Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Losing My Mind for a Moment

On one of those evenings when I just didn't feel like going to sleep yet, but didn't have anything to occupy my brain, I started blog wandering, following links from one blog to another, exploring outside of my usual blog tour. Chris, at the Big Yellow House, has a few House Blogs listed, of people like her who bought older houses that need a lot of fixing up. I got sucked in and read for hours. It is a romantic notion, to find an old fixer-upper, and turn it into your dream home. I started longing to find a house to fix up for my own. I dreamed of what it would look like, and how it would be to live in it. Then I read some more blogs, and started noticing just how much sweat and agony is involved, LOL. When they started getting technical, I realized just how far over my head all of it is, and I know I don't want to do that! Our old house was bad enough, and it wasn't literally falling down.

But thinking of buying a huge old house to fix up, which is probably the only way we will ever be able to find a huge house out here, put me in mind of the old house down the street from Chris' parents. It has been empty since the early 70s, and Chris and his sisters used to go over there and sneak inside and play in it. Over the years, teens have used it as a hang out, and it has been vandalized, in addition to just declining with age, so it is in horrible shape. The historical society has been trying to buy it for years, but the old lady who owns it wouldn't give it up because her husband had died in the house, and she insisted his ghost haunted it. While at MIL's on Labor Day, I learned that the house has finally been donated to the Historical Society. Poor Chris, he had always dreamed of buying it and fixing it up for himself. On the one hand, I am sad for him, but on the other, whew I just dodged that bullet! Here is what the house looks like now:

A view down the street from in front of MIL's house:
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A closer view of the front:
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The brush you see in the 3rd picture is not growing there, it is actually tree limbs that were trimmed and then left to lie in front of the house.

You can see what bad shape it is in. Inside is worse, FIL says the floors are falling through, and things like the mantles have been looted. The roof is slate and would need to be replaced, ugh on the cost of that.

Romantically, it would have been so cool to fix it up and live in it, but I think I am glad that option is gone, LOL

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Believe me, you really don't want that big of a project. All you need to do is watch some home improvement shows to know how bad things can get.

When we moved, we also thought we wanted lots of space and wouldn't mind some fixin'.

Hindsight being 20/20, you are better off with something that has good structure, and isn't too hard to work with. A simple project like putting in hardwood floors can last weeks when you do it yourself. I cooked in my garage for three months when we put a new floor down in our kitchen.

There's a lot more satisfaction in small but successful re-decorating projects that can be finished in reasonable amounts of time. Living among construction is not fun.

Have you ever considered purchasing property and building your own house? If you have good organizational skills and you can yell at people - you can be your own general contractor with some success. Then you get exactly what you want.

The upside to buying property is that you don't have to build right away if you can make the payments on the land and your present mortgage. The land becomes an investment.