Hi everyone! I have news: That Old House sold!
Over Memorial weekend, we welcomed our new neighbors to town. I didn’t bother posting anything between now and then because there wasn’t enough to tell to make it worth your while. However, now that you’re here, let me fill you in!
I last showed you this image from early April of the Owner with a fire marshal and an electrical inspector.
I assumed that meant the end was near. However, it seems the final negotiations took some doing. I can’t tell what that doing was, exactly, but this is what I saw.
The Owner’s visits became few and far between, but I did spot his truck out front a few times.
Then there was this little white car.
It says “Pest Now” on the side. I find it hard to believe they would have already encountered a bug problem, given how tightly the house was sealed up (remember how they caulked all the siding?), but maybe I should call them: today I found a cockroach in my home. I may never sleep again.
That same day there was this man who power washed something, I think. It looks like a power washer, at least; I just don’t remember seeing him use it.
More trucks with unknown tasks came and went through April.
Then these men came by in mid-May and met with the Owner.
The man in front of the red car above took pictures up and down the street. The yellow thing in his hand looks like some sort of enormous tape measurer. A surveyor, perhaps? Maybe a tax assessment? But I thought they did that part already? Hmm…
In case you were wondering, I did get to sort of say goodbye to the Owner on one of his final visits and wish him well. I know this project lasted much longer than he had hoped for, but it was a pleasure to have him as a pseudo-neighbor over the past year and I’ll miss seeing him around. He’s a nice guy.
Back to the narrative, about two weeks ago, this woman arrived. I had never seen her before, but I recognized the truck as one of the Owner’s and guessed that this must be his wife.
I should have gone out to introduce myself, but she was busy with this couple, who turned out to be…
…my new neighbors! (Hi Neighbor, if you’re reading this! Welcome to the blog! I promise I will stop taking pictures now that you’re here. That would be weird.)
[I did tell them about this blog. Still haven’t told the old Owner yet, but now that the deal’s done, I’ll send him a link.]
I should also add here, before the end, a very exciting comment I received in the past month on one of my earlier posts. Do you remember my Trip to the History Museum where I tried to dig up the House’s back story? I didn’t have much success and was a bit frustrated by the experience. Well, interesting story, this house has been a hot topic here in the neighborhood and the link I shared of the professional pictures was circulated around the Old Town email group. A friend followed up, sharing this blog link with the same group members, one of whom happens to be the Director of the History Museum. She read the blog and commented on my experience:
Thank you so much for keeping such a wonderful blog of one of the transformations of [Old Town’s] older homes! It’s so great to see if being redone before our eyes–and piece by piece!
I am the Director of the Historical Society—I think we’re the museum where you went to do research. I’m so sorry we didn’t assist you in a better manner!
I’m not sure who you talked to (we don’t actually have a curator since we’re so small, only a director and an assistant). But we do have a lot of very lovely volunteers who work hard to help with things like research requests, so it’s possible you spoke with one of them?
I know it’s quite late, but if you’re still interested in doing research about the house (and your own), please send me an email with the addresses.
The reason I ask for an email is so I can then send it along to our volunteers and throw out the widest net for the information you’re looking for. Many of our volunteers have been in [Old Town] for many years (much longer than I) and know things that we can’t find in our collection and library and by sending the research request via email we’re able to better capture that information from them.
I apologize sincerely for your negative experience and I hope you visit us again soon so we can do better!
How nice of her! I wrote her back to thank her and did indeed request any more information on the house that they can dig up. I’ll let you know if I receive something new. Her comment made my day and I thought you might enjoy it, too.
So, over Memorial Day weekend, we saw this exciting moving truck pull up…
…followed by this equally exciting moving truck.
These were unpacked over the course of the day and, with that, “That Old House,” abandoned for half a century, rescued and restored over the past year, finally welcomed home a new family to love, cherish and care for it.
Welcome home, Neighbors! Can you believe how far your house has come?
[Thanks, Google Maps, for that yet-to-be-updated street view shot of the back.]
(What kind of person would ever even consider buying a home across the street from a dump like that? Oh, wait…)
So, have I mentioned that the house next door to me is also empty? (As they say, “No neighbors is better than bad ones!” They meaning me.)
The (old) Owner is very interested in renovating this house as well. Who knows, perhaps this blog is to be continued…
But until then, please, sit on my porch with me and enjoy the view!
The Owner hired a professional photographer to capture the beauty of That Old House, all cleaned up and ready to show. They’re excellent pictures that capture a lot of angles I wasn’t able to show you (the wonders of a wide angle lens). Please enjoy another tour inside!
As to an update, I’m still waiting for new neighbors. They’ve had the inspection, the bank appraisal, and finished some last-minute projects (I don’t know what, exactly, but they brought more lumber in that didn’t come back out). The Owner was there as recently as this past weekend, so I assume the sale had still not been finalized. His latest goal was the end of April. Perhaps this weekend we’ll see a moving truck…?
I don’t actually watch ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Waaay too much emotion for my TV viewing tastes. However, they do know how to film a big reveal. Where can I find a bus to park out front so that I can then have it drive off and show you this (practically) finished house? The backdoor neighbors happen to own a school bus. See it on the right?
Maybe I can borrow it for an hour?
Anyway, you’ve seen enough photos of trucks out front now that you can just imagine it with me. So let’s say it together: “Move that bus!!!” [Insert inspirational music and crying family.]
“It’s so beautiful!!!!” “Oh my gosh, I love it!” “Waaah-ah-ah!”
Then Ty says, “[Last name] Family, welcome to your new home! Why don’t you take a look inside?”
And in my imaginary scene, we walk through the front door to a beautiful view of the foyer with the stairs going up before us and the living area spreading out on either side. However, in reality, there were still men working when we walked through and, along with trying not to capture too many bodies in my photos, I was also trying not to take too many pictures and appear as unnaturally interested in this house as I really am. I furthermore found myself longing for a wide-angle lens. Alas.
With those caveats out of the way, let me show you around! Here’s a refresher on the layout, if you need it. We’ll start in the foyer, go to the right and circle through the first floor before we go upstairs.
You already saw a glimpse of the foyer in how the banister turned out.
Here’s a better view of the it, as seen from the living room.
The steps were refinished and the banister painted dark brown with white spindles.
Turning around so the stairs are behind us, one of my favorite areas of the house quickly became the living room and dining room spread. Here’s the living room/parlor (the part closest to the street).
Stepping in and looking to the right, we can see that they did put glass in above the front doors after all.
Returning to the stairs, this is the dining room.
It features a lovely soffit ceiling, recess lighting and crown molding.
It’s nice and bright, thanks to whoever originally added the sunroom windows.
This area gives an open-floor plan feel to the first floor.
Moving into the kitchen, as I said, the men were still working, so, unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it all cleaned up. However, you can still see–it’s beautiful. This view is standing in the back hallway. The dining room is to the right and the backdoor and sink are to the left.
May I pat myself on the back for predicting the hardware correctly?
Looking to the back we can see the diswasher and backyard.
And a bit further to the left is the sink.
I had to come back later to get a picture through the back door of the refrigerator for you.
Also stainless steel, it has a freezer drawer on the bottom and a double-door refrigerator. That’s the pantry to the right of it.
From the kitchen, we continue our circle tour by going into the hallway that connects the kitchen to the back office/bedroom area. Here we find the first floor bathroom.
To the right is the vanity. What a nice wall color! I would never have picked it myself, but it gives the room a particularly modern feel.
Behind the door to the left is the toilet and standing-only shower.
Here’s the back side of the of the shower.
(The white rectangle is the door’s reflection.) It’s a tight space, but for a guest restroom, quite nice!
From the hallway, we head into the potential office area.
That hallway on the left is where we just were; that door in the hallway belongs to the bathroom. The Owner said they decided not to put any doors on this room so that the buyers can decide how they want to use it. They could put french doors in to make it an office, leave it open and use it as a den, or close it off with solid doors and make it a bedroom. I think I’d go with the office idea. The closet in this room is the only closet on the first floor.
Looking at the floor between this room and the family room, we can see the transition from the refinished original floor to the new floor in the addition.
With that, let’s take a look at the family room! First, the familiar view standing by the slanted window.
Okay, I’m just making sure you are fully appreciating this tour. ;)
You can see how they matched the new railing to the original staircase design. I had been imagining wrought iron for some reason. This is more true to the house.
Let’s turn around and take a look at those windows!
So sharp! Note the finished soffit ceiling with its crown molding.
Here’s another look at the banister. The buyers (who have practically sealed the deal at this point), requested that this space be made into a closet, but the Owner declined to do it.
So that’s the first floor! Don’t you all want to buy it now, too? No? Well, let me show you the parts you haven’t seen yet and see if I can convince you.
First, let’s go downstairs to the basement. This is what the basement entryway looks like now that the railings are finished.
And this is the bottom.
As I mentioned earlier, you could close this stairwell off–though it would be a lot of work now–and have the basement be a separate apartment.
This is the main living area for the basement, labeled on the floorplans as the rec room. This view is standing at the bottom of the stairs.
The door in the above photo is the exterior exit on the left side of the house.
Coming down the stairs to the left is another bathroom.
This one has a full bath and shower.
Very nice! They seem to like that inset space in the shower wall instead of a protruding shelf. I like the simple lines this style creates.
Here’s a better look at that tile work–blues, browns and greens.
Turning to the right behind the door we have the vanity.
This almost has a rustic feel to it. I like it. I might change the wall color in here, but since it’s a basement bathroom, odds are that project would never happen.
Next we have the basement bedroom.
The door on the right leads out to the main living area; the one on the left is a closet.
Do you remember this egress window for the bedroom?
Here’s what it looks like from inside.
And wrapping up the basement tour, we have the always exciting utility room!
This is in an entirely different location than what the plans showed. It’s right outside the bedroom door.
The corrections are a rough interpretation, but you can see that the utility closet is not in the front left corner of the house near the water and gas meters. The Owner didn’t offer any information on why they changed the plan.
That’s enough of the basement for now. Let’s go back up the steps and work our way through the second floor. I know it’s why you’re still reading this far down into the post. Faithful reader, I thank you for your perseverance.
At the top of the stairs in the hallway we have the laundry closet.
Next we’ll go into the back bedroom, labeled #2 on the floorplans.
Simple and bright. Note that the bedroom floors are carpeted.
The front bedroom, #3, was being painted while we were there, so we didn’t get to look inside. It looked like it will be a darker color.
Between these two bedrooms is the creative bathroom/closet/vanity layout.
From the bedroom, we first step into the vanity area.
Opposite the sink is a closet.
These two areas are mirrored on the other side of the shared toilet/bath area.
You can see in the bottom left corner of that picture that the vanity and bath areas are separated by sliding pocket doors.
The window by the toilet is the second floor middle window on the side of the house, seen below under the side gable.
And opposite the toilet is the shower, featuring a short-walled tub.
With that, we conclude the “kids’ rooms” portion of our tour. So much more than I ever had, for sure!
We will finish our walk through with the master suite. It is found on the second floor of this portion of the house:
Here’s we go!
Do you see the detailing in the ceiling? It accentuates the unusual room shape and makes it a special feature.
Proceeding to the right, we have a walk-in closet (again, I wished I had a wide-angle lens here; this space is huge).
Continuing through to the back of the house, we have the master bathroom. I have to pat myself on the back again. Remember this prediction?
Nailed it! Here it is!
I know–I’m just that good (or crazy).
Above the vanity, we have this lighting display.
Elegant and classy. I think it’s the same color as the kids bathroom and the basement bathroom.
In that picture above, on the right hand edge (and in the mirror you can see it’s reflection) is the closet doorway, leading back through to the bedroom (if you’re trying to piece this all together in your head).
My final shot for you is of the master bathtub.
No jets, but deep–good for soaking in. And so much light! I hate dark bathrooms. It’s nearly impossible to feel good about your looks in a dark bathroom.
So there you have it, my friends. I’ve been inside and now you have, too!
The latest news on the sale is that they had some people from the town come through, such as a Fire Marshall, as well as had the home inspection completed.
Thus, you see, the house is practically done.
It’s big and beautiful and I wish it were mine.
I haven’t seen a “Sold” sign yet. I know the Owner was there this past weekend again, but I wasn’t around to chat with him, so I don’t know their timeline anymore. We shall see what comes next…
Happy Easter everyone! Welcome back, Lenten fasters. Turns out you didn’t miss much!
It took a long time to get my tour inside. From when I first got the Owner’s promise that I could walk through and take pictures to when I actually did, four long weeks went by. In that time, the crew was only around on Saturdays and I had my own life to live, so our paths didn’t cross very much in March. Sigh. I resisted the urge to run over and peak in the windows because I want the tour to be a big reveal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition style.
So, here are some of the smaller projects they finished up while I waited. We last saw the front porch floor unfinished, with some new flooring put in, but mostly the original boards in place.
The floor received some TLC, starting with a power sanding.
Next they primed it white. I had a worried day thinking white was the final color. White porch floor = perpetually dirty floor.
I shouldn’t have doubted. They finished it up with a coat of dark grey. Nice and sharp, but not distracting.
The worry over the white floor extended inside, though, as I caught this glimpse of a very white banister through the front door!
Oh no! Owner, how could you?! The beautiful contrast of the dark railing on the light walls we saw here was gone!
I was rather disappointed in this style choice. It was so unlike him!
I had to distract myself with other happenings. One was that they busted up the end of the driveway yet again. Seems to be almost a hobby now.
Really, what could it possibly be about at this point? It still makes no sense to me, even after they finally repaved the street, eliminating all the road graffiti.
A cleaning crew came through, giving the house a head-to-toe polishing, including wiping down the windows and taking off the branding stickers.
This worker went around the front porch posts and put little footers on each one, a nice touch.
This man stained a special post–one that, when I first saw it, I mistook to be a real estate signpost. Perhaps the Owner would have to formally list it after all?
Turns out it’s a mailbox! No listing!
Most homes here have mail boxes attached to the wall outside the front door. The Owner doesn’t want the postal worker to have to walk up on the porch here, though, so mailbox it is.
We had one last snow day, just for kicks.
An asbestos truck came to visit.
I would have expected that early on in this renovation as they removed the decades-old interior, but why now?
This worker fixed a few gutters.
And the house has just generally been looking beautiful, don’t you think?
I’m going to go ahead and offer this post to you now for your Saturday evening, as a teaser of what’s to come. I shouldn’t have worried about that banister. When I got my tour last weekend, it was the first thing I noticed walking in, strong, solid and dark.
Stay tuned! More pictures from the walk-through–including upstairs and the basement–coming soon!
At our most recent encounter, the Owner shared with us that they will now be working here predominantly just on the weekends. They’ll bring a full crew and power through the tasks at hand to finish it up. He can’t give a final walk-through to the potential buyers until all his pending deliveries are in (the major hiccup seems to be the railing for the interior stairwells). Well, we got a demonstration of this maximum power workforce this past Saturday. I think I counted ten different men out there. Unlike this picture from when the work crew first started coming…
…this time they were all quite busy all day long and late into the evening. It was chaotic.
The painting crew was back for final touch-ups.
They caulked and painted, focusing mainly on the trim and lattice work (which had been power-washed the day before).
Another team installed the railing around the exterior basement entrance.
I can’t think of what that drywall would be for. The walls all looked done downstairs when I walked through before. I wonder if I’ll be able to tell where they put it when I go through again.
This next station had something to do with the shudders, though it was hard to determine what, since they’d already been sent away for special treatment months ago.
It seemed to involve a lot of sanding. Perhaps replacing the few small, horizontal slats that were still broken?
Over to the right, this duo busted up the road some more (I’m sure the town is so happy they repaved it a few months ago).
They used a water saw to cut a long rectangle out at the end of the driveway.
Again, I really don’t know why. However, today I noticed more strange spray-paint markings on the road, centered around this house, so we shall see.
Those question marks reflect my exact sentiments. What in the world?
Anybody know what this machine is they’re putting away?
The most exciting project of the day, in my opinion, involved this delivery:
The refrigerator! Looks like it’s a double-door fridge with a freezer drawer on the bottom. Nice! Big, too. They just barely made it through the door.
A few days before, this truck had come bearing good news to go along with the fridge.
The countertop! Granite, I assume, but it’s hard to tell. The truck came in from the other direction, then pulled a “u-ey,” so I had a glimpse of the top of it (what you see is the bottom) as it passed by. Very nice, as you’ll soon see.
So that was all the bustle that I captured on Saturday. I expected to see them all back on Sunday, but it was surprisingly quiet. Well, except that another neighbor came by and played football with his kids on the front lawn for a little while. They went up on the porch and peeked in, which emboldened me to do the same, once they were gone…with my camera.
Here’s another view of the stepping stones. I think I’d plant some small flowers along the lattice–daffodils, probably. Maybe black-eyed susans.
Next we have the front porch flooring, as it currently awaits refinishing.
Contrast that to the ceiling, which is looking mighty fine!
Wow, definitely wasn’t expecting that detail! Let me remind you of it’s sky blue origins:
Yes, definitely an improvement.
And now we can see the front doors more clearly.
Mmm, mmm, good.
This window we had discussed a while back regarding how the original was a floor-to-ceiling pane of glass. Here’s how they shortened the window while keeping the original long shudders.
The view inside this window is of the family room. Would you like to see? Of course you would! (Note on the right side the hole in the floor is the basement stairwell.)
This trusty old view of the family room gives us a better sense of the color they used throughout the house. The Owner described it as a neutral with yellow and grey undertones. Not my first choices, but it works nicely here.
Over on the right side of the front porch, the area in front of the living room, I peeked in the windows now freed from the pine tree’s looming shadow. I could see the parlor’s old sun room windows…
…the second front door (let’s call it the parlor door from now on)…
…and the dining room…
…and the KITCHEN!
Que bellissima! Stainless steel refrigerator, dishwasher, nice over-arching faucet, and below we see the oven, too.
Looks like there’s no hardware installed on the cabinets yet, but I think he’ll keep it simple–I predict small silver nobs. To the immediate right of the refrigerator there’s a tall pantry cabinet, too. Ooo-wee! I can’t wait to go inside again!
Yesterday was a rainy day, which was good, because that sod is starting to look yellowish.
But speaking of going inside, I was starting to compile a list of questions I have for the Owner, as it maybe my last time to chat with him. This is all I have so far:
Do you have any other questions you’d like me to ask him? Please post them in the comments (as opposed to my Facebook page)! Thanks!
Sigh. Every day now, when I open my curtains in the morning, I think, Quick! I have to take a picture while it looks nice! Then I remember, Wait, it looks basically the same as it did yesterday–no changes. But it just looks sooo nice! Surely I must take a picture. Sometimes I resist. Sometimes I don’t.
This past week seemed to be busy with a lot of little projects here and there. One of the more exciting ones was this truck emptying the outhouse for what would be the last time.
Woohoo! Within a day or two, another truck pulled up with four other blue port-a-pottys on the back, loaded this one with the rest and took it away, never to be seen again. I had thought the workers were just being nice about not stinking up the restrooms inside to keep everything clean, but as we saw in the grass post, turns out they just didn’t have toilets yet. Good riddance, outhouse!
The front door got its dues, too. See the blue painters’ tape on the handle and lock below?
It was getting prepped for some painting action. Before I show you, take a minute to think how you would treat this door. I was thinking either match the shudder colors or go with a pop of dark red. What would be your preference?
I couldn’t really see what they had done until the end of the day when they closed it for the night. So I’m going to make you wait through their day, too. Here’s what else happened. They painted the ceiling of the front porch…
And hoisted a double sink vanity up the stairs to the master bathroom.
I wasn’t fast enough on the draw to shoot it for you, but I did get this guy carrying in the drawers for it, so you can kind of see the wood color–dark brown.
And I saw the box it came from. Brand name: allen + roth. Nice!
Perhaps it’s this one?
The drawers he was carrying don’t quite match the second one, though. More likely the first option. (Have I mentioned that I like quirky detective shows? Monk, Psych, Castle, Sherlock, Rosemary & Thyme. It’s all in noticing the details.)
And that was about it for that day. So now for the great door coloring reveal! Drumroooolllllllllll…. TA-DA!
Stained! A nice, dark stain, too. It’s quite rich and lovely, but I couldn’t get a good shot of it for a few days–the lighting wasn’t right.
In the meantime, I wanted to recap all the more recent changes that have happened outside, so we can better appreciate this view.
- Front walkway
- Pine tree removed
- Flower beds
- Stepping stones
- Front door
It’s been a busy two months! I think these guys deserve a break. How about a Snowquester snow day?
Forecast: 12 inches of a wintry mix. Snow, ice, rain–it’ll be terrible. Close down the Capitol!
The next morning:
*shaking fist* I cancelled overdue doctor appointments for you!
But isn’t the front door beautiful?
That day these two men installed the railing around the exterior basement entrance.
We had another important milestone last week. Do you see that little blip on the front lawn (the tree lawn, as it were)?
That’s the local newspaper. That’s the first time I have ever seen a newspaper on the yard over there. Wow–a legitimately recognizable residence! Just wait till they get a Chinese restaurant menu stuck in the door handle! Then we’ll know they’ve truly arrived.
It seems that snow storm was the last bit of winter we’ll get here, as the weather has now turned bright, sunny and warm and the daffodils are opening up. That, in turn, means I’ve been out for more walks lately. So here are a few different angles of the almost-finished product for you! I don’t think I’ve really shown you this side since the last post about the addition.
I like the gable in the middle of that roof line. Does that count as a gable, technically? I tend to think of them as just peaks around the roof line, but perhaps they have to be inset more, like you would see on a cape cod style home.
Anyway, you can glimpse a bit of the front porch ceiling taking shape here.
And here are the stepping stones and mulched-over tree stump.
The front walkway has settled into its nice colors.
And the view to the front door is looking ever more welcoming.
Here are the matching front doors, just waiting for buyers.
The space above each door is for a decorative window, like a small stained glass piece or something with lettering on it, such as a surname and street number. Since this picture, the men have painted these boards white, so I guess they will leave that bit of decorating for the buyers to do.
Thus here we are in early March, roughly one month past when the owner originally was hoping to be finished. So it goes with home renovations, I’m told. The Owner said they still need to wash the lattice, plant some bushes, fix up the front porch flooring, and install the appliances and railings. But they’re almost done!
…when it’s installed like a carpet. No, really. That Old House is actually starting to make my old house look bad. Never would have thought it on the day we moved in!
I had been wondering how the Owner would deal with the yard. Since we’re still in winter, technically (a little “Snowquester”, anyone?), I didn’t know if you could sow grass seed and expect it to grow or if the house would just sell with a muddy yard and the new owners would be left to deal with it. After they laid topsoil, I figured seeding was the way to go. But then these pallets showed up one morning.
Let me back up a minute. About a week ago, the #2 guy had been working on laying flower beds around the front of the house.
He then laid stepping stones to connect the front path and driveway.
It wasn’t particularly exciting to watch, but it didn’t take him very long to finish.
So when I went back to check on his progress, I found this scene:
Stepping stone path plus grass roll-ups! Intrigue! One of the workers began the slow process of unrolling each bundle and laying it down…
…square by square…
…piece by piece. This could take a while.
Thankfully the Bobcat arrived to spread the pallets around the yard for him. It also used the shovel extension like a comb to smooth out and slope the yard more evenly so that the grass would lay nicer.
And so they continued with unrolling and laying down the grass squares.
Wow, this goes faster with two people. Say it with me now…
“Many hands make light work.” Nice, eh?
Unfortunately for the first guy, he had started at the wrong point, so they picked up that first section to the left of the stairs, and continued working around the right side of the house toward the backyard.
With a few more hands helping out now, they soon worked their way across the back and back around to the front.
They finished up the last section by the road…
…and were done before nightfall.
That night they left the front porch light on for the first time.
Wow. Trust me, this was as strange to see as the first time they left the interior lights on. I hypothesize about the buyers a lot, but these are the moments that make me remember that someone is actually going to live there soon. Like, every day. Across-the-street neighbors? What’s that all about?
There she was the next morning, feeling very confident in her ever-bettering looks. (I’ve decided the house is female. Most Victorian houses are. So much fru-fru.)
Just to remind you, this was the before-grass picture:
Impressive, the difference such a small plant can make.
That day, last Saturday, they spent time cleaning out all the remaining trash in the house, hauling it away in a trailer this time. No more dumpsters.
Later I spotted these boxes in the garbage trailer. Ooh, toilets!
It seems they were preparing for a showing!
(Faces intentionally blurred. Wouldn’t want to seem like a crazy stalker neighbor…). The woman in yellow actually jogged off down the street shortly after this, so it appears she’s already a neighbor.
It’s a good thing I already own a house (and can’t afford another one) because, man, I would have a hard time not buying this house if I were still in the market. Granted, I’m more invested than most, but can you see it now? How pretty it is? I know some of you were doubters in the beginning. You can come out and confess it now.