Tuesday, October 27, 2015

One year house-a-versary

I just love a love story. This one is a revisit about our love for our home, the journey to purchase and start renovating.

Craig and I wanted more from life than the existence we had at our old house. We wanted the kids to experience more than suburbia had to offer. We knew we'd miss our friends and local activities and conveniences, but also knew it was time if we were to do it. 

We had land shopped some in our own. Craig found a small house in this area that sold quickly and we decided we'd prefer land with a house over raw land so that some infasctucture was already invested.
We called the realtor for land in our new area and had two places in mind, the first we didn't even get out of the car, the second was our place. Euly was with us and the three of us just knew it was perfect for us: projects, home renovation, hills and spring creek. Potential, beauty and peace. 
From our first visit - love at first sight

We fell in love April 2013, made a very low offer, actually got a contract signed (then I panicked and walked away from contract within the ten day grace period)...the projected work was just too much. It was the biggest decision I made primarily on my own in our marriage. Drama, sadness, regret, but it turned out to work out perfectly in the end.

Part of our New Years resolutions for 2014, we thought the one thing we wished had worked out, was to buy this house, so we called and tried again and were completely under contract January 2, 2014 and visited often in the months between. We had to sell our house then convince the sellers' mortgage holder the property wasn't worth what they held the mortgage for by half by trying to sell it to anyone else who would pay more than us. Seeing it go back on the market was a nerve breaking gamble! 
We sold our home June, moved to an apartment and threw it all up to God. We  finally heard short sale to purchase approved in October and closed a week later: October 28, 2014. It was ours!

The girls and I moved in right away before electricity, heat and water. 

So much to do, it is edifying to see what progress we made over this last year to the previously abandoned to now much loved home!

We are sooooo thankful it all came together and that it is ours. I love it more every day! 

Original list:
✔️Foundation repair.  The house consisted of three sections. An old home moved on to property with a master bed and bath wing built on in end and a den built out on the other. It was true with the foundation as with every other aspect of this property, "What were they thinking? They used good material but it seems like they didn't know what they were doing:"
Setback- discovery an additional bean needed under girls' room now resulting in more Sheetrock cracks. To be repaired by end of month.
✔️Repair broken Sheetrock -used Manny I knew from the past. He brought a team to repair and paint and did an excellent job. He had to come back when Ac exploded through ceiling. I'm hoping Craig and I can repair recent damage.
✔️Get tractor -  so many projects we could not have completed without: road, little house, trees, etc.

✔️Master bedroom shower - tile crew did a great job. 
✔️Girls shower-  incredible transformation.
✔️Faucets - all repair replaced
✔️Toilets- replace most toilet and all seats.
✔️Repair and replace utility room floor, walls and exterior door. 
✔️Paint everything - my bedroom and office postponed for their own projects.
✔️Repair road - ongoing concern
✔️Fix fence holes and replace gate, added bonus: solar opener. 
✔️Fans- den, bedrooms. 
✔️Lights- dining (repurposed) halls exteriors
✔️Power wash exterior
✔️Fireplace repair - can't wait for cold weather. 
✔️Create guest room
✔️Built rope course 
✔️Hang swing
✔️New stove
✔️New dishwasher
✔️New ice machine
✔️New disposal
✔️New refrigerator
✔️Repair Ac and heater
✔️Get ag exemption
✔️Get farm animals
✔️Fight county on overinflated property valuation
✔️Get homesteaded
✔️Get septic under contract 
✔️Remove little house by order of insurance condemnation (still hurts)
✔️Repurpose as much little house things we can.
✔️Storage shed
✔️Repurpose shed found in woods
✔️Remove dead trees- ongoing
✔️Remove split rail fence 
✔️Build chicken coop

✔️Get chickens, guineas and peacocks
✔️ Fenced area for sheep 
Not house repair related but necessary and accomplished :
✔️Get new master bed
✔️Get new dryer
✔️New hutch
✔️Bar stools
✔️New beds for four kids
✔️New bookcases in den
✔️New bookcases in girls room
✔️Repair go cart and four wheeler
✔️Pool for kids

What remains:
✖️Pot bellied stove and repairs in our bedroom 
✖️Exhaust fan kitchen
✖️Light in kitchen: overhead and under counter
✖️Office wall repair or replace with little house wood floors
✖️Seal and caulk exterior - maybe done before end of year
✖️Repair outside bedroom siding
✖️Build attic catwalk around furnace 
✖️Rebuild play scape
✖️Replace windows in bedroom and den.
✖️Attic insulation
✖️Replace exterior French doors- x4
✖️Repurpose split rail fence
✖️Get power and water to shed and chicken coop
✖️Garden build and plan
✖️Clothes line
✖️Fruit trees
✖️ Water and power to old little house well
✖️Build awning off shed
✖️Pond redo
✖️Solar water heater
✖️Tub in master -get hooked up
✖️Fans in master
✖️Rugs to help sound insulation
✖️Window coverings my bedroom
✖️Remove Chinese tallow
✖️Clear area by creek
✖️Replace limestone facing of front deck, steps and under house.
✖️Replace floors in master.

I am amazed we were able to get as much completed amid set backs, car repairs, college costs, vacation and major dental work costs and with Craig spending many Saturdays at the church property this year.

The house is happy. We are happy.
We felt God's blessing every step of the way. 


  1. Wowzer!!! That completed list is HUGE! It's a list most people take a lifetime to complete. Way to go!

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Patty! Sometimes I need to step back and pat ourselves on the back.

  2. Speaking as one who has been owner building for my entire married life, you have done and INCREDIBLE amount in such a short time!! Well done to Craig, you and your labour team, aka children:) You're road looks like a huge headache. We had that for one section and got a tonne of huge rocks in but it wasn't the lengths your's is.

    I'm in the midst of writing a post on patience whilst building, I'm sure you;d understand totally:)
    So pleased I've found your blog btw, so relate to much of what you share

    1. Thank you so much, Erin. I know you understand, y'all have accomplished so much. We have moved and rebuilt and then moved and it felt so discouraging not to enjoy the fruits of our labor long term. I have to remind myself there is time, really no hurry because we are determined, God willing, not to move again and leave our progress.

      Looking forward to your words on patience, we both need to read it. My friend told me houses will keep, kids won't. So we involve the kids and try to enjoy projects while they learn some things. We have all learned a lot this year.