When I moved to Pennsylvania, we made the old farmhouse into a slightly more modern farmhouse. I say it this way because for the most part, minus two additions, the house is basically as it was when we moved it. Yes, there were some facelifts, but for the most part, the house got paint.
Since the original move in, the house did receive some new appliances, and some more modern fixtures. But all the furniture that came with the house basically continued to populate it. I didn’t really have the taste for it, I enjoy things that have history, or a story to them, but just appreciating something for its sheer age is dumb to me.
I did love the area though, not the city, not the neighborhood, but the little bit of seclusion it offered. The house had a neat history to it. Originally it was smaller, then doubled in size when it was kind of set up like a duplex. At one point they were then combined, bringing it to the shape it is now. My parents added an addition to it, that bridged it to an out-kitchen behind the home. Making it quite a bit longer than it originally was.
It was unique, and although it was still very much dated, I liked the bones of the home. I always saw it with such potential. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t see it like I did. They preferred the quaint look of the home, leaving anything old intact, even though it was horribly insulated, and instead focused on refacing things.
When I was 18 my parents moved out of the house, leaving it’s care, and bills in the hands of my sister and I. I’m not gonna get into all the details of every year, but I can say the refacing of the home my parents did, never fixed the real issues. Over the next 8 years I ran into issue after issue, or if I wanted to change things, they repeatedly told me I couldn’t, because thats how they liked it.
This of course made me very angry. There I was, living in a house every day, but unable to fix things that were wrong. I said for years, that the skylight they installed in the added bathroom seemed like it was not installed right. The contractor who did it didn’t know much of anything, and it showed. Plus, it allowed a lot of bugs access to the bathroom. It wasn’t until whatever little seal had been holding it shut gave in, that they finally understood how bad the damage was. This resulted in an emergency removal, and damaged ceiling and wall that will cost far more to fix now, than just fixing it in the beginning.
The usual answer was, “Well it was fine when we lived there. You should take better care of things.” Now I won’t deny that I didn’t really have a hand at taking care of everything the way they wanted me to. It was hard to take care of the house someone elses way, when you have dreams of how you would like it to be. My parents would make me feel guilty about it, but I did my best to ignore it.
But all these things did was remind me how badly I wanted to have the house. I wanted to turn this old farmhouse into a proper home. Not just paint it, not just place nic-nacs around that add décor. I wanted to have people see the house’s potential that I saw. Where I would raise children, and live out a large portion of my life.
That day finally happened, but it was not easy. There were several factors making this house extremely hard to sell to someone. The septic system is probably from the dawn of indoor plumbing, which is the biggest issue. So in order for me to buy it, we had to jump through some major hoops. There were many days I wanted to slam my face into a desk. Banks weren’t easy to deal with, even with my great credit, and my parents lawyer who was overseeing the sale made a lot of legal paperwork nightmares.
But one day, I handed my parents the check for the house that I had always wanted to renovate. I felt incredible. I was so happy to finally own the house. I took the drive home, stopped in front of my yard, and once again envisioned my dreams, and hopes for the house and yard. Since that day, there have been many hiccups, and of course murphy’s law. But I haven’t given up hope, I’ll get there.