Here she is!

The befores and the plan

Laundry Room

ImageTo do:

  • Paint the walls, ceiling and door
  • Turn the unsafe half wall into a full wall
  • Add baseboards and trim

Kitchen

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ImageThe kitchen has so many weird angles and an odd layout that it’s hard to get a good photo of it!

To do:

  • Paint
  • New ceiling fan
  • Add cabinets and open shelving to the North wall around the stove
  • Take down the bead board (and relocate the good pieces to the hall bathroom)
  • Repair the plaster walls
  • Someday replace the drawer pulls and knobs

Hallway

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The right side of this picture shows where the stove, new cabinets and shelves will go.

To do:

  • Paint
  • Figure out a way to make the laminate closet door look 100 years old
  • *eventually* find out if the floors running through the rest of the house are under the laminate floor (I REALLY hope they are!)

Guest room

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To do:

  • Paint, paint, paint!
  • New ceiling fan
  • Fix the closet doors/make them look old (they won’t stay closed and they’re that plain, white fake wood.  I hate them.)
  • Redo the shelves in the corner closet (seen in the 2nd photo.)  The shelves aren’t installed very well and they’re weird heights.  It will be my temporary crafts closet and I want to be able to organize my bins
  • Take out the door (on the right in this picture) and wall it up-the layout of this room doesn’t make sense (there are two doors into this room)

Hall bath

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To do:

  • Paint
  • Move the medicine cabinet that’s over the toilet to over the sink
  • Change out the faucet, knobs and showerhead
  • Finish trim around tub
  • Add bead board to the wall on the left

Master bedroom

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To do:

  • Paint
  • Replace ceiling fan
  • Finish adding trim around the baseboards
  • Paint the closet (a walk in-I KNOW!)
  • Put outlets on the closet wall and inside closet (so I can have light in there!)
  • Add organizers to closet
  • Install carpet/flooring in the closet

1/2 Bath

ImageTo do:

  • Strip the wall paper (actually already done-thanks mom!)
  • Paint
  • Replace the light fixture
  • Replace the vanity
  • Replace the toilet
  • Replace the medicine cabinet
  • Install outlets in the bathroom (there aren’t any right now!)

Living are 1 (soon to be office area)

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My camera battery was dying at this point-flash was hit or miss

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To do:

  • See that doorway into the green room in the second photo?  It’s going away!
  • Paint
  • Turn the wall sconces over-they were installed upside down and they collect bugs and are a pain to clean

Main living area

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To do:

  • Paint
  • Remove the mirrors
  • Remove the tile above the fireplace.  The mantle is great and I don’t love, but can live with the tile on the hearth
  • Replace the ceiling fan
  • Create some built ins to the right of the fire place for the TV, DVD player, cable box etc…

Outside

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Yes, that’s my reflection in the GLASS they used to construct these sheds

Yikes, right?

To do:

  • Paint
  • Replace the front door
  • Lay out grass seed/fertilizer this fall and hope for grass next spring
  • Trim up the bottom three feet of that blue spruce out front so it doesn’t scrape my car as I pull in and out of my driveway
  • Fix the gate to the left of the house-it scrapes the ground and doesn’t open properly
  • Plant a garden and flowers…someday!
  • Build a real fence around the whole yard starting with the corner where the nasty sheds are-eventually have a driveway that leads straight from the street to the alley
  • Tear out the old, ugly fences
  • Install siding to the laundry room addition
  • Have the apple tree pruned

I don’t have pictures of the tiny entry way (which is one of my favorite parts of the house) but I will take some tomorrow!

Also tomorrow I’ll show you what I’ve already completed!

Now I’m ready for bed!

-A

Making my second offer

…or the story of The House That Broke My Heart.

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I still love this house…and it’s still on the market but more on that later.  As soon as I walked in I KNEW it was my house.  Beautiful floors, gorgeous historical accents, easy layout and a fireplace!  The kitchen needed some work-just counter tops, cabinets, appliances and paint and the sun porch/entry in the back was drywall and plywood but still, I KNEW.  As soon as I had seen it all and after it got my dad’s stamp of approval (in about 15 minutes) I told my realtor that I wanted to withdraw my offer on the first house and submit an offer on this one.

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The MAIL SLOT!

 I made a full asking price offer of $75,000 and within days it was accepted.  I went out of my way to drive past *my* house at least a few times a day and was on the edge of my seat for the day I got the call moving me forward.  FINALLY in October 2012 my realtor called and said that they were ready for me to schedule the inspection.  The house passed with only a few minor problems (fixing a breaker and replacing an outlet.)  The inspector said, “For a house of this vintage it’s in excellent condition.”  With this pass I fell harder and just knew I would be in by Christmas.

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That moulding!

So I waited, and waited and waited.  I decorated and rearranged the whole house a thousand times over in my head and then on December 27, 2012 my realtor called and said they had countered my offer.  The new price….$87,000.  And I needed to make my decision quickly.  My realtor agreed that the market and area didn’t support the higher price and so, after waiting for 4 months for MY house I walked away.

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sigh

Within two weeks of it being relisted at $85,000 it again went under contract but that’s as far as it has gotten.  It has spent another 5 months pending and according to the online listing it’s waiting on Financing.

I’m sure people think I’m crazy-$87,000 is nothing for a house but I felt betrayed and played with.  I felt like I was being manipulated and the bank was trying to see just how much they could get from me.

I think about this house all the time but I don’t regret not buying it.  I had dreams of celebrating its 100th birthday and restoring it to the beautiful, loved home that it once was.

I still plan on buying an almost 100 year old home and I still dream about making something beautiful again.  A house is waiting in the wings (just bought by BOA, waiting for it to hit the market) that was built in 1918 and could be even more perfect that this one.  No pictures yet though, I don’t want to jinx it!

-A

PS-while I didn’t notice any ghosts in this house my mother felt an older man in the basement workshop (near the original coal chute!)  I like to think that he would have loved how I cared for his beloved home.

Making my first offer

After looking at a bunch of houses I was worried that what I really wanted didn’t exist.  I told my realtor that I wanted an older home with character.  In need of updates and minor repairs was even better.  I don’t want anything huge-three bedrooms or two bedrooms and an area I can devote to crafts would be perfect.

This house is 2 bedrooms, one bath, 944 square feet and built in 1918.  It had a decent kitchen and a nice sized laundry room.  The best part was a large open room above the garage that I thought would be perfect for crafts.

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As I met my realtor after 5:oo PM I told her I would meet her at her office the next day when I got off work to put in the offer.  I e-mailed the woman doing my financing the next morning when I got to work and she quickly replied.  She said she was excited for me and that she knew I had been looking for a long time and she was happy to hear that not only had I finally found something but that it was well within my budget.  I told her that I’d be meeting with my realtor that afternoon to put the offer in and asked her to send over my pre-approval letter.  I left work at 2:00 PM and as I was headed to my realtor’s office she called me and said that she still hadn’t gotten the pre-approval letter and that she hadn’t been able to get a hold of my “mortgage lady” all day.  When I got off the phone with her I called my “mortgage lady” and asked her what was going on.  She said, “Oh, I have bad news…I don’t have a loan for you!”  I had been working with this woman from the beginning.  She told me I was approved and gave me a budget and she laughed as she told me I no longer had a loan.  In tears I called my realtor back and told her that I couldn’t place the offer that day.  I then called my parents, in tears and near hysterics.

As I told people at work my (first) home-buying-horror story one of the girls suggested I contact the woman who recently helped her.  Even though I thought I wouldn’t get approved I submitted an application and waited for the “I’m sorry, but no” e-mail to come.  It didn’t.  By that afternoon I had a pre-approval letter in my inbox-something I couldn’t get from the first woman in two years!

On 9/15/2012, letter in hand I went back to my realtor and placed my offer.  My offer was almost immediately accepted by the owner but because it was a short sale I had to wait for the bank to accept it also.  I had heard that this could be a long process so I continued to look at other properties, just in case I found something I liked more….

Asking price: $78,000 (it finally sold in January 2013 for $92,000)

Smelled like: old carpet, almost 100 years of living

Haunted: I don’t think so

I don’t regret not buying this house.  After going back to look at it a second time I realized that the only way to access the only bathroom was through one of the bedrooms.  I think 90% of the time this would have been fine but I know it would have gotten old having to keep my room presentable just in case someone had to go through it to get to the bathroom.

I ended up withdrawing my offer on this house on 10/3/2012 because I fell in love with “The House That Broke My Heart” but I do still drive by it every once in a while to see how the new owners are fixing it up.

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-A