Work continued today. Jami and I ran some errands, and the crew was probably grateful that for once I wasn’t walking outside every thirty minutes or so to stare at the work being done. It didn’t stop me from taking a few more photos to share on the old blog.
I have to go into Houston for just a bit this morning. Whenever I have to leave the house, it’s so hard because I can’t watch the progress. Coming home is a bit of a kick, though, because there is definitely progress being made! More photos either later tonight or tomorrow!
We bought our little home almost nineteen years ago, from the widow of the man who built it in two stages. The first – a two bedroom, one bath house with a small living room and eat-in kitchen was built in 1950. The second, done in the mid 60s’, made the living room into a third bedroom and bath, the kitchen into a little sitting room and added on a new living room, dining area and kitchen. The little 900 square foot house increased to almost 1,700 square feet.
We have been dreaming of this day forEVER. We paid our last mortgage payment in October, enjoyed not having a mortgage for a couple of months, and then took out a small home equity loan to get Sally a new dress. Her crumbling blue siding was well past its prime, and she also needs some subfloor repair and new flooring. While we’re at it, we’re going to put up a beadboard ceiling!
I am really looking forward to the finished project in two or three weeks (hopefully sooner). In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the progress, beginning with the brick repair we had done:
This is all for now. I’ll be taking more photos and sharing them as the work progresses. Right now I need to go take a chandelier apart…
There’s a cliche that goes something like this: “The devil is in the details.” When googling the quote I discovered there’s also a version that states “God is in the details,” and today I found this to be exceptionally true.
A few months ago, a dear friend, Sonja, called me to ask for details regarding the house we were preparing for sale. A young woman had come into the office where she works, along with her mother, and in the course of their conversation my friend discovered the young woman was looking to buy a house in Alvin. I remember my first reaction was, “Oh, we are NOT ready!” So with the disclaimer that we still had a good bit of work to do, I gave her the address to pass along to those who inquired.
With so much left to do on the house, I didn’t really think about it anymore. My sister and I kept working on the house and finally listed it with the realtor. We had a false start the day before the house actually went on the market — a young couple expressed interest in it, but in the course of walking through the house, a problem was discovered with the brick walls: they were a little loose with age! We immediately contacted masonry companies for repair quotes and hired a company to secure the walls around the entire house. We were relieved that the repair was not horribly expensive, but still well done. By the time the work was done, however, the young couple had moved on to another house.
I don’t really know the order in which things happened after that — my sister had more contact with the realtor during the sales process than I did. But I do know that in a very short period of time, we had two offers made on the house. One was our listing price and the other was several thousand dollars less. We were thrilled to have two offers and it didn’t take long to agree to the best offer. After inspections, some minor repairs were indicated and we offered a repair allowance which was accepted and we had a deal.
So today we met at the title company in Pearland to sign all the papers. We found out for certain that our buyers were twin sisters, one of whom had been the young woman who inquired about our house when talking to our friend, Sonja! They were absolutely delightful young ladies — hardworking nurses who’ve been raised with a view to the future. In visiting with their mother, who came with them, we learned at the age of 24, they decided they wanted to invest in a home, rather than throwing hardearned money away on rent. And here’s the crazy, “oh my gosh, it is such a tiny, tiny world” bit of the story.
We exchanged our stories — where we were from and what we did. I mentioned I live near Lake Jackson, the mother mentioned her son worked at Brazosport College. I said, “Oh! I teach photography there in the Community Education department!” She gasped and exclaimed, “My oldest daughter is in your class!” I asked if her name was Angela, and “Yes, yes it is!”
So several months ago, this very sweet young lady called me to ask about what kind of camera she needed and told me how much she was looking forward to the class. Several months ago, her mother and one sister walked into my friend’s office and mentioned they were looking for a house to buy in Alvin. And today we discovered all these paths that seemed completely separate were actually very close indeed.
I would definitely say God is in the details. I take a great deal of joy in knowing these sweet young ladies, fellow Christians, will be making their home and memories in our childhood home. I am pleased that such good people will be the new neighbors of the neighbors we have been so fond of for so many years.
I think our mother would be so happy. I know she would. I know I am.
Over the last several months, anyone who’s stumbled across my little blog here knows my sister and I have been preparing our childhood home to be sold. It’s been difficult, but we have managed to keep each other going and the day has finally arrived. The house is going on the market later today!
I couldn’t wait that long, though, and so I did my own listing (complete with our realtor’s contact information) on Facebook. Now I’m going to share with you!
Updates on the house are getting closer and closer to being done. Today we stopped by to disconnect the dishwasher (discovered a manufacturing defect after it was installed – they are bringing a replacement tomorrow). The laminate flooring has been put in. Unfortunately I was a bit distracted by other things and failed to get any photos. I’m going back tomorrow to paint, so after we run the vacuum and dust, I’ll get some shots. In the meantime, here are a few of the progress that’s been made, beginning with some “before” shots:
We hired someone to paint the cabinets with a sprayer. It was a lot faster and the finish was better than if we’d tried to paint them with brushes. We think it was worth the investment in giving the cabinets an updated, fresher look.
So that’s it for now. I am really please to see my childhood home receive the update it’s needed for so long, and I’m hoping whomever buys our home enjoys the updates and makes a lot of good memories here.
I’ve lots of dreams for our house, but some are more expensive than others. I’ve decided that paint will give us fairly immediate gratification with the smallest expenditure. Yesterday I prepped the entryway from the garage between the laundry and kitchen. Patched holes with wood putty, smoothed them over with some sand paper and wiped everything down with environmentally friendly mineral spirits to get rid of years and years of dust and grime. (The entryway is still wearing the same coat of paint it was when we bought our house 14 years ago. Yeah, I know.)
I also bought a desk, hutch, and two bookcases off Varage Sale the other day. They aren’t fancy and only cost me $135. I think they will look pretty good after I paint them. I really needed the additional bookcases for things in my office, so this seemed to be a pretty inexpensive solution to my ongoing battle with disorganization. I’m going to go ahead and organize the things I plan to use the set for before I spend a lot of time prepping and painting them. That way, if it doesn’t work as I hope, I’ll just turn around and sell them again. Sometimes you have to try it out to know if it’s the right solution.
The color palette I’ve finally settled on for the majority of the house, and have already used in the living, dining, and kitchen (after YEARS of trying to decide) — Eddie Bauer’s “Craftsman Bungalow” in these colors: Mercer Blue, Cattail, Craft White and Limestone. (Disclaimer: I do NOT live in a “Craftsman Bungalow” — it’s a 1950s/1960s Ranch (?), I guess . . . but I love these colors and I love Craftsman-style furniture, so whadyagonna’ do?)
The image above is a fairly accurate representation of Mercer Blue and it is the color that I painted our living room walls several years ago. In fact, it is the color that wraps around the perimeter walls of our entire common area, which is somewhat open. When you walk through the front door, if you go straight ahead, you walk into the living room and as you go to the right, you see the dining area. If you keep going to the right, you go through the kitchen and end up back at the front door. There is a wall separating the living and kitchen — on the living side, it is paneled and on the kitchen side, it is covered with a closet housing the hot water heater, cabinetry, and the stove. So the Mercer Blue takes care of the outer walls of this part of the house.
The Cattail is the color of the paneled wall on the living room side. This representation is not quite as accurate as it appears real life. On our paneled wall, it appears to have more of a green undertone. I really like it with the Mercer Blue. And when I get to it, all the trim will be painted Craft White. I’m thinking about doing the kitchen cabinets with the Craft White, too, but adding some sort of antiquing glaze to make them stand out a bit from the rest of the trim.
In a few weeks, I hope to paint my office and the hallway that leads to the bedrooms and bath the Cattail with the Craft White trim. And last, but not least, I plan to use the Limestone in our bedroom. This representation is the closest I could find. If you look at the paint chip at the store, it is a really pretty grey — and definitely warmer (but not too warm, since I like cooler colors in the bedroom) than the Shale blue I selected from this palette and used in there a few years ago.
There are lots of other projects we want to tackle (my husband is working on replacing our siding with Hardiplank as he has time and money), like putting bead board paneling over the 1960s’ acoustic tile in the front part of the house and tearing out the weird closet/cabinet thing I use for a closet and putting in a REAL closet for both of us. Those are a little more expensive, though, and I’m thinking that a fresh coat of paint on everything will be a nice compromise in the meantime.
The real excitement is knowing we only have about four years left on our mortgage! So fresh paint or no, this old house is looking better and better as time goes by.