I’ve debated how to best show the rehab photos that people have been asking to see for years. We have hundreds, well over a few thousand, and the task of organizing them more than chronologically is a bit daunting. I debated setting up individual slide shows of the different rooms, showing their evolution from start to finish, but they are never really finished so it was just another type of procrastination. So, my plan is to upload the photos in groups from the beginning, and I’ll put them into an additional folder entitled rehab slide shows so that it is easy to find and follow along with the process. I’ll date them in the title of the entry, and throw in some captions on the photos so that you can better understand what’s going on (run your cursor over the slideshow to bring up the captions option.) I’ll try to throw in some interesting stories along the way. And maybe one day it will be “finished”, and I may regroup them in a before-and-after format. But I doubt it. We’re eight years in and still going strong. At times that seems like forever, and you might even say to yourself “Why don’t they just finish it up already?!” And my answer to that is, look below.
We’ve come a long way, baby…
We purchased this house in January of 2000, and closed on it in late March. We began our engagement somewhere in the middle of that time period. I had just completed graduate work the year before and was working in the city, near this house, and M was working in another city 9.5 driving hours or a plane trip away. His company flew him in on Thursday evenings to work in their office here on Fridays, and he boarded a plane back every Monday morning at 6am. Every single spare hour we worked on this place, the two of us, with the occasional help from a nearby friend or a visiting set of parents. It was really hard work.
We bought this place for under 30K – it was a fringe neighborhood at best, but was beginning to show the signs of rebirth. We were incredibly fortunate to have found it – our neighborhood exploded with the real estate market upswing in the following 5-6 years. Shells like this go for 150K+ now, and there are few remaining. We did not have any state or federal tax credits on this project, but we did take advantage of the 203K loan for construction financing, and were able to get a 10 year tax abatement on this project. Since the purchase of our house, I began doing more and more tax credit projects at work, and if we ever do another one of our own, we will certainly go that route.
In the past year or so, our neighborhood, which has always been a federal historic district, also became a local one. This is important because even if you have federal historic status, without local status, there is no local control on the renovation and new construction that occurs. Many of the homes around us have suffered from that. Now, while it will be tougher to get approval and permits for construction, the work should be in better keeping with the existing fabric, and that’s always a good thing in neighborhoods like this one.
Eight years later our street is a vibrant, bustling neighborhood. Most houses are occupied, many by families with young children. The storefront across the street from us houses a killer deli that just celebrated it’s third year this past weekend, and hosts live blues bands on the corner every Saturday afternoon. People stream into these streets for amazing food, from the $4.00 fried chicken plate at one end, to the linen clothed tables of the finest cuisine. The street has a vibrancy that it once lacked, and the faces of our neighbors are still as varied as they once were. We love it here.
So enjoy the photos, and the transformation… let us know what you think. And thanks again to all of you that gave up a weekend (or more) along the way to help us out…