Tuesday, June 17, 2014

First days of renovation

Talk about exhausted!
We just returned from five days of nonstop (and I do mean nonstop) work on the house. We were supposed to be closed on the house Thursday morning so Luke and I flew out on Wednesday. The dumpster was dropped off Thursday morning but at 5:00pm on Thursday, the seller (bank) still hadn't signed the final documents. I was dying to get into the house so by 5:30 the agent had talked to the bank and had given me the OK to go ahead in. Megan, Luke, and I started by cleaning out the garage and trimming some of the overgrown bougainvillea and vines around the property. As soon as we pulled the garage door up, a huge rat jumped off the workbench and ran across the floor. That was the end of garage cleaning for Luke. We worked until about 9:00pm and made qiute a bit of progress.

Garage Before

Garage After
The courtyard  and yard are so overgrown with vines and out of control plants from years of the house sitting vacant. I started on the big bougainvillea in the courtyard and my legs now look like I had a wrestling match with a very angry lion. Soooo, I now have a yard fellow going out tomorrow to trim all nineteen of the palm trees, and three other giant bougainvilleas.
Courtyard Before
(I think it looks much worse in person)

Courtyard, end of day. Still a long way to go, but lots of progress
The ABF truck we had sent out from Colorado arrived at 8:00am on Friday morning. The guy from the City of Daytona showed up to turn the water on at 9:00. When he did, the meter was spinning out of control. I went into the house to see what could be turned on, only to see water shooting up in the kitchen. The previous owner really gutted the house and rather than capping off the pipes to the kitchen sink, just cut them off. So we would not be able to have the water turned on until that was fixed. Reed arrived on Friday afternoon, but only after being diverted to Jacksonville due to a really severe thunderstorm. We picked up the U-Haul in Orlando and headed out to pick up several items that I had found on Craigslist. We started at IKEA, then to Ocoee to pick up a hutch, then a washer and dryer in Palm Coast. We finally got back to Megan's around 8:00pm. Saturday we headed out early to pick up an entire kitchen in Ormond Beach, a dishwasher, and a bed for the guest room. Megan showed up with delicious sandwiches and then proceeded to sweep and mop the floors. My friend Heather came over and helped us unload all of the cabinets. She brought a bottle of champagne so we had a little celebration at the end of the day. (a big thank you to my wonderful friends!) On Sunday Reed cleared out the garage apartment and efficiency room. EEEW! Talk about disgusting! There had been squatters off and on over the past couple of years so it was pretty gross.
Here are a couple of before photos...

 Not my idea of a spa-like bath

Sunday for me, was spent unpacking the ABF truck. This was the best day so far since we were able to just stay at the house and work. We ended early and took Reed and Stanley (Megans's Dad) out to dinner at The Chart House for Father's Day. On Monday, they picked up the truck and we finished up a few things to secure the house since we were heading back to Colorado around noon. The fellow came back out to try the water again. The meter again spun like a top. Reed and I ran around the house looking for what might still be on. The upstairs shower was on, the outdoor shower was on, one of the garden spigots was on. So after turning everything off, the meter finally stopped. Yay! We finally headed back to Colorado but got delayed in Kansas City so didn't arrive home until 1:00am. Reed was so happy to go to work on Tuesday just to get some rest! I am heading out again this weekend and the boys will join me the following week so I will post again when we return.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

After winning the auction...

After winning the auction we started looking into different financing options. We had a lender lined up in Florida but when the inspector went out to do a four point inspection for insurance on the home, things headed downhill quickly. He was a real Donny Downer (perfect because his name actually was Don) and made it sound like the house was going to fall over if we so much as leaned on it! We decided to get a second opinion and were glad we did. The second inspector assured us that the home was in good structural condition. Not that it doesn't need work (trust me it does). Since then we have had roofing, window, and stucco contractors out to the property. Those are the main BIG items that need to be addressed right away. The interior of the home is mainly cosmetic. Here are a few photos of the home as it looks now:

 Just needs a little love...
and maybe some windows...
Scarlett O'Hara would love this!

There used to be beautiful leaded glass doors in that opening
We will be heading out this week to get started. We have a dumpster arriving on Thursday, a truck full of furniture and goodies on Friday, and the utilities will be turned on so we can get busy. I think this trip will be alot of cleaning, powerwashing, and trimming all of the overgrown shrubbery.
I will send an update and more photos next week

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Welcome to Wisteria Road...

So as most of you know, we have embarked on a new and exciting adventure. It all began when I was sitting in the Portland airport killing time and began searching properties in all of our possible retirement locations, because that's just what I do in my spare time. I ran across a forclosure home in Daytona Beach that looked like a steal of a deal. It was an online auction which was going to start in about ten days. I had Megan drive by and see if it was worth coming out to take a peek. She and her sister must not have noticed all of the "no trespassing" signs as they walked all around the property, looking in windows and taking photos. She said "I think you better come look at this".  They were holding the home open on Saturday from 11-3 so I flew out on Friday morning and Megan and I walked around the property and drove by the house twenty or thirty a couple of times. We spent about an hour on Saturday touring the house and the garage apartment. I was so taken with the home that by the time we left I already had my heart set on winning the auction. The agent mentioned that the home had belonged to someone famous but she couldn't remember who. Before leaving, Megan and I went into the yard and made penny wishes in the fountain which was all dried up in the middle of the overgrown sunken garden. I headed back to the airport but not before running into WalMart for graph paper, a ruler, and pencils. I spent the two flights home looking at the photos I had taken on my phone and trying to recreate the floorplan on paper. I knew when I got home Reed would want to know the layout of the house. The next day I received an email from the agent saying that the home was built by Elizabeth Rothschild. Thank god for Google!! As I began researching her name I discovered that she and her husband Martin were first class passengers on the Titanic. Elizabeth and her adored pomeranian survived the tragedy but unfortunately, her husband did not. She had built this as a winter home about ten years later. The more research I did, the more obsessed I became. There was one more open house the following Saturday which was also the first day of the auction. Megan went back for the second open house to gather information and see how the traffic had been. I watched the auction continuously for the next few days. I had never done an auction like this before. Someone was bidding but as soon as the reserve was met, the bidding stopped. I had planned to swoop in at the last few minutes of the auction but these sales are not like Ebay... if anyone bids during the last few minutes, the auctioneer extends the auction deadline! What the %#$#&!  On the fifth and final day I sat on the computer and with ten minutes left, place my bid. "You are the highest bidder" popped up on the screen! Before I could even blink "You are no longer the highest bidder" screamed at me in bright red letters. You can't tell who else, or how many others are bidding against you. I bid again, they bid again, I bid again, they bid again, I bid again and then I watched as the timer counted down 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 "Auction ended, you are the highest bidder".  Now I realize this doesn't sound all that dramatic but let me just say, my heart was pounding out of my chest, I thought I was going to throw up, Reed was calling, Megan was texting, and then it was OVER! I couldn't believe we had actually won it.  Sooo, now what?

Thanks for stopping by!
See you soon with another update,