Homeless man bought an abandoned house and spent 10 years renovating it for his beloved wife
A homeless man from Detroit bought an abandoned house for just $1,500 and spent a decade repairing it for him and his wife.
November 2019 was a wholesome month for Michael and Cynthia Gray. Not only they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary, but they also completed the renovation of their new home, The Hearty Soul reports.
The year of 2009 was an incredibly rough period for Michael Gray.
Even though he has a college degree in English and psychology, finding a job in Detroit was nearly impossible. Trying to survive, he was working as a day laborer. As he couldn’t afford his own house, he was a homeless man living in his niece’s basement.
But one incident turned his life upside down.
One day, while riding his bicycle, Mr. Gray was hit by a car. Luckily he managed to recover and used the money from the settlement to purchase an abandoned property for the price of only $1,500. The house was nearly destroyed, but Michael saw its true potential and moved right away.
The first days he slept on an air mattress, surrounded by mites, spiders, and mice. Nothing inside the house was working, including the toilets. But Mr. Gray was optimistic he could turn the busted property into a cozy home.
Since Michael had been working with a group fixing up homes for rent, he had the experience needed to begin renovating his own. He shared with Business Insider:
“I tore everything out, all the way down to the studs.”
At the time Michael started repairing his new house, Cynthia was still his fiancee. He gave her a promise that he was going to build a house that one day she would be proud to show off. He wanted to make the place ‘a family home forever’.
Mr. Gray did about 80% of the whole renovating himself!
Of course, he used the skills he had learned as a laborer while working for a construction management company in Michigan. He also had a few helping friends who assisted him with all of the projects he couldn’t do on his own.
It took him only three years to complete all the major house upgrades. By July 2012, the property already had one renovated bathroom, three bedrooms, and a fourth bedroom that was converted into a walk-in closet.
Michael shares his favorite project was tilling the floors.
“It was hard work, but I enjoyed doing the tiling because if you put a lot of love into what you do, your floors reflect a lot of who you are.”
The whole restoring process cost Michael about $70,000 so far, but he is constantly working on improving the home, so his beloved wife would be proud of it.
After a decade of hard work, the now 67-year-old man and the love of his life are living in a cozy house they are happy to call ‘home’.