Thanks guys! We are in the middle of moving at this point. Today we finished painting at the house and moved three loads (each the size of a packed landscaping trailer).
The past week, we needed to repair the damage our renters had done to the house over the past year. In one year they had broken two window, punched holes in two bedroom doors, put several holes on the walls, removed and lost all the door knobs on the bedrooms, and left so many marks on the walls and floors that the entire house needed painting (even though we had just painted the house one year ago) and all the commercial tile floors needed repair, striping and refinishing.
So, 5 days of hard work later, we are just starting to move our stuff back into the house. Thursday the movers are coming to move the big stuff (mostly furniture). We like to move all the small stuff ourselves (electronics, instruments, lamps, computers, nicknacks, pictures, clothes, PA systems, tools, kitchen stuff…etc). Tomorrow, most of the rest of the small items should be over to the house.
This is an exciting move for us. We bought this house back in 1995 and are just 3 years from having it paid off. It was a serious “fixer upper” when we purchased it (fist sized holes in the roof, water damage everywhere, no heating system, no working plumbing, poorly wired, 26 broken windows…etc). After 8 years of working on the house (while living there) I had the place 85% finished. About 2 years ago I finished the last 15% and ended up with a place that looks like this:
What you cannot see are the two sound proof studios I built in the basement (actually sound proof), along with the complete rewire, new plumbing and new heating system in the house. I also installed 2 central air conditioner units (one for the first floor and the studios and one for the second floor bedrooms and baths). That way you are not using a large central air conditioner when you need to cool just the first floor or the second (cheaper in the long run). Each unit incorporates a whole house air filtration system for those folks with allergies (like my wife, son and I). It is a nice house in a great location (2.5 blocks from the train to center city Philly “30 minutes on the train”), dead end quiet street, township park just across the street and wooded area behind us.
Best of all, we get to move back into it. We have never gotten to enjoy the work I did on it since we needed to move to our job (boarding teachers at a boarding school) just a couple of months after I had finished building a back deck and many of the previous repairs. I am especially looking forward to using the Jacuzzi tub (whirlpool tub) that I built into the master bathroom.
I hope this doesn’t sound like I am bragging, I’m not. I am just excited to get to enjoy some of the fruits of my labors (I have quite a few scars on my hands from the work I did on this house over the past 20 years). We bought this house cheap and lived in it one room at a time as I repaired it (we slept in the dining room for over a year when we first moved in). I have nearly endless horror (albeit funny) stories about the work we did on this house including the time I was up on a step latter sistering floor joists (to strengthen the floor capacity for a 2 floor bedroom) and stood a bit too high on the latter impaling my skull with a nail sticking down through the floor above. My wife inquired at the squish/crunch sound, “What was that noise?”, “Hold the ladder honey, I need to pull my head down away from the ceiling…” Or the time during demolition of a room I was on a ladder and stepped down hard onto a nail that drove completely through my boot and out the top. My wife turned green as I asked her to hand me the hammer so I could pry it out from the bottom of boot so that I could get my foot out of the boot.
So the sharing of the pictures is more about me living through the experience and being able to laugh at the memory of seeing bone in the back of my hand as I slammed my hand on a piece of raw vent system metal.
Back in 1995, the bank we were trying to secure a loan from had us jumping through hoops for nearly a year to purchase this house. At one point, the loan officer commented to me that they had only one other “self-employed” musician couple that had ever tried to get a home loan through them (about 9 years earlier). I asked, “How did they do?”. His reply… “They failed.”
This is an exciting time for us.