The complete story of how we came to buy our 100 year-old farm house

This is the complete story of how we came to buy our 100 year-old farm house.  Last month I introduced you to the reason why I was on the hunt for this particular type of house but I didn’t really share with you the ups and downs of the real estate search.  Here goes-

It was January, 2006.  I was working landscaping then and so this was my winter break.  I was toying with the idea of looking at homes and saw a listing advertised in a real estate flyer for a farmette on 12 acres.  When I called on the property the realtor informed me it had already been sold.  When I told her I was interested in seeing similar properties she laughed at me and said something to the effect of- “those type of properties are rare so good luck.”

I gave up on the idea until another ad caught my eye.  Although it was a little less acreage I called anyway.  I talked to an agent named Stephanie.  This home also had an accepted offer but she was more than willing to show me other homes available.   We saw about 6 together.  Let’s see-

  • There was the one in Seymour that was on 4 acres but IN TOWN.
  • The one in Freedom that was pretty far from the road with a nice long driveway.  Totally 1970’s. The biggest drawback was that there was another house built on a lot along the driveway, so your front yard was basically their backyard.

  • The one outside of Mackville on a corner with a barn.  This one was a close contender and for years I drove by it and referred to it as our Maybe-Home.  But the layout wasn’t conducive with any sort of open concept plan.

  • I saw two in the New London area.  The one I called Stephanie about that had an offer was quite cute and in one of the best locations.  But the barn that looked like it went with the property was owned by someone else and the easement went straight through the middle of the back yard.

  • The other one was on the other side of Royalton which just felt too far out for me.
  • And finally there were two in the Shiocton area.  One I never did get to tour and the one I ended up buying.

My little dream home…sorta.

I’ll tell you about my first impression of the place.  It was a foreclosure.  The driveway was lined with garbage.  Everything from old snowmobile parts to a chest freezer.  There was a tree right in front of the house that was badly damaged with broken branches hanging down.

Inside the garage was a molting taxidermy deer head, missing an eye.

The home was empty, except for the dead lady bugs littering the floor.  And the dead mice that had been there so long they no longer smelled.

Your view from the big living room picture window was of the pet cemetery under the pine trees marked with wooden crosses.

Oh yeah- and there was an outhouse.  A small wooden outhouse on the corner of the property.

But the place had potential.

I went home and spent the rest of the evening sketching up ideas, only to wake-up the next morning from a horrible nightmare that the house was haunted.  I crossed it off my list.

There was one listing left that met my criteria and while waiting for a showing date a bit of confusion set in about the address.  The realtor called to tell me the house I had the nightmare about had an offer and was no longer available.

Instead of feeling indifferent I felt something else deep in my stomach, in my gut.  It felt like I had been punched.  It was this annoyingly uncertain feeling I couldn’t shake.

This was the feeling of regret.

And as is always true in real estate, the moment you can’t have something- you suddenly want it more…

I waited about a week and then asked Stephanie if she could let me know if for some reason the offer fell through.  That was when she clarified that the house we hadn’t seen on County Rd F had the offer and the one we had seen on FF was still available.

This changed everything.

I immediately set up another showing and took Nick, who was my boyfriend of 6 years at this time.  I’ll never forget his expression as he toured it.  Let’s just say he didn’t see the same potential I saw…

If I have ever doubted for a second how much Nick believes in my talents as a designer, I only have to remember that day and the look on his face and the way he said-

“This is the house you want to buy???”

I said- “trust me.”

And he did.

He took a leap of faith in me, in my vision for our life together, that when I look back I find most definitely incredible.

So we bought a house…

The story of this decade long remodel continues with a post about insulation…

Coming Soon!



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