August 20, 2004

Thank Goodness for People with a Plan

My neighborhood is "in transition" supposedly, but although some houses are pretty crummy, most are nice and getting nicer. In the two years we've lived here, most houses that are renovated have gotten priced beyond what we could afford if we were out house-hunting now.

Our house was remodelled before the current trend started and isn't as fancy or as historically accurate as the houses that are being fixed up now, but we hear quite often from our neighbors that this place used to be a dump. We never knew quite what they meant until one of our neighbors dug up some photos he'd taken before some guys with a lot of guts and a vision for bringing an old house back to life bought this place about 14 years ago for around $13,000.

So here's what the place looked like when it was occupied by a 90-something year old whose family obviously didn't feel like caring for her or her house very well.

front of house (small).jpg

And here's what we have now.

house current.jpg

We'd love to add more gingerbread and put something other than vinyl siding (there is nothing underneath ours though and from the before picture you can tell it wouldn't be worth having if it were there) on, but what a difference! Even though I know it is "the same" house, it sure has changed. I like to think we've done our part to make it even better and since we plan never to move we'll have a long time to make improvements.


The top one looks like 'The Munsters' house!!

Posted by: Madfish Willie at August 20, 2004 04:48 PM

Well, we are the Adams Family. :)

Posted by: Jordana at August 20, 2004 05:01 PM

Well, as someone who has been in your house and on your street, I can say that both are lovely. I don't recall thinking that your neighborhood was "in transition". Maybe that was another street over. Your house has very nice details inside, too, and feels larger than it looks from outside. I look forward to visiting again, sometime.

Posted by: susanna at August 20, 2004 05:13 PM

I hope you'll come back up this way soon. Our block of our street is probably the most renovated and our neighborhood is pretty far along in transition upwards, but there are some places that are still pretty far gone. Most of the really bad ones don't look as bad as the before picture of our house though.

Posted by: Jordana at August 20, 2004 05:51 PM

We gave in to the siren calls of vinyl siding this year. I was reluctant to hide our 80-yr old clapboard, but we didn't have the money for hardiplank or for taking off the clapboards and insulating underneath, since we're not at all handy. Nor did we have the money to heat the house the way we have been.

And practicality stomps on aesthetics once again. :(

Posted by: Lenise at August 20, 2004 09:31 PM

What a lovely house. And what an inspiring pair of photos. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Patricia at August 20, 2004 10:42 PM

I really admire someone with that kind of vision! Thanks for sharing a picture of your charming domicle! I love the fence!

Posted by: angie at August 21, 2004 10:22 AM

wow. that is amazing - how cool to have a picture of the old house. i love your fence and porch.

Posted by: amy at August 21, 2004 04:04 PM

WHOA!!! Some difference! Hi, I'm a lurker. Found you through my friend Melissa at Tea in the Afternoon.

Posted by: Kim at August 22, 2004 10:00 AM

Your home is fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing I live off Granny White about 10 minutes from you. Whenever I drive by your neighborhood I think of you and your precious family and your wonderful blog. Can't remember how I found you, but I'm glad I did. Hope you will always have time to blog! May God bless you, Betsy

Posted by: Betsy DeJean at August 23, 2004 09:54 AM

Thank you, Betsy. I didn't know I had any Nashville readers. :)

Posted by: Jordana at August 23, 2004 09:58 AM

Wow! That's some difference! I have always loved these little Victorian cottages -- but based on the few photos you've posted of the interior, I'd have to guess that it is bigger than it looks?

The "before" picture is sad -- and sadder still to think of the 90 year old woman living inside who had no one who loved her enough to make a nice home for her. :- ( How terrific that you've had a hand in reclaiming the house!!

Posted by: Grouchy Old Yorkie Lady at August 23, 2004 11:28 AM

The roof was raised some to put two small bedrooms and a bathroom in what was the old attic space, but it isn't a large house. We have about 1850 square feet, which is still too much for me to keep clean most of the time.

Posted by: Jordana at August 23, 2004 12:08 PM

It's a lovely house. How old is it?

Posted by: DaveH at August 24, 2004 03:10 PM

The foundation was built in 1920. Most of the rest of it is really only about 14 years old or less. I love having an "old house" without the worries of lead paint, knob and tube wiring, ancient plumbing and no a/c. Pretty much we get to have our cake and eat it too -- and we didn't have to live through the remodel.

Posted by: Jordana at August 24, 2004 03:57 PM