Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Big news... Maybe?

John and I have been percolating our next big project, and we're far enough along, that I've decided to announce some of the details, and more specifically, to ask my readers for their help. (YES! I NEED YOUR HELP PEOPLE, SO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION!)

John and I recently realized a couple of things:
  1. We love having friends up at our house upstate.
  2. More and more of our friends are couples, some with kids, and things are getting a little snug in our cottage.
  3. Babies seem to prompt a constant stream of visitors, who also want to squeeze into our house.
  4. We need a bigger house.
  5. We can't afford a bigger house that isn't totally messed up.
  6. We are, in fact, ready for a new project.
  7. We should buy a totally messed up bigger house and fix it!

And like that, what do you know, we fell in love with this unbelievably rundown farmhouse in a town 35 minutes north of Sparrowbush!

It's possible the sequence of events went a little more like:
  1. We had friends with a baby up to the house. It was tight, but wonderful, and we briefly talked about getting a home improvement loan to expand our house. This seemed like a crazy, but interesting idea, and then we didn't really talk about it further...
  2. The following weekend, we drove up to Callicoon, NY, to visit the untapped reserve of antique stores there. I was on the hunt for a bookshelf for Julian's room, which has basically no storage, and an ever growing collection of toys, diapers, and clothes.
  3. The antique store I had in mind was closed (drat!) so we decided to wander around town and grab some lunch. While walking down the Main Street, we peeked in the window of a real estate agency, and got sucked into an intriguing listing... Lots of land; an antiquated farmhouse that was so derelict, it looked haunted; and best yet-- a long driveway! We innocently went into the agency to inquire...
  4. What do you know-- the agent was available to take us, right then and there.
  5. We followed this enchantress to this "magical castle" (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, remember!) like a pair of lemmings, and what do you know, it was our dream home. Actually. Literally. John kept walking around, sighing big sighs, taking long looks out the windows, and muttering things like, "I want to retire here."
  6. After much discussion, it was determined that this house was a total money pit, and WE WANTED IT! After further discussion, we put in an offer, and it was ACCEPTED! (Yay! Yikes! Yay!) YIKES!
  7. Of course, it obviously doesn't make sense to have two country houses, so now the race is on-- we've been given 90 days by the seller of the farmhouse to get our house sold, or the farm goes back on the market. YIKES!
Which leads me to how I need your help...

I'm hoping that everyone reading my blog will think long and hard about whether they know anyone who might want a lovingly restored two bedroom cottage, located less than two hours outside of New York City.


Listed at: $149,000.00

Located: 15 minutes outside of Port Jervis, 30 minutes to the quaint (touristy) town of Milford, PA. Easy access to train and bus lines, running from NYC to Port Jervis.  

Land: 8.5 beautiful wooded acres, at the end of a dead end country road. 1,000 unoccupied acres are right next door-- there is rumor that the vacant land is being deeded to the town of Port Jervis for a woodland nature preserve.

The House: Two bedroom, one full bath, formal dining room, large living room, spacious kitchen, three-season porch with screens and storm windows, semi-finished basement w/ many updates. Many recent renovations include- a new roof, a newly installed bathroom floor, new bathroom fixtures, new water heater, sump pump, well pump, and fancy new basement windows... Professionally installed wood-burning stove with new chimney pipe installed in the winter of 2011.

Also: There's a huge two-car garage with a loft above that could make an awesome studio, rehearsal space, or guest house, and there's already a well and pump near the garage if you wanted to get it plumbed for residential use.

Now a slide show of the house to remind you just how wonderful it really is...

It should be noted, we're selling this little house with a heavy heart. It is a place brimming with sentimental memories for us-- we held our wedding reception on the lawn, planted our wedding gifts (trees from friends and family) in the garden, introduced our son to summer and winter in this house... John and I really discovered a whole new side of ourselves renovating this house, and it will always be my first love (residentially speaking...) However, I'm also trying to embrace the idea that change is good, and that progress is even better, and now John and I are ready to begin the next chapter of our lives-- and start the next big adventure together! We have high hopes that we'll be able to find someone to buy our house who will love it with their whole hearts, the way we have for the last five years. If you happen to know just such a person, please send along the link to our blog, to our real estate listing, or even just give them my email address ( And tell them we're very motivated to sell-- so if they're interested-- make an offer!

The count down begins on Tuesday, when the paperwork will be officially signed and the 90-day clock starts.

Here are the links you might want to send along to friends & family ( or ideally, to every single person you know or have ever emailed):

And here's the link to the NY Times article from July 2009: 

Here's the Apartment Therapy link from 2009: 

Here's the Craig's List ad:

I'm not kidding folks! Pass this thing along! Send it friends who might not even be interested, in case they have friends who might be! We've only got 90 days, starting next week, so THE RACE IS ON! 


  1. Well I'll miss you guys! Good luck with the new place! And I'm sure it will be a masterpiece, you guys did it once!
    - your old neighbour, Jenny

  2. You guys did such a great job renovating it - it's inspired me to look for a similar project in my area. Question - how in the world did you get the rug under the post in the 5th picture? Looks like magic!

  3. As an impartial observer (and having spent several hours in the basement arranging flowers for their wedding), this is a lovely property! The house (even stripped of Christina and John's attractive belongings) is quite cute and the two car garage makes for a marvelous summer location for parties or as she said a studio, etc. The whole property ought to be in a magazine...oh, wait, it has been. It's that cute.
    Good luck with the new project. It looks challenging but WONDERFUL!

  4. Hi everybody! Thanks for all of the great comments, feedback, and support! We're pretty excited about this next step-- hopefully we'll actually get to move forward with the new farmhouse.

    To the anonymous inquiry about the rug under the support beam in the living room, good eye that you noticed! That is a favorite of mine-- I actually VERY CAREFULLY cut the area rug so I could wrap the rug around the base of the pole. In order to make it fit perfectly, I had to cut a little square out of the rug, which I kept in case I ever wanted to move it somewhere else.