Other than renovating my grandma's house, this renovation was my most emotional project.
Years ago in a completely different life I started working at the Army National Guard. I was a very shy, newly divorced, traumatized single mom of a 4 year old daughter. The only knowledge I had of the military was from watching Saturday westerns and to say the environment was alien and overwhelming is an understatement. Enter into my life, Jim, someone who fell just right behind my parents in the amount of influence he had on my life. He was my boss, my mentor and my friend. He gave me the knowledge to become a confident employee and more important a confident person. He was instrumental in helping me find my strength and mature into a strong, independent person.
I was promoted several times while working for Jim and after 30 years he retired from the military and got a civilian job. While working at the Guard, I was eventually promoted to a position where I had the privilege of hiring Jim to develop the very difficult Military Funeral Honors program. There never was and never will be a more perfect fit to job and person. I was fortunate enough to work with Jim for several more years. (His big joke was now that our boss/employee relationship had been reversed how lucky it was he had always treated me so well!)
Jim retired for a 2nd time and I left the Guard. Whether we saw each other infrequently or not, Jim remained a significant influence on my life. Jim passed away suddenly a few years ago. Too soon afterwards, the love of his life, Christine, passed away.
I am sure you are asking what all of this has to do with buying houses for cash and renovating them! Well, this house was Jim and Christine's. They were both home bodies and loved their home. By Jim's own admittance he wasn't the handiest guy around, but took great pride in making a home for he and Christine.
Their family was traumatized and didn't know what to do with a potential inherited house. The house went into foreclosure. The house was then broken into and destroyed by squatters (how little protection the legal system offers in situations like this is astounding and better saved for another post). After navigating thru the legal system to evict the squatters, the house had been used as a toilet even when there was no working plumbing, the appliances, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, and copper wire and pipe were all stolen. There were big chunks of wall missing where they ripped out the pipe and wire. They even stole the deck! The state of Jim and Christine's beloved home broke my heart, but every time we had to deal with the police or go to court, I was only more determined to make this right for Jim.
Fast forward a few months....the squatters were removed, the renovations began, the renovations finished and before the house was completely finished the house SOLD. Being able to restore Jim and Christine's house is one of the greatest honors of my life. It is now ready for a new family to make wonderful new memories.
While every renovation is challenging, scary, fun and rewarding, it is always about so much more than a house.
The circumstances that bring us into a house are as different than the houses themselves. But whether it is an overwhelming period of life, an inherited house, or you just want out and on the road to a different life, we pride ourselves on the easiest, cash transactions possible...even when it makes me cry!