Tuesday, June 26, 2007

About this Blog, Us, and the Quest for the House...

The first time I saw the yellow stucco ranch house in Berwick, I was convinced it was not the house for me. Me and the hubby came to see it after some friends discovered it during an estate sale. "It's perfect for you guys," they said. Maybe it was the timing. The levees in New Orleans had just broken, we didn't know if our house down there had survived. We only knew we were not planning to go back-- we were going to live in Ohio. But it was too soon to buy a house. We were still paying a fat mortgage on a house we couldn't get to down south, and we didn't know if it was still standing, or if we could sell it.

"I love this house," Erich, my hubby, pronounced. "I want to live here. This is it."

"Babe, we've only seen one house. We should look around," I said. That was code language for "we aren't buying a house until we sell our other one.Oh, and get some jobs to pay all these mortgages."

We walked out with a cool 1950s desk with a kidney-beaned shaped top. I'm sitting at it right now.

Fast forward five months: We're in contract to sell our house in New Orleans, Nerd is tired of living with my sister and commuting two hours a day to work (our life since the storm), it's time to get our own place in Ohio. We start the search for a house.

"You should see if that old lady's house is still for sale," Erich said.
"There's no way it'd still be for sale," I said.

It was after all, a deal for its neighborhood. Berwick is a tract of well-maintainted 1950s ranch houses with big lawns, right in the middle of Columbus,Ohio. The houses here often sell for $200,000 and up. This house was selling for a lot less than that-- a lot. I called. It was on the market again. Two other contracts had fallen through. The seller wanted to be rid of it. Erich said those deals fell through because the house was meant for us. I wasn't convinved, at first.

We looked at a few other houses, and with each tour it became more clear that this was our house. It still had all of its original 1950s features- cabinets, light fixtures, everything. It had trees, a sunroom, plenty of bedrooms for out of town friends. Everything. No one had torn out the good stuff to make way for country cabinets or 1980s floors.

So we bought it. And we love it. And that's why this blog exists. I'm lovingly decorating, restoring, and refurbing this 1957 ranch house gem and I want you to join me in the journey.Follow me on my journey to elevate this house to its true potential. I'll be posting here several times a week, about the house's progress, the neighborhood, renovation dilemmas, decorating-- everything it takes to get the place into tip-top shape.

You hear an awful lot about the glamorous ranches-- the Eichlers, the Mid-Century modern all-glass California experimental homes, but not much about the tried and true traditional ranch house. I love those houses, but let's face it. Most of us can't live in one-- either because we can't afford one, or their just aren't many in our part of the country. I'm going to prove that traditional ranches can be just as cool. •

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