Saturday, March 28, 2015

The TV House

My projects have names.  For people familiar with this part of the state, I can refer to a house by a town, neighborhood, or street and they'll know which pig’s ear I’m talking about.  However, with people from somewhere else, nicknames have emerged.   

I bought The Fire House after it was condemned by the local code enforcement officers.  The Cottage got it’s name when my realtor called it that in the sales listing.  The Hurricane House was severely torn up when Hugo rocked the state’s coast in 1989 and it was condemned by building officials 16 years after the storm.  The Bungalow got it’s nickname by another realtor in her listing and I liked how it sounded even though I'd never thought of this house in that way.   

The TV House
(aka The Country Victorian)

My current project is an old country house with some hard to miss Victorian features, so I quickly tagged it The Country Victorian.  But then… we got on television together and people have started calling it The TV House.  We’re something of a team.  She’s the star and I’m the supporting cast member.  Was she a diamond in the rough?  I wouldn’t say so.  I knew she was pretty special from the start.  She’s a one-of-a-kind, like all my projects have been, but I believe that she will be the one people will remember.  She’s the oldest, had the most issues, and is the one folks will always want to talk about because she got me noticed in a big way.  However, she’s tied to the other pig’s ears because without them, I wouldn’t have been ready to make an offer when I walked in the front door.

This TV House is like The Fire House because they both survived a fire.  She’s like The Cottage because of the way both original structures were added onto by previous owners.  She’s a little like The Hurricane House because the roof leaked in both and I had mold issues that had to be addressed, not a big issue to me, but to some, it’s scary and oftentimes a deal breaker.  The TV House is also like The Bungalow since they both had severe floor system issues that required total demolition down to the dirt crawl space below.  So in those ways, as I was renovating my previous projects, I was practicing.
I've immersed myself in all these rehabs in comparable ways.   I loved buying them when no one else wanted to.  I loved cleaning them up and understanding how they were put together.  I loved taking my pictures and sketching up various options on paper.  I loved digging in, working early in the morning, late at night, and through the weekends.  It was fun, but I was unknowingly getting ready for The TV House; my biggest and most challenging project yet.  It was another seemingly impossible project.  A property that others didn't want to take a chance on.  A house some were ready to tear down and send to the landfill.  But like my other renovations, The TV House was too good to demolish, too unique and special.  With the help of so many people, too numerous to list, she's going to be a star.  Summerville, South Carolina is a special town, full of so many grand historic homes.  The TV House has become something here.  People make a point to come find her and see what she looks like in person.  They're excited about her.  They take pictures and video.  I hope this appreciation continues long after the work is done.

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