Wednesday, February 4

Would you buy this house!?

This is the front door. Rotted window screens. Jalousie windows all boarded up. A neighbor told me that some squatters had been growing pot in there. Sanford's finest confirmed this.

Behind the detached garage was a jungle. Note the trash in the alley. It was not just in the alley! Believe me.

Do you see the little tree growing up on the roof? The chain link fencing was a dog pen I think? My darling little daschunds would never have such a thing!
Clearing this out was a real challenge!

I found this little house while driving around Sanford, Florida. It called to me! I imagined who had lived here and what it could become. I saw a perfect little home!

My kids called me crazy and said, "Mom you're NOT going to buy this, are you?"

Well, I did buy it and YES I am crazy! Even a home inspection didn't bring me to my senses. Hearing the truth just made me more determined to do fix it.

You must know that I was not a very handy person, but my experience with a hammer, screwdriver, crow bar, heat gun, scraper, window glaze, paint brush and roller has grown by leaps and bounds!

Below was the worst of the worst! There was red rubber carpet pad glued to the hardwood floors! I tried several different ways to remove it but it came down to the trusty heat gun and a scraper. Inch by inch anything is a cinch, right?

This house was built in 1920 and I was the second owner. I found a photo of the lady who was the original owner sitting in the kitchen of the house. I also discovered a pearl handled dinner knife in the garage. Not sure what it was doing there? There were no fantastic finds in the attic and no hidden treasures behind the walls or under the floor. There was an old mirror hanging in the dining room that I was told was haunted. The grandson of the owner advised me to leave it there and not remove it. Not sure why? I took it down and live to tell.

There were many other things I discovered along the way that were not so pretty. A leaking roof, broken windows, wiring and plumbing that had to be replaced. No 220 power to the house at all for a stove or dryer. The toilet had to be replaced as well as all of the faucets. Then the sewer line clogged and that had to be replaced too. The plumber came across huge tree roots and the sewer line had to be redirected and a new city tap installed. $$$$


There were the original oak floors, trim and windows! There were glass door knobs on all of the interior doors! The fireplace was in good shape and could really heat up the whole house! The 10ft ceilings and walls were plaster!

There was a huge hole in the ceiling over my bed where the roof had leaked. . .

The kitchen was probably my biggest challenge. It had bright blue painted wooden cabinets, cow print contact paper on the backsplash, and four layers of vinyl tile on the floor! Behind the stove was a sight to see. I shudder when I think of it now. There was no dishwasher and no plumbing for one. I opened the fridge and wished I hadn't! All of that had to go!

The fireplace needed some work too. Sometime in the 70's they had added wooded paneling to the wall above it and hung chains (?) on the mantle. Not pretty but it had "potential!" I had to repoint the chimney inside too. Something else I learned to do. When you have no money, you do it yourself!

This is a photo taken after the paneling and chains were removed. This was my first attempt at repairing plaster. The windows are not real stained glass. Just that window cling stuff they sell at Lowe's. I had to cut corners somewhere!

Well, that's some of the ugly. Now for the good!

Here's some photos of the house after five years of blood, sweat and tears. It turned out just like I had imagined. . .

This is one side of the kitchen, minus the cows.

The fireplace...

The master bedroom. Notice the original door to the porch and the windows!

A little garden where the dog pen used to be...

This is the bathroom (before) Note the fluorescent ceiling light.

And this is the bathroom AFTER. You can't see it, but there's a crystal chandelier on the ceiling! Here's the porch where the pot used to grow!

And this is the living room at Christmas.

It was a labor of love to restore this bungalow. It cost twice what I anticipated and took three times as long! I had to sell it last year. I made a grand total of $2,400 on the sale and am still $14,000 in debt on the renovation and repairs! I'll be paying for this house for the rest of my life! Next time I'll listen to my kids.

Did I mention the house had termites when I bought it too?

1 comment:

  1. You know, this house looks familiar. I may have driven by it sometime.
    I think in another market, you would have made a killing off that house! It looks great.