It is a 1956 ranch style pier and beam house on three acres with great views both in front and back. Though it is in the city limits, there are only about a dozen houses strung along the highway just outside the last city street. The bedroom windows face the morning sunrise and the front of the house watches the sunset. We can see right away the roof needs new shingles and there will be foundation repair but the house appears pretty solid and has great bones. We are aware that a house sitting unoccupied for so long will have plenty of projects to bring it back to its glory. I just hope we have the stamina to do most of it ourselves.
We made an offer, it was accepted and the transition began quicker than I imagined. They were packing boxes while we waited to unload the U-Hauls. We never expected our house in the metroplex to sell so quickly but it did. We felt a little like a homeless couple or maybe more like vagrants or squatters moving into a house we have not closed on. We are very fortunate to know the couple selling the house well enough to work out the living situation until legal paper work can be completed. Right away we found the first road blocks were not with the purchase but with the utilities. The owners never used a physical address, but instead a post office box in town. During the years it sat vacant technology moved forward. There had been a storm that caused a tree to fall onto the power lines, and the electricity had converted to a digital meter about the same time so the power company simply removed the meter box because no one was living there. It took almost two weeks to get the physical address established and a meter box installed. We also discovered there had been a car accident that damaged the gas meter so another few days were used up getting that re installed. The long version of this story can be read on my post titled: Home Renovation - the utilities.
We slept on air mattresses at our son's home until there the electricity was turned on. Even after that we had to borrow air condition units to put in the windows until some major electric wire could be repaired. Meanwhile we spent the cooler mornings removing dead and dying trees and bushes and the hotter part of the day inside dusting, sweeping and mopping.
We made a budget and a list of things to do/buy. So, it begins.
Put up mailbox, establish address Have house exterminated for bugs & termites Electricity - move meter box from pole to house New water lines from city to house Remove dead trees & shrubbery Buy lawn tractor w/utility trailer Re shingle roof Have 2 fireplaces inspected and repair if needed Level foundation Change 5 exterior door locks Add 5 ceiling fans Add a kitchen skylight Remove/paint wallpaper! Replace dish washermoved up because the old one stopped working
- Replace flooring! Wood floors revealed and restored. Kitchen floor temporary painted
- Paint (a never ending story!)
Remove florescent light from kitchenand laundry room
- Replace front door (
paint until new door can be purchased) New faucets
- Master bath pedestal sink
- Open wall between kitchen/dining
- add island in kitchen
- Add recessed lights
- Add 2 attic ladders
- New stove
- Build Coffee bar under kitchen window
- Replace kitchen counter tops
- Enlarge laundry room by moving bedroom #4 wall.
- Build storm cellar