Also being in Florida, where we are surrounded by water, we need a home that is NOT in a flood zone or an evacuation zone. I mean, I can't imagine having to evacuate Bob in his wheelchair, along with a large dog and two cats. (And don't even mention "Special Needs Shelters" as I checked in on that option and turns out, because of his g-tube equipment, they will not accept him.) So I need something "high and dry" as the realtors say, and when looking in these areas, pickings grow slim.
Throughout this time, my heart keeps going back to one of the first houses I looked at, a 1929 Colonial Revival house.
I like this house because it, with over 2000 square feet, it has a great open floor plan for a wheelchair, hardwood floors and high ceilings, and I absolutely love the location on one of the most prestigious blocks in a well maintained, old historic neighborhood!
|Brick Streets, Old Oaks|
|Neighbors house on the same block|
|More neighbors on the same block|
|Another neighbor, lush tropical landscape|
|Next door neighbor|
I didn't like the house, at first, because of the rather creepy vinyl substitute siding, fake vinyl shutters and "modern" porch windows which really obscure the home's historic architecture and the fact that it doesn't have fireplace. Also it needs some routine maintenance, such as fencing that needs replacing and a deck with rotted floorboards, painting, window repair, etc.
But like I said, my heart keeps going back to it, as it seems something that we can work with. It has two bathrooms, one easily remodeled, and three bedrooms and is twice the size of our bungalow. And, an extra-added bonus is a small "in-law" apartment in back, which I'm thinking for Chris! With high ceilings and hardwood floors, arched doorways, it has, as the contractor said, "good bones". I looked at the house twice with the realtor, a third time with a contractor, and finally, I took Bob, because I hate to make such a big decision without his input. And it took four people to haul him up the front steps backwards into the house, but we managed! And, do you know, he could get through the whole house with his wheelchair, into every room except the bathroom, which would have to be remodeled. He could zip down the hallway and actually TURN AROUND in the hallway! He remarked the house was "Nice!"
|Bob at the house, did I mention the cool built-in bookcases!|
And I went back to hunting for a different house.
And I saw lots of interesting homes that didn't work for one reason or another... I mean, beautiful houses in iffy "transitional" neighborhoods, sort of like our current neighborhood. And beautiful houses, in great neighborhoods, that in no-way could be made wheelchair accessible. And rundown, ugly houses in great neighborhoods.... And prices too high and houses too small, or yards too small for ramps or lifts, in flood zones, evac zones, or you name it.... I even looked at one gorgeous and notoriously "haunted" house and that, alas, was not wheelchair accessible either...
And I kept thinking about this 1929 Colonial Revival with the great accessible floor plan and the great neighborhood... It would be a lot of work, taking off the siding, restoring it, but it could be worth it....
So when the bank dropped the price on Friday ($75,000 less than the original list price), I asked Bob what he thought we should do. He said, "Get it!" So, we put a new offer in on it yesterday.
Wish us luck!