Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Last Friday was one of the happiest days of my life. It didn't quite rank right up there with my wedding day or the day Alise was born or the day I passed the CPA exam, but it was definitly in the top ten!

We have sold our 2nd home!!!

And just for the record, SOLD means S-O-L-D! No formalitites left. We signed the paperwork and the check is in the bank!!

Thank you, Lord!

But maybe I should first clarify that "second home" doesn't mean a grand lake house or vacation home {I wish!}. It's actually the house we bought nearly three years ago that is right next door to the one we currently live in. And for the life of me, I can't really remember right now why we even bought it; I can't remember our initial intentions. It's been that long, people!!

Up until three years ago, we had an elderly gentleman that lived beside us who we referred to as "Mr. Bob." He was a kind neighbor who was hard of hearing, always waved and never stayed home. He had an old blue car that he tootled around in and Wayne and I complained all the time that Bob simply did not need to be driving. He was a diabetic and sometimes I would prepare an extra plate and walk it across our ajoining yards to him. He was always so appreciative. He came over to see Alise the day we brought her home from the hospital. He said she was the most beautiful Baby evah.

Health and finances caused Bob's house to deteriorate and go unrepaired and eventually he had a "spell" that caused his only surviving relative - a nephew from Indiana - to move him to a local war vetrans home. I distinctly remember when the nephew and his wife began cleaning and moving things out of Bob's house, that Wayne popped off a price {very, very, very low} that he would give the nephew for the home. The nephew at the time more or less said, "Thanks, but no thanks. We think we can get more for it than that." A few days later, the nephew called us back and said that he had spoken to Bob about our offer and Bob wanted "the kids" to have his home.

We were floored.

It took nearly nine months for the transition to be complete because a deceased ex-wife's heirs still owned a portion of the home. Bob's attorney had to track down all the children and one was in Argentina. Eventually, we signed the paperwork and began to go to work - or at least Wayne did - on fixing up a home that we thought we wanted to rent. Nope. We wanna sell it. Naw! On second thought, let's rent it. Sell. Rent. Sell. Finally, Wayne came to his right mind and said, "All this hard work that I've done and all the money that we've spent, I don't want a renter to come in here and tear all this up!" I knew I loved him for a reason. Besides, by this time, even we were considering moving out of the Garden District of blah-blah-blah {my local readers will appreciate that!} and getting on with our lives which meant a bigger home.

We still referred to the house as "Bob's house" and we put it up for sale by owner in February of this year. And we waited. And we waited. We got lots of calls to rent; lots of calls to lease-to-own but we had decided we didn't wanna go that route. This summer, we got our first real bite to buy, but the financing fell through. Then, about a month ago, we got our second bite and we sold. For more money than we thought we would get and more money than the original first buyer. Someone is watching over us.

Bob has since died. He never saw all the blood, sweat, and tears that went in to fixin' up his home and I hate that. I would have loved for him to see it.

Having said all of this, I will - WE will - never, ever, ever, ever do this again. For those of you that think you want a fixer-upper, let me warn you to think twice. It's not all what HGTV makes it out to be!

Bob's house was built in the 60's and the best way I can describe it - without posting "before" pictures because I simply can't find them - was that it looked like your typical Grandmother's house. Still had the old shag green carpet and "cracked" linoleum; old wood cabinets in the kitchen; paneling; attic fan, which means no central air and an add-on to the back of the house with rotting wood and eaves. Granted it is not the Taj-mahal, but some of the things we did were sheetrock & paint, wood flooring, carpet, tile, all new fixtures, outside vinyl siding, new doors, redid everything in the bathroom except the tub, plumbing, moved the washer and dryer hookups, electrical work, installed central heating and air and that's all I can think of right now. Everything in the house is brand new except for the water heater and roof. My man did a fab job! But did I say that I'm glad it's over?

Here are a few "after" pictures:
My favorite part of the entire house: the kitchen. Totally remodeled from top to bottom.

The living room. See Wayne hiding behind the door? Ha!

I am SO jealous! This is the biggest utility room...evah!

The bathroom. Totally remodeled except for the tub and floor.

I realize I haven't posted a picture of the front of the house, but it's because the one I took didn't turn out very well because of the weather. But you're not missing anything with the outside because all we did was put up vinyl siding.

I am so glad this little project is o-v-e-r!


  1. I've always wanted to buy a fixer-upper and totally remodel it....but everyone I mention that to says the same thing you've just said...don't do it!! :) My husband also agrees, so I don't think it'll ever happen!

  2. Congratulations! That is so exciting that your project was a success. The story of how you got the house is so sweet. Everyone needs a neighbor like that in their life!

  3. Man I wish I woulda knew you guys had a house for sell! We are looking. But we probably woulda been one of those people begging to rent. HEHEHE. CONGRATS! Maybe I will have the same luck here shortly.

    The Garden District comment cracked me up. I forbid my husband to be caught in that neighborhood after dark ;)

  4. Congrats! We didn't think we purchased a fixer upper when we bought out 1940's house, we just thought it need a little updating... Old houses are quaint but the problems like lead paint are very real and expensive.

  5. Congrats! It is hard work remodeling a house. The after pictures look great! It is so nice to get out from under stuff.

  6. I think that every house you buy is a "fixer upper" even if you're just painting it to make it yours. That said, I think you did a wonderful job! I don't know that I'd have it in me to buy a second home and remodel it!

  7. Congrats on selling! It looks fabu!!!

  8. Anonymous9:43 PM

    That's WONDERFUL news Laura!!! I'm so happy for you!!! I just teared up reading about your sweet neighbor. Bless his heart!!

  9. Looks really nice! I hope you come across the before pictures and post them... I always like seeing before and afters of house makeovers. I would love to have that kitchen. My family and I (husband and baby girl) live in a very small house that was intended to be a basement (but the whole house was never finished). The kitchen only has a few cabinets, and no counter space...and I am all about some counter space and cabinets!!! But we are living here rent free while I go to school, so I can't complain much. I look forward to the day we can afford something bigger and nicer. But for now, this works for us! :-)
    Congrats on finishing and selling it!!!

  10. Congrats! My parents flipped a house once. Never again.

  11. Looks like y'all did a great job! I love DIY projects...we had our house built but did ALOT of the work ourselves. Now, am I crazy or are you in the process of buying a house too?

  12. Wonderful!!!!!!! I loved reading the story!