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In the News: A Debtless DIY

The New York Times' "Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Solvent" is a heartwarming story of an Akron, Ohio couple, David and Gina Giffels, who exquisitely renovated a condemned 1913 Tudor house with six fireplaces, a solarium and a billiards room, which they'd purchased for $65,000, bit by bit over 12 years (and counting) without the use of credit cards. Upon closure, the house was in awful condition; it had been inhabited by a slew of neighborhood creatures, and "the roof over the master bedroom leaked so badly that the previous owner had placed 55 aluminum baking pans on the floor to catch the rain." Living on columnist and teacher's salaries, the Giffels never had much to contribute to renovation costs, or construction experience. But, with a lot of devotion, and the ability to endure the stress of it all (and two miscarriages), they have gradually resurrected a piece of history and built a home for their two children, Evan and Lia (12 and 9) — with little help from contractors and a mortgage under $100,000.

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