Sunday, January 12, 2014

Farewell Old House

We've been living in our new-to-us house since early October. After we got everything out of the old place, we had the floors redone, I prettied up the basement and then we put it on the market. When we originally went to contract to buy the house back in late 1999, the house went on the market on a Thursday. We signed contracts that Sunday. The real estate market was insane then.

The house got listed on a Friday afternoon. On Saturday around 2:00 in the afternoon, we accepted an offer. Even faster then when we bought it. As much as it was a relief to sell the house and know we we heading back to a single mortgage payment, that afternoon was my first real feelings of sadness about leaving that house. It's a damn fine house. Like any house, it had its projects but I enjoyed calling it home. And the neighborhood was great.

There used to be a huge pine tree in the middle of the front yard. It had some kind of blight and was starting to die from the bottom up. After the tree was removed, we ended up ripping the entire front yard apart. Dug out the stump with a tractor, made the dry well for the sump huge, roto-tilled in the entire front and side yard, raked out sod clumps, spread out 10 yards of topsoil and then re-seeded the lawn. It was quite a weekend. Another weekend, there was scaffolding across the front of the house while we replaced the soffits. They were wood and in desparate need of painting. Instead of painting, we vented them and covered it all up with vinyl...since vinyl is final.

Then there's the deck we took down and replaced. It came out pretty nicely.

This was our formal living room. We never used it as a living room. It was empty, then filled with kid stuff. Once a year, it was cleared out, a big table was set up and that's where we had the first Thanksgiving I ever cooked...and then next 11 Thanksgivings too. The 12th Thanksgiving had pretty much the same setup and menu, but it was at our new place.

The first big home improvement project I took on by myself was the kitchen. The original kitchen had a tile counter top that needed to go. The granite counter tops were contracted out, but the backsplash removal, sheetrock repair and re-tiling was all me.

This entertainment center came with the house. For awhile, it was our only piece of furniture.

We had our computer set up on a desk in here. It was at this desk, I discovered "blogs" about 5 years after everyone else.

Here's a special room. When we brought our first daughter home from the hospital, this was her room. We originally used it as a huge walk-in closet - that's the kind of stuff people without kids do. All the windows in the house got replaced during that pregnancy. Most of the replacement windows upstairs were the same size. In replacing a window in a different room, there was an little extra shove and....the replacement window fell out leaving a trail of caulk down the side of a big shrub on its way to cracking on the ground. We ordered a replacement replacement window and the window on the left of the next picture was the last window in the house to get replaced. During the early stages of labor, the molding for that window was primed and installed so the room would be finished when we came home with a baby. That's some serious last minute power-nesting.

My second daughter's bedroom. The crib went in this corner. She wanted to take the painted animals to the new house.

Here's the last room we redid. It had wallpaper. Thick, ugly wall paper. The new house has no wall paper.

We grabbed the last of our stuff out of the house today. A few lamps and a couple of door mats. As we were leaving the future owners stopped by to do their walk though. They seemed very nice. They have a baby girl. If the banks can sort it out, tomorrow afternoon it will be their house.

On the way out, the girls wanted to sell Girl Scout cookies to some of our old neighbors. Good business...keep your territory and maintain the established customer base. And it was nice to go around and talk to familiar faces. We had gone around our new neighborhood selling cookies earlier in the day. At one house we were asked, "Do you live around here?"

Yes. We do.


  1. Nice post. It makes me feel better as a new home owner knowing that it takes time to fill a house and make it your own.

    Also: wallpaper. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Good to hear the new place is wallpaper-free.

  2. Lot of good memories there. Saying goodbye to that house has been harder than I thought. We moved in just before we got married.

    And I do not envy your wallpaper projects. I just hate it so much.

  3. It’s really hard to let go of things that become a huge part of our life, especially if it is your home. There are lots of good memories - from the day you bought it, the first roof repair, and until the day you gave birth to your first child. Saying goodbye is hard, but I’m sure your new house will be as good as this, if not better.

    Joann @

  4. Thanks Joann. So far, my oldest daughter is the only one that is upset about the move. She's had a few teary nights missing her old room. I think she'll come around soon.