A meeting place for regulars to discuss the lighter side of old-houses.
Mon May 02, 2005 5:08 pm
As I read through these topics I get a good picture of some of the people that post here, but I'd like to see who we are.
My name is Will.
My wife is Kimberly.
I'm 34 and she's 27.
We've been married for almost 9 years (this June).
No kids. (Thank Gord)
I sell high end computer networks and she is a senior in college. (Middle school science teacher in the making)
This is our first house to own, but probably about the 10th place that we've lived in. (rent houses and apartments)
We have a dog (Max) and 2 cats (Bob and Spaz).
We're both kinda home bodies.
Watch too much TV. (Home and garden shows and lots of SciFi mostly....mostly)
That's about it.
Tell us about you and yours.
Mon May 02, 2005 8:13 pm
I'm Bob, - 46 Information Technology Manager / Service Manager for a mailroom/shipping system/document handling equipment vendor
She's Pamela, - 40 , Technical specialist claims adjuster for a large insurance company
We've been together for about 8 yrs.
No kids together
1 overweight house panther (18 lb anti-social cat named joe)
1 very healthy, very spoild dog (5 1/2 lb yorkie-maltese named Alex)
This is our second home.
First was a subdivision home, farmhouse style, not a McMansion, that we had built to our specs. When we told family that we wanted to sell our 2 1/2 yr old home and buy a 112 yr old "fixer-upper", they thought we were crazy. (quite honestly, the first time my wife set foot in the house, she had thought I had gone over the deep end... I had to tell her to look past the cat smell ...)
Yes, we're both kinda homebodies, too.
All the good design/decorating shows are either off the air or on at inconvenient times (If Walls Could Talk, Restore America, Homes Across America)
We both do too much work work at home, though.
Tue May 03, 2005 9:01 am
Well, I'm HB.
I'm an Environmental Engineer.
34 years old, married 5 years.
No kids, but 2 indoor cats and a little dog and a barn cat fill up our time.
Current House is our second - and last. 1791 stone georgian in SE PA.
(The first was a circa 1905 that had been broken into a 3 unit apt. Bldg.
We renovated one and kept the others rented. That house was not for restoration.)
She is becoming a scholar of 17th and 18th century furniture and decorative arts, esp. Pa German folk art.
I'm trying to become a master of the old trades. Joinery with hand tools is where my real interests lie, although I'm studying old plaster materials and methods as well as masonry at the moment. Someday I'll actually build that Chippendale Highboy.....
In my free time( not much of that lately
) I'm working to restore and antique farm tractor. (1956 Cub Lo Boy)
As with all of us, I have more projects than time.
Tue May 03, 2005 10:48 am
I'm Karen 51 and my old man is Joe 50 (I like em young
We are the proud owners of a 1929 Treasure Island Home in Queens (they were called that because there is a 5 foot wide island of grass running down the center of the street instead of a yellow line) We've lived here 24 years and will be married 26 years in August. We renovated this house over the years..along with raising a family. Three kids pretty much almost grown up. A son 24 in the US Coast Guard, A daughter 21 who works full time and attends college part time and my youngest a son 19 who loves to work on cars and will continue studing automotive until he recieves his certification. We have 3 dogs Princess, Max and Oreo. Two ferrets Cinnamon and Spanky II, one turtle Salmonilla (Sal) and two unamed goldfish.
Our main goal these days is to get the two younger kids to be self-sufficient enough so that we can retire. Which brings us to this place.
In June of 2002 we purchased an 1895 Victorian in upstate NY. Every weekend we drive 3 hours to our little bit of heaven and cram in as much work as we can in the small amount of time we have. So far we have painted the exterior, completed the master bedroom and a second bedroom, changed a 1/4 bath to a 1/2 bath, and hired out to replace the house and barn roofs. We are now in the final stages of a complete main bath re-do. It was "modernized" in the 70's and I am un-modernizing with a clawfoot tub and all. We try to do a room a winter and an outside job in the summer. This summer we hope to paint the barn and point the house foundation.
Wow !!!writing all this stuff down has made me realize the we've really done quiet a lot in 3 years... I'm amazed at myself
Tue May 03, 2005 12:36 pm
what fun, all these yrs and never knew really who any of you were....
I am 50 yo F who realized a while ago that my penniless artist ex-s.o. wasn't about to provide me w/ a house or any of the middle class accoutrements... so went out bought myself fixer-upper 2 flat bc having the rental income was only way I could afford ANYTHING. Could not even afford the cheapest single family house on my own. The idea of rental income paying all your mortgage is a big laugh-- not in this market!-- but it does pay for enough of it that I can afford the rest... Have since discovered an entire network of several other single, power-tool weilding Fs w/ 2 flats! Have 1 big ole calico cat, 5 fish in pond, a good tenant, cool neighbors. The house is a 1906 sorta 4-square craftsman kind of thing made of concrete block.
Tue May 03, 2005 3:15 pm
27YO here. Wife is 25.
2nd house (1930 Tudor Revival).
I'm in the Healthcare field/IT side/Business side.
She's in the art field.
Tue May 03, 2005 4:31 pm
Hi, Catya (and everyone else) I too am heading into single person landlording, only in my market, and on my salary I need 3-4 units to make things swing. In a duplex, I'd have to charge more than I could afford myself for rent. I'm looking to buy in my simple, humble neighborhood, where I moved in college so I wouldn't have to live around all those pesky students. Nor economically compete with the parents who pay their rent. What ever I find, it will undoubtedly will need retrovation, powered more by sweat equity and careful planning than large quantities of ready money. (Although I will have a sensible emergency reserve, and dedicate funds from my cashflow to repair and replacement reserves.) Although I may get lucky and find a salvagable dump, take out a 203K, get the vital stuff done right up front, leaving me with the fun stuff for later.
I'm hoping to keep my units affordable to regular folks like me, before we all get driven out into caves by the Gentry crawling in to "revitalize" the hood. Like my ex-husband, who kept the ex-house, despite the fact he could afford almost any property in this market. (PITI on a 15yr mortgage on the ex-house only represented 15% of his gross income. Needless to say, he may be paying more now, because he had to cash me out. Man, he hated that. My rent is higher than the ex-mortgage, despite the fact I "couldn't afford" to keep the house. go figure.)
I have a young dog who needs some yard to run in, and a twenty year old cat that really needs the dog to have some yard to run in. The poor dear. I also have a long-term housemate of questionable virtue (in the classical sense), though I love him dearly, and a part-time kid.
Tue May 03, 2005 4:41 pm
My name is Greg. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m 42 (had to think about that one). Never married but came close a few times. I have two cats, Mortimer and Sadie, that I took in as strays in the last 5 years or so. Dropped out of high school in the 9th grade but seem to have a knack for hard work and saving money so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been able to buy 2 homes in my life with no help from anyone. The current one is an 1895 Victorian with 2 1-bedroom apartments over the garages. It is close to 6000 sq ft total. I put a huge down payment on it, and it's a real fixer-upper, and the rentals help a lot so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m able to only work part-time and then work on the house in the afternoon. I taught myself how to write computer programs in VB & VC++ so I have a small business called Windswept Software that brings in a little more cash. The part time job is for a local manufacture. I wear 2 hats there doing sales and IT work. I have a very small sales area and the IT work is almost exclusively with the hand held computers used by the sales staff. It is very low key and they know IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d rather be at home working on the house so it works out real well. As long as no one has to deal with the computers, and my customers are happy, they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care what time I leave. I live so far out of the main stream of America that it seems like IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m in another country at times. It'll be interesting to see how long this current situation goes on.
Tue May 03, 2005 7:49 pm
Hi! I'm Carolyn and I'm holding on to 34 for the next 2 months
My husband is Bill and he will be 36 in June. We will celebrate our 16th anniversay on May 15th. I am a stay at home mom and he is a programmer for a tool and die company. We have 15 year old fraternal twin boys and a 9 year old daughter. We also have a spoiled cat named Oscar and a dog named Melly, whom I refer to as a Retrieagle (mix of a Golden Retriever and a Beagle)
This is our second, and hopefully last house. Our first home was built in the early 1950's and was a good beginner course for this one. We stayed there for 10 years, got it almost perfect and then sold it. We made enough profit that we were able to get more square footage, way more property, and a lot of history for basically the same monthly payment.
We are home bodies too. When we do have free time, I enjoy going to flea markets and auctions. I am always on the lookout for neat old stuff to put in my neat old house. Bill enjoys watching T.V. and woodworking. He is planning to build us a pencil post bed with beams from our old barn soon.
Tue May 03, 2005 10:24 pm
I'm Nancy W from Southern Maryland. I'm single, will be 54 tomorrow; and as of May 1, I am offiially retired from my job as a social worker with a state agency. I have three business offers to consider. Probably won't accept any of them - at least as presented.
I was very fortunate to inherit my old house (except of course, that my father died). I think even before I inherited it, it was "my" house.There are actually 3 houses on the large farm my brother and I inherited in 1986 - The 1890ish farmhouse, a very small 1956ish rental cottage and a 1981 modern farm house (one floor with full basement) that was "stick built" by the Amish in "barn raising fashion". Although I did not actually grow up ON this farm, I don't remember not having it. My father and grandfather purchased it in 1955. Everyone wants to buy the farm because it is waterfront. The current housing market has made the number of contacts by real estate agents skyrocket. But we are NOT selling.
The old house is a farmhouse built at a time of prosperity, so there are some elegant features. It is not a high style anything (Italiaate, Queen Anne, etc). I live in the 1981 house, our father had built, not the old house. There is still no central heat and the mile and a half dirt road to the house is very difficult to traverse several weeks a year in the winter and when it snows. If we raise the road about 2 feet the last mile, it would be OK, that costs $$$$$. Brother could do the labor (he has the equipement) but, he thinks it is too big a job.
I have one very spoiled 12 year old Cocker Spaniel/Golden Retriever mix, he thinks he shuld be the center of the universe and wants to be an only child (he heards other dogs AWAY from me), but also VERY protective I would have cats, however there are Bald Eagles nesting within site of my house, and I fear the cats would become eagle food.
I have been thinking for a couple of years that I would like to have a picnic for the Mid-Atlantic memebers (or whoever is willing to make the trek) of this group. Although I don't live in the house, it is fully furnished (mostly period things) and is frequently the site of gatherings of all sizes, some camping weekends. I am 2 hours from both Richmond, VA, and Baltimore MD. If there is interest, I guess it should be another thread.
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