You have to start somewhere, and we've been trying to decide how to jump in when a whole year has passed at this point. My thought was to try and post from the beginning, to tell the story of how we even got to 'here' in the first place.
I guess it started when we realized that there wasn't going to be a lot we could do with the old house, at least not with out a sizable investment from us in the money department. We had a couple different contractors come out and give us some ideas about what we could or couldn't do with the existing structure. We needed to know what the best direction to go in would be if we were going to even try to do something. We looked at raising the roof and adding a second floor, but the house was not structurally sound enough to support a second floor. We thought maybe if we raised the main floor and finished the basement, and that got us a maybe, but not without significant rework and structural issues. That left us with expanding off the back of the house, which was pretty much the only option. We couldn't do that for anything less than $150k and that didn't include the finish work.
With that in mind, we set out to see what we could get for our money. This set in motion the search. We spent a good deal of time looking online at listings and time on Sundays driving around and checking things out in person, often running away quickly. Invariably, something would be wrong, the neighborhood, the age, the style. It wasn't until we stumbled onto a house in foreclosure, and most of the houses at that time were in some form of short sale or foreclosure, that we found a house that really resonated with both of us.
After having an older home, circa 1935, we both agreed that we were more interested in something a little younger. We are very drawn to 50's to early 60's style homes and loved the idea of a mid-century modern design aesthetic. We found what looked like a mid-century modern jewel that was neglected and in need of love. The property was perfect and it screamed out to us from the "full of potential" point of view. We drove by it every chance we got and walked around it and in it. Turns out the door on the back of the house was not secure. It wasn't like we were trying to break in, we just tried the door and it opened. This fueled our fascination and allowed us to really get invested emotionally.
We contacted our agent and arranged a 'proper' viewing and decided to make an offer. In the interim, he also took us to see the current house we are in now, but we couldn't be tempted. We were in love with this property. We could see all the landscape potential. We could see all the remodel work that could bring it up to date and still play up it's mid-century lines. It consumed our free time and our days off.
Our offer was accepted and we scheduled an inspection. I don't know how to describe the feeling we had after about an hour into the inspection. Nick had to excuse himself. I hung in there and followed the inspector from room to roof, to septic tank and to the kitchen. Everywhere we looked, every thing we saw, did nothing but doom this house. I knew after an hour that our pockets were never going to be deep enough to bring this house back from the precipice it had so clearly fallen over such a long time ago.
That was the end of that dream. It was a sickening sensation, and a real disappointment. We had spent so much time, way too much time, daydreaming about what could never be. We took it hard.