Well, it’s been quite a week already – starting with an early Monday morning home inspection. And talk about anticipation – there was nothing like going to bed Sunday night with that ‘Christmas Eve’ feeling — that just a night’s sleep was between you and a fabulous surprise waiting to be unwrapped. Unexpected though, was waking up at 4am, making lists in my head — things we need to remember to take pictures of, questions that need to be asked, items we needed to remember to bring…. and what do with the dogs.
Even so, Monday morning came, bringing chilly gray skies and drizzle. We met our home inspector at the back of the property, already poking around. He’d been a contractor for over 20 years and had extensive experience with antique homes and barns (he was an owner himself!). He brought his son (and apprentice) along to help. Both were just great, and super knowledgeable – and we felt like they were a great fit for us and this inspection.
We trudged through the basement, (which was dry even after 2 inches of rain the day before… YAY!), the barn — which the inspector said was in *great* original condition, dated to the mid 1800’s, and featured hand-hewn beam and mortise and tenon construction, and hadn’t been structurally altered, which was great news. It did need some reinforcements in the basement area, where boards had been cut to muck out cow stalls. The property, we learned, had been a dairy farm about 50 years ago, and the basement still features a ‘cold room’ where milk was stored (and would make a fabulous root or wine cellar today.)
And those ugly gray shingles? Those were from the 1930s, most likely, when shingling barns was en vogue, and actually, hideous as they are, they’ve sheltered the original timbers all these years, which is why most of them are in such great condition today.
One of the best parts of being at the house for a solid half-day, was having some time to think about changes/improvements we might make — especially those that would have lots of visual impact. Here, for example…
This is the side yard, or the first door you see as your drive up the road (reference first pic in the post for a better idea), though it looks like the grander of the two doors. We’re thinking the homeowners decided the door on the Cape side was the FRONT door, and painted this one white to blend into the siding. We think this door is gorgeous, and I’ve officially decided that part of being a true Capelonial is proudly displaying *both* doors.
I schemed we could continue the cute little flagstone path on the Cape side around this huge maple tree and right up to this door. With some landscaping, a matching door color, and perhaps building up the yard a bit with more rocks (readily available around the property), and enclosing the whole thing with more picket fencing from the driveway around the side to this back gate, we could create a proper ‘yard’ that highlighted both entrances. (And that doorway-thing under the house? Walk-in access to the basement, which is full height(!) – another YAY in our book.)
Another fab discovery? This massive iron key hanging right inside the door above:
That’s right. And it WORKS in the old iron lock. Kind of funny, since most every door in the house is always left unlocked, as the area is in a pretty rural ‘everyone knows everyone’ kinda place. But this is seriously awesome that it hangs right there, even after all these years.
So, what’s next? We await the water and radon test results, and need to schedule a septic inspector. We’re also waiting final surveying reports so the lotline can be squared away, and then … who knows? We need to agree on what bits of the house we’ll ask the seller to fix or credit us for (so we can fix), and go forward from there.
We’re inching towards full-blown planning and obsessing time… I can’t wait!