Buying “The Cottage”

If you’ve heard from us this week, you know that we had a disaster in one of our houses. Before I blog about the water leak and my subsequent meltdown and heartbreak, I figured you should meet the house first, since I haven’t blogged about her yet. It’s probably important that you meet the house before anything!

So, in case it’s confusing, this blog is covering 3 houses :

1) Jackson Street, which is the first home we lived in in Franklin (Folk Victorian, built 1875 -> bought 2007 -> sold 2013)

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2) Martin Place, which is where we currently live, and are currently restoring, and plan to live forever (Queen Anne Victorian, built 1902 -> bought 2012)


3) Adams Street, The Cottage, which we are currently restoring to be used as a rental. This house, though on a different street, is right next door to the house on Jackson Street (Victorian Cottage, built 1876 -> bought 2012)

This was after we charmed up the outside. The house was all white when we bought it.

We refer to Adams Street as “The Cottage.” It’s a charming 2-Bedroom, 1-Bath house, with just over 900 square feet. About 2010, it went on the market in a normal way. It was WAY more expensive than we could ever afford, but we went in it anyway. We had heard it was rough, and our initial thought was “We could buy it, knock it down, have a huge corner lot, and build a garage with a guest house.” But once we went through it, there was no way I would knock it down. It sat, then went off the market.

Then one day, Doug was out for one of his many runs, and saw that the door was open. We knew it was vacant, so he called Franklin’s Finest. They deduced that it wasn’t broken into, but in the conversation, the police officer said the house was foreclosed on, and would be going up for auction at a sheriff’s sale. We researched how that worked, and Doug went to the auction, but the house’s price was too much. So, it went back to the bank, and went on the market as a bank-owned property. THIS time, the house was where we could afford it – about the price of a car (really). After a few back and forths, we bought it. A new adventure! Becoming landlords.

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The outside was in decent shape, with some amazing woodwork that you really couldn’t see because everything was white. I mean, seriously. How AMAZING is this?

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Dear FHA people : I realized railings are a regulation. But, no. These are ugly.


The front door is beautiful. And would become my arch nemesis later in life. It opened onto a nice, bright living room with laminate floors.

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This led into a grossly-carpeted HUGE dining room with some built-ins. It’s a little hard to see in the pictures, but the ceiling has some incredible detail to it. The woodwork is great, and the decision was made to keep it painted – a small cottage like this would have had painted woodwork.

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The bedrooms both have wooden walls, and no closets. The front bedroom is really a great size, and has AMAZING light.

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The back bedroom is TINY. More of an office, but it would hold a full or twin bed. Cute windows! Again, super bright!

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So far, so good.

Then, we hit the kitchen. HOLY. WALLPAPER.


But, the space is GREAT. Room for everything – however, once it went into foreclosure, the house was stripped of all the appliances – and all the copper, including all the electrical – we had to re-wire everything. The cabinets are in great shape, and just need to be cleaned up.

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Then, the bathroom. Also, a wallpapered nightmare. My sadness in this room is that when we first looked at it, there was a clawfoot tub. But, someone took it out through the foreclosure process. I hate people.

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It’s a HUGE space. But with windows and doors every where. Clearly, some major changes would have to happen to get a shower in here – we’re putting in the first shower to ever exist in this house. YAY!

How many doors does one bathroom need?


Also, there was no exhaust fan. Just a ceiling fan.

Really. In a bathroom.

But look at the bulbs. At least they tried to be energy efficient.


All those doors? They go to the only closets in the house. This one – a large reach-in…


… and this one. A large walk in! This looks nice!!!


Oh. Wait. Never mind. It’s actually not nice at all.

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Oh well. Fixable. There’s also a utility room that has a spot for a washer and dryer. And a cool bootwash sink.

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Hey look, there’s Jackson Street!


Off the utility room is a small root cellar, which looks more like a place you would hold hostages on “Criminal Minds.” But it’s nice storage! For sports equipment or luggage…. or bodies.

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The garage isn’t really usable right now with the door the way it is. I need to get some interior pictures. This ABSOLUTELY was a horse barn when the house was built. It probably wouldn’t hold a modern car, but it’s very cool. And creepy.


So, there she is! We originally planned to have her done and rented within a year, but then we bought Martin Place. In 5 years, it’ll be a good decision. But, right now, it’s hard, especially when she flooded last week. More on that, later….

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  1. This was my first house when I got married in 1996. I loved seeing the pics. The large bathroom was a sitting room and we made the old bathroom a walk in closet. When we sold the house it was in great shape. Sad someone took the claw foot tub. My mother in law wallpapered the kitchen and bathroom. If you would like to know anything else about the house feel free to ask.

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