Saturday, February 4, 2012

our new (to us) house

which could alternately be titled "the ballsiest thing my husband and i have ever done"...just sayin.

so my husband and i bought this house. we did not necessarily agree on the potential of this house, or even the desirability of this house. as a matter of fact, he could not understand why i kept taking him back to look at such an ugly house. these pictures will be of just the house (because i guess i put the pictures of the views on a different flash card?) and it's best that way because pictures really don't do the views justice. you'll just have to come visit me to see the views. but here is the ugly little house my husband and i bought. it was pretty ballsy of me to just push forward to buy something he was so far behind me on...and it was pretty ballsy of him to follow me even when most days he still can't visualize whether this house will be great or just upgraded ugly.
when i first saw the front of this house, all i could think of was how dingy it looked. and that those bushes need to come out (what with that dead one in the middle of the two live ones and all...). but after looking around at the surrounding land, i knew that if the inside of the house was livable and workable, that we needed to be here.

so this was the kitchen. it's really a garage conversion, and if you look at the first picture, it's the square space on the left side of the house...if you look closely, you can see where the two garage doors were. the folks who converted this space wasted no efforts, no materials. the windows that fronted this conversion were old sliding glass doors. it was kind of neat to look at, but kind of a headache, too. in this picture of the kitchen, you can see where they raised the floor to reroute the plumbing pipes. we're going to make the floor level, even though that means losing about three inches in a room with only eight foot ceilings to begin with. but it's just what makes sense. and the carpet you see in this picture? it's what the carpet looked like throughout the house. the previous owners had two chihuahuas that peed wherever they wanted. the whole place smelled awful and just looked terrible. oh, and that wood stove?... can you see where they rocked the dryer vent pvc pipe right into the wall? i kind of loved it all except for, you know, that one tiny detail. so they took the whole thing out. but i really, really want them to put it back in. we are in negotiations over that.
so the first thing the guys working on our house did was tear out the horrible smelling carpets. then they took out the whole kitchen. little bit was pretty impressed with how big the room felt now that everything was gone. it's been neat seeing the old stuff go. a relief, to be honest. at least i know it won't be what it was. but i do get a little anxious trying to visualize where it's going and what it is going to be when all is said and done. so i like this picture because it reminds me that i am well acquainted with the people who will be living in it, even when i am not sure what the house is going to look like.

meet the old fireplace. it wasn't a bad fireplace. it did leak, though. and who wants to spend money fixing a leaky fireplace? especially when there is an awesome view behind it. so bye-bye mr. leaky fireplace.
hello, wall of windows. and that is the closest to a view that i've got on here. because the roof had to be replaced, because the fireplace had to be fixed (and not just little cheap fixes), and because they are able to reuse the brick from the fireplace to rebuild the front of the conversion and make it look like original house (and not garage bays), we were able to afford to turn that wall of fireplace into this wall of windows. i know the common perception is that doc's can afford whatever they want, but with five kids and waiting as long as we did to pursue medicine, money is definitely a consideration...and will be for years as we pay off my husband's school loans and pay for our kids to attend college (and small private high schools). so it felt like we'd won the lottery to realize we could afford to do this. it's what makes the project. it makes the house. it draws the outside indoors. you can see the surrounding woods, the lake, you can even see the marina for the boats that live on the lake (because the army owns all of the shorelines and does not allow piers or boat houses). anyway, it's about a quarter of a mile to walk to the actual lake. we'll clear a path soon because it is all overgrown and wild there. but it is beautiful. i have never felt so alternately drowning in anxiety and elated. it gives me a new understanding about sayings conveying the idea that the things most worthwhile are the ones that are the most difficult.

and that is our new (to us) house. i think about those who lived there before us (the same way i do in every house we've ever lived in). usually, for this house, i just question their taste or skills or something kind of jerk-y like that. but i do wonder if this is how the previous owners felt when they moved into this house...full of anxiety, full of hope, full of excitement. i'll post more as we proceed. there's already a shiny new silver metal roof on the house, too, but i haven't taken a picture with my camera of that yet. next time. we have a lifetime in this house.


1 comment:

jigsaw words said...

i LOVE it....I can't wait to see it