Our house was sold. Now what? At the time we had two small children. We knew we couldn’t buy the same sort of intense project. Our previous house was a death trap for kids. So what should we do? We could go out and buy something new. There is no shortage of “communities” that we could slip into and disappear. Or we could find something that needed only minor cosmetic improvements. It wasn’t easy to find something that we could get into quickly, be safe for our children, but still give us renovation projects that we really wanted to do.
Then our realtor was showing us houses one day. The places were perfectly fine. Nothing exciting, but we could move right in and send our kids to good schools. Everybody’s dream, right?
Our realtor knew what we wanted. He knew we wanted something special, not to settle. So he drove us out to a side of town we thought we hated. We crossed a large river, which was a good sign. Flowing water is always good, and rare around here. Then everything started to get pretty. Big trees. Big yards. Big houses. This was an established neighborhood we had never been in, filled with big ranches nestled in the rolling landscape working its way down to the river. Then we followed him onto a street that felt like we entered a tunnel of trees. It seemed like we were a million miles from the city. Then he turned into a long driveway lined with pine trees. Deep in the two acre property sat this stone house:
This poor little house was neglected by the bank for at least 4 years and was a sorry sight. There was a huge PVC pipe jetting out from the basement window into the front yard. Poison ivy growing up the stone walls. Old bushes taking over the front entry. A 60 year old Ash tree was dead in the front yard. It was perfect!
We stepped inside and I fell in love. It had so much potential! It was obviously loved for many years. Although it was very outdated, you could tell whoever lived here had great style. Every wall was artistically painted or papered. It was a very designed home. 3 bedrooms were on one side of the house while a master suite sat alone on the opposite side just past a sunken dining room. It suited our family perfectly.
One big problem. The banks neglect was becoming obvious. They turned the power off for who knows how long. Being this close to the river, flooding is a serious issue. The basement flooded and destroyed everything. The furnace, hot water heater, water softener, etc. The basement had been finished so everything was ruined. The bank came in and gutted anything that had mold. Parts of ceilings, the trim around windows and carpeting were all tore out. We could look past that, we were going to take it out anyways.
The front living room:
The sunken dining room:
The kids bathroom:
The lovely master suite:
So when we made our offer, we were told the bad news. The bank considered this a “non functioning” home because there was no furnace and the well had never been tested. We found out many offers had come in for this home and this news caused 100% of them to walk away because they couldn’t get a loan.
With some creative financing with a local bank willing to take a risk, we got the house! It was a serious risk and very scary, but we were determined to make it work.
Fast forward 4 years. You won’t even recognize the place. I can’t wait to show you!