Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 2 : Starting to Plan

We had the timeline, we had a house, we even had a map up on the wall!

With all the pieces falling into place, Michigan plans hit a little lull, which was fine, since we had a lot of stuff still going on here in Oregon; James got a vasectomy, I tried to completely destroy my knee by playing one more roller derby bout, we celebrated the holidays and both kids' birthdays- we had plenty on our plate. 

In January, Agent Orange adjusted a previously planned trip to Florida to include a 2 night stay in her newest acquisition as a land baroness.  She sent us videos that gave us the idea of layout of the house as well as some quick sketches to give us an idea of the floor plan.   We finally had a solid idea of exactly what was going on with this house and could start wrapping our head around what we would need to do to actually live in it.

I am also working on convincing AO that her true calling in life is giving home tours. 

 She spent both nights in the actual house, which sounded like a terrifying experience- mostly because the house is almost guaranteed to be haunted since it was built in 1906- but also because there were no functioning bathrooms, the temperature was in the single digits and the locks weren't all super great at being locked from the inside.  But she came back with a bevvy of knowledge. Including how many actual staircases there were!

I picked her up from the airport in Portland and we spent the 2 hour drive going over all the details she discovered in her stay.   She admitted that it was a little overwhelming at first, with the place in such a state of half done disarray.  But when we talked it out, we both agreed that there was so much potential there, not only for our immediate living needs- but for future rental possibilities, that it would be worth all the work it will need.

Apparently, the house was set up as multiple rental units.  The third floor is a self contained unit and was almost completely livable- except for the crazy scary tiled shower (this is what made the real estate agent go "oh my god!") It has a kitchen, a living room area, a bedroom area, an awesome wood stove and plenty of storage.  It would be a great living space for 1-2 people. 

Winner of the scariest shower scene.

The other 2 stories of the house was divided into 8 other individual living spaces with a shared kitchen and laundry on the first floor. There was a bathroom on each floor that was also a shared space- which makes the stupid door situation on the first video make more sense.  There are also 5 doors to the outside all said and told to make sure that each tenant could access the shared spaces and lock their own rooms.  This also means that the electrical panel is set up so that we can have about a million x-mas lights and never blow a fuse!

AO also got the opportunity to see the neighborhood a bit (to find bathrooms mostly) and find some good spots for healthy grocery shopping and delicious drinks.  The location of the house is neither directly downtown, nor is it in a suburban area.  It does have a lot of accessibility to the things we need- including the hospital 2 blocks away.

With all the great info that she provided, we were able to create some not-very-accurate floor plans and have some strong ideas about how the living situation would actually look and what kind of renovations we would need.  The actual specifics were still in the air and would need to continue to get nailed down as we determined what would fit in the budget and what we would absolutely need to be able to live in relative safety.

I'd already planned my trip out to the house myself in February, so it was great to already have a good idea of what we would need to talk about when talking renovations with our friend.

Best laid plans...


  1. But wait, enquiring minds want to know how many stair cases *are* there?

    1. Technically there are 4 outside staircases right now and 3 inside stair cases (2 to the second floor and 1 to the third floor) and they are building one more staircase inside to the basement, but they are either demolishing or closing up the secret staircase so they will cancel it out. 7?

      See, it's super hard!

    2. DANG! I totally forgot the stairs to the basement from the outside door! This really is a fun game! So eventually 8?


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