Monthly Archives: May 2014

First we have to sell a house

5.30.14 Before we can start the lake house we have to sell our primary residence.  We have been in our home since 1997 and it holds all the memories of raising our kids.  They were 5 and 2 yrs old when we moved in and our daughter just graduated from college and our son will graduate from high school in two weeks.  17 years of good times and 17 years of accumulating tons of STUFF!  Like many empty-nesters we have the itch to downsize and build something from scratch.  Which could be the demise of our 26 years of marriage – ha!

gaye ln

I will miss my flower gardens - I am taking some of the perennials with us to the Lake House but it is a lot of work and time.

I will miss my flower gardens – I am taking some of the perennials with us to the Lake House but it is a lot of work and time.

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This is the house we need to sell.  4 bdrms and 4 baths.  The list of things we need to do to fix her up before we sell is quite long.  We are starting in the bedrooms by taking down popcorn ceilings and old wallpaper.  All the brown rugs from the 80’s have to go and all of the stained wood trim is getting painted.

master bdrm

Master bedroom on day 1 of renovation.


Here’s a view of the other side of the master – rug gone!

spray scrape results

Removing Popcorn Ceiling:

1)  We, or should I say Dan (my husband), removes the popcorn ceiling by spraying water on a small section (about 4′ x 4′)

2)  Wait a few minutes and carefully scrape off.  Any gouges have to be repaired so careful is the name of the game.

3)  Fix flaws with plaster.  Let it dry and rub off with wet rag or sandpaper.

3)  Instead of renting a steamer to remove the wallpaper, I tried the same sprayer and it worked.  There was so much wallpaper adhesive still stuck to the walls that they felt slimy – it was a real chore to wash them all down.  But take the time to wash them down or your paint will not adhere.



Septic 101


Important day!  This morning we met with Merrill, an engineer and our septic expert/designer.  Before doing anything, we had to make sure that the land could support a septic system.

Currently, there is a 750 gallon metal tank.  Undersized and metal is no longer used.  I don’t even think there is a leach field.  Fine for the occasional weekend but will not work for full time living.

The good news Merrill delivered, IT CAN BE DONE!  The price tag has left me concerned. $20-30k.  Our next step is a $300-400 soil boring and test.  That I can handle.  But I really have to think about the total cost of the septic.  Is this worth it?  I had originally thought $10-15k.

Short List:

1) Prepare a realistic budget – is building the lake house worth it?

2)  Prepare a timeline – what do we do first and when do we start?

3) Get our house ready to sell so we can create cash flow t.  My husband (Dan) and I agreed on July 1 as a target date to list the house.  The “to do” list is enormous!

Location, location, location


In 2005 we bought this house.

South side

South side

West side - view from the road

West side – view from the road

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View from the lake house

View from the lake house

View of lake from the front porch of the house

View of lake from the front porch of the house

Up until now we have used it as a summer camp.  Our primary residence is 20 mins away. It is easy for us to visit the lake house for an afternoon or the weekend.

This month our daughter graduates from college and our son graduates from high school. Now is our chance to downsize.  Our plan is to sell our primary residence (2500 sq ft) and move to the lake house (700 sq ft.)  That is quite a downsize.  Our early plans were to add a second floor but nothing is that simple.

Join us on our journey as we try to ready and sell one house and move to the lake house.