Tuesday, November 29, 2005

DONE Deal!

OK, everybody get in your Wayback Machine--don't worry, we're not going far. Remember the house we got so excited about a couple of weeks ago? And then the owners accepted another offer instead of ours? Well, our offer was held as a "back-up," and wouldn't you know that the other buyers' financing fell through? I remember telling Alex at the time that maybe it just wasn't meant to be, but that if the other offer fell through, we'd know that it was for us.

SO--our loan is approved, our offer has been accepted, and we will head into 2006 living in over 3 times as much house as we're currently smooshed into! No more sharing ONE bathroom! No more turning sideways to pass by each other! No more storing out-of-season clothes out in the storage buildings! Wheee! (But seriously, if there are any single gals with a horse or two out there looking for just the right place, this is it. It's a beautifully-built, adorable house on 5 acres with an 1100SF barn and 5 more optional acres adjacent. It was perfect for me when I moved here with my horses and dogs...but then I got married, and it got crowded. And then we had a baby, and it got...well...tragically [or comically, depending on your point of view] crowded. Now we have an active three-year-old, and something's gotta give...it was about to be Mommy's sanity.)

Anyway, some features that only someone like me would get silly over:

The driveway is at least 750 feet long, and the whole 5 acres is enclosed in 6-foot high chain-link fence. It's like you're driving into a compound. Hee, hee! The following picture was taken 250 feet from the entrance of the drive, where the fencing starts: You can't even SEE the house, even from here! No casual drop-ins or Jehovah's Witnesses! Gotta love a house down in a holler.

The huge, finished basement already has a kitchenette and doggie door. Perfect for preparing and storing your dogs' raw meals! Extra 'fridge and freezer room! Whee! And room for the poodles' Speedee stand dryer and grooming tables! and the Edemco dog-bathing tub! Triple-wheee! I don't know what Alex plans to do with his half, but I kind of suspect the bowflex might live there.

The aforementioned (and pictured) koi-pond/fountain.

Hardwood floors. siiiiigh

A fireplace in the kitchen--er, "hearth room." I may roast things over a spit! Where does one buy a mid-sized spit nowadays for personal use? I suppose I'd also have to get one of those little terriers to run on that wheel and rotate it...

Annnnd...there is even a rear drive to a back gate, just in case we had to make a quick getaway (this route also solves the death-on-the-highway scenario descibed earlier). Ha-HA!
There's a shedrow barn that has not been used as a barn, so we'll have a bit of converting to do, but not a great deal.
Below is what will become the chicken yard and coop for my Araucanas! Yaayyy! And Buff Orpingtons! Wheeeee! (This space was apparently used previously for whelping puppies, judging from the sign.)
And for Alex, an 850-SF shop. Seriously. Every time I ask him what he's going to DO with an 850-SF shop, he gets this weird glint in his eye and says dreamily, "Oh, I'll think of stuff to do." Yikes. Oh, and those things bolted to the walls? Next to all the windows? Duck decoys, sawed in half. Hmmmm. A decorating challenge.
There's more, but I'll wait until it's "BEFORE/AFTER" time, and let you all play HGTV with me. Painting! Borders! And the arrangement of our entire 3 pieces of furniture in all those rooms! (Notice me studiously IGNORING the spectre of the much-bigger mortgage, the work ahead of us in moving and cleaning this place, selling half of the horses, etc. etc. etc...My fingers are firmly in my ears and I am loudly singing, "LALALALALALALAAAAAAH!!!!")


  1. Does that mean you're leaving Jacksonville???? :-(

    that sucks

  2. Just *barely*, Tony. I will still be just about the same distance from where you are, if not even a little closer!

  3. YAY!!!! Congratulations Belinda! I know you guys really wanted this place.

    And in some weird way, I kind of like the ducks... lord, blame it on the hormones and don't hold it against me ok?

  4. Congratulations, Belinda. Yahoo!


    I had a FEELING you'd get it! Excellent! WOO HOO! (now it's my turn!)

  6. Congratulations!!! My God, this place looks a freaking palace! So much land and various houses, it reminds me of some of the royal houses in Europe I've seen (well minus duck decoys) :)

  7. That is AWESOME news, Belinda!!!

    I am so happy for you :-)

  8. congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    live in 600 square feet, but it has hardwood floors, and uh, two bathrooms

    when are you moving?

  9. Thanks, everybody--it's been a long time coming.

    Erin--there are ducks EVERYWHERE in and around this place. On the walls (inside and out), floating in the koi pond, on the mailbox--both painted on and sitting atop--in pictures, sculpture, bas-relief, taxidermy...and plenty of signage indicating that "a duck hunter lives here."

    Celena, do you have to have a contract on your current home before you can start looking for a new one?

    VG--it's hardly palatial, and we'd prefer a little more grassy pasture (we're gonna be buying hay year-round now), but it is a lot more room than either of us has ever had. Thank goodness! What kind of chicken coops do you reckon the royal families of Europe prefer? ;-)

    Pia--you can get TWO bathrooms in 600SF? Wow! And that space probably would cost a lot more to buy than this one! I was completely comfortable here by myself, but 3 people and 7 dogs need more room! We don't close until mid-January (by choice), and won't move until we get all the painting, etc. done in the new house. Then we'll empty this one and do whatever cosmetic work it needs before listing it.

  10. congratulations! it looks amazing!

    glad you've found a way to avoid the death-on-the-highway scenario.

    hey, wasn't that the revelation beheld in the john?

  11. Yep! But the other road (gravel) that we didn't know about comes out to a nice clear stretch!

  12. ahh. the Duck Castle is well-fortified...

  13. Don't you just know, just feel in your bones, that I will be replacing every duck with a poodle...unless Alex beats me to it with a Razorback?

  14. Before you toss out any of the ducks, take them to an appraiser. YOu would be astonished to find out how much some old duck decoys are worth, even if they've been sliced in half. It might pay for you to buy some furniture for the new house.

    Congrats. I'm really excited for you. And with all that fencing, the dogs can go hog wild.

    We live in a compound too, and it's really cool almost all the time, but I'm not looking forward to our driveway once it really starts icing over and snowing. At least yours is flat!

    How many horses are you going to keep, and are you going to close in that barn shed, or build a real barn? I don't know how cold it gets there in winter, but here horses need to be enclosed. We've got an 6 stall barn, plus room for 4 carriages. If we had horses (not allowed in our city) it would be a swell place to keep them.

    Are you going to use the chickens for egg production or to snap those heads off and consume for dinner?

    Have you thought about getting a cow? I love cows.

  15. Actually, the front drive is waaaay steep. But we can get out the back in case of snow/ice, which is exceedingly rare.

    We'll leave the barn front open, just put in stalls. It isn't cold enough here often enough to really worry, and on the rare occasions when it does get to 30 or below, they have turnout rugs.

    We're gonna have to sell or place at least 3, preferrably 4. :-(

    I am wildly jealous of your carriage house!

    Chickens will mainly be for eggs--if Alex wants to butcher and dress one occasionally, I'll cook it, but I don't wanna know the details! That would be the Orpingtons only--no one touches my Araucanas.

  16. Wow! Congratulations! As a chicken lady i am excited for the aracaunas. I have americaunas and we love the green eggs.

    Really wonderful, i'm very happy for you!

  17. I *sniff* miss my chickens!! We went up to our new town to look at houses, but our offers fell through. We'll have more "bargaining power" once we sell our house, 'cause we'll have the money sooner for the new place. I'm not worried about finding a new place, 'cause there are SO many up there that I like, I'm just worried about selling our current house :(

  18. Yaay! Way cool on the new house! Now I just wish we could find one as nice here in the frozen tundra of the north! Wherein, btw, we are having some major flakes outside right this very moment! Aaaack!!

    P.S. In case you didn't notice, we did all make it here safe and sound, no major incidents, but now the fun begins!

  19. GREAT NEWS! It looks so vast and gorgeous! Congrats.

  20. best site