To our surprise, our house sold in 10 days. We have a great relator, Kris Berger. I wasn’t ready; physically or emotionally, but that’s another blog.
I no longer need to perfectly place 5 neutral pillows from Home Goods on my bed each morning.
This was good. But where do we move to? The anticipation of looking at charming old houses excites me. Which was actually our first problem.
When I enter an old house, I fall in love. All reason is out the window.
Quirky floorplans are overlooked, electrical limits ignored, and suddenly rotating my clothes to the attic seasonally is no big deal. Every old house can be brought to it’s former glory in my eyes.
Dave, on the other hand, is not afraid to say “No”. He has a bachelor’s degree in Building Science and 30 years of experience. He’s not falling for any of that.
The house we saw today was no exception. A beautiful old Victorian in a sought-after neighborhood sitting on a lot large enough to expand. This is it. When I entered the foyer, I was surrounded by high ceilings and original milled woodwork. Leaded glass windows and old-fashioned radiators. My heart skipped a beat. In the dining room, I was surrounded by rich old growth wood paneling and a built-in hutch that had been serving food to families for over 100 years. This is the one. The smaller sized kitchen and all baths needed to be gutted, which for us, was a good thing. Upstairs were 4 smaller bedrooms, one with a bath and one hall bath to service the other 3 bedrooms. Stairs lead to a partially finished attic with decent headroom. The rooflines created charming slanted ceilings, odd shaped spaces and no plumbing. Where do I sign?
Apparently, Dave was walking through a different house. He started on the exterior; the roof and gutters needed to be replaced and there was rotten wood under the aluminum siding; a sure sign of more bad things to come. The 2 car garage was in poor shape and had to be replaced. Dave was running numbers in his head, and it was spinning. Inside was no better.
Electrical needed to be upgraded, and there was no air-conditioning. In addition to the expected kitchen and bath remodeling, the windows needed to be replaced and there was asbestos tile in the basement and attic. Old wallpaper, covering a majority of the rooms, was peeling off the walls taking the original plaster with it. They would all need to be skim coated. These things can all be done, but how much did we want to spend? It was clear that this house had a series of band aid solutions over the years and once we got into this project, we could find ourselves in some very dark places.
This was a labor of love (with an endless budget). Once again, Dave’s experience saved us from disaster. It’s easy for us romantics to fall in love with an old house, but in reality, Dave has saved us from a lot of very charming money pits.