Winter Retreat? Hope not.


The best thing about winter for JJ is the down comforter on my bed. The worst thing is that I keep the house cold enough to hang meat.

In one last-ditch effort to sell my house before winter is entrenched, I’ve lowered the price by a couple thou.

I swore I wouldn’t go lower in price than I had it at last week…but I fell in love…again (yeah, I’m fickle) and need cash. Quick.

This time, the house after which I’m lusting (located just a few blocks from my current home) has a solid foundation – but it needs some work on the slate roof and requires all-new electric (it’s knob-and-tube, and the panel is smaller than a very small bread box).

Then there’s the lovely mismatched wallpaper that’s not limited to the walls – there are several layers on most of the ceilings, too – plus the rugs that smell as if they’ve spent 40 years in a nursing home that’s in serious violation of health codes. At least I hope that’s only in the rugs…

But the potential is enormous!

(The above explains why I’m still single; not only am I fickle, everything and everyone in which I’ve ever been interested requires massive renovation.)

All better now.

All better now.

So I have my dining room back in order, the bathroom wall is fixed and I’m ready for showings (just give me some notice so I can turn up the heat).

And if I get no offers by Thanksgiving, I’ll take it off the market and spruce up the kitchen over the winter, then relist in the spring at a slightly higher price.

But by that time, no doubt my new love will be taken. Story of my life.

p.s. If you know anyone who might be interested, please send them this link:

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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16 Responses to Winter Retreat? Hope not.

  1. Ken Speed says:

    OK, I admit it, I’m a guy and I look at things from a guy’s perspective but you fell in love with roof problems, antique electrical wiring (EEK!), carpets that shouldn’t be talked about in polite company, and wallpaper on the ceiling!
    I think you really need to fall in love with a healthier house!

    • fitz says:

      For that, I’d need a healthier checkbook and less of a desire to rehab (I like doing reno; it’s a great weight-loss program).

      • Ken Speed says:

        I wish you every success and hope you can sell the house you have now and get the one you want. I find the idea of really horribly outdated electrical wiring scary especially in a house that may have walls without firestops.
        If you’re successful in getting the house you want make sure you wear air filtration when you remove the old carpet. I was faced with similar issues not too long ago and was sick for days from the concentrated nasties released when I removed the carpet.

        • fitz says:

          Thanks. And yes – I’m thinking a tyvek suit, heavy gloves and a respirator would be in order. And that would be awesome!

  2. billlattpa says:

    I can say, from experience, that properly converting a house from knob and tube will probably cost in the $10,000.00 range. That includes material costs, adding new devices up to code (knob and tube homes are usually woefully short on devices and proper switching). That is just an estimate but my estimates are usually pretty good for what it’s worth. Now I’m not sure what the local code in Cincinnati allows, as in doing certain things piecemeal.
    BTW, I’m not saying this as some sort of scare tactic, just as an FYI.

    • fitz says:

      Thanks Bill,

      I was estimating 9k…what’s another thou at that point, eh?
      (I had a nice big panel (condensed from three) and new service installed in my current home, but didn’t have to run much wiring here; so many empty slots…so pretty!)

      • billlattpa says:

        9 is a good number. I was estimating a little on the high side. Material cost x two is always a good starting point. But you definitely did your homework. Good luck and hopefully you get it!

  3. tombuhl says:

    Eight years ago I moved into a house with knob and a prayer electrical. My (then) new wife lived there since 1985, but she’s a gardener, so the house didn’t matter. We had entire house rewired before I moved in my precious stuff. Good decision. Nice big panel (relative to the house size) and even a sub-panel for the garage. Little did I know that within two years I’d be smitten by the love of woodworking. Fifty amps is enough for one person at a time in the shop, but sure would have been nice to have more 220 circuits. I added one, to get total of two, but that means switching power cords between the big boys (and girls). And do not run the clothes dryer and dust collector at the same time. Two minutes is max before the breaker screams for mercy.
    Should this love not work out, do not despair…for too long. There is many a country song about another one around the corner… Just keep on loving, even if the targets are continually ever changing.

  4. i’ll never visit you in winter!

  5. joshuawpierce says:

    I’m sorry you can’t sell, (and I’m terrified of being in your shoes in a few years) but I also resent y’all a little bit that housing is so cheap out that way! Move that house closer to my job (or hire me) and my wife and I would buy that in a hearbeat! That would pull at least twice that in my area!

  6. pmac says:

    If you weren’t fickle, this blog would be awfully boring.

  7. My wife and I bought and sold this year, it’s an exciting but stressful time. Our new house is a gem, it was everything we wanted, it was in town, a single detached, a bit of land (50’x315′) a 12’x24′ detached shop in the back yard + a two car garage … oh a nice kitchen and some bedrooms and stuff. When we walked threw the house we loved it but there was a hick up, there was no bathtub, it had been converted into a shower stall. As we have two young boys this wasn’t ideal but wasn’t a deal breaker for us either. We found out later multiple couples walked away from the house because of this sole ‘issue’. One husband was quite annoyed his wife because she refused to have to renovate the house to get a bathtub, he was sold for the reasons I was (land and shop). All this to say there are no pictures or mention of a bathtub in your house listing (though I believe there is one of the third floor). It may be a good idea to take a picture of that bathroom and add it to your listing, this may have been why some people didn’t go see it. My wife showers 95% of the time (now 100%), knowing she could have a bath even in a less than great tub would make her happy for those days she just needs a bath.


    PS glad you’re posting again.

    • fitz says:

      My realtor’s company has a curious policy of not showing toilets in any pictures (I guess it’s considered bad taste to remind viewers that they have bodily functions?)…and yes there is a tub – right next to a toilet. But you may be right – perhaps I can get him to add that in the notes.

  8. scott grandstaff says:

    So, I have to grow a scraggly beard and start drinking and gambling and having rabid conspiracy theories
    to have a chance with you Megan? Man, you are a hard woman…. heehehheh
    yours Scott

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