I always thought the best time to look for a new dwelling is the time you don’t need one. When your mind is in a calm place and one can think clearly without rushing into a premature decision. Well this was not the case for us last May 2012, for we had to vacate our rental house by June 1 due to our crazy landlord. Only 2 weeks left. My idea was to put all our savings in purchasing an affordable house so our resource won’t dwindle away to rent and inflation. I knew very little about purchasing a home, basically my mentality of house hunting was much like the college days of apartment hunting. If it is cheap enough, I will take it even if the bathtub is in the living room or if there is a giant hole above your front door and the only view from the apt is a garbage dump….Now the dump is the fancy Hotel on Rivington St in NYC. There is so little time left that we even checked out an RV if we didn’t find anything. After seeing more houses than I can remember and even dragging my neighbor to house hunt with me when Rocky was out of town, we settled on this little grandma house with a big yard.
The house was pretty old and needed a lot of work. The grandma was living there prior of us moving in. She kept the place very neat and tidy. So I thought we can move in and fix everything slowly. But turns out that the repairs we need to do were all connected, much like a domino affect. Each repair overlaps each other. If we want to have new wiring done, we need to replace the asbestos cement siding because it is illegal to drill into asbestos siding for the new electrical box. If we are getting the sidings replace, we might as well fix the roof and replace the old leaky windows. If we are fixing the roof, we might as well replace the rotten beams on the front porch. Then we should replace the whole front porch because it is easier to build a new one than to fix one with rotten lumber. By the third day of living there, Rocky suggested Lulu and I should stay with friends while he starts on the repairs which he thought will last about a month. We ended up couch surfer for month and a half. Now it is 8 months later, we gutted the whole house and only kept the frame of it. Even the toilet and the bath tub are history along with the bathroom floor. It is not what I planned but we are in good spirit and moving forward. Seriously, I am fairly relaxed and going with the flow. I even thought we could just camp in the yard during the renovation but the family voted on renting a little apt down the road.
This was the kitchen but all gone now. Rocky took it apart a few days before Christmas
This was my most favorite part of the house, the mud room ceiling. My intention was convert this room to be my studio. At the end, we decided to
gut it as well. We save the lumber to build background for my etsy site-http://www.etsy.com/shop/babolulu
Old jars left behind with mysterious content could dated back to the 40s. My intention is to sell the old jars and buy a new washing machine. Vintage jars anyone?
I must of vacuumed hundreds of camel cricket from the basement. I wished I have some chicken to feed them to. Some people might find this gross, but I see it as a commodity.
We hired 3 extra guys to gutted the house in 3 days.
Jon, our carpenter is replacing the roof.
The asbestos sidings all removed by Rocky’s hard work.
This is what the house looks like now. We have new windows and roof. The front porch will go on first and the sidings. My friend Flynn came by the other day.
She said “You aren’t exaggerating, this is a shack.”
We saved the wood for a chicken coop. Lulu playing with our nice neighbor.