Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The Eight Year Itch
In 2008 I got the seven year itch. Again. Just about every seven years since we’ve lived in Memphis we’ve moved to a different house. One of those times we built a custom house. It started in 1993, with meetings with architects and builders.
Finally we had a big ground-breaking ceremony, complete with an Orthodox blessing by our priest. (look at those guys with no beards:-)
The foundation was laid and the framing began.
Even during the snow, the work continued.
We moved in two years later, in June of 1995. Notice that I didn’t say, “finally the house was finished,” because it wasn’t. But we were tired of living in a rental, so we moved for the final month or so of the construction.
Here’s the house on the 4th of July that same summer (or maybe the next?) when the Olympic Torch made its way down our street and we had a big celebration. It was a doozy of a house, with a swimming pool, exercise room, home office, four bedrooms and 4 ½ bathrooms, formal living room, dining room, kitchen/den, laundry room, and attached two-car garage. I've got a box of photos in the attic that I don't want to dig through right now. I think the fact that I quite keeping photo albums when we built our house speak volumes about how much time and energy the project took!
But we sold it six years later, because our kids grew up and our needs changed. We scaled down, settling into another home in the same neighborhood, but 1000 square feet smaller and with 2 downstairs bedrooms and baths, thinking my mother would move in with us.
She didn’t. So… the seven year itch got me last year and we found another house we really liked, but we couldn’t sell this one, so we had to let it go. After studying the market, we finally realized we’ve got to renovate this one if it’s going to compete. Although it was built in 1990, the kitchen and master bathroom, in particular, need upgrades, and the house needs new carpet upstairs and painting in a few rooms.
So, a couple of weeks ago we began the process of interviewing contractors. The first one called back to say his subs are too busy to give him quotes, so he can’t bid on it right now. A good sign, actually, that the market is picking up. The second one came over yesterday to discuss what we wanted, offering a few good suggestions, and will get a bid to us soon. The third is coming over in about 30 minutes, so hopefully we’ll have two bids to compare soon.
And then the fun begins…. Stay tuned for before and after pictures and enjoy the ride!