Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Biggest Project Ever

Word is spreading, so I'd better inform the blog-world: Jeremy and I are buying a house!

This whole thing has happened very quickly - literally, we just started talking about this one month ago! The owners of the house where we rent are selling and moving for various reasons. It's a great time to buy and we were able to pull together some family loans to make it happen.

But when we started talking about this, I decided I didn't want to move very far - not more than a block or two from where we are now. We've put time and energy into this block and getting to know our neighbors, it's a great area, and I just didn't want to move half way across town just because we found something we could afford. But of course a one-block radius seriously limits one's options.

A day or two after the initial house conversation came up, I remembered there was a cute little house just a block away from us that was for sale. The house was still on the market. Jeremy took a look at it and he fell for the big beautiful yard. We got a real estate agent to let us in the house that week. We spent almost two hours there looking at every little detail (and already starting to make plans!).

It's a foreclosure and has been on the market for probably six months. The price dropped 2 or 3 times before we made our bid. I'll just say it's extremely affordable. (Embarrassingly affordable!) But it also needs a ton of work. We're planning to gut the top floor (which is basically a finished attic, one room) and put on a new roof. There needs to be regrading work done around the outside and sealing of some cracks in the foundation; work in the bathroom; work in the kitchen; etc, etc. Some work we have to do before we move in. And there is a long list of things we'd like to do after we move in - we'll be working on this project for a long, long time!

We'll be building a new cellar in the basement and we'll be bringing the chicken coop down the road to the new house. Jeremy is hoping to build a greenhouse at the new place and have a totally edible yard - between herbs, garden space, fruit trees, berries, edible flowers, and so forth.

Our new house already has a ton of black raspberries and blackberries, a possible currant bush, and a lovely old cherry tree. There are other plants as well that we haven't identified yet. It also has a huge kitchen so we are looking forward to making that our own for all of our crazy cooking adventures.

The neighbors are wonderful as well. The neighbor right next to us has a garden as well and he shoots squirrels and rabbits in his yard and ours (yes!!!). He's been very excited about us moving in - even letting us know when someone else came to look at the house, worried that we wouldn't get it. But, our offer has been accepted and we close in a week! So keep tuned for lots of information about this huge new project - our very own urban homestead!

our new baby...


Tam said...

I can't tell you how much I envy you your neighbors. One reason I would love to move to the country is that we can't even keep a VW bus (running, licensed, insured) in our driveway or let the boys park their bikes next to the garage. Talking to people and asking them to let us know when something is bothering them seems to have no effect.

I won't even try to canvas for chickens.

Aimee said...

Wow! Do you live in the suburbs? I couldn't stand to live somewhere where people are that...whatever that is! I certainly don't want to live in a trashy neighborhood where no one takes care of anything - but I should think your car or your bikes would be acceptable to have around.

Tam said...

Not a suburb, a small town in paper country with a lot of retired folks around us.

In a way it's ironic because we moved here from the Chicago suburbs and never had any problems there.

I hope you're enjoying the friendly faces around you, and everyone is welcoming of you in your new home.