Alisha Fagen bought her two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath Johnston townhome in 2009 and knew she had her work cut out for her.
“I bought this as a foreclosure, so it was pretty much destroyed,” she says. “We’ve changed everything.”
With the help of some family members, Fagen did almost all of the renovations herself.
“We painted all the walls,” painted the ceiling and added new carpet,” she says. “I’ve tiled all the bathrooms and the kitchen, added all new lighting and ceiling fans throughout the house.”
Now, three years on, Fagen is happy with the home where she lives with her boyfriend and 5-year-old-daughter, Maisy.
“I’ve gotten the house to the point where it’s me now. It’s perfect for us at the moment, and I really like the quiet neighborhood,” she says.
The townhome has the kitchen, half bath and living room on the topmost level, with sliding doors off the living room leading out to a raised deck that overlooks the backyard. On the bottom level are the bedrooms, laundry area, master bathroom and closet and storage spaces.
For now Fagen is happy with her Johnston townhome, and the Johnston community is a big part of the reason why.
“Where I’m located, (Maisy) can go out and ride her bike, since I’m not on a main road. There’s a greenbelt out back that I can walk all the way to my parent’s house, if I want. Also, I know several members of Johnston PD through work and they knew I was a single mom, so they’d drive by and keep an eye on the place,” she says.
But Fagen — who works with the Polk County Attorney’s office and commutes downtown — knows she probably won’t stay forever.
“When I bought it, it was just (Maisy) and I, and it was perfect for us,” she says. “And in my previous job, the commute was much shorter. But eventually I’d like to own a house somewhere.”