Here is how it all began with Love House:
Every day I check our local MLS for ‘deals.’ You know, like once every never they show up there, so…to my surprise I saw this listing:
Obviously I immediately started to sweat and knew I HAD to have it! The listing said “value is in the land” *cringe* meaning the house was about to be torn down. TORN. DOWN. Sidenote: people who think that a 160 year old adobe home can be easily torn down and readied for a new lot are straight. up. crazy. This house wanted to live, and I wanted to save it.
At the time, Andy and I were just friends, and I was going through a divorce…sad times, long story, etc…but I saw this place and knew that this was my home.
I called the realtor, he said “you’re in luck, I’m right by there.” [running to my car] “Oh, cool, I happen to be right there, too” I wasn’t. Backstory: I have long admired this house, even when it was covered in asbestos tile. I grew up in the next town over and would frequently come over for the ‘carnival’ right by love house. Something about it was just so stately, I knew even when I was 7 years old that this house was special.
Isn’t this sad? This is what shows up on Street View. I will write about the whole history of the house in another post, but it’s more recent history goes something like this:
Cute single lady and her 8 kids buy the home in the 1950’s. Kids are a little bit overwhelming. House becomes overwhelming. House gets covered in siding to make it ‘easier to maintain’. Vines begin to grow under siding. Vines begin to grow inside HOUSE. Lady goes a little crazy. House becomes neglected. Son inherits house. Put the most awful renters in for 4 years including but not limited to: drug dealers, prostitutes (although it is rumored that the sweet little single lady was a prostitute, too, so, ummm), meth makers, devil worshipers…you get the idea. FINALLY the police had reason to come inside (you don’t want to know why) and saw the condition the family, including children, were living in and condemned the house. They gave them 2 hours to get out…thus the absolute mess.
I’m glad it was so bad though…it scared away anyone else who was not ready to take on so much…ding!
I walk in, past the “WARNING-UNSAFE TO ENTER BY POLICE ORDER” sign on the door and the first thing I see are the original kitchen cabinets.
I didn’t even need to see the rest. You should know that the realtor thought I was crazy. For real. I said I’ll take it and I’ll pay cash. (I had NO IDEA where I was going to get $75,000 cash, but where there is a will there is a way!)
I put the offer in that day, put down $1500 earnest money, so he knew I was legit [sweating] and began to figure out how the h*** I was going to make this happen.
Lest you completely stress out with me for too long, I will skip to the good part…I got an investor to give me the cash at a high interest rate. Kind of like a hard money loan–but I had just finished CSM (center street manor) last June and it had a ton of equity in it, so I used that as collateral. All crazy, but #that’showwedo.
Is it weird that I am sharing every detail, even money? I know I am always curious and people never share that, so….I’m just going to share. Ok.
Photos from Day One:
Siding had been removed by the lady’s son to make sure it didn’t have asbestos on it because he was literally ONE day from tearing it down. He had the permit in and everything to build and ugly a** duplex. The only reason he didn’t is because he is kind of hard headed and his contractor said it was going to be x ammount more that he originally bid. John (the son) said forget it, and listed it that day with his realtor buddy. Note the lovely Oregon Creeper that had been a spider hotel for 60 years underneath.
Here is the parlor and main living room. The pictures really don’t do it justice…and the smell…oh the smell. Every room was nearly to the ceiling with STUFF. Not even cool old stuff either. Just crappy, smelly piles of s***, sometimes literally. (P.S. I am trying really hard not to swear anymore, thus the ***, I hope it’s not TOO annoying, but talking about this gets me all worked up, haha!)
The den, master and guest rooms. The guest room was THE WORST. Disgusting images of women were modge-podged to everything! We cleaned up bodily fluids in this room (see above about why “you don’t want to know why the police came over.”) You could not walk in this room, there were over 600 drywall screws into the floors, walls, windows, couches, everywhere!! Oh my, that was rough….I’m reliving it now….
Some of my personal favorites, the bathrooms and the hall of the demon. Someone took great care in that piece of art, who am I to judge.
Looking through these pictures today reminds me of just how CRAZY everything was. You really had to look past all of the junk and neglect to see the amazing vision I had for this place. The original moldings, the newel posts, the stairs, the tall ceilings…it was so overwhelming to think about the time, thought and hard work that went into building it. I was sad for all of the people who had lived there, amongst the beauty underneath, and never realized what they could have had. I swear I could almost hear the house begging me to do what I had resolved to do.
Oh love house, you were almost lost forever, how sad. But like I said, this house did not want to die. We have come to see (what we already knew) that this house is solid. It was built to last forever, and it was meant to be the place we call home forever.
Up next: the snow comes, I get a screw through my hand that I didn’t even realize until I was home and thawed out, work stops until spring….
P.S. Thanks to everyone for the warm reception of the new blog! We are so excited!!