Thursday, November 9, 2017

We are Diving In, Part 1

About a year ago, we made a jump, a leap, a dive off the high dive: we bought a house -  to be moved - in Brenham.   We did not have land for the house.   We were living contently in Conroe.  An entire section of the house was boarded up and unseen. Joe had a vision and I was along for the ride.  

We knew we wanted the kids to grow up closer to our families and in a small town.  We had started looking for land and house in and around Brenham and the search grew more and more intense by the day.  We found two houses - both requiring intense work - but they tugged at our hearts.  Neither panned out.  We scoured HAR listings, Craigslist, message boards, local newspapers, the appraisal district, and drove for miles and miles on old roads looking for property marked for sale or that appeared abandoned.  It seemed completely hopeless to be able to find exactly what we were looking for but we were in for the hunt and were confident if it was God's plan it would all work out.

Then, Joe did one of his famous crazy searches and found an office in Brenham that was to be moved.  It had been listed for sale at least a month or two before but we never saw it because it was posted (one time) on a random Brenham group on Facebook. 

We sent my parents a picture and told them the street it was on (Becker) and they recognized
it but didn't know much about it.  We called the contact listed and the seller had literally just sold it.... to a house mover that would probably be reselling in.  The original seller said he would send me a few pictures and the house movers (Larry J) contact info.

The pictures came through and Joe and I were instantly charmed.  It had the farmhouse feel we wanted but was built in the 90's so it shouldn't have all the old farmhouse problems.  There was shiplap and moulding throughout the building and it seemed to have enough charm to warrant a in person look.  It had a surprisingly big footprint and the square footage was larger than our current house.  It was in 3 separate pieces and was already being boarded up to be moved.  

It was time to call Larry J and get more details and see if it was actually for sale, pricing, logistics, etc.  I called and Larry answered right away.  He confirmed he had bought the house and was planning on using the large section as offices for rent in Plantersville and selling the rest... but he could sell everything for a price.  He said the house was charming, sturdily built and came from the business out of Giddings that used to sell small cottages.  

Larry J said the whole thing were 3 separate parts - the big section and two small add ons.  The big section was actually 2 of the Giddings houses connected by two large rooms.  The add ons were supposed to be attached to the back of each of the Giddings cottages.  

Larry J wasn't exactly forthcoming when it came to the price but he was very upfront with his timeline.  The buildings were being lifted onto the trucks and if we were interested and wanted to see them we needed to get there by the end of the day.  Joe was in Pennsylvania for at least a few more days. I loaded the kids up after school, coordinated with my parents and asked Larry J to keep the door unlocked so I could get in when I arrived that evening.  

My parents and I arrived at the house just before the sun was setting.  The building was already taken apart into sections. The smaller add-on was already boarded up and we could only barely look through 1 window.  The other add-on had a bright red kitchenette and glass walls. 

 The main building was oozing with potential.  Shiplap throughout the two Giddings cottage sections. Exposed beams on top.  A loft above each of the living spaces.  Some built in shelving features.  My parents and I couldn't figure out how the layout would make sense but the building really was spot on for what Joe and I were looking for.  I took pictures and sent them to Joe in Pennsylvania.


Larry called the next day and said we needed to make a decision on the house within 3 days because he already had the permits  with the State to move it on the highway.  It seemed like an impossible time crunch with Joe being away.  I passed the news onto Joe and he said he would figure something out.  He was scheduled to fly home the next night to repack to go to the A&M -  Alabama football game in Tuscaloosa the following day.  

I was back in Conroe continuing the rabid search for land for the next 1.5 days.  Joe landed in the late afternoon and we went to the house together.  He was quiet during his walk through and saw even less of the house than we did because of its being boarded up.  At dinner that night my dad said we could probably put the house on the side of Silver Wings if we decided to buy it but did not think buying the house was a wise decision.  

That night as we packed for our early morning flight we agreed the house had a ton of potential - but there were so so many hurdles in order for it work out.  Primarily we did not have land to put the house on yet and there was no chance to stall in hopes that we found some.  Our deadline with Larry was the next day.  Then there was the dilemma of whether or not we should spend the money buy a house (to move to land we didn't have) or wait to buy the land and build a house from the ground up as we were able. 

The next morning we took off for Alabama and had seemed to come to an agreement that as much as we like it, we would have to pass.  Joe had barely walked through it one time, I had seen it twice.  IT just didn't make sense for such a huge investment.  Apparently the planes in flight altitude effected Joe because as we got in the taxi after we landed, Joe casually said "We need to get the house.  Im going to text Larry.  Call your dad and let him know we will need to store it at Silver Wings."  And so we did.

Took a brief break for game day!

While we were away, my dad coordinated with Larry on the move and the location we would store it.  Joe's dad TC came to Brenham to ensure it all went smoothly (and we weren't being swindled).  TC and my mom went to the land to pick up anything and everything of use that was left behind (even sprinkler heads).

We got pictures once it was moved and came back to Texas excited to figure out what it was that we just bought (and saddened by the Aggie loss).

Back in Brenham, the house was just as we remembered it.  It was time to make a plan for the layout... 

And like the adventure we have been on with our house, the retelling of the first part of our adventure with the house has gone on much longer than I anticipated.  Thanks for reading, I will post another day with more pictures from our adventure until we get to where the status we have today.  

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