The story of our home began in April 2013. While looking for investment properties, I came across a beautiful Tudor style home in the Ten Hills area of Baltimore. I nicknamed it Moldy Manor because due to a hole in the roof there was significant water damage resulting in mold . . . lots of it. Although it was supposedly on the market, we had a hard time reaching anyone for purchase information and after a month or so decided to move on. The house was nice, but besides the mold remediation that would have to be done, the basement ceiling would only allow for a troll to venture down there, certainly not Kevin who’s over 6 feet tall and it just didn’t give me the warm fuzzy feelings. I couldn’t picture our family there, but the seed was planted, so I set out to find us a new home. Yup, just like that.
We looked at several houses, but none felt like home until we walked thru those doors. Kevin and I walked around, both silently appraising The White House for Wayward Women & Children. Don’t ask, I have no clue, but it makes me laugh. While I couldn’t envision the finished product, I could see the potential. It was listed as having 7BR’s, 4.5 baths which sounded perfect for our family of five. The layout provided everyone their own space, a must-have when there’s a “house full of girls,” as Kevin describes it. Built in 1920, there were original built-ins and hardwoods, not to mention 8ft ceilings, even in the basement. When we were done, we looked at each other timidly, wondering what the other was thinking. We don’t agree on much, but thankfully we both loved it!
We put an offer in immediately which was immediately denied. Heartbroken, we looked at other houses, but this one remained in my head. Call me a stalker, but I kept going back to that house. My persistence paid off when I learned the contract fell thru and it was back on the market. We submitted a second offer, only to learn they wanted cash only. Really? Who does that? Foiled Again!
This time I vowed to get that house out of my head. We continued to look at other properties, even put a few offers in, but nothing seemed to go our way. What I didn’t know, was like me, Kevin was still obsessed as well. He came home one day and said I drove by your house. They’re working on it, here’s a card; you should check it out. Well that was all I needed.
Long story short, an investor purchased the property with intent to flip. Although they were in the beginning phase of renovations he wouldn’t sell, believe me I tried, so we signed a contract for the finished product that also allowed us to have some input on what it would look like. That turned out to be a blessing and a curse. When we finally closed on May 13, 2014 our house had a new roof, plumbing and electrical. Most of the windows were replaced and we had the radiators removed, opting for central air. We enlarged the bathroom on the main floor allowing for a larger shower and separate tub, and while they weren’t able to finish the kitchen how we wanted, they did take out the wall and make other structural changes so we could come right in and pick up where they left off.
So you might ask yourself where’s the curse in any of that. Well, notice we closed in May 2014. We signed our contract in June 2013. It took almost a year for them to complete the work! Apparently they didn’t budget properly and the nominal amount set aside for improvements barely covered the minimum work which was required. With a limited budget, what began as a crew working on our house around the clock slowly dwindled until only one person was on the job. Eventually he left and another contractor had to be hired altogether. Newly installed drywall was destroyed when it was discovered city inspectors had never been called to look at the electrical work. We had boxes packed in our dining room for a year. When I say we were on an emotional roller coaster it’s an understatement, but not once did we contemplate walking away. And I’m so glad we didn’t.
Today this house is now our home; our forever happy place; Our Beautiful Surprise.
Click here to see what it looked like on the inside.