Well, now that we had a
home place to rest our heads, we moved our belongings into storage and prepared for the closing date that would send us to the nearest RV park!
All the while we continued to scour MLS and Zillow in search of,
5 acres, 2 acres, a house with a big-ish yard and few-to-no restrictions! Ahhh!! A unicorn, that’s right, we were looking for a unicorn! Or at least that is how it felt, as we searched for property on which to build or renovate a home with land unrestricted enough to have a workshop, garden, have a few animals, and practice archery!
Then one day…..this came up on my Zillow search.
It was a brand spanking new listing! I was jaded, but I pressed on. We made an appointment to see it with our realtor that afternoon ( the earliest she could make it.) When we got there we learned that this home is believed to have been built in 1898 and moved to its current, rural location on 6.5 acres in the 80’s. As we walked around we saw that it had tons of period character still in place, and it was so old and cool….but, y’all it was also OLD and DIRTY!! Those two facts kept coming back to me over and over as we looked and talked with our realtor! Speaking of our realtor, she told us that the property had been being shown all day and that for the list price if we made the necessary improvements this place could be a gem!
So, we left in various stages of interest to think about it all and get back to our realtor about a possible offer in the morning. Now is a good time to mention that in our marriage I am usually the glass half empty gal (or as I prefer to think of it, a realist.) So, that evening I could tell that hubs was excited and a little starry eyed over the possibility of owning and renovating a 100+ year old home, BUT I was overwhelmed!!
This house had been a rental property for the past ten years. So, the 100 year old longleaf pine floors (I know yay) were far from the only things that needed love! Seriously, every room needed at least some work and the kitchen and baths would need to be gutted.
So while Handy Hubby saw this:
I feared this:
However, hubby had me make a list of everything that I knew of that would need to be addressed and he began placing cost estimates beside each line item. He tried to always aim high to give wiggle room. The list was long, but when we added it all up the numbers showed that to my amazement we should be able to afford to complete the improvements with cash!! Seriously??!! Wow!! We knew that we would need to do a lot of the work ourselves and that it would take longer than if we paid someone to do it. But….if we stuck with it we would someday have a fully restored piece of history ( ie. wrap around front porch, original hardwood floors, crown moulding, claw foot bath tub, amazing views, and a workshop on 6.5 acres!!!)
The next morning I was cautiously optimistic when we called the realtor and told her to put in our offer!! So, we were completely caught off guard when she said, ” Sure, I will put your offer in. Just know that the seller’s have already received several offers and you will most likely lose to a cash offer.” What??!!