Friday, August 12, 2011

Wait, what? You knocked down a house? I don't get it...

So.. once upon a time, back in the year 2009, the real estate market was booming and we sold our house for big money....

I don't think you are gonna fall for that one.  Rewind.  First of all, I need a disclaimer.  I'm confused by blogs and I feel like starting off "Dear Diary... " but I see by looking at others, that's not really how it works.  I feel silly writing this all down, but I guess there are people out there who really want to know, and who am I to deny the people?  Right.  Okay, so here it is.  Feel free to fast forward to just look at the pictures (I probably would).

Back to 2009, I wanted a bigger boat.  I 1987ish 40" Sea Ray Express Cruiser (to be exact).  We looked at one, but couldn't fit it in our house at our house on the canal (duh) and we weren't sure if that's really what we wanted.  If you are searching boats on boat, why not just start searching too for houses?  I don't know.. it just happens.  For a few years, we'd been driving by this house on the water.  We'd dreamed of living "on the water" (not just on a canal with access to the water) but that was out of our reach. 

Til one day... this house we'd been noticing off and on for years kept dropping it's price.  It had been vacant for almost 3 years, taxes hadn't been paid, noone was caring for the home but it was on a prime lot.  We figured, why not check it out?  Price seemed reasonable.  What a dump!!  The house was literally sinking.  When you walked in it, you walked on an angle.  It was odd.  Stinky, old, vacant.  Ew.  But we walked out the back door.  SOLD.  [The real story involves a lot of "close your eyes and imagine" games where I'd convince Dave it was not that crazy to buy a house in a market that sucked, where we'd no way in hell sell our house and then build a house when we had never, ever, ever, done such a thing, ever.]  The yard was huge and that was near impossible in St. Clair Shores.  I wanted to take a chance.... which was a big deal in my world.  Not exactly spontaneous money-throwing chance takers, more like frugal scheduled planners. 

Clearly, we took a chance.  threw caution to the wind, yada yada yada.  Stressful "what the HELL did we just do" caution to the wind, I might add.  We made an offer, haggled, accepted.  Dave convinced me that the only this would work is if we rented the house until we sold ours and saved up.  I thought he was nuts, NOBODY is going to live in that icky house!  He was right.  He used his super skillz (yes, I added the z on purpose for effect), and turned that scary place into a liveable one (I helped a little).  We had 2 sets of renters in an 18 month span.  They were both spectacular.  Paid their rent on time, got along with the neighbors - one couple even got married in the back yard and the neighbors threw a goodbye party for them! 

During this time... we put our house on the market.  It wasn't looking good, in fact, it wasn't good.  We'd lay in bed at night and wonder what we got ourselves into.. made back up plans, talked through numbers, until one day.. a year after the house was up, we got an offer.  After a month or so of painful negotiating, we sold.. and walked out of the closing with 100 bucks, give or take.  Awesome, right?  Okay, no, however, I rationalized it well.  We were taking a chance to build our dream house, planned to live there for years and years, hopefully the market would recover.. and I'm stubborn, don't like to give up on that sort of stuff.

Alrighty, so.. during the 2 years of renting, selling, saving, planning, saving, planning, saving, borrowing, and working out this fab deal to live in my in-laws home on the water, with a boathouse and a sprawling basement to hold all our "stuff"".... we can make our dreams a reality!!!  We feel amazingly lucky, I have to say.

On 8/8, we broke ground.  The old house was knocked down.  And away, we.. go! 


  1. Christy, I'm super stoked that you wrote this. I was wondering what the hell was going on! Thanks for indulging my nosy pleasures :)

  2. Yay Christy welcome to the world of blogging :-) I am going to love reading about your journey