There is no such thing as a house that is perfect right from the start. Whether you are buying a house that had a previous owner or having one built, there is always a lot of work to be done to make it "your" house. Before I start going over the renovations of our new house, lets take my parents as an example. I grew up in a house in southwest Huntsville. It wasn't the prettiest house, but over time my parents did a little bit here and a little bit there until it was something they were comfortable living in. That took 15 years, and then they promptly moved. They bought a house that was a new build, and it is a beautiful house. They have lived there for three years and have finally put pictures on the walls. They screened in the deck and put in a patio, along with doing some landscaping. My parents take their time to make their house their own.
We, on the other hand, are hitting the ground hard and fast with our (24 year old) new home. Paint is easily the fastest, cheapest, and possibly best way to make a new house feel like a home. So we painted the day of our closing. Now, we are still taking down wallpaper in the kitchen. I have decided that I want to refinish the cabinets and have started the stripping, sanding, and staining process. I have to do the stripping and the staining while Sarah is out of the house due to the fumes. That, combined with the sheer time it takes to sand the cabinets down, means that this process will take some time. That is hard for us, as we want it done as quickly as possible.
This is especially hard for Sarah. The first day we started messing with the wallpaper, we were both tired. That mixed with Sarah's ridiculous pregnancy hormones caused her to go from laughing to extreme crying while we were pulling wallpaper off the walls. I had to call my mom for her to come up the next day and help with all of this so Sarah would have some relief. After the call, she was crying about not being able to pull the wallpaper off easily and preceded to cry out, "I just want to cook dinner!" I had no idea why she said this as it was 10:00 at night and still don't understand why she would yell such an absurd comment. It has been a week and we still aren't done with the wallpaper.
The point of all of this is that it is hard work to create a home. You can buy a beautiful new house like my parents or an older one like us, it makes no difference. You are going to have to either shell out a small fortune having someone else fix it up for you, or you can do it yourself. (And still spend quite a bit of money) I recommend doing it yourself. Not only do you have the satisfaction of doing something that you get to enjoy for years to come, you also get great stories about your pregnant wife screaming hilarious statements!