need wiring and gutters. I need to replace and repair windows. I need a fence to secure the property. I need appliances and light fixtures. I need to pay contractors. And more. Your kind donation will be used frugally to directly assist in the resurrection. Even small amounts add up!
If you would like to donate supplies or skilled labor, please look at my Wish List.
Please donate now to help me save my dream to get into my home.
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- Nicole Eiden
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