Saturday, May 14, 2011
We Found Our Cottage...now What!
We toured the cottage and tried to imagine what it would look like if it wasn't dirty, smelly from pet urine,and what it would look like without the loud loud colors that changed from room to room. We have always bought and renovated homes and usually homes that were distressed. So the condition actually wasn't as bad as some we had purchased in the past. Distressed houses with NO structual issues are relatively easy to renovate. We used to be able to tackle some structual issues and more serious renovations when Dad was alive to help us. He did teach me to look beyond the surface and to concentrate on the bones, structure, roof, floor plan and exterior style and condition. He used to say a bucket of hot water, spic and span, and lots of sweat and elbow grease can create miracles...many people just aren't interested in working that hard...and IT is hard work. He also taught me that paint is another miracle worker and can dramatically change the appearance of a house both inside and out. He always insisted on buying the best quality paint, brushes, etc. He said the labor was the expensive and time consuming part so cheap paint and tools provided very poor value and also just made it harder to do an excellent job. He never tackled anything without giving it his best. I guess you can tell I miss him everyday but carry his wisdom in my head and heart. He always thought I could do anything...which is an amazing thing for a parent to give to their child. Back to the cottage...It had it all...good bones, cute cute cottage style...but it was in great shape structurally which was very unusual for a Tybee Cottage. The floor plan was awesome and included french doors to close off two of the three bedrooms and the adjoining bath...how perfect for rentals...allowing two groups their complete privacy or a great way to put the kids to bed while the adults play. The best part...the owner had just added a three season porch. Tons of windows and french doors to a small deck in the back yard...with a giant live oak with spanish moss dripping down. I was in love. I quickly went outside and walked the property and then went next door and checked out the neighbors and was pleased to find plenty of privacy and that one was a full time resident...likely quieter than renters and the other cottage that was just as cute as ours was used as a rental office which was great since they would only even be there during business hours! We also had a very nice utility area as part of the house with a high ceiling and concrete floor a perfect storage area for Kayaks, bikes,outdoor gear, etc. and could later be converted to a nice small shop. We told Sandy we were in Like but needed some time to discuss and would call her. She provided lots of info on what taxes, flood insurance, etc. would cost...considerable costs since you are on and island. She mentioned lots of folks rented their cottages to offset the expenses and of course we couldn't be there all the time. We left with our heads spinning and retired back to Fiddler on the Creek to sit on the dock and start making lists of what we would need to spend to make the Cottage Tybee Cute! Stay tuned it gets interesting...a conservative banker who doesn't believe in having debt and had just paid her home off...is faced with a big decision...the coastal living cottage dream...how to pay of it and not freak out...could I possibly do it...Mike was right there with me and was in exactly the same place. Lots of discussion and hand wringing...more tomorrow!