It started as a dream that we were hesitant to put into words. My cousin, Jenny, and I would lament the distance between our homes as we continued to grow closer. We started noticing property for sale and started expressing, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I/you could have a place up here?” The dream started sounding like a possibility when we looked at the tax-acquired (foreclosed) property lists for the town. These properties were to be sold at bid, with low minimums. I submitted a bid for a 5-bedroom house on 2.1 acres last week, for the small amount of $13,050. It needs a lot of work and money to be livable.
On Monday night, the sealed bids were opened and I won! I was, in fact, the only bidder on that property. The work it would involve scared all others away. Thankfully, I have a cousin and her husband (cousin-in-law?) who have the vision to see the potential of the place AND can provide help. Conner and I left Tuesday morning and we saw the house for the first time on Wednesday.
I was somewhat prepared for the trash. What took me by surprise was the SMELL. Actually, “stench” would be a better word. My new house hadn’t been lived in for two years. It’s clear that it was trashed long before those residents moved away. We’ve shaken our heads many times, wondering how people could live that way. We nearly filled a huge dumpster with the inside trash and the smell has improved. The outside trash still awaits.
A new roof will be installed soon. There are exterior, load-bearing walls that were cut and need fixing. Non-bearing walls will be reconfigured in one section. A floor or two will need replacing. Existing plumbing will need to be redone, properly. The wiring needs to be upgraded.
Jenny is my superhero. I’m glad for her vision when I get overwhelmed. Yesterday she was like a kid being offered all-you-can-eat candy when I gave her the “honor” of demolishing a ceiling. She went on to tackle the task of removing much of the bathroom. In addition to all that and more, she had the brilliant idea of raising the very low ceilings with collar ties (removing ceiling joists and added higher crossbeams). Here is a picture of Demolition Diva.
It’s clear that I underestimated the work involved. Our time remaining before returning home is short. We’ll do as much as we can this year and return next summer to finish. We hope to spend much of our summer months and even some Christmases in this house. Some of my kids may go up on their own in the future. We love our cousins here. Dreams can come true!