I realized today that my blogs posting have been a little food heavy as of late. Sorry, it really is one of my passions. So today I am going to introduce you to my house, another one of my passions.
I live in a church, yep an honest-to-god church. Lots of my friends and family get quite a kick out of the least religious person they know living in an old church. Trust me, the irony isn't lost on me.
Six years ago, when I began house hunting, I sat down and made a list of the things I was looking for in a house. I wanted an open floor plan, lots of windows and hard wood floors. That being hammered out I began searching with a realtor. Not living in an urban area I was having a hard time filling my list of requirements. We don't have old warehouses here turned in spectacular loft condos. So, I started looking at old gas stations, old banks, even a few old warehouses. Then one day my realtor came to me with a church. I thought, "Really? Are you out of your mind?" We went and looked at it and I was hooked. It was amazing, but way more space than I needed and a little out of my price range for the amount of renovation it would need. That church is now a coffee house, a much better fit.
A few months later one of my coworkers pointed out an auction listing to me for a church just across the mountain from where I was currently living. My friend Philip and I went to take a look at it during the auction preview and I again fell in love. It was the perfect size, a nearly 100 year old little country church, previously owned my 2 german women who taught dance in it. The interior was in good shape and largely untouched in terms of any renovation. Before I even left the preview I could see in my head exactly how my house would be.
Auction day came and I was really nervous. There were about 80 people at the auction. A lot of them were there for the small items being auctioned off first. but I did spy a few inspecting the building and it's foundation. That scared me, if someone other than me wanted it...how could I win? I had gleaned from an inside source/friend of mine what the minimum the owners will willing to accept and really was only prepared to go 5k over that. Would I go 10K just to get it? What if the bidding went higher than that? Would I be prepared to throw it all on the line to "win" my dream house???
Once all of the smaller items were auctioned, bidding opened on the property itself. The auctioneer opened the bidding at the minimum and I waited a moment to see if anyone else's hand went up. No ones did, so I raised my hand. At which point every set of eyes in the room were suddenly focused on me. I don't know if they thought I was crazy or suspicious of my intentions. Thankfully, and some might want to say through divine intervention, no one else bid. The auctioneer tried, with all his might, to get a higher bid, he went on and on, and finally left the podium to confer with the owners to see if they would accept the minimum bid. At that point I suddenly realized, none of these people watching were here to bid on the property or if they were the minimum was too high for them. They all just wanted to see who was crazy enough to want it!
The auctioneer returned and opened the bidding once more. At this point I was about to lose control of all bodily functions. But still no one outbid me. Finally after what seemed like hours and I'm sure was only 15 minutes, the Auctioneer pronounced the property "Sold, to the only bidder". Then I did lose control, not of all bodily functions, but at the very least my voice. I screamed, yes I screamed, probably like a girl and grabbed my realtor and hugged him and his associate. I couldn't believe I'd just bought a church!
This church. World, meet my house. House...world.
What followed, aside from all of the auction folks wondering if I was going to bulldoze it, was 6 years of renovation. I am happy to say it is done now...mostly. There are a few little touches to follow, but the major work is out of the way. Just in time for it's 100th Anniversary in 2015.
So, through this blog, I am going to take you back in time to some of the projects and headaches along the path to where it is now. If any of you work for HGTV talk me up :-)