We’re done. Two and half years later, we’re done.

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Well, done enough. Done enough to hand the keys to a renter. But I don’t think houses are every REALLY done. We already have a list going for the things we plan on doing later. This house was supposed to be a fun adventure into the world of land-lording, and really, for the most part, it was.

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We said, “Won’t this be fun? To fix up the cute little house next door that’s been abandoned and is dirt cheap?”

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Then, of course, we moved. Because the dream house came on the market. Surprise! So, all of a sudden, this little cottage became abandoned again, by us. We had a house to get ready to sell, that we hadn’t planned on. We had a house to buy, with bank restoration deadlines, that we hadn’t planned on. And so, she sat. I hated leaving the Cottage to sit, but it was worth it, to take a chance to save the house of our dreams that WE would live in.

All along, we’ve said, “In five years, this will be the best decision we ever made.” But until this moment, until it was DONE, it was hard to breathe and hard to really believe that it was a good decision. The last few weeks – few months – have been stressful. Besides a stressful fall at school, Doug took a new job, marching band took time and toll, the porch renovation cost much more than we thought it would, and I had about 3 months that I didn’t sleep and was more exhausted than I ever have been. The last few weeks have been hard, and truthfully, not as much fun as I expected, because of the lack of sleep and impending deadline. I wanted to give this little house love – and it’s hard to do that when you’re rushing and pushing.

To me, it’s not “just a rental.” It’s a gem that no one loved, that has a piece of my heart. I love this little house. When we handed off the keys, I told Doug, “This has to be what parents feel like when they leave their kids with a babysitter. You know in your heart everything is okay, but you still feel anxious.”

You’ve seen the bathroom, and the next few posts will show off the inside. But now, I’ll go over the outside. The charm on the outside was lovely, and even though I said the first thing to go would be the temporary railings, cleaning the gutters came first. Practicality.

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The first time I cried over this house was working on the front door. It needed to be stripped and re-painted, and all the nooks and crannies wouldn’t come clean. And I felt like I was gouging the wood and I remember sobbing and saying, “I’m just ruining it” to Doug. As always, he calmed me, and I kept going. And I didn’t ruin it.

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And then the railings came down. And the whole feel of the house changed.

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My friend Chris built the shutters, and did the exterior painting. I know this will come as a shock, but we argued over the paint colors. Really, just the door color. But I love it.

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This house is so beautiful in the fall. The colors go perfectly with the foliage. I think Jackson Street was built for Spring, Martin Place for Snow, and this little Cottage was made for Fall.

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So welcoming!

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I’ve had these ready to be hung for two years. It was pretty anti-climatic, actually. After waiting so long, it was cold and rainy, so I just ran outside and hung them up and rang back inside.

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Love. I mean, she needs a power washing. But, I love it. 

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Yes, I did consider the color of the fire hydrant when I chose the door color and the trim color. 900 square feet of loveliness.

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I wish it hadn’t taken so long. I wish we had been able to enjoy the last few months of it more. I wish about a dozen more small projects could have happened. But we love it, we’re proud of it, and I can’t wait to show you the rest.

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10 comments

  1. The porch on this house reminds me of my great aunt and uncle’s house, where I spent fun times as a child. Good memories.

    1. Today I asked how easy it would be to put a reindeer on the roof, and whether I should silver lead the antlers. This conversation was taken seriously. So I think we can own your “crazy kids” comment. 🙂

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