Wednesday, February 4, 2015

You had me gate.

This gate.  I think I was sold at this gate.  

But let me back up a little.  My husband and I are retired.  We were living in Indianapolis.  I was ready to find where we wanted to spend our "golden years".  Having grown up in a small town, I was tired of living in a large city.  Our children were gone and we had an empty nest. 

When my husband and I first got married, I always thought it would be neat to retire in Brown County.  Brown County is about an hour south of Indy.  It's hilly, wooded, secluded and beautiful.  But too far from Indy.  We still have things we need to get into the city for.  Another thing I have always wanted was a home on a lake.  There are numerous lakes around and I'm sure we could have found something we would love.  However, once again it felt too far from the city.  

That's where Franklin, Indiana comes into the picture.  Both of our children had already moved there.  After spending time there visiting our children, we began to really like the town.  It's full of old homes and I love old homes.  I have had a dream for years to live in one but felt we were too old to rehab anything.  The town itself is awesome because there's always something going on.  There's a beautiful courthouse in the middle of town and a beautiful old theatre that shows movies.   

Our goal was to sell our home and then find something in Franklin that was old and already renovated.  The husband was insistent on the fact he did not want a project every weekend to work on.  He was downright grumpy about it.  We had fixed up a home before and knew what that was like.  We are at the age where it's getting hard to work hard! 

Last January we started preparing the home we were living in to sell.  I cleaned out closets, packed some things, cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned some more!  By March, we listed our home to sell.  It was about that time we started looking at homes in case ours got a nibble.  I just happened to find a home that was pretty much completely done.  New kitchen, fresh paint, remodeled bath etc.  It needed new windows and a couple other things but it was move in ready.  Problem was, it was a little on the small side.  There was really nothing else that would work for us if ours sold.  I felt we could make it work.

That same week our son told us about a home right around the corner from the finished one.  It was right next door to his wife's cousin's house.  They had talked to the owners and found out they were looking to sell and wanted to be out by the end of April.  We went and looked but I had in my mind that we were going to try to buy the other house.  

Then there was that gate.  Oh man.  I love iron fences and gates.  This was hard to resist.  Plus, it was on a brick street.  The outside was a little rough though.  The porch was covered up with lattice and ivy.  The shrubs had overgrown so much you couldn't see the windows on the side of the house.  It clearly needed a new roof, gutters, everything!  Then there is the two toned color of the siding.  I didn't not have high hopes for the inside, but that gate was awesome!  

Going inside was interesting.  Two very charming ladies, a mother and daughter, were living there.  The house had been divided into two living areas.  One up and one down.  The stairway had a door on it that could be closed off to give the upstairs occupant privacy.  The downstairs of the home had so much beautiful woodwork, six panel doors, wood floors and original light fixtures.  The kitchen and full bathroom downstairs was in need of renovating.  Most every room had wallpaper that needed stripped.  

Upstairs had carpet that needed removed, bath renovations to be done and again more wallpaper, painting etc.  Pretty much work in every part of the house.  The thing that stood out was the house had really good bones.  For a home that age, the floors were pretty level and in good shape.  So much beautiful woodwork and the light fixtures.  Also, it was the right size for us.  As much as I thought it could be wonderful, there was too much to do and I thought it was more than we could take on.  Then there was the fact that husband had no interest in projects.  

This home was not move in ready.  The furnace was almost thirty years old.  The owners had multiple cats and there was a lot of cleaning to do.  As we left I assumed we would be contacting our realtor about the other house.  As we got in the car and I looked at my husband, he blurted out, "That's a lot more house for the money and I could have that done in 6 months!"  I wish you could have seen my face.  I told him that house would be an every day on going project for longer than six months.  I reminded him that he didn't want any project.  It was too late.  He had his heart set on this house.  I didn't want to get excited though because we still had to sell our house.  I figured it would take a while to sell and it would be gone by then.  Plus, I wasn't sure either of us were up to the task of renovating this entire house.  

Fast forward three weeks.  Yes, three weeks from listing our home it got an offer on April 1st!  It was accepted and we had to be out of our home on April 28th day of closing.  We worked out an offer with the ladies.  That gate was going to be mine!  That was the beginning of our journey.  Welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy hearing what it's like to live in an old home, in an old small town and a life of renovating.