Sunday Stills: ‘Abandoned’ house; the full catastrophe.

I was rather apprehensive about seeing the inside of the abandoned house which we bought a few months ago. I knew what it looked like in February, but it had been through another hot, wet and humid Florida summer since then, and with the roof still leaking like a colander, so who knew what new horrors might be lurking there. This is what the roof was like before it was redone.

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The imposing front entrance certainly belied what lay beyond, although all the notices stuck on the door, did give one a clue that the house had been empty and uncared for, for four years.

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The whole roof had to be replaced, and our contractor said to hubby, “It was a very unhappy house, but now it’s happy again.” We now have the smartest roof in the whole street.

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One would never guess from looking at the outside, that once through the door, this grim sight would be there to greet you.

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The previous owners must have left in a hurry, as they left behind this gorgeous old radiogram, which was taken away by the garbage truck this morning, along with a lot of other rubbish.

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The kitchen will of course need to be totally gutted and redone. That ugly piece of wall on the left, is right in the middle of the living area, and will also have to go.

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I’m sure you’ll agree that the second bathroom is in need of a bit of a makeover.

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This guest bedroom isn’t quite ready for visitors yet.

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The floor and windowsill of the other spare bedroom were absolutely covered in dead bees. The poor things must have got in, but couldn’t get out again.

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The master bedroom is huge, but that once gorgeous, plush cream carpet is totally ruined, so will have to come up.

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The bathroom needs a lot of titivation too, and that awful wallpaper has to go.

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Here’s another bathroom in line with the master bathroom, so we’re going to combine the two to make a ‘his and hers’ shower. How’s this amazing wallpaper? Are any of you interested in the ancient treadmill. It’s going for free. 🙂

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There’s a really big lanai, half of which will be incorporated into the main living area.

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The view is just as we remembered it, and I’m hoping the white pelican that I saw there in February, is still around somewhere.

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Well that’s about it. All the floor tiles have to be taken up, and the ceilings sorted out. The garden is a bit of a jungle, but hubby is going to look for something like a machete to hack his way through the undergrowth.

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We do have our own stash of bananas in the front garden.

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Also, there are mushrooms on the back lawn, so we won’t starve; just joking of course.

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Lots of work to do. Thank goodness I don’t have to live there whilst it being done. Hubby is a really keen renovator, and this will be the first house he’s done, without me having to live with the mess. I remember one house in Johannesburg, where I had to literally walk the plank from the front door to the rest of the house, after he’d taken up the worn out wooden floor. He then knocked down a wall and eventually filled the hole with the rubble. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this house. I’m sure it’s going to be quite a transformation.

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My roof’s got a hole in it and I might drown.

Finally, last week, the roofing contractor started work on replacing the roof of our house in Florida. When we were looking to buy a house there three years ago, we saw this one and really liked it.

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Unfortunately it was a bank repossession, and to negotiate to buy it would have been a very long term thing, so we bought another house instead. This house had been abandoned by the owner, because he couldn’t afford to get the roof repaired after it was damaged in a hurricane. Three years later, just before we left to come back to South Africa for six months, we learned that it was still standing empty, and that the bank had, in the meantime, turned down a couple of offers on it. We decided to try putting in an offer to purchase, and to persevere until we got the bank to sell to us. Of course, by this time, the roof was in a much worse condition; some of the ceilings had collapsed, and the poor house looked quite a wreck inside.

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It was the wonderful view from the lounge which really waved to us.

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In May, after lots of haggling over the price, we were overjoyed to hear that the bank had finally decided to accept our offer. Of course, the first thing to do once we got possession, was to organise to get the roof replaced. We chose a contractor and hubby got all the necessary permits sorted out, but because of torrential rains, the roofing guy only managed to complete the other jobs he had, last week.

We were so excited when he sent us a message to say that he had actually started work on ours, and he sent us a few photos of the progress.

The clay tiles are being delivered today, so the job should soon be completed and we can heave a huge sigh of relief. I’ll no longer have to sing this song every time I look at the weather for Florida, and see that it’s raining again. 🙂