Monday, July 27, 2009

If walls could talk...

I am blogging today as an official homeowner. On July 17th, Derek and I closed on our new house. Since the road to closing took SO long and planning for the upcoming changes began long ago, the attitude was more of "It's about time..." than maybe the typical, "Woo Hoo! A House!!"

And because Derek and I are just absolutely crazy, we decided to buy a HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) home- essentially, it is a government foreclosure. With a quick look around the place, it is not hard to figure out that the previous owners were not so happy about their house being taken away. The kitchen cabinet doors are missing, along with all of the electrical outlet covers, and all of piping underneath the kitchen sink.

But really, those are the smallest issues in the house. To start, the basement wall has a crack. Well, maybe we should call it a canyon. It is leaning in about 12-18 inches from where it should be standing straight. The original plan was to just fix the crack (canyon), but it has now been decided that re-pouring a whole new wall would be best. And next, is the electrical. Part of it can be attributed to the house being over 50 years old. The second part is that well, someone thought that they were an electrician, but they clearly were not. I never know what switches turn on what lights and I swear it always changes. Many of the outlets have three prongs, which might indicate that the outlets are grounded, but they are not. Lastly, many components of the house are original. While "original" sometimes is a positive attribute, in this case, it just means "old." The door from the basement was painted with lead paint, the siding is rotting in places, and the windows won't even open.
View of basement (mold on ceiling)

The infamous crack

Alas, we knew what we were getting into. And the only reason we "got into" this ginormous task was because my father is a general contractor and can guide us throughout the project. We got an unbelievable deal on the house and we just couldn't pass it up. The house is really a perfect house for us (pending updating and repairs)-- three bedrooms, two full baths, full and finished basement, a huge yard with privacy fence, and it is a fantastic neighborhood. My favorite room in the house is the mater bedroom. I just love it. The room is spacious, has beautiful hardwood floors, two huge closets, a built in cabinet, and sliding glass doors to the back yard. Oh, and the master bath has a jetted tub. Heck yes! There is a park across the street and the city swimming pool, too. Not to mention, we are now about 1 minute away from church.

Dining room looking from living room.
Front door on left, basement door on right

Master Bedroom

View of half the backyard from the roof

The work on the house actually started before we closed... Ssshhh! Don't tell. But the mold was worsening so we went in and sprayed bleach and started running some fans to keep it from spreading. We've been over there several times now cleaning up the bricks in the back yard, changing the locks, installing a new basement door, and painting closet doors. But primarily, we've worked clearing out the basement- the ceiling and the paneling- to rid the place of mold. And I just have to include that when Derek and Forrest were tearing out the basement ceiling, drug paraphernalia came falling from the sky: 17 needles, 2 metal spoons, 2 beer cans, and a pack of cigarettes, to be exact. When I called to tell Dad he laughed and said, "If only walls could talk... " and I replied, "I'm not sure what they'd say, but if they could run... I am sure they would have run long ago without looking back!"

More Pictures Here

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