The Restoration of 407: Part I

When I was posting every day on Facebook, the progress on my house, I went from calling it Diaries of making a house my home to Adventures in Renovating. You never know what you are going to find under the ugly layers. I have been at this for over a year and will probably be at it for several more years. It may be awhile before I ever have a room completely finished, so I am going to just start sharing anyway.

When I bought 407, I had already had an offer accepted on 3 different houses and had gone over a year in these processes. I had a very limited price range and needed to be in a very short radius to my parents for my son’s sake. The first house, a short sale, clearly needed work inside and a completely overgrown backyard. During some inspection by the bank, they found there was a gas leak. It took them 6 weeks to find and fix the gas leak and meanwhile, the roof started leaking and they had torn up the flooring in a bedroom. So my realtor asked for an allowance for the roof and the flooring. The bank asked the other realtor if she worked for them or us and we never heard from her again. During this process, I was with realtor #1 and mortgagor #1 and (my original mortgage man had told me he couldn’t do it without my parents signing with me because me other house hadn’t been under real estate contract for a year yet but this lady said she could).

The second house only needed a little work done, but also had a small leak in the roof. Rather than it being a foreclosure, it was another short sale, but a HUD to be exact. Realtor #1 and mortgagor #2 and #3. It had been empty for over a year so there were no utilities on anymore. At some point I had gone to another mortgage company, but they did everything opposite in the paperwork than he had told me on the phone. They were trying to cheat me out of $10,000 that wasn’t discussed originally. Plus, they had all this incorrect information on the paperwork, information that they hadn’t even asked me for. Needless to say, I ended up with my original mortgage man. We had to have the utilities inspected in order to have them turned on for an inspection for the mortgage company. Something that HUD doesn’t pay for. Well, both the gas guy and the city guy found discrepancies that needed to be fixed in order to turn on the utilities. HUD wouldn’t do it. So I had to walk away from that house too.

In the meantime, I am spending weeks waiting on closing on these houses. So I am forming plans in my mind. I am playing around on a paint visualizer to check out how the house could look better. These houses are ones that I should have closed on in normal situations and been working on already. This brings us to house #3. Realtor #1. Mortgagor #3. This one was a foreclosure. The husband and wife, getting a divorce, both lived out of state. They wanted the house sold. But the realtors weren’t communicating. We had to keep pushing the closing date. Whatever was going on, prevented us from ever even getting the inspection done. It was never my happiest choice in house, only 2 bedrooms even, but it was so cheap I was going to make it work. But we had to give up on them when 2 months went by with no word from their realtor.

Long story shorter, realtor #1 was my brother’s friend. He actually worked a full time job and was a broker for the purpose of flipping houses. (He never got my brother’s flipped house sold either.) My brother finally told him that I needed a full time realtor because I needed out of my parents’ house.

With realtor #2 in hand, still with my original mortgage guy (my parents’ neighbor and pal actually), 2 months in and 2 other offers later, I found 407. Or rather, my realtor did. I wasn’t having to find houses for her to show me. She was doing her job. It was a little over my price range but it was clean. It was fully landscaped and not overgrown with weeds. It was lived in but not messy. It had a new roof. It was in the neighborhood I wanted. My parents didn’t have to cosign with me. The house is mine. Got the keys the end of May 2015. First thing we did (we is always me and my parents) was to scrape the popcorn ceilings and then pull up the 70s carpet and padding. Just rolled the ceiling mess right up with the carpet. Carpet, of which, was on every inch of floor in the entire house (including the screened in porch). Over the old linoleum and all. Everywhere and not all the same. The house wasn’t as clean as we had originally thought. LOL. And everything except the ceiling was painted in what looked to be blue first and then a primer or a blue tinted primer. Or very cheap paint. Everything that wasn’t wallpapered that is. And there was 6 different wallpapers.

So the adventures began. Adventures in taking a house out of the 70s and making it my home. Here are some before pictures.

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