Friday, March 2, 2012

153: The "Before"

A few years ago I started walking around the town I live in.  Mainly for some exercise but also to get out and enjoy some fresh air.  This house is on the main street of town (Howard Street) and I would pass it usually once or twice on my walking route.  I first noticed it because it was for sale and one of my cousins was looking to buy.  I thought it was a cute looking house that had a lot of potential.  Since then, I think it's changed hands 5 or 6 times.  

In late 2011, I noticed it was for sale again.  The telltale stickers on the window told me it was a foreclosure.  I checked online and couldn't believe the asking price.  New cars sell for more than this house was listed at!  I mentioned it in passing to my mother and was surprised when she agreed that we should look at the house.  

For a foreclosure, the house was in remarkably good shape.  From my mother's research on the city of Croswell, we know it was built somewhere between 1890 and 1902.  After one or two visits, we put in an offer lower than the asking price and it was accepted.   We had it inspected and the only major issue was that it would need a new roof.  It needed some TLC and a minor interior face lift, but all in all, it was a great house.  We closed in late November, 2011.  

The front of the house.  It probably won't change drastically, but the roof is in progress as I type.  

Working backwards - this is the upstairs, front bedroom.  The smaller of the two upstairs, and facing Howard Street.   It's a good size room, with a nice size closet.  Notice the green trim around the windows, and if you look closely, there is green trim around the ceiling and walls too.  The carpet wasn't in too bad of shape, some minor stains, but it was quite puckered and rippling.  

Another view of the front bedroom.  A better look at the green trim.  

A wonderful shot of the "master" bathroom.  This is upstairs off the larger/back bedroom.  It had a BRIGHT Robin's Egg Blue paint, and the sink/toilet area also had 1 wall of pink striped wallpaper.  Hard to make out in this picture, but if you look close, you can see the stripes.  

The "other" part of the "master" bathroom.  The shower was nice looking, but the doors were broken.  This seemed minor at first, but proved to be difficult to replace.  

View from the stairs landing into the "master bedroom".  This is across the hall from the other upstairs bedroom and has windows facing south - toward downtown.  The walls were covered in wallpaper (we'd come to find out there were about 6 layers on there!) that was peeling and honestly, UGLY.  The wallpaper needed to come down.  The carpet was badly stained and due to it's light color was likely not able to be saved.

Reverse view of the "master bedroom", looking back toward the stairs.  Room  you can see with the other door is the front bedroom.  Notice the door is not stained.  You can see some of the carpet stains here a little better.  

The stairway!!  Such a gorgeous staircase - even in the before pictures.  A total selling point for me!   The walls are painted a BRIGHT yellow and the carpet is a deep maroony-wine color.  While sounding rather alma-mater-ish (FIRE UP CHIPS!) and close to maroon and gold, this was NOT a great color combo.  

Another view of the stairs.  I am still shocked that no one ever painted these.  So lucky!

A look into the living room from the dining area.  The living room is on the front of the house - facing Howard Street.  Coming in through the front door, you enter into this room.  Another good visual of the carpet/wall color combo.  The carpet, even though it was very dark, had many visible stains and was cut in one area.  

Looking from the living room toward the dining room.  

Taken on the stairway - a nice shot of the fireplace (gas).

The dining room.  Other than the hard wood floors, this room was boring.   Some scuffs along the baseboard, but the room was in decent shape.  

Looking into the dining room from the kitchen.  There is a built in china hutch/cabinet on the left.

Off the dining room on the first floor is the 3rd bedroom.  The carpet was a MESS.  Large stains.  You can see the opening to a large closet.  The closet doors had been written on in marker, and it was bleeding through the paint.  

The downstairs bath.  Located off the kitchen, this room was DARK.  There was some mold on the wallpaper.   Some of the wallpaper was slightly peeling.  

Not the greatest picture, but a good look from the kitchen into the bathroom.   The toilet was NASTY.  Take my word on it.

The "country" kitchen. Cheap bead-board plus ugly wallpaper.   

A view from the dining room into the kitchen.  There were stickers on the cabinet doors.   While also "country in theme" like the wallpaper, the stickers were a different material and honestly, didn't match.  The door on the right leads to a back entry door and the stairs to the basement.  

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