We headed to Augusta last week for, as my father would put it, "a rocket run." Husband, Wife, and child-REN hopped on a plane to head South- away from the snow and towards family. Aunt Susie picked us up the next morning to start the tour of 15 houses that we emailed her. By the end of the weekend, the list would grow closer to 20. From the original 15, we agreed on four.
This one was my favorite:
Husband said it was not on the valuable side of the street. He was right, but MAN- it is a cool house. It had a sleeping porch. I've always wanted one of those. What's not to love about a staircase like this and those Victorian details (that would be a beast to dust)...
And can't you just see this being a precious little one room guest cottage? Imagine burying the wires, expanding the porch, updating the plumbing (it had plumbing, albeit old) and putting in a tiny copper sink and fridge? Mount a TV on the wall and put gas logs in the fire place? I think I might even stay out there- the idea looked so cozy in my mind.
But, Husband had a point. And the house lacked a working fireplace. He'll be the predominant breadwinner, thus I think he should have more of a say-so. Meaning, we should both love it [equally] and I should not stomp my feet and cross my arms. It won't get me anywhere anyway, so why show my bratty side? Save it for something big (and still get turned down...).
From the four- we got it down to one.
Not this one-- but, we both liked this one. Lots and lots and lots of potential. Pick up the rugs, paint some rooms, polish the floors, knock out a wall, eventually update that old kitchen and voila! A home for the ages. It is across the street from the club, so the lack of a true neighborhood would be compensated.
The attic could convert into a second story with minimal effort as it already has plumbing and wiring run to it and the staircase was wide. The downside of this home on the acre lot was that if we sank a bunch of money into it or kept it the way it was, it would always be a ranch on the mansion street. The neighbors on both sides are million dollar homes (literally, not figuratively). Those driveways would be mighty long to go ask for a cup of sugar.
This was Husband's top choice. It's in the picture perfect Hammond's Ferry. The thing about Hammond's Ferry is you are buying a lifestyle. A lovely, lovely 1950s-esque lifestyle. Neighbors, kickball tournaments, restaurants within walking distance, riverfront lifestyle. The neighborhood is second to none and a great place to raise a family. We'd be happy here, there is no doubt about that and if it comes down to it- we'll take it, but the home didn't make my heart sing.
And my heart has to sing.
And here you have your traditional, lovely home- for a cat, dog, and 2.5 kids. .. Husband's other favorite and very similar to the homes he grew up in. I liked it well enough, but there was no song in my heart.
One. One home made both of our hearts sing and dance with glee. Every home was pale in comparison. But when your home could be called a Cinderella House-- how else would every home in the whole wide world compare?
But, let's be honest-- it needs a LOT of work... it has old-school glass fuses and not a breaker box; compound that with non-GFIC plugs that might or might not have been grounded. The sole water heater is 25+ years old. The kitchen, well... it would work for the time being- if the appliances work, but there would be a need to rip the whole thing out and start from scratch. The lighting was old and dim. There is no central air conditioning. In Augusta. Let's pause for a moment and allow that to sink in.
However, there is a radiator-- that's 85 years old- same as the original roof line.
The house has been vacant for a year and a half.
The addition on the back of the house was done sometime in the mid 1960s and the roof has seen better days. I say the 60s because it has a very modern pink tiled bathroom. And one of those flat stone fireplaces that were so popular at the time.
There is a one room efficiency over the garage with stairs leading up to it that are rotted out and rickety to climb. The garage below has been converted into a workshop.
It's a charming home and would be awesome to raise a gaggle of girls- however, we refuse to go into the poor house trying to make the Cinderella House work. It is work we would want to do ourselves, over time to make it ours and put our memories and thumbprint next to the former dwellers.
So, Husband called Aunt Susie and offered $170k less than what they were asking. (I am glad I was not a fly on that wall!) The owners politely refused and probably laughed at it, which we figured they would. But-- you never know unless you ask. So, our offer stands if they change their minds.
In the meantime, we are scouring the internet for a new list of houses for Aunt Susie to add to the list. She seriously has her work cut out for herself with us as clients! I will keep you posted as we continue to look.
Wondering what we are looking for?
four bedrooms- at least
three bathrooms- I don't want my girls to have to share a bathroom with guests.
I would like a powder room, but beggars can't be choosers.
fireplace... wait, a working fireplace.
A place for Husband to build his boats.
An ability to make it our own- a room (or rooms) to update, redo, etc.
I don't have a green thumb and have probably already been black-balled from the local garden clubs, but a nice yard would be lovely. Someplace for the kids to play and the parents to cook dinner on a BGE.
Young and fun neighbors
Staying out of the poor house, so we can invest in a BGE.
Is this all too much ask? We aren't even looking for our forever home-- just our "Get us back to AUG and get us settled" home. But if it turns into forever, that won't be so bad.