Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Seven years ago we decided it was time to start thinking about downsizing in preparation for my husbands retirement... We had moved to Northern Michigan for my husbands job a few years earlier.. We had both grown up and lived in Southern Michigan the majority of our lives and had both been homeowners most of our adult lives..

We decided to rent when we first got here, not sure we would end up staying long term.. We have six children and eleven grandchildren between us, living in Southern Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina and Georgia...It was a huge decision for us to decide to move so far away from all our loved ones, but we both loved the peacefulness and tranquility of Northern Michigan..

We were really excited about the first house we rented, as it was on one of the most beautiful lakes in Northern Michigan.. The house wasn't lake front, but rather a couple of rows up form the lake.. But hey...If we stood at the end of our driveway on our tip toes, we could see the lake. lol..

The house wasn't bad at all, but when we rented it, we didn't realize it came with on sight landlords.. We were renting from a couple who had a lake front house just down the road from us.. We knew they planned on using the garage that sat right next to the house to store things, but didn't realized they also intended on using it on a daily basis to do wood working.. Eventually we realized we were not only paying the electricity to run their machinery, but the gas to heat the garage and the cable so they could watch TV while they worked.

After 6 months, we were fed up with having no privacy and decided it was time to move on...

We found a really nice rental nestled in a wooded area that was beautiful.. We had great landlords who respected our privacy. The only problem was, they had done a lot of work on the house and really didn't want us to change anything in it.. We understood why they felt that way, but being a very creative person, it just didn't really feel like home to me.. It didn't take long to realize renting just wasn't our cup of tea.

We rented at the 2nd home for a year, all the while searching for homes we might like.. Somehow I found a home sitting back off the road with a realty sign nailed to a tree.. It wasn't listed on any of the realty websites, it was on a road I'd never been on, and to this day, I'm still not sure how the heck I found this place..

I called the realtor to get info about it, was told it was empty so go ahead and walk around the property if I liked, so I went and peeked in all the windows to see what it looked like, talked my husband into going to look at it and knew instantly it was the one..It was a home that had ended up in foreclosure and had sat empty for 2 years, which meant the yard looked like a hayfield, but all in all, the property was in pretty good condition..... The bank had sent someone in to paint all the walls white so it was like a blank slate..There really wasn't a whole lot to look at, but it sat on a large property surrounded by state land and forest with a large garage and nice shed included.

As we found out later, the owner had passed away unexpectedly, wasn't married and had no one to carry on the mortgage.. He obviously cared very much about the property, as he had a really nice crawl space put in with a excellent foundation, he had the garage and shed built and had started building a deck off the side of the house, which he had partially added a roof to..

My husbands reaction wasn't exactly as positive as mine...He saw everything that needed to be done.. I saw possibilities...

It took some convincing, but he finally agreed we should put in a really low offer... We did, they accepted it, we had a closing within a few weeks, and I got started working on the rooms while he was at work..

I'm very lucky to have a husband that trusts me to do whatever I want in a house.. He basically just let me go crazy doing whatever I wanted, helping on the weekends if he didn't have to work..

The first round of redecorating took about 2 months, working morning to night, 7 days a week.. I'm self employed, so I was able to take a break from my business in order to do this...

My husband and I are not professionals and we sure aren't experts.. We just kind of took this one step at a time.. If I wasn't sure how to do something, my husband usually had a solution. If not, I searched the internet until I found an answer... We were careful about how we spent money, watched for sales on items we needed and did the best we could to stay within our tight budget...

By time we were ready to move in, we were both very happy with the results and happy to be moving to our own home, which, to us, felt like a vacation get away in a quiet, peaceful and private wooded location..

Now, 7 years later, we still love our home and are glad we bought it.. There are times we both long to be closer to family, but all in all, we know we could not find the peace we have here anywhere else..

Because I had such a hard time finding info about remodeling manufactured homes, I thought I'd start this blog showing before and after pictures in case someone else is out there trying to get some ideas or advice..

Look for the titles of each page for rooms you may be interested in seeing..

Like us, I hope you have fun turning a house into your home...

1 comment:

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